I discovered that comp.arch.fpga is quite a nice news group! I used Google Groups to access it but was annoyed that it was often full of spam. Reporting messages generally caused them to have disappeared the next time I visited, but this wasn't very satisfactory. Thus I decided to use Thunderbird 3 instead, since I have an excellent Usenet subscription through Internode.
Unfortunately this brought back all of the messages I'd marked as spam, so I worked out how to enable junk filtering through Thunderbird as follows
- Install the JunQuilla add-on for Thunderbird.
- Add the Junk % column to the view
- Enable junk analyzing on each subscribed group by right-clicking and enabling "Analyze junk". I had to disable "Inherit" first.
- Manually mark a whole heap of messages as junk or not junk. I did this by laboriously highlighting threads and messages and right clicking to mark as junk or not junk. I did about 250 in one group.
- After that, you can try Tools - Run Junk Mail Controls on Folder. This worked a treat for me! Spammy things were classified as such. Usenet spammers don't seem to be very sophisticated.
- Now you can filter junk out permanently, by doing Tools - Message Filters.
- Select filters for your.news.server - group name. I thought that adding it to "choose this news server" would apply the rule to all groups, but this didn't work.
- New filter, called "Usenet junk" or whatever.
- Apply filter when: Checking Mail (after classification) or Manually Run
- Match all of the following: Junk Status is Junk
- Perform these actions: Ignore Thread
- Ooh, add a 'Mark as read' action too.
- Now select all messages and Run Filters on Selected Messages
- Switch to another group and back and the ignored threads will disappear! Hooray.
- Mark false negatives as junk to improve the filter