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RXN Communications offers access to Usenet newsgroups for RXN Communications customers. The following are answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Usenet. Please direct any additional questions you may have to support@rxn.com .

RXN Usenet FAQ - Q uestion and A nswer Table of Contents:


1. What is Usenet?
2. How do I learn more about Usenet?
3. What are some important Usenet newsgroups?
4. Should I transact business on Usenet?
5. How do I become a Usenet site?
6. Which usenet news servers can I use?
7. How can I access Usenet through my RXN PPP account?
8. How can I access Usenet through my RXN shell account?
9. How can I access Usenet through my RXN UUCP account?
10. How can I access Usenet through my RXN NNTP account?

11. Return to the Previous Menu.
12. Return to the RXN Communications Home Page.

Q 1. What is Usenet?
A From Mark Moraes' periodic What is Usenet? post in news.announce.newsusers :
Usenet is a world-wide distributed discussion system. It consists of a set of "newsgroups" with names that are classified hierarchically by subject. "Articles" or "messages" are "posted" to these newsgroups by people on computers with the appropriate software -- these articles are then broadcast to other interconnected computer systems via a wide variety of networks. Some newsgroups are "moderated"; in these newsgroups, the articles are first sent to a moderator for approval before appearing in the newsgroup. Usenet is available on a wide variety of computer systems and networks, but the bulk of modern Usenet traffic is transported over either the Internet or UUCP.
Edward Vielmetti also posts a second opinion to news.announce.newsusers .
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Q 2. How do I learn more about Usenet?
A Informative posts are periodically made to the news.announce.newsusers newsgroup, including:
Welcome to Usenet! by netannounce@deshaw.com (Mark Moraes)

Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette by netannounce@deshaw.com (Mark Moraes)

A Primer on How to Work With the Usenet Community by netannounce@deshaw.com (Mark Moraes)

Guidelines on Usenet Newsgroup Names by David.W.Wright@bnr.co.uk

How to Create a New Usenet Newsgroup by newgroups-request@isc.org (David C Lawrence)

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Usenet by netannounce@deshaw.com (Mark Moraes)

Rules for posting to Usenet by netannounce@deshaw.com (Mark Moraes)

A Guide to Social Newsgroups and Mailing Lists by taylor@netcom.com (Dave Taylor)

Usenet Software: History and Sources by netannounce@deshaw.com (Mark Moraes)

Hints on writing style for Usenet by netannounce@deshaw.com (Mark Moraes)

Introduction to news.announce by netannounce@deshaw.com (Mark Moraes)

How to Get Information about Networks by netannounce@deshaw.com (Mark Moraes)

Introduction to the *.answers newsgroups by news-answers-request@MIT.EDU (*.answers moderation team)

FAQs about FAQs by russ@shani.net (Russ Hersch)

FAQ: How to find people's E-mail addresses by dalamb@qucis.queensu.ca (David Alex Lamb)

Anonymous FTP: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List by Perry.Rovers@IAEhv.nl (Perry Rovers)

How to find the right place to post (FAQ) by buglady@bronze.lcs.mit.edu (Aliza R. Panitz)

Another very easy way to learn the dynamic of Usenet behaviour is to sit back and watch the interactions of posters in the newsgroups that interest you.
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Q 3. What are some important Usenet newsgroups?
A The most important Usenet newsgroups are the ones you enjoy participating in, but the following administrative Usenet newsgroups, cited in Mark Moraes' periodic Introduction to news.announce post, can be helpful to new users:

news.announce.important is a newsgroup for just what it says it is -- important announcements. It is intended to be read by everyone on Usenet, although nobody is forced to subscribe.

news.announce.newgroups exists for announcements of either the creation or the consideration of a new newsgroup. All calls for votes, calls for discussions, vote results, and creation notices of all hierarchies should be posted to this group.

news.announce.newusers is for periodic postings that should be read by all new Usenet members, to educate themselves about the Usenet community, its norms, guidelines and mechanisms.

news.answers is for the many newsgroups that have postings that are made periodically for new users of those specific groups. These postings are usually referred to as FAQs, or Frequently-Asked Questions. The postings are usually cross-posted to the news.answers (and companion comp.answers, sci.answers, etc.) newsgroup for purposes of archiving and consolidated searching.

news.announce.conferences is for announcements of conference programs, calls for papers, and things of that kind.

news.admin.technical is a newsgroup for discussion about Usenet software, policies, and the technical aspects of running Usenet news. Postings of a more general nature should be posted to the unmoderated group news.admin.misc instead.

news.lists.misc is for the several people make an on-going effort to collect administrative information and interesting statistics about Usenet. This information, usually in the form of lists, is posted on a regular basis to the news.lists.misc newsgroup. This allows others interested in these topics (such as news flow, volume, valid newsgroup names, etc) to find them all in one particular place.

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Q 4. Should I transact business on Usenet?
A No. But, if you feel that you must, you should carefully consider the advise offered in Advertising on Usenet: How To Do It, How Not To Do It by jfurr@acpub.duke.edu (Joel K. Furr), and Copyright Myths FAQ: 10 big myths about copyright explained by brad@clari.net (Brad Templeton).
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Q 5. How do I become a Usenet site?
A A good start down the long road to becoming a Usenet site is to read How to become a Usenet site by clewis@ferret.ocunix.on.ca (Chris Lewis). Additional background reading should include RFC1036 Standard for Interchange of USENET Messsages and RFC822 Standard for the Format of ARPA Internet Text Messages .
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Q 6. Which usenet news servers can I use?
A Note: Access to these news servers is intended for RXN Customers Only, logged in from RXN dialup connections, or pre-authorized network connections.

