Reader Greg H. wrote recently to ask for help solving his inability to access the Usenet newsgroups on Verison’s servers.
For those not familiar with Usenet newsgroups, think of them as a mailing list type of system that has been around for well over 25 years. Rather than emails sent to our computers, though, the postings stored in special servers at the Internet Service Providers or at companies that specialize in serving newsgroups (I use GigaNews as my Usenet newsgroups provider).
The postings to the newsgroups are readable by special newsreader software, but some more ubiquitous software like Outlook Express, Opera and Netscape also read newsgroups. They’re also readable via Google Groups, as are other groups that are available only via Google Groups.
I’ve been reading and posting to the newsgroups for 24 years, and even ran my own DOS-based email, news server and newsreader program called Waffle. Now, I use the Agent newsreader, from www.forteinc.com , which is available in free and paid versions.
Anyway, Greg made some changes and could no longer access Verison’s servers. He wrote:
I reset my account and server into to the Verizon settings for newsgroups: news.verizon.net, however, still cannot get to any newsgroups. This was beyond the scope of what Verizon could help me with.
When online with Explorer open, I have gone to Tools and set my news reader to Outlook Express. When I click the Newsgroups tab in Outlook Express, I get a message saying unable to retrieve a list of newsgroups from news.verizon.net, the very setting that Verizon told me to use.
I’m sure this is just a setting thing, but I don’t know where to look anymore. Any suggestions?
I wrote back to offer some help. While I can’t get to the current version of the page, since I’m not within Verison’s system and don’t have a userID with them, I searched Google and select the "Cached" link to a Verison page, where I found this:
News server settings
News (NNTP) server: news.verizon.net
Your Verizon Online user name
Your Verizon Online password
Greg wrote back to report:
I finally go everything to work for the newsgroups. I called Verizon and they reset my password. When the login screen appeared, I used my existing name and the new password and the newsgroups promptly appeared! I knew it wasn’t anything major, but just didn’t know where to look. A call to tech support this morning fixed it. Thanks for your help,