This section of the User Guide covers topics that are related to more advanced usage of Newsbin.
Using Multiple Servers
If you have multiple servers available, then Newsbin will make it easy to use them all in parallel.
Adding an Additional Server
- From the Menu, select Options -> Servers. This will bring up the dialog for adding/deleting or editing servers.
- Click on the "New Server" button. This will bring up a little dialog asking you to give the Server Name. Use a descriptive name for this server. This is what will be displayed in the Servers and Connections tab after the server is added.
- You are also asked if you want to "Copy Settings from Server". If you specify an existing server then its settings will be copied across as initial values for the new server. Leaving it blank will cause default values to be used.
- Enter the Server Address. This is the news server address specified by your news service provider or your ISP if they provide a news server. It usually looks something like "news.yourisp.com". If you get this wrong, you will get connection errors and a message in the Logging tab to the effect of "address not found".
- The port defaults to 119, which is standard for NNTP. You normally don't need to change this unless you plan to run on an Alternate Port or through a Tunnel.
- If your news server requires a login (every pay service does, most ISP's do not) then check "Requires Login".
- Enter your Username and Password if your news server requires it.
- Sthe "Connections" to the number of simultanteous connections you want NewsBin to use. Most services have a limit, the average is 4. You should only use as many connections as needed to get your highest line speed. Using more than you need unnecessarily wastes your news server resources and could actually result in slower download speeds due to the extra resources on your computer needed to maintain all the connections.
Other options in the Advanced tab are explained later. When you complete your server settings, hit the OK button then look in the Connections tab to make sure the server successfully connects. If it doesn't, look in the Logging tab to see what errors are occuring.
There are several reasons you may want to connect to your news server on a port other than the standard NNTP port, which is port 119.
- Conflict with Anti-virus software
- Firewall conflict
- Internet Provider limiting speed Usenet traffic.
Many news servers, including Astraweb provides Usenet access on alternate ports that are set aside for different protocols like telnet, mail, web, or proxies.
Before changing your port number, first check with your news service provider to determine which alternate ports they support. Astraweb supports ports 23 and 80 in addition to the standard port 119 for example. If you are running SSL, the standard Usenet port is 563. Astraweb supports port 443 as an alternate SSL port.
Changing your port number:
- Click on the Servers button to display the "Server Options" screen.
- Click on the server entry in the "Servers" Column so it is highlighted
- Enter the port number in the "TCP Port:" field.
- Hit OK
- Exit NewsBin
- Start NewsBin
Check your Connections tab to make sure the server reconnects. If there are problems, check your Logging tab for clues as to what is wrong. You may have to configure your firewall to allow Newsbin to have outbound access on this port (depending on the type of firewall you have).
NewsBin allows you to configure a server to not download headers but still be available to download posts either using headers from other servers or, with NZB files. Turning on "Slave Server" in the Advanced section of the Server Properties puts the server into that mode.
Uses for Slave Servers:
- Less time spent Downloading headers.
- Reduce storage requirements on disk for headers.
- Reduce memory usage when a post list is loaded.
- Servers that count header downloads towards your total download limit.
It is normal to use your best server to download headers. This would normally be the one with the longest retention. This ensures that you have as complete a set as possible.
Setting a server as a "Fill Server" under the Advanced properties of the server tells NewsBin to only use this server if no other servers has a specific post (chunk). NewsBin will try every other non-fill server in your server list and, when all else fails, will use a Fill server. This is most effective if you choose a high quality, long retention server to serve as backup if your primary server (like the one from your ISP) is missing some critical posts.
Note that if you have an account with your high-quality server which is unlimited (i.e. you do not pay additional fees if you download more) then it is not worth setting it as a fill server - simply use it all the time. In such a case you may wish to forgo using any low retention servers such as those typically provided by many ISP's
Uses for Fill Servers are:
- Maximize use of free servers and use pay servers only if needed.
- Limit use of servers with download limits.
- Limit use of servers where you pay accoring to the amount you download.
If you want the best in Service and retention to use as a Fill server then we recommend Astraweb as a high quality service to work in addition with your ISP's news service. If you want a basic fill server to act as a backup to a free or ISP news server, then Astraweb is a good candidate as it offers block accounts that do not expire.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) connections are used if you want the connection to your News Server to be encrypted.
