SBNews detailed installation instructions

These instructions are intended for novices and I have intended to make them as detailed and easy to follow as possible. These instructions assume that you will be using a 32-bit version of Windows, including Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, or XP.

1. Download the SBNews package from the web.

SBNews is an executable program, and as such, you need to download and install the program itself. SBNews can be found in a variety of shareware sites, web page links, etc. I will provide instructions on how to download it from my personal web site.

  1. Load up your Internet Browser (i.e. Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, etc)
  2. Type "" (do not type the quotes, they're just for illustration) into the 'Location:' field of the web browser and press return.
  3. Your browser should display the SBNews/News Robot home page. Across the left-hand side of the screen are a series of buttons. You are looking for a "Download" button that says "Download SBNews/News Robot" next to it. Press the download button. Here is an example of what the download button should look like:
  4. Your browser should open up a 'save-as' dialog. The dialog should include the default filename of the SBNews package and should already be in your default browser download area. Note the filename and directory that the file will download into and press return.
  5. Your browser will download the SBNews EXE file.

2. Running the SBNews installer

The current version of SBNews uses a self-executing installer program. This means you don't have to "unzip" it. You can just run the installer.

Usually, Windows will pop up a dialog box after you have finished downloaing SBNews, and ask you if you want to run (or open) the program. Click yes, and this should launch the installer.

In some rare cases, Windows might not be configured to ask you whether or not you want to run the program once you've downloaded it. If this is the case, then you'll have to open the windows explorer, and browse to wherever you saved the SBNews installer to, and run it manually.

3. Installing SBNews

Te SBNews installer program is largely automatic and pre-configured, so you usually won't have to enter a whole lot of information. Most of the time, you'll just be hitting the <Next> or <Accept> or <Continue> buttons on the installer.

Once the install is completed, a new program group will have been added to your Start Menu. The SBNews program will be available under this program group. An SBNews icon will also be placed on your desktop.

The new icon on your desktop will look a little like this --->


4. Running SBNews for the first time

The first time you run SBNews, you'll be asked for some information to configure the system. You should only need to enter this configuration information once.

  1. Launch SBNews
  2. SBNews will load and display an about box with a 15-second delay. The delay is a Shareware incentive to get you to register; If you have already registered, then you may enter your registration information now.
  3. Once the delay has completed, click on the button that says 'Press to Continue'
  4. You will be prompted for the name of your News Host (or NNTP host) [Figure 1]
  5. Next you will be prompted for a download path [Figure 2]
  6. You may wish to enter authentication information. Authentication information is the name and password that your News Host (see step 4) uses to authenticate you. Not all news hosts require authentication, but some will deny you access, or limit the scope of available groups, if you do not include authentication information. Your authentication name and password may (probably) be the same as the name and password that you use to access the Internet. You can always do this later if you like.
    1. Go the to 'Configure' pull-down menu in SBNews [Figure 9]
    2. Select 'Authentication' from the configure menu
    3. Enter the NAME and PASSWORD that your news server uses to authenticate you, and press OK. [Figure 10]

5. Connecting for the first time

  1. To connect to the new service, press the <Connect> button. It's located to the right of the Transfer status list box. [Figure 3]
  2. SBNews will attempt to connect to your news server.
  3. SBNews will download a NewsRc.Lst file. The NewsRc.Lst file is the listing of all newsgroups that your news server supports. It is not necessary, but it is an aid in findout out what groups are available. Downloading the NewsRc.Lst file will take several minutes, but it only needs to be done the first time you connect and will not need to be done in the future. [Figure 4]
  4. When everything is done, SBNews will disconnect since you have not yet entered any newsgroup names. This is normal. [Figure 5]

6. Configuring Newsgroups to download

Usenet content is divided into different Newsgroups. Each newsgroup typically has specific content in it. There are many thousands of Newsgroups available and you must have the names of the ones that you wan't to download. You can't download from all of them; It would simply take forever!

1. The first step is to open the "Add Newsgroups" dialog. To do this, press the <Add> button on the SBNews main window. This will bring up the "Add Newsgroup" dialog, which should look something like the picture to the right:

2. If you know the name of the newsgroup that you want to add, then you can simply type it here. Here are a couple of examples of what newsgroup names look like:

  • (this is a typical "picture" newsgroup)
  • alt.binaries.multimedia.reality-tv (this is a multimedia "video" newsgroup)
  • (here is a "video" newsgroup that has music videos)

Note: You have to type the names in correctly -- there is no margin for error. If you don't know the name of the group that you want to add, then read below, and I'll show you how to browse for them.

3. To view the "Browse for Newsgroups" dialog, press the <Browse> button on the "Add Newsgroups" dialog (the dialog we just showed you above).

This will bring up the Browse for Newsgroups dialog, which is pictured to the right:

The total list of newsgroups (i.e. all of them) are shown on the left hand side of the dialog. On the right hand side is an empty list which will be filled with the groups you want to add. There's a few ways to find the group(s) you want:

  • You can just scroll the left-hand list up and down until you see something appealing.
  • Or, you can type a search term into the search box and press the <Update> button. For example, type "mpeg" into the search box, and hit update, and you'll see a list of mpeg groups.

If you see a group that you like, select it on the left hand list, and hit the "--->" button in the middle. This will move the group from the left list to the right.

When you're all done, hit the <Ok> button.

Once you've added all of the groups you want, you can go back to the SBNews main screen and press the <connect> button to connect to your server and begin downloading. [Figure 8]

Note: It is my policy not to specifically suggest newsgroups containing adult or sexually explicit materials, and therefore I will not provide directions on how to specifically configure these groups. If you are looking for these groups, then most of the names begin with "" and you can go from there. If you are under 18 years of age, or this material is illegal in your area, then I suggest you avoid any group names which begin with "".

7. Retrieving the files that you have downloaded

8. Some misc tips:


Figure 1: The Set Host Name dialog


Figure 2: The Set Download Path dialog


Figure 3: SBNews when it first loads up... Press the <Connect> button


Figure 4: Downloading the newsrc list. This will take a while!


Figure 5: After the newsgroup list (newsrc.lst) has been downloaded


Figure 6: The Add Newsgroup dialog


Figure 7: The Browse dialog


Figure 8: SBNews beginning to download from the first newsgroup


Figure 9: The configure:authentication pull-down menu


Figure 10: Entering authentication information