News Rover Usenet Newsreader -- Search and download Usenet newsgroup messages and files
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NewsRover.Com - RoverSupport - FAQ - Getting Started 2

FAQ - Please explain “subscribed newsgroups”, “Autoscan”, “File Locator”

News Rover has four modes of operation:

1. "Subscribed newsgroups" -- You select newsgroups of interest, download the list of available messages, browse the list and download the messages that you want. This is the traditional way to browse Usenet newsgroups and is the only method offered by most other newsreaders.

2. "Autoscan" -- You set up one or more "Interest Groups" to scan newsgroups. Each interest group can scan one or more newsgroups on one or more news servers and combine the downloaded messages into a common set. You can set Include and Exclude Filters to select what messages you want collected by each interest group.

There are two types of interest groups, "header only" and "full message". Header-only interest groups download only the list of messages that meet your selection criteria. You can then browse the list and download the messages you want just the same as using subscribed newsgroups. Full-message interest groups download the entire body of the message, combine parts of multi-part messages and store the message bodies and downloaded files so that they are ready to be viewed.

3. "File Attachment Locator"-- This is the easiest and fastest way to find specific files that you are looking for. This global search function is similar to web search engines. Just type in words you are looking for and the File Locator will search all of the newsgroups for messages with those words in their subject. You can then download the messages without even knowing what newsgroups they are stored in.

4. "Message Locator" -- This feature searches all text newsgroups for messages containing words you specify. The search words can be in the body of messages as well as subjects. This is the best way to research some topic. For example, suppose you are thinking about buying a new Lexus RX330 SUV and want to read what other people have to say about its off-road capabilities. Use the Message Locator and type "Lexus RX330 offroad" as your search string, and News Rover will find all messages containing these words in all newsgroups.

Here is information about how to use each of these methods:

Subscribed Newsgroups

Start News Rover and click on the name of your news server in the main left panel to select it. Then click the 4th toolbar icon from the left end (the flyby help says "List newsgroups available for subscription" when you put your cursor over the icon).

The Newsgroup Subscription Control screen will come up. You will see a list of all newsgroups available on the selected news server. You can browse that list and double-click the newsgroups you want "subscribe" to. A red arrow will appear to the left of the name of a newsgroup when you subscribe to it. You can double-click again to unsubscribe.

To make browsing the list easier, you can type a word or a portion of a word in the field above the list labeled "From this category, select only newsgroups whose names contain". News Rover will then change the list to display only the newsgroups who have what you typed in their names. For example, if you are looking for football newsgroups, type football in the selection field and only newsgroups with football in their names will be displayed. Clear the field to display all newsgroup names.

Once you finish subscribing to the newsgroups you want, click the "Finished" button to exit from the subscription control screen.

If you subscribed to a binary newsgroup, News Rover will display a screen recommending an initial "Display Filter" for the group. This controls which messages are displayed. Click the button labeled "Use this filter" to accept the filter recommended by News Rover.

You will now see the main News Rover screen. In the left panel, the newsgroups you subscribed to should be listed under the name of your news server. If there is a '+' next to the name of the news server, click it to display the list of subscribed newsgroups.

Click on the name of one of the newsgroups to select it. Since no messages have been downloaded yet for that group, News Rover will display a screen asking if you want to download the list of all messages or just some of them. Click the button labeled "Get all message headers", and News Rover will download the list of messages available in the newsgroup. You can then browse the list of messages shown in the main right panel and select which ones you want to download.

When you want to update the list of messages available in the newsgroup, select the group and then click the 7th toolbar icon from the left end (the flyby help say "Get new headers for the current newsgroup").

There are several ways to download messages shown in the right panel:

If you just want to get individual messages, double-click on the ones that you want. A black lightning bolt indicates the message is queued to be downloaded, scrolling down-arrows indicate that the message is currently being downloaded. News Rover can do multiple downloads at the same time.

If you want to select a range of messages to download, single click on the first message in the range to select it, then scroll down to the last message you want to download, hold down the Shift key and click on it. This will select all of the messages in the range. Then right click on a message in the list and select "Download selected messages" from the popup menu. You can select messages that are not in a contiguous range by clicking on the first message and then holding down the Ctrl key while you select other messages.

You can also "tag" messages for later download. To do this, click in the box shown at the left end of message lines in the right panel. A down-arrow icon will appear in the box indicating that the message is tagged for download. Once you finish tagging the messages you want, click the down-arrow icon on the main toolbar to start downloading the tagged messages. You can tag messages in multiple newsgroups before starting the downloads. You can even stop and restart News Rover and do the downloads at a later time.

You will find that there are many actions available when you right click on message entries or the names of newsgroups or news servers, so we recommend you experiment with right clicking on various types of items to see what options are available.

When News Rover finishes downloading a message with a file attachment, a paper-clip icon appears to the left of the message entry. You can single-click on the paper-clip icon to launch the file attached to the message. A red icon means that the attachment has never been launched, a blue icon means that the attachment has been launched, but it has not been saved to an external directory. A green icon means that it has been saved to an external directory. You can also click on the name of the file shown in red in the body of the message in the lower window to launch the file attachment.

In addition to the message list, each newsgroup as an associated Picture Gallery for viewing JPG thumbnail images and a file list. Find the name of a newsgroup in the left panel, and if there is a '+' next to its name, click the '+' to open the option list. Then click Picture Gallery to enter the picture gallery. If the group has any messages with attached JPG pictures, an array of thumbnail images will be shown. You can double-click on a thumbnail image to display it full-size.

