A replacement for Windows Live Mail Wave 4 news reader

Finally.. It has taken a while to find a news reader which works like Outlook Express, Windows Mail and the earlier Windows Live Mail news reader did.

Why have I looked for something different?

Back in the old days (pre-Wave 4), it was possible to sort newsgroup posts in descending date order. In this way, all new posts appeared at the top of the list. What happens now is that older posts which get new input are appearing at the top. A good idea? Not for me..

We could also flag posts which we had created (easier to find), and posts to which we had answered or showed interest. We still can flag them, BUT we can’t arrange to have all flagged posts at the top of the list while at the same time keeping the descending order. This makes it really difficult to keep track of aforementioned posts.

It may be ok for a user who asks a question, but for those of us who are answering between five and fifty posts per day, it just doesn’t work.

Why did Microsoft change what already worked very well?

I have no idea..

Can I use Windows Live Wave 4 elements, but still keep pre-Wave 4 Windows live messenger?

No.. not allowed

Enter MesNews

MesNews is an open source newsreader with a remarkable amount of set up options, some of which are a little obscure. I had to install – uninstall three times before I got it to work with all of the servers to which I connect, but all is well now.

MesNews has the good attributes of the Outlook Express news reader, it automatically flags any post that you create or answer, and you can still manually flag those in which you have interest.

Flagged posts can be grouped at the top of a descending date list just as they always could in Microsoft’s earlier offerings.

The downside

It looks more cluttered than Windows Live Mail, and you can’t have an HTTP mail ID piped into it. MesNews is specifically a newsreader.

Yes, I could feed the Hotmail ID into Outlook but there is enough in there already. Question.. do I keep Windows Live Mail open or use the Hotmail web interface? This is a nuisance because I have a Hotmail ID tied to what I do online, and I get notifications daily which usefully pop up on screen.

One other issue. The MesNews process (look in Task Manager) uses between three and eight percent of CPU time constantly after it has been running for a while.. Hmmmmmmmmmm..

Why did I go to all of this trouble if I can still use pre-Wave 4 Windows Live Mail?

It may not always be that way. It is already difficult to find an installation package for pre-Wave 4 as it is. Eventually, Microsoft will knobble anything earlier than Wave 4 so I may as well  get used to something else. Essentially, I have bought myself time to acclimatise to the new kid on the block.

MesNews: http://www.mesnews.net/gb/

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