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comp.binaries.cbm FAQ 4.2 (1/1)


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Archive-name: comp-binaries-cbm-faq.4.2
Comp-answers-archive-name: commodore/comp.binaries.cbm/faq-4.2
News-answers-archive-name: commodore/comp.binaries.cbm/faq-4.2
Version: 4.2
Last-modified: 1997/12/1

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
COMP.BINARIES.CBM Official Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
4.2
written by Cameron Kaiser <cdkaiser at concentric.net>
based on a document by William Ward

** START OF FAQ **

0. Introduction

This is the Frequently Asked Questions guide for the newsgroup
comp.binaries.cbm (hereafter c.b.c). People are urged to consult this guide
before asking questions of the moderator(s) or posting them to the appropriate
discussion group, as doing so may answer your query much more quickly and in 
such a manner that you do not collect mail along the lines of 'read the faq, 
you blithering idiot' or significantly more unmentionable versions thereof.

This FAQ was written by Cameron Kaiser, who based it on an original draft
by William Ward, who based *that* on a draft by Michael Miller, and no one
knows where his came from. 

In version 4.0, I completely rewrote Bill Ward's FAQ, which was version 1.3,
and gave it the wrong version number, which has now stuck.

In version 4.1, I added Jim Brain's notification that this FAQ will be/is now
available on his FTP site, John Iannetta's lament about CompuServe's mailing
subsystem, and made wording changes to the document for clarification, all
on 13 October 1997.

| In version 4.2, I made some notes about proper documentation of postings,
| did some cleanup of inexplicable garbage, and some helpful tips for posting
| by mail, all on 1 December 1997. Also included is an entire section on
| troubleshooting various complaints. I also have started doing a change-log
| system, allowing you to see new changes. Here's how:

| NEW CHANGES IN THE FAQ ARE DOCUMENTED with a | symbol in the first column.
| WATCH FOR THEM.

The humor in this FAQ is totally intentional. Posting to the group about
what a putz the author is will be ignored, mostly by the author.

0.1 Where to get the FAQ from

This FAQ is posted 'periodically' to c.b.c. You can also ask the author for
a copy. See 'Contacts' for addresses.

Jim Brain tells me that this FAQ is now available in ftp.jbrain.com under
/pub/cbm/faq/. The filename should be obvious. Make sure you get the latest
version.

One of these days this will be available on the Web. Then again, one of
these days I'll get married. You decide which is more likely. Until then,
please use the other methods of obtaining this FAQ with my heartfelt apologies.

1. General Notes about c.b.c

1.1 What c.b.c is

c.b.c is a newsgroup for the posting of Commodore related binary files.
By Commodore we refer to the 8-bit systems. Amiga binaries (excepting those
that have direct pertinence to the 8-bits) are NOT accepted and you should
send those to the analogous group.

c.b.c is MODERATED. If you post to this group, it will not automatically
appear. You should not send posts to the group along the lines of 'where the
#$%@!# is my post?' because we will ignore them. Plus, you'll look silly and
we will post you to our list of people to laugh at for not reading the FAQ.
If your post does not appear, we have not approved it. If your post never
appears, we never approved it. You should read under 'What we don't post'
for why.

If you don't know how to post, refer to the section on (ta-da!) 'How to
post'. Even if you do, it will save us some grief if you read it anyway.

As with all moderated groups, your posting is not actually sent through Usenet.
Instead, it goes via E-mail to the moderators, and you should send your post in
an appropriate manner. (If you want to E-mail directly, see 'Contact list'.)
You should also refer to 'c.b.c courtesy' for how to get your post approved
faster. If you help us, we'll expedite things for you. If things are difficult
for us to do, it will take us longer, or not at all.

1.1.1 Moderators

The list of moderators fluctuates wildly. Cameron Kaiser, the author of this
FAQ, is a moderator. There are also other moderators on c.b.c, but the
list of active moderators seems to get out of date quickly.

It is therefore best to mail the moderators collectively, versus 
individually. See 'Contacts'.

1.2 What we post

c.b.c posts any and all binaries related to the 8-bit Commodore that do not
fall along the lines of what we *don't* post (q.v.).

Some examples: shareware games (unregistered); freeware; demos; public
domain games, utilities, etc. In other words, freely available software
with unrestricted distribution will be accepted.

In the past, emulator-related binaries were not accepted to this group. While
they are not encouraged, as a significant number of c.b.c's readers don't
have personal access to anything but 8-bits (which frequently cannot handle
emulator formats without external conversion), they are now accepted to the
group. However, if there is a straight binary version of a file as opposed to
a .d64 or .p00, we exceedingly prefer it.

Binaries intended for other target systems, such as PC executables, are
accepted only if they have relevance to Commodore systems. Examples would
include emulators and converters.

