A Quick and Easy Install of Souper v14 and Yarn v0.89 for OS/2

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By Steve Withers - Internet Marketing Specialist

V0.02 - Jan 20, 1996

Here is the second draft of the Souper and Yarn Install Guide. Scott Katzer has sent me several notes making some excellent suggestions and providing his own version of the procedures for uploading and downloading news - and several other things as well.

I use SOUPER and YARN to download USENET news only. I download my mail with Post Road Mailer v1.03a. These instructions do not include info on how to set up YARN for receiving mail - though, of course, I must use YARN for my mailed replies to USENET posts I want to mail people about. I think this will work fine for mail - but I haven't tried it. Scott says he thinks it will work fine for incoming mail as it is very similar to his config. Try it and let me know.

This may not be the most elegant, or intelligent install procedure. But I offer it as a guide to anyone who has scratched ruts in their head trying to get Souper and Yarn/2 going with the supplied docs. It is intended to fill the gaps in the SOUPER and YARN docs - not to replace them.


Remember to adjust the drive letters in the procs to match your own. Make sure your environment variables point at the right drives and paths.

IGNORE THE MULTI-USER COMMENTS UNLESS YOU *REALLY* NEED IT. You can always add this function later once you are comfortable with the way SOUPER and YARN work. Moreover...I haven't tested them yet. :-)


First, get these files:

  • (SOUPER and YARN)
  • SOUPER14.ZIP - via ftp - ftp.oce.com /pub/yarn
  • YRN2_089.ZIP - hobbes.nmsu.edu /os2/comm
  • (The EMX Run-Time DLLs)
  • EMXRT.ZIP - via ftp - hobbes.nmsu.edu /os2/unix/emx09a - ftp.cdrom.com /pub/os2/lang/emx09a
  • (Info ZIP and UNZIP archivers)
  • ZIP201x2.ZIP - via ftp - hobbes.nmsu.edu /os2/archiver
  • UNZ512x2.EXE - ftp.cdrom.com /pub/os2/archiver

(There are many more sites that may have these files, but I have personally checked these.)

INITIAL SETUP -> "Things To Do"

  1. Unzip EMXRT.ZIP in the root directory as it creates the \EMX and other subdirectories. Otherwise you get \EMX\EMX..... :-)
  2. Make sure the EMX DLLs are in a directory somewhere on your LIBPATH. SOUPER.EXE won't run without them. I put them in x:\OS2\APPS\DLL
    You can delete the \EMX directory and contents if you do it the way I do it - or put the \EMX\DLL directory on your LIBPATH and leave it there.
  3. Make sure that UNZIP.EXE and ZIP.EXE are in a directory on your PATH. (I put them in x:\OS2\APPS)
  4. Make the directories you will need. I put them on the same partition/drive.
md x:\souper
md x:\yarninst
md x:\yarn
md x:\upload


1. Unzip SOUPER??.ZIP into the x:\SOUPER directory.

2. Copy SOUPER.EXE to x:\OS2\APPS - or anywhere on your path.

3. Delete the x:\SOUPER\SOURCE directory if you like.

4. Make the NEWSRC file for SOUPER in the \SOUPER (the HOME=) directory Use alt.test as your first and only newsgroup. Later, you can add any others you want. The only line in the file at this point should be:


(NOTE: Put 'NO REPLY' in the SUBJECT: line of any post to alt.test - or you get auto-responder mail for *DAYS* - dozens of them.)

OPTIONAL: DON'T DO IT IF YOU DON'T NEED TO! It only complicates things.

         If you want to run a multi-user setup, make a \SOUPER\<user>
         directory and put your NEWSRC in there. You will also need
         a \SOUPER\<user>\YARN directory with the YARN 'config' file
         in it for your user settings. The YARN config file is 
         created by the ADDUSER program you run in the next section. 
         You can edit/copy it manually, as needed, once it
         is created. The MSOUP.CMD has a statement (commented out)
         that sets the HOME variable to let you go multi-user. 
         Each user would need their own 'Muser.CMD' 

         DON'T DO IT IF YOU DON'T NEED TO. It only complicates things.


1. Unzip YRN2_0??.ZIP into the x:\YARNINST directory.

2. From x:\YARNINST, enter ENGLISH x:\YARN

3. Now delete the x:\YARNINST directory if you like.

4. Copy YARN.EXE, IMPORT.EXE and EXPIRE.EXE into a directory on your PATH. (I use \OS2\APPS)

5. Go to the x:\YARN directory and run the ADDUSER program. Fill in the details:

a. Make *your* directory x:\SOUPER

(- unless you want to have multiple users....in which case use \SOUPER\<user> for each user you want.)

b. I use TEDIT as my editor (I hate PM editors popping everywhere)

c. Make the upload directory/file: E:\UPLOAD\REPLY.ZIP

(You would have to vary this by <user> in a multi-user setup, otherwise one user could overwrite another's replies accidentally. This setting is in the 'config' file for each user - with location controlled by the HOME= variable. If the HOME= value is \SOUPER\FRED, then 'config' will found in \SOUPER\FRED\YARN)

5. Add at least the minimum environment variables to the config.sys: (These are all I need to make it work - I use the IBM Internet service.)

