ANDROID Newsgroup Downloader Quick Start Guide

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Welcome to the ANDROID Newsgroup Downloader Quick Start Guide. This guide will get you up and running quickly so that you can start downloading files from newsgroups.

Table of Contents

Phase 1: Downloading and Installing the Program

Phase 2: Configuration

Phase 3: Select your Newsgroups

Phase 4: Connecting for the first time

Phase 5: Selecting and Downloading Headers


Phase 1: Downloading and Installing the Program

Note: If you're downloaded this guide, then you may have already downloaded and installed the software. If so, you can skip this phase and proceed to configuring the program.

The first step is to download the software. This is done from the ANDROID website at:

Here's a picture of the ANDROID website. It might look a little bit different, depending on whether or not I've made any improvements lately, but it should still be intuitive and easy to figure out.

The big orange <Download> button is used to download the software from the website to your computer.

So, to get things started, click the download button.

Once you've clicked the download button, your web browser will download the software to your computer. If you're running Internet Explorer on Windows XP, then you'll probably get a box that asks whether you want to "Run", "Save", or "Cancel".

Click the button marked "Run", and that will download the installation program and then run it automatically for you. Now let's go through the steps involved in the Android installation program:

When the installation program starts, it'll popup a little box that asks if you want to install Android Newsgroup Downloader. Hit <Yes>.
Now the installation wizard starts up. It's an automated install program and is very easy to use. Pretty much all you have to do is to keep hitting the <Next> button at the bottom.
This screen asks you what folder you want to install the program into. Just leave it alone, the default is fine, and hit <Next>
Now we get to choose what we want to name the program group. Again, the default is fine, so leave it as it is, and hit <Next>
The installer gives us one last chance to go back and change our options.... Just go ahead and click the <Install> button.
There will be some activity and a little moving bar graph as the software is installed. Once it's done, the installer will pop up with a box letting you know that it has finished.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Android Newsgroup Downloader!

Phase 2: Configuration

The next phase of the Android QuickStart is to activate the program for the first time and enter the appropriate configuration options to get Android setup and connected to your news server.

The installation program automatically places an icon for Android Newsgroup Downloader on your desktop. Click the icon to open the program for the first time.
The first thing that you will see after launching the program is the "please register" screen. This screen is an incentive for you to register the software, and will nag you each time you load the program until you do so.

Registering your software is important as it provides me, the author, with the funds that I need to continue developing the software.

Wait for the delay to expire, and then you can hit to <Ok> button to proceed into the software.

Here is the main window of Android Newsgroup Downloader. You can see several important parts of the interface.

The section in the middle of the screen is a "tabbed view". It contains several pages that you can flip through by pushing the little tabs above it. The page that is currently displayed is the main page, and includes several large buttons for commonly used options.

The first thing that we're going to need to do is to configure your account settings. To do this, click the <Configure Account Settings> button.

This is the account settings screen for the downloader. As you can see, all of the important settings are blank, and waiting for you to fill them in. The account settings are critical for you to get correct, and the program will not function without the correct settings. The settings are:

News Server Name: The name of the computer that your computer will connect to to receive news articles from. This computer is typically provided by your ISP, and usually starts with something like "nntp." or "news.". Common news server names include,, etc.

User Name: This is your user name, as used on the news server. This user name is provided by whomever setup your account on the news server. Many times, this user name is supplied by your internet service provider.

Password: The password goes along with the user name.

Normally, you will get these settings from your internet service provider. If you do not know the settings, then you can contact them. Just tell them you want to "setup a third party newsreader"

In the picture to the right, I've entered my configuration details into all three boxes -- news server name, user name, and password.

If you want, you can use the <Store> button to store a copy of the settings for later use. The <store> and <recall> buttons are primarily intended for using multiple news servers or multiple accounts. You can store several sets of settings, and pick between them at a later date. For now, you can safely ignore the store and recall buttons.

The next step is to run a connection test. Press the <Start Connection Test> button.

The connection test button will simulate a connection to your news server and verify that your settings are correct. It'll usually take a minute or two to run.

If all goes as planned, you'll get a "Success" code in the result window, and the status text in the listbox will also indicate successful completion. If not, the status window should show what type of error occurred.

Getting the account settings (news server name, user name, and password) correct is the most difficult step in getting any newsreader to work. If you've got this far, and the connection test was successful, then congratulations, you've successfully configured Android Newsgroup Downloader.

If not, then the first step is to double-check the account settings.

Phase 3: Select your Newsgroups

The next task is to select the newsgroups that you want to download. There are tens of thousands of groups, and you'll need to pick the ones that you are interested in. The first step is to get to the "Subscribed Groups" page in the main window. The easiest way to do this is to use the little tab buttons in the page control:

Click the tab button that says "Subscribed Groups". That will take you to the subscribed groups page.

