Please don't use developersdex.com or Microsoft's
web-based newsgroups. Web-based interfaces to NNTP groups are almost always behind.
There was a synchronization issue
last week, where many people could see their own messages, but not any of the replies.
It also shows everyone's e-mail address as firstname.lastname@example.org, which
can make it difficult to tell people apart. Threading can be confusing, since developersdex.com
simply sends its replies to the original post, rather than to the post they meant to reply to.
Finally, many of these
web-based newsreaders act like Hotmail, where more often than not, when you hit Reply, you lose
all the original text, which can make the conversation much tougher to follow.
These issues do not seem to affect people who use NNTP to access the groups. So, I strongly
recommend using a real newsreader, such as Outlook Express,
Thunderbird or Agent.
To use Outlook Express for reading newsgroups
Open Outlook Express, and go to Tools / Accounts:
Click Add > and select News...
On the first screen, enter the name you would like to appear in the From header for your messages. I strongly recommend using your real name (or something close to it) as opposed to a nickname; people generally feel better about talking to a person rather than an alias.
Next, enter your e-mail address. To combat spam, I highly recommend replacing the @ symbol with the letters "AT" or otherwise obscuring the actual address so that spam harvesters don't use it. If you don't think you want anyone contacting you from the newsgroups, then you can also make up a totally invalid address. But I still recommend using an invalid format, rather than just changing the username to one you don't think exists, or using someone else's domain name. If the address is in a proper e-mail format, spam harvesters will plop it on their $5 CDs of 800 billion e-mail addresses, and it will cause someone extra traffic somewhere. So please try to use an invalid format (you will have to say yes to a prompt if you do).
Next, enter the news server name msnews.microsoft.com. While your ISP's news server may carry some of the Microsoft groups, it will also carry some defunct groups and may not always be up-to-date. Use your ISP's server for other Usenet hierarchiescomp, alt, etc. But stick to msnews for Microsoft newsgroups.
So now the account is configured.
Click Finish, click Close, and you will be asked this question:
Click Yes, and you will be shown a list of over 2000 newsgroups. You can narrow down your list of selections by typing partial group names such as "inetserver" or "sqlserver" in the Display box.
Highlight a group, click Subscribe, then click Go to. You can start a new thread by click "New Post" in the top left corner. And to reply in a thread, highlight the individual message you want to reply to (this is important, and is missed by many) and click on the "Reply Group" button.
I recommend using grouped headers (View / Current View / Group Messages by Conversation) and sort by Sent descending (so the newest messages are at the top). If you want to see only the replies to your own messages, use View / Current View / Show Replies to my Messag