Chapter 4: Usenet customs & myths (2 of 7) -- SOME USENET HINTS


     Today, one of the places you can look for help is in the
news.newusers.questions newsgroup, which, as its name suggests, is a
place to learn more about Usenet.  But be careful what you post.  Some of
the Usenet wizards there get cranky sometimes when they have to answer
the same question over and over again. Oh, they'll eventually answer your
question, but not before they tell you should have asked your host system
administrator first or looked at the postings in news.announce.newusers.

     Case counts in Unix -- most of the time.  Many Unix commands,
including many of those used for reading Usenet articles, are case
sensitive.  Hit a d when you meant a D and either nothing will happen, or
something completely different from what you expected will happen. So
watch that case!

     In nn, you can get help most of the time by typing a question mark
(the exception is when you are writing your own message, because then you
are inside the text-processing program).  In rn, type a lower-case h at
any  prompt  to get some online help.

     When you're searching for a particular newsgroup, whether through
the l command in rn or with nngrep for nn, you sometimes may have to try
several keywords.  For example, there is a newsgroup dedicated to the
Grateful Dead, but you'd never find it if you tried, say, l grateful
dead, because the name is rec.music.gdead.  In general, try the smallest
possible part of the word or discussion you're looking for, for example,
use "trek" to find newsgroups about "Star Trek."  If one word doesn't
produce anything, try another.