Re: [NTLK] Got a question? Check the FAQ (or somewhere else) - Anywhere other than here.

From: Victor Rehorst (
Date: Wed Mar 27 2002 - 12:14:53 EST

On Wed, 27 Mar 2002, Grant C. Brunson wrote:

> Victor,
> Get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? I was under

No, I'm feeling quite fine thanks, and I don't think my cron job or perl
script were grumpy about getting up at 5am :)

> the impression that the very thing you are discouraging here
> is what attracts a lot of new users and makes the Newton community
> unique. Check the Newton Underground bulletin board (and this
> list, for that matter), new users consistently express surprise
> at the willingness of the experienced users and generous developers
> to help the newbies and those who don't have the skills to troubleshoot
> their devices. I don't imagine your post was intended to turn

Yes, and they do, and I used to do this much more than I do now. I still
get around 4-5 mails per week to my personal mailbox asking about Ethernet
and NIE setup (and more recently, Wavelan, which I don't even own)

> this list into "Newton Elitist" board, but the disdain for "simple"
> questions was evident in the sarcasm (Google's probably how they
> found this list). I'll bet there are some newER users who are
> just looking for an opportunity to help with some of the "monotonous"
> questions.

I'm not discouragins anything. I'm ENCouraging people to find their own
answers to their questions whenever possible. I believe that this is the
best way for people to learn things. I've been administrating large
message boards, mail systems, and doing one-on-one computer support
formally since 1996. In all this time I learned that the best way for
people to learn the solutions to their problem is to show them how to find
that information. When people ask me how to do something in MS Word, for
example (like, say, insert a Drop Cap) I would walk them through using the
built-in help. This isn't because I'm an arrogant jerk, but because then
by learning to use the Help system they can help themselves.

> I know you're the admin of this board, but if you're tired of
> answering the "monotonous" questions, don't answer them. Give
> someone else an opportunity. If you don't like the volume of
> e-mail the simple questions generate, switch to the digest.

My traffic usually drops considerably while I'm in session at school (my
finals are in two weeks). But if I sifted through the archives and found
instances where a specific question was answered, only to have it asked
three messages later by a different person, I have no doubt that they
would number over a hundred. That's why I'm trying to encourage people to
use the archives.

> Yes, we all probably needed a reminder to check the FAQ and you
> are correct that digging an answer yourself will lead to learning,
> but please don't discourage Newton users of any skill level from
> participating - in asking *or* answering.

If you'd like to suggest ways in which I can re-word the announcement,
please let me know (off list, if you please). I implement any reasonable
request that makes this list easier to use and more enjoyable, eventually.

Hopefully my ramblings made some sense. And if you've read this far, then
here's a teaser: t-shirts are coming soon, I swear.

Victor Rehorst - -
NewtonTalk list administrator -
Will help you with your list problems - as long as you're nice.

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