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News readers 

  Bad tools make extra work.  Good tools make extra leisure.  Get the best tools for it and stop missing out on what your present software can't handle.  Most of the downloading tips and tricks in this FAQ refer to Agent because that's the newsreader chosen by most experienced Usenetters.  If you're on a Mac or have another Windows reader you prefer, the underlying principles can often be adapted to your software.  But first, here's what we know about some news readers to help you choose.

Forté Agent would appear to be the best "for paid" off-line reading, kill and watch filters, full in/out email. But it's currently not configurable for multiple servers or users (there's a awkward work around). Automatic MIME, UUE, and yEnc decoding, joined retrieval of headers for multipart, ... you get the drift. Read the heading of the posts in the "d" group and you'll see that above 70% of the posted messages there are made by Agent or Free agent.  A FAQ and help with Agent can be found in alt.usenet.offline-reader.forte-agent. Version 1.91 has yEnc encode / decode. Single server set up, but there is a way around this here. $30.00us

  XNews.  Our Pick for FREE ! XNews has lots of great features and is very intuitive for those who are beginning, easy switching between servers.  It is an on line newsreader (posts disappear when off line - but it's quite simple to have it function in an off line mode. configurable for multiple servers or users. Automatic MIME, UUE, yEnc, Ben hex encoding / decoding. In fact, the worst problem I had with it was reading the manual. So I asked PB, and he wrote a very fine beginner's manual for the faqs that can get you started. Version 5 (L5) yEnc compatible. Click here for the X News Primer.

Micro Planet Gravity. This has to be one of those "near-failure-as-pay-ware / going-going strong-as-freeware" thingies. Version 2.5 is out, and a beta 2.6 is showing. For free you could do much worse (outlook express). The site appears to have strong support with faqs and links to thrid party sites. Automatic MIME, UUE, Ben hex encoding / decoding, but not yEnc. However, SuperGravity has yEnc abiliitys.

Yet Another NewsWatcher appears to be the best/most popular newsreader on the Macintosh platform, with Multi-Threaded (MT) NewsWatcher being next. The Mac links section offers a beginners guide to learning NewsWatcher (again, in all it's variants). This link offers a pretty extensive description and utilities list for YA (Yet Another)-NewsWatcher. Again, only versions above 3.2 can even download yEnc for seperate decoding!

Multi-Threaded NewsWatcher Version: 3.1 / 3.2.  Since John Norstad released the source code to the free NewsWatcher program for people to change, there are several variants of the program that add many features including yEnc.

Thoth Verrsion: 1.5.1 From Brian Clark, author of the awesome YA-NewsWatcher  newsreader - Hot stuff according to the 2 Mac-ie's I know, with full yEnc support.

Please go to the Unix section

News Readers to AVOID 
Netscape News, MS Internet News, and MS Outlook Express -- despite the long line of development, these are poor choices for multipart binaries. The reader built into your web browser is a good example of an online reader.  Same for AOL.  There's nothing to see unless you're connected to a server.  Agent and most of the others above are off-line readers, which transfer information from the news server to data files on your hard drive.  You can disconnect from the server and even disconnect your modem, and still be able to read the headers and all the posts for which you've retrieved bodies.  Also, off-line readers keep track of which posts you've already seen, so you only have to get new headers when you log in again, not all headers.


Outlook Express 
Truly NOT Recommended as a newsreader, but here's some help on how to download and assemble the clips -
If you insist on uses OE, you'll be best to use the yEnc proxy to allow you to be able to view posts in yEnc. Follow the instruction carefully on how to set OE.

