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Subject: There Is No Need...: the uiuc.general FAQ v1.382596444 (updated 02/24)

This article was archived around: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 13:26:44 -0600

All FAQs in Directory: usenet/uiuc
All FAQs posted in: cmi.general, uiuc.general
Source: Usenet Version


Archive-name: usenet/uiuc/general-faq Last-modified: 1999/02/24 Version: 1.382596444 URL: http://www.uiuc.edu/~tskirvin/faqs/general.faq
There Is No Need For You To Refer Us To Your Lame Homepage the uiuc.general FAQ maintained by Tim Skirvin This document is the Official List of Questions Asked Frequently on uiuc.general. The denizens of the group aren't always appreciative when the same things come up over and over again; this ought to answer half of 'em, and the rest are ignorable anyway. Before posting, read this. Thanks. Table of Contents * = updated semi-recently ===== == ======== 1) What is uiuc.general? 1.5) How did it get a FAQ? 1.75) What is cmi.general? 1.875) Why doesn't it have a FAQ? 2) What is UIUC? * 2.5) What is CMI? * 2.75) How does an airport apply to Usenet? * 3) How do I post here? 4) What is CCSO? 4.5) What is Prairienet? A) How do I make a new newsgroup? A.2) What happened to Prairienet? A.3) How do I make a new newsgroup in cmi.*? B) What's up with the modem pool? B.2) What happened to uiuc.classifieds? B.3) Why is your newsserver named "vixen"? C) Who are these old people you're always complaining about? D) What happened to cso.test? E) I missed an episode of Babylon 5! Where can I get a copy of the tape? F) Why are all those {drivers|bikers|bladers|pedestrians} so stupid? G) What's CCSO's problem with chain-mail? H) Here's my Social Security Number... I) Why don't all you people just GET A LIFE? J) Why don't *you* just get a life? K) Aborti... K.2) What is the Burian Plan? K.3) What's this no-Pepsi rule? K.4) What's up with that Observer thing? * L) What are CCSO's policies? L.2) What is the ph redirector? * M) How do I get extra quota space on the students cluster? M.2) What is _The Spirit of Christmas_? N) How did this thing become official? O) How did we have so many discussions here about things which the FAQ thing says everyone is tired of? P) Damn that government! Q) What's up with #uiuc? R) Is [insert language here] a programming language? S) Are *all* uiuc.* people geeks? T) Why can't you take your damned traffic elsewhere? T.2) Why can't you take your damned traffic to cmi.general? X) What's up with the numbering Y) Where can I find the latest version of this FAQ? Z) How do I contribute to this wonderfully crafted FAQ? A1) What does 'GARNA' mean? A2) I don't get uiuc.*. How can I hang around with you guys? AA) Is there anything else you'd like to say? PS) Hey, wait a second, what the hell was that in your .sig? Questions ========= 1) What is uiuc.general? uiuc.general is a general newsgroup for UIUC. 1.5) How did it get a FAQ? I wrote one. 1.75) What is cmi.general? cmi.general is a general newsgroup for CMI. 1.875) Why doesn't it have a FAQ? I haven't written one. 2) What is UIUC? The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a large Big-10 campus out in the middle of a cornfield that specializes in engineering, agriculture, and business - in other words, home. I suppose I actually have to answer that question... 2.5) What is CMI? The code for Central Illinois' Willard Airport, a piddly little thing out in the middle of nowhere whose biggest claim to fame is having had President Clinton get stuck in the mud there in 1998. 2.75) How does an airport apply to Usenet? Prairienet's news hierarchy cmi.* is named after it, for no especially convincing reason. That, and discussion of the airport was fun after the fore-mentioned president-in-the-mud. 3) How do I post here? uiuc.general: unless you're from UIUC, you don't, CCSO is dumb enough to not want your postings but smart enough to block them. If you are from UIUC, GARNA and figure out how to post with it; it's not that tough. If you're off-campus but still from the area, you can connect to the news server following the instructions at <URL:http://www.uiuc.edu/ccso/ pubs/connect/netaccess.html#News>. cmi.general: unless you've from around the area, you don't, because Prairienet is dumb enough to not want your postings and, while not really smart enough to block them, obviates the problem by making CCSO do it for them. If you are from around here, get an account on a local ISP, and of course GARNA. 