Reasons you might want to use SSL connections are:
- You would like the extra security provided by encrypted connections.
- Your ISP uses "Traffic Shaping" to limit the speed of connections to news servers, and SSL allows this to be by-passed. Note however that the use of SSL is not guaranteed to by-pass traffic shaping as it depends on the exact technisques being used.
Once SSL is enabled, every connection to this server will be encrypted with the same technology used to provide security for websites. SSL for Usenet is also referred to as NNTPS. Most commercial News Servers now offer SSL as an option (sometimes at an additional charge). Astraweb which was mentioned earlier offer SSL support.
If your News Service supports SSL connections then you can enable SSL for the server using these steps:
- Right-click on the server entry in the Servers tab.
- Select "Server options"
- Click the checkbox next to "Use SSL"
- Set the Port to 563. This is nearly always the the value used for SSL although it is possible some servers might allow alternative values.
- Click OK
- Close and restart NewsBin
To verify SSL is turned on, you will see a "Lock" icon next to the server entry in the Servers tab and in the Connections tab (Version 5.32 and above only). In the Logging tab, if you have "Show Server Commands" enabled under Options/Network, you will see a message like this:
11/27/2006 14:10:38 MODULE=InterSocket, MSG=SSL Connection Server: ssl.astraweb.com Stats AES256-SHA 256 Bits Version: TLSv1/SSLv3
Note that Giganews offers a product that its users can use called the "Giganews Accelerator". If you use this product then it will handle the SSL aspects, so simply set up Newsbin as you would for a server that is not SSL enabled. Newsbin will then use an un-encrypted connection to talk locally within your machine to the Giganews Accelerator, and the Giganews Accelerator will then use an encrypted SSL connection to Giganews. Note that with Giganews you also have the option of not using the Giaagnews Accelerator and simply using Newsbin's inbuilt SSL support to make SSL connections.
Limiting Connections that can be used for Headers
Very often users ask if they can stop a header update using all the available connections, and keep some dedicated to downloading files. In extreme cases this can go as far as having only a single connection being used for handling header downloads and all other connections being dedicated to downloading files.
You can use manual intervention to move the file download tasks above the header download tasks in the Download list, but most people want some automated way of achieving the desired results.
A way to achieve this is to take advantage of Newsbin's facilities for handling multiple connections and proceed as follows:
- Set up 2 instances of a server with the available connections split across the two instances. The total number of connections across the server instances must not exceed the maximum your account allows.
- The First instance is set up a Master server that is allowed to be used for downloading headers. This server instance is given the maximum number of connections you wish to be allowed to be used for downloading headers. When not downloading headers these connections will be used for downloading files.
- The second instance is set up as a Slave server and will thus use headers downloaded from the Master server. This instance is given the remaining connections, and these will only ever be used for downloading files.
A slight extension of this technique is to also set the first server instance to be a Fill server. This will mean that it is not used for normal file downloads. This can be of particular use if you want to track the volume of the headers downloaded as the figures for this instance of the server then apply only to headers.
Opening a different Configuration File
Newbin version 5 does not allow you to open a different configuration file once NewsBin is running. Newsbin v5 has implemented many features that should remove the need most people had to maintain different configuration files in earlier versions of Newsbin. Newsbin incorporates a check that will not allow you to run two instances of Newsbin on the same machine using the same configuration file. If you try to do this you will get an error message stating that there is already an instance of Newsbin running.
The default behavior in Newsbin is to always open the last configuration file used. The Newsbin configuration files will have the file extension of .NBI. You can always tell which particular configuration file is in use by an instance of Newsbin as it is displayed in the Title bar at the top of the Newsbin window. If you are not sure of the location of the current configuration file, then one way is to select the "Save Configuration As" option from the Newsbin File menu. This will open a Save dialog preset to the current location.
If you really have a situation that requires different configurations, there are two ways to open NewsBin with a specific configuration file:
- Launch NewsBin from the NBI File: Close NewsBin, use Windows Explorer to navigate to the NBI file you want to use, then double-click on it to launch. If you have Nero installed, the .nbi file may be associated with Nero BackItUp. If this is the case, you need to either right-click and select "Open With..." to launch with NewsBin or, manually change your windows association for .NBI files.
