First lets talk about Usenet

Usenet is a world-wide distributed discussion system. It consists of a set of “newsgroups” with names that are classified hierarchically by subject. “Articles” or “messages” are “posted” to these newsgroups by people on computers with the appropriate software.

These articles are then broadcast to other interconnected computer systems via a wide variety of networks. Some newsgroups are “moderated”; in these newsgroups, the articles are first sent to a moderator for approval before appearing in the newsgroup. Usenet is available on a wide variety of computer systems and networks, but the bulk of modern Usenet traffic is transported over either the Internet or UUCP.

What does this mean ? What does it have to do with News Servers ?

Its safe to say that almost every News Server feeds from Usenet, and if you’ll remember from the above that Usenet is basically a bunch of interconnected computers sharing information such as Articles or messages and that these Articles or messages are categorized within newsgroups. One very popular type of newsgroup is the binaries newsgroup which primarily has files rather then Articles or messages.

It is in the binaries newsgroups that you’ll be searching for files if you are looking to download games, movies, t.v. shows, applications, etc… and in order to download any of the files in a particular newsgroup, you’ll need to register with a binary news server. 

Registering with a binary news server together with an indexing service and a news reader client, will enable you to download pretty much anything.

Have you ever heard anyone mention an NZB file ? How about searching for something on the internet, have you ever come across an NZB file of something that you’ve wanted to download but have no idea what an NZB file is ?

In short an NZB file is nothing more then an XML file with file and header information for Usenet binary attachments.

Ok, now for the definition in english. Think of an NZB file as a container and inside of this container is information that points to file locations. An NZB file does not contain any files within itself and it is not an archive that can be extracted. It’s basically a file that tells another applications which files to download.

So what application would you open an NZB with ? Simple answer if you’re on a Mac you can use Unison if you’re on Windows do a search for usenet client. I’m not going to go into much more detail about opening NZB files and downloading, that’s beyond the scope of this article, but I will have another tutorial posted soon that covers downloading NZB files, configuring Unison, and extracting the downloaded parts.

So to summarize, if you don’t have a usenet account and you don’t have a usenet client then an NZB file will pretty much be useless to you. If you want to learn more then subscribe to my RSS feed. I’ll have a tutorial ready soon.

Let’s face it, without a spoiler, your car just looks, well… naked. If you’ve thought about getting a spoiler for your car, you should definitely check out carid.com

carid.com will take extra special care to match you with the perfect spoiler, not to just match your car but also your style. So if you want to get yourself a spoiler click here, spoilers

Have you been having a hard time finding drivers for your hardware for Windows ? Well there’s this cool little app that you can download called Driver Detective.

Driver Detective will automatically search for the most up to date drivers for your hardware, including printer drivers, video drivers, sound card drivers, etc…

Better yet, Driver Detective will not only search for drivers for hardware that’s not installed but will also keep your drivers up to date as well as make backups of drivers before installing new ones, so that if you have a problem with an installed driver, it will be easy to roll back to a previous one.

You can download driver detective from http://driversupdated.net

If you’re in the market for a computer and don’t have the money to purchase a new one, then you might want to consider purchasing a pre-owned / used computer.

With frequent changes in technology it can become quite difficult to know what to look for when purchasing a used computer.

There are many people who will sell you a computer for $400.00 when in reality it might be worth no more then $50.00, but how would you research this ?

There is a simple guideline I use, for one I look at the software I need to run and look at the system requirements and recommendations. The requirements will generally give you just enough to run the software while the recommendations give you enough to run the software comfortably.

Take Windows Vista’s minimum requirements for example:

Processor – 800 MHz
Memory – 512 MB
Hard Drive – 20 GB with 15 GB available
Graphics – SVGA Compatible Graphics Card
Optical Drive – CD-ROM

A used computer with this configuration should cost you no more then $50.00, however those are the minimum requirements and you’ll find that you’ll quickly become frustrated with the performance. If you want better performance, you can double everything, for example:

Processor – 1.6 GHz
Memory – 1.0 GB
Hard Drive – 40 GB
Graphics – 128 MB NVidia
Optical Drive – DVD-RW

A used computer with this configuration should cost you no more than $150.00 and should run Windows Vista smoothly with no issues or frustration. So is this the configuration you need to look for in a used computer, it depends on your software needs. If all you are going to do is run Windows and get online, check e-mail, save pictures, etc… then its sufficient.

The best way to tell what you need is to look at the software and check the hardware requirements then double them, alternatively you could just buy a Mac :) 

If you find a used computer that you’re thinking about buying and you have the specs and want me to give you an estimate, just leave me a comment and I’ll do my best.

Google Google Google LOL Read more

So what’s this new side project of mine ? Well, I’ve decided to start up another blog. Why ? The reason is simple. I’ve noticed that a lot of my posts on this blog are tutorials and how-to articles with regard to Mac’s, OS X, etc… Read more

Not sure how many of you are familiar with the actor resource site nowcasting.com but if you are, then you’ll remember that last year sometime they re-designed their website, which changed it from an open to the public website to a members only website. Read more

I recently downloaded the MyAdManager WordPress Plugin developed by Vision Master Designs. The configuration is pretty straight forward. It took me virtually no time to set it up and integrate it into my WordPress theme.

Ads are easily setup through the admin interface by providing an image URL and a link as well as a few other options.

The feature I think this plugin lacks and would make more usable for everyone is the ability to add generated ad code from Amazon Affiliates, Google Adsense, etc… for the home ads. This would be a perfect solution for place holders rather than having 125×125 squares that say Advertise Here. Read more

All of my regulars probably noticed the layout changes to the blog. I just wanted to let everyone know that I thought it was time for a change and that I am currently working really long and hard hours to make sure everything works like it should and that it looks nice too.

Any input / constructive criticism is very much appreciated. There may be some areas of the blog that don’t look quite right and may be scrunched up or not properly aligned, I appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding while I work on the site to make it better and easier to use for everyone.

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend. Thanks for reading. – Chris