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Message of the Day (MOTD) Archives

December 31, 2010, 12:00pm

Internet Search Maintenance Complete...

We have made some improvements to our Internet Search database.

1) All indexed groups are now updated every 10 minutes or so.
2) Added ability to specify one group to target in the search term.
3) Added ability to search for an exact phrase.
4) Improved search results when using size filters.

Read the Newsbin Internet Search Help page for information on how to use the new features described above.

If you are unfamiliar with the optional Newsbin Internet Search, you use it by clicking the Search tab within Newsbin and making sure it is set to "Internet". Everyone can perform searches but only subscribers can queue search results for download.

December 31, 2010, 7:30am

Internet Search Maintenance...

We are performing maintenance on the Internet Search database this morning. You may notice slower search times and possible intermittent down time. We'll post another announcement when we are done along with information about new functionality we have added.

This will only impact searches performed from the Search tab within Newsbin when in Internet mode. It will not impact your file downloads from Usenet. If you notice any problems, look in the Logging tab with Newsbin for errors.

December 15, 2010, 1:15pm

If you download headers from boneless...

You MUST upgrade to Version 5.59 if you download headers from alt.binaries.boneless and you are using Astraweb or Giganews. These servers have gone over 4 billion posts and 5.58 and earlier versions do not handle this correctly. Other servers and groups will hit this eventually so it would be a good idea to go ahead and upgrade anyways. This is a free upgrade for all registered users.

More info about the changes and download links are on the Newsbin Download Page.

December 10, 2010, 9:40pm

Version 5.59 Released...

Version 5.59 includes a minor, but necessary, change to handle newsgroups going over the 4 billion mark. We've also included some improvements to PAR processing that we've been working on in Version 6.

If you are using Astraweb, Giganews, PowerUsenet, Supernews, or Usenet.net, you will need to run 5.59 if you are downloading headers from alt.binaries.boneless.

More info about the changes and download links are on the Newsbin Download Page.

December 2, 2010, 4:00pm

Issue with newsgroups containing more than 4 billion posts...

Due to some ancient code, Newsbin fell on its face when a group got up to 4 billion posts. The symptoms are that when downloading headers from boneless, the total number of headers to be downloaded each time would increase. This currently is only an issue on Astraweb but other servers will hit this point too.

The good news is that we've fixed it and have a Version 5.59 available with the fix. We have not released it as a production version yet and are calling it a pre-release. You can download it from our Beta Download Page.

Version 5.59 is also inheriting some improvements in AutoPAR repair processing. Details are on the download page.

If you find other issues or have questions, you can either contact us through the Newsbin Technical Support Form or visit the Newsbin Forums.

November 8, 2010, 2:15pm

Anti-virus software conflicts...

We are getting more frequent reports of connection problems that have been attributed to anti-virus sofware updates. Most conflicts are with Avast and Kaspersky. We believe the issue is they are monitoring NNTP (Usenet) traffic but treating it like email. Email is mostly text or encoded attachments but Usenet traffic, especially if you are running compressed headers, is more like binary data and the anti-virus programs aren't handling it well.

If you are having conflicts, you'll see errors in the Logging tab that include lines like these:

SendCommand - failed to Read Response From server: Socket - Read From Server Failed
MODULE=Socket, MSG=Error: WSARecv Socket Error Code: 0:844

There are two possible fixes for this problem:

1) Configure your anti-virus software to ignore NNTP traffic. This means you probably have to tell it to ignore email since it's tied together.
2) If you are not running SSL and your news server supports alternate ports, change the port from port 119. Many servers support ports 23 and 80 as alternates. Check with your news service provider to see what they support. You change the port by clicking the Servers button with in Newsbin and entering the new port number in place of 119 on that screen. Then hit Ok and restart Newsbin.

If neither of these work for you, feel free to contact us through the Newsbin Technical Support Form and tell us who your news service provider is, what anti-virus (or Internet Security) software you are running, and what you have tried to do to fix it.

November 1, 2010, 3:00pm

Poll Participation Requested...

We are making progress on Newsbin version 6 and have a design decision to make regarding some options to speed up loading of stored headers. We'd appreciate your input on this poll to get an idea how many newsgroups people are actively monitoring. Feel free to respond even if you don't download headers and only use NZB's or the Newsbin Internet Search service.

We've also posted a message about the Status of Newsbin Version 6 if you are interested.

