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Newsgroups and LeechGuy ...

Update: NewsGuy increases download limit to 30 Gb!!!

Downloading file from the Internet is not always as easy as it seems... where can I get the files?

Most files (MP3's, Warez, Software, Movies, etc) can be found in the Usenet Newsgroups. However: it's very hard to find a good Newsserver (NNTP) that support the so called alt.binaries.* groups ...

Companies like NewsGuy offer you full access to all of these groups using a web-based interface. But downloading files here is cumbersome. LeechGuy fixes this ... NewsGuy is relatvely cheap: $14.95/month or $99.95/year (= $8.33/month).

Friendly request, for supporting WeetHet in covering hosting costs:
When subscribing to the NewsGuy services,
please mention "WeetHet" at the referred field.

Note: These services are NOT FREE, but inexpensive anyway ...

  1. NewsGuy:
    - limited to 30 Gb per month
    (additional bandwith can be purchased),
    - maximum of 6 simultanious downloads
    - very good retention (the articles remain available longer!)
    - supports yEnc!.


Mention WEETHET when signing up with NEWSGUY

FlashGet - The ideal companion for LeechGuy



Page overview

LeechGuy - or how to download Usenet files

LeechGuy, written by Marcel E., is the (almost) perfect tool for downloading files placed in Usenet newsgroups. It facilitates the DNR interfacing which brings us to a big plus and a little minus.

Note: regular News-Servers use NNTP interfacing (like Outlook Express does). LeechGuy is not compatible with regular NewsServers! Only web-based news-providers are supported!

The first plus
is that you can access newsproviders like NewsGuy which brings us to the little minus: you have to pay in order to use it. Like I said: a little minus, the about $8 ($99.95/year, or on a per month basis: $14.95/month) a month is well worth it !

I'd actually suggest using NewsGuy. NewsGuy does limit the daily downloads to maximum 30 Gbyte (6 simultanious downloads).

IF you subscribe to NewsGuy, please mention WEETHET!

An other plus: these news-provider (from now on refered to as NewsGuy) do not cut out the less legal newsgroups like alt.binaries.warez, alt.binaries.mp3 and alt.binaries.movies.

Also: they don't cut down the message size. Some regular news-servers cut down the size to (for example) 250 Kilobytes, therefor killing the fullsize file attached to the message and thus rendering the message useless.

Yet another plus: the DNR interface is faster. Each file you wish to download is decoded back to regular binaries instead of larger uucoded or mimed messages. Downloads are simply MUCH faster.

So if you plan to do a lot of downloading (and YES there are a lot of usefull files out there !) from the Usenet Newsgroups: JOIN NewsGuy NOW and start using LEECHGUY.

Where to get LeechGuy ?

Well, simply download it at LeechGuy's website, or directly here, it's freeware (ain't this cool or what !?).

Note: this manual is based on version 2.0 beta, this page will be adapted to a new version if needed.

Setup LeechGuy

This is a point where you should pay attention.

The setup is simple, once you know how it's done.

  1. Download LeechGuy
  2. Unzip the file ZIP-file to a directory where you want LeechGuy to stay (for example C:\Program Files\LeechGuy)
  3. Double click LeechGuy.exe to start LeechGuy (you might want to make a shortcut first), then this page appears:

LeechGuy - Cool tool for downloading files from newsgroups

Setting Preferences

So LeechGuy has been started, now it's time to do the settings. In this manual I assume you will be using NewsGuy as the news-provider.

Click "File" - "Preferences...", the following screen should appear:

LeechGuy Preferences ...

Account Tab

Although initially designed for NewsGuy the settings allow you to use it for other providers too, like EasyNews.

At the field "News Service Provider" you select the news provider you wish to use. For example "NewsGuy Extra" (which is the regular NewsGuy account).

In the field "Retrieve by" you can selected (optional) the order of messages appearing. For example by Subject, Author or Date.

I can only advise you to use LeechGuy in combination with FlashGet, if you do want to use FlashGet, then please set "Downloads" to zero. LeechGuy does has it's own download facilities - used if Downloads is not set to zero.

Finally enter your Username and Password here and click the "Add"-button.

If you are a member of multiple services, then you can enter these here too by repeating this sequence.

Proxy Tab

Note: Most users do NOT need a proxy - if that is the situation, the make sure that "Use a proxy server" is NOT CHECKED! And continue witrh the next tab (the Download Tab).

Check "Use a proxy server" if you want to work with LeechGuy in combination with a proxy (Internet by Satellite users or users that use LeechGuy at the company that uses a proxy for browsing the web, need to enter the proper proxy here!).

TIP: To make life easy on you check "Get proxy settings from registry".

Manual configuration is very well possible too, but if you're like me hopping from proxy to proxy to get the max speed, you'd go for the option where LeechGuy figures out the proxy himself.

Don't forget to check "Require proxy authentication" and enter both username and password incase this is needed for the proxy you are using (for example a company proxy or Internet by Satellite).

LeechGuy - Proxy settings ...

Download Tab

Here you can enter default download settings, like download-path, etc.

Copy these settings show below if you're going to be using FlashGet. The advantage of FlashGet is that it offers a more reliable, faster and more flexible way of downloading files.

Downloads etc. are set to zero so LeechGuy will not start downloading by itself. The "Default path" is irrelevant when using FlashGet:

LeechGuy - Downloads ...

Queue tab

The default settings are OK here, specially when using FlashGet.

LeechGuy - Queue management

Click "OK" when done.

