Pan is a graphical, free newsreader for *nix systems. It is based on the GNOME framework, but will run under any desktop environment or window manager. It contains all of the usual newsreader features, such as posting and threading, and also many features that are convenient for file sharing over Usenet. The name was originally an acronym for Pimp-Ass Newsreader, but appears to now just be Pan.
The basic newsreader interface is an intuitive three-pane system, similar to most recent mail clients. One pane is devoted to listing groups, a second to listing articles, and a third to showing articles. There is an optional tabbed mode where each pane takes up a separate tab that can be quite useful on a small monitor. The posting interface is bare-bones but functional. It supports multiple news servers and multiple connections, although only one newsgroup can be open for reading at a time, unlike such clients as Xnews.
Pan has considerable support for Usenet binaries. It supports uuencoded, base64, and yEnc binaries, and is capable of queuing multiple binary downloads. There is a simple task manager available for reordering and cancelling queued tasks. The interface makes it simple to select large groups of binaries to be queued, a considerable improvement over many newsreaders such as Mozilla Thunderbird and knode.
Pan is released under the GNU GPL, and has a homepage at http://pan.rebelbase.com/. The current version is 0.14.2, with the beta version 0.132 also being available.
This writeup is copyright 2003-2004 D.G. Roberge and is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence.