acf faq weekly posting 12--4-2003 (Thursday)


S

status

alt.comp.freeware FAQ.
Archive-name: FAQ - alt.comp.freeware
Posting-Frequency: irregular
Last-modified: August 16th, 2003.
Posted to : alt.comp.freeware

The following topics are addressed:

1 ) What is a FAQ ?

2 ) What is the purpose in having FAQs ?

3 ) What is the purpose of the alt.comp.freeware newsgroup ?

4) What is computer freeware ?

5) Can I ask questions about and/or post info/links about "free
internet/DSL/goods and other stuff in this newsgroup ?

6) Can I post "binaries" to this newsgroup ?

7) Is this a "text only" newsgroup ?

8) Can I ask for help to "crack" software and/or ask general "warez"
questions ?

9) Can I post "test" messages here ?

10) What is priceless-ware ?

11) What is all this talk recently, in the newsgroup, about
"spyware", "trojans" etc. ? What do these terms mean ?

12) Why do people post comments about action being taken on "spam"
posts ? Wouldn't it be better to just ignore them ?

(13) Where can I learn more about "spam" etc ?

(14) Do I still have to read these spam threads or is there a way to
avoid them ?

(15) Can I "Top post", post in HTML only, use a fake name, post as
multiple people (sock puppets) etc. ?

(16) If a certain application is requested and no freeware version
exists but an
adware, demo ware or commercial version does, should we mention it ?

(17) Why ?

(18) I see people talking about "trolls" in the newsgroup. What are
they and what should I do about them ?

(19) Where can I get help in using freeware utilities/programs ?

(20) Some posters make large numbers of individual posts. Why don't
they just make a single post with all the links listed together ?

(21) If people have a lot of links then why put them in the newsgroup
at all ? Why not put them on a web page ?

(22) Some posters suggest I "killfile" posters I don't like eg. (20)
and/or subjects I am not interested in. What are they talking about ?

(23) Some people get help in using a particular freeware program while
others get told to go to a particular newsgroup. Why is this ?

(24) Why do some posts have "OT", "AVU" etc. in the header ? What do
these things mean ?


1 ) WHAT IS A FAQ ?

A FAQ is an answer to a frequently asked question, or questions.

2 ) WHAT IS THE PURPOSE IN HAVING ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED
QUESTIONS ?

Regular readers of newsgroups get very tired of reading/answering the
same questions over and over again. Having answers to frequently asked
questions means that people do not need to waste their, and everyone
else's, time by asking/answering a question that has been asked dozens
of times before.

The questioner gets his/her answer(s) more quickly and people don't
need to see the same questions/answers over and over again. This makes
newsgroup reading more enjoyable for everyone.

3 ) WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE ALT.COMP.FREEWARE NEWSGROUP ?

To discuss matters relating to computer freeware.

4) WHAT IS COMPUTER FREEWARE ?

legally obtainable computer programs/utilities that anyone with an
internet connection can obtain free of (additional to internet) cost
and does not have any "limitations" as to it's use, e.g. only being
able to be used for a certain time period and/or only having some
features able to be used.

Programs that cost money, or are time limited, are commonly called
"shareware" or "demos". Those that have some functions that cannot be
used are commonly called "crippleware". Programs that include
advertising (generally called Adware) should be discussed in
alt.comp.adware. All these are generally considered inappropriate for
discussion in alt.comp.freeware

In the case of magazine CDs one cannot usually get the software
without paying for the magazine so many consider that this makes
discussion of such programs OT "Off topic". If however one can get the
programs on a magazine CD via the magazine's web site, and there is no
purchase cost involved, the programs would be considered freeware.

If a program doesn't fit easily into the above definitions eg.
requires a postcard (postcardware) or requires any other non monetary
payment then it should be clearly stated that this is the case.

5) CAN I ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT AND/OR POST INFO/LINKS ABOUT "FREE
INTERNET/DSL/GOODS/FREE EMAIL" AND OTHER STUFF IN THIS NEWSGROUP ?

