"The usual places"

 

Locating the files you want can be quite simple. You may already have the tools needed on your own PC; Outlook Express, for example, can download and decode binary files form usenet groups, or grabbing file susing your browser. This guide is intended to explain where “hard-to-find” things are usually found on the internet – it isn’t a guide on pirated materials, though you may come across those sorts of things in these places. It is intended on helping you locate underground Xbox software, binaries compiled for the Xbox by devoted enthusiasts for users of modified Xboxes. This software is not, I believe, actually illegal, but because of the nature of such things, nobody wishes to take a chance.

 

 

 

USENET

 

If you are looking for files for the Xbox, for example, you can see if your usenet server offers up one of the alt.binaries.* newsgroups related to the Xbox and connect up... once connected up, you can search for the files you need. If they are not there, you may need to download more headers or get a pay usenet service.

 

Options:

 

 

 

Usenet Reader Client

Outlook Express, Agent, Newsbin can all handle downloading binaries. The downside is that it must assemble the binaries from multiple messages, and each message has overhead associated with converting binary data into ASCII characters used in usenet messages.

EasyNews.com and UsenetServer.com are two pay usenet servers that use nntp servers to serve up messages. See the next section for info on EasyNews.com.

UsenetServer.com runs US$14.95/month, unlimited downloads, but does not have the best retention.

 

Web-based usenet servers

Easynews.com and News2Me.com both support web-based interfaces which offer direct downloading of binaries from the usenet archives. These are pay services, and there are pros and cons for both services…

EasyNews.com has the BEST retention and often has the most complete postings, but is pricier, at US$10/6GB of download (or a month, whichever comes first).

News2Me.com has decent retention, but is much less expensive coming in at $10/month – with up to 50GB per month, and $0.50 per GB over that limit.

 

Do some research…. These are only newsfeeds that I have experience with, so your mileage may vary, and you may find a better newsfeed elsewhere.

 

IRC

 

Try EFNet servers for channels like #xbins and other such channels. Look at the number of people in the channel, lurk a while. Learn how to use a decent IRC client, like mIRC. I don’t IRC much, and it’s a pain to DCC (Direct Connect Chat), which is often used to serve up binary files using ‘bots’, as each ‘bot’ handles incoming requests differently.

 

PUB FTPS

 

I haven’t haunted these in quite a while… “Pubs” are public FTP servers that have been coopted by third parties to use as dumping grounds for all sorts of files. You may find what you are looking for here, but don’t count on it. I can’t even tell you where to start looking for them anymore, except that I started my search using google and had no trouble finding lists of pubs and what I might find on them.

 

TOP SITES

 

Ugh. Pop-up havens and a lot of dead ends abound here, but occasionally, you may find a gem here. Often, you are directed to “Upload-only” FTP sites or web sites filled with porn ads and complex deeply-linked schemes that will have you clicking till your fingers are sore before actually getting to a file download link…. That turns out to be broken.

 

Good luck on that.

 

So that’s it. “The Usual Places” – don’t ask me any more about it, as this is all you will get.

 

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