unofficial abma/aba faq
Annotated :: Single Page/Plain :: Text :: Notes

1. Preface
2. Introduction
3. Newsgroups
4. Encoding
     a. uu
     b. mime
     c. yEnc
5. Archives
     a. .rar/.r##/.part##.rar
     b. RAR recovery
     c. .ace/.c##
     d. .###
     e. .zip
6. Support Files
     a. .sfv
     b. .par/.p##
     c. .rev
     d. .idx/.sub/.ifo
     e. .smi/.ssa/.srt
     f. .nfo/.txt/.md5
7. Newsreaders
8. Posting
     a. Bad Requests
9. Auto-Posters
10. Hentai
11. Formats/codecs
     a. avi/ogm
     b. mpeg4
     c. mpg
     d. rm
     e. audio
     f. linux
12. News servers
13. Software
14. Appendices
     a. About the FAQ
     b. Mirroring the FAQ

The new home of the FAQ is http://animeusenet.org/wiki/.

This site exists only for historical/archival purposes.

12. My server is missing files! What can I do?

News Servers

Why are so many parts missing? Everything is incomplete! [Original Contributors, Keikai, Tekra, Spider-Man, ed.]

Most posts are done properly and propogate to news servers in their entirety. If a user is experiencing many missing parts, especially amongst posts from different posters, it is almost certainly the fault of their news server. ISP (Internet Service Provider) news servers are notoriously bad.

The best solution is to spend money to subscribe to a premium news server. See alt.binaries.news-server-comparison for more extensive information. A majority of regular AB(M)A users subscribe to at least one commercial news service outside of whatever is provided by their ISP.

Important terms to know in regards to the quality of a news server are:

  • Retention - This indicates how long usenet articles are held on the server before "expiring". Usually binary articles are retained for a much shorter duration than the much smaller text articles. It is typical for different newsgroups on the same news server to have different retentions.
  • Completeness - This indicates how many properly posted articles get dropped accidentally or never arrive. Even the best news server will sometimes not receive an article simply due to the nature of usenet. However, some news servers are very bad about losing or never receiving a significant percentage of articles.
  • Quota - Most commercial news servers (and many ISP news servers) assign a quota to account holders. This is the amount of data that can be downloaded from the news server over a specified period of time. (e.g. EasyNews' normal plan has a 6GB/month quota, which means between "anniversary dates" that are one month apart, only 6GB of data can be downloaded. Access to further downloading will be denied at that point.)
  • Throughput Cap - Some servers, instead of assigning a quota, assign a throughput cap. This constricts the amount of data that is sent as it is being sent. (e.g. Newscene had a plan that allowed two connections to the server each capped at 8kB/s allowing a potential for constantly downloading at 16kB/s.)

Popular commercial news servers include:

There are sometimes free, open news servers available around the internet. This is not a good solution, however. AB(M)A are very high volume newsgroups. Open news servers usually cannot handle the large volume for long. Chances are if you find an open news server it will either go down, or be closed not long afterwards. For more information on where to find open news servers, see alt.free.newsservers. The NewsPro (http://www.usenetopia.com/) news client has a utility built-in to locate open news servers. Recently, it has become nearly impossible to locate usable free news servers that carry binary groups.

http://freenews.maxbaud.net/ has a searchable system for finding free news servers. One caveat, however, is that the "Commercial News Servers" section on that site pushes "usenet-access.com", which has been found to be a poor news service by some users.

A Usenet newsgroups service and newsgroups search engine is available at http://www.spidernews.com.

Special section for @home peeps [Original contributors, Firecaster]

The following 3 servers are particularly reliable in terms of new posts and completeness.

  • news.rdc1.on.home.com
  • news.rdc1.sfba.home.com
  • news.rdc1.sdca.home.com

The following 2 servers have much longer retention time (5-6 days) than others:

  • news.rdc1.tx.home.com
  • news.kenner1.la.home.com

@home users are lucky in that they (unofficially) get access to ALL @home news servers. Access to servers other than your default one is throttled - you can only open about 5 connections to each one, and the data rate on each one is limited - but it's still a very useful way to look for missing parts. There is a list of @home servers that occasionally gets posted. Ask for it if you can't find it with a web search.

If you are willing to make the effort to check three or four high-retention servers, you will probably end up making about 4 or 5 times fewer fill/repost requests. It's polite to make a reasonable effort to find the files yourself before imposing on someone to repost them for you.

news.rdc1.sfba.home.com doesn't seem to exist anymore as a result of the @home bankruptcy. news.rdc1.sdca.home.com doesn't seem to allow connections from "outside" @home/ex-@home servers anymore.

User Contributed Notes

2003-02-05 01:38am
www.teranews.com is also a free binary service. You need a credit card to sign up ($4) and that is the only charge for the free account, which is limited to 50MB/day. Basically, the account is good for fills.
2003-02-22 07:35pm
There's a list of about 900 open usenet servers at http://triceron.com/gate/usenet/ ... with a bit of luck you can download a compleete post from time to time...
2003-11-08 08:39am
TheRant suggested that the @home notes be removed. This seems perfectly logical to me.
2004-03-29 09:34am
Another NSP which I think deserves mention is Astraweb. http://news.astraweb.com Although retention is only (!) 10 days, they offer various plans, including a free one, some which have no download limit, and some where you pay by amount downloaded.