1.3 What we don't post

We do not post:

	* non-binary items. Spam is deleted. Discussion is deleted. People
writing us about why no one discusses anything in this group get deleted.
Et cetera.
	The exception is the FAQ, naturally.
	So where should you post if you want to talk about Commodore 8-bits?
A good question. Refer to:

	comp.emulators.cbm
	comp.sys.cbm
	alt.c64

	All of these, in particular the first two, have active discussion.
Talk on them. We'd love to hear from another 8-bit fanatic.

	* binary items not relevant to the 64. UUencoded JPEGs of your pet
wonderdog Snotbrain whizzing on Mrs. Eagleson's petunias get deleted. And so 
on.

	* 'warez'. Cracks, hacks, etc. are NOT allowed. The old argument
that 'it's 10 years ago, the copyright doesn't matter' is hogwash. Someone
still has the copyright, even if they're not enforcing it, and we don't want
to be on their lawyer's target list if they decide to enforce it suddenly.
(Want an example? Okay. Three words: Activision fifteen pack. Case closed.)
Freeware and shareware versions of products are exempt because they are
explicitly freely distributable, in contrast to ...

	* restricted distribution products. This is a fancy way of referring
to 'stuff that shouldn't be publicly distributed', and includes things such
as registered versions of shareware or beta tests that are not intended for
the public. Moreover, if there's a restriction on the software's distribution,
it's probably heavily copyright-protected too ... see 'warez'.

	* programs not intended for all audiences. For example, posting a
nudie slide show for the 64 here would not be appropriate, and it would
never be approved, even if it *were* in the public domain and freely
distributable. This is not comp.binaries.erotica.cbm. You may think this is
a silly thing to say, but there are some of these demos around.

	* things that don't work. Garbled submissions don't work. Make sure
your uuencoded file didn't get truncated. Make sure your mailer didn't eat
characters or add new ones, because on our end it looks like hell. IF YOU MUST 
MAIL US YOUR POST, PLEASE see the section on 'How to post by mail' to get
around this problem.
	Most importantly, however, if it don't work, it don't post. If we
can't get it to run, odds are most people who read this group won't either.

	* anything we decide not to post, at our discretion. Some people have
claimed we're ignoring their posts because we don't like them. Tough orange
peels.

1.4 What happens if you post something we don't post

Nothing.

Yes, nothing. You will get no response from us, ever.

In the past, the response was to notify you that we did not accept your post,
and to send you some appropriate reason why. In this day and age of rampant
spammage and people who blindly post insulting things instead of reading FAQs,
that is an insurmountable task. Therefore, if you do not get a response to your
post WITHIN A SUFFICIENT INTERVAL and/or your post never appears on the group,
we did not approve it.

If you have trouble with your newsreader, and want to know if your post
came through, please state you want confirmation in the message body. We will
confirm only in cases where we have a serious posting. If you post 'why aren't
my messages posting somebody please respond' you will get a resounding fat
load of nothing returned to you. However, if there's a possible submission
attached to your polite and understanding request, we would be happy to tell
you that it got there in one piece. Do not, though, assume that a lack of
response indicates bad connection and therefore multiple reposting, because
this will not endear yourself to the moderators and collect you many four-
letter words. Ask first before you send that 2.5MB file again.

If you do get a message back from us, we probably just need a small extra
thing from you, like a description. Please read the note and comply; upon
your doing so, you will be the proud parent of a new post.

The phrase 'WITHIN A SUFFICIENT INTERVAL' has been cap'ed for a reason. It
takes time to check through a submission, first to receive it, then to test
it and then for the final post (if any) to percolate through the fibrous
wire mishmash of Usenet. Please respect the fact it may take as long as a week
to finish this process -- we have lives of our own, and we do this out of
our free time. Therefore, not seeing your post immediately does in no way
imply open and extremely prejudical rejection.

1.5 What happens if you post something we post

We post it.

If appropriate, we will notify you (usually 'thanks!'), but in most cases
you will know your post has been approved when you see it in the group. It is
good form to make sure your newsreader does in fact see this group.

If you want confirmation, say so. See above for conditions on that. Remember
that sending confirmation messages is not guaranteed.