        SET HOME=x:\SOUPER
        SET NNTPSERVER=news-s01.ny.us.ibm.net
        SET YARN=x:\YARN
        SET TZ=EST5EDT  - or whatever is appropriate.
                          (If you get this wrong, you may get a 441 error
                           say you are posting into the future)

(for multi-user, the HOME value would need to be overridden in each M<user>.CMD - as the first statement.)


1. SHUTDOWN and REBOOT so the environment variables apply globally.

2. Dial up your Internet provider.

3. Test SOUPER. Issue this command to catch up alt.test to the latest 5 posts. I suggest only 5 because sometimes they can be pretty big, depending on who has been testing what.

souper -c 5  (This catches up ALL newsgroups in the NEWSRC file)

4. If that went OK....and it should have if everything is correctly set up, try downloading those 5 posts:

souper -m -k 4096   ("-m" - excludes mail)
                    ("-k" sets the maximum amount to download in KB,
                      with "0" - zero - indicating NO limit. The
                      default is 2048KB - about 1,000 posts.)

Did it download some? You will have seen messages like these:

[E:\souper]souper -m -k 4096

souper: 41 unread articles in comp.os.os2.advocacy souper: 0 unread articles in comp.os.os2.announce souper: 27 unread articles in comp.os.os2.apps souper: 21 unread articles in comp.os.os2.misc 4%

Good.....you're almost there.

4. Now add whatever other newsgroups you like to your NEWSRC file in the \SOUPER directory (or \SOUPER\<user> in a multi-user setup).

Remember to catch them up to however many posts you think you can handle....usually no more than 50 each for, say, 10 newsgroups. That's 500 posts. But it's your life...

Also....if it tries to download posts that have already been expired from your newserver, it will appear to be doing nothing until it catches up with the ones that are still on the server.

5. From this point, you should be able to use *.cmd files like mine below to first get news, then afterwards, upload your followups and e-mail responses.

Here are my MSOUP.CMD ('make soup') and SSOUP.CMD (send soup) files for getting and sending news and mailed responses.

    • This can be run from *any* directory if MSOUP.CMD is in a directory
    • on your path. I use a program object to do it, called DOWNLOAD NEWS.

(If you want to run multiple people using this news spool - as in on a LAN - then change the HOME environment variable as the first line. I have included a sample - commented out.)

I put these on my PATH - usually in x:\OS2\APPS.

MSOUP.CMD - Download the News and Import it to Yarn


/* ** Change to my HOME directory ** */
'cd \SOUPER'

/* ** Download the news ** */ 
'souper -m'

/* ** ZIP the news prior to import to YARN ** */ 
'zip -0m soup.zip areas *.msg'

/* ** Backup the downloaded news - just in case. ** */
'copy soup.zip soupbkp.zip'

/* ** import the news into Yarn - NOTE: import deletes soup.zip ** */
'import soup.zip'


Now you would enter YARN anywhere to start YARN and read news/reply. Or use a program object - mine is called READ NEWS. When you exit YARN, it will create the REPLY.ZIP file we specified earlier in the x:\UPLOAD directory. (x:\UPLOAD\<user> in a multi-user setup.)

You can check out the YARN docs for things like changing the colours and the like. This is done in the 'config' file. I find using YARN a lot like using TRN....especially for replying and following up.

SSOUP.CMD - Uploads Follow-ups and E-mail Responses 

/* ** Upload Responses ** */ 

'cd \upload'
'unzip -o x:\upload\reply.zip'

/* ** These statements backup my reply files "just in case". ** */
'copy reply1.zip reply2.zip'
'copy reply.zip reply1.zip'

/* ** Delete the reply file ** */
'del x:\upload\reply.zip'

/* ** Upload my news and mail responses. ** */  
'souper -s'


YEP (from ftp.oce.com /incoming) - an OS/2 program which lets you modify your message headers to add things like X-Newsreader to your posts to let the world know that you're using Yarn! Scott Katzer has played with it and says it works well.

YES (from ftp.oce.com /pub/yarn) - "a DOS package which has more functions than YEP. I haven't used this yet." (Said Scott).

  • YarnUtil (from ftp.oce.com /pub/yarn) - "another collection of utilities. I haven't tried this yet either." (Said Scott).
  • YarnDial (from hobbes.nmsu.edu /pub/comm) - Dial in & process news with yrn2_0XX & souper
Steve Withers - Wellington, New Zealand
sbwnz01@ibm.net / swithers@vnet.ibm.com
Canadian since '58 / Kiwi (too) since '88 / OS/2 since April '92 
Life started great and just keeps getting better!