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Section 9 - Common Questions about the FAQ.

 Q9.1) Why do I get the FAQ twice?
 Q9.2) Why does the full FAQ have to be posted?
 Q9.3) Isn't the FAQ overly long?
 Q9.4) If I find something wrong or am unhappy with the FAQ, what do I do?
 Q9.5) How to retrieve the FAQ from the source...
 Q9.6) Is there a more detailed Network FAQ available?
 Q9.7) Is there a ( FAQ available?

Q9.1) Why do I get the FAQ twice?

There are two ways this can happen. The first, and most common way, is when you see two copies of the FAQ, one set posted to comp.sys.acorn.announce and the other set posted to comp.sys.acorn.misc. This occurrence is caused by your news handling software being broken. The FAQ is, if you check the newsgroups line when it is posted, crossposted to both of these groups.

This means it is actually posted just the once and with all good news handling software you will read the post exactly once. Given that this is supposed to be standard behaviour for newsreaders I refuse to stop cross-posting purely because people are seeing the posts twice. Quite simply it isn't my problem and I will need other justification before I stop cross-posting.

The second way it can occur is when you see two copies of the FAQ in the same group. Careful checking of your newsbase should reveal that one copy is about 30 to 32 days older than the other. This comes about because I use the Expires: header to ensure that a copy of the FAQ is always present in all well configured newsbases.

Q9.2) Why does the full FAQ have to be posted?

Simply because of the wide distribution that the FAQ has. Every time the FAQ gets posted it gets automatically archived into various FAQ databases, propagates on ancillary networks only loosely connected to the net (BBSes in particular) and reaches a wide variety of people whose skills at navigating the net vary considerably. Occasionally it gets copied onto CD ROMs, Magazine discs and extracts get used in various publications from time to time.

Given this wide reaching nature and the general idea of an FAQ being to reduce network traffic by providing the answers to common questions immediately then I see clear justification for continuing to post the full FAQ.

Q9.3) Isn't the FAQ overly long?

In a word, no.

To be slightly less candid it's worthwhile doing a comparison of the c.s.a FAQ with other newsgroup's FAQs. For this task I used a 'snapshot' of various FAQs obtained from the Usenet FAQ archive, taken in March 2008. Here are a few sample sizes:-

FAQ                                      Size in bytes
---                                      -------------
comp.sys.acorn (as posted 1st Apr 2008)  116,385
comp.lang.c                              280,487
comp.sys.sun.admin (Solaris FAQ)         437,078
sci.crypt (Cryptography FAQ)             129,330
soc.feminism (resources list)            200,503

As can be seen by the above table the size of the FAQ is neither overly large nor is it particularly uncommon.

Having said that, I'm currently performing a general overhaul and revamp of this FAQ, archiving a lot of older information, only of relevance to legacy machines. This will be stored online at

Q9.4) If I find something wrong or am unhappy with the FAQ, what do I do?

Email me first about it.

I mean it. Generally errors or bad information that has crept into the FAQ has been through circumstances beyond my control. Often a lot of the information I am provided with I simply can not check directly myself. So I accept a lot of what I am given on trust and generally try to exercise care with what I include into the FAQ.

If, after getting a reply back from me, you are still unhappy then by all means grumble about it on the newsgroups. But I want the chance to explain things first. I take a very dim view to people posting complaints to the newsgroups, first, about the FAQ, especially ones that imply or impugn improper conduct on my part. I tend to view such posts as attempts to publicly force my hand and make me do whatever said poster wants done to the FAQ.

Thanks go to all the people who have contributed corrections and additions to the list. Without this help this list would be a hell of a lot buggier (spot the programmer... :-) ) than it is...

If you have any additions, corrections or suggestions for the FAQ, please contact me. Being the maintainer of this FAQ I reserve the right to be wrong, incorrect, slow, out of date and generally how I please with the FAQ List.

Q9.5) How to retrieve the FAQ from the source...

As I frequently update the FAQ between postings you may wish to get the latest and most up-to-date copy of the FAQ before it next gets posted to the newsgroups. You can view it directly at or you can download the textual version from

Q9.6) Is there a more detailed Network FAQ available?

Philip Blundell originally created the comp.sys.acorn.networking FAQ which is now maintained by Chris Johns and available online at

Q9.7) Is there a ( FAQ available?

Matthew Hambley used to maintain a FAQ, which is still available online at

Part 8 - Compatibility with other Machines | Index

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 Last edit: 10th Apr 2016 at 4:55pm (2967 days ago)

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