1.6 c.b.c courtesy

Good things to do that make things easy for the moderators:

	* Use .sda or .sfx, or any other self-dearcing format. It's easy
for us because we don't have to crank up the dearcer. Lynx is especially bad
on this point, since there's so many versions, a lesson I have learned the
hard way with many people asking me why Ultimate Lynx doesn't understand
CWI's Lynx archives. (Answer: We use Lynx IV, and they're mutually
incompatible.) Failing that: 

	* Use a standardized arc format. I like .lnx best, but can tolerate
.arc. I find .lzh slightly exotic and .rar even more opaque. If you post using
Fritz Fluegelwagen's RLE-LZW-Huffman-Lynx encoder, something three people on
the planet use, the chances of my hitting delete in the mailreader increase
exponentially.
	The one standard arc format you should avoid, if at all possible, is
ZipCode (the 1! .. 2! .. files.) These cause some irritation on my part, mostly
because I have to deal with four files instead of one. There are some
circumstances where ZipCode is needed, but most of them involve copy-
protection, which you find on (surprise!) copyrighted warez. See above.
	If these are PC binaries, please please PLEASE use .zip. I HATE
unarj with a passion, and I don't like DOS tar or gunzip. I suspect the other
moderators have similar preferences.
	But best of all:

	* Don't arc. If you can avoid it, don't! That's best of all. Then
we can just run the stinking thing.

	* UUencode. Don't Base64. This means refrain from using attachments.
Most Unix newsreaders don't understand MIME, and most of us use a Unix
newsreader. If you don't, please be kind to the large majority that do.
The only exception to this is if you use a MIME-enabled mailer, and in that
case you should read the section on 'How to post' BEFORE YOU POST!!!

	* Document! You don't need to tell us how to turn the computer on,
but please do tell us what we're looking at, and what we can expect when
we run it. We can probably guess the rest. Accuracy helps. :-)

|	 A NOTE ON DOCUMENTATION: Some people believe that documentation
| consists of a single sentence saying 'this is a program for the (64|128|+4)'.
| We can see that already. Documentation is telling us what the program is
| supposed to do and what it needs to run, and this information is vital!
| Steve Judd writes particularly nice documentation. Look for some of this
| previous posts, if your news spool goes back that far (!).
|	If you are sending an archive of programs, like a freeware
| archive, please describe each program individually and completely as if
| you had posted each one separately. A nice paragraph about the archive 
| itself will probably not suffice. :-)

	* Post your post instead of mailing to us. The reason is not that
we care how the post arrives, but that most modern mailers fiddle around with
files and add metacharacters and 8-bit encoding and the like. Most news
programs don't. Therefore, a post arrives more cleanly in general than does
the mail.
	IF YOU MUST MAIL, PLEASE see the section on 'How to post by Mail'.

	* Above all, remember that your post must be readable by the lowest
common denominator. Usually, that's us.


2. Talking to c.b.c

2.1 How to post

2.1.1 How to post by newsreader (MOST preferred)

Simply point your newsreader to comp.binaries.cbm and post your document.
You should refer to your newsreader for the appropriate documentation. Make
sure it is uuencoded -- raw binaries never make it.

What will happen is that your post will be sent by UUnet to the moderators,
who will then review it. This method is most preferred because mailreaders
screw around with mail they send, particularly MIME-enabled mailers. Most
newsreaders don't. See above for the rest of the process.

2.1.2 How to post by mail

While we don't really encourage this, people do have trouble posting through
Usenet, especially if your only access is through DejaNews or the like. If you
really can't post by news, send your document to:

cbm-binaries at bayview.com

which is a mail alias generously provided by William Ward. If you use a 
MIME-enabled mailer, DO NOT UUENCODE IT BECAUSE THE MAILER EATS IT! In this
case, and this case only, SEND IT AS AN ATTACHMENT. If the mailer is not
MIME-enabled, like mailx or early Elm versions, send uuencoded files as
usual.

| As a point of clarity, if you intend to send your program as an attachment,
| do NOT uuencode the program and send the *uucode* as the attachment. SEND
| THE BINARY ITSELF! Also, try to give the attachment a semi-descriptive name.
| We often strip out attachments in one big bunch, and a whole lot of similar
| looking files makes it tough to match files with posts.

CompuServe seems to be problematic with uuencoded attachments. If you can
use 'NewMail', please do so. If you can't, please alert the moderators in
the message body that you're using CompuServe OldMail and we will try to
rescue the post. (Thanks to John Iannetta.)

2.2 Contacts

As mentioned, it is better to mail the moderators collectively. Posting
will have the same effect as mailing, but it's better to mail because we
can differentiate between the two.

The alias

cbm-binaries at bayview.com

will send to all members of the moderation team, including me.

