Tired of that ugly web interface? Why not gaining access with a newsreader?

Let's be honest, the web interface is ugly, slow and somewhat difficult to understand. Finding and access the categories you want to reach can be somewhat cumbersome.

Other reasons why you'd want to use a newsreader:
• you only want to see the newsgroups you subscribe.
• you want to mark read postings once to see what you've already read.
• you don't need graphics and stuff, it's all about information for you.
• you want to access news quick and instantly, without searching the web.
• you want to mark, copy, save, print postings that you find interesting.

Accessing the newsgroups with a newsreader is much more fun. All you need is Outlook Express or another news capable reader like Thunderbird and you're ready to go.

I'll go through the steps with Outlook Express. You start with "Tools" -> "Accounts" and choose "New" -> "News".

In the first step, you'll be asked for you name. Please specify your real pre- and surname. People will more likely answer your questions when they know who they talk to. It doesn't hurt.

After that, you'll be asked for your email address. As there are spam bots out there that crawl newsgroup postings for email addresses to spam them. It's a good approach to use a somewhat modified valid mailaddress, just like the one given in the example. Please do not use a fake mail address - someone might want to reach you and send you additional information on your question.

Last configuration step here is to specify the newsserver. This is msnews.microsoft.com. Just type that in and click "Next". You now have to finish the wizard.

Outlook now asks whether you would like to download the list of newsgroups from the server. You want that and choose "Yes".

You're then presented with a the list of available newsgroups. By typing a keyword or product name in the "display newsgroups which contain" field, you can filter the list results. By marking your favourite newsgroup and clicking "Subscribe", the newsgroup gets "saved". After closing the search window, you're finished.

You can now use the newsgroups you subscribed. Whenever you select the newsgroup in the left pane, new messages if available will be downloaded automatically.