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 About Usenet Newsgroups
 
 The Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG is proud to bring you Atari-related Usenet
 newsgroups!
 
 Usenet consists of the seven core branches of the world's largest bulletin
 board system, known as network news.  Netnews dates back to the late 1970's, 
 when a few Universities developed a system for sharing public messages over
 the UUCP (UNIX-to-UNIX Command Protocol) network.  Today most netnews users
 rely on what has become the Internet, rather than UUCP, for exchanging
 online information remotely.  But it would do you well to realize that
 netnews, including Usenet, is a software system that propagates largely over
 the Internet, but is not a physical network in itself.
 
 As a Cleveland Free-Net user, you have the privelage to participate on
 Usenet.  However, there is a certain gravity to participation on Usenet,
 due to the thousands of computers and millions of people that receive news
 postings.  Each and every posting you make is duplicated on all these
 machines (one at every site), so the system administrators running these
 machines have the right to suggest some rules that all posters to Usenet
 should be aware of. 
 
 There is no single person or organization in charge of Usenet; the system
 administrators at each site rely on each other to hold their local users
 to the posting rules that have been developed.  While CWRU is ultimately
 responsible for postings originating from the Cleveland Free-Net, the
 Atari SIG has taken a certain responsibilty as well by offering Usenet
 newsgroup access within our SIG.  What follows is one of the standard files
 available containing Usenet posting rules.  Please read this file before
 posting to Usenet from the Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG.
 
 Thank you and enjoy,
 Your Atari SIGOps, xx004
 
 (The above written by Michael Current, aa700)
 
 
 
 Archive-name: posting-rules/part1 Original-author: mark@stargate.com (Mark
 Horton) Comment: enhanced & edited until 5/93 by spaf@cs.purdue.edu (Gene
 Spafford) Last-change: 25 Apr 1993 by msb@sq.com (Mark Brader)
 
 This message describes some of the rules of conduct on Usenet.  The rules
 vary depending on the newsgroup.  
 
 
 Some newsgroups are intended for discussions and some for announcements
 or queries.  It is not usually a good idea to carry on discussions in
 newsgroups that are designated otherwise.  It is never a good idea to
 carry on "meta-discussions" about whether a given discussion is
 appropriate -- such traffic mushrooms until nobody can find articles
 that belong.  If you are unhappy with what some user said, send him/her
 mail, don't post it.
 
 
 Before posting, think about where your article is going.  If it's
 posted to a "comp", "news", "misc", "soc", "sci", "rec" or "talk"
 newsgroup, it will probably go to the sites on every continent with an
 estimated audience of more than 3 million potential readers.  Certain
 articles are only of local interest (e.g. used car ads) and it is
 inappropriate to post them to the whole world.  Use the "Distribution"
 feature to restrict distribution to your local area.  If you don't
 know how to use this feature, read the "Frequently Submitted Items" in
 another article in news.announce.newusers. (Note, however, that some
 sites have broken software or improperly configured news systems, so
 sometimes use of a "Distribution" header may not work.)
 
 
 Be considerate with your use of network resources.  Your individual
 usage may not seem like much compared to the net as a whole, but in
 aggregate, small savings in disk or CPU add up to a great deal.  For
 instance, messages offering thanks, jibes, or congratulations will
 only need to be seen by the interested parties -- send these by mail
 rather than posting them. The same goes for simple questions, and
 especially for any form of "me too" posting.
 
 To help minimize some transfer load and disk usage throughout the
 Usenet, consider not only how many groups should carry your posting
 over what distribution area, but also how long it will be useful. Many
 kinds of postings -- such as those making announcements or offers --
 have a obvious useful lifetime. Posted questions that aren't answered
 within a decent interval probably won't be answered at all, and
 announcements will have a limited lifetime. All such postings will be
 using bandwidth to no purpose after a certain time.  When making such
 postings one should determine what that time interval is, based upon
 the nature of the posting, the volume of articles on the newsgroup(s)
 involved, and the habits of the audience, if known. Then include an
 expiration date in the posting. This will mark the date after which
 the article should not be retained at each site.
 
