Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A.O.L.S. (and Usenet in general).

Or to give it its full title Alt.OS.Linux.Slackware (where OS stands from Operating System). Since switching from BSD to Linux during 1993 one of the things on the Internet that sure was an excellent place o get help and/or glean some excellent information was on UseNet. In those early days the Usenet was a place of gentlemen where every question about a given subject was, providing it was asked in the correct place, answered with a skill level so sublime as to be a joy to witness. Sure, even during those heady days there was those whose only premise was to disrupt proceedings. These were quickly identified and given the derogatory mantel of Troll. Overall though the eloquence and excelence of the vast majority of these early adoptors shone through. Because of this the Usenet was one of the first places any one would visit if in need of an answer. Back in the early 1990's I was something of a prolific poster to the Usenet reading as I did hundreds of messages, known as posts, a day and replying to as many of those as I wanted to. Sure, I got the odd thing arse backwards and got hung out to dry, known as being flamed, because of that but the overall experience was a good one. But as a whole new generation of posters came along so the quality of Usenet declined. Just as in everyday life English language skills declined so the quality of Usenet posts. Until today the situation is so bad the it could be said that the Usenet is a shadow of its former self. Nowadays I rarely post to the Usenet proper (to define Usenet proper one has to know the basics of how Usenet posts propagate. Basically, very basically, Usenet can be defined as being like motorway stopping points. Throughout all the motorways here in the U.K. you can get from one stopping point to another via the motorway road network. Usenet is similar to this methodology) though I do still read several Usenet groups added to this is the fact I run a subscription only news server of which I take part by posting and replying to articles posted. Why do I rarely post now? Well, the standard is generally so low now that I have dropped myself to the disinterested level. And so to the subject. A.O.L.S. The standard in that particular Usenet group is no different to any other Usenet group. But it does seem to have suffered more than most. As the Usenet more or less mirrors the outside world so the standard of the posts contents have dropped along with the general demeanor of the outside world. People are more arrogant. poorly, by comparison to the early/middle 1990's, educated and this reflects in the text of the Usenet articles. A.O.L.S. suffers as all Usenet has suffered from this blight. Oh and let us not forget the role in this decline google groups has and is playing. Remember that google groups is not Usenet but even with that fact known and understood the quality of google group users posts is so bad that it is dragging the Usenet ever further down. Why is this? I have one theory as to why this is. Permit me to espouse it here. Along the straight line of time we have taken the following route. Usenet, fidonet (another olde worlde but wonderful article based network), mobile phone texted'ing. Now that may look like a harmless route to have taken but consider how piss poor mobile phone texted'ing is quality wise is then apply that to what is left of Usenet and you get a huge drop in quality. Added to this is, as I said, the general decline in other areas and of course as the wider worlds populace has got more and more arrogant in their general demeanour and we have the stakes right there that are embedded deep in the carcase of Usenet.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


That is a nice web site you have there with Linux users well catered for with some interesting articles. But, I have to ask one question regarding your choice of distributions.

Ubuntu? I mean why?

On my wifes machine it was as unstable as an unstable thing can be in a land called unstable. At least it was until I replaced it with another distribution.

If you don't want to lose the head of steam you have made for yourselves then please lose Ubuntu.

Use a distribution that carries little to no patches in its wake. Ubuntu, being Debian derived is, just like Debian, patched to Hell and back and carries all the baggage as well. Lose it. Seriously.