October 25, 2010, 10:30pm

Issue with 6 core machines found...

We've discovered that the AutoPAR repair function could hang on 6 core machines like the Intel i7-980. It comes down to one file included with the Newsbin installer, tbb.dll. If you have a 6 core machine, download an run the 5.58 installer to upgrade this file. Even if you don't have a 6 core CPU and you are not already running 5.58, you should upgrade to the latest version. It is a free upgrade for registered users.

Work on Newsbin version 6 is well under way and we currently have a usable version in use by our alpha testers. The user interface is being undergoing major surgery. We hope to have it available in a public beta test before the end of the year.

October 7, 2010, 2:15pm

Version 5.58 Released...

We have officially released Version 5.58 to address a few problems in 5.57 we decided were critical, though rare. One was a memory leak and the other was a situation where Newsbin could revert to downloading all headers on a regular header update.

Download link and more information are on the Newsbin Download Page. If you have any issues, please contact us through our Technical Support Form. Be sure to include a good description of your problem and a sample of the messages that occur in the Logging tab within Newsbin.

October 5, 2010, 10:45am

Astraweb Issues...

Two issues have been reported by Astraweb customers. If you are having problems downloading, click on the Logging tab and look for one of these issues:

1) If you are getting errors saying "unable to convert server name to internet address", you are using an old news server address. They have recently changed. Log in to the Astraweb Members Area to see what address you should be using.

2) If you are getting error code 10060, Connection Timed Out, try switching to port 443 if you are using SSL or port 8080 if you aren't. There seems to be an issue connecting to Astraweb on port 119 or port 563 (the default ports) from some ISP's. Change the port by clicking the Servers button in Newsbin, modify the port for the server, then hit OK and restart Newsbin.

You are always welcome to contact us through our Technical Support Form with any issues. Be sure to include a good description of your problem and a sample of the messages that occur in the Logging tab within Newsbin.

September 21, 2010, 9:00am

Common Technical Support Issue...

One of our more common technical support requests relate to connecting to the news server. The information in the Logging tab will give you a hint as to the problem. One common problem is forgetting to actually enter the news server address. When you add a server, Newsbin asks for a name to give the server, then displays the setup screen where you can enter the address, username, and password. If the address is not entered, it will default to "None". You will see this in the Logging tab if the news server address is not set.

Solutions to most connectivity problems you may encountered are covered in this FAQ.

You are always welcome to contact us through our Technical Support Form with any issues. Be sure to include a good description of your problem and a sample of the messages that occur in the Logging tab within Newsbin.

September 8, 2010, 8:25am

Internet Search Database Maintenance...

We are performing maintenance to the Internet Search Database today. There will be a few minutes of down time this morning where you may see some error code 500 messages. After that, searches will be a little slower than normal while the caches fill back up.

The maintenance is being performed to recover from an issue with the source of our header information which was causing incomplete file downloads. This only impacted files posted within the last 2-3 days. Everything should be fine now.

If you are still having issues, please contact us through our Technical Support Form.

August 20, 2010, 9:15pm

Newsbin Forums Upgrade Complete...

We have upgraded to the latest version of phpbb for the Newsbin Forums. The content is the same but it has a cool new look and a bunch of new features. If you already have an account, your same username and password applies. The forums are open to anyone so if you don't have an account, feel free to set one up. We do not automatically create accounts on the forums when you register for Newsbin.

We also officially released Newsbin version 5.57 last week. If you had downloaded RC2, there is no need to re-download this release, it is the same. If you are running any version prior to 5.57, we recommend that you go ahead and upgrade. This is a free upgrade for all registered users. Please address any issues or questions about Newsbin, Internet Search, or our forums by posting to the Newsbin Forums or contact us through our Technical Support Form.

August 6, 2010, 12:45pm

Newsbin Version 5.57 Final Release Candidate...

This is basically a rebuild of the last Release Candidate getting ready for production release. There is no "RC" designation in the title bar and this will be the production release unless some showtopper bug is discovered. We call it RC2 just to differentiate but it will become the production release.

Download 5.57RC2 from the Newsbin Beta Download Page. Please provide feedback on 5.57 or Internet Search through the Newsbin Forums or through our Technical Support Form.

July 27, 2010, 11:30am

Newsbin Version 5.57 Release Candidate Available...