- Pass the NBI filename as a parameter: Create a shortcut to NewsBin then go under the shortcut Properties and type the full path to your NBI file in the "Target" field. For example
"C:\Program Files\NewsBin\nbpro.exe" "C:\Documents and Settings\Dexter\Application Data\Newsbin\NBConfig.nbi"
Recovering or Rebuilding a Configuration File
If Newsbin is closed unexpectedly while it is running, like if your system crashes or, gets rebooted due to a Windows update or something, Newsbin could lose its configuration file. The file may be gone forever or, it could still exist but, Newsbin just forgot where it was. Here are the steps to recover:
- Search your hard drive for Newsbin.nbi files (assuming you didn't change the configuration file name).
- If you find multiple files, launch Newsbin with each one until you find one that has the configuration you remember by double-clicking on the .nbi file.
- If you can't find your original configuration you will need to rebuild your Configuration file.
To rebuild a configuration file, you will need to get your news server information including the news server address and the username and password. These are not provided by us, these are issued by your news service provider. If you don't remember who it is, check your credit card statement and see who has been billing you every month for service. If you aren't paying for service then, you may be one of the lucky people who has an Internet provider who still includes Usenet access in their service. You'll need to contact them for the news server information. We have a list of many ISP news servers here.
Steps to Rebuild your Configuration File
- Start Newsbin
- Click the Servers button
- Add your news server information and click OK
- Click the Options button
- Click the Open Data Folder Button
- Navigate into the Spool_V6 folder
- You should see a bunch of folders named after newsgroups.
- Click the Add Groups button and add each of the newsgroups
At this point, you should be able to continue using Newsbin and you will still have access to any previously downloaded headers. If your SPOOL_V6 folder is empty, it could be that you have a different Newsbin Data folder. If that is the case, search your hard drive for files having a .DB3 extension (or .RV2/.RV3/.RV4 files if running an older version). If you find a bunch then, that would be your last active Newsbin Data Folder. Use this procedure to change your configuration file to point to this folder and then continue the steps to rebuild your configuration file.
In general, you should back up your Newsbin.nbi file periodically. Version 6 has extra safeguards to prevent losing your configuration but, if Newsbin is shut down unexpectedly, there is still a chance the configuration file could be damaged.
Changing the Newsbin Data Folder location
The Newsbin Data folder is where Newsbin stores all its working files and databases.
Upon installation, the Data Folder is placed in the user's Local Appdata folder. There are times when users want to move the Newsbin Data folder to another location, typically to another drive on the same computer. This could be for a number of reasons the commonest of which are:
- You are running out of space on the drive that currently holds the DATA folder, so would like it to be at a different location.
- You have just upgraded from XP to Vista or Windows 7. If you were using the default location for the Newsbin DATA folder area on XP (under the Documents and Settings) area, then you will find that this area has silently been set as Read-Only during the upgrade. Newsbin will therefore start to misbehave until you move the DATA folder to somewhere where write access is allowed.
The steps to achieve this are:
- Make sure you know where your current configuration file is located. The name of the current configuration file is displayed in the title bar of the Newsbin main window. If you are not sure of its location then using the "Save configuration As" option on the Newsbin File menu is probably the easiest way to find out its location.
- Make sure you know where your current Data folder is located. If you are not sure you can find out by pressing the "Open Data Folder" button on the Newsbin Options->Setup dialog.
- Exit from Newsbin.
- Load the configuration file into a text editor. Notepad will do fine, but feel free to use any alternative. It might be a good idea to make a back-up of your configuration file before you change it in case you make a mistake.
- Find the DataPath variable under the [Settings] section and change it to the new path you want to use.
- Move all the files that were in the old path to the new path.
- Double-click on the .nbi file to launch Newsbin using these changes. This way, if you moved the .nbi file too, Newsbin will remember where it is when it starts the next time.
Resetting the User Interface
While the user interface is very configurable in Version 6, it is possible to get it into a state where you can't figure out how to get it back to the way it started. There are two ways to reset the GUI, either by re-running the installer and select the option to reset the user interface or, delete the workspace.xml file from the Newsbin Data Folder.