 To include an expiration date in an article, when posting insert a
 line in the header below the "Newsgroups:" line with the expiration.
 For instance, type "Expires: 5 Feb 92" to have the article expire
 after Feb 5, 1992.  Most news software will also accept expiration
 dates of the form "Expires: +5days".  Please do NOT set expiration
 dates far into the future simply to have the article stay around.
 Many sites expire old articles no matter what the header indicates, so
 you are unlikely to achieve much other than clutter the disk on a few
 sites.  Default expiration is normally in the range of 7 to 21 days,
 depending on disk space at each site.
 
 
 Don't post announcements regarding major news events (e.g. the space
 shuttle has just exploded!) to news groups.  By the time most people
 receive such items, they will long since have been informed by
 conventional media.  If you wish to discuss such an event on the net,
 use the "misc.headlines" newsgroup.
 
 
 Announcement of professional products or services on Usenet is allowed;
 however, since someone else is paying the phone bills for this, it is
 important that it be of overall benefit to Usenet.  Post to the
 appropriate newsgroup -- comp.newprod -- never to a general purpose
 newsgroup such as "misc.misc".  Clearly mark your article as a product
 announcement in the subject.  Never repeat these -- one article per
 product at the most; preferably group everything into one article.
 Advertising hype is especially frowned upon -- stick to technical
 facts.  Obnoxious or inappropriate announcements or articles violating
 this policy will generally be rejected.  This policy is, of course,
 subject to change if it becomes a problem.
 
 
 Some newsgroups are moderated.  In these groups, you cannot post
 directly, either by convention or because the software prevents it.  To
 post to these newsgroups, send mail to the moderator. Examples:
 
 Newsgroup               Moderator               Purpose
 ---------               ---------               -------
 news.announce.important announce@stargate.com   Important announcements for everyone.
 comp.std.unix           std-unix@uunet.uu.net   Unix standards discussion.
 rec.food.recipes        recipes@taronga.com     Sharing favorite recipes.
 
 Some newsgroups have special purpose rules:
 
 Newsgroup               Rules
 ---------               -----
 news.announce.important Moderated, no direct postings, important things only.
 misc.wanted             Queries, "I want an x", "Anyone want my x?".  No
                         discussions. Don't post to more than one xxx.wanted. 
                         Use the smallest appropriate wanted (e.g. used car
                         ads to nj.wanted.)
                         Requests for sources, termcaps, etc. should go to the
                         "comp.sources.wanted" newsgroup.
 rec.humor               Clean humor only; anything offensive must be rotated;
                         no discussions -- humor only.  Discussions go in
                         rec.humor.d
 rec.arts.movies         Don't post anything revealing part of a movie
                         without marking it (spoiler) in the subject.
 rec.arts.*              Same as movies -- mark spoilers in the subject line.
 news.groups             Discussions about new groups: whether to create
                         them and what to call them.  Don't post yes/no
                         votes, mail them to the author
 misc.test               Use the smallest test group possible, e.g.
                         "test" or "ucb.test".  Say in the body of the
                         message what you are testing.
 
 
 It is perfectly legal to reproduce short extracts of a copyrighted work
 for critical purposes, but reproduction in whole is strictly and
 explicitly forbidden by US and international copyright law.  (Otherwise,
 there would be no way for the artist to make money, and there would
 thus be less motive for people to go to the trouble of making their art
 available at all.  The crime of theft is as serious in this context as
 any other, even though you may not have to pick locks, mask your face,
 or conceal merchandise.)
 
 It is generally considered rude to post private e-mail correspondence
 without the permission of the author of that mail.  Furthermore, under
 copyright statutes, the author of the e-mail possesses a copyright on
 mail that he or she wrote; posting it to the net or mailing it on to
 others without permission of the author is likely a violation of that
 copyright as well as being rude.
 