A Release Candidate of version 5.57 is now available for download. It addresses a few bugs that were not discovered until after the wider distribution that occured after the production release of 5.56. The fixes include:

Other changes include:

  • Fixed issue where PAR files were getting added both to the download list and the PARs list
  • Fixed problem where "NA for NZBs" would get duplicated each time the "Load" dropdown was selected in an NZB Post list
  • Fixed problem with contents of loaded NZB files being hidden if the Storage Age was set newer than the posts represented in the NZB
  • Fixed issue converting NZB's to UTF-8. For example, German umlauts were not getting preserved.
  • Fixed issue where toggling "Show Filenames", the columnn resets to top.

Version 5.57RC1 is available for download from the Newsbin Beta Download Page. Please provide feedback on 5.57 or Internet Search through the Newsbin Forums or through our Technical Support Form.

July 15, 2010, 8:30am

Newsbin Version 5.56 Released...

Version 5.56 is now the official production release of Newsbin. The biggest changes were to support our new Internet Search database that matches Giganews retention of 700+ days. We now allow free searches for everyone but only subscribers of our Internet Search Service can queue search results for download.

Other changes include:

  • New pop-up screen indicating critical errors
  • Global Filters now apply to Search tab contents
  • Status column in Post List now shows number of files represented by each line.

Version 5.56 is available for download from the Newsbin Download Page. Please provide feedback on 5.56 or Internet Search through the Newsbin Forums or through our Technical Support Form.

July 5, 2010, 4:00pm

Cox dropped Usenet access on June 30...

We are a little late reporting this but, Cox Communications stopped providing Usenet access on June 30, 2010. If you were using their server, you will need to sign up for a 3rd party Usenet provider to continue using Newsbin. We have a list of our recommended news services on our UsenetTools site.

June 22, 2010, 7:00pm

Version 5.56 Release Candidate...

We are close to final release for version 5.56 which primarily has changes to work better with our new, improved Internet Search Service. If you run the Release Candidate, Internet Search is FREE until the final release, which we are planning for tomorrow night if no new issues arise.

You can download it from the Newsbin Beta Download Page. Please provide feedback on 5.56 or Internet Search through the Newsbin Forums or through our Technical Support Form.

June 11, 2010, 11:00am

Giganews World Cup Offer...

Giganews is offering a special promotion in conjunction with the World Cup. They are offering their unlimited Usenet service with 50 connections and 670+ days of retention for a special reduced rate. This is for new customers only.

We always recommend Giganews as the best Usenet provider available and our updated Internet Search Service has been designed to keep up with their incredible retention goals. If you've been thinking about switching your news service provider, check out Giganews.

June 9, 2010, 12:15pm

New Internet Search Server up...

Everyone is now using our new Internet Search Server as of today. You will enjoy over 650 days of retention (keeping up with Giganews) and should have better response time.

Keep in mind that search results are pre-compacted so, toggling compact view in the Search tab will have little effect. We also have a limit of 2000 files returned so, if you are hitting the limit, consider refining your query. It supports boolean searching similar to Google so you can do things like "findthis -blah" to find any post with "findthis" in the subject but without "blah" in the title. We will be writing some documentation on it soon.

If you notice that files are missing, you are getting unexpected results, or you have general questions about Internet Search, either post to the Newsbin Forums or use our Technical Support Form.

June 7, 2010, 10:00am

Switched back to original search server...

The old Internet Search Server was having trouble with increased weekend traffic but can handle weekday traffic. Since our new search server isn't exactly ready for prime time, we've switched everyone back to the old Internet Search server except Version 5.56 Beta users.

If you enjoyed your taste of the new server's much increased retention, you can still use it by upgrading to version 5.56B1. It is a free upgrade and is stable.

You can provide feedback and follow discussion about the new search server in the Newsbin Forums. For any specific questions, please use our Technical Support Form.

June 5, 2010, 5:30pm

New Internet Search Server Online...

Our old Internet Search Server is dying but, we've prepared a new Search Server with over 2 times the retention. Over 650 days. The server is still being tested but, with the old one dying, we needed to make it the main search server sooner than later.

Note: The Search Results are pre-compacted so, the Compact View option is no longer necessary and will not uncompact search results.

Version 5.55 and prior versions will work with it but, when you add a RAR set to the download list, all the PAR files get queued too. If you can't tolerate this, upgrade to 5.56B1. It is a free upgrade and is stable. We will be releaseing a Beta 2 soon with a production release to follow soon after that if all goes well.

