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Slyck's Guide To The Usenet Newsgroups
Posting to the newsgroups is not complicated once you are familiar with how the newsgroups work. It is generally considered fine to not ever post to the newsgroups if you want, this is one of the few mediums where leeching is not just welcome but encouraged! However, if you feel that you owe the scene something for all that it has given you and you are driven to give something back, then this page should help you get started. We are going to walk through the process of posting a media file from start to finish:
Tools You Will Need - The Easy Way
1) QuickPar
2) yEncPoster
3) Cool Beans nfo Creator (optional)
Step 1. Split the File and Prepare the PAR2 Set
Before we begin, let's take a look at QuickPar's options. You can reach this window by clicking "Options" on the main QuickPar consol.
Figure 1: QuickPar Options...
1) Click "Integrate QuickPar into Shell" so QuickPar integrates into Windows.
2) Check "Repair Automatically" so QuickPar will begin the repair process once it has enough recovery files.
3) This value is important. Most news servers won't accept anything larger than 3,000 lines, so leave this as is. It's also important because you want this value to match the article size that your posting software will use (in our case, yEncPoster). As long as the PAR2 block size is 3,000 lines, and our article posting size is 3,000 lines, we'll never have to download additional PAR2 files when one will do the trick!
Now let's split that file...
The file we're going to post is Episode 6 of Slyck's Video Guide to the Newsgroups. This file (ep6.avi) tops out at about 43.4 Megabytes. We're going to use QuickPar for this step because it kills two birds with one stone - it will split the file and create recovery files. For this example, the first thing we'll do is take the video and split it into 15 Megabyte chunks. Make sure you set up QuickPar with the proper perameters:
Figure 2: QuickPar Continued...
1) QuickPar needs a file in order to work, so click "Add Files" and navigate to the location of the file you wish to upload.
2) Make sure "Split Files" is checked.
3) Limit size to 15 Megabytes. This is the general standard for anything 800 Megabytes or less. If you post something in the multi-gigabyte realm, 50 Megabytes is the standard.
4) Slide the "Source Block Count" dial all the way to the right. That will make sure the messages are small enough to upload onto the news server. If you click Options, you'll see that 3000 lines equals a block size of 384,000 Kilobytes. 3,000 lines is generally the size that most news servers will accept.
5) Keep "Restrict block sizes to multiples of UseNet article size" checked.
6) Slide the redundancy dial so that the recovery data size is slightly larger than the size we're going to split the file (here it's 15 MB). That way if any one split file is missing, we can repair/replace it with PAR2 files.
7) Click Create to start the process.
When the process finishes, navigate to the location where you instructed QuickPar to place the split files and recovery files. You should end up with an set of files that looks like the image below (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Split Files...
Step 2. Create the .nfo File
An .nfo file can be a simple text file that you type out in notepad explaining all the important information that you want to share with others about the post. There have been programs made that make life a little easier with the creation of these files, where you just add all the info into forms and it produces the completed info file for you.
Cool Beans NFO Creator Info
Current Version
More Info
Get the Cool Beans nfo Creator to make creating nfo files a breeze. After you fill out as much of the forms in this program as possible click on save and save it to the same directory that we have been storing our files in.
My directory now has the files as shown below. We now have almost all the files that we will be posting onto the newsgroup - we just need the NZB file. But we can do that with the posting software. Time to start uploading!
Figure 4: Just Need the NZB...
Step 3. Upload the Files
The last step is uploading the files to the usenet. Most news readers can accomplish this task, but as with many things a more specialized program that is made just for uploading binary files makes the task a lot easier. So the first thing to do is to grab yourself a copy of yEncPoster. This is a very simple program to use, and it even creates NZB files for you.
yEncBin Poster Info
Current Version
More Info
Step 1
Once the program is open, click "Settings" to enter your news server account information
Figure 5: Enter Your News Server Info...
There's a few things to do here, enter your news server address, username, password and connections (we selected 10). Also, remember when we talked about making PAR2 block sizes the same size as your article sizes? Here's the meat and bones of it - make sure this number is the same as the block size shown in Figure 1.
Step 2
Now it's time to add the files we want to upload. One the main toolbar, just click "Add Files". A new window will pop up, just navigate to where all your files are located. Once selected, click "OK". You'll be taken to the window shown in Figure 6 below. Give your contribution a subject name - something short, sweet and to the point. Also choose which newsgroup you'd like this to appear - we've chosen alt.binaries.test. Then click "Generate and Post a .NZB file...", then click "OK".
Figure 6: Choose Your File...
Step 3
Now it's time to upload. Just click "Start" - if you've entered your information correctly, you should see yEncBin Poster hard at work, as shown in Figure 7 below.
Figure 7: Uploading...
Did It Upload?
The big question of course is, did it upload? Well let's take a peak. We've fired up Agent, and lo and behold, there's our archive!
Figure 8: Successful Upload...
That's basically all there is to uploading a file to the newsgroups. Sure, it's a bit tough at first, but just work your way through this guide and it will become second nature in no time.
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