Mention the internet and everyone seems to be an expert, mention Usenet to people and you get a blank look. Even though Usenet has been around far longer than the internet, it is surprisingly under used and unknown.
Looking for some practical tips on How to Search Usenet ?
People who first look at the Usenet system get a bit intimidated by it and fall under the illusion that it is some complicated and technical tool, one which they cannot master. This really should not be the case and with just a small amount of investigation and practice, you can have it mastered.
Usenet was first developed in 1979 (ten years before the internet) and was created to allow people to post public messages and information much in a similar way to bulletin board systems and forums the internet uses.
The big difference with Usenet from the internet alternatives is that it has no central server. The message is first created and posted in a server by the creator. Then the message is passed along through adjoining servers until it is effectively stored on every server.
The servers are all joined together to form a mesh or a ˜net™ that a user can travel along to reach a server point. Take the example of a student that can post a message on the ˜User Network™ or Usenet server of the university. The server will then exchange this message with its connecting servers. These servers then exchange with other servers and so on.
The big benefit of Usenet is that it allows messages to reach destination very quickly and with little effort. As long as your Usenet provider has a good speed then you should find this system extremely fast. Other benefits include no user-to-user connection, as information need not be stored on a single remote server, providing greater security and protection.
The downside to Usenet can be the cost, as you will need a Usenet provider which chargers a monthly fee. You also need to install Usenet client and configure it to your needs, as well as subscribe to groups to get the information, all of which can be time consuming.
When an article is created and posted to Usenet, they are posted into a subject category. These categories then have a hierarchical structure within them to further subdivide the contents. An example of this may be sci.math and sci.physics.
Both of these are in the subject sci “ science, but are then subdivided further into their own groupings of math and physics within the math section. Once you have Usenet, then you need a way to find the information you are looking for, quickly and easily. This is where a Usenet search engine is needed.