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02. Accessing Newsgroups With Windows Mail

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Newsgroups are communities where people can express their opinions or ask for advice regarding specific topics. Not all are particularly friendly beasts and some users’ can be particularly argumentative. This guide is how to set up Windows Mail to receive Microsoft newsgroups. Obviously there are other newsgroups available and the principle for accessing them will basically be the same.

While newsgroups are a great source of information they do have their own rules and regulations and also ways of posting. If you are new to newsgroups do a Google search for Netiquette to give you an idea of how to post.

To begin follow the instructions below:

1/ Open Windows Mail

2/ On the Main toolbar click the Tools option

3/ From the drop down menu click Accounts

4/ The Select Account Type Window will open (see fig: 2-1)

Fig: 2-1 Select Account Type Window

Fig: 2-1 Select Account Type Window

5/ Select Newsgroup Account and press Next

6/ In the next window you need to type in your display name. This will be the name you want users to see on the news groups. (see fig: 2-2)

Fig: 2-2 Display name dialogue box

Fig: 2-2 Display name dialogue box

7/ In the Display name dialogue box type in your name and then click the Next button

8/ The next windows to appear is the internet news E-mail Address Window

9/ In the E-mail Address dialogue box type the email address you are going to use for the newsgroup (see fig: 2-3)

Fig: 3-3 Insert a false email address for added security

Fig: 3-3 Insert a false email address for added security

10/ Now here lies a word of warning: UserNet News groups are open to the public and, as such, are regularly scanned (or trawled) to gather email information for the purpose of ‘spamming’. For this reason ‘never’ use your real email address. Always use a false address. If you make the mistake of allowing your real email address to appear on any newsgroup you can expect to get a whole lot of unsolicited ‘spam’ email.

11/ In the next window you need to type the Internet News Server Name. As we are going to be using Microsoft’s own news groups simply type news.microsoft.com into the dialogue box (see fig: 2-4) and then click Next.

Fig: 2-4 Type in the news server name

Fig: 2-4 Type in the news server name

12/ If you are using an alternative news server and it requires you to log in, then make sure you tick the ‘My news server requires me to log on’ box. Another window will appear to allow you to insert the relevant log on details, such as user name and password.

Fig: 2-5 News server requires me to log on box enabled

Fig: 2-5 News server requires me to log on box enabled

13/ If all has gone well the next window (see fig: 2-6) should inform you that you have successfully entered all the required information. All you need do now is click the Finish button

Fig: 2-6 Click the Finish button to complete

Fig: 2-6 Click the Finish button to complete

14/ At the moment you are not subscribed to any newsgroups, so now you need to select whether you want to just download the newsgroups or download newsgroups and turn on or not turn on Communities. Just click on the option you require.

Fig: 2-7 Press Yes button to download newsgroups

Fig: 2-7 Press Yes button to download newsgroups

15/ Assuming you have entered the server name and any user name and password, if required, correctly the list of news groups should now begin to download. (see fig: 2-8 )

Fig: 2-8 Downloading the Newsgroup list

Fig: 2-8 Downloading the Newsgroup list

16/ Once they have all downloaded – this may take a few minutes – scroll down the list and select a newsgroup you are interested in.

17/ With the selection highlighted click on the Subscribe button to subscribe to this newsgroup. You can select and subscribe to as many newsgroups as you wish (see fig: 2-9 )

Fig: 2-9 Subscribing to a News Group

Fig: 2-9 Subscribing to a News Group

18/ After you have finished subscribing to the relevant news groups click OK to close the window

19/ In the right hand pane of Windows Mail you will now see a list of the newsgroups you have subscribed to (see fig: 2-10)

Fig: 2-10 Windows Mail news window

Fig: 2-10 Windows Mail news window

20/ Under the Synchronization Settings column you will see a small box next to each subscribed newsgroup. Click your mouse on the first box to place a tick in it.

21 Next right click the box settings and, from the drop down menu, select ‘synchronization settings'. Another drop down menu will now appear. From this select headers only’. Do exactly the same for all of your subscribed newsgroups.

Fig: 2-11 Adjusting the synchronization settings

Fig: 2-11 Adjusting the synchronization settings

22/ After you have finished changing the synchronization settings for each newsgroup to ‘headers only’ click on Tools on the main menu and select Synchronize Account to start downloading the newsgroup posts (see fig: 2-12)

Fig: 2-12 Synchronizing the news groups

Fig: 2-12 Synchronizing the news groups

23/ Windows Mail should now check your subscribed news groups and begin downloading (see fig:2-13)

Fig: 2-13 Downloading News groups 

Fig: 2-13 Downloading News groups

24/ You have now finished. All that remains is for you to read any posts and, if you so desire, reply.