From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Zenier)
Subject: Re: question about newsgroup rules
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 20:05:00 GMT
Organization: Eskimo North www.eskimo.com (800) 246-6874
NNTP-Posting-Date: 15 Dec 2002 17:54:03 GMT
In article ,
Don Pearce wrote:
>Interesting. When I read a newsgroup listing, I see many threads which
>I decide I don't want to read, but they don't get in the way of any of
>the other threads, nor do I need to delete them. I strongly suspect
>you need to get yourself a better newsreader.
>As for purity of purpose whose purpose, precisely, would that be? Not
>yours by any chance...
Nope. This a bit obselete, but I figure most people
can figure out those parts. Hey, you asked...
Viewers Guide to the USENET sci.electronics newsgroups. [June 17, 1997]
This FAQ is a tourist's guide to the various electronics newsgroups.
For more detailed information on the electronics field, try the official
(as close as it gets around here) sci.electronics.repair FAQ at
http://www.repairfaq.org/ courtesy of Filip "I'll buy a vowel"
Gieszczykiewicz , Sam Goldwasser and a cast of thousands.
Some Comments and Q&A.
Some things to remember. These newsgroups are worldwide in coverage.
That means that criticizing someone's English, making nationalistic
remarks, personal insults, and criticizing another poster's intelligence
are invitations to pointless flame wars.
And the computer equipment that will be used to read these messages is
anything but uniform. Any extensions that your computer has to support
various character sets will not always be reliably transmitted or
displayed at the other end. So avoid fancy superscript characters,
degrees temperature, Greek letters, and line drawing characters like the
IBM PC extended character set. There are newer standards for indicating
the character interpretation to be used with a posting, but there's no
guarantee that the person on the other end is up to date. For the similar
reasons, note the discussion on posting software and graphics in the
following Q&A section.
You should also consider where a poster is when they request the closest
source for some product or information. Not everybody has a Radio Shack
in the nearest shopping mall. A common problem is that the toll free
800 numbers common in North America are not easily or cheaply accessible
from the rest of the world. Look closely at the originators domain address
to see if they can contact your recommended source.
Keep in mind that various systems and standards are different around
the world. Household power voltages and frequencies are different,
and the techniques and regulations to deal with wiring are different
enough to cause safety problems if you try to use the wrong one.
Video systems (originally tied to the power line frequency) are also
widely different around the world. Different scan rates and encoding
systems make things incompatible. More recent innovations are even
more diverse. For example, stereo audio on television transmissions
in the UK, Scandinavian countries, and other parts of Europe is a
almost CD quality digital transmission, while in the US, the MTS system
is a variation on the analog sub-carrier system used for FM stereo.
Not only are the systems different, so is the jargon used to describe
them. What might be a Ground Fault Interrupter in North America, would
be a Residual Current Circuit Breaker across the Atlantic. And what was
written as 4.7 k ohms, might by (from the requirements of the schematic
drafting standards) be given as 4k7 ohms.
Q. "Someone has to give me an answer!"
A. Nope, sorry. Everybody here (except a few salesmen) is doing it
for their own purposes, and no question is guaranteed to get an
answer. Getting obnoxious about it, or repeating the question
across every possible newsgroup, or over and over again won't win
any friends and marks you as the archetypal "newbie".
Q. "What is cross-posting, and is it bad?"
A. Cross-posting is where many discussion group names are included in
the "Newsgroups" header of a posting. This causes them to be
distributed to each of those newsgroups when they are received
and processed at a news server. (Note that Usenet is not like
the World Wide Web. In contrast to the Web, postings are
distributed worldwide to thousands of separate computer systems,
so sending just one message instead of many is beneficial.)
Like many feature of Usenet news, it can be abused. For
example, Posting to large numbers of groups at once, or posting
to groups that have incompatible discussion topics as a form of
harassment. This has gained it a bad reputation that the
dogmatic have converted into legendary restrictions.
Try to limit posting to the one newsgroup whose topic matches
your subject. If it does seem to overlap a couple of newsgroups'
topics, cross-post if you must.
You should avoid (at all cost) multiple postings, (also know as
SPAM). This is where you send a separate posting to multiple
newsgroups. This causes several bad things. It creates that
much more data that each news server system has to process. It
starts a separate disconnected discussion thread in each
newsgroup. And it causes for anyone who reads many of the
newsgroups to see the posting repeated for each group. Any
competent newsreader software will only show a cross-posted
message to the reader once, but has no way of dealing with SPAM.
(Yes, there is a lot of incompetent software out there.)
Q. Are advertisements restricted to ONLY
A. That's the idea.
Q. Why can't I advertise my [stereo/computer/...] for sale in
A. For the main reason the group is for an audience that isn't
interested in buying them. (Note the word 'Industry' in the
newsgroup name. If you can buy it at the nearest shopping mall,
it doesn't belong here). And the second good reason is there
are already well established groups for those purposes. Try the
misc.forsale.computers groups, rec.audio.marketplace, rec.video,
Q. Can I post executable binary programs to these groups?
A. No. These are text discussion groups. The amount of resources
needed to transmit a program is much greater than the normal
posting. Many small sites and individuals use an automatic
forwarding system that sends all of the traffic in a newsgroup
to them. But often, with a cost determined by the amount of
data, or the duration of a phone call (in places where phone use
is billed by time). So posting large amounts of data imposes a
direct monetary penalty on other users. They don't like it.
| For that reason many sites filter out binaries out of their news
Beyond that, every program needs a specific combination of computer
and operating system, so ANY program will not be useful to a large
number of the groups readers.
