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NEW - Super Gravity decodes yEnc!
Super Gravity? Check out my Super Gravity page for an unofficial version that can show complete binaries.
BUG? Gravity does not post multi-parts in order. Its a fun way
to annoy OE users.
As of build 2034, unofficial Super Gravity version 2.6 can decode yEnc encoded binaries. At this time (build 2034) you cannot post yEnc, just decode. For more information see the Super Gravity Page.
Super Gravity can do this. The official releases can not. See the Super Gravity Page for more information.
To Decode An Attachment:
Select the article in the thread pane, right click and select Decode. Or, click the toolbar button or use the keyboard with CONTROL + D.
To View an Attachment:
Select the article in the thread pane, right-click and select View.
These commands can be issued from the toolbar, the menu (under article) or with the following keyboard shortcuts.
- Control + D - decode
- V - view
- Control + M - Manual decode
- Control + Shift + V - priority view
The decode and view commands will automatically fetch the article and decode it. You can also get the bodies yourself and decode them the same way.
The Image Factory (not the Image Gallery) is like a decoding control panel. It is under View - Image Factory (shortcut CONTROL+I). I always keep Factory open while decoding, it tells you the status of the current job, what is waiting, and what failed. You can view your attachments or delete them or shift decode jobs in the queue. Click here to view a screen shot in a new window.
Take note of the button in the center of the page. It is a toggle marked PAUSE or RESUME. It allows you to pause decoding. Of more importance is that you must press it to resume decoding if you have lost the connection. There is a setting in Global - Options to change this behavior and resume automatically.
If you run into a situation where you see hour glasses in Gravity's thread pane but nothing is happening, this is where to resume.
The decoded images are placed in the directory specified under View - Global options - Decoding.
You can set up different folders for each group and override the default decode directory under Newsgroup - Properties - Overrides.
Yes, the setting is also under View - Global options - Decoding. I generally use the registry association. You may want to use the Image Gallery or an alternate viewer.
One of the nice things in Version 2.2 (in beta as of this writing) is that you can specify files that should not be launched automatically. The list of permissible files is kept under Global Options - Warnings. It is a very nice feature and can catch a virus (make sure .exe files are not allowed).
I guess by now you see that most configuration is done on the Global Options - Decode tab. It is where you specify options, viewers, the decode directory and how to handle duplicate filenames.
Manual decode allows you to assemble parts manually and also to decode those binaries which confuse Gravity's file attachment recognition. Two numbers separated by a forward slash will result in an error, even if the file is ok. You can also use it to preview an .mpg attachment by downloading only certain parts.
For example, if single part binaries are posted with subjects that contain 1/6 (usually seen with a series), a slashed date or area codes, etc., Gravity thinks there are other parts and will give a decode error. In many cases a manual decode will succeed when decode fails. I usually try it if I get decoding errors, it usually works.
To manually decode multi-parts, select all parts and choose manual decode. A window will open which allows you to place the parts in the proper order.
UPDATE: If you are using one of the newer Super Gravity versions manual decode does not work.
Old Note: Versions prior to 2.3 also gave errors if the subject contained "of", it was fixed in 2.3. There is a registry setting that fixes the "of" error. If you are don't mind editing the registry, click here for the page with the fix. I don't know if anyone still needs it, but I'll leave it posted for awhile.
Gravity will decode collapsed threads. However, decode will fail if your current filter is hiding some article parts, even if you have those headers. You will get a decode error. You might want to make a filter that includes the entire thread for unread articles or unreads with a multi part attachment.
This is a simple task. Select any one part of the binary and choose decode. Gravity will begin fetching each part and combining it. You can watch the progress in the Image Factory. Most of the time this works well.
Note that if your connection is lost so is your binary and you won't pick up where you left off. You must start over. (NOTE: Beta 4 v2.3 resumes decoding) If you have a slow connection or frequent drops, you may want to tag the individual parts and download them. You can decode them later. It can be rather frustrating to decode 40 of 41 parts and have the connection drop out. I have a cable modem with a fairly steady connection so I usually don't do any manual downloading and decoding. But when the network gets shaky I use it.
Go to View - Global Options - Preferences
NOTE: If you are set up like this and try to read a text article with more than 300 lines, you will get an error. The solution is simple - press Control Enter to display the article.
- Check "Display Articles With a Single Click"
- Next, set "When Attempting to Open an Article with more than" xxx lines, set the threshold value. I use 300 lines.
- In the drop-down box select Decode
You can stack up multiple decode jobs in the queue. You should know the standard Windows shortcuts to make multiple selections in the thread pane. To select a continuous range of articles click one and hold SHIFT and click the end of the range. To make multiple, non-continuous selections hold CONTROL as you click the various articles. For multi-parts, use the same approach; hold CONTROL and pick any one part of the binaries.
After you have a batch selected send them all for decoding at one time.
Dragging with the mouse is even easier. Simply drag over the list while holding down the left mouse button.
For the keyboard enthusiasts, hold SHIFT and use up and down arrows (or even page up and page down) to highlight ranges.
Another way of decoding attachments is to download the bodies by tagging and retrieving or adding to the watch list (or even by a rule). If you want to tag a whole thread at once, Collapse the thread (the minus sign, "-") and tag the first article.
After you have all parts select the article (or any one for a multi-part) and choose decode or manual decode.
This process saves you having to download the entire group of articles if your connection fails.
