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Agent – a Collection of Tips

What is this section all about?
Forte Agent is a very popular newsreader used by many in absm.*  Many Agent tips have been added to the FAQ over time.  We are trying to collect the detailed and lengthy Agent tips here in the Tips section to trim the FAQ down somewhat.  The tips below are all linked from the FAQ, but you can also just come straight here and scan or search for what you need.  Let us know about any Agent tip you think should be added.
What other Agent tips are in the Tips section?
The following tips have their own page in the Tips section already:

1)  Reposting individual parts/segments with Agent
2)  Associating Winamp to launch wihin Agent
3)  The underscore bug in Agent (caused by Xnews or News Xpress)

How do I sample an MP3 with Agent without downloading the whole thing?
There is another method if you're using Windows and Forte's Agent newsreader.  Leave the sections joined together and start to "Save All Attachments".  As it downloads and saves the file, Agent creates a .tmp file in your 'Directory for Saved Files'.  After some of it has downloaded drag/drop the temp.tmp file to WinAmp to sample the song.

With Agent 1.5 it used to be possible to split the parts, join the first two, double-click to make it a priority retrieval while downloading something else. Then when several such bits had been retrieved you could launch them one by one by right-clicking it in Agent and choose "Launch Attachment".   This stopped working with version 1.7.

With version 1.7 of Agent, check on the main menu under Group| Properties | Receive Files.  You will need to turn off "Join Multipart Messages when saving or launching attachments".  Now 1.7 will play just the first section from within Agent.

Spam filter for Agent
Since this is of interest to a number of people in the a.b.s.mp3 groups, the filter for Agent 1.51 is included here.  Note that although it is formatted for Agent 1.51, similar filters can easily be created for other software packages or other versions of Agent.


       [1,99] and not subject: ({0/}|"0 of"|nfo|info|txt|image|faq|scan|m3u)

Also look in the Agent help file for Select Views or Manage Views.   Ignoring stuff with a View can be faster than a filter.

Filter requests out of discussion group with Agent
You can filter out everything with the word "req" in it and the discussion group becomes much easier to read.  Do not use this filter in the binary groups.  You won't see responses to requests.

The Agent filter would be:


       subject: req or request or requests

Also look in the Agent help file for Select Views or Manage Views.   Ignoring stuff with a View can be faster than a filter.

Setting segment size for posting with Agent
Try setting your segment size to something between 5000 and 7900 lines (about 1/3 Meg to 1/2 Meg). 

These settings can be set in Agent by going to Group|Default Properties|Send Files and adjusting the number in the "Maximum bytes per section" box to 500000 for ~7500 lines, or 315000 for ~5000 lines.  You can see the line count change as you alter the bytes per section number.

I read both the main group AND the decade groups. Is there a way to avoid seeing all those posts twice?
If you're using Agent (versions .99g or later), this can be solved by going to Group|Default Properties|Crossposts and checking the box that says, "Enable Crosspost Checking"

Now when you pull headers in all six groups, you will see only one occurrence of each message.