4) What is CCSO? Computing and Communications Services Office. They used to be CSO, prompting the slogan "Service used to be our middle name, now it's next to last." 4.5) What is Prairienet? Prairienet is the local semi-freenet that insists on trying to run things around here. They're in charge of cmi.*, for good or ill. A) How do I make a new newsgroup? You issue a newgroup for it, and hope that people accept it - most won't. Then you go ahead and ask your newsserver to pick it up; they might, if they're in a good mood. Then you hope it gets traffic; it won't, unless you're really good. 'ph usenet' at a command prompt to learn how to make UIUC pick up or add a newsgroup. Mail newsmgr@prairienet.org with requests for cmi.* groups. If you're elsewhere, go find yourself some FAQs and read them before you ask again. A.2) What happened to Prairienet? Prairienet got kicked off of our news servers in early 1998. This was tragic, as we're now all stuck with using cmi.* if we really want to talk with the rest of the world. Of course, few students care about the opinions of the rest of the world, so uiuc.general is still used more often by that user base. B) What's up with the modem pool? There have always been far too many people logged into far too few modems for far too much of the time; that's just how things work. UIUC has begun to alleviate the problem by adding a usage threshold and billing for use beyond it; Prairienet simply has usage limits; local ISPs solve the problem by billing for everything in the first place. Anyway, if you're really stuck with using a modem, be fairly warned that it'll probably be busy. Deal. B.2) What happened to uiuc.classifieds? uiuc.classifieds has gone through a couple of facelifts over the last year. First came the reorganization, where .classifieds was replaced with .classfieds.general, .classifieds.housing, and .classifieds.vehicle, in addition to .personals and .computer; this caused great confusion and a lot of people posting their ads to .personals or uiuc.general because nobody knew what to do instead. As a result of this continued problem, the groups were moved again, this time into the cmi.* hierarchy. For more details on how everything is currently set up, check out <URL:http://www.uiuc.edu/~tskirvin/faqs/classifieds.faq>. B.3) Why is your news server named "vixen"? Because it always used to go down on Joe every Friday afternoon. Well, that's the best reason, anyway. The real reason, as told by Paul Pomes (UIUC's former news administrator): "Actually it was named that in honor of a colleague's machine at ANS.NET. Robert Enger ran the #1 news server and from our meeting at an IETF conference he agreed to give UIUC a full feed. His machine was named seka.reston.ans.net after the porn star. I couldn't be as obvious with UofI's political environment so I picked a name with "plausible deniability"." C) Who are these old people you're always complaining about? uiuc.general has had thousands of posters through the years, some of which have been extremely notable in their ability to tick off the other users through their actions. These people tend to become uiuc.* legends. A few of the most famous: Ken Chen - a UIUC graduate of Computer Science, Ken Chen considered himself cursed because he only made it out with "the scarlet letter of High Honors" - he would have needed to have a professor sponsor him for Highest Honors, and that would have involved finding a professor that liked him. While he no longer has access to uiuc.*, he still occasionally complains about his entry in this FAQ and rants about the evils of CCSO whenever he gets the chance. His greatest accomplishment in life was coining the phrase 'there is no need for you to refer me to your lame homepage', which he no longer wishes to be associated with. Marguerite Plesko - an ex-UIUC student who apparently got screwed over big-time by the administration, she used to post long rants to uiuc.general about how the screwing and what she was going to do about it. Unfortunately, nobody could ever get through a single one of her posts, because they generally consisted of multiple paragraphs of absolute gibberish. Realizing this, she would occasionally decide to cancel her posts, but would just repost them a few hours later. The only major effect of this work was a bunch of flamewars, and of course the confusion caused by trying to read the rants. Jason Lindquist - a UIUC graduate of Computer Engineering, Jason was in his day the most prolific poster on uiuc.