Setting up your e-mail
Assuming that you don't have any existing e-mail or newsgroup accounts already on your computer, when you initially start up Outlook Express 5 you will be presented with a two-paned window which will provide shortcut links to creating a new e-mail or newsgroup account on the right-hand pane. Click on Set up a mail account. This will launch the Wizard, which should make this exercise a breeze. Alternatively, if you don't see the shortcut, just navigate up to Tools, Accounts, go to the Mail tab and click on Add and then Mail. This is also the way to do it if you want to add another account to your system.
The first step is to simply enter your display name, which is the name that will appear in the From field when you send e-mail. Enter your name and proceed to the next screen, where you will be asked to enter your existing e-mail address or create a new address using Hotmail. If you have an e-mail address from your ISP or an existing Web-based e-mail address with Hotmail, then enter it; otherwise, you may wish to create a new Hotmail account, which will require you to dial up to the Internet.
After Outlook Ex- press knows your ad-dress, you need to tell it what type of incoming mail server your e-mail service uses. This is information that your ISP should have given you when you first signed up, but it should also be readily available on their Web site, usually in the support section. Three choices are provided in the drop-down box: HTTP, POP3 or IMAP (for definitions on exactly what these mean you can visit a Web site such as www.whatis.com, which is an online glossary of computing terms). Find out which type is used by your ISP and select it, then type its address along with the address of the outgoing mail server (SMTP server) in the fields provided.
If you use a Web-based e-mail account such as Hotmail, you can also configure Outlook to check its mail for you. Select HTTP from the drop down list and enter the address details in the Incoming sever field. The Hotmail address comes up automatically, but if you use a different service you will have to find out if you can access your online mail in this manner, and in turn discover the necessary address.
On the final step you are prompted to enter your Account name (the name before the @ sign in your e-mail address) and password, with the option of saving the password. I recommend that you uncheck the "Save password" option for security reasons, unless you're confident that no other person will ever be using your computer for Internet access.
Your account should be all set now, and to test it all you need do is hook up to the Internet and click the Send/Receive button. If all goes well, you should see any new messages appear on your screen, but if you receive error messages stating that your mail couldn't be retrieved then you will have to double check your server names. In many cases, it's just a matter of dodgy spelling.
Setting up newsgroup access
To set up newsgroup reading capabilities you must follow a similar path to that of setting up a mail account. Click on the shortcut shown on the right window pane if it's there, or once again navigate to Tools, Accounts, go to the News tab and click on Add and then News. Enter your display name. This will be the name that is shown every time you post a new message to a newsgroup. The next step is to enter your e-mail address, but, be warned, newsgroups are a haven for spammers.
The next step is to add the address of your newsgroup server, which once again should be supplied by your ISP, and click Finish on the next screen. Once you go online, click on the server you just added, which should be visible on the left window pane, and click on the Newsgroups button. This will assemble a list of all the groups available to you, and all you need to do is search for your favourite ones and double-click on them to subscribe.