+————————————–+————————————–+ + + + The Do's and Don'ts of Ascii Express + + + + Written by Quasimoto + + + +————————————-+—————————————+
Having called hundreds of AE lines throughout the nation, I've come to realize
that there are too many AE sysops who don't know what the hell they are doing. And of course, there are even more idiots who call the lines and don't know what they are doing. This makes life difficult for the few of us who want to easily use the lines. This file will hopefully help sysops become better sysops, help sysops make their lines better, and help the idiots who don't know what they are doing make life easier for us. With that in mind, let us start.
SYSOPS AND THEIR AE LINES -------------------------
The thing I hate most are the sysops who constantly break into chat. I'm not
talking about when somebody wants to chat, I'm talking about the assholes who break in and say things like "Who is this?" or "What are you going to upload?". That pisses me off. Usually I hang up on the assholes (unless of course they have a ware up that I want). There is one AE that I called where it seemed like the sysop stayed home all day pinned to his computer chair waiting for somebody to call. Every time that I called he would break in and ask if I was going to upload, and then spend ten minutes telling me what I should upload. That is a definate problem.
Then there are the sysops who never change the wares that are up on the lines.
I mean, you know how frustrating it is to finally get onto a board that you called two weeks ago and find out that the wares haven't changed? They don't even make room for uploads.
Okay, those are two negatives. Here's a positive. I know of one sysop who
updates his AE.WELCOME every now and then to include some news of the line. Actually, quite a few do this, but only one that I've seen is updated to include something meaningful. That same sysop has help files for new users of the AE world. This one isn't too important, but worth mentioning since it is a nice addition to a line.
One final word on sysops. If a sysop is around and hears a page, then he
should answer it. I hate it (and you probably do too) when a sysop lets his presence be known by hitting a few keys (and messing up whatever you were doing) and then not answering when you page him only four seconds later.
To start things off with the lines themselves, let's start with hardware. An
AE line should definately have at least two drives and should always have a slot three or slot five ramdrive. Even if it is only sixty sectors, it is enough to keep the clutter of messages and ads off of the main drives. And as for disk drives, what the hell is the use of calling an AE that has only one drive? I don't know, that's why I don't call them. They are always filled with messages and ads anyway, the only wares on them are single file ancient games.
AE lines should be up 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days in a year
(not that any of them stay up longer than a year). AE's that have hours to call are stupid and a pain in the ass. If you can't have it up all the time, don't put them up at all. It's okay to take it down while you use the computer, but don't use the same line for your voice and modem. Oh, AE lines NEVER have call waiting on them. STUPID!
AE lines with a hard drive always should have a wares map. Do you know what a
pain it is to search through 65 volumes only to realize that there were no wares that you wanted in the first place? I'm sure you do because it happens to just about everybody. As long as we're talking about hard drives, make sure that all of your wares are on the first volumes! Don't have wares on volumes 1-13, and then skip over to volume 43-59. Actually, that would be okay if you have a wares map, but since most AE's don't (sysops are too lazy and care too little about their system to spend no more than ten minutes making one) keep them in order.
Back to sysops. They should always make sure there is at least one meaningful
ware up. Sorry all you assholes who put up three drives that say "UPLOAD HERE" and one drive that contains nothing but messages. Most people aren't going to upload without getting something first.
AE's with password programs should have a hard drive, or at least three
drives. Otherwise it is like having a one drive AE (see above) because the password program takes up 3/4 of the disk space, leaving no more room on it for wares.
Sysops should never get on-line and say "You can't take anything until you
upload first!". First of all, sysops shouldn't get on unless they are called for anyway (see above). An AE line is made for downloading, and some uploading. I am not condoning leeching, I think leeches should die (we'll get to that later), but forced uploading (except for upload weekends, which seem to work great) is stupid.
Sysops shouldn't suppress anything unless it is absolutely necessary. For
instance, if you have a password program you will need to suppress the at sign (@) so that nobody can read your private stuff. Or, if somebody is terrorizing your line by putting ^L's or ^J's in the catalog, and they continue doing so, you should suppress that. But under no circumstances should you ever suppress the space bar, no matter how many times you are crashed. It makes it difficult to read/write text files.
To end with this section, let me just say that if you follow the simple rules,
things will be easier for all of us, even you.
AE LINE USERS -------------
Let's start with a very important topic, the chat option. Almost all AE lines
have a text file named 'CHAT' or 'PAGE' or something like that, and they shouldn't be used abusively. Use it once if you need to, but if the sysop doesn't answer, either try later (after a transfer, not two minutes later) or leave private mail to the sysop. Also, never make your own chats. If there is no chat up, the bell is probably disabled anyway. If it isn't, the sysop doesn't want to be disturbed (I don't condone that either, but you might as well respect it).
If you upload something, leave a brief description of what it is. I for one
hate taking something that I have no idea about, and I am tired of seeing those "WHAT IS _?" messages.
NEVER LEECH! That is one of the most important. I'm not saying that you have
to give for everything that you take, but if you take more than one thing, especially if you do it on the same call, give something in return. I don't know about you, but I like uploading. I just upload and watch TV why it is transferring, and when I'm done I can sign my name and feel proud that I did that (since very few people do upload). Always, it puts you off the spot on individual password AE's, and makes you more popular in the AE world if you upload to a lot of different AE's. And one word of advice, never upload to a ram drive. If the power goes out or the sysop turns off the machine without saving the ram drive, the ware is wasted.
Learn how to leave private mail. I can't imagine somebody not knowing, but
you need to know. I'll tell right now. Just right TO SYSOP or whatever, skip three spaces ( ), then write something else after it like your name or the date or something.
If you are leaving a message to another user, put a date after his name so if
there are more than one he knows which he has read.
Read the sysop's want list and upload something he wants. Make sure you don't
upload something he has. How useless can you get.
I guess that's about all for now. As new ideas form I'll bring you a new
volume of this guide, or maybe somebody will write a new one with his own ideas (I hope I didn't start a trend like the REAL PIRATE'S GUIDE. I don't want to see THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF ASCII EXPRESS PART XIV). Just remember other people when you are doing something, whether you are a sysop or a user, and everything will run a lot smoother out in that AE jungle. I'm not going to list AE's now at the end of this file. That is useless. By the time somebody reads this it will probably be down! Later everybody.
[Humorous Note: After Quasimoto uploaded this file to my board, he looked
around, saw Robotech II, and started to leave a message asking what it was – something I had explained in the AE.WELCOME. On the same call, he also uploaded a file that not only did I already have, but that was up on the board at the time! What was that you were saying about "idiots who call the lines and don't know what they're doing," Quasi?
/\/oo\/\ Count Nibble /\/oo\/\]
+————————————-+—————————————+ + + + This Has Been a Notre Dame Release + + + + Tuesday July 30, 1985 12:40 p.m. + + + +————————————-+—————————————+