The first time you run Thunderbird, you might see an import options dialog. Don't import anything.
If you've never setup an account before, Thunderbird will load an Accounts Wizard dialog. You can also load the Accounts Wizard from Tools / Accounts / Add Account. Select a Newsgroup account.
Next enter your name and email address in the appropriate lines. We recommend you use your illinois.edu email address.
Next enter the news server (NNTP) as "news.cs.illinois.edu."
The next page will name the account. You can just use "news.cs.illinois.edu" again.
Once you have created the newsgroup account, Thunderbird should leave you at the account settings page. Highlight news.cs.illinois.edu's "Server Settings" and check the "Use secure connections (SSL)" box.
This completes the account configuration for Thunderbird. Next, you'll subscribe to the newsgroups you wish to follow. From the main Thunderbird page, select the "news.cs.illinois.edu" server and click "Manage newsgroup subscriptions".
You will be prompted for a username to access the news server. Enter your university NetID here.
Next, enter your Active Directory password.
You may subscribe to and read from newsgroups from the following page.
Click OK. The newsgroups should show up in the folder area on the left side of Thunderbird. Click on them to see messages.