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Happily, Google bought Deja in 2001, and it now hosts the service under the name Google Groups.Thanks to the change in stewardship, the Deja/Usenet picture has become clearer, as you can now find all newsgroups—and their archives since 1981—in Google Groups.)If you need tech support, consider heading over to Groups, where you can search existing messages for help, and post questions and answers.In fact, the archives and regular participants in many groups have become a primary technical support system for lots of software programs.

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The biggest advantage is that, as part of Google, the groups and their archives now appear as Web pages with the power of a Google search built right in.Google Groups lets you participate in or search through the archives of Web-based discussion groups—and if you find the conversations boring, you can even start your own discussion group and invite people all over the world to join you.Google Answers can help you bypass the discussions and find expert research on nearly every subject known to humankind.But even if the software you use has more formal help systems, groups can be quicker (nothing beats a successful keyword search), cheaper (free), and more thorough (other people can be surprisingly willing to help you through a difficult problem, and you can get assistance from several people at once).Microsoft alone has nearly 300 Usenet groups in the hierarchy Figure 4-1.

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