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Magma's Usenet News Service

Usenet is a world-wide distributed discussion system. It consists of a set of "newsgroups" with names that are classified hierarchically by subject. "Articles" or "messages" are "posted" to these newsgroups by people with the appropriate software -- these articles are then broadcast to other interconnected computer systems via a wide variety of networks.

How to Use Magma's Usenet Service

To connect to Magma's Usenet service, you will need to follow these instructions:

  1. Configure your news reader to connect to "news.magma.ca"
  2. Each time you connect, you will be prompted for a username and password - for the username, enter "userid@magma.ca" where "userid" is your Magma userid.
  3. Enter the associated password for your Magma userid in the password field. Note that many Usenet news readers allow you to store your username and password so you do not need to enter it each time you connect.
  4. If it is the first time you have connected to this server, you will be prompted to download the entire list of newsgroups. You should do this the first time you connect. This may take a while to download over a dialup modem.
  5. Using your newsreader, subscribe to your favorite groups and then read and post any articles of interest to you.

Additional, Important Information on Magma's Usenet Service

Please be aware of the following:

Magma has strict "no spam" policies. Any customers found submitting spam messages into newsgroups whose "charter" or common use prohibits such messages will have their Magma account terminated. An excuse of "I did not know" will not be accepted.

Each Magma customer has a 8GB (gigabyte) monthly download limit. Each "month" is based on the standard calendar month. If you reach your 8GB limit part way through the month, you will not be able to download any more news until the next month begins.

Magma had made a tool available on https://myaccount.magma.ca/ which allows you to query how many megabytes of data you have transferred in the current month.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many groups are available on this new news server? How long are articles available?
    The news server currently has over 62,000 newsgroups, and that number grows every day. Retention in text groups is much longer than in binary groups, due to storage requirements. Retention in binary groups is app. 10 days, but more importantly, completeness is app. 99%.

  2. How reliable is the service?
    You can expect the service to be available 99.99% of the time.

  3. How fast will the service be?
    The rate limit is approximately 512 kbps per "connection" and you are allowed to open up to 4 simultaneous "connections" to the news server. This will give you a download rate of approximately 2.0 Mbps.

  4. Does the news server support SSL authentication?
    No, SSL authentication is not supported.

  5. How are downloads measured? Are headers counted in my downloads?
    All bytes are counted as they leave the servers. Text articles and binary attachments are included in the download total. Headers are counted in this total and applied against your download limit.

  6. How can I keep track of my downloads?
    Log into https://myaccount.magma.ca/ and then click on "userids", then click on your "userid", and then select "Usenet Download Statistics".

  7. Why doesn't the size of files I downloaded match my usage statistics?
    Please remember that binary attachements are uuencoded by the posting software, which converts the binary data to text for transfer over the Internet. This can add as much as 40% to the size of the file. Your news reader uudecodes the attachment after it is downloaded, before it is saved to your harddrive.

  8. Are uploads (posts) counted?
    At this time, we do not count uploads or limit posting in any way.

  9. What happens when I reach my download limit for the month?
    When you reach your download limit, your account will become inactive. You will not be able to access the server until the new month begins.

  10. Can I purchase additional GB of download capacity?
    Unfortunately you can not purchase additional GB for an existing userid, however if you would like to increase your download capabilities you can either:

    1) Purchase another Full Login UID - this will provide you with another 4 GIG of download per month. For more details, click here. or
    2) Visit giganews.com to purchase another account

  11. I am looking for a specific newsgroup, but I'm not finding it. What can I do?
    If the newsgroup already exists, just e-mail us at: support@magma.ca and we'll have it added for you. A valid newsgroup that is receiving posts will be added. We will not add groups to our servers unless they have been created in a proper manner for the heirarchy.

  12. Do you carry all newsgroups in existence?
    Our service does carry all newsgroups, that are receiving posts regularly, that we feel are legitimate. There are very few groups we will not consider adding to our servers:
    1. Groups that do not have a clearly identifiable purpose, do not relate to a specific topic or subject, or have names that indicate all on-topic posting would be illegal.
    2. Binary groups outside of the alt.binaries.* hierarchy are not carried. The alt.binaries.* naming convention has been used for many years, so administrators of servers around the world can readily identify and manage groups that contain binary posts. We will not add any new groups that fail to follow this accepted naming convention.

  13. Which Usenet provider does Magma use to provide Usenet services?
    Magma uses a company called Giganews (www.giganews.com) to provide its Usenet services. When you connect to "news.magma.ca", you are actually connecting to a Giganews server.

  14. Do I have to do anything special if I already have a personal Giganews account?
    If you already have a Giganews account, be sure to configure your newsreader with your Magma userid and password when connecting to news.magma.ca. Otherwise your news reader may simply connect using your existing Giganews account profile and any downloads would count against your Giganews account, not your Magma news account.