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(?) The Answer Gang (!)

By Jim Dennis, Ben Okopnik, Dan Wilder, Breen, Chris, and the Gang, the Editors of Linux Gazette... and You!
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¶: Greetings From Heather Stern
(?)clock setting
(?)device drivers
(?)fine-grained delay in shell scripts
(?)Serial Programming on an i486 in Linux
(?)Shut down when turn computer off
(?)slib installation
(?)SuSE 7.1 installation CD not recognized
(?)Installing tulip.o in 6.2
(?)Just wondering

(¶) Greetings from Heather Stern

Hi everyone and welcome! This month I hope you like the threads I've selected for you, nice, juicy, full of meat...

Hmm, I wasn't expecting to make that sound like the turkey dinner I had last week. Oh well! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving, and of course we all wish you the best for the winter season too.

Now on to the nitpicking ;) By a HUGE margin the Peeve of the Month is poor use of the subject line. It so happens that we had really high traffic on our administrative list -- something to do with the new FAQ and knowledge base getting posted, everybody give a big hand to Ben and Chris! -- but, we actually got more slices of mail with useless subjects, totalling about a fifth of the overall mail for the month.

What do I mean? Well, I'll put it the same way Ben does. You have only 40 characters (in most mailers). Don't waste them on things like "Help me" (why else would you be mailing us? Hoping to frame our most creative flames?) and "Linux problem" (good, you have the OS we know best) or even, cheerful though it makes us, "Hi Gazette" (yep, that's us, you reached the right place).

Even worse is people who have no subject at all. Now it's true that with so many helpful souls in the Gang a lot more of the questions get answered nowadays. But, my statistics show that about two-thirds of the messages with no subject were utterly ignored. Not even a worn out match starting a flame. Nada, zip, zilch. So you really hurt your chances of getting anything more than a lump of coal in your stocking by not having a real subject on your questions for The Answer Gang.

So, the trick is, make sure your subject contains at least one noun or verb that relates directly to the question. "SuSE install" or "wheelmouse woes" or something, so we can guess if that message is something we know about, so we can leap into the fray.

Okay, now what can I say about Linux? Well, let's see. It'd be a great x-mas present to see that 2.4 kernel stabilize now that 2.5 is properly set up. (I'd go for "peace on earth" but it seems to be making a nasty hole in the stocking, darn it.) I already lost my bet that it'd be 2.4.14 that would win. What I really want is one of those 21" studio LCDs but, I'm broke this season, so I'll probably have to make "21 inch diagonal" my New Year's Resolution. <brickbats appear from offstage> hey! watch it! You trying to break my old monitor? That's it for now. Whatever you do this season don't forget to Make Linux A Little More Fun.

Jim and I will be at the annual Large Installation System Administrators conference in San Diego, the first week of December. USENIX always has a great seminar track, plus a lot of the developers we've gotten to know personally are regulars. If you can afford it, I highly recommend going. If you are going, perhaps we'll see you there.

Failing that, see you next year...

This page edited and maintained by the Editors of Linux Gazette Copyright © 2001
Published in issue 73 of Linux Gazette December 2001
HTML script maintained by Heather Stern of Starshine Technical Services,

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