The alternatives are 1) to set up your own FTP archive or Web
page that allows any interested person with a direct Internet
connection to get their own copy. (And those without direct
connection may have access to systems that will give them access
through email.) 2) To get a public archive to put your files
onto their system. 3) To post the data to one of the
comp.binaries (if the moderator will accept it) or alt.binaries
newsgroups, or 4) to offer to email the data to persons who
Q. Can I post graphics images to these groups.
A. Again, this can take a lot of resources and the diversity of
formats means that no matter what format you choose, someone
will not be able to read it, (even if they are interested). And
substituting your graphics scanner for a little thought and
writing effort will not win you any friends. So think before you
If it is really relevant, use a format that is common,
compressed, and encoded so that it can travel over the net in
the form of text. If you can't get the file to smaller than
about 30 thousand characters after UUencoding or Mime encoding,
I'd suggest that you set your files in an archive as discussed
above. Also if it's of long term interest, or very specialized
interest, no matter what its size. A net posting will only be
around for a short time, and putting your work in an accessible
archive will make it more widely available. Posting files that
are already archived somewhere is a waste of resources. Just
include a reference to their location.
File formats that have some supporters are 1) Portable Document
Format (.pdf) that have been created with a limited character
set so the various network conversions don't corrupt their
content. Either through using the 7 bit character conversion in
the creation software or by UUencoding or Mime encoding the
file. 2) Postscript files that have been compressed with gzip
or zip and UU or Mime encoded. 3) GIF files that have been
encoded. 4) .bmp or .pcx files that have been compressed and
encoded. (Do not waste your time posting uncompressed .bmp files.
The Bincanceler will eat them.)
There has been periodic discussions of some file format produced
by CAD software, but no one format seems to have wide support.
The same applies to various word processor document file formats.
"Everybody" doesn't have the software that you run. And some
would rather never have to buy it.
Q. What's the difference between sci.electronic.components, .design,
A. The split here is set up on levels of complexity. In this field
of technology, people look for solutions to problems along these
levels. Someone who is looking for a box that solves their
problems is working at a higher level of detail than someone who
is designing a module (circuit board) and that second person is
working at a higher level than someone looking for a pre-built
integrated circuit that they need to purchase.
The proposed components group is for questions dealing with
individual parts. Someone working on this level is looking for
a specific function or source or identification for an
electronic component. Postings requesting the identification of
an integrated circuit are a large portion of the current
The design group is for persons combining components into
circuits. Discussion on design solutions and techniques.
The equipment group is for persons looking for already available
solutions to their problems. In other words, if someone is
looking for a solution to their problem, and wants to buy
something with a warranty, and that has a salesman and tech
support along with it, .equipment is the place to ask for
advice. (This is not the place to suggest that the person can
go down to Radio Shack and get a 555 and wire up a circuit.)
Q. What's left for sci.electronics.misc?
A. Gossip, history, trivia, manufacturing, systems, standards,
Charters and description lines.
sci.electronics Circuits, theory, electrons and discussions.
This is now a bogus group. On January 2, 1996, it was
superseded by sci.electronics.misc as part of the reorganization
vote carried out two months earlier. Expect that access may be
turned off or aliased to the new group, and that propagation from
system to system will be unreliable.
sci.electronics.basics Elementary questions about electronics.
"A forum for discussion of electronics where there is no such
thing as a stupid question. Beginners questions. Discussion of
electronics education. Requests for other sources of information."
sci.electronics.cad Schematic drafting, printed circuit layout, simulation.
"sci.electronics.cad is an unmoderated group for the discussion
of Computer Aided Design software (and systems) for use in
designing electronic circuits and assemblies. Topics can
include Schematic "Capture" software, Printed Circuit Board
layout software, introductory and educational use of circuit
simulation software such as Spice, obtaining simulation
descriptions (Spice models) for electronic components, and any
other computer software that relates to designing electronic
circuits at the printed circuit board level."
sci.electronics.components Integrated circuits, resistors, capacitors.
"Discussions of electronics at the component level. The use,
limitations, and identification of resistors, capacitors,
integrated circuits, connectors, enclosures, ... and so on.
Locations and contact information for Manufacturers,
Distributors, and other sources for supply and technical
sci.electronics.design Electronic circuit design.
"Discussions relevant to the design of electronics circuits."
sci.electronics.equipment Test, lab, & industrial electronic products.
"Discussion of the application and internal operation and
relative merits of test equipment, laboratory equipment, and
industrial equipment. This is not a for sale group.
Buying/selling is supposed to occur in the relocated
misc.industry.electronics.marketplace group. (Discussions on the
relative merits of various consumer electronics equipment are
better held in the groups in the rec hierarchy devoted to those
sci.electronics.misc General discussions of the field of electronics.
"General discussions on the topic of electronics. (Discussions
on the relative merits of various consumer electronics equipment
are better held in the groups in the rec hierarchy devoted to
sci.electronics.repair Fixing electronic equipment.
"sci.electronics.repair is an unmoderated group for the
discussion of repairing electronic equipment. Topics to
include: Requests for assistance, Where to obtain servicing
information and parts, Techniques for diagnosis and repair, and
Anecdotes about success, failures and problems with equipment
misc.industry.electronics.marketplace Electronics products & services.
"Advertisement and discussion for the buying, selling, and
bartering of electronic components (integrated circuits,
resistor, capacitors, etc.), electronics test equipment,
electronics laboratory equipment, electronics industrial
equipment, and services used for the production of electronics.
NO CONSUMER ELECTRONICS - NO AUDIO, VIDEO, or HOME COMPUTERS."
Other groups of interest
Mark Zenier email@example.com