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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Managing Usenet
Author:
Henry Spencer&David Lawrence
ISBN:
1 56592 198 4
Publisher:
O'Reilly
Pages:
492pp
Price:
£24-50
Reviewer:
Adrian Wontroba
Subject:
internet
Appeared in:
11-6
Flashed as 'An Administrators Guide to Netnews', this is a distillation of the knowledge two of the worlds' acknowledged News Experts. Henry Spencer is one of the developers of C News and may be better known to ACCU members as the author of the Ten Commandments. David Lawrence ('tale') has extensive News administration experience, including moderatingnews:news.announce.newgroups.

If the preceding paragraph means nothing to you, this book has little relevance. However, if you are, or are about to become, a news administrator, it is likely to be of great use to you and deserves a place on your bookshelf. It is crammed with information for news administrators, particularly those who have to set up a C News or INN system for the first time. It is unlikely to be of much utility to people who just read news.

The topics covered include:

How News works.

How to choose news transport software.
There is very brief mention of transports other than INN and C News.

Getting a feed.

Installing C News
(76 pages)and INN(110 pages), including advice and information not found in the copious documentation included with these packages. Both can be somewhat awkward to set up properly, as I know to my cost. If you value your time, these sections alone should more the repay the cost of the book. Unfortunately, the INN chapters are based on INN 1.5, which has significant differences from the current 2.2.

On going maintenance.

Planning for growth.
There seems to be no end to the rise in news volumes and not just in the smutty pictures groups. Despite the problems with inappropriate messages (spam), News is still a good mechanism for broadcasting information and discussion.

Mail to News gateways(a minefield for the unwary).

Newsgroup names and evolution,some mention of 'the Backbone Cabal'.

Advice for moderators,including the political, legal and moral aspects as well as the technical side.

The anatomy of a news article- an explanation of the format and meaning of the news headers. Not as precise as RFC 1036, but rather more readable.