I answered a few questions using the online Answers webs site but I sure wasn’t happy with Microsoft or other forums given the limitations that are common to many/most/all? web forums. Such as sluggishness compared to using client software which downloads the message headers and details. Also not being able to easily pick out threads and postings within threads that are new. I figure I’m about five times more productive with an NNTP client than using forums and my frustration level is a lot lower.
I downloaded the Community Forums NNTP bridge and installed it. I chose to enable the LiveID auto login. I also chose to Prefetch newsgroup list as per the recommendation. Note that Microsoft does supply a bridge as well but it’s biggest limitation is having to use a copy of their bridge for each of the MSDN and the Answers forums.
(It appears that the NNTP bridge, along with other programs I’ve noticed lately actually request some kind of identifier unique to you when first logging in. Thereafter the program uses that special identifier instead of storing your password anywhere. Nice security idea as that substantially reduces the risk of the client software inadequately storing your password in a unencrypted or poorly encrypted fashion.)
I setup a new folder for my NNTP client and entered 127.0.0.1 in the news server parameter.
Finally for some unknown reason the Microsoft Answers team has chosen to group Access along with a number of other products in the same forum. That forum name is Answers.en-US.addbuz. As expected the volume of Access Q&A has totally swamped the other products.
This entire process was surprisingly painless.