If you wish to contact me personally regarding the FAQ or the large check
you'll send me or the attractive, unmarried sister you have, send mail to

cdkaiser at concentric.net
spectre at deepthought.armory.com

and I promise to ignore it for as long as I can, unless I really like your
sister or the check is good.

| John Iannetta has promised me an attractive sister, but I think someone at
| Federal Express routed the crate to the Sultan of Brunei.

| 2.3 Troubleshooting
|
| 2.3.1 'My post was approved, but it hasn't appeared yet'
|
| If you know that we approved your post, there are several reasons why it
| hasn't appeared yet. The only reason under our control is:
|
| * We haven't injected it into the Usenet stream yet.
| 
| Normally, we post things as soon as we approve them, just to get them out of
| our hair, so most of the time these reasons below apply. In such cases, 
| there's no one you can blame, unless you have contacts at WorldCom. Usenet 
| is a very haphazard mishmash, so patience is a true virtue.
|
| * Your ISP's newsfeed is behind. If your ISP does not have a 24/7 NNTP
|   connection, it could take up to a few days for it to percolate your way.
|
| * Bad Usenet routing. Some computer between us and you burped or did a nasty
|   thing. Either way, the post is the immediate victim. Have patience -- it
|   should start propagating with the computer's imminent resurrection.
|
| * Our ISP stream is queuing up. I use Concentric, which is a pretty reliable
|   Usenet injection point. Some moderators might use smaller ISPs that don't
|   have a 24/7 NNTP feed, and so the actual injection step might be delayed.
|
| 2.3.2 'You keep saying my post is garbled'
|
| If we said that, your post IS garbled -- you probably mailed it and your
| mailer ate it. We have a picture of Eudora Welty on our dartboard. I hit
| a bullseye last week after someone sent their uucode as an attachment, and
| Eudora promptly made "intelligent" [sic] formatting decisions that ruined it.
|
| Do the following check list:
| 
| * If you have a MIME-enabled NEWSREADER, then you MUST MAIL YOUR POST.
|   If you don't, then post it UUencoded.
|
| * If you have a MIME-enabled MAILER PROGRAM, then you MUST SEND THE BINARY
|   AS AN ATTACHMENT. If you don't, send the UUcode in your message body.
|
| Most of the time, someone forgets to UUencode the program, or they sent
| the UUcode accidentally as an attachment, and this is easy to reconcile.
| If we complain about your post, we want it again. Please, resend it!
|
| 2.3.2.1 'But that didn't work!'
|
| Failing that, you might have a peculiar program that just decides to chomp
| your messages to death. We don't archive all the mailing programs in the
| world to test your message with. I use Elm, and Elm exclusively, because
| Eudora is Moloch and Microsoft Exchange is Satan. You might have different
| opinions about the demonic potential of these mailer programs, but the
| fact of the matter is any good mailer will have options to turn off its
| special formatting and to do sane attachments. If it doesn't, get a new
| mailer.
|
| We are aware that CompuServe OldMail destroys postings en-route, and have
| a semi-reliable way of rescuing them. Just mention you're using OldMail in
| your message body, and we can probably save it.
|
| 2.3.3 'I can't read old postings in the group'
| 
| This is something you should take up with your ISP. Old news articles are
| kept on your ISP's news spool for only a limited time, and most local ISPs
| only keep posts less than a week old. I'm spoiled by Concentric, which keeps
| posts up to a month. Odds are if you can't see prior postings, or get
| 'Cancelled or expired' messages, your ISP does not archive postings very long
| and you should have a nice friendly chat with them involving physical harm.
|
| There is no archive for c.b.c postings. Maybe there should be.

3. Seriously

3.1 Disclaimer

Because of the sue-crazy nature of these United States, Bill Ward felt
compelled to write a legal disclaimer into the previous FAQ. So do I.

The use of programs posted on c.b.c is at your own risk. c.b.c moderators
cannot be held legally liable if a program published on this group, or the
(im)proper use of such a program, causes damage of a monetary, property or
personal nature. You agree to indemnify and hold blameless the moderators
in such an event. c.b.c cannot be held liable in the unlikely event that a
copyrighted work is distributed to the detriment of the copyright owner, nor
can the moderators carry personal responsibility for the content or nature
of postings. c.b.c takes no legal liability, and neither can you assign
liability to the group or its moderators, either collectively or individually.

If you do not agree with these terms, you must not use programs posted here.
Your use of programs on c.b.c and your subscription to this newsgroup
constitute your complete and binding acceptance of these policies without
restriction. This FAQ, and the policies and legal disclaimers therein, is
subject to change without notice. The terms of this FAQ and the legal
disclaimers therein shall be interpreted in accordance with the laws of the
State of California, United States of America.

3.2 Computer Workshops' relationship to c.b.c

Even though I run CWI, and I also do a lot of operations on c.b.c, CWI has
no relationship to c.b.c, and vice versa. This is the official word.
Computer Workshops has nothing to do with this group.

** END OF FAQ **

--
Cameron Kaiser
cdkaiser at concentric dot net (it hasn't helped the spam yet though)
*** visit the Spectre Server at www.sserv.com
*** C64 software lives! www.computerworkshops.home.ml.org

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