Usenet, also called Netnews, is the world’s largest discussion forum, and it is doubling in size every year. There are Usenet discussion groups on every imaginable topic, from the technical and scientific, to the political and religious, and onto the truly bizarre and arcane. If you simply use the Netnews system, all of this discussion can be interesting and entertaining. But if you’re a system administrator who has to set up and run a Netnews system, you suddenly have the unenviable task of making sure that your system can handle a data flow of thousands of megabytes per day. This book, written by two of the foremost authorities on Usenet administration, is full of practical information about how to set up and run a news system. Managing Usenet covers C News and INN, the two most widely used news relayers on UNIX systems. It explains the basics of starting a Netnews system, from getting a news feed, to building and installing the news software, to keeping everything running smoothly. Managing Usenet also offers guidelines to help you make sure that your system is capable of handling news volume today — and in the future.Usenet and newsgroups may seem simple to the casual observer, but system administrators who have to manage Usenet on their system or run a newsgroup know otherwise. Spencer and Lawrence share information that previously had to be learned online, providing system administrators with a detailed guide to Usenet management. They tell you how to choose between C News and INN, the two major contenders for Usenet software. Then they show you how set your software up and make your daily operations as trouble-free as possible.
The book not only presents administration tasks, but also helps you plan for the future, which is critical since the volume of Usenet communication doubles yearly. Besides the technical aspects, Spencer and Lawrence discuss the social and political sides of being a Usenet manager. They provide tips on how to interact with the rest of Usenet, how to handle irresponsible or illegal posts, and the fine points of moderating a newsgroup. Hint: reading the “What’s in the Book” section will help you determine which chapters and sections you’ll want to read right away and which are of less immediate interest. –Elizabeth Lewis
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