* - which, combined with his attitude and stubborness, brought him huge numbers of enemies. Given that he made these enemies over the 'net, there was almost always a flamewar going on concerning Linky somewhere in uiuc.*. He wasn't really that bad a guy (I consider him a good friend), but he still made his mark on the hierarchy before he was kicked off by John Bambenek. Linky's presence sparked the phrase "oh, so *you're* [insert name here]...". Ellen Brewer - Ellen is the self-appointed guardian of uiuc.announce - she watches over the group to make sure that everything that is posted there is appropriate, and sends email to the poster if it's not. While most people agree that this is a good idea, as it keeps the group working, those that don't agree tend to be raving loonies that like to complain about how Ellen is censoring them. Therefore, every few months, we get a fun flamewar on the matter. Mike Gardner - mgg is a CCSO employee that, while he does have another job, has appointed himself as the guy in charge of looking through UIUCNet periodically for content that the University doesn't like. As a direct result, he is one of the most hated CCSO employees; many people even block his computers from accessing theirs, just out of spite. According to Prairienet, mgg was the brainchild behind cmi.*; he denies responsibility for the hierarchy. Dan Howard - Dannyman is a Rhetoric major who has earned the enmity of virtually all of uiuc.* by refusing to shut up when asked politely. His actions are fairly effective, however - he has managed to single-handedly force mgg's hand on several computer policy issues, has actually caused a bit of Res Hall reform, and generally manages to annoy the University enough to offset the annoyance of everyone else. John Bambenek - John is a Physics major that is probably the single most-hated person on uiuc.*. He began to earn his fame in a set of flamewars in uiuc.rha.par; he soon moved to uiuc.general, where he started several large wars about computer hackers, ph information, CCSO, Jason Lindquist, and a host of other topics - which, combined, were enough to make sure that everybody had at least three bones to pick with him, even the people that would normally respect that kind of thing. He still occasionally posts to the group, although the flamewars remain low due to everybody having already killfiled him. Steve Kellmeyer - Steve was a local anti-abortion protestor, whose claim to fame was managing to repeatedly start ridiculously long threads about the issue that doggedly refused to leave uiuc.general. After about three multi-hundred post flamewars, the mere mention of his name brought fear to many people's hearts - said mentioning seemed to be the trigger that brought back him back. Happily, Steve has left UIUC, and there hasn't been an abortion flamewar for months. Tim Skirvin - Tim is a Computer Engineering major, and winner of UIUC's "most prolific poster" award. Considered by many to be an absolute bastard with no clues and no life, he generally shrugs off these concerns and writes more FAQs and web pages. An anti-FAQ about him was once posted to uiuc.general, and is still available at <URL:http://www.uiuc.edu/~tskirvin/ docs/skirvin-faq.html> D) What happened to cso.test? cso.test used to be the place to post test messages, as opposed to uiuc.test. Unfortunately, some administrators showing a remarkable lack of foresight removed cso.test, thus condemning all test messages to be incorrectly posted to uiuc.test. For more information on Tasmanians for Exchange of Subversive Thoughts, see the TEST FAQ, at <URL:http://www. uiuc.edu/~tskirvin/faqs/test.faq>. E) I missed an episode of Babylon 5! Where can I get a copy of the tape? Yes, we feel your pain. Nobody should have to miss an episode of the official Best Show Ever, but this is difficult due to its presence on TNT (a network unavailable to dorm residents or anyone else without cable). To combat the horror, some kind people (with cable, or at least access to it) have set up a group to show or lend episodes of important television shows to those in Great Need. So far, there are a few volunteers for Babylon 5 (most of which I've forgotten, but I've got everything), and there was a volunteer for Twin Peaks but he left the University (d'oh). Anyway, if you have any other shows you'd like to volunteer, by