by April 1, 1999 0 comments

Companies can set up private newsgroups within their
intranets to serve as a whiteboard, where users can share different ideas and exchange
information. They have an edge over e-mail as you can categorize them based on the topic.
companies can create newsgroups for their various projects, which can then be used by
members of the respective project teams. The team members can put in new ideas and refer
back to old ones in the newsgroup. They don’t have to sit together to discuss
matters, which reduces the time spent in holding meetings, thus enhancing productivity.

Newsgroup on a Win NT 4 server

Setting up a newsgroup in Win NT is easy and a few minutes
job. It’s a part of the Internet Information Server 4, and gets installed by the name
of Default NNTP Site. Open your Internet Service Manager to see whether the news service
is already installed. If it’s not there, then you can add it by running the IIS 4
setup program.

Once you’ve installed the NNTP service, you’ll
need to create a new Virtual Directory on the Default NNTP Site. This directory will hold
all the news postings. So start your Internet Service Manager and click on the Default
NNTP Site. Now right click and choose new Virtual Directory. This will invoke a wizard
that’ll prompt you to enter the name of the newsgroup that’ll store the files in
this directory and its physical path.

There are several options under the Default NNTP Site.
These are expiration policies, Directories, and current sessions. The Directories option
will list the newsgroup you just created.

You can add more newsgroups on the Default NNTP Site by
going to its properties. The window that pops up contains six tabs. One of these, called
groups, lets you add more newsgroups. You can also set security permissions on this
newsgroup by going to the directory security tab. Here you can limit access to the news
site to specific IP addresses, groups of computers or Internet domains.

That’s all you need to do. Use a newsgroup client like
Outlook Express to create a newsgroup account that’ll access this news site.

Another option in the News Service, expiration policies,
let you remove content from the newsgroups that is older than the number of days you
specify.

Newsgroup on a Linux server

The March issue of PC Quest carries InterNetNews
(INN), a complete USENET system for Linux. However, this package can also work as a local
news server on your company’s LAN.

INN is undoubtedly a very complex piece of software.
Fortunately, setting it up is just a matter of installing the correct RPM and making a few
changes to some configuration files. Your system should be connected to the local network
and running Red Hat Linux.

Mount the March PCQ CD and start glint, the Red Hat package
manager. Open up the Available Packages window and go to the Networking/Deamons
folder. Look for the inn-1.7.2-14 rpm package and install it. The INN news server
deamon should come up the next time you boot your system.

Next, you’ve to edit the /etc/news/nnrp.access file.
This file stores the names of all the remote clients who can access your INN server to
receive or send news. Add the following line to this file:

*:Read Post:::*

This will allow all remote clients access your
server. If you want only certain computers to access news, replace the above line with
something like:

Vivek.pcqlabs.com:Read Post:::*

where Vivek is a computer on your pcqlabs.com network.

The last change you need to make is to the
/etc/news/newsfeed file. Open up this file and delete the following lines:

##
## Peers.
##
peer decwrl {
ip-name: news1.pa.dec.com
}

peer uunet {
ip-name: news.uunet.uu.net
max-connections: 10
}

This is because INN will act as your local news server and
it doesn’t need to send its news anywhere. One last thing. Do check that your system
date and time are correct. INN can give some pretty obscure errors if this is not so.

Reboot your system. The INN daemon, innd, should start up.
To check the status of the INN daemon at run-time, run the /usr/lib/news/bin/innstat
command. This command will give you a lot of information including the status of all
remote connections and disk space available for news handling.

Controlling the running news server is done through the
ctlinnd command. For instance, to create a new newsgroup, run the ctlinnd command:

ctlinnd newgroup funny y root

The newgroup option tells the ctlinnd program to create a
new group called funny. The y option allows everyone to post messages to
this group. Root is the name of the newsgroup’s creator.

If you want to delete a newsgroup, give ctlinnd the regroup
option. For example,

"ctlinnd rmgroup funny" will delete the funny
newsgroup.

That’s it! Your local news server should now be up and
running. Configure your favorite newsreader to point to this server to read and write
news.

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