See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Changes since last posting - post via email section - doesn't work any more??? This FAQ is formatted as a digest. Most news readers can skip from one question to the next by pressing control-G. Following is a list of helpful hints and posting information. All new readers of rec.arts.tv.soaps.* are encouraged to read the FAQs, which are posted monthly. They are also available through anonymous ftp from rtfm.mit.edu under /pub/usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part1 thru part 4, or send email to email@example.com with any or all of: send usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part1 send usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part2 send usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part3 send usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part4 in the body of the message. Send comments, corrections, additions to me, questions to the newsgroup (I don't know everything and can't answer everything). THANKS. The following sections are covered in Part 4 (of 4): Part IV: Technical questions 20. How to post via email 21. Signature files 22. Spoiler protection 23. How can you get the text of previous posts into your own post? (Quoting) 24. Retrieving lost articles/replies 25. Inappropriate posts (ie advertisements, trolls) 26. Pointers to more information for new posters (and old!) Part IV: Technical questions Subject: 20. How to post via email: Due to the levels of abuse, there do not appear to be any more general Usenet News MailServers available. However, Steven Harding has graciously set up a mail-to-news gateway for _only_ the r.a.t.s.* newsgroups. To use it, mail your posts to firstname.lastname@example.org to post to rec.arts.tv.soaps.abc email@example.com to post to rec.arts.tv.soaps.cbs and firstname.lastname@example.org to post to rec.arts.tv.soaps.misc Please do not use this service if you have other posting access to the Usenet, and please remember to put the Soap Abbreviation in your subject line. + I TRIED THIS RECENTLY & IT DIDN'T WORK. IF YOU FIND OUT + DIFFERENTLY, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!! Subject: 21. Signature files How do I get the news software to include a signature with my postings? [from Gene Spafford's postings in news.announce.newusers, with info on Waffle systems from Steve Harding] This is a question that is best answered by examining the documentation for the software you're using, as the answer varies depending on the software. However, if you're reading news on a Unix machine, then you can probably get a signature to appear on your outgoing messages by creating a file called ".signature" in your home directory. Two important things to remember are: a. Many article-posting programs will restrict the length of the signature. For example, the "inews" program will often only include the first four lines. This is not something you should be trying to find a way to defeat; it is there for a reason. If your signature is too long, according to the software, then shorten it. b. Under some news configurations, your .signature file must be world-readable, and your home directory world-executable, for your signature to be included correctly in your articles. If your .signature does not get included, try running these commands: chmod a+x $HOME chmod a+r $HOME/.signature If you are posting from a MS-DOS machine running Waffle, create a file called "newssig" in your home directory. Leave FEEDBACK to your sysop if you have problems. Signatures are nice, but don't overdo it. Signatures can tell the world something about you, but keep them short. A signature that is longer than the message itself is considered to be in bad taste. The main purpose of a signature is to help people locate you, not to tell your life story. Every signature should include at least your return address relative to a major, known site on the network and a proper domain-format address. Your system administrator can give this information to you. Subject: 22. Spoiler protection Sometimes people get advance notice of what's going to happen on a soap. Some people like reading these spoilers; others would rather be surprised. If you're going to post a spoiler, it's a good idea to protect the information with 20 lines of blank space, as well as by putting "SPOILER" in the subject line. The blank space will allow newsreaders to stop displaying text in the post, until the reader intervenes. If you're following up to a post with spoiler space, remember to keep it in! And if you're following up to a post with a spoiler that *isn't* protected by blank space, please add it to any response you might make. Subject: 23. How can you get the text of previous posts into your own post? All newsreaders are different, but if you use "rn" or "trn", type a capital "F" to follow-up to a post with quoting turned on. Then edit the file to add your responses. (Anyone know if other newsreaders handle follow-ups this way?) Tin uses a small "f" for follow-ups; this also duplicates the text of the post being followed-up. "nn" uses a small "f" for follow-ups, and you're asked whether or not you want to include text from the original post. If you're using ANU news, answer/extract/edit is the command to use (or reply/extract/edit if you want to just reply to the poster rather than posting yourself). On the Youngstown & Cleveland Freenet, choose an editor, like Chet's editor or vi, before you go into Usenet News. You choose an editor by simply typing "go edit", which gives you a menu of the editors available. Then, when reading a post, if you want to followup, type "q" to quit the post, then "f" to followup. This automatically throws you into vi (for example), with all of the old post set with ">"s on the leftmost margin. You then have to edit out those portions you don't want to reply to, and use the vi commands to insert text at the points where you do want to reply. If you're on AOL you can quote by doing the following: (1) Highlight the material you want to include; (2) Select copy from the edit menu; (3) Click on "Reply to Group"; (4) Select paste from the edit menu. The author information gets automatically appended this way (plus, of course, the text selected). If you're using WebTV you can fake quoting by using the cut-copy-paste commands. (This info, plus more details, can be found at the web site http://www.geocities.com/ResearchTriangle/8795/cutcopypaste.html.) Cmd-A highlights the entire page (actually, in certain situations it will highlight somewhat less than all the text on the screen). Cmd-C copies whatever was highlighted to your terminal's temporary memory, but always leaves the highlighted text right where you found it. Cmd-X cuts the highlighted text if you're in a typing area, such an e-mail or newsgroup posting screen. If you use Cmd-X on a received e-mail or a viewed newsgroup post, it will only copy the text, the same as Cmd-C. Cmd-V pastes the previously copied or cut text, anywhere you would have been able to type (into an e-mail or post writing screen, for example). After using cut-copy-paste, to make it look like other quoted text you'll still need to break up the paragraphs into single