Internet and Usenet Computer Information Newsgroups
| || |
Any Internet Service Provider (ISP) provides its subscribers with access to the Internet and Usenet newsgroups it sees as being in keeping with its access policies. These newsgroups are usually accessed via e-mail/newsreader client software such as Microsoft's free Outlook Express, Mozilla's Thunderbird, Netscape's free Messenger, Eudora, and others.
The setup depends on which ISP and which email client/newsreader you are using. Many users are using Outlook Express or Windows Mail (used by Windows Vista), but there are many third-party email/newsreader clients, such as Mozilla Thunderbird.
All you have to do to download the list of supported newsgroups using Outlook Express is find out what the address of news server of your ISP is, and then set up an account in Outlook Express by clicking Tools (on the Taskbar) and then Accounts. Freeserve's news server's address was news.freeserve.net. Every ISP would have its own address for its news server. You would click the News tab followed by the Add button. and then add the necessary information as the Add wizard asks for it.
When the account has been set up, its name (say, news.freeserve.net) will show in Outlook Express below the Local Folders - the Inbox, Outbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items, and Drafts. When online, just use your right mouse button to click on it, and then click on Newsgroups, and a window will appear, and the available newsgroups will begin to download. There are many thousands, so, if you have a dial-up modem this could take quite a long time. When all of the newsgroups have been downloaded, the list can be searched, and you can subscribe to the ones you want to access. The names will appear under the newsgroup account. You can access the files via Windows Explorer. It is a good idea to delete the Deleted_Items.dbx file regularly because it retains a record of the deleted files, and so increases in size as the number of deleted files mounts up. Windows recreates an empty .dbx file if one is deleted. If the Inbox grows too large, Outlook Express tends to make it impossible to access any of the stored e-mails, because it won't work unless the Inbox .dbx file is deleted, and/or Outlook Express is removed (using Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel) and reinstalled.
If you want to find a particular newsgroup, use Finding the Appropriate Newsgroup: http://sites.google.com/site/findnewsgroup/.
You can also access the past postings to the registered newsgroups via this specific link to Google Groups. Google has purchased and made available Deja.com's huge database of Usenet postings.
If you want to conduct your own search for computer newsgroups the web, you can make use of a search engine, such as Bing.
Many newsgroups have a permanent FAQ posting, or one that is posted regularly, that provides newcomers with information about the newsgroup, such as the kind of postings that are permitted, and that are not permitted. If you send an 'off-topic' posting to a newsgroup, you can expect to be 'flamed' - to receive a 'flaming' - from the other members of the newsgroup.
You can gain full access - read and post to threads in all of the the many Microsoft Public Newsgroups via this link:
Here is the page for Windows Vista newsgroups: http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/communities/newsgroups/en-us/default.mspx
Here is the page for Windows XP newsgroups:
MICROSOFT PUBLIC NEWSGROUPS -
"There are many valuable newsgroups on the msnews.microsoft.com server, on nearly every available topic and in many different languages. Clicking the links below will automatically create any necessary account configuration in Outlook Express or Wndows Mail (or other default newsreader program) and take you directly to the newsgroup you have selected — no complicated technical configurations are needed! I strongly encourage you to visit the newsgroups with a newsreader such as Outlook Express. Generally, people seeking help are better able to find answers posted to their questions using a newsreader than if they use Microsoft’s alternate web interface. These links make that easy to do." - http://www.aumha.org/nntp.htm
Anyone can read the posts, but since October 2004 it has been necessary to sign up for a .NET Passport in order to be able to create new posts and reply to the existing posts in these newsgroups. It's easy enough to do. Just supply all of the required information and fill in all of the fields under your Profile. To access the Microsoft Public Newsgroups that cover Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, MS Office, etc., just choose your language by clicking on it in the left-hand navigation bar. If you get an error-message window appearing saying that an error has occurred after posting to a newsgroup, check a little while later to see if your post has appeared. This has happened to me, but the posts always appear. For some reason, the posts take a while to appear, probably because they are being actively moderated.
It is also possible to access Microsoft's public newsgroups by using Google Groups. Registration is also required.
Here are some examples of newsgroup addresses:
The newsgroup for the superb http://www.repairfaq.org/ website.
Gibson Research's newsgroup server. Add it as a newsgroup server to access its newsgroups, one of which is optout, dedicated to 'spyware' issues, or visit grc.com, and search the OptOut page for the hyperlink that installs it on to your newsreader.
If your ISP does not give you access to the full number of microsoft.public newsgroups, you can add msnews.microsoft.com and pssnews.msn.com as an account - as a server name - in your news reader - under Tools => Accounts => News tab in Outlook Express.