You can provide feedback and follow discussion about the new search server in the Newsbin Forums. For any specific questions, please use our Technical Support Form.

May 31, 2010, 1:30am.

Internet Search Status...

To reiterate, version 5.56 Beta 1 exists to BETA TEST the new search service. There will be problems as we are very early in the development process. We keep getting complaints from people saying it's messed up when, we are looking for reports of how it is messed up so we can fix it. If you do not want to experiment with a beta quality service, stick with 5.55 which will give you the existing Internet Search Service. If you installed 5.56B1 and want to go back to 5.55, just install version 5.55 over 5.56B1 and you will be back to the original search service and all your settings will be retained.

Also, Internet Search for Version 5.35 is broken. This version is 3 years old and used the first iteration of our search interface. We will not be fixing this and recommend that anyone who is subscribed to Internet Search and still using version 5.35 upgrade to version 5.55. It is a free upgrade for registered users.

You can provide feedback and follow discussion about the beta test in the Newsbin Forums. For any specific questions, please use our Technical Support Form.

May 27, 2010, 9:00p.m.

New Internet Search Beta Testing...

We are testing a new Internet Search server that matches Giganews' retention of 650+ days. All registered users are invited to help test our new search service for free. If you download and install version 5.56 Beta 1, it has Internet Search enabled for registered users. Once we make 5.56 the production release, the free search will be turned off. Pricing will not change even though we now have almost 3 times the retention now.

You can provide feedback and follow discussion about the beta test in the Newsbin Forums. For any specific questions, please use our Technical Support Form.

May 4, 2010, 5:00p.m.

Updates to Online Help...

We are adopting a new format for our help pages. We now show a screenshot of Newsbin and you can click on an area of the image to learn more about that function. We are in the process of appying this wherever it makes sense. So far, it is in the Reference Guide and the Options page.

We are working on Version 6 of Newsbin now. Along with new GUI elements, we are working on making the download list smarter, to incorporate the functionality of the current AutoPAR tab. It is in the very early stages and should be entering Alpha testing with the folks on our IRC channel this month.

April 6, 2010, 11:30 a.m.

Version 5.55 Release...

We have officially released Version 5.55! This is intended to be the last of the Version 5 series as we are working on a new user interface for Version 6. This release is a free upgrade for all registered users. You can read a summary of changes and download the release from the Newsbin Download Page.

If you have any questions about this release, please post to the Newsbin Technical Support Forum or send a message using our Technical Support Form.

March 10, 2010, 9:00 a.m.

Version 5.55 Release Candidate Available 5...

This one will become the final release unless someone finds a showstopper bug. This will be the end of the Version 5 line and we have started work on Version 6 which will have a new GUI.

You can read the entire list of changes and download the release candidate from the Beta Announcement Page.

If you find any showstopper bugs or have any questions about this release, please post to the Newsbin Beta Forum or send a message using our Technical Support Form.

March 3, 2010, 7:00 p.m.

Version 5.55 Release Candidate Available...

We are just about ready to release version 5.55. We now have a release candidate available and are looking for feedback. It has a few last minute bug fixes as well as some changes to address some memory issues.

You can read the entire list of changes and download the release candidate from the Beta Announcement Page.

If you find any showstopper bugs or have any questions about this release, please post to the Newsbin Beta Forum or send a message using our Technical Support Form.

February 9, 2010, 1:45 p.m.

Version 5.55 Beta 10 Available...

We are looking for broader use of this 5.55 beta in hopes that we can make it the production version soon. Quade is itching to work on Version 6.0 which will have a new GUI.

You can download the latest beta from the Beta Announcement Page.

If you find any bugs or have any questions about this release, please post to the Newsbin Beta Forum or send a message using our Technical Support Form.

February 8, 2010, 12:30 p.m.

Header Download Issues Resolved...

We have verified that Easynews, Newshosting, and Usenetserver have implemented a fix for their implementation of the XFeatures function that provides compressed header downloads. If you followed our advice and disabled XFeatures while this problem was occuring, you can safely re-enable the XFeatures function so you can enjoy high speed compressed header downloads with these services again.

February 5, 2010, 2:30 p.m.

Header Download Issues with Several Usenet Providers...

