HOWTO: Post To Newsgroups using the QuadSucker/News Newsgroup Downloader

This document describes how to post messages to usenet newsgroups using the QuadSucker/News newsgroup downloading program. Posting capability is fairly new to QuadSucker/News and is currently limited to small text posts (i.e. "requests", etc). Nevertheless, it's a handy feature that is convenient to have right there in the software.

Click here to go to the QuadSucker/News download page.

We're going to start off this tutorial by assuming that you've already configured QuadSucker/News for your computer. If you haven't, then please see one of the other HOWTO guides:

The guides listed above will help you configure QuadSucker/News by entering your news server settings, choose groups, etc. The streaming download tutorial is good for people who want to use the picture groups, and the MPEG tutorial is good for people who want to download mpeg or mp3 files.

Before we talk about posting, lets talk about reading news articles....

Please note that when I say "read", I'm talking about a different subject than when I say "download". Reading would be displaying the text of the news article, whereas downloading refers to receiving the binary contents of a news article. Reading is useful for when you want to see what discussions are going on in the newsgroup.

The reader capability of QuadSucker/News is similar to what you would expect from a tool like outlook express or free agent. The reason why we added an interactive reader to QuadNews is to make life easier so you don't have to switch to another tool if you want to read a discussion, or post some requests.

The ability to read news articles has been in QuadSucker/News for several years, but not many people are all that aware of it. The reading capability is accessed by using the Headers dialog. The headers dialog displays the news headers (subject, from, date, etc) for each news article that is listed in the current group.

To display the list of headers, press the <Headers> button on the QuadSucker main window. You can also access the headers for a specific group by opening the newsgroup window (<Groups> button), and then selecting a group and pressing the headers button on the group window.

The headers window displays all of the headers in the group. To read a news article, just click the header you want to read, and hit the <Read> button at the bottom of the headers dialog. QuadSucker will retrieve the article from the news server and display it in a nice human readable format.

Okay, now it's time to talk about posting news articles...

The posting capability was primarily added for people who want to post requests. Requests are messages where you ask for something. For example, maybe you are in a music newsgroup, and you are looking for a particular song by a particular artist. You can post a request to the group, and if someone has that song, then maybe they'll post it.

Please be aware that news messages are publicly readable by just about everyone, and persist for a long time -- sometimes they are archived by websites and a news message could last f-o-r-e-v-e-r. So, don't post anything that you don't want the whole world to see (such as a request for copyrighted material!)

There are a couple of ways to post messages in QuadSucker/News:

I find the Post command in the headers window to be the most useful way to post a request.

Once you activate the post command, you'll get a posting window that will have fields for the newsgroup, subject, and "from" address. The newsgroup and subject fields should be fairly obvious.

The "from" field is something that deserves a bit more discussion though. Originally people put their real email addresses in the from field. That way, other persons who read the article could respond directly. However, since spam has become such a large problem on the Internet, very few people put their real email address in the from field (doing so is just asking for your email address to be harvested and a ton of spam to show up). Lots of people obfuscate their email address. For example, rather than putting, put something like I suspect that the spam email harvesting tools can probably figure out simple obfuscations like that, so you might want to be creative. You might even want to just make something up. Nevertheless, it is common for people to put some text somewhere in the message that explains how to send you an email. For example, at the bottom of their message, some people might write "To send me an email, send it to joe at joes house dot com". That way, if a "human" wants to send you a reply, they can, but an automated spam tool might have some trouble.

All that being said, some news servers (i.e. ISPs) require you to enter your real email address, so you might not have a choice. Just be prepared if you do so that you might end up with some additional spam showing up in the near future....

Okay, now that we've filled out some of the headers, lets move on to the message body. QuadSucker provides a nice big area for you to type the message contents. When you're all done, hit the <Send> button and off your message will go....

When you hit <Send>, QuadNews will send the message and display a status window telling you what the news server said. Usually it will come back and say something like "240 Message Posted" or something like that. If you've screwed something up, then it'll come back with an error, which will hopefully give you some idea of what the problem is

Posting Etiquette

There are no hard and fast rules to posting messages, but here are some guidelines to keep people from getting pissed off at you:

  1. Don't post the same message over and over again. Post it once. It is usually acceptable to post a message to more than one group (if the article is relevant to more than one group!), but please don't post a message multiple times in the same group.
  2. If you're "Replying" to someone else's message, and you've quoted part of the original message, then please edit and remove anything from the quoted part that is extraneous (i.e. trim the fat from the quoted part). This keeps messages short and to the point.
  3. If you're sending a request, be polite and "ask" -- don't "demand"
  4. If someone reads your request, and posts the thing you were looking for, send them a thank-you message. Otherwise, people might conclude you are ungrateful and ignore your requests in the future.
  5. Don't get mad at people if they don't respond to your requests -- it could be that nobody has what you're looking for.
  6. Be aware that sometimes it takes a while for messages to propagate through the news system -- your message might not show up immediately.

I hope this guide has proven useful... Click here to return to the QuadSucker HOWTO list