One more source of information regarding computers and the internet. A lot of what you'll read on this site is provided to assist, as well as, humor the reader.
Some of the content on this site took me a while to find, mostly because certain topics are not widely discussed on the net. That's why I encourage you to keep digging and searching when researching a topic on the net, you'll be surprised how much info you can obtain.
Believe me, it's all out there. Somewhere!
I started this site as a response to the opinions of others I read on the net and in books or magazines. I'm not looking for attention or debate. I have no doubt that you are possessed of the superior intellect and I have already surrendered.
Please, I encourage you to take your wit and assail the newsgroup(s) of your choice. That is what Usenet is designed for. That and get rich quick schemes.
I would advise you again to seek out as many different sources as you can find and not rely on any one site.
In the following text, I will try and give you some idea of the nets hatred of certain online providers, why it exists, and how you can avoid its wrath.
AOL - Compuserve - Prodigy
The internet may be described in the press and in commercials as some sort of utopian world where all ideas are welcomed and a person cannot be pre-judged based on appearance. Right?
The people who make up the inhabitants of the net are no different than the people who make up your neighborhood. As such, they are subject to developing prejudices not much different than the ones that afflict a portion of your neighbors.
People on the net cannot discriminate against someone based on race or gender simply because this info can easily be disguised by anyone who tries. Also, I believe most frequent net users could care less who you are.
"I Know Where You Live"
Instead, experienced "netheads" are more concerned to know where you come from. I am not talking about geographically, I mean what internet provider are you connecting to the web with.
This information is easy to attain because every time you connect to a site a series of connection protocols must be established. This is sometimes referred to as a "handshake". It is at this time that your computer informs the server of your internet address so that the server can send you the information you requested.
Info the server can ascertain from you can include what OS your computer uses, i.e. Win 95; type of browser (Mozilla=Netscape); the site you are connecting from, example of this would be if you found this site after performing a search on Yahoo, then the server would list www.yahoo.com as your previously visited site.
Every web page on the net is stored on a server, this server has the ability to deny access to DNS addresses. When you first connect to your internet provider, most people are then assigned a DNS number address. This address can easily be translated into text, so for example:
A DNS number of 128.25.369.65 can easily be translated into 125487.mindspring.com
The "mindspring.com" is what concerns wanabe discriminators. This might seem stupid to you, I mean why would someone discriminate against everyone who uses a certain provider.
Unfortunately, certain customers of AOL(considered the worst), Prodigy and to a lesser extent, Compuserve are labeled as ignorant, pain-in-the-ass, whining computer mis-users to be avoided at all costs except one. The exception that proves the rule is that con artists and spammers will embrace you like a long lost family member.
While the internet and especially Usenet Newsgroups, can be a tremendous source of computer information and assistance, they have their limits. A lot of Usenet posters have been communicating via its newsgroups since the mid-80's.
They have watched their beloved groups deteriorate from goldmines of constructive dialogs among individuals of similar interests, to pick-a-part junkyards that have to be endured in the hope of finding a few usable tidbits.
Most of the knowledge has been lost from these groups and a lot of the knowledgeable users that remain take out their frustrations on "newbies", with the same fervor that Greenpeace goes after whalers.
Greenpeace is often successful discouraging the hunting of whales by drawing world attention to the whalers actions, usually embarrassing the wanabe Capt. Ahab's enough so they abandon their hunt.
Usenet regulars also try to draw attention to and hopefully shun into silence, those who post messages including, but not limited to:
This attempt is known as being flamed and it consists of a insulting message usually describing why the person receiving the flaming is a complete and total idiot, not to mention a complete waste of planet space.
A quick survey of the really annoying flamed posts has shown a high percentage originating from the AOL-Prodigy-Compuserve servers.
If you have ever posted a message to a newsgroup and received a response with "plonk" in the message header, you a guilty of breaking one of the nets many unwritten rules.
Since no one entity controls the internet, its users have over the years drafted certain guidelines, sometimes referred to as group "netiquette".
This may or may not be important to you depending on whether you are in need of a response to your post. Posters who have been plonked are placed in a kill filter file by the groups regular users. As a result, any message posted by the plonkee is deleted and group members are unaware of the message or the messenger's, existence.
Most popular newsgroups maintain a FAQ containing answers to the most commonly ask questions. Reading this first and asking questions later will go along way towards keeping out of the kill filters of the most knowledgeable group users.
The Empire(s) Strike Back!
Unlike a person who discriminates against someone of a different race, even if he has never met them, those who are intolerant of AOL know this service provider very well.
This is due to the fact that AOL provides the first online experience of most new computer users. It is this experience that plants and fertilizes the seeds of deep, dark distrust of AOL that eventually sprouts the bitter fruit of hate.
AOL has done more to instill the idea that using the net is difficult and downright dangerous, than even the major newspapers.
The New York Times is the biggest offender among the newspapers for publicizing negative stories in which the internet is in any way involved. The NY Times is the pride of liberals everywhere. For it promotes the liberal belief that the masses are incapable of thought and need to have news items explained, instead of reported, to them.
The method of explanation The Times employs in this translation is best described as being similar to the way a mother spoon feeds her child a jar of Gerbers.
Both AOL and your daily morning paper are reacting the same way society always has to events in which they are ignorant of the facts, with fear. They easily spread their fear over to the ones who pay their salaries, their subscribers.
For AOL, allowing people net access unhindered by frequent disconnects, or programmed features to slow data transmission, (yes you can program a browser to slow retrieval speed), might cause people to wonder why they endure AOL and possibly start a wave of cancellations of their service.
Keep in mind, however, that the 'net wants AOL to survive and act as a kind of day care center for lamers. The only problem with this idea is AOL can't seem to control the behavior of the little brats left in their care.
For newspapers, you will see a lot more newspaper ads on T.V. in the near future. Their big fear is the dumb public will look to the net for more and more news. The NY Times fears enlightened, former subscribers will start referring to their grand paper as the "ugly B\W version of the National Enquirer".