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Additional Detailed Instructions on Using OE5

Here is another OE5 user's take on using Outlook Express in the MP3 groups:
(thanks to 'scalloped' for the contribution):

There have been a few questions on how to post files utilizing Outlook Express lately, and I'm not sure where or if the instructions have been included in any of the group FAQ's, so here goes.

A) Setting up file splitting properties
B) Posting an Mp3
C) Tips about what and what not to do when OLE is uploading to a group
D) Compacting newsgroups on your hard drive
E) Completely eliminating newsgroups from your hard drive

A) Setting up file-splitting properties:
This should only have to be done once.

1) Open Outlook Express
2) Click "Tools."
3) Click "Accounts."
4) Click "News."
5) Click "Properties."
6) Click "Advanced."
7) Drag your "Server Timeouts" arrow all the way over to the right so it is on "Long" (5 minutes).
8) Under "Posting," click the white box titled "Break Apart Messages Larger Than ___"
9) Type in a limit. The FAQ for the MP3 newsgroups discusses keeping individual messages somewhere between 250 and 500KB, so keep that in mind. I like 497 for some reason. Anyway...
10) Click "Apply."
11) Click "OK."
12 Click "Close."

B) Posting an MP3:

There is an alternate way to post files by right-clicking the file from within My Documents (or wherever you have them stashed), but I will outline the most common way, which is to do it from within Outlook Express.

1) Enter the Newsgroup.
2) Click the "New Message" Icon.
3) Click "Insert."
4) Click "File Attachment."
5) You are now presented with the "Look In" box. If your stash isn't presented to you, then you need to find it. Click the "down arrow" on the right side of the name presentation area, and then get inside the box that opens up, using your pointer. Find the noun name of wherever your MP3's are stashed, and then click it.
6) If your files are inside a folder, double-click the folder icon.
7) Click on one MP3. The name of it will show up inside the "File Name" box.
8) Click "Attach."
9) Type (or paste) your subject line, keeping in mind that whatever the name was that showed up in the "File Name" box, will magically appear on your subject line AFTER you post the message.
10) Click the "Send" icon.

Go through this procedure until all your files are on their way. It's not as tedious as it sounds.

C) Tips about what and what not to do when OLE is uploading to a group:

NOW comes the *interesting* part. Outlook Express is going to send your messages all broken up, one at a time, until they are gone. But sometimes it won't send all of them until completion. I'm on cable, with a good connection- don't ask me why it does this. Anyway, you may get tired of watching the "sending messages" screen that shows up, so you can get rid of it by clicking "hide." You can also minimize all of Outlook Express by clicking the flat line at the top of the right hand corner of the page, or alternately right-clicking the box on your status bar. Just don't "X" out of Outlook- if you do then bad stuff happens. Files get screwed up royally when you re-connect.

When Outlook is uploading your files, you can still use it to access the group you are posting to, any other newsgroups, any other servers, and also your email. Just keep in mind that sometimes it stops sending, and you may need to click the "send and receive all" icon from time to time to keep the process going until completion. Sometimes the status box will indicate that it is sending "message number whatever of whatever," and the numbers aren't making any sense. Don't worry about that. Just be happy that it is doing *something.* Sometimes the loading-bar doesn't move to the right, showing progress, don't worry about that, either.

Often, I find a delay of up to a couple of minutes between bursts of message uploading- don't worry about that, either.

You can gauge progress by looking inside of your "Outbox" and "Sent Items" box, but just because the "Sent Items" box shows all of the files as being sent, doesn't necessarily mean that the last one is gone yet. Better to refresh the newsgroup and visually verify that everything has actually been uploaded before you go exiting Outlook or deleting files from your stash.

When you get around to deleting files from your "Sent Items" and "Deleted Items" folders, it will send your hard drive into a tizzy, and will take some time. Don't freak out.

This should do it. It seems like a huge hassle, and you will probably have to click "send and receive all" about three times per album of posted material, but sometimes it only takes once. I like it. Just remember not to worry too much.

D) Compacting newsgroups on your hard drive:

Outlook Express will store all message headers and downloads (not sure about uploads) on your hard drive *permanently* unless you decide to purge them from time to time. There is a way to compact this information to save space on your drive (and increase speed) and a way to completely delete this information into your recycle bin for total disposal. Section "E" deals with total disposal.

1) If you open Outlook, and right-click on the name of a newsgroup as it appears in your "folders" area, you will get a dropdown box. Click "Properties."
2) Click "Local File."
3) You will see that you have four options available to you, with some helpful explanations of what each function will do.

One might think that the "delete" option would completely remove all remnants of any newsgroup you have ever perused, but this is not so.

E) Completely eliminating newsgroups from your hard drive:

This works for me on Windows '98 (Second Edition)- I don't know about '98 Regular or '95.
I have not found an easier way to do this, and I discovered the procedure by accident, as I discover most things on my computer :^)

1) Select "My Computer."
2) Click "(C:)"
3) Click the "Windows" folder. You will get a warning link, and also a link for "show files."
4) Click "Show Files."
5) Click "Application Data."
6) Click "Identities."
7) Click "Microsoft."
8) Click "Outlook Express."

You will see a bunch of files with the extension ".dbx." You will see "Cleanup, deleted items, drafts, folders, inbox, offline, outbox, sent items," and sometimes one titled "Search." Highlight what you want to kill and delete the files. They will now be in your Recycle Bin ready for splash. You can also use this path for all the endless collection of garbage that Outlook saves in compressed form from your emails. If you delete your email stuff, the next time you run Outlook Express you will get a happy message from Microsoft welcoming you to their world. Just keep in mind that anything in any of the folders you delete will be gone for good. No biggie... who needs endless mindless forwards filling up your drive, anyway?

Anyway, the ones you are looking for are titled as the full name of the newsgroup. You may also see one titled "searches," but it's not always there for some reason. Select anything that you want to get rid of completely, and send it to the Recycle Bin for permanent disposal.

The next time you access a newsgroup that you have eliminated this way, it will be totally fresh, as it will be the first time you have accessed it.

The only tip here is that sometimes when you are going through the procedure to get into the Outlook Express folder, you will click on a folder and it opens into a blank page. Maybe it's just me, I dunno- but if it happens then just click the "back" button, and re-click the folder until it actually opens.

That's it, as far as I know about operating and maintaining your Outlook Express to access and contribute to newsgroups. Outlook Express is there, all hooked up and ready for you to use it, but after trying Power-Post 2000, I am hooked. Nothing beats it. I would recommend Outlook to get you started, but if you decide to be a regular contributor to the Usenet, do yourself a favor and get a free copy of Power-Post from http://www.cosmicwolf.com.

Have fun and Guinness Cheers,
-scalloped