There are certain denizens of Usenet that frequent the test groups to help new users out.
– Brendan Kehoe; Zen and the Art of the Internet; February 2, 1992.
General help issues are discussed in the Internet help section. The most common Usenet problems and suggested solutions are described below:
username or password. This error is often returned when first configuring
your application. Most
gain access. You should be able to specify the user name and password in your news reader settings, usually the same
as your email and Internet access account user name and password, or provide
it dynamically when you try to access the server.
- Server connection.
If you get a “can’t open server” message, the cause is most often a
misspelled server name. If the name is correct, and your underlying Internet
connection is working,
probably down, and you can phone your service provider to ask
However, there is another possibility. A few news servers must be opened on
number that computers use to separate different Internet communications channels.
news servers use port 119, and your news reader software should try
that port by default. In rare instances you may have to specify it explicitly,
a specific setting field, or by putting a “:119” at the end of the news server name in your settings. In even rarer instances the news server may use another
port number; if so, the server instructions should specify that — with so many
- Attachments. Attachments
sent over the Internet have
to be translated into a binary encoding that doesn’t have any control characters
(see email attachments). Email
handles attachments and encoding fairly well, but the Usenet sometimes has more trouble.
You may find that an attachment you would like to download from an “alt.binaries.”
newsgroup has been split up into several messages, with, for example, the following
notations in the subjects: (1/4), (2/4), (3/4), and (4/4). This splitting is
done because some news servers have a maximum file size, and so they split any file greater
than the maximum into several parts. You can help avoid causing this trouble
for others by compressing attachments before sending.
If you wish to
download a split attachment, your news server can often do it automatically
if you highlight one of the messages and select “download attachment”.
Sometimes you have to manually highlight all of the message parts before selecting the download.
While difficult, you also might be able to download each message separately, paste each of the sections
into a word processing document in the correct order, delete
the message headers and leave only the compressed data with no blank lines
in between, save the whole message as text, and then try to decode the manually assembled file using a
decompression program like WinZip