Newsgroup Reader – NewzToolz

The Newsreader can be opened by clicking the Newsgroups tab on the Main NewzToolz window, and then clicking the Read Group button.

Use the Group menu (and Server menu if you have set up more than one server) at the top to select your newsgroup. If you have previously downloaded any posts, they will be loaded into the list.

Clicking the Get New Posts button will download the most-recent posts. Clicking the Get Older Posts button will download older posts. So, normally when you setup a new newsgroup, you would first click the Get New Posts button. Then, if you wanted to see more, you would click the Get Older Posts button until you are done. The next time you run the program, you will want to see what new posts have arrived on the server, so you would click the Get New Posts button. These two buttons retrieve headers in batches, and you can change the batch size on the Settings window.

You can sort the list of posts by clicking on the column headers. To sort newest-to-oldest, click where it says “Date”. Click again, and the list will be sorted in the opposite order, etc. The columns can also be stretched wider or narrower by dragging the column-separator line in the list header, for example the vertical line between where it says “KB” and “%”.

To read a post, just click on it, and a window with the text of the post will open up. If the post contains a picture, another window showing the picture will also open. As you read posts, their color will change, and you can change that color on the Settings window.

As you read posts, they are automatically saved into the Cache folder, which is inside the NewzToolz folder. You can handle these files like any other files on your desktop. You can move them to different folders, delete them, etc. When you click on a post, NewzToolz first looks in the Cache folder to see if you have already downloaded the post. If so, it will load the data from there. If not, it will download it.

When you click the Get New Posts button or the Get Older Posts button, NewzToolz will show you a summary at the bottom of the window. The number of headers downloaded is not always the same as the batch size. If NewzToolz asks the server for posts numbered 1-300, the server may only return 295 posts. This is because 5 posts have been removed from the server for some reason – maybe they were spam. The Filtered number shows you how many posts were ignored due to the Cross-Post setting.

In the left column are the sequence numbers which are assigned to posts as they arrive on the server. These numbers roughly correspond to the post date.

Since the newsgroups were designed for small text messages, large files must be broken up into many posts. For example, a 4.5 gigabyte DVD would have to be split into thousands of posts. Such files cannot be viewed, and you must use the “Download” command on the Commands menu to download them. NewzToolz analyzes the headers you download and groups together ones that comprise files. If you click the “KB” header, the list will be sorted by size and you can quickly distinguish the large files from the plain-text posts. The “%” column indicates wether or not the file is “complete.” NewzToolz must know where all the parts are before it will allow you to download a large file.

For example, suppose that somebody just posted a file consisting of 1,000 posts. Then you go into that newsgroup, click the Get New Posts button, and NewzToolz downloads 300 posts. It will show the file as being 33% complete. When you click the Get Older Posts button, it will download the next 300 headers, and show the file as being 66% complete. Two more clicks, and it will be 100% and you can then download it.

Small posts are always shown as 100% complete because there is only one part to them.

The Commands Menu:

  1. The first four Mark-As commands will change the color of the posts. You can select multiple posts with the standard selection methods.
  2. The Clear Posts commands delete the posts from the program’s database file (NewzToolz.sdb in the NewzToolz folder.) You should use it on older posts that you are no longer interested in.
  3. The Reset Group command, clears all the posts from the group, but also tells NewzToolz to act like this is the first time you have entered the group. So if you then click Get New Posts, you will get the most-recent 300 headers.
  4. The Open Cache Folder command will open the Cache folder on your desktop. The Clear Cache command will delete all the files in the Cache folder. You should do this from time-to-time to keep the folder from using too much space, if you don’t have the Clear-Cache-On-Exit option turned on.
  5. The Download File command is only active when you have a multi-part post selected.