Getting the files you want

Now LeechGuy is setup for starting your first download.

Note: setup FlashGet too if you plan to use FlashGet for downloading the files!

Just for the purpose of an example:
let's assume you want to download movies (avi/mpeg/whatever) from the newsgroup alt.binaries.movies.

Here's what to do:

1. Select the service you wish to use

Let's say we want to use NewsGuy, select "NewsGuy Extra" from the "Service" menu.

LeechGuy - Select the DNR service you wish to use ...

2. Select the newsgroup you wish to see

In the field "Newsgroup" you can type the name of the newsgroup you wish to retrieve, in our example you type "alt.binaries.movies".

Note: Once a particular group has been entered and used, LeechGuy will save it. Later you can quickly access these groups by using the dropdown box.

LeechGuy - Select to newsgroup you wish to retrieve

3. Start getting the headers op the articles.

Note: if you have retrieved another newsgroup before (ie. if the "Articles" box is not empty) you should click the "Clear" button first to avoid confusion!

Now click the "Go" button (next to the "Newsgroup" field).

LeechGuy will now start to retrieve all the headers of the articles currently in this newsgroup.

Note: This operation can be cancelled by clicking the "Cancel" button!

Note: in the lower right corner of LeechGuy you will find a small Windows. This window has been added by Marcel for his personal debugging while developing LeechGuy. For us users, we can read some of the actions. For example, after clicking the "Go" button a brief notice will appear here indicating that retrieval has been started:

LeechGuy - Debug Window

In case something goes wrong (for example: "Invalid password" or "Unknown User"), you can read that here too.

4. Wait ...

Now we have to wait for the results.

You will notice that LeechGuy is done when

  • The "Cancel" button get's grayed out
  • The text "Done retrieving headers" appears in the little debug window

The "Articles" box is now filled with article headers, ready to be selected. The list remains empty incase there where now downloadable files in this newsgroup!

LeechGuy is done retrieving the article headers

5. Select the files ...

In the "Articles" box you can now select the files you want. However, before you start you will need some additional info on the icons placed in front of the headers.

LeechGuy - Incomplete article
This article is INCOMPLETE and cannot be downloaded
LeechGuy - Tagged article - Ready for download
This article has been tagged and has been added to the queue ready for download
LeechGuy - Article already has been downloaded
This article has been downloaded or copied from the queue to the clipboard (ie. FlashGet)
LeechGuy is doing the download by itself
This article is being downloaded at this moment by LeechGuy itself!

Note: An article can become incomplete! So you cannot download this one ...

Now select some files just the way you are used to do in the Windows Explorer.

In order to tag them for download either by double clicking the article header, right click one of the selected files and select "Download" or go to the menu "Article" and select "Download".

Once tagged for download this icon appears in front of the selected: Artice has been tagged and added to the queue

Select all the files you want. Keep in mind though that movies for example are rather large (usually 600 to 1600 Mb per movie) and are commonly split into multiple files (usually RAR or ZIP). You will need all these files to get a complete movie! So select the files themovie.r00, themovie.r01, themovie.r02, themovie.r03, ... themovie.rnn and themovie.rar.

Rar and Zip files can be unpacked using WinRar!

Sometimes these files come with so called PAR (.par, .p01, ... etc.) files, enabling you to recover a missing file. Download these too! Tools like FSRAID or SmartPAR are needed!

Now it's time to start the actual download.

We plan to use FlashGet for this. FlashGet is capable to read the tags form LeechGuy. There is a little bug though: when just one file is selected, FlashGet will not register this one. You'll need to go to FlashGet and select "Paste URL" to start this single file to download.

To start the download (FlashGet must be running) right click the box "Queue" - select "Copy Queue to clipboard" from the popup menu:

LeechGuy - Ready to copy to FlashGet

If everything is done properly, FlashGet will appear with a window similar to this one:

FlashGet's response to LeechGuy's Copy Queue to clipboard ...

Select "OK" here and FlashGet responds with a new window with a lot of setting-possibilities (which we definitly are going to need!):

FlashGet settings for this new download

Required settings - DON'T change other settings:

1. Save To:
You can change the directory to download to here - this is not required.

2. Proxy:
Make sure the proper proxies are selected here (see FlashGet setup). Most users work with the default "Direct Connection", but Proxy users must select the proper proxy here!

3. Split file:
For maximum performance change the to somewhere between 1 (= not split) and 10.
I found 6 (limitation of NewsGuy) to be a good value.

4. Login to Server:
In order to authenticate you as a NewsGuy user, you will need to check this and enter your username and password here.

5. Start:
If you want to: you can check "Immediately".

When done setting these values click "OK". Now FlashGet will ask you if you'de like to use these settings for all the files, answer this by selecting "Yes" in the dialog. Downloading will start now.

When returning to LeechGuy you will notice LeechGuy - articles being downloaded for the files copied to the clipboard. Communication between LeechGuy and FlashGet is done using the clipboard.


Some tips to make life a bit easier ...

  1. When looking for a particular article, you might want to use the search function (CTRFL+F or click LeechGuy search button)

  2. You can click on the headers in the Articles box to sort the articles, either by name, filename, date, poster, etc.

  3. Articles can be removed using a Filter. This can be done by clicking the Filter button (LeechGuy Filter button). The neat thing about this filter is that it by default removes the articles that mathc the criteria you enter. By checking the option "Inverted", all articles except the ones that match the criteria, are being deleted.

  4. I made a little INI editor for LeechGuy - Read this page for details.



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