CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited
Administering Usenet News Servers
Administering Usenet News Servers
J.E. McDermott and J.E. Phillips1997A-W Developers Press a division of Addison-Wesley Longman, Inc.288 pp.ISBN 0-201-41967-X comes with CD-ROM with versions of the discussed software.
Keywords: Computer networks, Internal communications, Newsletters, Online computing
Administering Usenet News Servers is for the reader who needs a high-level implementation view for planning and deploying intranet or Internet news services. It is useful for someone who has been given the responsibility of setting one up, or of managing others who will maintain one. The authors' writing style is succinct, clear and to the point. The book focuses on practical issues of specification, configuration and maintaining news services in a business computing environment. Rather than presenting all possible platforms and configurations, the book primarily focuses on Solaris and to a lesser extent Microsoft NT, explaining where trade-offs occur and why the authors suggest a given solution path. The text presents all the issues in the context of planning and implementing that will consume equipment resources and technical talent as well as administrative resources and user time.
The book is divided into four parts:
The introduction covers a general overview of what Usenet is, how it evolved and some of the basic concepts needed before venturing on to the planning stage. It also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of internal versus external news access in addition to focusing on news transport as a tool for group project management.
The planning section provides a good presentation of the possible costs and benefits that a local news server could bring to an organisation but the book really shines in its presentation of issues such as having a sound usage policy and setting the correct user expectations for a company news server.
Most projects involve policy questions and will ultimately have to respond to user expectations. The text sets the stage with this up front so that technical choices in the server planning stage make longer-term sense and limit unexpected fall-out.
The construction section is detailed enough to "walk you" through a basic setup without being overwhelming. It starts with putting together a site work sheet which helps avoid grief later. From there, it goes on to basic Solaris installation, system configuration and tuning. While this is Solaris-specific it is easy to generalise to other systems.
The book does favour Solaris but it also includes some information on Microsoft NT. The reader is then "walked through" installing the actual news server software. Covered in this process is how to set up filters and scripts to take care of spamming, using a local news group for posting all outgoing articles and customisation appropriate in a business environment.
The last section of the book covers administration of the server and how to make it accessible to group projects. Again, the book focuses on using the news server as a group tool for group communication.
In summary, the strengths of this text are its discussion of planning issues and choices; coverage of policy ramifications for the company and users; and its presentation of the major support issues of user training and establishing functionality within a business setting.
Robert DoielProgrammer/Analyst Center for Scholarly Technology Leavey Library University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles