Acttimes is a program that maintains the active.times file for those systems
whose news software doesnt maintain it for them.
A system that is running C news or INN should already have a valid
/usr/local/news/lib/active.times file and therefore doesnt need
acttimes to maintain it.
acttimes will create or maintain
active.times by reading the active file,
/usr/local/news/lib/active, and adding any groups it finds that arent already in the file.
It uses the current time and a fake user-id to create the entry
since it doesnt have access to the article that created the group.
active.times file is a list of each new newsgroup that gets created
on your system, the date it was created, and who asked for it to be created.
This file enables NNTP to respond to the NEWGROUPS command with a list
of groups that are newer than a certain date.
Without the file, the NEWGROUPS command cannot function.
The format is: newsgroup date user-id where newsgroup is the name
of the group in question, date is the newsgroups
creation time, in seconds since midnight, Jan. 1, 1970, GMT,
and user-id is the name of the user who created the group, or
acttimes@local, if not known.
Acttimes can be run either as a daemon process, or from cron.
To run it as a daemon, specify the -d option and give it the number
of minutes it should wait to wake up (the default is a quick 10 minutes).
For example, acttimes -d120 would start
acttimes and have it wake up every 2 hours.
To kill the daemon, use the command, acttimes -k.
acttimes from cron, dont specify any options.
A minimum update period is probably once or twice a day, but running it
more often will make the new groups available in a more timely manner.