Steps for deleting the workspace.xml file:
- Open Newsbin
- Click on the Options button
- Click on the "Open Data Folder" button (Windows Explorer will then open)
- Close Newsbin
- Delete workspace.xml from the Newsbin Data folder (from the window opened in step #3
- Start Newsbin
Using Multiple Newsbin Configurations
The vast majority of people will only need to ever use a single Newsbin configuration. However there are a small number of people who want the ability to use multiple configurations. Reasons for this can be varied, but examples might be:
- Different configurations are used at different times of the day.
- Two instances of Newsbin are to be used in parallel. These may use different servers, or perhaps just different groups within the same servers.
You cannot have multiple instances of Newsbin running using the same configuration file. It is not possible to change the configuration file from within a running instance of Newsbin. It is possible, however, to launch Newsbin to use a specific configuration file. There are several possible ways to achieve this:
- Starting Newsbin each time by double-clicking the appropriate configuration file
- Create shortcuts to each configuration file and use these to launch Newsbin. This relies on the windows file association between .nbi files and Newsbin.
- Creating shortcuts to the Newsbin binary to start Newsbin that specify specific configuration files as parameters. This works even if the windows file association to .nbi files is changed for any reason.
Note that if you want to run multiple instances of Newsbin at the same time they should have different DATA folders or unpredictable behavior may occur.
Backing up Newsbin
A question that users regularly ask if what Newsbin related files should be backed up in case a disk crashes, or perhaps if you want to move Newsbin to another machine keeping your settings intact.
To do this you want to make sure that the following are backed up:
- A copy of the Newsbin software so that you can re-install it if necessary.
- A copy of your Newsbin registration information. This is stored in the Windows registry which is not that easily backed up, so in a recovery situation you will need to re-enter it.
- You Newsbin configuration file (the one with the .NBI file extension). This stores most of your configuration information such as server details, subscribed groups etc. In a recovery situation you can double-click this file to launch Newsbin with the configuration information contained in the file.
The location of this file is under user control, but many users like to store it in the folder that is the DATA path to keep all Newsbin's working files together. The Default location for this file is 'C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\newsbin'.
- The files at the location specified as the DATA path under Options->Setup. If you have not changed the DATA path from its default value then it is probably 'C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\newsbin', but it is easiest to use the button on the Newsbin Options->Setup screen to find where it is as it can vary with different versions of Windows. You definitely want files that are at this level, but do not necessarily want files that are in the sub-folders of this location. Files that are of particular interest (they may not all always be present) are:
- filters.db3 which contains your current filters
- downloadsV2.db3 which contains the download list, failed files list and wish lists
- downloaded.db3 which contains the files list
- downloadmarker.db3 which keeps track of which headers have been read/downloaded
- autopar2.db3 which contains details of files from the AutoPAR tab
- groups.db3 which contains your groups list.
- signature.db3 which contains the current signature cache values for previously downloaded files. This is used as part of the duplicate detection mechanism.
- You may optionally want to consider backing up the SPOOL_V6 sub-folder under the DATA path location. This would back up all your downloaded headers, and status information relating to these headers. Alternatively you may well decide that if necessary you will simply redownload headers and therefore not bother with backing them up. If you also have a SPOOL or SPOOL_V1 folder at that location it is no longer used - that was used by versions of Newsbin prior to the 6 release.
- The Read posts folder that contains copies of any posts that you have read using the "Read Post Body" (CTRL-R) facility if you want to keep such messages.
- The Images sub-folder is used to store the Image database entries if you make use of this facility.
- GuiItems.db3: The Newsbin window and tab sizes and positions are stored in the file GuiItems.db3, and this is stored under the User Profile (e.g. 'C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\newsbin') although the exact path varies according to the version of Windows you are running.
There is a small amount of display related information stored in the Windows registry under the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\DJI Interprises. None of this information is critical to Newsbin running, and backing up/restoring registry entries is deemed an advanced topic that the average user would not want to get involved in attempting to carry out, so it is not covered in any detail here. Advanced users might wish to examine this information and decide if they want to try and include any of it in their Newsbin backup.
