The APL Newsreader is a program that allows you to browse, search, and extract information from netnews archive files stored on your own PC (no Internet connection required). The newsreader package includes the complete archives of the USENET comp.lang.apl newsgroup, from 1989 to present. If you don't yet follow this group, the newsreader and archive will let you find out what you've been missing. If you do follow the group, you can find out what happened before you arrived and have a complete record of the postings. It's like a freewheeling electronic APL journal that's updated daily.
The software requires an IBM PC with an 80386 or later CPU, at least 3 megabytes of RAM, DOS 3.3 or later, and VGA or EGA graphics. An APL*PLUS II run-time interpreter is included with the package--you don't even need a copy of APL to use the newsreader. The newsreader software itself occupies about 1 megabyte of disk space. The comp.lang.apl archive is more than 15 megabytes when uncompressed, but you can work with individual yearly archives which are 2 to 5M in size.
The newsreader software and a recent version of the c.l.a archive (through July 1997) are available on the APL97 CD-ROM, which sells for about $20. For ordering information, see www.torontoapl.org/apl97/merch.htm.
The newsreader software and much older (and less convenient) c.l.a archive are available for free from the Waterloo archives. The software can be found in the APLNEWS.ZIP file (498 KB). Installation instructions can be found in the READ.ME file. The c.l.a archive (through early 1995) is stored in a disk-spanning zip file that is broken up into four pieces. Unfortunately, this format is somewhat inconvenient for net access--installing it requires the use of four 1.44M diskettes. You must download the following four files, then copy them to four diskettes, renaming them all "CLA.ZIP" in the process.
Once you have downloaded these files and copied them to disk, follow the installation instructions given in the READ.ME file.
Note: It is not currently possible to download just part of the c.l.a archive from Waterloo; you must download all four CLA.ZIP files to be able to use them. It is hoped that the archive format will be revised in the future to permit partial downloading and to include later postings.