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Packet communications

Several years ago, I wanted to try terrestrial packet radio, so I purchased an MFJ-1270C TNC. I found I didn't care much for it, as I enjoy "real time" communications, and where I lived at the time, there wasn't much of that going on. Seemed to be a closed group. So, I went back to HF CW.
I purchased an FT-847 a couple of months ago specifically for satellite work, and over the past couple of weeks, I've been working on getting set up to work the FO series satellites for SSB and CW, and have been enjoying it immensely. I'm also collecting the stuff I need for AO-40.
I've read about digital communications on most of the satellites, but am unable to find information on how to do this. I have several questions, and I'm hoping to get a little info from the group.
Can I use my current TNC for operations through the satellites? If not, what are suitable TNC's?
Do I need special software? I know about Wisp, but is that the only way to go?
What kind of communications go on via packet on the satellites? Is it more that BBS's?
Recommendations for printed material would be appreciated, too.
Thanks for any information. From my observations, this is a very knowledgable group.



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