RXN customers have access to any one of a number of usenet news servers:

  • news.rxn.com
    • The primary RXN NNTP news server.
    • Carries about 14 days of select "Big Seven" newsgroups (comp.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*), plus the local Minnesota newgroups (mn.*), plus the local RXN newsgroups (rxn.*).
  • uucp.rxn.com
    • The secondary RXN NNTP news server, serving UUCP sites.
    • Carries only 3 days of a limited selection of "Big Seven" newsgroups (comp.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*), plus the local Minnesota newgroups (mn.*), plus the local RXN newsgroups (rxn.*), for batching to UUCP sites.
  • news.gofast.net
  • deja.com
    • The deja.com public access Usenet discussion service.
    • Carries weeks of a lot of newsgroups.

$Id: 6,v 1.2 2000/07/12 03:47:18 rjd Exp $

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Q 7. How can I access Usenet through my RXN PPP account?
A You can access Usenet newsgroups through your RXN PPP account using an NNTP with a news reader client, such as Netscape, Free Agent, or MS Internet Explorer.

You can point your news reader client at either the 'news.gofast.net' or 'news.rxn.com' news servers.

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Q 8. How can I access Usenet through my RXN shell account?
A If you are accessing news through your RXN shell account, you will be accessing the news.rxn.com server. You will need to set certain environment variables.

If you are using a 'csh' shell, the RXN default, set the following environment variables in '.cshrc':

  setenv RNINIT "$HOME/.rninit"
  setenv ORGANIZATION 'RXN Communications'
  setenv NNTPSERVER news.rxn.com

If you are using a 'tcsh' shell, set the following environment variables in '.tcshrc', or '.cshrc', as appropriate:

  setenv RNINIT "$HOME/.rninit"
  setenv ORGANIZATION 'RXN Communications'
  setenv NNTPSERVER news.rxn.com

If you are using a 'sh', 'ksh', or 'bash' shell, set the following environment variables in '.profile':

  RNINIT="$HOME/.rninit"; export RNINIT
  ORGANIZATION='RXN Communications'; export ORGANIZATION
  NNTPSERVER=news.rxn.com; export NNTPSERVER

The '.rninit' file is optional and can be used to customize your news reader.

News can be read via your RXN shell account using the 'pine', 'tin', or 'trn' news readers. Note that 'rtin' and 'rtrn' should not be used as they are remote news readers.

The 'news.rxn.com' server carries select 'Big Seven' newsgroup hierarchies, plus the local Minnesota regional hierarchy:

comp.* (computer science and related topics)
news.* (news network and news software related topics)
rec.* (hobby, recreational, and arts related topics)
sci.* (scientific and engineering related topics)
soc.* (social and political topics)
mn.* (Minnesota regional topics)
Due to its liberal group creation policy and dubious character, the alt.* hierarchy is not carried on the 'news.rxn.com' server, but is instead made available to RXN subscribers via the 'news.gofast.net' server.
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Q 9. How can I access Usenet through my RXN UUCP account?
A If you are accessing Usenet newsgroups through your RXN UUCP account, you will need to have support@rxn.com add your site to the newsfeed file on the news.rxn.com server.

The 'news.rxn.com' server carries select 'Big Seven' newsgroup hierarchies, plus the local Minnesota regional hierarchy:

comp.* (computer science and related topics)
news.* (news network and news software related topics)
rec.* (hobby, recreational, and arts related topics)
sci.* (scientific and engineering related topics)
soc.* (social and political topics)
mn.* (Minnesota regional topics)
Due to its liberal group creation policy and dubious character, the alt.* hierarchy is not carried on the 'news.rxn.com' server, but is instead made available to RXN subscribers via the 'news.gofast.net' server.
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Q 10. How can I access Usenet through my RXN NNTP account?
A If you are accessing Usenet newsgroups through your RXN NNTP account, you will need to have support@rxn.com add your site to the newsfeed file on the news.rxn.com server.

You will need to be running NNTP server, such as INN , CNEWS, or DNEWS.

The 'news.rxn.com' server carries select 'Big Seven' newsgroup hierarchies, plus the local Minnesota regional hierarchy:

comp.* (computer science and related topics)
news.* (news network and news software related topics)
rec.* (hobby, recreational, and arts related topics)
sci.* (scientific and engineering related topics)
soc.* (social and political topics)
mn.* (Minnesota regional topics)
Due to its liberal group creation policy and dubious character, the alt.* hierarchy is not carried on the 'news.rxn.com' server, but is instead made available to RXN subscribers via the 'news.gofast.net' server.

$Id: 10,v 1.2 2004/03/28 04:58:48 rjd Exp $

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DISCLAIMER: This FAQ is provided as is without any expressed or implied warranties. While every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this FAQ, the maintainer assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use, or misuse, of the information contained herein.
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hits since 24 Jul 1997 - copyright (c) 1997-2012 RXN Communications - webmaster@rxn.com - Revised 5 Nov 2012