You have already fetched an article and don't want Gravity to fetch it all over again. Place the mouse focus in the article pane before issuing the decode command.
Go to View - Global Options - Encoding
Select "Unlimited" for split articles at ... AND uncheck the box to start attachments in a separate article.
- Limit Headers To Avoid Getting Swamped in Large Groups
Getting swamped with thousands of articles can be frustrating. Make use of the Version 2.2 features of limiting the number of headers you retrieve. Either right click and choose "Retrieve Limited Number Of Headers" or set a limit under "server properties - operation" or set a newsgroup override.
- Priority View
Priority view can be used on images that are ALREADY in the queue - it moves them to the top.
- Decode With One Mouse Click
If you combine version 2.2's setting to decode articles over xxx lines and single key read (both set under global options - preferences) you can decode articles by clicking once on the subject. You can scroll through a group, grabbing binaries very rapidly this way. It takes some getting used to, but if you do a lot of binaries you might want to check it out. To avoid fetching unwanted articles, use the right click menu (described below).
If you use this method you might not be able to view large articles like FAQs because Gravity will try to decode it. If you want to read the large article use CONTROL + ENTER.
- Using Single Click Operation With Decoding
If you use single click read and are working with images, use the right mouse button to put focus on an image and then hit 'v', or right click and 'd' or 'v'. Using the right button in this way allows moving focus without opening the item. If you want to decode the article with one click and are using 2.2 see the previous tip.
- Image Gallery Tip - Lasso Multiple Items
In the Image Gallery, you can easily "lasso" a number of items by dragging the mouse. For example, if there are 10 items, it is really quick just to lasso them and hit Del. You can lasso thumbnails or list items.
- Image Gallery Tip - Get Back to the List Quickly
You can return to the list of images or thumbs in the Image Gallery when you have an image open by double-clicking the image (or error message if gravity does not know how to display it).
- Zoom The Thread Pane
When working with large groups, it is often convenient to zoom (Z) the thread pane. In version 2.2 your zoomed settings are saved independently so you won't have to resize columns.
- Use Filters
It is often helpful to make filters such as "mpg, avi, mp3" to limit the view to the types of items you care about. You don't need a regular expression for these. However, if you need to use a regex and want to include the period you must escape it like so: \.zip
Actually you don't need the last part. You can decode an mpg or mpeg (manually) with gaps in the parts but it may play funny when it hits the gaps. The best way is to get the first sequence with no gaps (like 1,2,3,....). This makes a great way to preview a multimedia file. Or to save one where the last parts did not come through. Who wants to download 100 parts to find the file isn't what you want? It only works for mpg and mpeg, not avi.
- Hourglass shows but nothing happens.
You probably have decoding paused. Go to View - Image Factory and click the RESUME button. Note that you can configure Gravity to automatically resume decoding on connect under Global Options - Decode.
- I get an error for single part binaries when the subject has two numbers and a slash.
You can usually decode these manually (CONTROL M).
- Make sure you have a valid decode directory.
For whatever reason the decode directory under global options may not exist. Gravity's error message will simply be "decoding error." You may have deleted it or the zip or jaz disk may not be inserted, or maybe you hide partitions or folders with magic folders. Also, if you override the default directory check there too.
- Watch out for filter problems.
Gravity's decoding only works on visible articles or on a collapsed thread (I think). If you are using a filter which hides any parts decode will fail. You may benefit from making a filter to include entire threads if any part matches a filter condition.
- Try Manual Decode
Many times manual decode works when decode fails, especially if the subject contains two numbers and a slash.
- Gravity is slow on large groups.
Update: Version 2.3 handles large groups much better than preceding versions. I can load 9,000 headers pretty easily on this Pentium 100 (which I have since replaced with a PIII 933 weee!).
If your groups get more than five thousand headers or so, it can take a while to refresh the display or even open the group.
Use the 'get limited number of headers' in v2.2 and higher to avoid getting swamped. Once you get used to it, it works nice. You can set this for the server under Server Properties. Or, go to Newsgroup - Properties - Overrides and set the header limit on an individual group or groups. When you want the next batch retrieve headers again or right - click on the group name and select retrieve limited headers.
Some other things you can do that will help: Purge and compact as often as you can. You might want to set shorter purge times for your binary groups, at least the ones with heavy traffic. Don't apply overly elaborate or large numbers of rules to a very large group, unless you are willing to allow extra time for processing. This goes for the ignore and watch thread rules too. They are useful but if over used can add a lot to rule processing. Don't switch filters too often in a large group. If you switch, the whole list has to be constructed again.
These operations are processor intensive, if you are bogging down you probably need a faster machine. RAM helps also.
- Gravity won't decode single part binaries with 'of' in the subject.
Before version 2.3 Gravity's expression got confused with a subject like 'post 1 of 3', and complains about missing parts. You can usually decode these manually (CONTROL M).
Note: This was changed in version 2.3. For earlier versions there is a registry setting that fixes the "of" error (you don't need it in 2.3). If you are don't mind editing the registry, click here for the page with the fix.
- Zip files won't decode
This was a known issue with v2.2 beta 2. It was fixed in beta 3. You will get the error message from Winzip that the archive isn't complete and to try downloading again. The solution is to use one of the release versions (2.12 or 2.2).
- Gravity does not work on any multi-parts at all.
There was an early public beta in the 2.1 series where Gravity would issue the parts missing message even if all were present. It was fixed in the release version.
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