Here are some current newsgroups that still work well:
The Microsoft Public Newsgroups contain many specialist sub-groups for modems, Internet, Outlook Express, etc. The two following newsgroups show the form the address takes - microsoft.public followed by a brief description of the contents.
Microsoft still runs hundreds of newsgroups. To find them use your email program that has been set up to receive newsgroups from your Internet Service Provider (AOL, BT, O2, Plusnet, Virgin, etc.), which most of them provide, or use the search query newsgroups on microsoft.com.
You have to sign up for a Passport in order to be able to make posts.
Excellent dial-up Modem newsgroup - alt.comp.dcom.modems
CD-R and CD-RW newsgroup - alt.comp.periphs.cdr
Good DVD newsgroups - alt.video.dvd and uk.media.dvd and rec.video.dvd
Newsgroup for home-built PCs - alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
The ATI (video-card manufacturer now called AMD) newsgroup - alt.comp.periphs.videocards.ati - search for your card's newsgroup. Note that at the time of writing this (October 2010) there was no videocards newsgroup called alt.comp.periphs.videocards.amd.
Shareware - alt.comp.shareware
Freeware - alt.comp.freeware
The Asus (motherboard manufacturer's) newgroup - alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus - search for your motherboard's.
AMD's processor overclocking newgroup - alt.comp.hardware.overclocking.amd
Hewlett Packard - alt.sys.hp.hardware
Compaq computer manufacturer's newsgroup - alt.sys.pc-clone.compaq
Dell computer manufacturer's newsgroup - alt.sys.pc-clone.dell
Gateway computer manufacturer's newsgroup - alt.sys.pc-clone.gateway2000
Packard Bell - alt.sys.pc-clone.packardbell
One of many newsgroups for the Linux operating system - alt.os.linux
comp.os.ms-windows newsgroups contain many specialist sub-groups for networking, Windows NT, utilities, setup, applications' compatibility, etc.
One of several Intel newsgroups. For example - intel.graphics.intel810 - the 810 chipset. The newsgroups below are old now and Intel has not created newsgroups for its latest processors.
There is no pentium_iv groups, so the pentium_iii groups must be used for discussions on the Pentium 4 processors and Pentium 4 (Socket 478) motherboards.
Note - not all ISP's carry all of the newsgroups; most are selective. If your ISP does not carry a particular newsgroup that you would like to subscribe to, access it via Google Groups, or write or email it and ask for the group to be included.
It is also possible to apply to create your own newsgroup by applying to the body responsible for authorising new newsgroups. For instance, there is a body responsible for allowing new alt newsgroups, an example of which is alt.netscape. But be warned that it is a lengthy and complicated process that has to be completed exacly according to the required methods. If you miss out any of the procedure, your application is sure to fail.
If you would like to create your own newsgroup, I suggest inserting a search phrase such as "Guide for creating newsgroups", "Guide for creating an alt newsgroup", guide + creating + newsgroups, etc., in the Google search box at the top of this page (enable the Web Search option on the first search page). You'll undoubtedly find many tutorials that describe what the very involved procedure is.
Here is an ALT FAQ page: http://www.freewebs.com/altfaq.
Or have a look at the alt.how.to.create.a.newsgroup newsgroup.
Once you have the newsgroup created, you'll have to persuade the people running news servers around the world to carry it.
A simpler option may be to run your own news server. Your newsgroup won't be subject to all the spam that arrives in Usenet groups, and you'll have complete control over how your newsgroup is run and presented. You also won't be relying on people running news servers worldwide to carry your newsgroup properly - just set it up on a home computer that has been converted into an Internet server.
It's extremely easy to set up and run your own newsgroup server. If you have a broadband connection (cable, ADSL etc.), you can set up the necessary software on your home computer in five minutes. If you have a dedicated server to run your website on, you can set it up on it.
For example, MPNews from http://www.mutantpenguin.co.uk/mpnews/ is news server software from Mutant Penguin Software that makes doing that possible. It's designed for Windows with ease of use in mind.
With the templates available from MPNews, you can customise the way newsgroups look on the web and make them available as an RSS feed. A custom template can be created that makes a newsgroup blend in seamlessly with a website.
Remember, you can also access the past postings to the registered Usenet newsgroups via this specific link to Google Groups.
Google has purchased and made available Deja.com's huge database of Usenet postings.
You can also join many computer forums that allow their members to create posts. They can be found by using the search query computer forums in a search engine.
PC Buyer Beware! Copyright © Eric Legge 2004-2011. All rights reserved.