alt.anonymous.messages fetcher (aamFetch) Manual


To start aamFetch, just click the aamfetch.bat file (on Windows) or the aamfetch.jar file. The latter may fail on Windows if a compression program has registered the .jar extension. In that case just use the .bat file or let the compression programm "unregister" the .jar extension.

On any OS it should also work to open a console window (command prompt) and enter

java -jar aamfetch.jar

Now you will see the configuration window.

Enter the name of your NNTP server into the "Server" field. You can leave the "port" field as is, if your NNTP server uses the default port 119. (If not, you'll know this anyway). If your server requires authentication, you can set up a username and a password. Usually the group name is correct. On the first pull, leave the "high watermark" field empty. Instead enter into the "#Articles" field how many articles you want to fetch. On the following fetches, aamFetch will always fetch all articles that have appeared since the last fetch. If you want to skip some, or if you switch your NNTP server, just delete the content of the "high watermark" field.

Now switch to the "Simple Filters" tab:

First, according to your threat model, specify how many foreign messages you want to fetch. You may specify "0" to fetch only your messages or "100" to fetch all messages - or any value in between.

Then click add to add a subject rule. If you don't use esub, just leave the esub field black and enter only a subject. For the "target", just enter a file name you want to use for those messages to be stored into. For example, use your nym address' local part. You can use one target for multiple rules as well - for example if you have multiple reply blocks for a message.

That's it for this quick start - now click "Start" (ensure that you are online) and aamFetch will fetch your messages. To view your messages, either use the built-in message viewer or open the .mbx files in your e-mail program.


Command line parameters

You may specify command line parameters for automating aamFetch.

guifetch will directly open the status window and start fetching.

clifetch will fetch the messages without a GUI.

viewer will start the message viewer directly

General settings

The news server to use.
The port the news server is listening on (Default: 119).
Username for the newsserver, if the news server requires authentication.
Password for the newsserver, if the news server requires authentication.
Name of the news group to scan (default: alt.anonymous.messages)
High Watermark
The newest article number aamFetch has already downloaded. If this field is empty, the next field specifies how many headers to download.
#Articles first time
How many articles to download when the High watermark field is empty.

Simple Filters

Discard messages...
Messages larger than this setting will not be downloaded - regardles whether they match your subjects or not. Leave this field empty to disable this restriction.
Fetch foreign...
How many messages (of those that do not match any subject) should be downloaded. Set this to 100 (%) to download all messages or to 0% to download only your messages.
Discard foreign...
Messages that are not your own will not be downloaded if they are larger than this value. Leave blank if you do not want to use this restriction (recommended, since it could be used to reduce your anonymity).
My messages
Lists the subject/esub pairs of your messages. And the name of the destination file. Leave the esub field blank to look for cleartext subjects. Use the Add and Remove buttons to add/remove entries.

Advanced Filters

This list shows all your filters. They are processed in order - the first filter matching will stop the processing. Use the Add/Removr/Up/Down buttons to rearrange your filters.
You can name your filters so that you can distinguish them in the Filters tab.
Specify here what to do with messages mathing. Either download them, or download and discard them, or download and save them into a .mbox file.
Here you can add "rules": All rules must match so that a messages matches this filter. This is the way of setting up "AND" filters. For "OR" filters, set up multiple filters with the same action.
Rule Configuration
Here you can configure your rules. Depending on the rule type, there are up to three parameters you can enter for the rule. All Rule types are listed below.

Rule types

All messages
Matches on all messages. Useful as a "final" rule.
Esub rule
Matches on an encrypted subject
Lines rule
Matches on the message size in lines. Specify -1 for either end for not restricting that end. (e. g. -1/100 means "up to 100 lines" and 400/-1 means "at least 400 lines")
No messages
Matches on no messages at all. Useful to temporarily disable a filter.
Random filter
Matches on a percentage of messages. Use 0 to match no messages or 100 to match all messages.
Size rule (bytes)
Like lines rule, but on bytes. May not work on some news servers.
Subject rule
Matches on an entire (unencrypted) subject.
Subject substring rule
Matches on a part of the subject.
That was it for the manual. Send suggestions to by (maybe anonymous) e-mail.