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Decoding and Binaries


Use the "decode" command to decode an attachment. There is no need to tag and fetch bodies. Gravity can decode multi-part binaries automatically .. select any one part and select decode. You can queue up multiple decode jobs and even read articles in other groups while Gravity decodes.

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.



NEW - Super Gravity decodes yEnc

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.

FAQ - Can Gravity show complete attachments as one part?

Super Gravity can do this. The official releases can not. See the Super Gravity Page for more information.

The Basics: Decoding and Viewing

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.

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

Image Factory 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.


Where Do the Attachments Go?

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.


Can I use Another Viewer?

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).


Global Options

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.

What is Manual Decode?

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.


Decoding and Filters

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.

How to Combine Multi-Part Attachments

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.


How to Decode with a Single Mouse Click

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.

Batch Processing

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.


Bad Connections and Saving Parts Locally

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.


Keep Gravity from re-fetching articles

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.

How to keep uploaded files in one part

Go to View - Global Options - Encoding
Select "Unlimited" for split articles at ... AND uncheck the box to start attachments in a separate article.

Useful Tips and Techniques


How-To Preview an .mpg Attachment

Here's a cool trick. If you want to preview a multi part mpg before downloading the whole thing. (Super Gravity users can't use this trick unless manual decode is fixed in later versions)

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.


What can go wrong - Trouble Shooting

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