Thanks to Lord Arik, here's instructions on OE 5.5:
      1. Are you using the Preview pane layout??  If not, then Click on VIEW,  Layout, then select to use the Preview showing them below message headers.
      2. Next, access the Newsgroup you want to get the messages from.  Depending upon your TOOLS, OPTIONS, READ, Settings, where you can have it set to get up to 1,000 headers at a time, then when you first access the NG, it will D/L that many headers.  Use the Tools, Get ### headers choice until you get all of the available headers, or at least a few thousand.
      3.Then make sure you have the headers set to SORT by SUBJECT so you can keep all of the parts together(Click on Subject until the little arrow points up=Descending order), scroll thru the headers and find a movie you want.  Make sure ALL parts are there, like 01/29 thru 29/29.
      4.Then, click on each subject header line, that will start OE to start D/Ling the BODIES that go with the headers.  Be patient, you will see the little folded ICON in front of the header change to one with lines in it, that's how you can tell you've got the body D/L'd.
      5. Now, click on the first part 01/29, then scroll down to see the last part, and holding the SHIFT key down, click on the last part, to highlight all parts inbetween, then Right CLICK, select COMBINE and DECODE, then select OK(some posters post the parts labeled 1/20 instead of 01/20,that can mess up the order that OE puts the pieces in, and you have to juggle them around, but most folks post with the "0" for the 1-9 parts), then double click on the file if you want to view it, or right click and select to save it and view it later!!!
      6. Now, you don't have to baby sit the OE program, you can select many different movies and all of their parts, let it D/L the bodies, even sign off, just come back to OE, the parts are now on your harddrive, select them and combine them at your leisure.

***You will want to review your preferences in the TOOLS, OPTIONS, MAINTENANCE section, you may want to set them to NOT Delete the messages or bodies when you exit or shut down OE, that way if there was a partial post of pieces of a video, you can keep those parts in OE, then get back on line later, access the next batch of headers and perhaps find the missing parts, then combine them.

Now, after you have accessed a NG, found all the movies you wanted, you will want to do some Maintenance to clear out the OE cache of headers for your NG since it may NOT automatically delete them according to your preferences settings, so again, TOOLS, OPTIONS, Maintanance, then select CLEAN UP Now, then Browse to your specific NG, select it, then when it comes back to the next screen, select to DELETE messages and bodies.  You may also want to select CATCHUP if there are like 30,000 messages in a NG according to the info bar at the bottom stating how many messages to download, vs. read, etc.  ABME gets quite a few.  Well, that's OE in a very large nutshell, but these are some of the things I felt you should keep in mind when handling your NG messages!!!
    Good Luck and happy D/Ling.

Thanks to Chuck99 Here's another way to go about it:

1. Make sure you have all the sections, including part one, 01/xx, downloaded.
2. Sort by author/poster.
3. Click on section 1.
4. Shift-Click on the last part.  All the sections will be hi-lighted.
5. Put your mouse pointer on any hi-lighted section and right-click your mouse.
6. Choose Combine and Decode from the menu that drops down.
7. In the next box insure that the sections are in the correct order. Rearrange as required.
8. With all the sections in the correct order, click OK.
The decoded clip is in the next box that comes up.

More from Chuck99 on ". NWS" segments -
Now you may have to deal with a multipart message - when you find a extension of ".NWS" to file segments you save individually.  If OE couldn't "Join and Combine" them, they weren't encoded for posting with either UUE or Base64.  All binary files, pictures, vids, programs etc. must be encoded into text format in order to post to Usenet. What you see in OE are the resulting text files.  The most popular encoders are UUEncode and Base64, and Agent, other newsreaders or OE will
decode them properly.

1. Have ALL the segments saved somewhere on your hard drive
2. If you haven't already, install UUDEVIEW for Windows.
3. Make copies of your original NWS files to the folder you installed UUDEVIEW in.
4. Run the program.  It should see your files.
5. Add the files to the right-hand pane in UUDEVIEW with the Add button.
6. Choose Preview.  The proggy will report whether or not it can decode and combine into a viewable clip and what it will be named.  If it can you'll have a button to Decode.
7. If it can't identify the encoder used, you may as well delete the files and forget about it unless you know who posted it and can contact them to find out what they used.
8. Once you've got the clip and have viewed it, delete the NWS files to save hard disk space.
One of my favorite responses about OE was posted by YaHosna. I've left the ///// ah, bad words out, but the remainder is a clear explanation of how to:

Dumbass programs, such as OE, consume massive amounts of swap space and memory to do a very trivial task that could be pipelined. In Outlook Express, you can't get it to work in the efficient way, so you need the workaround.

