Hints and tips

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Hints and tips

It is a good idea to read through news.announce.newusers before unsubscribing it. If you choose not to read the entire newsgroup, you should at least read the articles containing answers to frequently-asked questions and the Usenet Primer. Use g news.announce.newusers from the newsgroup level, then `=' to list the subjects, then enter a number to read the articles with the subjects you wish to read.

rot13 and rec.humor:
One newsgroup which attracts a large number of subscribers is rec.humor. Since some of the articles posted in it might be considered offensive by some people, the Usenet has developed the ``rot13'' system to protect easily-offended eyes. Basically, text that is rot13 has all of its letters rolled thirteen places up the alphabet. To read a message that is rot13, type C-x at the pager or article selection prompt. To send rot13 articles yourself, place the following alias in your .cshrc.mine file:
alias rot 'tr [a-m][n-z][A-M][N-Z] [n-z][a-m][N-Z][A-M] \!* >  /rot13'
Now, when you want to send a rot13 article, first type it in plain English using emacs or some other editor and save it to a file, which we will assume is called filename. Then, type rot filename from the shell, and the file will be rot13'd and placed in a file called rot13 in your home directory. Then, when you post the article and it asks you what file to include, enter /rot13 and you're all set.

Using a .signature file:
rrn and mh disagree over what a .signature file should do. While rrn thinks it is something that should be placed at the end of a file, mh thinks that it should be placed in the ``From:'' field of a mail message. Therefore, if you want to use a .signature file with rn, you will have to set a variable called ``Signature: '' in your /.mh_profile file. Otherwise, mh with look at your news posting signature, and do the wrong thing with it. Simply edit your .mh_profile and add a line like
Signature: Joe Random User
to the end. You can then put a signature in /.signature to be automatically added to the end of your news postings.

Including an article in your follow-up:
When you use the `F' command to post a follow-up article which contains the text of the original article, Pnews, the program which handles such posting, gets very picky about how much new text you put into your article compared to how much you retain from the one to which you are responding. In most cases, you will edit the article you are including so that you only include the parts relevant to your followup (but be sure not to disrupt the References: line in the header section.). But if you attempt to post an article which has more lines from the last article than lines you have added to it, Pnews will reject the article. The way to avoid this is to fool Pnews into thinking that lines from the original article are actually lines that you posted. Since the lines from the original article begin with ` >' by default, replacing the ` >' with another character fools Pnews. The command sequence within emacs to do this is: M-x replace-string <RETURN> C-q C-j > <RETURN> C-q C-j string <RETURN>, where string is the character (or characters) with which you want to replace the ` >'.

Using net-mail over UUCP:
Most users of the Usenet are members of the UUCP network. If you use either the `r' or the `R' command from the article selection level to send net-mail, then the ``To:'' field of the letter you are sending will be in the format, ``user@host.UUCP.'' This will not work on Athena in this format. To send mail over UUCP, change this to
Bloom-beacon will figure out paths to UUCP addresses and send out mail accordingly.