What is it? yEnc is an Usenet binary transport format, like UUEncoding, Base64 or Binhex,
but with much more efficiency. (All binaries must be encoded before
to go on Usenet, because Usenet doesn't support raw binaries.)
UUencode adds 40% overhead, yEnc adds only 1%-5%.
Test example: test.rar
Size in bytes
+ 40 %
+ 38 %
+ 37 %
+ 4 %
Downloads and uploads are quicker due to the reduced overhead.
Also, yEnc has error checking built-in. It will tell you right away if
a file has been corrupted, or if you are using a smart newsreader
and multiple newsservers
it will get a good copy of the bad segment from another source.
And the files can be decoded out of sequence.
Plus, even if segments overlap or are of different sizes they will decode correctly,
because yEnc binaries contain positioning information.
The provider can keep the binaries longer as they take less space.
People who are on metered access can give and get more, or save money.
Even those with dialup modems and compression enabled will save time and bandwidth.
Note that some of the commercial/ads-supported newsreaders may contain some form of spyware/"phoning home"-ware.
Be sure to have a good antivirus and a good firewall installed and to read the software manual's fine print.
http://www.anti-spyware-review.toptenreviews.com for more tools.
http://www.brawnylads.com/yproxy - freeware up to v1.3, now $15.
yProxy transparently enables any binary newsreader to support yEnc decoding for downloading binary attachments.
Works with Outlook Express, Netscape, Free Agent, etc.
http://www.fidolook.org/ - free
Fidolook is a freeware extension for Microsoft Outlook Express.
If you want to do it manually:
save as raw binary and use an external decoder on the saved file:
- yDec v1:
- Yenc32 from http://www.yenc32.com
- UUD32 from http://www.execpc.com/~mspankus
By saving the raw file under a common extension like .yenc
and associate it with the decoder, you can
double click on it and it'll decode automatically.
You can also drag and drop the raw file on the decoder icon.
Beware that the command line decoder yDec.exe doesn't like spaces in its path.
Put it in "c:\temp\" rather than in "c:\my temporary files\".
Use yProxy or Fidolook.
Manual method: "To use yEnc with OE just combine and decode, save as an
.eml file to the folder you have the decoder in. Go to explorer, navigate to
the decoder folder then drag the .eml file to the yenc decoder and
drop - result: decoded files." [tip from Seawolf]
The latest Netscape/Mozilla/Thunderbird have (limited) yEnc support.
Upgrade, or use yProxy above.
Manual method: make sure you save it under an extension that Netscape
recognizes as binary (you can add/modify those in Preferences.)
Or use a program on the saved file that strips the CR/LFs that Netscape
added when saving (nocrlf, for example). Then drop onto yDec.exe.
Manual decoding has been reported workable: "The AOL newsreader views the yEnc files as text.
So set the groups that you want to read from
to download to a folder for storing those text files.
Then simply run yDec or yenc32 on it and it will decode all the files in one go."
[tip taken from Giovanni]
Using another newsreader:
I have read that no third-party newsreaders are accepted by the AOL newsserver,
and that because it uses a non-standard NNTP protocol even yProxy won't work;
therefore if you want to use another newsreader, consider one of the
free public news servers or one
low cost newsfeed service. Or a web-based newsserver
that supports yEnc.
Q and A
Q. What are .ntx extensions?
A. A ntx is created by yenc32 (www.yenc32.com), usually for tests only.
If you see a ntx on usenet it means the poster converted his binary to ntx
with yenc32 and then uploaded that ntx, probably using the default UUencode.
Posting in UUencode a ntx file defeats the purpose of yEnc and is useless in terms of bandwidth savings.
If one wants to post in yEnc, one uses an yEnc-enabled posting program.
As for decoding the ntx file you downloaded, drop it onto yenc32 or another manual yEnc decoder.
Q. Xnews says I downloaded the binary but the file is not saved?
A. Xnews L5 ignores binary posts done in yEnc v1.3.
Solution: upgrade your Xnews L5 to version 5.04.24 or above:
Q. What is the best client software?
A. I have yet to find the perfect newsreader.
All the ones I tried had various pluses and minuses.
You could opt to use two clients, for example one for
reading text and replying and another for binary downloading.
Q. Since a few days I cannot download yEnc posts anymore.
A. Some versions of ZoneAlarm v5 corrupt yEnc posts. Use another version
or another firewall. Or turn off mail filtering.
How about a posting program? Windows:
o PowerPost-A&A is at http://powerpost.cjb.net
and is the most up-to-date version of PowerPost.
Can limit the bandwidth, can use multiple servers.
Can do PAR2 as well.
o Here is good old YencPost2002v102.zip for Windows (500k.)
Can switch yEnc/UUencode. Auto-adds "yenc" in the header and quotes around the filename.
o Posting notes:
Beware to not set the number of lines too high as yEnc has a longer line length,
about the double of UUencode.
It has been suggested to stay in the 3000-4000 range or lower (or 350-400k per segment.)
Make sure that the last name in the subject is the filename ($F)
otherwise some newsreaders like Agent, Gravity, NewsRover,
NewsWatcher, Pan etc. won't be able to auto-combine the multiparts.
o Do not use "Power-post 2000 Build 25b yEnc" from the CosmicWolf.com site,
it's broken. It generates a wrong CRC for each single file so yEnc decoders
will stumble on those despite the file may be okay.
Tip for Agent users:
Open AGENT.INI in the Agent folder,
look for the line RequireFilenameWithTag=1 under [Attachment],
change it to RequireFilenameWithTag=0.
Now Agent will auto-combine those tricky headers.
On occasion it will wrongly combine headers that shouldn't be joined, though.