Inside Outlook Express

Tips and Ideas

Binaries Newsgroups

Many users find it useful to create message rules to stop large messages from being downloaded. But for those who frequent binaries newsgroups, in which people routinely post large messages with attached pictures, sounds, movies, etc., it is also helpful to prevent small messages from being downloaded. This is because in such groups a small message is usually spam, while a large message usually contains a binary attachment. Since OE's news message rules allow you to filter only for messages more than a number of lines and not less than, it is not immediately apparent how to proceed. The answer is to use two rules instead of one.

  • First rule: Binary Large
    Where the message is on specified newsgroup/account
    and Where the number of lines in the message is more than 100 lines 
    Stop processing more rules 
  • Second rule: Binary Small
    Where the message is on specified newsgroup/account
    Delete it 
    and Stop processing more rules 

The first rule stops processing any more rules for any message larger than 100 lines. The second rule deletes all messages that have made it to that rule, meaning only those less than 100 lines. The result is a newsgroup with only messages larger than 100 lines. Note that if you wish to apply other rules to the large messages, they will have to be put above the Binary Large rule in the list of rules.

If you subscribe to several binaries groups in addition to several non-binaries groups, you might want to use separate news accounts, each using the same news server, according to the type of groups. In other words you would subscribe to all your binaries groups on News Account #1 and to all your non-binaries groups on News Account #2, although both #1 and #2 are actually using the same server. This allows you to use message rules for the entire account rather than a specific newsgroup. Subscribing to a new binaries group on the binaries account would then require no further action on your part for the above rules to be applied. If you do not use a separate account for binaries groups, you will need to duplicate the two rules for each binaries group. 

If you opt for multiple news accounts using the same news server, you might do well to keep all but one account free of the complete list of newsgroups. This is a little bit of work to configure, but the increase in performance is usually well worth the effort. 

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