 All opinions or statements made in messages posted to Usenet should be
 taken as the opinions of the person who wrote the message.  They do not
 necessarily represent the opinions of the employer of that person, the
 owner of the computer from which the message was posted, or anyone
 involved with Usenet or the underlying networks of which Usenet is made
 up.  All responsibility for statements made in Usenet messages rests
 with the individual posting the message.
 
 
 Posting of information on Usenet is to be viewed as similar to
 publication.  Because of this, do not post instructions for how to do
 some illegal act (such as jamming radar or obtaining cable TV service
 illegally); also do not ask how to do illegal acts by posting to the
 net.
 
 
 If you have a standard signature you like to append to your articles,
 and you are running a form of news software that supports automatic
 inclusion of a signature file, it is usually enabled by putting it in
 a file called .signature in your home directory.  The posting software
 you use should automatically append it to your article.  Please keep
 your signatures concise, as people do not appreciate seeing lengthy
 signatures, nor paying the phone bills to repeatedly transmit them.  2
 or 3 lines are usually plenty.  Sometimes it is also appropriate to
 add another line or two for addresses on other major networks where
 you can be reached (e.g., CompuServ, Bitnet).  Long signatures are
 definitely frowned upon.  DO NOT include drawings, pictures, maps, or
 other graphics in your signature -- it is not the appropriate place
 for such material and is viewed as rude by other readers.
 
 
 If you post an article and remember something you've left out or
 realize you've made a factual error, you can cancel the article and (if
 canceled quickly enough) prevent its distribution.  Then you can
 correct whatever was wrong and post a new copy.  In "rn" and
 "readnews", an article that you posted can be canceled with the "C"
 command.  Be aware, however, that some people may have already read the
 incorrect version so the sooner you cancel something, the better.
 
 
 Before posting a question to the net (especially one that you think
 will be easy for experts to answer), consider carefully whether
 posting is the most appropriate way to get the answer.  There are many
 ways to find answers without using up network resources and forcing
 thousands of people to read your question (and several helpful
 volunteers to spend time responding).  Many newsgroups have a
 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list that is posted periodically
 (usually every few weeks), and they are also usually cross-posted
 to news.answers.  They usually have explicit expiration dates set, so
 they shouldn't be expired until a new version has been posted, so if
 you can't find the FAQ in either the newsgroup or news.answers, there
 probably isn't one (thus, it's probably not useful to post a question
 asking whether there is one).  If you have local experts (or simply
 more experienced users than yourself) at your site, try asking them
 before posting.  If you're trying to find where you can FTP software
 or a newsgroup archive, try using the Archie service; see postings in
 news.answers for details.  Many newsgroups are also archived in Wide
 Area Information Service (WAIS) databases; WAIS client software may be
 FTPed from ftp.think.com, or you may use WAIS by telnetting to
 quake.think.com and logging in as "wais".  Finally, you should also
 check the manuals for your system; if you don't, and you post a
 question that's answered there, you'll likely receive a number of
 responses that scream "RTFM" (Read the F*ing Manual).
 
 
 When you post, post to all the newsgroups at the same time rather than
 posting a separate copy to each newsgroup.  By posting a single
 article to all the newsgroups you wish to reach, the news software is
 able to transfer a single copy.  Furthermore, users with "smart"
 newsreaders will see the article only once.  Making separate postings
 of your article for each newsgroup you wish to reach tends to annoy
 readers rather than emphasize the message content as well as waste
 computational resources.
 
 
 All newsreaders should have two ways to post a news article.  First,
 there is an original posting; this is used whenever you are starting a
 new topic.  Second, there is a "followup"; this is used when you are
 posting a response to another news article.  In several newsreaders,
 including "rn", the "f" command usually generates an original posting
 if your current position is at the end of the newsgroup, but a
 followup when you have a current article; you can also use the "Pnews"
 command outside of rn to make an original posting.
 
