Despite some confusion to the contrary (posters do sometimes *by mistake* post to alt.music.mods), alt.binaries.sounds.mods is THE Usenet newsgroup for mods. Binary posts to this group are usually zipped in one file for convenience. Large, multi-part posts are frowned on in this newsgroup as in many others.

When this MODFAQ was first written, downloading from newsgroups was a painfully convoluted process of commands. I would imagine that almost all of us these days has a browser (MSIE 3.0+, Netscape 3.0+ both have newsgroup reading facilities) or a dedicated newsreader such as Agent or News Rover etc. But, more in the interests of those who still have to deal with it, here's the original FAQ info:

Jester wrote: How you do it exactly is up to you and the newsreader you're using. I will cover NN, RN and TIN here, as well as telling you how to cope with dumb uudecoders. Thanks to Stan Greene (Merlin) <sorcerer@netcom.com> for supplying the information initially.

Let's assume you have a list of five articles on screen, identified by consecutive letters a through e, of which the last four are the file example.mod. First, tag (i.e. mark) the parts by pressing the appropriate letters (b through e). Then type the following: ':decode'. Choose any directory you wish when prompted for the Decode Directory, this is where the decoded file will go. At the next prompt (Decode test2/ Article (* +):, for example), enter '*' to specify the previously selected articles. NN will then decode the files for you.

Assuming that the file is in multiple parts, go to the first part and press 'e'. Continue going through all of the parts, pressing 'e' for each. As you do each part, you should see 'Continuing filename.ext: (Continued)'. When you get to the last part and press 'e', you're done. It knows that the file is complete.

We will assume the same setting as in the NN example. The first thing you do is move the scrollbar to the first part of the file you want, this'd be the 2nd article in the list. Now press 't' to tag the file, the plus sign in front of the article should turn into a '1' and the scrollbar should move to the next line. Tag all the parts of the file in the same manner, watching out so you keep the order correct. When you're done, press 's', which gives you the following prompt: 'Save a)rticle, t)hread, h)ot, p)attern, T)agged articles, q)uit: T'. The default should be a captial T, which is what youy want anyway, so just hit return. TIN will prompt you for a filename, you can use anything, basically, keeping it simple should prove helpful (to you). Done that, TIN asks you for post-processing options. Most of the time, you will want to uudecode the binaries, so press 'u'. Done.

OK, there are two possibilities here. Either you have a smart uudecoder (such as UU, UNPOST or UUMASTER for MS-DOS, or WinCode for Windows), or you're stuck with a basic dumb type.
  • SMART: This is pretty simple. Just save your articles to a common file and feed it to your smart decoder. Using UU, this'd look like this, after having saved some articled to a file called mods.uue: 'uu /i /s mods.uue'. UU will do the rest. Note that it is good to have several smart decoders at hand in case one of them refuses to decode a file. You can then always try the others.
  • DUMB: This is tedious. Save the articles, preferrably and for your own sanity's sake, to separate files, using some form of numbering scheme so you'll know which part is which later on. Then call your favourite text editor (as in ASCII) and trim out anything from the files that isn't a valid UU line. This includes everything up to, but not including, the line saying 'begin 640 blabla.mod', which should be in the first part, and everything after the line saying 'end', which should be in the last part. You also need to trim out any checksum info, mail/posting headers and signatures (these should be at the end of the files). When you've done all that, concatenate (i.e. join) the files, but keep them in the correct order! Feed the resulting file to your dumb decoder.

Or.....better yet.....get Free Agent from http://www.forteinc.com :-)


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