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Chapter 27. Using Outlook Express to Rea... > Downloading and Reading Newsgroup Me...

Downloading and Reading Newsgroup Messages

Before you can read the messages in a newsgroup, you have to download them from the server to your computer. That process is not as straightforward as it sounds. For starters, you can't tell from the Newsgroups list how many messages are currently available for each newsgroup. Some obscure groups generate only a handful of messages, but popular groups can contain thousands of messages at one time, with some containing binary attachments or graphics files that occupy significant amounts of disk space. Downloading every message without first checking the newsgroup's contents is clearly a bad idea.

To make newsgroup traffic more manageable, Outlook Express distinguishes between message headers and bodies. Regardless of the size of the message itself, the header contains only the subject line, the author's name, and the message size. By default, when you open a newsgroup for the first time, Outlook Express connects with the server and asks it to transfer the 300 most recent subject headers.


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