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U.C. Davis USENET FAQ Part 6 of 6

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See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
                     The U.C. Davis USENET FAQ Part 6 of 6
               Frequently Asked Questions at and about U.C. Davis
                           (c) Copyright 1995 & 1996


                             David F. Prenatt, Jr.
                            King Hall, 1995 Alumnus
                            U.C. Davis School of Law
                            University of California
                              Davis, CA 95616-5210

                        < >

The U.C. Davis USENET FAQ may be comprised of more than one part.  If it
is, please see the TABLE OF CONTENTS in Part One for a complete list of the
questions that I have attempted to answer and for other important legal
information.  Caveat emptor:  I assume no obligation to anyone through the
publication of the U.C. Davis USENET FAQ.  Furthermore, all versions of the
U.C. Davis USENET FAQ are my personal property and are protected by
applicable copyright laws.  All rights are reserved except as follows:  I
hereby give my permission to anyone who has access to this version of the
U.C. Davis USENET FAQ to reproduce the information contained herein for
non-profit purposes, provided that proper credit is given to me as the
author of this FAQ and that I am notified of any use other than personal
use.  I may revoke permission to reproduce any version of this FAQ at any

- - - - -
                     The U.C. Davis USENET FAQ Part 6 of 6
               Frequently Asked Questions at and about U.C. Davis
               (c) Copyright 1995 & 1996 by David F. Prenatt, Jr.  How do I access the USENET newsgroups?

     The most straightforward and easy way to access the USENET newsgroups
     is by using a newsreader program called "tin."  To use tin, type in
     "tin" (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt.  The tin program is
     menu-driven, so just follow the instructions.  How many USENET newsgroups are there?

     There are several thousand USENET newsgroups (more than anyone could
     ever hope to read), and there are more being created every day.  Thus,
     you should decide which newsgroups you want to read.  How do I figure out which newsgroups I want to read?

     The USENET newsgroups are organized into a heirarchy that includes
     regional and other domains.  You can use this hierarchy to select-out
     thousands of newsgroups that do not interest you.  With tin, use the
     "yank" command (with the "y" key), the "search" command (with the "/"
     key), and the "subscribe" command (with the "s" key).  After you've
     subscribed to the named groups that you want, simply yank out the
     rest.  The "unsubscribe" command (the "u" key) will eliminate unwanted
     groups.  For more information, use the online help in tin (^g).  Which USENET newsgroups are of interest to members of the
                 U.C. Davis community?

     It depends upon the individual, but at the very least members of the
     U.C. Davis community would probably be interested in a number of the
     regional domains that are available through the U.C. Davis USENET;
     people who are new to the Internet would also be interested in a
     number of newsgroups found in the news.* domain.  You should subscribe
     to news.announce.newusers (<news:news.announce.newusers >) until you
     feel that you know more than most of the other people that subscribe
     to that group.  You will also find FAQs on every conceivable topic in
     the news.answers (<news:news.answers >) newsgroup.  What regional domains are available through the U.C. Davis

     The ucd.* domain, the ucb.* domain, the davis.* domain, the yolo.*
     domain, the sac.* domain, the ba.* domain, and the ca.* domain are all
     regional domains that the U.C. Davis USENET newsserver can access;
     Netscape can access virtually any USENET domain through the World Wide
     Web.  What USENET newsgroups are available on the ucd.* regional

     The ucd.* regional domain is comprised of several hundred USENET
     newsgroups.  These newsgroups are organized into an administrative
     hierarchy as follows:

          *    ucd.*:  These newsgroups purport to be of general interest.

          *    ucd.class.*:  These newsgroups are an integral part of the
               class numbers that appear as the final suffix.

          *    ucd.comp.*

          *    ucd.cs.*

          The following ucd.* newsgroups are of general interest:

          *    ucd.comp.questions (<news:ucd.comp.questions >):  Where to
               go when you need help with technical problems that confound
               IT-CAP (i.e., most technical problems [Note:  This is not a
               slam on IT-CAP.  Your technical problems are usually
               peculiar to your system configuration, and someone with the
               the same system configuration is best situated to help

          *    ucd.general (<news:ucd.general >).

          *    ucd.housing (<news:ucd.housing >).

          * (< >):  Created by James Eric Pace,
               this newsgroup was once characterized by irreverent and
               irresponsible free speech that took place over the
               vociferous objections of many erudite individuals who sought
               to impose order upon the chaos.  Now, the group has become a
               social gathering with hundreds of posts a day from former
               lurkers who continue to become regulars.

