Free Agent

Free Agent

Free Agent is a very slick and feature-rich news reader. It's only drawback is that is TOO loaded with nifty features. Here's a brief rundown of what you need to do to configure it:

After opening it for the first time and going through some licensing things, you'll be presented with a setup screen. Fill in these things:

  • News (NNTP) Server:
  • Mail (SMTP) Server:
  • Email Address:
  • Full Name (optional): If you want to have your name shown when posting only

You'll want to enter (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) as your time zone and press OK. You'll now need to download a complete list of newsgroups. This can take up to 15 minutes if you're on a slow connection. Don't worry you'll only need to do this once. While it's working read the online help and familiarize yourself with the controls. After it's done You'll see an All Groups window. Scroll through that and pick the groups you want to subscribe to. (Subscribe with the little newspaper icon). If you want info on a particular subject, use the little flashlight icon. This will search for a particular topic (say Windows 95 or Dogs).

After you've selected a bunch. Hit the bar that says all groups a couple of times until it says Subscribed Groups. It's now time to read you news. Hit the second button from the right which Gets all headers from subscribed groups. This will download the header for each article. Think of the header like the title.

Once you get all your headers, scan through them and select ones you think are interesting. Double click on them and the entire article will be downloaded.

Some groups are for "binaries", these are programs, pictures or other multimedia files. These are posted in coded format and must be decoded before viewing. The headers of these files will ordinarily show a short description of the file, the filename with extension and, if there is more than one article required to make up the full file a place-in-total-number-of-articles message, such as (3/7) meaning article 3 of 7. Free Agent is very slick in that you can press one button (third from the right) and it will track down all the parts, decode them and open the binary in the viewer which you use to view the file. You must have a File Association for that particular file type. You can do this in File Manager or Explorer.

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