Allnews Tips and Tricks sorted by update date

This document is Copyright (C) 1995-2002 Mike Read.

Mar 16, 2002

  • Version 1.36 is available both in 16-bit (Win3.x) and 32-bit (Win9x/NT). This is expected to be the last 16-bit version released.

  • AllNews supports a variety of proxy protocols. This is useful to those who have set up a LAN with a single modem connection to the internet and wish to use AllNews from a different machine, or who wish to use an open proxy server to disguise his IP address or work around IP address screening.

    To set the default proxy server settings, select Config | Comm. If you wish all (or most) of your servers to use these proxy settings, set the "Connect using proxy by default" checkbox. You can override these settings for individual servers. Enter the proxy server's name or IP address in the "Name" checkbox, and enter the port number. Some proxy servers may require a login id and password to use their services. Anonymous connection is often allowed by using the login id "anonymous" and an email address (supposedly yours) as the password. Enter the appropriate settings as per the server and protocol requirements.

    The configuration for each server contains similar fields. Here you may override the defaults set above, for the requirements of this server.

  • Within the list of posts, there is a status indicator for each post. The following are the indicators and their meanings:
           D       post has been deleted (only visible in "Show Deleted" mode)
           M       post has been marked
           F       fetch has been requested for post
           x       post was reported "expired"
           X       post has been fetched; content is available
           L       post has been fetched; length is inconsistent with directory
           d       post has been decoded
           %       decode has been requested for post
           0       file contains 0 bytes
    new>   H       (HUGE) post is much larger than reported by NNTP server
    new>   h          same as 'H', but post has been decoded
    new>   I       (INCOMPLETE) post is much smaller than reported by NNTP server
    new>   i          same as 'I', but post has been decoded
    new>   L       (LENGTH error) an illegal or inconsistent 'length' field was
    new>              encountered while decoding this post.
    new>   l          same as 'H', but post has been decoded
    The '0' tag (zero bytes in file) usually occurs when the disk containing the temporary files becomes full, or there is some severe communications error. Files with this tag should be "Refeteched" (select from the right mouse button popup menu).

  • Running multiple instances of AllNews

    You may set up more than one shortcut or icon for AllNews, giving a different startup directory for each. Each instance uses its own configuration file (CONFIGS.DAT). The config file identifies the locations of all the other files used by AllNews. Each instance should use a different temp files directory (Config | Files | Temporary Files), as there will be conflicts with several of the *.DAT files stored there. The other output directories may be the same or different, as desired.

  • Sep 9, 2000
  • Version 1.35 is available both in 16-bit (Win3.x) and 32-bit (Win9x/NT). This is expected to be the last 16-bit version released.

  • Under some circumstances, you may wish to "refetch" a list of articles (such as when AllNews continues to fetch posts after the disk is full (I know, I'm working on it)). This can be done by selecting the list of posts you wish to refetch, clicking the right mouse button (RMB) in the articles list, and selecting ReFetch from the popup menu. This will clear the "Fetched" indicator, delete the post body (if present), and schedule it to be fetched.

  • Sometimes it is inconvenient to resize a document in the MDI window. RMB in the articles list and the session status window will popup a menu that includes Minimize/ Maximize/ Restore selections. Minimize reduces the indicated window to an icon within the MDI window. Maximize enlarges the indicated window to fill the MDI window. Restore returns the window to a size that allows multiple windows to share the MDI window.

  • AllNews has a Connection Timer that allows you to set Start time, Stop time, or both. To set AllNews to connect and begin its activities at a later time, select File | Set Timer or the main toolbar icon that looks like a clock.

    If AllNews is not currently "Connected" (the "Go" toolbar button is not depressed) the Set Connect Timer menu allows you to set the time at which AllNews is to connect. Once the timer is set, you may request headers, fetch posts, etc. The actual activity will take place when the timer expires. The status window indicates how much time until the timer fires. You may also schedule an End Time by setting the checkbox.

    If AllNews is currently "Connected" (the "Go" toolbar button is depressed) you may only set an End Time. Once the End Time is reached, activities in progress will be allowed to complete, but no more commands will be sent to the servers.

  • You may select different fonts for the display of articles lists and posts. Select Group | Defaults | Properties to set the default font used in all articles lists and article bodies. The currently selected font is shown, and the Select button allows you to change the font to any other font currently installed on your computer.

    To set the font used for the articles list and posts within a specific group, select Group | Edit | Properties, and click on the font Select button, as above.

    You may change the font used to display the post (or email) being read or constructed by clicking the right mouse button (RMB) in the body of the document, then selecting Change Font from the popup menu.

  • AllNews supports the SOCKS 5 proxy protocol. This may be useful to those who have set up a LAN with a single modem connection to the internet and wish to use AllNews from a different machine, or who wish to use an open proxy server to disguise his IP address or work around IP address screening.

    To set AllNews to use a proxy server by default, select Config | Comm, and set the "Connect using SOCKS5 proxy by default" checkbox. Enter the IP address and port of the proxy server, and the login id and password, if these are required to connect. Anonymous connection is often allowed by using the login id "anonymous" and an email address (supposedly yours) as the password.

