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the Smart Par Primer
version 2.02
When and Why to use Smart Par
the Basics
Other Issues/Problems

If the parity says Par2, and not Pxx (like P01, P02, or Par) it's a Par2 file. Read about them here

When and Why to use Smart Par 
Smart Par is one of the cleanest programs to come along, and with very little practice stands a grand chance of reducing those redundant "gimmie fills" requests that can pepper the best of newsgroups. There are many others, and other web sites, that get into the the "how" it works - the starting place for any and all wanting knowledge beyond this primer. For myself, I'm satisfied to think of it as "Parity magic" and let it go at that. Any multi-sectioned posting, be it Rar, Split, or just "movie1.avi, movie2.avi, etc." that has more than 5 parts of greater than 5 megs each can benefit by the use of Parity repairing.

Case: the Smallest -
webius whacker posts his old classic "I don't know nuthing.mpg" in 5 parts of 5 megs each -
    IDKN-1.mpg    IDKN-2.mpg    IDKN-3.mpg    IDKN-4.mpg    IDKN-5.mpg
and adds a Par set that is slightly over 5 megs -
    IDKN.Par    IDKN.P01
If everyone wanting this classic waste downloads all the above and they are all good, ww and the downloader has just spent 20% more time downloading than he needed. BUT if:
    a. John Simple in Calf gets a bad download of IDKN-2.mpg
    b. Jack Slow in Boston gets a bad download of IDKN-1.mpg
    c. James Sloppy in Belgium gets a bad download of IDKN-5.mpg
they can ALL use THE same PAR to get the FULL set.
Otherwise uploads of 3 times the original, or 200% MORE bandwidth than was used in the first place, are required. If we all took the time to practice this

Now if Jon of Canada gets a bad download of IDKN-1 and IDKN-2 he's SOL for a complete, but even then he only needs one additional fill - not two more. Still ahead with Smart Par. And the larger the post, the great the advantage.

Smart Par includes and some say removes the need for sfv files (still a good thing).

All that being said, if you're a poster, please consider the use of FSRaid instead. While quite a bit more resource intensive that SmartPar, FSRaids ability to rename Par sets add a good deal to viability as a posting tool.

the Basics 
 1. Download the program from the link here.
 2. Unpack SmartPar files to any directory you want, then create a short cut or simply click on it to open.
 3. The first thing it asks is if you want to associate Smart Par with "Par" files - I said No. It also asks if you want Smart Par to automatically attempt repair - again I said No. There have been a few times when this caused a "looping" effect that caused Smart Par to lock up.
 3. Download all the available files in the set you are interested in to your selected storage directory.
 4. Open Smart Par and Click "File" "Open Parity Set" 
 5. Move to the storage directory that contains ALL the files and pars, then select the "par" file.
6. If you're missing the par, simply click on any of the pXX files.

7. Smart par will then run an inventory and check the condition of the downloads:

In this case you have 3 Pxx files, and two files that downloaded badly or are missing.

8. If you have enough pars to repair, click on Repair Files

If you have more bad / missing files than you have pars, then the Recover option won't be available

in which case you need to post a request in the discussion group to replace enough of the missing/damaged files to complete.
other wise, Smart Par will finish the Recover operation and display
In which case you're done and don't need this anymore.

Other Issues

 File Names
One other point that should be covered here, but wasn't. Due to the nature of usenet, and the differences in machine Operating Systems (OS's), sometimes files get renamed. A file that started out looking like:
My Movie(1 of 2).rar
Ends up on your computer looking like:
Now, for my money, it's the posters fault. But let's not beat up on him, he may stop posting. The par file should show how the name should be named. All you'll need to do is rename the files just the way they show up in the SmartPar window. Or, you could switch to FSRaid, another free par utility, that can handle this type of mis-name for you.

copyright 2003 by the abmefaq consortium Ltd