Here is the Subscribed Groups page of the interface. You can see that the list of groups is initially empty, because you have not added any groups. Right under the empty group list is a row of buttons.

Click the <Add> button to add your first group.

When you pressed the <Add> button, the Add Newsgroup dialog should have popped up. This is the dialog box that you will use to add groups to your subscribed list. There are two ways to do this:
  • If you already know the group that you want (like for example), then you may simply type in the name of the group and hit the <Subscribe> button.
  • ... However, that's not very convenient if you do not know the name of the group, or you do not know how to spell it. In this case, you want to download a list of available groups that you can browse.

To download the available list of groups, use the <Refresh> button at the top of the screen.

When you press the <Refresh> button, the program will attempt to download a newsgroup list, or "newsrc". The downloading process will take some time, and you should see some messages like those appearing to the right.

In particular, watch for any error messages such as incorrect names or passwords (this would indicate a problem with the account settings).

Once the newsrc has been downloaded, the display will be updated to show the list of available groups.

Pictured to the right is the add newsgroup dialog box after the newsrc has been loaded. If you're looking to download binary attachments, then you want newsgroups that start with the words "alt.binaries". If the newsgroups do not start with "alt.binaries", then they will not contain files, and there will be nothing to download.

You can scroll the list to find the group you want, or you can use a search specifier.

For example, in the list to the right, I used a search specifier of "celebrities". This brought up several groups, including

Click the group that you want, in my case "alt.binaries.celebrities", and then hit the <Subscribe> button. Using the subscribe button will add the newsgroup to the list of subscribed groups.

When you are finished adding groups, click the <Finished> button

Once you've added your groups, they should appear in the "subscribed groups" list of the main window.

In the picture to the right, the "" group is listed in the window. The group's status is enabled. The high article, low article, and headers fields are empty because we have not yet downloaded any headers.

Phase 4: Connecting for the first time

At this point, you should have configured your account settings and selected one or more newsgroups to download.

We are now ready to connect for the first time, and download the "headers" of the newsgroup articles.

To do this, press the <Connect> button at the top of the main window.

in the screenshot to the right, I've pressed the connect button. The header download status went from "stopped" to "running". In addition, you should see the header count for your groups increasing.

Eventually the header thread will go to an "idle" state. This indicates that all headers have been downloaded.

Phase 5: Select some headers and download

At this point, you should have done all of the following:
  1. Configured your account settings and verified that they were correct.
  2. Selected the newsgroups that you wanted to download
  3. Pressed the connect button to connect to your news server and download the headers for your groups.

If you have not done those steps, then please go back and do them now.

To choose the headers you want to download, we need to use the "Article Chooser".

To get there, find the little tab that says "Article Chooser" and click it. The chooser will initially be empty, and will look like the dialog box at the right.

First, we need to select the group that you want to view. The chooser has a little drop down list at the upper left portion of the display. Click the list button, and you should see a mini-list of your newsgroups. Pick the group that you are interested in.
When you select the group, the chooser will update to display the headers in that group. If the headers do not display, then there might be a problem:
  • the group could be empty
  • ... or you didn't press the <connect> button
  • ... or you pressed the <connect> button, but the headers for this group have not been downloaded yet.

The chooser is very flexible. You can scroll up and down. You can enter a search specification, and you can filter by numerous methods, including by age. You can also sort the display by clicking the headings of the list view.

The chooser to the right is of the newsgroup. The display shows articles containing pictures of bo derek, kiera knightly, nanette bianchi, robin givens, and sylvia kristel.

To select articles to be downloaded, click on them and drag them from the chooser list to the "queue" list at the bottom of the main window.

Assuming you are "connected" to the news server, downloading should begin immediately after you've dragged the images from the chooser to the queue.


Once the articles have been downloaded, the status for the article will change to "Success".

In the screen shot to the right, you can see that several pictures of gillian anderson have been successfully downloaded.

You can use the <Open> button in the queue to open an article that has been successfully downloaded. Note that articles that haven't been downloaded yet cannot be viewed, and articles which resulted in errors also cannot be viewed.

The shot to the right shows one of the gillian images that was downloaded from the newsgroup.

Windows automatically launches the most appropriate viewer for the type of file you've downloaded. Pictures will get a picture viewer, movies and music should also get the appropriate viewers.

This concludes the quickstart tutorial. I've showed you how to download and install the software, configure the authentication settings, choose your newsgroups, connect to your server, select some pictures, and even download and view one of the pictures.