Copying Newsbin to another computer
Newsbin stores a minimal amount of information in the registry, so it is relatively easy to copy Newsbin to another system keeping the settings and information intact. The steps involved are:
- Install Newsbin: The Newsbin software needs to be installed and registered on the target machine. Note that the terms of the standard Newsbin license allows you to install the software on up to 3 computers (typically something like a home machine, a work machine and a laptop). If you intend to run a beta release you will need to first install the last production release, and then upgrade to the beta release.
- Copy the data folder over: The folder set as the DATA location under Options->Setup in Newsbin is the place where all the Newsbin working files are kept. Copying this across from the old installation to the new installation keeps all this information intact. This will include the files described under the section above on backing up Newsbin. Whether you also copy the sub-folders depends on why you are making the copy of Newsbin.
- Copy the layout file over: The Newsbin window and tab settings are stored in the file Guiitems.db3, and these needs to be copied to the location 'C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\newsbin' on the new computer if you want to use the same settings as on the previous one.
- Copy the Configuration file: The Newsbin configuration file keeps all your important settings such as the groups you are subscribed to; the servers you use; and all the settings that are set via the Newsbin Options dialogs. This file will have a .NBI file extension and the name is displayed in the Newsbin title bar. The location and name of this file is controlled by the user, so you need to find where you have put this file. Some users like to put this in the same location as the DATA path but this is not a requirement.
- Set folders: The chances are that you will want your Newsbin files in a different location to that on the original system. See the section V660-Advanced#Changing_the_Newsbin_Data_Folder_location earlier on how to change the DATA folder. You can use the same technique to change the DOWNLOAD path as well.
Note: Changing the DOWNLOAD folder only changes it for new items that you queue for download - it does not change those already queued. If they have already started downloading then you can no longer change the path. If an item has not started downloading you can right-click the entry and use the option to assign a new path.
- Start Newsbin: The first time you launch Newsbin you want to tell it to use the configuration file you copied rather than try and create a new one. The way to achieve this is to launch Newsbin by double-clicking the .NBI configuration file that you copied earlier. This is only required the first time you launch Newsbin - on subsequent launches Newsbin will remember the last configuration file you used and default to that one if you do not provide a specific configuration file at Newsbin launch.
One thing that is not copied is the column widths in the various tabs. These are stored in the registry so copying the settings across (although technically possible) is normally not worth the effort - it is easier to reset them as required on the target machine.
CAUTION: The path specified in a download list is not changed by changing the DOWNLOAD folder as described above - the change is only used for queuing new items. To change existing entries you need to explicitly right click entries in the download list and select the Download to Folder option to mke the change.
Upgrading from Newsbin for Giganews
If you are a Newsbin for Giganews user upgrading to the full version of Newsbin, your configuration will not be picked up automatically. The Newsbin for Giganews version is considered a separate application from the full version. It is possible to have the full version use your Newsbin for Giganews configuration if you follow this installation procedure:
- From Newsbin for Giganews, click on Options then "Open Data Folder"
- Look for the .nbi file in the data folder that matches the .nbi file listed in the title bar of the program.
- Close Newsbin for Giganews but leave the explorer window open so you can see the .nbi file.
- Download Newsbin version 6 beta from our beta download page
- Run the installer using default settings and be sure to read the release notes.
- Go back to the explorer window containing the Newsbin for Giganews configuration file and double-click on that file to launch Newsbin. It should now have your original configuration but, you'll be running the beta version. To verify, the title bar should no longer say "GNews" in it.
Some functions that have either been needed for troubleshooting, or have been requested by users have been implemented through configuration file settings and are not available via the Newsbin user interface. This was done for functions it was decided would not be widely used, didn't justify cluttering the user interface, could not be changed while Newsbin was running, or were confusing for new users.
These settings are changed by either manually editing the Newsbin configuration file using a Text Editor, or alternatively by edting Windows registry entries using the Registry Editor. Each entry below tells you the method to use.
NOTE: The changes discussed in this section must be made while Newsbin is NOT running.
If you look at the status bar you'll see "Cache X/200" This represents the number of blocks of data in the cache. If it hits "0/200" (it's like a gas gauge). It means Newsbin has used up all of it's buffers and it waiting for disk IO to finish. That's a sign your disks are slower than your download speed. Either because they're busy, because they're just slow or because something is getting in the way of writing.
