Newstand is a relatively new server solution designed specifically for the Power Macintosh platform. As a result, the server is targeted more towards Mac-based ISPs, corporations, and schools that want to provide Internet and/or intranet-based newsgroups. Newstand’s GUI interface alone is reason enough to switch from a Unix-based news server. The interface will be familiar to anyone used to working in a Macintosh environment and is designed to simplify typically confusing configuration and administration tasks. The server also utilizes Apple’s Open Transport and multi-threading capabilities for superior performance in critical areas.
Like NewsChannel, NewsChannel is actually available in two different flavors — a Lite version that retails for just under $500 and a Pro version priced at a bit below $1000. Newstand Pro is designed to be both an end-node and middle-node feeder with capabilities to download and send newsfeeds, whereas Newstand Lite is limited to an end-node role with download-only newsfeed capabilities. Both versions consist of two applications — the Newstand Server and the Newstand Admin. The Server is a fully compliant NNTP server (with complete support for RFC 977) that uses a customized high-performance database to store local and Internet newsgroup information. The server permits multiple concurrent client connections and provides for both sending and receiving of multiple simultaneous newsfeeds.
As a result, the server is targeted more towards Mac-based ISPs, corporations, and schools that want to provide Internet and/or intranet-based newsgroups.
The Admin administrative tool sports Newstand’s attractive and intuitive graphical interface and offers features like client and server authentication capabilities, message and content filtering, selective propagation and reception, error logging, transfer statistics, automatic article expiration and deletion options, authorization of providers and readers, and maintenance of active group lists and individual newsgroups. The Admin will assist you in limiting Internet newsgroup access on a user-by-user basis and will also help you create internal news and discussion groups for your local network.
Technical support is another area where Newstand excels. In addition to an e-mail support line at firstname.lastname@example.org and standard telephone support, Newstand also hosts two mailing lists aimed at helping users and administrators. The first of the two lists, Newstand-Announce, consists of product announcements and press releases and is designed to keep users and administrators up to date with the latest Newstand information. The Newstand-Tech list is designed more as a support-only list and is limited to discussions on the administration and use of the server. You can subscribe to either of the mailing lists on Newstand’s support Web page.
Newsgroups are playing an increasingly important role in all three of Newstand’s target markets. Schools, businesses, and ISPs that operate in a Power Mac environment have typically had limited options available to them in the news server area. As a result, many of these users have had to turn to a costly, unwieldy Unix-based news solution if they wanted one at all. Thankfully, a Power Mac solution has finally arrived, and for those of you wanting to control costs, maintenance requirements, and ease of use for your end users, Newstand is the answer.
Pros: Excellent (and only) news server solution for Power Macs, intuitive graphical admin client
Cons: No cross-platform support (Power Mac only), DNEWS offers better performance/features
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Operating Systems / Latest Versions:
Macintosh: Power Mac – v1.0.1