cctalk Digest, Vol 19, Issue 15

M H Stein dm561 at
Fri Mar 4 15:47:49 CST 2005

-----------Original Message:

Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2005 07:54:47 -0800 (PST)
From: Vintage Computer Festival <vcf at>
Subject: Re: Re installing XP on Sony

The point is that if I went onto a PC mailing list and asked someone to
help me troubleshoot my Commodore 64, I would probably be ignored,
possibly even laughed off, and rightly so.

So, even if it were true, which in my experience it isn't, does this mean that 
we have to be equally rude and condescending?

Actually, in my experience the people on the PC & other lists I'm on tend
to be quite helpful with off-topic questions if they can, or (nicely) suggest other 
resources if they can't.

I would have thought that especially this list would be more mature and polite
(as indeed many people here are, although they tend to be rather quiet).
I always have to remind myself that there are a lot of other people on
this list who don't say anything unless they actually have something
useful to contribute.

We have a very special mailing list here with a specific character, which
is of great value to people in this hobby.  If we allow really common,
unextraordinary PC maintenance issues to be discussed any old time someone
wants to bring them up even though there are an infinite number of tools
and resources available only a few clicks away, we'll lose that unique
character, and subsequently most of the people who currently inhabit this
space who are valuable resources for the hobby.

Well, actually I correspond with several people who used to be on this list and
have/are valuable resources who have unsubscribed because of the amount of
irrelevant garbage and the "attitude" on this list; I doubt that the occasional 
PC-related topic would have bothered them. I went through my email files from
before I unsubbed a year or so ago to find people with whom I have unfinished
business, and quite a few people who used to be useful contributors seem to no 
longer be heard from now that I'm back...

It would be interesting to know how many actually unsubscribed, and why.
Every person who unsubscribes because of the way they're treated or the amount 
of junk on this list is a lost potential resource.

Folks have used the list in the past to ask PC related problems, but that
has been in situations where they have already exhausted all other
resources, or they are in a serious pinch and needed immediate
information, and they always explain this.  This has been a rare occurence
as most people respect the character of the mailing list and its members.
Jim's issue could've been answered after 5 minutes of Googling.

So what? I ask and get asked lots of questions of/by people, and I've never
said or heard "Don't bother me, look it up on Google!"

As to the "character" of this list, it appears to be a place where you can talk
and ask questions for days about just about anything, cars, guns, what have you,
ignoring pleas to "finally get off this OT topic," as long as it's not about what 
many if not most of us actually have sitting in front of us, a PC-compatible, 
maybe even (God forbid) running a Microsoft product. Are you really afraid 
that if we do answer the occasional OT but computer-related question that 
we'll suddenly be deluged?

Can't we (at least some of us) be a little nicer, especially to "outsiders" who
may not be aware of our anal attitudes, or would that totally destroy the
"character" of this list?


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