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By Chris De Herrera 
Copyright 1998-2007
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News Force Review
By Michael Boone, Copyright 2001

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News Force
Price:  $25
 
Available at:  www.ruksun.com
Update on News Force for the Pocket PC:
I tried downloading the new Pocket PC version of News Force CE.  I was unable to get it to work with the proxy connection.  And worse, somehow the internal database it uses got messed up when I installed it, and uninstalling the program does not remove the database it creates, so it required a database utility to clean it up.  Not a fun time. 
From these screenshots it looks like it still uses the same gigantic font as always, but I couldn't get it functional on my machine to get my own shots.  Read my review of the older Windows CE 2.11 version below:
Pros:
Can download just headers and mark for later download.
Allows replies to the group and by e-mail.
Cons:
What is with the giant font?
The company took a very long time to reply to my e-mail message.
Takes entirely too long to switch between newsgroups.
You see way too much of the hourglass.
Where did my marked message go?
About the software:
The first thing I noticed with this program is that the font of the message headers is waaaayyyy too big to suit me. Couldn't find an option to change it. E-mailed the company about this.  Got a response 25 days later (but with an apology for the late reply), but they said you cannot change the font.  Downloading the headers went without a hitch. But navigation was also a problem for my offline use. If I marked a message for later download, I had a hard time finding it again. I could leave all newsgroup messages marked "unread" and wade through all the messages again trying to find which ones I marked and downloaded. But if you mark all messages 'read' when you leave the newsgroup, then download the marked messages, the marked messages stay marked 'read.' There is no option I could find to display just the downloaded messages. You can 'save' a message and then view it later, but I think that once marked messages have been downloaded, they should be shown as 'unread' again. There should be a way to view just the downloaded messages too.
Another problem I had is that switching between the newsgroups on my Casio E-105 was really slow. It seemed to have to recompile its newsgroup list, which let me see lots of the hourglass. The other news reader programs I tried switched between groups much faster.
Things I'd like to see:
1.  A response to my e-mail that I sent the company.
2.  Faster switching between newsgroups.
3.  A smaller font for the headers!
4.  Marked messages should be shown as "unread" after a download.
5.  A "show downloaded messages" view.
The verdict:  This program probably works really well as an online news program, but I did not care for it as an offline program.
My Rating: 2 out of 10
New:  Here is another view on News Force:
FWIW - I use the NewsForce from Ruskin on my z50 and like it very much.  First, the z50 has a 640x480 screen so the font issue is not a big deal.  In fact, I rather like the font selection for the H/PC format..
Second, I found the header/article system rather nice.  I was able to connect to my ISP via phone line, download the headers, then mark them all for download in a easy step and then perform the download.  While this took a few minutes (I downloaded all the subscribed groups), it made offline reading on the plane simple.
For my money, I give Ruskin NewsForce 7 out of 10 instead of 2
MCA
Mike Amundsen
Vertigo Software

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