You can adjust the size of the Chunk Cache by adding a variable in the .nbi in the [Settings] section. NOTE: Starting with Version 6.40, this variable is in the [Performance] section:
The default is 100.
Memory Cache Limit
Version 6.42 and prior only
Files are downloaded and then processed by AutoPAR in RAM until the decoded file is written to disk, up to 20 MB by default.
Files larger than this setting will download to disk, the old way.
You can adjust the size of the Memory Cache Limit by adding a variable in the .nbi in the [Settings] section. NOTE Starting with Version 6.40, this variable is in the [Performance] section:
The default is 20. Setting MemCacheLimit=0 will turn it off.
If you want to reduce the priority of the unrar and repair process, set this to 1 under [Settings].
If you want use normal priority for the unrar and repair process, set this to 0 or remove the option.
This settings is available in Version 6 Beta 2 or later.
Logging Tab messages to disk
Newsbin writes various types of information (in particular errors) to the Logging tab.
In its default setting there is not that much information written to the Logging tab, so it is easy enough to examine the messages visually from within Newsbin itself. However if you are getting more detailed information written to the Logging tab, either because you are running a beta version with additional built-in diagnostic messages, or you have used the option to display Server commands, then you may prefer to get copies of these messages written to disk so that can be examined at more leisure.
This can be done buy creating following key
in the registry as type String where "LogFile" is the name and path of the logfile you want it to write to. Now when you start Newsbin all messages that are written to the Logging tab are also written to this file.
CAUTION: Newsbin will overwrite this file every time that it is started up, so if you want to preserve such log files you may want to write a batch file to launch Newsbin that first copies an existing log file to another name.
Free Space Limits
Newsbin monitors the free space on the drives set as the DATA and DOWNLOAD paths under Options->Setup. When these get below a predetermined value then Newsbin will put up a dialog indicating that it has run out of space. Many users have indicated that they would like to be able to set a much larger trigger value than that built into Newsbin. This can be done by creating an entry of the form
where xxxx represents a size in Mbytes to the [Filename] section of your Newsbin (.NBI) configuration file. As an example a value of 1024 for xxx would set a limit of 1Gb.
Header Download Method
Headers are normally downloaded in one block. For example if there are 600,000 new headers available, one NNTP command is issued to download all 600,000. NewsBin can also download headers in blocks of 50,000.
If you kill a header download, then it does not actually die until the current block has finished. Switching to using blocks of 50,000 headers means such connections are freed up more rapidly, but has the disadvantage that you cannot see how many headers in total there are to be downloaded.
This options was introduced so that if a header download was killed, there wouldn't be as many headers "in the pipeline". At the time, before unlimited usenet accounts became popular, many news servers were counting header downloads toward your total download limit so if you killed a 600,000 header download, you were still charged for the entire download.
To switch to the 50,000 block header download method, add
to the [SETTINGS] section of your Newsbin (.NBI) configuration file. Setting it back to 0 reverts back to the single large block method.
Newsbin Background Color
You can change the background color to gray by setting UseBackgroundColor under the [COLORS] heading.
Normal operation when the Image Database is enabled, images are written to the database and to disk based on your download path settings. To prevent the file from being written to disk, add this to your NBI file.
NOTE: If you DON'T have "ImageSafe" mode turned on, that means you LOSE the downloads.
NZB Path Cleaning prefix
Newsbin gives you the option to create folder names for files downloaded via NZB files where the folder name is based on the NZB Filename. In some cases the NZB filename has a standardized prefix that it is desirable to remove, and you specify this by setting the clean NZB path option under options->NZB Files.
The prefix is identified using a Regular Expression. The expression to be used can be set by creating an entry of the form:
to the [NZB] section of your Newsbin (.NBI) configuration file.
As an example the value that is used for one NZB site is:
TCP/IP connections have a timeout value for the case where no response is received from the remote end (the news server in this case). In most cases the default values built into Newsbin will be fine, but users with specific requirements may wish to set their own values.
This can be done by creating registry values with the names:
RecieveTimeout <-- yes, it is spelled wrong. TransmitTimeout
to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\DJI Interprises\Newsbin50\Settings key. The key should be created as a REG_DWORD and make sure you have it set to Decimal if you are entering decimal numbers. The numbers represent number of seconds. Note that a check is done that the values are not less than 20 seconds as lower values can cause even good connections to start behaving badly.