 The news posting software does special things in the second case that
 indicates to the news system that this article is "related" to the
 article to which you are following up.  First, the newsreader adds
 "Re: " before the existing subject line to tell people that this is
 "regarding" a previous article.  Second, the software adds a
 "References" line that contains the Message-ID of the article you are
 following up.  This header is used by threaded news readers such as
 "trn" to follow "threads" of discussion.
 
 It is important that these two posting methods not be confused.  Don't follow
 up to articles without using the newsreader's "followup" mechanism.
 Conversely, don't use the followup mechanism to post an article that
 is an unrelated thread.  Violating this convention sometimes leads to
 confusion and annoyance of users with threaded newsreaders.
 
 When posting a followup, be careful about newsgroups.  The article
 that you're responding to might have been cross-posted to several
 newsgroups, and by default your followup will go to ALL of those
 newsgroups.  Or the article might have a Followup-To line in its
 header, and in that case, by default your followup will go where the
 Followup-To line says -- which might not be the newsgroup where you're
 reading the article.  You should ensure that your article is posted
 only to newsgroups where its actual content is appropriate.  Sometimes
 it's better to leave the newsgroups on your own article the same as
 they were, but put a Followup-To line in its header to confine
 followups to an appropriate group.  In any case, it's best for
 articles that have a Followup-To line to be posted to whatever groups
 are mentioned in that line, and to mention in the text of the article
 that followups are redirected.  The idea is for the threads of
 articles to make sense in each newsgroup where the articles appear,
 for people who don't read the others.
 
 
 if you don't immediately see your posting, don't immediately assume it
 failed and try to repost it.  Some sites have set up the local
 software to process news periodically.  Thus, your article will not
 appear immediately.  If you post again, you will have multiple copies
 of the article in circulation.
 
 
 If the news system rejects a followup due to "more quoted lines than
 new text," please do not use "filler" lines to make up for this.
 Instead, if after careful editing, you have more to quote than to
 write, change the citation character.  For example, in the display
 editor vi, you could use the incantation:
         :%s/^>//'s that are not being used as the citation
 character.  (In particular, it will damage the "References" line in the
 article header.)
 
 
 In preparing an article, be aware that other people's machines are
 not the same as yours.  The following is a list of things to keep
 in mind:
  * Except for source, keep your lines under 80 characters, and
    under 72 if possible.  (most editors have a fill or format
    mode that will do this for you automatically)
  * Right justified text may look "prettier" in some sense, but it
    is almost always harder to read than leaving ragged right
    margins; don't justify your articles.
  * Most special control characters will not work for most readers.
    In fact, the  space character is about the only one
    you can be sure will work consistently. Even tabs aren't always
    the same from machine to machine, and should be avoided.  Many mail
    agents will strip or remap control characters.
  * Pictures and diagrams should not use embedded tabs.
  * Refer to articles by Message-ID, and never by article number.
  * What you think is the previous article is unlikely to be so elsewhere.
  * Submissions in a single case (all upper or all lower) are
    difficult to read.
 
 
 In general, when a mailing to somebody fails, DON'T post a message
 about it!  Think for a moment: you are trying to send something to
 someone on ONE system.  Your message might go through (at most) TEN
 systems on the way there.  Posting a message in the news sends it to
 many tens of thousands of systems throughout the world!  There is no
 way to justify adding to the news load of all those machines simply
 because you cannot determine how to get your mail through.
 
 If your message is important, contact someone who knows more about the
 mail system and who might be able to help you get your message
 through.  Your local system administrator, for instance, or the admin
 of the next site "upstream," might be able to help. You can also send
 mail to "postmaster" at one of the major Usenet sites.  Almost all of
 these people would rather see an occasional plea for help in their
 mailbox than read another broadcast in the news system.  If your
 message is *really* important, pick up the phone and try to call the
 other person.
 
 


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