          *    ucd.personals (<news:ucd.personals >):  Technically, "[a]
               place to put personal ads," this newsgroup was aptly
               characterized as being devoid of such ads and filled with Q
               & A between the lost and lovelorn and their would-be dutch

          *    ucd.swap (<news:ucd.swap >):  Buy, sell, and trade your
               goods and services here.

          *    ucd.test (<news:ucd.test >).  How do I use the IRC?

     To use the IRC, type in "irc" (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt.
     There is online help available for the IRC and many of the people whom
     you meet on the IRC will be willing to answer many of your questions.
     You will also find a FAQ on the IRC in the news.answers USENET
     newsgroup (<news:news.answers >).  My experience with the IRC is that
     it is an excellent place to meet people (Clifford Stohl's "Silicon
     Snake Oil" notwithstanding).
          Virtually all of my friends have met someone interesting over the
     IRC.  If you are concerned about looks, then ask.  However, I never
     do.  First of all, I don't really care what someone looks like since
     I'm not actively pursuing new romances; Second, most people on the IRC
     volunteer personal information, and they tend to be brutally honest
     about themselves.  Apparently they don't think that they will ever
     have to meet you, so if you reject them they can just move on to one
     of the thousands of other people on the IRC that they can pursue.  How do I access the World Wide Web?

     You can access the Web by using a text-based program, such as "lynx,"
     or by using a "web browser," such as "Netscape."  Access to the multi-
     media features of various web sites (i.e., pictures and sound) is the
     biggest advantage of using Netscape.  How do I use lynx?

     Just type in "lynx" (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt and follow
     the instructions you find on the screen.  How do I use Netscape?

     Netscape is easy to use and has many exciting and revolutionary multi-
     media/multi-protocol features, but you will probably need help from
     someone who knows what he or she is doing to learn how to use Netscape
     to its full potential.  For more information, visit the Netscape Home
     Page on the World Wide Web (< >).

11.3.3)  What resources are available over the Internet?

     In addition to the communication and exchange of information that
     people accomplish using e-mail, USENET, and the IRC, people can
     download archived information from computers on the Internet using
     "file transfer protocol" (ftp).  What is ftp and how does it work?

     The ftp function resembles the telnet function (the basic method of
     gaining access to the Internet for e-mail and the USENET), but ftp is
     only used for downloading or uploading information.  There are
     generally two ways to access a computer via ftp, anonymous and
     privileged.  How do I use anonymous ftp?

     When you know which anonymous ftp site has the information that you
     want, log onto it using the ftp program:

          *    Type in "ftp" (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt,
               followed by the name of the ftp site that you wish to
               access.  For example:


               where is the name of a hypothetical ftp site.

          *    You will be asked to provide your username, type in:


          *    You will then be asked to provide your password.

               TO BE *ANONYMOUS*.  If you wish, you may type in your
               Internet address as a return address, but you do not need to
               do so.  Virtually any response to the password request will
               give you access to an anonymous ftp site.

          *    Type in the GET command, followed by the exact name of the
               file that you want.  For example:

                    get ftp-document

               where ftp-document is the name of a hypothetical ftp
               document.  This procedure will retrieve any ASCII document.

          *    If for some reason, there is something wrong with the
               document you obtain, it is probably not an ASCII document,
               so start over at the beginning and set the code to binary by
               typing in "binary" (without the quotes) after you have
               opened the anonymous ftp site:


               This should fix the problem so that you can GET the document
               that you want.  If it doesn't, then the file you have is
               probably compressed or encrypted, so you will need to find
               out what program you should use to decompress or decrypt the

          *    To quit the ftp application, type in "quit" (without the
               quotation marks).  For example:


     Note:  Every ftp application is set up differently.  Check with IT-CAP
     if you have any problems accessing your files from one of the PCs on
     campus.  Specifically, you may find that your default "local drive" at
     one of the PCs on campus is the "C" hard drive.  If you wish to copy
     ftp files to a diskette on your "A" drive, type in "lcd a" (without
     the quotes) to specify your "A" drive as your local drive; if you are
     using a Macintosh, you are well advised to become familiar with the
     "Fetch" Program.  How do I use privileged ftp?

     A privileged ftp site requires an actual username and an actual
     password (as opposed to an anonymous ftp site).  Privileged ftp sites
     have all of the features of an anonyomus ftp site; you can also use
     the PUT command with privileged ftp.  For example:

          put ftp-document

     where ftp-document is the name of a hypothetical document that you
     want to load to your privileged ftp site.  How do I obtain ftp files by e-mail request?