The default values built into Newsbin are equivalent to the following values:
RecieveTimeout = 300 TransmitTimeout = 60
and these are probably good values for general use.
Auto Assembly Timeout
Newsbin will not normally auto-assemble items that have very recently been posted to Usenet. This is in case these items are still being uploaded and will shortly complete. You can specify the time that Newsbin is to wait (based on the Posting date/time) before Auto-Assembly will happen.
To set the time that Newsbin uses for this, add
to the [SETTINGS] section of your Newsbin (.NBI) configuration file where n is the delay in hours.
The default value that is used if this entry is absent is equivalent to
which gives a delay of 2 days.
Automatic Processing of Downloaded NZB Files
This facility makes Newsbin automatically process any NZB files that are downloaded just as if they had been added to the Newsbin NZB Autoload folder.
To activate this feature, add
to the [NZB] section of your Newsbin (.NBI) configuration file.
The default value that is used if this entry is absent is equivalent to
which means that NZB files are not automatically processed after being downloaded..
Making Speed Limit Setting Persistent across Runs
The Speed Limiter is not persistent across runs. This is because people were forgetting it was turned on and kept submitting support requests asking why they aren't getting their full speed.
you can keep the speed limit setting persistent by adding this
in the SETTINGS section of the .nbi file.
Prevent Old Posts from being Loaded into Memory or Post List
There is an option allowing you to prevent old posts from being loaded into memory or the post lists. Disabling it bypasses this mode and a reload is required to see old posts.
To use this option, place this
in the SETTINGS section of the .nbi file.
Date of Files Extracted from RAR Files
Starting with 6.30, you can change the behavior for how Newsbin dates files extracted from a RAR archive. Many people want the files extracted to reflect the current date, which is the default behavior. To retain the original file date that it carries within the RAR file you can set
In the [AutoRAR] section.
Update: 6.50+ the default is now on to match WinRAR default settings. That means Newsbin will set the file timestamp to whatever the timestamp is in the RAR archive. It will not use the current time by default.
UnRAR without Repair
If the rar set is perfect, Newsbin will unrar without repair if EarlyDecode is set to 1 in the [AUTORAR] section.
[AUTORAR] EarlyDecode=1 ; default
If you want Newsbin to repair files into existence that might be missing from the rar set, even if all the other files are ok, turn this off.
Download to Folder named for Subject behavior
If you select multiple items for download, right-click, and select "Download to Folder named for Subject", Newsbin will use the subject of the first file in the list to create a folder, and download all selected files to the same folder.
Starting with 6.42, you can change this behavior to create a different folder for each subject of each file you have selected by setting
In the [SETTINGS] section.
This also applies if you are using the $(FILENAME) or $(SUBJECT) path variables.
Filter Headers Before they are added to the Header Database
Note: These instructions apply to version 6.72.
Update Jan 26, 2017: There is now an easier way in 6.73. Instructions here
There is a mechanism whereby Newsbin will filter out headers before they are inserted into the header database. This can drastically improve performance if you are downloading from a newsgroup that is getting flooded with spam that can be identified with a regular expression. The mechanism makes use of a filter profile and can act to either accept or reject matching subjects or posters. Be sure to escape any special characters with a backslash and to use regular expression syntax when creating the filters. You will then add a special entry to the newsbin.nbi configuration file to turn this filter on. The filter only works at the group folder level, for example the "Unsorted" folder is there by default. The filter will apply to all groups in the group folder.
Here is a step by step procedure to create a poster filter for alt.binaries.teevee (happens to be getting spammed while I'm writing this in January 2017)
1) Create a filter profile
1) Go under Options -> Filters 2) Click the "New..." button 3) Supply a name for your filter. For this example, I'm naming it KillThisPoster. Don't use spaces or special characters when creating this filter name. 4) Click the OK button 5) Single click to select your new filter on the left side of the Filter Options screen, in the Filter Profile section. 6) Select "Reject If" in the dropbox. The default will show as "Accept If" 7) Select "Poster Contains" in the next dropbox. By default it says "Subject Contains" 8) Enter a regular expression that will match the poster. Sometimes you can just use the exact poster name, or you can use a portion of it.