No. See (3). This would be considered "off topic". Such things
can be posted in newsgroups such as ;

alt.internet access alt.internet.access
alt.internet.access.wanted alt.internet.access.wanted
alt.internet.free-services alt.internet.free-services
alt.consumers.free-stuff alt.consumers.free-stuff
alt.internet.providers.america alt.internet.providers.america
alt.internet.providers.africa alt.internet.providers.africa
alt.internet.providers.europe alt.internet.providers.europe
alt.internet.providers.uk.free alt.internet.providers.uk.free
aus.net.access aus.net.access
alt.internet.providers.usa.dsl alt.internet.providers.usa.dsl
alt.internet.services alt.internet.services

Americans can also consider visiting this site ;

http://www.nzlist.org/user/freeisp/

Free stuff : alt.consumers.free-stuff

Free email : free.email

6) CAN I POST "BINARIES" TO THIS NEWSGROUP ?

No. This is not a binaries newsgroup. You can however post binaries
(as long as they are freeware) to alt.binaries.misc or
alt.binaries.freeware and mention it here.

7) IS THIS A "TEXT ONLY" NEWSGROUP ?

Yes, any non text e.g. HTML posts, are considered unwelcome. Most HTML
newsreaders can be set to post in text.

8) CAN I ASK FOR HELP TO "CRACK" SOFTWARE AND/OR ASK GENERAL "WAREZ"
QUESTIONS ?

No, the focus of this newsgroup is "legal" software only. You will not
get help with either question(s).

9) CAN I POST "TEST" MESSAGES HERE ?

No. The newsgroups such as alt.test are for that.

10) WHAT IS PRICELESS-WARE ?

It is freeware that the members of this newsgroup consider to be the
best available in different categories. It can be found here.

The group also has a similar list for Games.One should look at one of
these "lists" before asking about any "good freeware"/"freeware
games". Your answer may already be there.

11) WHAT IS ALL THIS TALK RECENTLY, IN THE NEWSGROUP, ABOUT "SPYWARE",
"TROJANS" ETC. ? WHAT DO THESE TERMS MEAN ?

A trojan is a file that is often hidden in, added to, or replaces a
file that is obtained for another purpose. For example, someone may
think that they are downloading (only) a file editor and it may
secretly have a virus included.

A number of advertisement supported freeware programs recently have
had additional software included (hidden ? hence the term "trojan")
that keeps track of which web sites one visits and then sends this
information to another web site without the user even knowing that
this was happening.

One of the main makers of this "tracking" software add-on is a company
that was known as Aureate and is now known as Radiate. More
information on this can be obtained here, here, here and here.

Or in the newsgroup alt.privacy.spyware

12) WHY DO PEOPLE POST COMMENTS ABOUT ACTION TAKEN ON "SPAM" POSTS ?
WOULDN'T IT BE BETTER TO JUST IGNORE THEM ?

No. By posting "comments" the anti-spammers ;

(A) Point out to other readers that a post is "spam" (often adding the
word "spam" to the header). Sometimes spam isn't obvious. This action
often saves other people from wasted time/effort.

(B) Point out to other readers that someone has taken "action" on the
post.

(C) Point out to actual/potential spammers that their ISP will almost
certainly be contacted should they choose to spam in this newsgroup.

(D) When anti-spamming action is taken/explained this helps others to
do similar.

(13) WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT "SPAM" ETC ?

By reading the Spam FAQ.

(14) DO I STILL HAVE TO READ THESE SPAM THREADS OR IS THERE A WAY TO
AVOID THEM ?

The anti-spammers generally add the word "spam" to the title of spam
posts. This means that if you set your newsreader to "mark read", or
"delete", these posts you will avoid reading them.

(15) CAN I "TOP POST", POST IN HTML ONLY, USE A FAKE NAME, POST AS
MULTIPLE PEOPLE (SOCK PUPPETS) ETC. ?

Certainly, but keep in mind that if you do any/all of these things
then some people will ignore (killfile) your posts. This means that
there will be fewer people reading your posts if you should ever want
help.

(16) IF A CERTAIN APPLICATION IS REQUESTED AND NO FREEWARE EXISTS BUT
AN ADWARE, DEMO WARE OR COMMERCIAL VERSION DOES, SHOULD WE MENTION IT
?

No.

(17) WHY ?

Mainly because it isn't needed.

(A) Almost every program has a freeware counterpart.

(B) If *you* don't know a freeware solution it doesn't follow that
there isn't one.

(C) People who go to a freeware newsgroup expect to find out about
freeware. There are newsgroups for the discussion of adware, spyware,
shareware etc. for people who have these interests.