     For information on ftp by e-mail service, send an e-mail message to with the text "help" somewhere in the body of
     the message.  Many ftp sites have mail-server software that will send
     ftp files by e-mail request.  For example, to obtain this FAQ by e-
     mail, send the following message to

          send usenet/news.answers/ucdavis/faq/part*
          . . .

     Where * is replaced by the numbers 1 through 6 in successive lines of
     text.  Other FAQs that I have written are archived at in
     the usenet/news.answers directory under the appropriate archive name.
     See Section 1.5 for more information about these other FAQs.  To
     obtain one of these other FAQs by e-mair request, change the text of
     the line of your message that begins with send so that the archive
     name ucdavis/faq/part* is replaced with the archive name of the other
     FAQ.  How can I find out what information is available via ftp?

     You can use various "search engines" on the Internet, such as
     "gopher," "archie, "veronica," and "jughead."  My favorite search
     engine for the World Wide Web is Yahoo (< >).
     See IT-CAP for more information on search engines.  What is a gopher?

     The term gopher primarily refers to two very closely related things:
     A computer protocol and a type of menu-driven computer application.
     People use gophers to burrow through the Internet, figuratively
     speaking, and help them find the information that they want.  Gophers
     are named after the mascot of the University of Minnesota where the
     gopher protocol was developed.  All the gophers in the world are
     interconnected, so if you want to use a gopher, simply type in
     "gopher" (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt and follow the
     directions.  Who (or what) is/are Veronica and Jughead?

     Veronica (*Very *Easy *Rodent *Oriented *Netwide *Index to *Computer
     *Archives) and Jughead (*Jonzi's *Universal *Gopher *Hierarchy
     *Excavation *And *Display) are somewhat dated gopher-based search
     engines.  Who (or what) is Archie?

     Archie (*Archive *Retrieval *C--- *H---  *I--- *E--) is a search
     engine that helps you locate computer programs that are archived on
     ftp sites on the Internet.  To use Archie, simply type in "archie"
     (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt and follow the directions.  How do I transfer files to and from my personal computer and
             my Internet account?

     You can put your files on a diskette and use one of the workstations
     on campus to ftp your files to and from your Internet account.
     Alternatively, there are several file transfer programs available to
     accomplish such tasks.  Your best option among those that are
     currently available is a kermit file transfer.  Kermit is public
     domain software that is available from IT-CAP; instructions for kermit
     file transfers are available on the World Wide Web at the U.C. Davis
     Network Administrators FAQ:

          < >  [Miscellaneous sections currently under construction.]


     When this section was first created, I received an overwhelming number
     of votes for Most Controversial Poster on the U.C. Davis USENET, the
     only category for which nominations were submitted when this section
     was created, despite the fact that I disqualified myself for
     nomination as a local legend.  People cited the large number of flame
     wars on (< >) in which my controversial
     viewpoints were crucial kindling, convincingly arguing that my byline
     was a strong catalyst in virtually every thread to which I posted
     (even long after I had abandoned some of those threads).  They also
     pointed out that I had engaged in at least one showdown with every
     other troller during my tenure as a law student at King Hall.
          Be these facts as they may, my warlike days are over.  Moreover,
     in the month of November 1995, lurkers came out of the wooodwork and
     created a kinder, gentler newsgroup on, with hundreds of
     posts a day.  In my own mind, my career as a flame warrior on
     ended even before that.  For me, it ended when I assumed the role of
     FAQ maintainer in the summer of 1995.  I delurk on occasions when I am
     restless and bored, but only to remind myself that I am no longer a
     vital part of the U.C. Davis USENET.  For reasons that totally escape
     me, I won the Green Iguana (see below) during the 1995-96 season for
     "Most Single Minded Poster."  The U.C. Davis USENET Hall of Fame. [New]

     Notorious/popular individuals on the U.C. Davis USENET from seasons
     past include (in alphabetical order):

          -Adnan Din (Off-Topic Scourge of ucd.personals).

          Mr. Din was a medical student at U.C. Davis who limited most of
     his posts to the ucd.medstudent newsgroup (<news:ucd.medstudent >).
     He took tongue-in-cheek exception to the posts of some U.C. Davis law
     students (not me) on ucd.medstudent, and started a lawyer joke thread
     there.  The supreme irony to compliment this behavior was Mr. Din's
     series of long and off-topic posts to the newsgroup ucd.personals
     (<news:ucd.personals >) discussing the war in Bosnia.  These posts
     prompted a concerted effort to flood Mr. Din with e-mail.

          -Jim Hartley (Self-proclaimed Leader of the Literate Set).