    The servers are configured in the usual way, except that you must check the "Connect using SOCKS5" checkbox. You may also override the default proxy server here.

  • AllNews can help in searching for servers that carry a specific group. Use telnet to directly access the news server without using a newsreader program. Good telnet programs can be download from most download utilities websites. Most Windows 9x/NT computers provide a "telnet" command line program that can be invoked from the DOS box (from your desktop select Start | Programs | MS-DOS Prompt).

    Connect to your favorite news server (usually on port 119). Set telnet to log the session to a file. Enter the following commands:
       S:  201  NNTP server Version x.y (posting ok)
       C:  AUTHINFO USER <userid>
       S:  381 PASS required
       C:  AUTHINFO PASS <password>
       S:  281 Ok
       C:  GROUP <groupname>
       S:  211 ttt lll hhh <some text>
       C:  XHDR message-id lll-hhh
       S:  1424410 <NewsPostTest.07-28-2000.120015@newstest>
       S:  1424412 <8lske3$n44$>
       S:  1424413 <964759213@random-pc>
       S:  .
       C:  QUIT
    "S:" indicates a line sent by the server. "C:" indicates a line you type in and send to the server. Servers are not generally case-sensitive. Upper case is used here to emphasize the required data you input. Lower case (with the exception of "message-id", which IS case sensitive for some servers) is used to indicate information you customize for your session.

    The two AUTHINFO commands are omitted for servers permitting anonymous login ("Login Required" not checked in the server configuration). userid and password are the same as in the server configuration. groupname is the name of the group you are interested in. The server's response to the GROUP command indicates the total number of posts (ttt), the lowest message number (lll) and the highest message number (hhh) in the group. The last two numbers are entered in the XHDR command after the "message-id" token.

    Stop the telnet logging. In AllNews, select Servers | Reserve | Test New List. Enter the name of the log file captured in the telnet session, above. The list of messageids (which are typically derived from the name of the server to which the article was first posted) is then evaluated, as any other list of open servers would be.

    To look for servers that support the IHAVE protocol, the "path" header may be more interesting, as it lists the servers that handled the post. Other headers and/or groups may be included in the same session, if desired.

  • Feb 19, 2000
    Some newsgroups, particularly those whose purpose is posting entire CDs, may receive 10,000-15,000 posts daily, accumulating over 100,000 posts in a week. This large number of posts presents some performance problems in AllNews.

    One of the features of AllNews is that it retains a record of the posts that have been deleted, to prevent them from reappearing when encountered on another server, and to allow easier recovery of deleted posts. This large number of posts can significantly increase the amount of time required to sort and manipulate the list of posts in the group.

    You can effectively reduce the number of posts in a group by "Killing" posts that you know will not be of any interest to you. Select "Kill Posts". Set Action to Kill. Apply to | All posts will also remove any Deleted posts. It is important to set Retain Kill Rule to some setting such as 1 week, to prevent the post from reappearing when it is found on another server. When a post is to be sorted into the list and a kill rule of action kill is found that selects that post, sorting is skipped and the post is discarded. This makes the sort noticeably faster. This also reduces the size of the index files for the group.

    Kill Posts initially comes up with the information that applies to the selected post. With a large number of posts displayed, locating the selected post can be time consuming. Clicking on Kill Posts without any post selected skips the first step, at the expense omittng the information associated with a post. You must then enter then text for Subject: or From:.

    If you change your mind about killing some posts, you can still recover them. Click on KillFile, and delete the rule(s) that applies to the set of posts you wish to recover. Select Group | Edit | Servers. Double-click each server you wish to check and set "Highest Article Read" to 0. Select Group | Edit | Servers, select the servers you wish to check, and click on Get Headers. AllNews now retrieves the entire list of posts for the newsgroup from each of the selected servers and sorts them into the list of posts. The desired set of posts will now appear, along with any others that had rolled out of AllNews cache of deleted posts.

    Dec 12, 1998
    A lot of new stuff in this version. Win95 modem DCD detection and interoperation with autodialers, Confirmations (aka "Training" the newsreader), More disk drives, DCD and Clock indicators on Status Bar, and more. A detailed discussion of these features is presented here.
    If a post or email is not successfully sent, Query it for more information on why it failed.

    Oct 10, 1998
    You can temporarily disable the use of a server by double-clicking on any channel that is accessing that server in the Status window, then marking the "Disable server" checkbox. If less than 10% of the post has been received, the connection is closed and the receive of that post is aborted. Otherwise, the remainder of the post is received. No further activity for that server will be scheduled. Alternatively, you may check "Disable all servers". This is helpful for an orderly shutdown. Of course, you could simply hit the "Exit" button, and cleanup would occur the next time AllNews is started.

    Aug 30, 1998
    A lot of new stuff in this version. OutBox, EMail, server, decoding and posting properties, and more. A detailed discussion of these features is presented here.

    Mar 7, 1998
    Some posters are adding multiple attachments with name collisions. If auto decode fails, try Manual | "Increment filename to unique".

    Feb 14, 1998 -- Major upgrade.

    Installation section added.

    Feb 15, 1997 Initial release