(D) In the unlikely event that freeware isn't available then the lack
of response to the poster's query should suggest to him/her that that
is the case. This means that he/she should be looking elsewhere for
his/her program and/or ask again a few months later (in case something
new is written in the mean time).

(E) If you think that a poster should know about a non freeware option
then you can email him/her your suggestion. This saves readers of the
group bandwith and the time to read about non freeware options.

(18) I SEE PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT "TROLLS" IN THE NEWSGROUP. WHAT ARE
THEY AND WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT THEM ?

A "troll" is a post that is made for the purpose of getting people to
"react" quickly/emotionally to it. One internet definition refers to
the fishing term : "trolling", a style of fishing in which one trails
bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite. The "troller" sits back
and is entertained by the rush of stupid people/internet "newbies" who
reply (bite). Some troll posts also attract angry responses and are
termed "flame bait". A troller (troll poster) who can make a single
post, and get dozens of comments/replies to it, usually thinks
him/herself to be very clever.

An example might be where someone posts in a Catholic newsgroup that
the pope is secretly a paedophile, or gun runner. Troll posts often
have little/no truth in them and/or little/no relevance to the
newsgroup that they are posted in. They are usually controversial. The
"important" thing is that they "get a response". As many as possible.

As the reason a troller posts is to get as many replies from people as
possible anyone who does reply/comment is in fact encouraging the
troller to post. Other trollers can then join in to "enjoy the fun".
In view of this waste of time/bandwidth it is best to resist the urge
to reply/comment on troll posts.

(19) WHERE CAN I GET HELP IN USING FREEWARE UTILITIES/PROGRAMS ?

One can often get help from :

(A) The READ.ME file that is often included with an installation.
(B) The FAQ that is often included with an installation and/or on the
web site of the author.
(C) The "Help" file included with the program.
(D) Many programs have mailing lists for users to ask questions/get
answers.
(E) Some programs provide a "user forum" on their site for users.
(F) Some programs have "public", or "private", newsgroups set aside
for them.
(G) With some programs there is "How-to", and other helpful info, on
web sites other than the author's. A search engine can often find such
sites.
(H) *If* a freeware writer encourages feedback then one could contact
him/her. Otherwise one should leave them to spend their time improving
their existing program/utility and/or releasing new freeware.

IF one has done all the above then one could ask for help in ACF. If
one does that however it may be a good idea to mention which of the
above one has already done. So that people don't waste their/your time
suggesting you do things already tried.

(20) SOME POSTERS MAKE LARGE NUMBERS OF INDIVIDUAL POSTS. WHY DON'T
THEY JUST MAKE A SINGLE POST WITH ALL THE LINKS LISTED TOGETHER ?

Because with a long list many people will re-quote it in total when
only commenting on one of the items. This makes reading/commenting on
such posts more time consuming/difficult for many people. With
individual posts it is much easier to find/follow threads about a
particular recommendation, and comment on it, if desired. If one
doesn't want to see these posts then killfile the people who make
them. See 22.

Individual posts also make it easier for people to killfile
topics/programs that don't interest them. Also, some people keep
newsgroup posts so if there are multiples they can save what they want
and delete the rest. One big post would necessitate saving a lot of
info one didn't want.

(21) IF PEOPLE HAVE A LOT OF LINKS THEN WHY PUT THEM IN THE NEWSGROUP
AT ALL ? WHY NOT PUT THEM ON A WEB PAGE ?

For a number of reasons :

Some people read the newsgroup offline. If they are on dialup and need
to connect again to visit the web, to see the recommendations, this
can cause them a lot of unnecessary work. They might not be interested
in any of the items recommended.

Not everyone who recommends freeware has web space to put things on.

Not everyone who recommends freeware knows how to make/upload even
basic web pages.

Not everyone who recommends freeware has the time to do the above.
Posting to a newsgroup is both faster and easier. It also makes it
easier for people to comment on, and discuss, individual
recommendations.

Going to a web page is not only slower than reading a text post but it
also uses up more bandwidth.

(22) SOME POSTERS SUGGEST I "KILLFILE" POSTERS I DON'T LIKE EG. (20)
AND/OR SUBJECTS I AM NOT INTERESTED IN. WHAT ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT ?

