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Subject: The alt.2600 Survival Guide
This article was archived around: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 12:01:44 GMT
[Note: I just post this stuff. I didn't write it. Please DO NOT reply to
this post quoting its entirety! Downloading costs many people real
alt.2600 Survival Guide
Last Updated: 1999/04/17
Welcome to alt.2600, the Internet newsgroup for readers of 2600
Magazine. On alt.2600 we discuss telephony (phreaking), computers
(hacking), and related topics.
The purpose of this guide is to help you fit into the newsgroup, and
avoid being flamed (insulted and abused) by the other users of this
When posting to alt.2600, there are many previously unwritten rules you
must follow in order to receive an answer instead of a long round of
The most intelligent thing you can do to avoid being flamed on alt.2600
is to read the newsgroup for approximately two months before you begin
posting. This will give you a good feeling for the social climate
existing in the newsgroup.
When you do post, either a new topic or a response to an existing topic,
try to make your post meaningful. Try to include some useful fact or
bit of information. alt.2600 readers tend to be technical types;
therefore, chatter and opinions do not interest them. They WILL flame
When creating a new topic, keep the topic close to other topics you have
seen in the newsgroup. Do not create topics on dogs, cars, women,
etc... There are appropriate newsgroups for all of those topics, so
please do not bother us in alt.2600 with them. We do not care, we WILL
If you are replying to a post to the alt.2600 newsgroup, take a moment
to consider whether your reply should be sent via e-mail or whether it
should be posted to the entire newsgroup. Most replies should be sent
Never post a "me too" message to the newsgroup. The evil denizens of
alt.2600 may not stop at merely flaming you.
When you do reply to a post, either via e-mail or by posting to
alt.2600, quote only relevant portions of the post to which you are
responding. Do not quote the entire message, but do quote just enough
of the text that readers can tell what you are replying to.
If you are posting a question about the location of a file, state that
you have done a web or archie search for that file and have had no
success. Mention all of the places you have looked for the file. If you
do not, you will be flamed for wasting the time of thousands of alt.2600
As a general rule to use when posting a question, state what other
methods you have used to locate the information you are seeking.
alt.2600 readers pride themselves on being hackers. A hackers seeks out
information by every available means. If the newsgroup readers feel
that you are asking the question without having done sufficient
research, you WILL be flamed.
Try to post using proper English grammar, punctuation, and
capitalization. If no one can understand you, no one can help you.
tYp1Ng l1k3 tH1z is not considered cool by anyone over the mental age of
If you are posting a question about how to locate a piece of commercial
software, state that you are aware it is commercial software. If you do
not, you will be bombarded with replies informing you that the software
for which you are looking is commercial software. This will not be
terribly helpful to you.
If you are posting looking for commercial software without any intention
of paying for it, you WILL be flamed. While most newsgroup readers have
no ethical objection to violating copyright law, software piracy is seen
as a "lame" thing because of its lack of technical content. alt.2600 is
not a warez newsgroup.
Before you create a new topic, read the topic names of each and every
topic in the newsgroup. If you create a topic that duplicates an
existing topic, it wastes the time of every participant in that topic.
You WILL be flamed severely.
When asking a question, make sure that the answer is not in the
alt.2600/#hack FAQ. If the answer exists in the alt.2600/#hack, I WILL
flame you. This document is posted regularly to the alt.2600 newsgroup.
In addition, the alt.2600/#hack FAQ may be found via ftp from:
Or on the World Wide Web at:
Occasionally, you WILL be flamed for no reason at all. This happens to
everyone. Some newsgroup reader with a room temperature IQ will misread
your eloquent post and rant about your idiocy in a 400 line tirade.
Forget about it, there is nothing you can do. It's not even worth your
valuable time to try to straighten it out.
One important thing to remember is that unless you are exceptionally
stupid or exceptionally brilliant, few newsgroup readers will remember
your name from topic to topic or from post to post. You might be
screaming adversaries with another newsgroup reader in one topic, and
close allies with the same newsgroup reader in another topic. And you
may never notice it's the same person. It's the post that's important,
not the poster.
To summarize, here are a few important rules to remember:
1. Read the newsgroup for two months before posting. 2. Make posts
factual and meaningful. 3. Keep your posts on topic for this newsgroup.
4. Send personal replies via e-mail, do not post them to alt.2600. 5.
Quote responsibly. Not too much, not too little. 6. State what homework
you have done before resorting to asking on alt.2600. 7. Do not use
alt.2600 for software piracy. 8. Check the alt.2600/#hack FAQ before
posting a question.
If you keep these rules in mind and abide by them faithfully, you will
still get flamed. However, you will be able to retaliate with a clear
conscience that you have done everything possible to protect the social
culture of alt.2600.
[Addendum: Quick additional notes.
This is not a binaries newsgroup. That means that you should not post
things like pictures or programs. Even *.zip files are sometimes frowned
upon. It's much better to put such material (especially if it's large)
on a Web page or post it to alt.binaries.misc (or alt.2600.programz for
executables), then post a message in alt.2600 directing people to where
the files are.
Don't bother to post questions like "How do I hack?" as you'll only be
made an object of ridicule. Read the regular post "How to Hack - Info
for Newbies", along with the FAQ (both posted about twice a week), for
tips on "hacking".
You may occasionally see people breaking these rules without being
flamed. These posters will invariably be regular posters whose
transgressions are overlooked, or even welcomed, because they are
accepted members of the alt.2600 family. Follow these guidelines and
some day you might join them.