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Notice for users of PlusNet's Usenet service!

Notice for users of PlusNet's Usenet service!

Notice for users of PlusNet's Usenet service!

Earlier this month Critical Path (whom some will remember from some of our early anti-spam trials), announced the sale of certain assets of its SuperNews Usenet access business, including its software, commercial customer base, trade names and other elements of goodwill, to Giganews, an industry leader in Usenet newsgroup services. You can see the actual news release here. For the benefit of those who haven't yet made the connection, it's worth mentioning that last year we outsourced the provisioning of our Usenet service to Supernews. You can see the original announcement regarding this proposal here. Giganews recently made contact with us to advise that on March 31 they will be renumbering Supernews' message headers to match that of their new backend services. Without going into too much technical detail, each newsgroup post is assigned an article number. These article numbers are then used by your news client to establish the order that posts are made in, what headers/posts have been downloaded and/or read and what headers/posts are yet to be downloaded. Under normal circumstances these article numbers would never change. On the rare occasions that they do though, it confuses your news client and basically causes it to forget everything it's ever done. Those who have been with us a while may remember the last time we had to do this and some of the problems that were encountered. Once the Supernews' headers have been renumbered, it's likely that you will start to experience problems. Whilst the following list is not intended to be exhaustive, this includes:

  • Posts to our private moderated newsgroups stop appearing eg. p.s.customer-feedback and p.s.status.
  • Your news client starts downloading the headers and/or bodies of messages it has already retrieved.
  • Posts that are marked as read become unread.
  • Headers appear with missing bodies eg. clicking on a post fails to retrieve the message.
Whilst we appreciate the inconvenience this will cause PlusNet Usenet subscribers, on this occasion it is sadly outside of our control. The steps you will need to take following the maintenance to resolve any issues will vary from one news client to the next. One sure-fire way to restore access to all of your groups is to delete the news account from your mail program, recreate it and then resubscribe to all of your groups. Some customers however, may want to try a less-aggressive approach first to minimise disruption. Giganews themselves have offered the following words of advice to their customers:

On March 31, 2008, newsgroup header numbering will be reset to match that of our new backend services. On that date, you will be able to easily make this transition by simply purging and reloading the headers of the subscribed newsgroups in your news client. Instructions for conducting this action in various news clients are included at the end of this email. If your preferred client is not included, please refer to the specific help documentation for the client. NewsBin Pro: 1. Select all newsgroups you are subscribed to. To select all newsgroups, click on the first group then hold the shift key and click on the last group. 2. From the Groups menu, select "Post Storage", then "Delete Stored Posts". 3. Download headers again. For large binary newsgroups, this may take a long time. To limit the headers, right-click on the newsgroup name and select "Download Special". NewsLeecher: 1. Select all newsgroups you are subscribed to. To select all newsgroups, click on the first group then hold the shift key and click on the last group. 2. Right-click on the selected newsgroups. From the popup menu, click "Selected: Purge Group". 3. Download headers again. For large binary newsgroups, this may take a long time. To limit the headers, right-click on the newsgroup name, select "Update" and choose the number of headers you would like. Thunderbird and Outlook Express: Because these are primarily email clients, there is no way to purge headers. You will need to remove your current server, create a new server for Supernews, download the list of available newsgroups, and re-subscribe to your desired newsgroups. Forte Agent: 1. Select the folder containing your newsgroups, right-click and select "Purge". 2. Download headers again. For large binary newsgroups, this may take a long time.
. In short though, if you're a PlusNet Usenet subscriber then you should expect some degree of disruption next Monday Sad The planned maintenance post for this work can be seen here. Bob
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10 Comments
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10 Comments
Not applicable
seems this work has begun, I can no longer post to the usenet server(s) ...
Not applicable
http://usertools.plus.net/status/archive/1206982747.htm We've raised a case with Giganews. What server address are you using Andy?
Not applicable
I've tried news.plus.net and plusnet.vsrv-ams.supernews.net which both resolve to 138.199.67.64 for me I even tried news.plus.com, which resolves but seems to have no nntp server.
Not applicable
Seems like this move has not been a great success. No usenet yesterday and the next update is shown as being at 1800 hrs Tuesday .The Status Phone Line makes no mention of "usenet" .Just says " There are no Service issues" when there patently are .!!!
Not applicable
yeah, it's working again ...
tp
Dabbler
Not working for me, still getting error480 "Authentication required" here. Trying to connect to news.plus.net. Not using server authentication - as far as I know.
Not applicable
No it isn't (Tuesday 22:25 BST). Agreed that the 'phone status should definitely not say "there are no issues". The on-line status page says "Customers connecting via the trial 'RIN' network, and those trying to use server authentication may still be experiencing difficulties connecting to the servers." I know nothing of RIN, and my client isn't set to use authentication - but I'm still being asked for it: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 22:27:40 Collecting Usenet News from usenet.plus.net Tue, 1 Apr 2008 22:27:41 Authentication required for usenet.plus.net Tue, 1 Apr 2008 22:27:41 Unexpected NEWS 5xx : 501 bad authentication Tue, 1 Apr 2008 22:27:41 News connection to usenet.plus.net closed So it's asking me for authentication, not me asking it. And the person I just spoke to on the 'phone didn't really know whether anyone was working on it, or they'd all gone home.
tp
Dabbler
It's back. All now works OK. I think it's taken too long to fix this, hopefully lessons will be learned.
Not applicable
It's back. Yes, it took too long - and, my system is downloading the last year and a half's posts. It ought to be possible to do this sort of thing without this happening.
Not applicable
It's not working for me, it's demanding authentication. Plusnet, please get this sorted out.