          According to my sources, Mr. Hartley graduated second in his
     class from U.C. Davis with a degree in economics (with the highest GPA
     within his major), where he also earned a Ph.D. as a graduate student.
     He continued to post to (after moving to New England to teach
     at a college there) to enforce intellectual standards that he helped
     to cultivate.  He is also known for his alleged shape-shifting
     abilities, appearing as a giant chicken at one of the periodic get-togethers at Max's Plainfield Station at Road 29 and 98.

          -Rudeboy (aka Charlie Haase) (Voice of a Generation).

          Mr. Haase is a teacher's assistant in the Economics Department at
     U.C. Davis and a former colleague of Jim Hartley.  Like Mr. Hartley,
     Rudeboy is a champion of intellectual standards on the U.C. Davis
     USENET.  While Messrs. Hartley and Haase will often form a tag team,
     the Rude One will sometimes make a point of disocciating himself from
     Mr. Hartley's positions and taking a slightly more conciliatory and
     diplomatic tact.  According to the Rude One, his colorful appellation
     began as a joke at a company picnic.  As part of a game, a co-worker
     who did not know him that well was obliged to give Mr. Haase a
     nickname and thought that the name Rudeboy would make a good joke.
     The name stuck (for obvious reasons).

          -David "May Day" Witkowski (Most Prolific Poster).

          At one time Mr. Witkowski (...dtw) was by far the most prolific
     poster on the U.C. Davis USENET.  He offered his controversial
     opinions in virtually every thread.  His most infamous post was the
     "May Day" post (i.e., "Happy May Day to all of you commie pinko fags
     out there."--or words to that effect).  At first it was suspected that
     someone had forged a post using ...dtw's byline.  However, ..dtw came
     forward and claimed responsibility for the post, explaining that his
     post was a reference to the lyrics of a song, and that he felt that he
     was entitled to make such comments regardless of their context.  For
     more information about ...dtw, readers with a web browser may visit
     his Home Page on the World Wide Web 
     (< >).

          -Tim D. Gilman (U.C. Berzerkley Interloper).

          Mr. Gilman is the only member of the U.C. Davis USENET community
     (past or present) with his very own newsgroup (<news:alt.flame.tim-
     gilman >).  That just about covers it.

          -Kass the Lass (Last name unknown) (Courtesy of the Dixon BBS).

          The Lass first appeared on the U.C. Davis USENET when Jim Hartley
     offered a caustic reply to the inquiry of a Dixon BBS poster about
     whether posts from Dixonites were welcome on the ucd.* newsgroups.
     The Lass' posts were most well known for their total defiance of the
     intellectual standards that Mr. Hartley and others sought to impose
     upon her (i.e., she completely ignored rules of spelling and grammar
     in her posts).

          -Clayton Tang (Computer Guru--a legend in his own mind?).

          Feedback from some of Mr. Tang's colleagues has led me to believe
     that he was not as computer literate as he appeared to be.  As a
     former regular on ucd.comp.questions (<news:ucd.comp.questions >), he
     was able to answer technical questions that confounded most computer
     personnel from IT-CAP where he once worked.  However, he may have been
     parroting the expert advice of others.  In any event, after a series
     of posts on (reincarnated as ucd.swap <news:ucd.swap >),
     wherein he apparently sold off all of his personal belongings, Mr.
     Tang disappeared from the U.C. Davis USENET without a trace.

          -Wilson Turner (Satire at its finest).

          A member of the dying breed of Rhetoric & Communications Majors
     at U.C Davis, Mr. Turner made a name for himself by exposing such
     "scandals" as the Putah Creek ducks and the Secret X-Beagle
     experiments.  These posts were hilarious satire that helped put the
     absurdity of life at U.C. Davis in perspective for many members of the
     U.C. Davis virtual community.  The 1995-96 Season. [New]

     Without a doubt, has entered its adolescence.  While many
     would disagree with me, I think that the change on has been a
     positive one.  Even so, the suddenness of that change creates an
     certain uneasiness among experienced Internauts such as myself (or as
     some would say ("old timers"); it is representative of how sudden and
     dramatic change continues in the Information Age.  During this ongoing
     change, some unlikely leaders have emerged on  And with
     apologies to those who participated in the Green Iguana Awards,
     compiled by Sentimental Hermit (< >), I
     selected only a handful of people as local legends for the 1995-96

          * Sentimental Hermit (Ramses M. Agusti)

          Creator of the Green Iguana Awards, the mysterious Hermit was
     voted "Favorite Lurker" by his peers on  Among his other
     posts, was the highly amusing "Unofficial Drinking Game,"
     which showed proved him to be a keen observer and captive audience of
     the more flamboyant characters on  As he is primarily an
     observer, he has been able to avoid any real controversy.

