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Using Newsgroups

The internet’s uncensored anarchy is evident in the tens of thousands of online forums, called newsgroups (or Usenet), that cover almost every conceivable interest. A newsgroup consists of messages and follow-up posts, which are (supposed to be) related to the original message’s subject line. A message and its follow-ups are called a thread. To view and post newsgroup messages, use Outlook Express as a newsreader. Setting up a news account is similar to setting up an email account, described earlier in this chapter.

To set up and use a news account

Choose Tools > Accounts > Add > News.

Follow the onscreen instructions; then click Finish when you’re done (Figure 14.22).

Figure 14.22. Get your user name, password, and NNTP news-server address from your ISP. If your ISP doesn’t provide access to newsgroups, try www.newsguy.com, www.easynews.com, or www.mailgate.org.

Click Yes when you’re prompted to download newsgroups.

You may have to wait a few seconds or minutes.

In the Newsgroup Subscriptions dialog box that appears, type a term of interest in the text box. As you type, newsgroups that don’t match that text are hidden (Figure 14.23).

Figure 14.23. A newsgroup name is a series of dot-separated words that indicates the newsgroup’s topic in increasingly narrow categories, such as microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support.

To summon Newsgroup Subscriptions at any time, choose Tools > Newsgroups (Ctrl+W).

When you find an interesting newsgroup, select it; then click Subscribe.

An icon appears near the newsgroup name.

When you finish subscribing to newsgroups, click OK.

The new newsgroups appear in the Folders list, below the news-server name.

In the Folders list, click a newsgroup name to download its recent threads (Figure 14.24).

Figure 14.24. Lurk on a newsgroup before participating. Asking recently answered (or dumb) questions irritates people and marks you as a fool. You also can use Google’s Groups service to search newsgroups.

Click (or double-click) a header in the Message list to read the message.

Reply to or post newsgroup messages as you would normal email. Note the Reply (to individuals) and Reply Group (for public posts) toolbar buttons.



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