There is a verified, repeatable issue downloading headers for some groups on the following services:

  • Easynews
  • Newshosting
  • Usenetserver

The symptom is, Newsbin will get stuck downloading headers for a group and the header download task will set in the download list making no progress. The problem is that we are getting an unexpected response from the news server when Newsbin requests headers over a range that has no records, only when the XFeatures protocol is in effect.

The solution, for now, is to disable XFeatures by clicking the Servers button in Newsbin then select "Disable XFeatures". This option only exists in version 5.54 and the 5.55 Beta. If you are running an earlier version, you will have to upgrade to disable XFeatures. Upgrades are free for registered users and, running the installer will replace your previous version and retain all your settings.

February 2, 2010, 3:50 p.m.

Usenetserver Header Download Issue...

We have been receiving reports ofissues downloading headers from Usenetserver. The symptom is, in some groups, header downloads will just stall out. Newsbin then retries the same range and gets stuck in a loop. If you click on the Logging tab, you'll see the same messages over and over. Sometimes, Newsbin may revert to a Download All and start downloading 120 million headers.

We have recreated the problem and found that this issue only happens if XFeatures is enabled and you are using SSL. The workaround is to disable either XFeatures or SSL in the Server Options screen (click the Servers button to get there).

We have contacted Usenetserver and are hoping they will be able to address this problem soon.

February 1, 2010, 9:45 a.m.

Issues with Kaspersky 2010 and Newsbin...

We are receiving many reports of connection errors which have been attributed to the new release of Kaspersky 2010. This forum thread on the Kaspersky Website represents the typical issues. Most Anti-virus software can cause the same symptoms so, it is the first place you should look if you are getting strange connectivity issues with Newsbin. The solution is to configure your AV software to ignore Newsbin and, if it has some "Internet Security" feature, tell it not to scan NNTP traffic if possible. Sometimes you can get around this by running on an alternate port if your news service provider supports it or, run SSL.

If you are having connection issues that still occur after disabling your AV software, you can post your symptoms to the Newsbin Beta Forum or send a message using our Technical Support Form.

January 21, 2010, 10:20 a.m.

Version 5.55 Beta 7 Available...

We've been beta testing version 5.55 for almost 2 months now and have something stable enough for a wider audience. Version 5.55 has a number of enhancements and bug fixes over 5.54 including:

  • Significant internal changes to better support high speed connections with minimal CPU requirements.
  • Fixed issues in 5.54 including problem where header download progress bars weren't getting updated.
  • Improved AutoPAR reliability
  • Multi-core support during PAR repair.
  • Processes GZipped NZB files.
  • Combined 32 and 64 bit versions in same installer.

More information and the download link is on the Beta Announcement Page

If you find any bugs or have any questions about this release, please post to the Newsbin Beta Forum or send a message using our Technical Support Form.

January 19, 2010, 9:45 a.m.

What's AutoPAR?

We keep finding that people are unaware that Newsbin has a function we call AutoPAR. This feature will automatically combine multiple .RAR files or split files (that end with .001, .002...) as long as someone posted .PAR2 files along with them. As long as you are viewing your Post List (see last MOTD) in Compact View and queue files having an icon depicting a RAR/PAR set (look under Help/View Icon Legend to see what it looks like) then AutoPAR will repair damaged or missing files if needed then extract the file or files and leave them in the Files tab for you. You can click the AutoPAR tab to watch the progress.

January 8, 2010, 12:45 p.m.

What's a Post List?

Frequently in our online help and in these Message of the Day messages, we refer to a "Post List" and we've learned that many people don't see what we are referring to.

A Post List is the tab that opens when you view a group. If you right-click a group in the Groups tab and select Show Posts, a tab will open with the name of the group in the tab, and a listing of posts for that group. That's the Post List. The last MOTD message is referring to the "Load" dropdown box on this tab for allowing you to see a month at a time of posts without killing your machine when browsing a high traffic newsgroup.

Hope this clears things up.

January 4, 2010, 2:30 p.m.

Header Management with Newsbin...

With the seemingly endlessly expanding newsgroups these days, it is not practical to load all headers in a high traffic newsgroup anymore. While Newsbin will still handle many of them if you have enough RAM, there is a better way. Use the "Load" dropdown on the post list tab and select a month at a time of headers. Each month will load faster and consume less system resources than loading all headers. For lower traffic groups, loading all headers may be fine but, for a crazy high traffic group like a.b.boneless, loading a month at a time is a much better option.

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