all means contact me at tskirvin@uiuc.edu. Oh, and don't try to defraud us. It's not worth it. F) Why are all those {drivers|bikers|bladers|pedestrians} so stupid? Let's put it this way: all drivers think that bikers, bladers, and pedestrians are stupid, all bikers think that drivers, bladers, and pedestrians are stupid, all bladers think that drivers, bikers, and pedestrians are stupid, and all pedestrians think that drivers, bikers, and bladers are stupid. Of course, all drivers, bikers, bladers, and pedestrians are right. It does make for a good flamewar. Hints for all involved: look where you're going, stay on the right part of the road, and don't be stupid and get killed. G) What's CCSO's problem with chain-mail? The same as the rest of the world's: chain-mail, sent through their systems, is bad. It's a waste of system resources, really annoying, and nothing they want to deal with. Do _not_ send mail that asks that it be re-sent; it's a Bad Thing. H) Here's my Social Security Number... Look, folks. Giving out your SSN for virtually anything is a Generally Bad Idea. It's not a good thing to put it on your driver's license or student ID, it's a bad thing to tell it to anyone not officially affiliated with the University, you should probably make a fuss when you're asked for it on a test, and, for Gods' sake, just don't put the thing in your .sig! If you want further proof, check the Social Security FAQ, at <URL: http://www.cpsr.org/cpsr/privacy/ssn/ssn.faq.html> I) Why don't all you people just GET A LIFE? Easy: it's so much more fun to torture the people that have time to ask that question. J) Why don't *you* just get a life? I think I do; I might be mistaken, though. If you want to do research on the matter, start with the fore-mentioned anti-faq (<URL: http://www.uiuc.edu/~tskirvin/docs/skirvin.faq>); I'd also refer you to a pro-Skirv faq, except I don't think anyone's written one yet. *shrug* Why would my friends care about me on Usenet... (For the record, this is a frequently asked question.) K) Aborti... Stop right there. Take it to uiuc.org.pro-life or uiuc.org.choice. Thank you. K.2) What is the Burian Plan? The Burian plan was invented and named after alumnus Chris Burian. Its premise is simple: every time the University (or any other organization) forces you to pay for something that you shouldn't have to pay for (parking tickets, extra student fees, etc), you do pay, but you also destroy an equal value of their property in return. The plan does not guarantee that the problem will go away, but it does make you feel better. K.3) What's this no-Pepsi rule? UIUC recently made an exclusive contract with Coca-Cola that requires that we don't use their competition's products. At first, it was thought that this would only force the change of a few pop machines; more recently, it was discovered that the University planned to enforce the rules upon everyone even vaguely affiliated with them, including all student organiztions. Result: if you're drinking a Pepsi product or at an event where it's being served, you're not allowed to be affiliated with the University in any way. Needless to say, this hasn't made the student population happy. Progess is under way to stop this evil by the registered student organization PEPSI (People Enjoying Pop Sold Independntly), though the odds seem low that this will ever actually happen... K.4) What's up with that Observer thing? The Observer is the campus "conservative" newspaper, issued about monthly and containing regular columns on the evils of liberals and the beauty of the chief. It is notable almost solely because so many people hate it; you can't go two feet on this campus without running into a copy of the thing that somebody else spat on. L) What are CCSO's policies? CCSO has policies, it just doesn't publicize them very well. They have been at <URL:http://www.uiuc.edu/ccso/pubs/cnp> for quite a while, and hopefully will remain their indefinitely. L.2) What is the ph redirector? UIUC students can, if they set it up properly, set up their web pages to be pointed at by http://www.uiuc.edu/ph/www/[username]/ or http:// www.uiuc.edu/~[username]/. Setting it up properly involves ph, a University- wide phone book system; hence, it's the ph-redirector. Use if if you're on campus. Or else. M) How do I get extra quota space on the students cluster? If you're a student, you don't - and you also don't get extra quota space on the Engineering