Newsgroups explained (using newsleecher)

Introduction

Newsgroups allow you to download stuff. Like torrent sites, only you have to pay. Advantages are that the speed at which you can download is the maximum speed attainable with you internet connection. The second advantage is that you do not have to upload or share files to gain more download speed as is the case with torrent sites (peer 2 peer)

What are newsgroups?

Newsgroups is a collection of mailboxes with a name. The mail in the mailboxes is different from normal mail: they contain files. News refers to postings, groups refer to the "directory system" in which they reside. All the important groupnames start with the name "alt.binaries", and end with the category of file types that are in it. For example "alt.binaries.e-book" is likely to contain files (messages or postings) that are e-books

What do I need to do?

The idea

The picture below schematically diplays the type of interaction the points mentioned above play in the process of connecting to newsgroups. The steps involved are:


Subscribe, you will get a username, password and connection information

Nothing to explain here. Just get the information (user, pwd, connection info) from you mail.

Install and configure newsleecher

Installation: click ,yes, yes, ok ..ready.

Configuration: ok here is the first tricky part! After installation start newsleecher, click options. The dialog shown below will appear, for simplicity I ll just show my config (the ones that matter) and explain:




Firewall (not shown here) may be an issue, you will have to resolve this one on your own (configure newsleecher and/or your router and/or windows)


This one is important but speaks for itself


This one is also important: check the misc options to automatically invoke newsleecher when needed


This is useful:allow newsleecher to automatically create subdirs to separate files; otherwise your download directory will soon be a mess.

Now the server configuration: You should see some tabs like this:

MAKE SURE YOU SELECTED THE TAB LABELLED " MANAGER " before you do the next: select usenet-->Manager-->Servers-->Add New Server conform displayed below


This will popup:

Additional settings tab: I did not change anything here.

You have now successfully configured newsleecher. There are a lot more options, find out what they mean if you want to, but this configuration should allow you to start downloading.

Find the files you want to download, create a nzb file that loads in your leecher software

Ok here is the next trick: getting files to feed into newsleecher: go to a search site. For example www.binsearch.info When choosing the next search, results per page, maximum age of post, you will get a result:

before explaining what this search results in, an explanation of "maximum age". Since we are looking at a sort of mailbox, messages (aka postings, files) will have a certain posting age. Old mail is deleted. Less old mail will download very slow. Fresh mail/postings will download fast. The age of posting that will be downloadable differs per provider (eweka, giganews). Eweka allows postings up to 100 days old to be downloaded comfortable. Older postings are below the binsearch text that says:

The posts below were posted a long time ago.
Use a premium usenet provider to download them.

Now to the next step: how to use this website. This is one of the "hits" I got (this changes, so dont worry if you cant find the exact match):


The first part shows a checkbox, check it if you want to download this posting. First there is a file description "(Cyril Pereira - The Revenge of Glory -- Jamendo - - 2007.06.08 [www.aEton.nl].part1.rar) [159/303] - "Cyril Pereira - The Revenge of Glory -- Jamendo - - 2007.06.08 [www.aEton.nl].part1.rar" yEnc (1/24)". It tells you we are dealing with multiple files (collection), there are 162 parts available.

Sometimes some parts are missing. MAKE SURE ALL PARTS ARE AVAILABLE OR YOUR DOWNLOAD WILL BE INCOMPLETE!

It also tells you the file is 99.71 megabytes. DVD's are 4 to 5 Gigabytes. The text above tells you more than the title. It sometimes provides additional information (TC means telecine, meaning someone made a video of a movie, resulting in poor quality. subbed means the movie has subtitles.. Find this out for yourself. It can happen that you make some mistakes (meaning you downloaded poor quality or other formats or whatever: trail and error is my motto here.
The next part show you who posted this. Click on the hyperlink to see what this person posted (PowerPost 2006 by aEton.nl), this might be interesting (If this person posted the music you were looking for, he likely posted more you will also like)
The final part shows how old the posting is. In this case: 43 days (make sure it is not too old (>100 days))
Fill in the checkboxes for all the stuff you need, and click on "create nzb", then "save as" or "open":

If all goes well, leecher will startup and start downloading. When this does not happen it can be done manually by saving the .nzb file, opening newsleecher, file-->open and selecting the file, or just drag and drop in the queue tab in newsleecher. It may happen that newsleecher is not connected to your configured server automatically. In this case, click on the upper left icon "connect". If newleecher tells you it cannot connect (check the error log tab), you might want to dig deeper in the server configuration part described earlier. In the tab "queue" you can see what newsleecher is downloading.

Quickpar the files, unzip et voila

Quickpar? ... yes quickpar... Since you are downloading at superfast speeds, newsleecher does not bother to check if all went well. To avoid data errors, some algorithmic technique (very interesting, check McKay's free online book "Information Theory") is used that calculates extra "par" files which are included in your download to REPAIR failures. If you do not use quickpar, you will lose about half of your large downloads to data errors! This is the site to download the software: http://www.quickpar.org.uk/
This is it:


configuration:


Furhermore you need to install winrar. Do this yourself.
Something more about quickpar: try to see this as some weird winrar.
Now that you have found the file, quickparred it, unpacked it, you can start using the files. Lot of DVD's come as .iso files. I recommend that you install alcohol 120% to "simulate" a dvd player
Have fun, and do not use this text to do anything that is illegal.