          * The Dark Prism (aka Matt Spinetta) and Matt Bradley, known
            collectively as "Matt Squared."

          Winner of the Green Iguana for "Most Ubiquitous Poster," the Dark
     Prism has championed the cause of the IRC, offering helpful hints and
     guidance on how to use it (see Section for information on how
     to use the IRC).  The Prism offered interesting and amusing commentary
     on life in the town of Davis.  In fact, I would say that he is the
     proximate cause of the explosive growth of posts on the
     newsgroup that occurred during November of last year.  The Prism also
     won the Green Iguana for "Best Net Personality."
          The Prism is an unlikely trend setter.  He once trafficked in
     cheeky posts and came across as a self-absorbed individual when any of
     his former romantic interests flamed him on the ucd.* newsgroups.
     Nonetheless, he is likeable enough when you meet him in person, and
     his personal style on the USENET has truly mellowed.  The same cannot
     be said for the Prism's "partner in crime," Matt Bradley, and these
     two are quite inseparable.  Mr. Bradley takes great joy in provoking
     people.  To wit, his thread "The Ugly Bitch Syndrome."

          * Dr. Grant (Grant Barnett)

          Shortly after his appearance on, "Dr. Grant" (with a
     self-awarded Ph.D in KnowItAllogy) offended virtually everyone with
     his unabashed obtuseness, his myopic political views, and his strict
     literalism in the face of obvious sarcasm.  Winner of the Green Iguana
     for Most Annoying Literalism when Sarcasm is Being Used and first
     runner-up for Most Clueless/Irritating/Thoughtless Poster.

          * Penisaur the Almighty (aka Drew Nichols)

          Drew would make an interesting study for a Freudian psychologist,
     as his two favorite topics are his feces and his penis.  For reasons
     which defy rational explanation, his posts inspired hundreds of
     copycats as well as the scorn of "old-timers."  This state of
     affairs inspired a number of old-timers to unsubscribe from
     and join an "invite only" newsgroup, creating one of the biggest
     controversies ever on the ucd.* hierarchy.

          * Niki Miller -- The Redundancy Queen of Redundancy.

          Niki was a constant presence on and the hostess of
     numerous de-lurking parties.  The first event which I attended at her
     house was replete with her roommate's frozen cat in the refrigerator.
     Many such Seinfeld-like anecdotes surround Ms. Miller.


     [Note:  Expect periodic revisions in this section and/or its
     subsections.]  While I intend to add more information to this FAQ in
     the future, it has pretty much passed through its puberty.  I have
     made every effort to make sure that the structure and organization of
     this FAQ will not require much change.  If information is
     substantially changed or deleted, I will included specific notations
     bracketed in the section headings as follows:

          * [CORRECTIONS]--If information is revised because of substantial
            inaccuracy, I will mark the heading with this notation; I will
            *not* note minor corrections.

          * [Del]--Old section deleted.

          * [New]--New section.

          * [Rev]--Revised section.

          * [Moved from . . .]/[Moved to . . .]--Section moved; information

          As the above notations are meant to accomodate regular readers of
     this FAQ, these notations will only appear for one month.


     This version of the U.C. Davis USENET FAQ contains most of the
     information contained in the previous version (Version 1.4) with only
     minor editorial changes.  More information has been added, and some
     information that appears in other FAQs has been deleted from this FAQ
     and replaced with appropriate references.  The most important change
     by far is the change in the URL references from the ftp server at to the hypertext version located at the USENET FAQ
     project (passim).


     No changes are currently planned for the structure and/or organization
     of this FAQ.  As I still receive a certain amount of feedback on this
     FAQ, however, I will continue to add more information and subsections
     as appropriate; I will also soon revise the html version of this FAQ
     that is currently available at the USENET FAQ Project (the current
     version was created by the USENET FAQ Project's software).
          Your comments are invited and are very much appreciated.
     Specifically, please let me know where and how you first came across
     this FAQ and how or where you think notices of its availability should
     be posted.  I am sorry, but I cannot offer everyone a personal reply.

- - - - -

End Document:

                     The U.C. Davis USENET FAQ Part 6 of 6
               Frequently Asked Questions at and about U.C. Davis
                           (c) Copyright 1995 & 1996


                             David F. Prenatt, Jr.
                            King Hall, 1995 Alumnus
                            U.C. Davis School of Law
                            University of California
                              Davis, CA 95616-5210

                        < >

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