For example if the poster is "nEwZ[NZB] pr3d@NET.world" the regular expression would be "nEwZ\[NZB\].*firstname.lastname@example.org" (without the quotes).
Or you could simply use "pr3d@NET.world" (again without the quotes). Spammers may change posters so this may be a moving target.
You may be able to find a pattern in the subject to key off of too. You can enter multiple accept or reject statements but the more you enter,
it will start to degrade performance as this will be used against every single header you download for the configured groups. 9) Once you are happy with your regular expression, click the "Add" button. You will then see it show up in the list. 10) Click the OK button to exit the screen.
2) Figure out what group folder your group is in.
- If you are using the default Newsbin configuration, all your groups will be in the "Unsorted" group folder in the Groups list.
- If you have since created your own group folder, make sure the group or groups you want to apply this filter to are all in there.
- You can only turn this filter on at the group folder level.
3) Edit the Newsbin configuration file to enable the filter.
1) Go under Options -> Setup 2) Click the "Open Data Folder" button 3) Close Newsbin (Important! Any changes you make to newsbin.nbi while Newsbin is open will not be saved!) 4) Find the newsbin.nbi configuration file in the window that just opened up when you clicked the Open Data Folder button 5) Right-click on newsbin.nbi and choose "Open with", then choose wordpad or notepad, or whatever you use for a text editor 6) Go down to the [UNSORTED] section of the .nbi if your group is in the Unsorted group folder. If it is in another group folder,
there will be a section with the name of your group folder. 7) Add the following line below the section header: DownloadFilter=KillThisPoster 8) Replace "KillThisPoster" with whatever you called your filter profile earlier 9) Save the file, then start Newsbin again
At this point, you should be all set. This will keep any new headers matching your filter profile from getting into the header database. This will not effect any headers previously downloaded. You can either manually delete existing headers by loading the group, selecting the posts you don't want, and hit shift-delete to remove from the database or, it might be faster to just purge the group (right-click, select Post Storage then Delete Stored Posts) and re-download headers for the group.
Detailed filter usage can be found here
Tuning Newsbin for Performance
This section is about tips that can be used to optimize Newsbin performance. In the past the speed of the network connection has been the limiting factor, but with connection speeds of 200mbps and above becoming more common, there are more options to configure Newsbin to get optimum performance.
In test scenarios Newsbin has been able to handle sustained download speeds of around 400mbps. However this is under controlled conditions and achieving this on typical user systems may prove harder to achieve.
- Spread Disk Traffic: Newsbin is nearly always disk bound. To get maximum performance put the Windows Swap file, Newsbin DATA folder and the Newsbin DOWNLOAD folders on different physical drives if you can. Make sure that the drives are tuned for performance. USB drives or network drives will curtail performance.
- Virus Checker: Make sure that your virus checker is not scanning the Newsbin DATA folder and sub-folders. Ideally make sure it is not scanning the DOWNLOAD folder and sub-folders as well, but if you feel that this would be an unacceptable security risk then tell the Virus Checker to ignore files with the .nb2 file extension (which are partially downloaded files). In addition make sure that your Virus checker is not scanning network packets as this puts a very heavy load on the system when downloading at high speeds.
- Network Speed: What speed is your local LAN. If it is only 100Mb that could well be a limiting factor. Also Wireless networking will severely curtails performance.
- Pictures: If downloading pictures and you want to increase speed, then thumbnails should be turned off as producing them is processor intensive,
- GUI overheads: You often get speed increases if the Download tab is not in the foreground. This is particularly noticeable if running Newsbin via remote control software.
- Connections: You should not use all the connections available to you. This might seem a bit counter-intuitive, but it is because news servers tend to be a bit slow in making connections available for re-use if Newsbin closes and then re-opens a connection. This can result in errors being reported on such connections and this causes Newsbin to have to do re-tries which slows things down. You only need the amount of connections required to use your full bandwidth. Using more can cause to other issues and wastes system resources.
- Chunk Cache Increasing the Chunk Cache size will help ride through times when disk I/O is the bottleneck, such as during an unrar or repair process. If you consistently see the Cache counter in the Status bar go to 0 (i.e. 0/100) then you may benefit from increasing this.