Now, the workaround:
1) The trick is to create seperate manageably sized binaries that you can later combine in DOS to make the full file.
2) If you were to examine it, segment 001/533 of Rocker's post has this line (without the quotes) just before all the uuencoded data:
"begin 644 TheGangbangGirl20a.avi"
I had to put the quotes around it, for reasons you'll see.
3) If you create a new post with the following as the LAST line in the body, with nothing below it (again without the quotes):
"begin 644 partial[xxx-yyy].bin"
You can post it to the group that contains the massive number of segments.
4) The subject of the post is irrelevant, but if it's alpabetically just before the subject of the threads in question, your life will be a little easier, but it's not crucial.  Actually, it can be anywhere above your other subjects; below them is what makes more effort.
5) Now, you will find that you can combine/decode the first 100 segments of Rocker's post by just highlighting segments 001-100, then doing the combine/decode procedure.  If your newsreader won't do this (because it complains of not finding the remaining 433 segments) then you're screwed, and you need a new newsreader.  Agent, for example, will complain about an encoding error without telling you what the problem was.  The binary that it produces is OK, but you wouldn't know it from Agents message, would you? This does work in OE, I've done it many times. Anyway, save that file with the name "gbg20[1-100].bin", for example.  OE will want to save it with Rocker's original filename, which would be somewhat misleading, as it implies a full file.  So just change the name.
6) Now highlight segments 101-200, as well as your special hacked post that you created/posted in step 3.  Make SURE that the special hacked post is at the TOP of your list of segments to join! Do the combine/join/decode procedure, and OE will want to save it as "partial[xxx-yyy].bin".  You will probably want to change that name to "partial[101-200].bin".
7) Repeat the procedure for segs hack+[201-300], hack+[301-400], hack+[401-533].  The trick is that as long as the "begin 644 partial[xxx-yyy].bin" line is at the very end of the hacked post, then it will contribute 0 bytes to the result, but provide the info neccessary for the newsreader to decode the uuencode data in whatever segments follow it.  I know this works in Outlook Express, and I assume it will in Agent, (but you probably don't need to resort to this with Agent.)
8) When done, you should have several files that can be combined in DOS with a command like: copy /B gbg20[1-100].bin +partial[101-200].bin +[...] gbg20Full.avi
The final file name of gbg20Full.avi can be changed to Rocker's original filename. The /B is CRUCIAL.  All will be screwed without it.
The world will stop spinning.
9) You will probably want to delete/compact in OE to keep your .dbx file from getting too large.  Do this after each partial.bin that you save.  You'll have to redownload the hacked post, but oh well it's small.  I found that OE always crashed if a .dbx file got too big, always at the same size.  Plus it takes forever to combine/decode these things in OE because of typically lame MS programming techniques.
10) By the way, had I not quoted the "begin 644..." line above (at least when it begins a line) then in this very post of mine all this text below it would have been intrepreted as uuencode data.  It would have screwed things up royally.  There's noting magical about newsgroup articles - they are comprised of 100% simple ascii text.
11) I will post a hack post like I described above to the abme group for everyone's use.  Hopefully it will be sorted above all the others, but I might screw up.  I used a filename inside it of "partial[xxx-yyy].bin". Sort your threads by subject, and look at the top or bottom.   If I mess up my alphabetizing, then you'll have a little more clicking and dragging to do (especially dragging) to arrange it properly in OE's combine/decode dialog.
12) Outlook Express has some features that I like, but it's such a poorly written program that I would encourage you to try others.
Agent is very slow, and seems to be single threaded, single conectioned, although that's only apparent on a broadband connection.
News-grabber has some very annoying bugs like being completely unable to read incomplete posts. All segments must be present.  It also occasionally gets bogged down in some posts, causing CPU utilization to spike, and DL speed to slow to a crawl, for reaons I haven't determined.  It also can't post articles at all (by design), only DL them.  So you need Agent as well.  The followup to news-grabber (called Zeonews) is more bug than program so far, so I reccomend avoiding it.    -YaH

Netscape News 
Again, why use these difficult tools with Free Agent is free?
1. Copy all the messages into a netscape folder.
2. Open the folder.
3. Select all <ctrl+s >
4. Save as 'filename.uue'.
5. Then open the .uue file with winzip.
6. Use winzip to combine, decode, and extract the avi file.
7. Then use WMP to view the avi.

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