Sunday, August 1, 2010

The First Rule of Fight Club Is: You Do Not Talk About Fight Club

Yes, Usenet is still around. Like IRC, it was one of the early net protocols whose use has dwindled over the years, so much so that it's become one of the best kept secrets on the internet. The only problem is, downloading its rich selection of binaries (music, movies, everything) can be a bit of a hassle. There are steps involved. They go something like this:

1) download article headers.
2) cull article headers for binaries you want to download.
3) add to queue
4) run par2 application to repair missing parts.
5) run unrar application to unpack parts.
6) unwind with your vice of choice.

Recently, though, I've found an application that greatly simplifies the process. It's called SABnzbd, and it's in my opinion one of the best applications ever written for OS X. It uses a simple web interface and automates pretty much everything in the background so the steps to download look something like this:

1) click Browse.
2) locate nzb file on your hard drive.
3) click add.

All the downloading, repairing and unraring is subsequently done in the background, and you end up with the finished file in your "completed" folder.

Two great places to find nzb files on the web are Binsearch and As for newsgroups, I highly recommend alt.binaries.multimedia.vintage-film and alt.binaries.multimedia.vintage-film.pre-1960. Oh, and there's also alt.binaries.mac.applications.retro. Shhh, though. You're not supposed to know about any of this. Run along and go back to Facebook. Intranets are the safest place for you.

Update: Now Lifehacker writes about it and blows the lid off the whole thing.

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