The Haiku/BeOS Tip Server
Tips and tricks for Haiku/BeOS users

slrn: Decode USENET binaries

Contributed by: Scot Hacker
This tip is valid for: Both BeOS and Haiku

At this time, there are no graphical newsreaders for BeOS that can easily display or launch uuencoded USENET binaries. However, the command-line SLRN newsreader makes this pretty easy. If you don’t have SLRN running already, get it installed and familiarize yourself with basic navigation.

Now, make sure you have a directory /boot/home/News.

If you want to decode a single-article binary, just select it in SLRN and tap : (the colon key). SLRN will suggest a filename for the raw file data — something like:

/boot/home/News/alt.binaries.pictures.fractals

Accept this filename by pressing “y” and SLRN will save the raw data to disk. When done, SLRN will ask whether you want it decoded. Press “y” and the uuencoded file will be passed to uudecode, which comes bundled with BeOS. When finished, you should have a new .jpg or .mp3 or whatever file in your ~/News folder, which you can double-click to launch. You’ll be asked whether you want to delete the input file. You’ll probably want to say yes.

If you’re dealing with a binary which spans multiple articles, you’ll need to tag those articles first so SLRN can treat them as a batch. Just press # next to each article header and the pieces will be numbered 1-7 or whatever. With the articles tagged, press : and proceed as above.

Before going to grab another binary, you’ll need to untag the currently tagged articles — do this with Esc-#.

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