Keep up with sports, news, politics and current events;
* Research family heritage and genealogy;
* Ask questions and get answers;
* Make friends and express opinions in discussion forums.
These people have discovered the
immense information available in over 35,000 Usenet Newsgroups
accessible on TIP.
Usenet Newsgroups have been called "the hidden half of the Internet," because most people browse the web and use email but they never discover Usenet Newsgroups.
Usenet Newsgroups are worldwide discussion areas where people exchange messages and files about every conceivable topic and they complement both the Web and e-mail. The Web is a tremendous repository of information, but it lacks the intimacy of exchanging information with another person, and it is not the best place to exchange opinions on some event that happened yesterday or to post a message asking for help or information. Email is a wonderful way to communicate, but you have to know to whom you want to send a message.
Usenet Newsgroups bridge
the gap between the Web and email. Like the Web, they carry an enormous
amount of useful information, but the information is in the form of
messages posted recently by individuals, so the information is fresh
and topical. Reading these messages allows you to discover who else in
the world shares your interests. As you make contacts through
newsgroups, you can exchange public Usenet messages or you can decide
to use email to carry on private conversations. Usenet Newsgroups are a
great way to make friends around the world.
There are newsgroups with
sports, genealogy (research your family), TV shows, computers (somebody
has the answer), travel, hobbies, pets, jobs -- you name it, there's a
Usenet newsgroup for it!
Access to the newsgroups
carried on the TIP news server is available to you at no extra cost, so
you can tap into the immense information available on newsgroups for
free! All you need to do is get a good news reader and configure it to
access the TIP news server. Our news server is addressed as
newshost.pcug.org.au. Some people are discouraged by the
jargon which describes the process of selecting to read a newsgroup as
subscribing. In the Usenet context, subscribing to a
newsgroup simply means selecting it, and no costs are involved.
Alternatively, if you wish
to make only a quick browse or ask a single question rather than
participate, you can access most discussion groups through Google
Groups at http://groups.google.com
You can post a
message and tens of thousands of people around the world will read it.
For example, if you are researching your family origin, you might want
to post a message with a summary of your family history on one of the
many genealogy newsgroups such as soc.genealogy.surnames.britain. Or
suppose you need help configuring Windows networking; just post a
question on comp.os.ms-windows.networking.windows. The chances are good
that someone will know the answer.
Dedicated news servers are
available, at a fee, if you wish to access a full newsfeed. A
list of some of these is at http://www.geeks.org/~ed/Usenet_Servers.html.
Most newsgroups are carried on most news servers but some groups are local to a particular server. The tip.* groups are carried only on the TIP news server and to use this, you must be connected to the internet via TIP OR have a TIP account (available free to all PCUG members) and authenticate to the server through a secure connection.
If you want casual access to tip.* newsgroups you can read them through a web interface at http://www.tip.net.au/tipnews/ if you are connected through TIP. Non-TIP users should follow the instructions to register a password.