How to Upload Binary Files to the Usenet

This guide contains the bare essential information you need in order to begin posting. The three most common systems are covered: Mac, Linux, and PC Windows.

If you own a Mac, here’s what you need to do: Get Unison for both downloading and posting. Drag and drop the files you want to post, set the “Segment files larger than” to 10 or 15 Meg, set “PAR2 Redundancy” to about 20%, name the par set, and click upload. Period. Unison will save the parts and the par files in case you want to re-up a single file of the posting. It gets no simpler.

If you run a Linux box, obtain newsposter script for linux. You do nothing but answer some quick questions (what newsgroup, Title you want to give it, what to name your archive) and it does all the rest. Nothing else to have to fiddle with. You can obtain the latest version of this script from alt.binaries.multimedia.documentaries. Check in that newsgroup for the latest version, or write to the author at email address: coffee one seven seven at comcast dot net.

If you own a PC, then the following is intended for you.

Two freeware utilities help you post files: QuickPar and PowerPost. They are really essential.

PowerPost A&A V11b:
http://powerpost.cjb.net (official URL – watch for popups)
http://powerpost.free.fr (alternative URL, may change – no popups)

QuickPar:
http://www.quickpar.org.uk

Drop your source file into Quickpar. Set the Quickpar options as follows. ‘Limit File Size’ to 10,369,536 and ‘Block size’ to 327,680. Set the recover blocks to between 5 and 10 percent, or slightly more if you feel generous with your bandwidth and time. These parameters have been shown to result in good completion rates on many popular servers.

Check the box that says “Split Files.” This will cause QuickPar to split up large files into more manageable sizes for upload and download. Next, click “Create,” and QuickPar will split your file into multiple parts for easier and more reliable posting to the Usenet. It will also create Par files which allow recovery in cases where blocks are missing.

In PowerPost, set the ‘Max Lines’ to 2560.

All parameters for various programs are listed here:

PowerPost: Default Max Lines Per Part: 2560
QuickPar:
Limit size to: 10,369,536
Preferred Block Size: Exact: 327680
Restrict blocksize to multiples of Usenet article size: On
Split Files: Checked

There are other programs used by certain posters. JAS is a file splitter still being used by some people. You can use it to split and splice multiple parts of a file, even though QuickPar can also do that. Thus, many people today feel that JAS is obsolete. However, due to some posters failing to use QuickPar to split their files, it may be necessary to use JAS to combine a file that was split with JAS. Life would be easier all around if posters abandoned JAS and just used QuickPar to make splits. WinRAR is an archival program used primarily for compressing software and very large files such as movies. Note that compressing an already compressed file format, such as jpg, mp3, and most video formats, may result in a larger file size, rather than a smaller one. Only use WinRar if you expect considerable savings in file size.

If you use JAS or WinRAR, the options should be set as follows:

JAS: Options/Split: Part Size: 10,369,536 Bytes
WinRAR: Split to volumes, bytes: 10,369,536

N.B. Many posters deviate from the above recommendations, which are just that: recommendations, borne of experience. The bottom line is getting your post, intact, to as many eyeballs as possible, without having to repost. A secondary objective is efficiency, i.e. minimizing the time it takes to perform the upload. If you discover you get better results using other numbers, then have at it!

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