"Killfiling" is a term used to describe the process of filtering
posts. For example, a newsreader can killfile a particular poster
and/or subject so that anything matching that criteria is "marked
read" or "deleted". Either way one then does not need to read anything
by those posters or those threads. Check your newsreader help file for
items such as filtering/killfiles/bozo bin etc.

(23) SOME PEOPLE GET HELP IN USING A PARTICULAR FREEWARE PROGRAM WHILE
OTHERS GET TOLD TO GO TO A PARTICULAR NEWSGROUP. WHY IS THIS ?

Most freeware does NOT have a newsgroup that discusses it soley. Where
this is the case however the people reading/posting there will usually
have much more experience/knowledge about the program/utility than
people in ACF. So going to the suggested newsgroup should result in
you getting more/better help.

(24) WHY DO SOME POSTS HAVE "OT", "AVU" ETC. IN THE HEADER ? WHAT DO
THESE THINGS MEAN ?

These things are added to certain posts to make it easier for people
who want to filter out (killfile) those particular types of posts. So
that they can avoid seeing and/or reading them.They mean as follows :

(AVU) Anti-virus update
(OT) Off-topic
(PL) Pricelessware list
*SPAM* Spam


"This article is provided as is without any express or implied
warranties. While every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy
of the information contained in this article, the author assumes no
responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from
the use of the information contained herein.

Copyright (c) 2000 by John Fitzsimons, all rights reserved. This FAQ
may be posted to any USENET newsgroup, on-line service, or BBS as long
as it is posted in its entirety (without change) and includes this
copyright statement. "
 
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H

Henk de Jong

alt.comp.freeware FAQ.

Is there *any* particular reason for posting this?

I would agree when someone posts the ACF-FAQ on a regular basis in
here, but that should be done only after a discussion of this
matter.....

With kind regards,
 
R

rtdos

Henk de Jong said:
Is there *any* particular reason for posting this?

I would agree when someone posts the ACF-FAQ on a regular basis in
here, but that should be done only after a discussion of this
matter.....

With kind regards,

Why ? acf faq diehards have long requested and none of their own complied.
 
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G

Gary R. Schmidt

rtdos said:
In message <[email protected]>,
acf faq weekly posting 12--4-2003 (Thursday)

No, 12 April was a Saturday.
--
Andy Mabbett Reply to [my first name] [at] pigsonthewing.org.uk
USA imprisons children without trial, at Guantanamo Bay:
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/2970279.stm>
<http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAMR510582003?open&of=ENG-USA>



english or european date ? ;-)
If you are going to post dates in an internation forum, use ISO format,
YYYY-MM-DD.

Most people who can fart and walk at the same time can handle that.

Cheers,
Gary B-)
 
A

Andy Mabbett

In message said:
(24) WHY DO SOME POSTS HAVE "OT", "AVU" ETC. IN THE HEADER ? WHAT DO
THESE THINGS MEAN ?

These things are added to certain posts to make it easier for people
who want to filter out (killfile) those particular types of posts. So
that they can avoid seeing and/or reading them.They mean as follows :
*SPAM* Spam

....or anything Corliss doesn't like.
 
R

rtdos

Gary R. Schmidt said:
If you are going to post dates in an internation forum, use ISO format,
YYYY-MM-DD.

Most people who can fart and walk at the same time can handle that.

Cheers,
Gary B-)

Will that be ISO or Windows ISO ? We all now how M$ likes to re-define
things. ;-)
 
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J

John Corliss

Andy said:
...or anything Corliss doesn't like.

Andy, why don't you leave off wi' it. The group decided on those
subject line inclusions, and I only participated in *some of* the
discussions regarding those. Is there something about the idea that
you dislike? If so, let the group know. As far as my opinions
regarding those inclusions are concerned, I no longer maintain an
F.A.Q. for this group and couldn't care any less. At this point, I'm
pretty much just here to find out about freeware programs like most of
the other regulars.
 
A

Alastair Smeaton

Andy, why don't you leave off wi' it.

John - he won't leave off with it while you respond.

Get him back in your kill filter and have an easy, stress-free life
:)
 
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S

Steve H

Andy, what is your ****ing problem? Why don't you get a life?

Tsk John, mind those Ps and Qs please.

Just remember, he does have a life - just that he lives it on planet
Mabbett - where every T is crossed and every i dotted...and public
toilets are plentiful.

He is to Usenet what Arnold J. Rimmer is to Red Dwarf.

Regards,
 
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