lines of text with a hard Return at the end (making them non-wrapping), and a > character before the beginning of the text of each line. Many e-mail and newsreader programs do this reformatting automatically, WebTV doesn't have this feature at this point. When quoting from previous posts, please remember to edit out everything from the quoted article - including the quoted person's signature - except the points you're replying to. It's nice to see a *little* of a previous article for a reminder, but many of us have already read the whole thing before, and don't need to read it all over again. It can be extremely annoying to see a page or more of quoted text, and then only two original lines at the end of the article. If you don't know how to use your editor, ask someone at your site. (Thanks to Bonniev Sculler, Rick Kitchen, Lynelle Foulk, Paul Halley, Nancy Bachman, and MollyMolo) Subject: 24. Retrieving lost articles/replies Have you ever typed a long summary or reply and somehow blew it (hit the wrong key, system went down, aborted accidentally, etc)? There is a way to retrieve your file, if you are on a Unix machine! Look in any one of the following files - located in your home directory. dead.letter dead.article .article .letter Note that the latter two files will not be seen if you do a regular "ls". To see files the begin with a ".", you must type "ls -a". Subject: 25. Inappropriate posts (ie advertisements, trolls) Advertisements: The rec.arts.tv.soaps.* newsgroups are not an appropriate place for commercial posts. Some people (usually those who don't even read these newsgroups) do it anyway. Reporting these people to their Internet Service Provider (usually email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org if it's an AOL account) will often help - include a copy of the offending post if you do this. If you feel you must follow-up to one of these posts, please edit out the commercial (especially the 900 numbers), so as not to continue the advertisement. A Word About Trolls: From time to time posts pop up on usenet that are not exactly what they seem. These are usually called "trolls." On r.a.t.s.*. they can be divided into three broad categories: 1. An individual posts something like this: "Soap operas suck. People who watch soap operas are stupid idiots who have no life." Such posts often contained numerous misspellings. This is *bait.* The person who posted it is hoping to start an argument or provoke an indignant reply. No matter how cleverly you annihilate this person in such a reply, you will have played his game by replying at all. These people are often those who have more internet access and time than brains or goodwill. Your best bet is to ignore them completely. 2. A newbie will post to the group and make one or more egregious mistakes that show s/he has not read the FAQ or lurked in the group for awhile before posting. Perhaps they will post a spoiler without any space, demand an update, or otherwise reveal their ignorance of the way usenet and our newsgroup work. A gentle reminder to such a person will sometimes provoke an extremely hostile and defensive response, in which the newbie accuses the group of being a "cabal," or an exclusive club with no consideration for the ignorant. Sometimes other newbies will rally to this one's defense. These people are not precisely trolls, but their immaturity can detract from our enjoyment of r.a.t.s.*. Your best bet is to email them a copy of the FAQ and not get involved in any flamewars they start. 3. The third type of troll is the most unpleasant and potentially dangerous. This is a true provocateur whose greatest desire is to start trouble, even if the troll him/herself gets immolated in flames. Some common tactics of troll type #3 are: to identify leaders/regular posters of the group and attack them personally; to challenge the long-standing traditions of the group; to post wildly false "spoilers" or highly controversial material that is only peripherally related to the subject matter of the group and wait for the flames. These people can make any newsgroup a hellish place to hang out in. The *only* way to deal with them is to ignore them completely. If you post a response to their bait, no matter what it says, you will have satisfied their craving for attention. If you email them, they will very likely start up an email correspondence with you which may include veiled threats (e.g., "I know where you live"), which should be reported to their Internet Service Provider. Aside from these threats, what they do is not illegal and there is no reason to try to have them disciplined or to have their net access denied. Your best bet is to KILLFILE these posters, ignore them completely, never reply to them, and never even refer to them in your posts, thus denying them the attention they seek. Thanks to Maggie Newman <email@example.com> and SturdyCIyd@aol.com. Subject: 26. Pointers to more information for new posters (and old!) There is a lot more useful information available on the usenet network which is not contained in the scope of this FAQ. The news.announce.newusers newsgroup contains explanatory postings for new users. Its purpose is to provide a base set of information with which all participants in the USENET should be familiar in order to make the USENET (and r.a.t.s.!) a better place for all of us. If you have not already done so, you are strongly encouraged to read these postings before posting any messages. In particular, the following postings in news.announce.newusers are especially useful for new users: A Primer on How to Work With the Usenet Community Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette Hints on writing style for Usenet Rules for posting to Usenet What is Usenet? The articles in news.announce.newusers are posted in such a way that each version should stay around at each site until the new version is posted. However, some sites are configured incorrectly so that this does not occur. If the articles listed above do not appear in the news.announce.newusers newsgroup at your site, you can get copies of them using email. Simply send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org containing any or all of: send usenet/news.answers/usenet/primer/part1 send usenet/news.answers/usenet/faq/part1 send usenet/news.answers/usenet/emily-postnews/part1 send usenet/news.answers/usenet/writing-style/part1 send usenet/news.answers/usenet/posting-rules/part1 send usenet/news.answers/usenet/what-is/part1 Other good sources of information on the USENET network are the newsgroups news.newusers.questions (be sure to read its weekly FAQ before posting a question yourself), and news.software.readers (for newsreader-specific questions). Also, news.answers contains most of the FAQ's posted to each newsgroup, including the soaps-faq and soaps-abbrevs postings. Happy hunting! ==== compilation copyright 1994-1999, Margaret D. Gibbs. Use and copying of this information are permitted as long as (1) no fees or compensation are charged for use, copies or access to this information, and (2) this copyright notice is included intact. ==== -- Margaret D. Gibbs "Practice random kindness and email@example.com senseless acts of beauty"