News Reader Configuration

[ Forte Agent/Free Agent | Microsoft Internet News | Outlook Express News ]

Forte Agent/Free Agent Configuration for Datasync

Forte Free Agent is a powerful Usenet news reader which utilizes the NNTP protocol to retrieve and post news from/to a Usenet server. It is a freeware version of Forte Agent, a commercial product with even more features. For more information about Agent including how to order, see the Agent web site.

First, choose and create a directory in which to install Free Agent. Copy FAGENT10.ZIP into it, and run PKUNZIP on it to extract its contents. Detailed installation instructions in the README.TXT.

You probably want to create an Agent icon in Program Manager. Drag AGENT.EXE from File Manager into the program group of your choice in Program Manager to accomplish this.

To access Datasync's news server, you need to have your PPP or SLIP connection up and running. If you haven't done that yet, do so before proceeding.

Run AGENT.EXE. You'll see a dialog in which certain information must be entered for Free Agent to operate. The correct values for these items are:

  • News (NNTP) Server:
  • Mail (SMTP) Server:
  • Email Address: Your login ID followed by e.g. Do not put a capital P in front.
  • Full Name: This is optional.
  • Time Zone: As appropriate.

Free Agent will then offer to download the list of newsgroups carried on the server, which is a good thing to do but may take several minutes, as there are several thousand.

Free Agent has extensive help available under the Help menu. It has many configurable options for setting reading preferences, working offline, etc. One box you should be sure not to check is the Server requires authorization login box. Our server authenticates only by host address, not by passwords.

If you're completely new to Usenet, a good group to start out in is news.newusers.questions. Check out our Usenet information page for a current list of the groups we carry.

Microsoft Internet News

This document assumes the reader has already installed Microsoft Internet News and needs to correct its configuration.

The configuration settings are under News..Options. The most important section here is marked Server. Be sure all of these settings under Server are correct:

  • Name: Anything you want. This will appear in the From: header of your posts.
  • Organization: This is optional and may be left blank. If you put something here it will appear in an Organization: header in your posts.
  • Email address: This or the Reply Address must be correct if you want to receive email replies to your posts. In most cases this will be your login ID in all lower case and without a capital P prepended, followed by For example, if your login is john and you use Pjohn in the Dialup Networking configuration, the correct Email address for you is
  • Reply address: This is the same as Email address except goes in the Reply-To: header in your posts instead of the From: header. If you specify a different address in this box, replies will go to it instead of the Email address.
  • News server(s): Be sure is listed in this box and shows as the Default Server. If it's not, press Add and fill in the News Server Properties dialog as follows:
    • News Server Name: Enter
    • Do not check the This server requires me to login box. Except for a few special cases who know who they are, if you try to logon you will be denied access to news.
    • Press Set As Default is this server is not already the default.
    • On the Connection tab, the proper setting is I use a modem to access my newsgroups unless you are on a local-area network.

Concerning the Email address and Reply address settings: unfortunately, if you post your real e-mail address to newsgroups, you will soon start receiving lots of junk email. The junk mailers harvest addresses from news posts to form their junk-mail lists. For this reason many people have stopped using their real addresses here. A common workaround is to use a modified form of your real address instead and put instructions in your signature so people who wish to reply may do so. For instance, configure your Email address as and in your signature let readers know to edit out the NOSPAM before replying.

In the Send section these settings are recommended:

  • Under News Sending Format, select Plain Text. Not everyone uses HTML-capable news readers.
  • In the Plain Text Settings dialog, select MIME for the encoding method and encode text using None.

In the Signature section, you can enter a signature to be appended to the bottom of every message you post. This is a useful feature. Long signatures are wasteful and generally frowned upon; the accepted convention for signatures is four lines or less.


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