Autoscan Interest Groups

Autoscan Interest Groups have several advantages over subscribed newsgroups:

1. An Autoscan interest group can collect messages from several newsgroups and combine them into a single set.

2. Autoscan can scan multiple news servers automatically and combine the messages found in all of the selected newsgroups on all of the news servers into a single set.

3. Autoscan can combine the parts of multi-part messages found in different newsgroups and/or different news servers. This significantly increases the chances of finding all parts of large multi-part messages.

4. Autoscan keeps track of which messages and files have been downloaded and does not download them again if they are encountered in different newsgroups or on different news servers.

5. You can create "Full message" interest groups that download the bodies of messages and automatically decode the attachments, or you can create "Header only" Autoscan interest groups that download only the message headers. You can then browse those headers and select the ones you want the same way you would do with a subscribed newsgroup.

6. Autoscan is excellent for unattended operation. Once you set up your interest groups and set Include and Exclude Filters to select what you're interest in, you can leave Autoscan running while you are at work or sleeping, and it will collect files and have them downloaded, decoded and ready to play when you're ready.

Here's how to set up an Autoscan Interest Group:

Click "Interests" on the main menu to bring up the Autoscan Interest Group control screen. Then click "New interest group" to begin creating a new interest group. Enter the name of the interest group at the top of the first screen, and then click one of the radio buttons below that to select whether you want a "Header only" or "Full body" interest group.

Below that, click the radio button to tell News Rover whether you only want messages with file names in their subjects. If you are setting up an interest group to collect files, pictures, etc., click the radio button that says you only want messages with attached files and the checkbox that says they must have a file name in their subjects.

Click "Next" to advance to the next screen where you select which newsgroups you want the interest group to scan. This screen is the same that you use to select newsgroups to subscribe to. Once you finish selecting the newsgroups you want the interest group to scan, click Next.

The next screen allows you to specify how many days back you want the interest group to start scanning the first time it is run. As messages are scanned, News Rover keeps track of the position in each newsgroup and scans only messages beyond that point on subsequent runs.

Click Next to advance to the Include and Exclude Filter setup screen. If you want to scan and collect all messages in the selected newsgroups, you do not need to specify any filters. However, if you want or don't want messages with certain words in their subjects, you can use the Include Filter to specify what you want downloaded and/or the Exclude Filter to specify what you don't want downloaded.

News Rover filters are expressions that can include operators such as AND, OR, NOT, and NEAR. Read the News Rover Help section on "Search Expressions" for detailed information about specifying filters.

Click Next to advance to the final screen where you specify information about attached files. At the top of the page, specify the directory (folder) where you will be storing files collected by this interest group that you want to save. Below that, click one of the radio buttons to tell News Rover whether to store downloaded files immediately in your save directory or to store them in an internal holding directory until you browse them and select which ones you want to save.

Near the bottom of the page, you can select what types of files you want. If you want all types of files (JPG, MPG, AVI, etc.) click the radio button labeled "Select all file types". Otherwise, click the radio button labeled "Select these types" and enter the file types you want in the field below. Put a space between the file types. Note, you can specify RAR as a file type that will match all of the various RAR extensions such as .r01, .r02, etc.

Once you finish that screen, click the "Finish" button, and News Rover will return you to the Interest Group control screen. Click "OK" to exit from that screen, or create additonal interest groups if you wish.

Once you have created your interest group(s), you are ready to start Autoscan running. There are two ways to do this: you can click the left-most toolbar icon (a running dog) to start Autoscan, or you can click the 3rd toolbar icon which looks like a speedometer to bring up the Autoscan control screen. The Autoscan control screen gives statistics and information about what Autoscan is doing. As Autoscan runs, downloaded messages will show up in the message list for the interest group and pictures will appear in the Picture Gallery section.

If you have access to multiple news servers, you can configure Autoscan to scan multiple servers. To do this, go to the Configure/Scanning screen. Click the radio button labeled "Automatically scan multiple news servers as specified in the list below". Then assign scan priorities to the servers. Higher priority servers (i.e., ones with larger numeric priority values) are scanned before lower priority servers. Servers with a scan priority of 0 (zero) are not scanned. You also can specify how many servers you want News Rover to scan at once.

File Attachment Locator

The File Attachment Locator performs a global search of all binary Usenet newsgroups looking for messages with specified keywords in their subjects. If you look in the left panel, you will see an entry for "File Attachment Locator" shown in the list. If a '+' is shown to the left of the name, click it to open the options. Then click the Search entry to open the search screen. You can also click the file search icon on the toolbar to begin a search.

In the top field of the search screen, type words that you are looking for in message subjects. If you type multiple words, all of the words must appear in the subject for the message to be considered a "hit". 

After you perform the search, A list of the messages with files that match your search will be displayed in the list. You can then browse this list and double-click the messages that you want to start downloading. When you double-click an entry, it will be queued for download and disappear from the list. You can continue browsing and double-clicking while the downloads are running.

If you have access to multiple news servers, you can tell News Rover what order you want it to use when trying to download the files found by the search. To do this, click the "Search properties" button on the search screen, and then select the "Download servers" property tab. Assign non-zero priorities to the news servers that you want News Rover to check when trying to download search entries. Higher priority servers (i.e., ones with larger numeric priority values) will be checked before lower priority ones. Servers with priorities of 0 (zero) will not be checked.

Once you finish queuing the downloads, click "Close" to exit from the search screen. The downloaded messages will be shown in the message list for the File Attachment Locator group.