How to Access RADP via Usenet, Part Two
By Rodney T. Grill

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Thunderbird will now start and prompt you to import settings from other mail or newsgroup programs.  While you may want to do this, these instructions will not cover that, so just click Next (or Continue on Mac computers):

Thunderbird Import

The next screen will prompt you to choose a type of new account to configure.  Although Thunderbird also handles mail and RSS accounts, the purpose of this documentation is to setup newsgroup access, so choose the Newsgroup account option and click Next:

Thunderbird New Account

On the next screen, you will be prompted to enter a name and e-mail address as your online identity.  This information does not have to match the information you used to setup your Eternal-September account.  This is the information that will be publicly displayed when you post messages on Usenet.  If you want to go by a nickname or "screen name", you can put whatever you want in the "Your Name:" field.  Also, if you are concerned about publishing your e-mail address, you might choose a "disposable" address on this screen or use a "munged" or "disguised" address.

Thunderbird Identity

After entering your name and e-mail address, click Next and you will be prompted to enter the name of your newsgroup server.  For Eternal-September, this will be "news.Eternal-September.org".  For AIOE, this will be "nntp.aioe.org":

Thunderbird Server

Next, you will be prompted to enter a name for the account.  Most people use the name of the server, or you could simply call it "Eternal-September" or "AIOE":

Thunderbird Account

After that, click Next and you will be given a summary of your settings.  Click Finish to complete the account setup:

Thunderbird Congrats

The new account will be shown in your "Folders" list in Thunderbird.  There is still some setup to be done, so click once on the account to highlight it in the folders list, then click on the link for "View settings for this account":

Thunderbird Account Setup

You will see the general account settings screen.  Here you can verify your name, e-mail address and organization, as well as setup a signature attachment if you want to use that advanced feature.  Click on the "Server Settings" option under the server you are working with to continue the configuration:

Thunderbird Account Options

On the Server Settings screen, there are two things to configure.  First of all is the "Port".  By default, Usenet servers communicate over the standard NNTP port which is 119.  Because some corporations and ISP's want to block Usenet access, they often do this with a firewall that blocks the NNTP port, so 119 won't work.  To assist their users, many Usenet servers also allow alternate communication paths, such as on port 80, which is normally used for HTTP (i.e. web browsing) and is almost never blocked.  Both Eternal-September and AIOE will communicate over port 80.  Additionally, if you wish to have a secure connection, you can check the option for Use secure connection (SSL)  When using a secure connection, the normal NNTP port is 563, but again, this may be blocked so instead, port 443 (secure HTTP).

If you are using Eternal-September, then you will need to check the box for Always request authentication... so that you will be prompted to enter your username and password to access the server.  If using AIOE, then leave this unchecked because there is no username or password required.

Thunderbird New Account

Click the OK button to save your changes and return to the main Thunderbird screen.  Now click on the news server and then click on the option to Manage newsgroup subscriptions:

Thunderbird Manage

Note that if you choose a secured connection, it's possible that the server's certificate could be expired.  If so, this is not a problem.  Just choose to Accept this certificate permanently.

Thunderbird Certificate

If you are logging into Eternal-September, you will need to enter your registered userid and password.  You will first be prompted for your userid.  Enter it exactly as you did when registering your account.  You can check the box for Use Password manager... if you want Thunderbird to save your userid so you don't have to enter it each time you logon:

Thunderbird User ID

You might get a message about Thunderbird's Password Manager.  Just click the OK button to continue:

Thunderbird Sensitive

You will have a similar prompt for your password:

Password

Thunderbird should take a few minutes to download a list of newsgroups from the server.  Once that is done, the list will be displayed:

Thunderbird Subscribe

You can search for a specific group, such as RADP, by entering its name in the Show items that contain: box:

When you select a newsgroup from the list and click the Subscribe button, Thunderbird will download the messages from that newsgroup and will keep them refreshed each time you run Thunderbird.  Groups that are subscribed will appear in the "folders" list underneath the server account:

Thunderbird Groups

If you click on the group, Thunderbird will download the headers for it.  If the newsgroup contains a lot of messages, you may see a prompt like this:

Thunderbird Headers

If you have a slower Internet connection, you might want to choose to download fewer headers at a time.  With a broadband connection, downloading even tens of thousands of headers usually only takes a few minutes.  Once the headers are downloaded, you can see them listed on the pane on the top right.  Clicking on a header will display the message on the bottom right pane:

Thunderbird Reading

Finally, you might want to use filters to make your Usenet experience safer and more enjoyable.  The easiest way to do this is to create filters as you come across unwanted messages and posters.  Highlight the offending message, and then select Message and Create Filter From Message... from the menu bar:

Thunderbird Spam

This will display a dialog box that defaults to deleting all future posts from the author:

Thunderbird From Filter

You might also try creating a "politics" filter that deletes messages with certain political names in the subject, like this:

Thunderbird Subject Filter

It may take a while to build a good set of filters.  Spammers and trolls often use fake e-mail addresses that they change on every post, so certain types of spam might be easier to filter using words in the subject rather than the "from" field.  Just be careful to not filter out too much.  In the "politics" filter example above, you could delete a good message, such as an announcement of when the Hall of Presidents is having the Barak Obama animatronic added.  Instead of having your filter delete messages, you might want to create a "spam" folder and just move them there.  You can then periodically browse the spam folder to make sure you aren't filtering good messages and clean it out.

That's it!  You should now be able to enjoy RADP on a real Usenet news reader!

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