Prez Sez -- September 1997
Greetings to those who have survived the hot summer either by sticking it out or escaping to cooler climates. I can identify with the former but I definitely envy the latter!
An ongoing topic (for several years actually) here at the TPC has been connectivity. We have gone from BBS only to a combination of BBS, Mailing Lists and Newsgroups. Each has shown advantages and disadvantages and some of those have been discussed before. But if you don't know how to setup the newsgroups then you can't really evaluate this for yourself. Thus the topic today (a little long perhaps) will be setting up newsgroups.
Since the two main browsers on the market (and the only ones I have) are Netscape and MS Internet Explorer those are the ones we'll look at.
I went to startup my Netscape at home about a month ago and was informed that my pre-release Netscape version that had expired and I must download a newer one. Fair enough - the company wants to encourage you to buy their product and get you trying their latest product. However, when I went to take a look at their site I must admit I found it rather confusing and found myself going round in circles trying to download the latest free version.
By the way - I thought they got real big (still number one though MS is catching up steadily) by giving away the personal version and selling the server version to big companies? Well, as I dug through their site two things struck me:
a) Less and less freebies and more software for sale and
b) It was difficult to find out where to download from!
I finally did find it and the magic address (for that day anyway) is/was:
Select what you want and then Download for Free at the bottom (or feel free to pay as someone must support the company) and good luck! Why? Because at this point you might start seeing the "Server down" which doesn't necessarily indicate that it is down - just busy. You have a wide selection of sites and I went through a dozen countries, 3 continents (N. America, Europe, Africa) and even tried Japan. I can't remember where I finally got it down from a lot of phone time went by before the download began. Actually when I downloaded to do this article at home it was Saturday afternoon and since I assumed that all good Aussies would be at the beach I used Wollongong Uni and it paid off! (7.5 Mbyte file at 28.8 modem speed equals about 45 minutes and as they say "your mileage may vary". Faster modem or ISDN... one of these days..)
After installing I realized that perhaps I should have read some of those details because the Standard navigator I downloaded did not include newsgroup ability. Back to that address above and Wollongong Uni to download Communicator Standard 4.02 instead of just the Standalone Navigator I got the first time.
Right then - let's get the NewsGroups running! I did Explorer at the officeand Netscape at home thus some of the screen shots will show Japanese. I hope this will help some and not irritate others. As for the commands-rather than put Japanese in here (which may help some people) or trying to guess what the actual English is I will merely give the Shortcut commands. They are the same in either language - which is good for those of us familiar with English Windows and wanting to use Japanese Windows quickly without studying all the commands. <g>
I will also assume that you have your modem connections all set up-otherwise you didn't download the software as per the explanation or you had it already. (After all that time and trouble I had I am starting to see why people buy the packages in the shop!)
MS Internet Explorer Setup:
Start the program and select from the main menu (G) followed by (N)
If this is your first time to setup a Newsgroup you will see the Internet News settings Dialog box.
Select the Next button - no shortcut key but if you are using Japanese Windows then I think you know this. If not it is the command with the ">" mark.
In the dialog box produced enter the following: Top Slot: the Name you want to appear on your mail e.g. Pat Bottom: your E-Mail address e.g. email@example.com
Select Next button to carry on to the dialog where you enter News Server: tokyopc.org
Select Next to select your modem setup which I will also assume is done. Turn on the "use modem" command which I was the bottom of the three options. This will then make it possible to select your previously setup Connection option.
Next once more then the Finish or Complete-another one that should be obvious.
The dialog changes and you get to watch a newspaper flung across the screen. This assumes you are online of course. If you're not - well, you should be!
You should now have a long list of available NewsGroups as in figure 1:
Double click those conferences that you want and you get a "Newspaper" icon to the left of them. Then when you press (G) the program runs and you get a list of the messages in each conference. Using the down arrow below the big "e" mark you get a list of the conferences and how many messages in each and if a NewsGroup Is empty it is not listed.
When you select a conference you then get the list of messages therein as we see in the next shot. You are also told how many lines in the message. I prefer Netscape's list of the conferences but it doesn't tell you how big the messages are - so you just have to assume that Todd's is probably the longest instead of being able to confirm it.<g> Hi Todd - you still get the AJ over in the States?
This was done in English:
Main Menu Communicator opens a new box from which you select:
Communicate - Message Center
File-New Discussion Group Server
That Port setting by the way came up automatically so I don't know about it but in the Server area input tokyopc.org and press OK.
If this is not your first time then File and Subscribe to Discussion Groups should do the trick. One way or the other you get the following screen:
By selecting the + sign on the tpc.* you can expand the list and see what the 25 groups contain.
Hit OK to get back to the previous dialog and when you bring up the list you get:
As I mentioned above I prefer some things in Netscape and some in MS IExplorer. Right click to back/forward space is another handy point for Netscape whereas IE offers right click to Cut 'n' Paste. You must decide which you like better. Both use the Microsoft IntelliMouse and there appear to be utilities to expand this to other software which I'll have to download and try out soon.
Well, that is a rough run through. It is possible that I've missed a step along the way and if you find it to be less than accurate please contact me and I'll gladly give you a hand.
To finish up I'd like to remind people that we have elections coming up. You have seen word on this in the Algorithmica Japanonica before and I would really like to encourage people to try to get involved. We are all busy - if you aren't then I congratulate you on managing your time better than I do! I hope that you will give thought to some of the positions coming up but all help and ideas are welcome. If you are only able to help out occasionally that still makes it easier for those who are doing all that work behind the scenes.
Good luck with the above and see you next time. By then I hope the heat has dissipated to a reasonable amount and that we are enjoying slightly cooler, more comfortable temperatures.
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