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(?) The Answer Gang (!)

By Jim Dennis, Ben Okopnik, Dan Wilder, Breen, Chris, and the Gang, the Editors of Linux Gazette... and You!
Send questions (or interesting answers) to tag@lists.linuxgazette.net

There is no guarantee that your questions here will ever be answered. Readers at confidential sites must provide permission to publish. However, you can be published anonymously - just let us know!

(?) Sometimes, we just don't know what to say

From darrell rolstone

Answered By Ben Okopnik, Dan Wilder, Heather Stern

Dear Tag staff , especially Ben,

(?) Well folks....I've patiently waited several weeks for a response to my LONG letter.....and have given up and am re-contacting you to ask if you even got it?

(!) [Dan] Your message of 2 May 2001 did indeed arrive. It may be found at the list archive,
You raise some interesting questions.
The fact that the Open source software base comprises untold millions of lines of code (has anybody ever counted?) indicates that there must be some reason people do this. Eric Raymond has a few interesting ideas. See http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/writings.
I suspect that absence of responses on this mailing list was due to the fact that none of the regular posters felt they had much in particular to contribute, at least on the day your mail appeared, to the questions you raise. For this I don't really apologise; we're all volunteers here, and we do what we can.

(?) Ben's first response was IMMEDIATE and so ...

(!) [Ben] I guess I should stop responding so IMMEDIATELY... <wicked grin>
(!) [Heather] ...and so you have sadly developed the illusion that you should get 1 hour turnaround on your problems from TAG. That's not the way it works here. Linux Gazette is not any sort of company, TAG's just a batch of friends that try to help folks like you out... and the Gazette gets to publish the results, if it looks like they'd "Make Linux a Little More Fun!" for others. That's the only pay we get, too. You want timely, buy a tech support contract from some Linux vendor that sells them.
I remind you that The Answer Gang does not guarantee any answers will ever arrive, much less in a timely fashion.
Even if it were a company a fast turnaround might be unreasonable, but that depends on whatever the original problem was. Most companies actively limit what type of questions they'll even bother to answer; "Linux" is quite a broad topic, these days.
If Ben or any of the other members of the Gang continue the thread, great. If not, oh well. Sorry you got your hopes up. You can re-send your message if you like. If you do, its successful delivery to any TAG gurus doesn't obligate them to answer.

(?) ... I'm thinking maybe something went wrong in the sending process, although I never received a "failure" notice! It has also suspiciously disappeared from my "sent messages" folder!!! I have to wonder if you guys are being "watched"? Immediately after mailing you, I received some strange e-mails .....one from "friends@hoovertime" with no message.....just an attachment!

(!) [Heather] So, it looks like your site gets spam too. (Due to an open policy of receiving queries from Linux users all over the world, we get an unfair share, ourselves.) Luckily, you probably can do something about it... procmail filters or something. There have been a few useful articles against that subject in recent issues of LG.
(To be fair, it might be little hard to filter spam in your hotmail account. Oh well. )

(?) Anyway, please let me know if infact you did receive my e-mail of several weeks ago.


Darrell Rolstone / Vector Synergy Intl

(!) [Heather] We get an increasing amount of mail each month. You have provided no special context that I could use to find it anyways other than your name. It's not reasonable for us to go looking for it. I hope that some of what Ben said for you was helpful so far. If your actual thread of question and answers is useful to others by the end of the month, it may get published in whole or part.
Yes, I agree, it's polite to continue a thread in progress, and for all I know, 3 of them have it lazing about in their draft folders. One of TAG may have sent you something which never arrived at your end. If they didn't copy the publishing staff here, I actually have no means to find it for you, or even to publish it later.
Meanwhile, good luck in your endeavors.

(?) Dear Dan, ( and stern Heather too!)

Thanks SO MUCH for answering! Now I know that my letter did infact arrive! I REALLY appreciate it and all that you and the other volunteers do. I hope that my "interesting questions" generate some "food for thought" among linux programmers! It looks like IBM and their new associates will be addressing many of the drawbacks that I pointed out ....by paying their programmers to code using the linux kernal (along with the NSA)! I hope that "far-reaching" programs like the two I have initiated will garner monetary support somehow!

Please know that I put myself "at your service" to the whole of the linux community, as a "synergy design consultant" ( which pretty much covers EVERYTHING) and would be glad to volunteer to contribute my prospective on any projects/problems!

Remember: "the significant problems we face today cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Albert Einstein.

May the Source be with you, Darrell Ernest Rolstone

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Published in issue 68 of Linux Gazette July 2001
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