This article is from the Introductory Macintosh FAQ, by Elliotte Rusty Harold firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
There are no stupid questions, but there are misplaced ones.
You wouldn't ask your English teacher how to do the definite
integral of ln x between zero and one, would you? So don't ask
the programmer newsgroup why your system is so slow when Microsoft
Word is in the background. Ignorance of basic netiquette is not an
excuse. If you want people to help you, you need to learn their
ways of communicating.
Posting questions to the proper newsgroup will fill your
mailbox with pearls of wisdom (and maybe a few rotten oysters too
:-) ). Posting to the wrong newsgroup often engenders a thundering
silence. For instance the most common and glaring mispost, one
that seems as incongruous to dwellers in the Macintosh regions of
Usenet as would a purple elephant to Aleuts in the Arctic, asking
a question about networking anywhere except comp.sys.mac.comm,
normally produces no useful responses. Posting the same question
to comp.sys.mac.comm ensures that your post is read and considered
by dozens of experienced network administrators and not a few
network software designers.
Please post to exactly *ONE* newsgroup. Do not cross-post.
If a question isn't important enough for you to take the extra
minute to figure out where it properly belongs, it's not important
enough for several thousand people to spend their time reading.
For the same reason comp.sys.mac.misc should not be used as a
The breakdown of questions between different newsgroups in this
document can also serve as a reasonable guide to what belongs where.
Questions about productivity applications (software you bought your
Macintosh to run, not software you bought to make your Macintosh run
better) should go to comp.sys.mac.apps unless the application is
covered in a more specific newsgroup. Communications programs,
games, HyperCard, compilers and databases all have more topical
Questions about communications software and some hardware questions
belongs in comp.sys.mac.comm. However detailed questions about
Appletalk belong in comp.protocols.appletalk. Questions about modem
hardware belongs in comp.dcom.modems. Questions about web browsers
belong in comp.infosystems.www.browsers.mac and questions about web
servers should be directed to comp.infosystems.www.servers.mac.
Questions about the Internet in general and not about specific Mac
based software like MacTCP do not belong in comp.sys.mac.comm
Questions about MacOS system software belong in comp.sys.mac.system
with a few exceptions. Most notably all questions about printing and
printing software belong in comp.sys.mac.printing. Questions about
third party utilities and extensions normally belong in
comp.sys.mac.misc. Questions about A/UX go to comp.unix.aux.
Posts about hardware are split as follows: Anything at all about
printers belongs in comp.sys.mac.printing. Posts about hard drives,
tape drives, removable media like Zip and Syquest drives, and CD-ROM
drives and the driver and utility software required to make these
items work belongs in comp.sys.mac.hardware.storage. Posts about
displays, monitors, video cards and the driver and utility software
necessary to make these items work belongs in
comp.sys.mac.hardware.video. All other hardware related posts
including those about CPU's, memory, scanners and other peripherals
should be directed to comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc. Please try to
restrict posts to comp.sys.mac.hardware to ones that actually involve
the metal and plastic that modern computer hardware is made of. Just
because a game comes on CD-ROM does mean you should review it in
comp.sys.mac.hardware.storage. (On the other hand a review of the
drive itself would be appropriate.) Software questions in
comp.sys.mac.hardware should be restricted to the bare minimum of
non-standard software required to make a device work, e.g. hard disk
drivers, special extensions, and the like.
Programming questions and questions about development environments
belong in the comp.sys.mac.programmer hierarchy. ResEdit questions
may be posted either to comp.sys.mac.misc, comp.sys.mac.system, or
comp.sys.mac.programmer; but generally the netters who inhabit the
darker recesses of comp.sys.mac.programmer are considerably more
practiced at the art of resource hacking.
A general exception to the above rules is that any *very* technical
question about an application that actually begins to delve into the
how's of a program as well as the what's (Recent example: How does
WriteNow which is written entirely in assembly compare to other word
processors written in high level languages?) might be better
addressed to the programmer newsgroups.
For Sale and Want to Buy posts should go to comp.sys.mac.wanted and
the misc.forsale.computers.mac hierarchy *ONLY*. We understand that
you're desperate to sell your upgraded 128K Mac to get the $$ for a
PowerBook 540c; but trust me, anyone who wants to buy it will be
reading comp.sys.mac.wanted and
Although comp.sys.mac.wanted is a fairly catch-all group,
misc.forsale.computers.mac is a little more hierarchical.
misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.cards.video contains for
sale and want-to-buy ads for Macintosh video cards only.
misc.forsale.computers.mac.mac-specific.cards.misc features ads
for other Mac-only cards, audio cards, data acquisition cards.
misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.portables is for
sale and want-to-buy ads for Macintosh PowerBooks, Portables,
Duos and other complete portable systems.
misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.software is for all Macintosh
software. misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.systems is for buying
and selling complete Macintosh systems (no parts). Finally
misc.forsale.computers.mac-specific.misc is for buying and selling
Macintosh specific items not covered in the above newsgroups. All
of these newsgroups are for initial posts only. All inquiries,
discussion and negotiation should be kept in private email.
They're also all intended for individuals selling one or
two systems. Dealers of new or used computers and software should
post to biz.marketplace.computers.mac.
Many items of computer hardware work on multiple platforms,
particularly memory, monitors, external modems, hard drives and other
SCSI devices. If you're selling any of these items please post to the
appropriate cross-platform, peripheral group, i.e.:
Posting to these groups will give your message a much broader
distribution than posting it to the Mac specific newsgroups.
Political and religious questions (The Mac is better than Windows! Is
not! Is too! Is not! Is too! Hey! How 'bout the Amiga! What about it?
Is Not! Is too!) belong in comp.sys.mac.advocacy. Anything not
specifically mentioned above probably belongs in comp.sys.mac.misc.
Finally don't be so provincial as to only consider the
comp.sys.mac newsgroups for your questions. Many questions about
modems in comp.sys.mac.comm are much more thoroughly discussed
in comp.dcom.modems. Questions about Mac MIDI are often better
handled in comp.music even though it's not a Macintosh specific
newsgroup. Posts about the Newton belong in the comp.sys.newton
hierarchy, not in *ANY* of the Macintosh newsgroups. Look around.
Usenet's big and not everything relevant to the Macintosh happens