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AOL's NEWSREADER

Here are two quick screengrabs to illustrate a number of AOL issues.

First, here's the mess you see when you want to look at a thread showing all the posts you've read:

AOL thread list

As you can see, it's not a pretty sight. There are no titles for any of the 73 messages on this thread. The title has mutated, as you can see in the second screen, but posts are still filed under "one of the bleederz is back."

Here's a screen-grab showing the the list (#1), the 18th of these messages, (#2), and a reply. Karen has renamed the thread, which shows up fine on the listing in Netscape's newsreader and possibly in several others -- but she's still indexed under bleederz in the AOL newsreader's listing for read messages. As you can see in the reply box, I have highlighted a piece of text I wanted to quote in the original message (#3). I typed "Karen Kay writes" in the reply box, clicked the "quote" button (#4), and voila! it shows up with proper marks in the reply section (#5).

Thus, it's indeed possible to approximate proper newsgroup procedure using the AOL newsreader. I suspect that it breaks each line at some preset number of characters that's too high for some newsreaders. *Sigh.*

Also...I didn't give it its own number, but you'll see a blue "mark unread" box at the bottom of Karen's posting (#2). If you think you may need to come back to a posting and don't want to dive into the tarpit that is box#1, it's a good idea to click this box before doing anything else.