QuadSucker/News Tutorial (Streaming Download Mode)

(c) Scott M Baker / SB-Software


Purpose:

This file contains a tutorial on getting started with QuadSucker/News. This tutorial is tailored to the "streaming download mode" of QuadSucker/News which is the mode you'd use to download large numbers of files from newsgroups, such as when downloading images.

See Also:


When you first start QuadSucker/News, you will see the "Please Register" screen. Registering the software is important! It encourages the author to continue adding new features and it entitles you to a greater level of technical support. Wait for the shareware delay to expire and then click the "Press to Continue" button.

When you start QuadSucker/News for the first time, the Configuration Wizard should appear automatically. (If it doesn't, then hit the <Config> button).

The first page of the configuration wizard is just an information screen -- read over it and press the <Next> button.

Now you're looking at the Mode Configuration screen. The Operating Mode is one of the most important parameters you can set for QuadSucker/News. There are two options: Streaming Download Mode and Pick and Choose Mode. In this tutorial, we'll assume you want to use Streaming Download Mode.

The next page of the Configuration Wizard is the News Server Configuration Page. The settings on this page are particular to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) or News Provider. The setting you enter here must be correct for QuadSucker/News to operate correctly. You can sometimes get the settings from another news program on your computer that is configured to read news articles. If you are unsure of the settings, then you can always contact your ISP and ask them for the settings.

The Download Settings page holds the download directory setting. This is the directory (or "folder") where downloaded files will be placed. QuadSucker/News automatically chooses a default download directory and usually this is good for most people.

The Thread Settings dialog holds the number of threads. We recommend that you start with only two threads. Although QuadSucker/News supports up to five threads (4 message downloaders and 1 header downloader), sometimes a news server will limit the number of simultaneous connections that you can have open. Therefore, we suggest first starting with 2 threads, making sure everything works, and then incremementally moving up to 3, 4, and 5 threads checking as you go to make sure the news server doesn't have a problem with that many open connections.

The next page that the wizard will display is the "finished" page. This page thanks you for configuring QuadSucker/News and gives you some simple instructions to get you started.

Now that you're done with the configuration wizard, you'll be back at the QuadSucker main window. Since we haven't chosen any newsgroups to download yet, we'll do that now. Press the <Groups> button:

When you press the <Groups> button, the "Newsgroup Configuration" window will appear. This window contains the names of the groups that you want to download from. The list will initially be empty, and you'll need to add items to it by using the <Add> button.

When you pressed the <Add> button, the "Add Newsgroup" dialog should have appeared. The first time you enter the "Add Newsgroup" dialog, you'll need to download a Newsrc. The "Newsrc" is the list of newsgroups that are provided by your News Server. QuadSucker will download the new Newsrc when you press the <Refresh> button:

The Newsrc downloader will pop up a window to show the status of the download. There is a great deal of technical information that will be displayed in this dialog box. Most of it is not of any interest to you -- it's just provided so that in case something does go wrong, you'll be able to get some idea of what happened. In particular, if you notice any messages about being "unable to connect to the server" or "authentication errors", then it is likely you mistyped your server paremeters into the configuration wizard (in which case, you need to go back a couple of steps and re-enter that information).

The Newsrc downloader window will close automatically when the Newsrc has been downloaded, and you will return to the "Add Newsgroup" screen. This time, the group list will be populated with a list of available newsgroups. The best way to search for a newsgroup is to use the "search pattern" setting:

  1. Type a search string into the search pattern box. For this example, we'll use the string "aviation"
  2. This will cause the group list to list newsgroups that have the search pattern in them (in our example, all entries that contain "aviation")
  3. Binary newsgroups all start with the name "alt.binaries". We recommend sticking only with groups that start with "alt.binaries" as you're getting started since those groups always have files in them . In our simple example, we'll see one called "alt.binaries.pictures.aviation".
  4. Hilight the group you want to add (in our example, hilight "alt.binaries.pictures.aviation")
  5. Click the "Subscribe" button and a checkmark will appear next to the group that you hilighted, indicating you have now subscribed to it.

Below is a picture of the "Add Newsgroup" dialog, now showing that you've subscribed to the(in our example) "alt.binaries.pictures.aviation" newsgroup. When you're done adding groups, click the finished button:

Now we're back at the Newsgroup List. You can see that any groups that you have subscribed to (in our example, alt.binaries.pictures.aviation) have been added to the group list. Click the <Close> button when you're done working with the group list.

Now we're back at the QuadSucker/News main window. We've added some groups, so it's time to start downloading. Click the <Start> button:

Once the headers are downloaded, QuadSucker/News will automatically start downloading files from the Newsgroups. If you are downloading images, then thumbnails will automatically be displayed of the files as they are downloaded. If you're downloading other content (mp3 files, applications, archives, etc), then thumbnails won't be displayed.