by Simon Fraser



MT-NewsWatcher MT-NewsWatcher is a Usenet news reading application for the Macintosh, based on John Norstad's NewsWatcher application. MT-NewsWatcher adds to the basic NewsWatcher a number of useful features that make reading news faster, and more pleasurable. These features are:
  • Multi-threading
  • Filtering
  • Spell checking
  • Speech Recognition
  • Other miscellaneous improvements
which are described in more detail below.

MT-NewsWatcher is one of a number of different NewsWatcher versions out there, which have different suites of functions. Perhaps the most widely used version is Brian Clark's YA-NewsWatcher, which supports the use of anonymous remailers and the posting of binary files. MT-NewsWatcher does not yet have these functions, and I have no plans to add them in the near future.


Threading MT-NewsWatcher has been written to take advantage of the threading capabilities in System 7.5 and later, and is able to run many threads concurrently. This lets you, for example, read articles in a group while extracting binaries from another, and downloading headers for a third at the same time. See the document on threading for more information.
Filtering MT-NewsWatcher includes some quite sophisticated filtering options, which enable you to kill, or hilite sets of articles that match, or don't match certain criteria. Filtering is described in more detail in the 'Filtering' document.
MT-NewsWatcher can respond to spoken commands, on a Power Macintosh running Apple's Speech Recognition software. Speech Recognition is described in more detail in the 'Speech Recognition' document.
Others More minor changes have been made to many other features of the basic NewsWatcher in MT-NewsWatcher, and these are described in the Cool Features document.


Fairly detailed documentation is provided for those features which are new in MT-NewsWatcher. It is strongly suggested that you turn to the excellent documentation for the regular NewsWatcher for an introduction; it is available by FTP in a number of formats. You can get a copy of the MT-NewsWatcher docs, in HTML format for local viewing, by following the links on the Downloading page.

Documentation specific to MT-NewsWatcher is organised as follows:


MT-NewsWatcher requires a Macintosh running System 7.0 or later with the Thread Manager installed (7.5.3 preferred) with 2.5 megabytes or more of free memory and a hard drive. The Mac must be connected to the Internet, and MacTCP or Open Transport must be properly installed and configured. MT-NewsWatcher works with PPP connections, such as FreePPP or OT/PPP.

MT-NewsWatcher also requires the Thread Manager, which can be installed as an extension under System 7.x, and is included in 7.5 and above.

Bug Reports First, check the Version History page to see whether I am aware of this bug, or intend to add a new feature in a future version. If it's not listed, please email bug reports to me, including at least the following information:
  • Machine type
  • System version
  • Networking software used (OT/TCP, PPP etc)
  • Description of what you were doing when the problem occurred
  • If possible, the sequence of steps necessary to tickle the bug
A stdlog from MacsBug is always useful when tracking down bugs.
Usage statistics You can see some usage statistics for news clients on all platforms at
Thanks MT-NewsWatcher is based on version 2.1.6 of the NewsWatcher application, by John Norstad, without whom none of this would have happened. Many thanks to John, and Northwestern, for making the excellent NewsWatcher code available. Thanks also to Bob Boonstra for earlier versions of the VA-NewsWatcher code (only small parts of which remain in this final version), and Brian Clark for making a NewsWatcher that inspired many of MT's features. Michael Crawford of Working Software also supplied the Word Services code.

MT-NewsWatcher could not have been completed without the patient help of a group of beta testers, including Terje Bless, David Brady, Doug Clark, Jim Correia, Jeff Diamond, Greg Ferguson, Ludovic Ferrandis, Scott Gruby, Lars Kellogg-Stedman, Simon Kidd, Joel Klecker, Pat Lee, Igor Livshits, Bob Madden, Maury Markowitz, Larry Rosenstein, Mike Skultety, Mychailo Toloczko and others.

Also, thanks to Christian Fowler of Sound Machine Sound for the logo.

Source code The MT-NewsWatcher source code is not being generally released. If you have a particular reason for wanting to see it, please email me.

The regular NewsWatcher source (on which MT-NewsWatcher is based) is available from the NewsWatcher FTP site.

But before you go delving into the code with great ideas about how it can be improved, read this.

Related Links All flavours of NewsWatcher are tracked on Claude Errera's NewsWatcher page.
The Mac Orchard has a good list of Mac Internet software.


Download Basics Speech Recognition Filtering Cool Features