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Installation Manual


PPCNewz is an offline news reader for the pocket PC (tested on the HP548, but should be ok for all SH3, MIPs and StrongArm based PocketPCs. I have reports from HP567 owners confirming it works ok on their machines, so it also seems to work on PPC2002.

It is freeware and may be freely distributed. Note however that you use it at your own risk. Please let me know if you have any questions, bug reports or enhancement requests; but bear in mind that support, if any, is likely to be patchy given my other commitments! Registration is free, and will ensure that you receive an email when new releases are available.

Installation

PCNewz (The following was written for PCNewz 1.1, there are a few minor changes for 1.5 but they should be obvious when you are installing - I hope to update this page in the next couple of days with new screen shots)

PCNewz is included within the PPCNewz downloaded ZIP files.. It is required on the host PC (to which the PPC is normally synched) before installing PPCNewz. Extract the zip file to a temporary folder and run setup.exe (or just open it and choose 'install' if you have Winzip).

The actual installation is standard stuff  - just choose where you want to put it.

SynchFolder.jpg (34839 bytes)Once the installation is complete, select [Start]=>Programs=>PCNewz=>PCNewz Synchronization Tool from the Windows Menu to run PCNewz.

You will be alerted that you that you don't have a news synch folder configured. Assuming you have the default synch folder for ActiveSynch (which is called 'Pocket_PC My Documents', then just select 'AutoLocate', and press 'OK' when it asks you if you want to create the PCNewz folder.

If you don't have the default synch folder, find the the synched folder in the dialog box, then select the 'create folder' button to create a synch folder caled PCNewz. (Note: you can change this folder later, under Options if you wish).

AddServer.jpg (14677 bytes)You will then be alerted that you're not synching to any newsgroups. Select 'Add', then enter the name of a server (e.g. news.microsoft.com). There will be a delay whilst the list of groups is downloaded. There's a list of news servers I have tested with PPCNewz here.

 

You can then use the '>>' button to select the groups you require (the edit box above the list of groups acts as a simple filter, similar to the one in Outlook Express.

Selectgroups.jpg (40177 bytes)If a server requires a username & password to login, select the server and then select the 'options' button to configure these. Note that they are not stored in an encypted format.

Once you've got your selected groups in the right hand list box, press Ok. From the menu on the main window select 'synch all',  All the configured groups should then be synched.

Note that the very first synch will always be a 'catchup', in that it will load messages 'backwards' from the server until the predetermined amount of disc space (default = 100Kb per group) is complete.

synching.jpg (28048 bytes)The blue bar indicates the % of disc space filled per group; the green bar indicates the percentage of messages on the server downloaded, with the right hand side indicating the most recent message on the server. Subsequent synchs will move forward from the last message received until either all messages are downloaded from the server, or there is no space remaining (based on the configured space per group).

 

'Old' messages are deleted either after they are read on the PPC, or if they are unread for more than the 'Days to Live' configured under 'Preferences' (default is 15 days).

DefaultPreferences.jpg (22896 bytes)After that, you can manually synch or catchup individual groups by selecting them in the right hand window and using the appropriate menu item; or, if you wish, you can autosynch everything by simply using the MS Windows [Start]->PCNewz->PCNewz AutoSynch menu item (this just runs PCNewz, but forces a synch to the servers(s) then exits once its complete)

You can also schedule this from the WinNT or Win2000 'Scheduled Tasks' if you wanted to synch without having to rememember to click the button. Note that the PPC doesn't need to be connected when you synch.

Once PCNewz is succesfully downloading messages from remote news servers, as described above, close it. You should then install PPCNewz on your PocketPC.

PPCNewz

From the Windows menu, select "[Start]->Programs->PCNewz->PPCNewz Installation on PocketPC" and following the instructions for the installation of PPCNewz on your Pocket PC.

CEZoom6.jpg (30224 bytes)Then run it (from the programs page). When first run it will ask you to enter a name and email address to be used when posting messages. You can also enter a signature to be (optionally) attached to messages you send.

The ThreadAutoExpand option will mean that whenever you select a new thread to view, it will be expanded (showing all messages), and the previously selected thread will be collapsed, hiding all messages.

Checking 'To Unread message' means that AutoExpand will only expand threads with new (unread) messages, and will move the selection to the first unread message in the thread

 

 

CEZoom7.jpg (29630 bytes)

 

Then click the browse button to select the folder that is being synched from the PC.

PPCNewz will then attempt to automatically determine which folder this is, if it highlights a folder on the pocket PC  in green, just select it and press ok.

If it doesn't find a folder it probably means that you've not selected   a folder in NewsPC which is synched to the PocketPC (or that you've not yet joined any newsgroups with NewsPC).  You should do this before continuing with PPCNewz installation.

Once you finished the configuration use should be pretty simple, the Groups menu gives a list of groups you're  subscribed to on the PC. If you change this (on the PC) you will have to stop and restart PPCNewz (just hit OK on the main window to exit)

Upgrading

If you have previously installed an earlier version of PPCNewz, you can install the latest version  in the same folder without uninstalling, or uninistall the previous version. In either case any configuration information (email address, signature etc) you previously entered will be saved, though you may want to go to the Msg-Options to configure the any new options described above.

When installing PPCNewz you may be asked if you wish to overwrite various Microsoft DLL's and VB runtimes. Depending on the model of your PocketPC, and what other applications you have installed, this may not be necessary. However, saying 'yes' should not cause any problems, except that it uses a little more RAM. I'd suggest first trying to install without over writing these files; if PPCNewz doesn't run, then uninstall and try again, this time saying 'yes' when asked to overwrite. You can uninstall PPCNewz from the ControlPanel->System->Add/Remove programs icon.


Steve
16-Nov-2001