Newsbin Pro Extras




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Newsbin Pro is a binary News Reader that I believe to be one of the best in its class. As an avid user, I have written a number of extras/add-ons for use with this Newsreader .

The items available are:

  • NBSchedule
  • Newsbin TCP Interface
  • Newsbin 5
  • Newsbin 4
  • These items are all available on a freeware basis.
     

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    Updated NBSchedule v0.5.0

    NBSchedule is a program designed to add support for time related options to Newsbin. There has been discussion about this facility possibly being built into a future Newsbin 5 release, but in the meantime I have developed NBSchedule to fill that gap.

    NBSchedule Main Screen

    This type of automation is one that Newsbin users have been requesting for some time. The need for such facilities has become more urgent as many ISP's (mine included) are starting to introduce monthly download caps. Some of them allow unrestricted downloads at certain times of day, and NBSchedule allows you to set up Newsbin to work well within such constraints.

    For more information on the facilities offered by NBSchedule read the Online Documentation which includes the Change History.

    The following downloads are available:

    Notes:

    1. The full functionality is only available with newsbin 4.33B6 or 4.33B8 in the Newsbin 4.3x series, and Newsbin 5 (or later). These are the only releases that currently support the Newsbin Command interface.
    2. NBSchedule works via the TCP/IP Command Interface that is supported by Newsbin 4.33B6/B8 and by the Newsbin 5 series. For more information on this interface look at the Newsbin TCP Interface documentation.

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    Newsbin TCP Interface

    The Newsbin TCP Command Interface is designed to provide a method for allowing external programs to control certain aspects of Newsbin operation. The selection of TCP as the interface mechanism was for a number of reasons: The Newsbin TCP Command Interface was first introduced in the Newsbin 4.33 series, and the first stable version was in Newsbin 4.33B6.

    The Newsbin 5 series also supports this interface, although some of the commands supported are different to reflect the way that Newsbin 5 operates. It is also intended that Newsbin 5 will eventually support a much richer command set than the Newsbin 4.33 series.

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    Nzz2Nzb Save file utility v1.0

    This is a simple utility that I originally wrote for fun as I was interested in the Newsbin 5 .NZZ file format, but that has since proved useful to others when trying to debug problems with Newsbin 5, or to recover data from damaged .NZZ files. Another useful facility is to patch the download path on entries to facilitate using .NZZ files on a different machine to the one on which they were created.

    The primary function of Nzz2Nzb is to take the Newsbin 5 NZZ file format (as used for AUTOSAVE.NZZ, SCRATCH.NZZ and FAILED.NZZ) and convert it a more readable format by outputting it as a .NZB file. Such a .NZB file can be loaded into a tool such as a text editor or Internet Explorer to examine it further. The files can also be loaded into the Newsbin 4.3x series.

    The Nzz2NZB program also carries out some consistency checks on the NZZ file and reports on any issues it finds.

    An additional function is to output a NZZ file with any errors detected having been corrected. This is of particular use to those who have a large Download list that it would be a lot of effort to recreate, and Newsbin is refusing to load the NZZ file for some reason. An associated capability allows the fixed NZZ file to contain a patched download path which can be useful if trying to use a NZZ file on another machine from the one where it was originally created.

    The following downloads are available:

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    Rec2Nzb Spool file utility v0.3

    Another simple utility that I am writing for fun, but that might be useful to others when trying to debug problems with Newsbin 5. Basically it takes the Newsbin 5 .REC file format (as used for SPOOL files) and converts it a more readable format by outputting it as a .NZB file. Such a .NZB file can be loaded into a tool such as a text editor or Internet Explorer to examine it further.

    The following downloads are available:

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    Plugin SDK documentation

    This is the current draft documentation for the Newsbin plugin SDK. It refers to the version of the plugin interface supported by Newsbin 4.32 (build 4964)

    The first versions of the SDK consisted of little more than the header file with embedded comments, and a simple demonstration program.  I volunteered to try and produce more complete documentation on the plugin SDK based on my experience, and this is the result.  A copy of this documentation is taken at periodic intervals and copied to the Newsbin site.  I update this documentation quite frequently, and will upload the latest version as soon as I have made any sort of significant change, so you may well find that the version on this site is more recent than the one available from the Newsbin site. You can always tell when I last updated the document on this site as the date the file was last uploaded is displayed just above the Title line

    Components available are:

    Note that this guide is based on experience of trying to use early versions of the SDK.  As such it is current best understanding and could well be wrong. Also please note that it is my documentation and such may have statements in it that do not necessarily represent the official Newsbin position.

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    SFV/CSV plugin filter v1.04

    This is my first example at producing a plugin based on the SDK.

    Initially it supported just the .SFV file type (hence its name), but I was asked how difficult it would be to extend it to support .CSV files - and this turned out to be relatively trivial I added this as another supported file type.

    One innovation I introduced was the idea of being able to drop a "directory" onto the Newsbin Post List or Download List and the plugin would process all files of the supported types within that directory.   The way this is implemented relies on a "quirk" of the way the current version of the interface is defined, and it is possible that support for this might need to be withdrawn at a future date if the plugin interface is changed.   In the meantime it allows for user feedback to be provided on the usefulness of this feature so that it can be used to help influence future directions for the development of the plugin interface.

    Components available:

    Note that the debugging version of the SFVFILTER.dll file creates a file called SFVFILTER.log in the Newsbin install directory. This can be very large, so do not use this version unless you are trying to create some evidence for a fault report. I hope in the future to make the logging a configurable option so that there does not need to be different versions of the binary. Top


    PostId cache Trimmer

    This is a simple command line tool that can trim the PostId cache to a specified number of days. It was developed as a result of a request from some users who make heavy use of the DEL key to hide posts from the Newsbin Post List.

    The default behaviour of Newsbin is to trim the PostId cache to either the "Maximum Record Age" or to 20 days - whichever is the longer. This will be satisfactory for the vast majority of users, but is not ideal for users who like to "hide" posts by marking them as download/deleted by using the DEL key in the Post List. If done with a very high activity group this can result in a very large PostId cache. As the PostId cache is loaded into memory at the start when Newsbin initialises itself (for performance) reasons this can lead to a significant memory footprint. This tool allows users to trim the PostId cache to hold a entries for a lower number of days than is allowed for by the Newsbin behaviour, thus reducing the memory footprint. Removing entries from the PostId cache will make them show up again in the Newsbin Post screen, but the user can then use the Time filter feature to hide posts that are older than this period.

    Downloads available:

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