Workstations, on the CSIL cluster, or on just about any other of the various networked systems on campus. If you really need extra quota space, buy yourself an account at an ISP somewhere (they're cheap), set up Linux (if you're in the dorm/have ISDN), or get a job somewhere quota-less. If you're a Registered Student Organization, you can get some extra space on the CCSO registered organizations server; see <URL:http://www.uiuc. edu/ccso/services/ro_webspace.html> for details. M.2) What is _The Spirit of Christmas_? The _Spirit of Christmas_ is a five-minute animated short that led directly to the creating of the TV show _South Park_, which features a battle between Santa Claus and Jesus Christ. SoXmas was first digitized and distributed to the net here on campus - causing bandwidth problems for some, but it was worth it. Of course, some people are now worried about the monster that has been unleashed, but there's not much that can be done now... N) How did this thing become official? By submitting a FAQ to news.answers, you can pretty much get your FAQ to be considered official by most of Usenet. Then again, you probably want to take any claims that I make about this thing being official with a grain of salt, if for no other reason than because it's me. O) How did we have so many discussions here about things which the FAQ thing says everyone is tired of? *Never* underestimate the ability of a bunch of bored college students to have protracted conversations about useless topics. P) Damn the government! Yeah! Damn them! (uiuc.general tends to have virtues-of-Libertarianism flamewars every couple of months. Some people consider this annoying; as a Lib, I don't. Consider this my acknowledgement of the issue.) Q) What's up with #uiuc? #uiuc is an IRC channel that pretty much acts as a real-time uiuc.general. Not being an IRC-junkie, that's about all I know about it. R) Is [insert language here] a programming language? Some things are markup languages - HTML, SGML, TeX, etc. Some are scripting languages - Perl, Python, Tcl, etc. Some are just outright compiled languages - C, C++, Java, etc. Nobody is entirely sure where these definitions meet, and nobody particularly wants to be. To make it simple: yes, it is a programming language. S) Are *all* uiuc.* people geeks? No, just most. T) Why can't you take your damned traffic elsewhere? Oh, but we do - uiuc.general is used only when we can't find anyplace better to have our fights. T.2) Why can't you take your damned traffic to cmi.general? Because cmi.general is boring, uiuc.general works fine, and "there's more people there" isn't a good excuse when it's not true yet. Give us a good reason to switch and it'll probably happen. X) What's up with the numbering? I'm far too lazy to renumber things as they come in. Y) Where can I find the latest version of this FAQ? <URL:http://www.uiuc.edu/~tskirvin/faqs/general.faq>. Updates will be posted to uiuc.general periodically. Z) How do I contribute to this wonderfully crafted FAQ? Find a frequently asked question, write a one-paragraph answer to it, and mail it to tskirvin@uiuc.edu. I'll get around to throwing it in some time. Corrections, of course, should probably go straight to uiuc.general. There's always great joy to be had in publicly flaming me. A1) What does 'GARNA' mean? "Get A Real Newsreader, Asslick." Despite reports to the contrary, this shouldn't be insulting - unless you're using Netscape to post, of course. A2) I don't get uiuc.*. How can I hang around with you guys? Well, there's lots of answers: o Start going to UIUC. o Hang around at Murphy's Pub. o Read one of the many other alt.* groups that we've taken over. o Use IRC and subscribe to #uiuc. o Give us your souls. Other than that, well, you're screwed. AA) Is there anything else you'd like to say? Yes. There is. First of all, don't quote an entire message when you're just replying to a short section of it. Second, please write your posts with less than 75 columns, preferably about 65. Third, don't crosspost to hell and back. And finally, remember the important rule, "There Is No Need For You To Refer Us To Your Lame Homepage." You're welcome, and have a nice day. <FISH>< - Tim Skirvin (tskirvin@uiuc.edu) -- <URL:http://www.uiuc.edu/~tskirvin/> Skirv's Homepage <FISH>< <URL:http://www.killfile.org/dungeon/> The Killfile Dungeon <*> PS) Hey, wait a second, what the hell was that in your .sig? It was a referral to my lame home page. Bite me.