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Re: Fw: microwave bands in use



Gregory Young wrote:

>Hi all:
>I don't have a clue on this one...
>What protocol am I violating on amsat-bb??????
>I am using my email system which is Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.0
>which uses Microsoft Outlook. I have setup nothing, as it configured
>itself... I changed no settings, anywhere..
>Have been on several newsgroups, and this is the first flame I got.
>My message doesn't contain all caps, which I know is incorrect, so if
>someone will NICELY educate me as to what special setups are needed for this
>newsgroup, I will attempt to comply.


I think I see what the problem is here. Greg is a newcomer to internet.
He buys a computer with Windoze 95 (with built in Internet Explorer) all
set up. Internet Explorer is set up to use another Microsoft product, an
e-mail program called Outlook. Outlook is obviously one of those fancy
"modern" e-mail programs that uses HTML format to produce nicely formatted
e-mail with multiple fonts, multiple type size, and for all I know you can
probably send messages with little bunny rabbits hopping along the margins.
The "younger generation" computer geeks think this is cool.... 

Greg sends a few e-mails to friends who also have the same software running 
on their systems, and they all think that it's pretty cool. Everything is 
running fine until the day that Greg posts an e-mail to Amsat-BB. Nobody 
ever explained to Greg that Amsat-BB is a mail reflector (it is NOT a
newsgroup) which has several thousand subscribers around the world, people
who are using every conceivable computer system known to man, including some
that were probably designed before Greg was born. Many of these systems do
not interpet HTML code, since HTML is a standard that is only a few years
old. The older computers only understand e-mail written in ASCII (for the
newcomers, ASCII stands for "American Standard Code for Information 
Interchange"). ASCII has been the mail standard ever since e-mail started
out 25 years or so ago. 
 
Greg has never used one of the "antiquated" systems, he may not even know 
that most of the world's e-mail does not use HTML coding. He simply does not 
know that the software he is using produces e-mail traffic that looks like
random line noise to a great many of Amsat-BB subscribers. He doesn't 
understand why his innocent request for help on Amsat-BB results in flame 
mail from the "older generation" computer geeks:

>Damnit! If you want help, don't use that GD protocol! I will rebell every
>time, Greg and will issue an advisory that others do so as well! 

Everything looks cool on his computer screen, so how could he be doing 
anything wrong? 

Greg also wrote:

>I just read a post stating that the problem (with my posting I assume) =
>is html, which is built into Internet Explorer Outlook email.
>I will search for a way to turn it off.. but just wanted to let you all =
>know I figured out what the complaint was, based on seeing other mail.
>If people when they setup newsgroups have restrictions they should have =
>a list of rules when you join that newsgroup, shouldn't they?
>Some people are really nice to newcomers, aren't they?
>73, Greg

Amsat could probably try to better educate Amsat-BB users about these 
issues, but we are still trying to figure out how to get people to send 
their "unsubscribe" requests to listserv@amsat.org instead of 
amsat-bb@amsat.org,  so I don't know if there is any hope of educating 
the newbies (and some old-timers) about more advanced issues like the 
difference between ASCII and HTML e-mail. And since I am not familiar
with Microsoft Outlook, I can offer Greg no advice on how to "turn off"
the HTML output, or even if it is possible to do so. 

Microsoft and the other e-mail companies all hope that their new standard
will catch on and become the new world wide e-mail standard. If they can
sell their software to enough newcomers like Greg, the world's e-mail
reflectors and usenet newsgroups will eventually have so much HTML traffic
that the "older generation" computer geeks who grew up using ASCII will
eventually give in and buy the new fangled software. Microsoft has no
incentive to educate Greg in how to "turn off" the HTML feature on the
Outlook program, since it is in their best interest if unsuspecting
newbies continue to flood Amsat-BB and all the other message channels
with their HTML formatted traffic. 

Some Amsat-BB subscribers will argue that the old-timers should stop
obstructing progress and just go with the flow, that if the world wants 
to make HTML the new standard for e-mail, everyone should get with the
program and junk their old mail systems. Then a few years from now they
can junk their HTML software when the next new fad comes along. This
is, afterall, the way that standards are often made in the computer
world. 

So in the end I would suggest that everybody calm down. The presence
of HTML traffic on Amsat-BB is not Greg's fault, because nobody ever
told him about these issues. 

Dan Schultz N8FGV



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