[clug] Downloading binaries from Newsgroups?

Felix Karpfen felix at spodzone.org.uk
Tue Jan 5 13:46:32 MST 2010

I have always regard this option as a recipe for disaster and made no 
effort to explore what newsgroups, that specialise on binaries, have 
to offer.

Have I missed something?

This query is inspired by a recent posting that describes a failed 
binaries download (see below).  And I understand *nothing* of what it 

I would welcome being pointed to documentation that would enable me at 
least to understand what the poster is talking about.

Comments on the benefits/hazards of downloading binaries from NGs would 
be a bonus.

Felix Karpfen

Downloaded Posting

I grabbed what was probably the same .nzb you did, from a binsearch.info
on the subject string in your original post. Said return was oddly
lacking any detail about the multiparts.

I fed the .nzb to Pan 1.33 (from 09SEP09 git checkout [checkout probably
the wrong term for git but I'm new to it]), and it downloaded 1.3 GB in
6,124 files, almost all of which looked like this:

   248 Crazy Christmas Lights-2009-12-06-0_copy_1000.tp
     4 Crazy Christmas Lights-2009-12-06-0_copy_1000.tp.ERRORS
   248 Crazy Christmas Lights-2009-12-06-0_copy_1001.tp
     4 Crazy Christmas Lights-2009-12-06-0_copy_1001.tp.ERRORS
   248 Crazy Christmas Lights-2009-12-06-0_copy_1002.tp
     4 Crazy Christmas Lights-2009-12-06-0_copy_1002.tp.ERRORS

...etc. ad nauseum

The .ERRORS files all look like this:

Warning: Missing everything before part #6745

But hark! Note the size of the single .tp file at the very end of this
mess. Why, a CD-sized file all decoded and everything. What be it?

664388 Crazy Christmas Lights-2009-12-06-0.tp
    24 Crazy Christmas Lights-2009-12-06-0.tp.ERRORS
   628 Crazy Christmas Lights-2009-12-06-0.tp.nzb

The .ERRORS file for this CD-sized .tp file is full of 379 entries like

ERROR: %Part 2554 missing.  Decoded file probably corrupt.

...but Pan decoded what it could find on Easynews.

Next, the google showed me that .tp is a file type for 'MPEG-2 TV
recorded file: File extension is used for MPEG-2 TV recorded file (Use
mpeg-2 compression).'

So I fed the CD-sized .tp to Kaffeine and it plays just fine. It's the
first 14 minutes of an hour-long show about over-the-top xmas
decorations aired on The Learning Channel, featuring setups you've
probably already seen on YouTube and such.

Is this a borked Usenet post? Boy howdy, is it ever! What kind of idjit
would post in that format in the first place? A clueless one, is what
kind ;-)

I've never seen this particular flavor of borkitude before, but it
appears to me that Pan is as uncontaminated by blame for this mess as
the poster is uncontaminated by clues.

Felix Karpfen
Public Key 72FDF9DF (DH/DSA)

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