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Thread: Question to Phillip, Brent and all.

  1. #1
    Moderator Bouncer's Avatar
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    Post Question to Phillip, Brent and all.

    Folks,

    Speedguide.net, has probably THE best help and info sharing forum I've ever used or been a part of. In the interest of keeping it from degenerating into a "dsl vs cable" place, which I've seen happen far to often, I was wondering if the moderator admin and the users would consider a posting guide.

    We're all familiar with the "keep the language reasonably decent" and "no spamming advertisements" informal rules we have around here, and I'd like to propose a third. That is a: "no offering switching over to the alternative service as a solution" rule.

    Cable and DSL both have issues, tweaks that are specific to one or the other, both suffer from hype advertising, and unfortunately both have less than reputable companies selling them as services. Offering cable as a solution to a dsl issue, or vice versa, simply isn't realistic. The person has already made a financial committment, often in the hundreds of dollars and may also have a contractual obligation to stay with the service or pay a significant penalty. The "helpful" suggestion to switch is basically useless and is more in the nature of an insult than a real suggestion.

    People come here for help, not to be told to spend even more money on more equipment or another service contract which may, or may not, improve their situation. It's analgous to coming to a "Toyota-Ford repair/tweaking" forum, asking a question about your Ford and being "helpfully" told to go buy a Toyota, because Ford's suck. How exactly does that help to solve a Ford Fuel Injection Issue? It doesn't. It doesn't even come close. A suggestion to get rid of cable/dsl in favor of dsl/cable is almost exactly the same in terms of usefulness to a frustrated, confused or just curious person who is trying to find a solution to THEIR problem, or find a way to tweak THEIR system. And we were all pretty much in one or the other category when we came here.

    So my request, is simple. I'd like a vote of the folks here as to whether we as a group should adopt a policy of NOT posting "get the other type of service" as an answer to a question. If a majority disagree with me, then so be it, it's just a suggestion. If a majority responding do agree, than I'd ask that Brent, our moderator or Philip start asking people to abide by the rule.

    My concern is that I think this board is going to grow and grow and grow as the number of people getting higher-bandwidth connections grow. We're going to continue to see an influx of new people as cable and dsl services (and satelite too!!!) usage grows. We already have a tradition of not allowing certain things, like ads, spam, extremely foul language, and we may want to extend that to "switch over" posts, as well.

    For your consideration,
    -Bouncer-

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    [This message has been edited by Bouncer (edited 02-01-2000).]

  2. #2
    Moderator Bouncer's Avatar
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    Red face

    Erk,
    The topic SHOULD be:
    "Question to Philip, Brent and all."

    My apolgies to the Admin.
    Regards,
    -Bouncer-



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  3. #3
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I agree, a posting guide does sound reasonable. Anyone else ? Any other suggestions on content ?

  4. #4
    ExtraTrstl
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    Bouncer, I do agree with your idea, but I do not belive that we need guidlines to tell us that we can't say "GET DSL" or "GET CABLE". I have only seen a couple threads where this was mentioned, not the topic. The only time I ever saw this the topic, someone was asking which if he should get DSL, because his cable speeds had been lagging recently. I rarely ever see bitter DSL people fighting with cable owners, and vise versa.

    In conclusion, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    P.S. And besides, we all know cable is better

    I just had to do that...I'm sorry, really I am.

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  5. #5
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    Red face

    People come here because they have on opinion, or want some help with a problem. If someone wants to post "Cable is god", then they should have the right, even though this is a subjective comment. As long as the basic code of internet ethics are followed, and the post is relative to the board, then who are we to regulate them. Besides, who among us can prove which hardware is better in any given situation?
    In a forum which deals with hardware and software such as this, many people come to find the answers to their problems, and their comments posted here should follow a logical path. ie: computer, hardware, connection, ISP, etc... In order for us to troubleshoot and tweak a persons connection, their input HAS to be logical. Troubleshooting works because of the Boolean equations. If they say "32m ram" we can say "64m ram" or "32m ram plus a tweak". You all know these equations: AND, OR, NOT, etc... This is a finite science, meaning that there is only one output for a given input.
    As you stated yourself, there are many and will be many more who will visit this forum. With the collective wisdom of all the members, we can solve most any problem 'in our control'. Simply put, if their hardware or software is to blame, then we can suggest an objective/logical solution. Can you see where this is going?
    With the blooming market which is the 'high speed interet' there is a definite fiscal advantage to offering the service to your consumer base. Many people will sell this service, but do not have to ethics or abilty required to supply a reasonable and reliable service. This means that many of us will get taken for a ride, losing $40 or more every month because of a 'contract'. When they are in this situation with a disreputable, unreliable, or over-congested ISP, then who are you to say "tweak it"? In fact, that response may be outright insulting to a technically capable person.
    You may say that he/she is being subjective when they say "get cable" or "get dsl" as a response. You may say that these comments insult you. But, if our resources are depleted and there is no easy answer, then maybe it is time for a service change.

  6. #6
    Moderator Bouncer's Avatar
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    Good replies, and food for thought...

    Just to reiterate though, I'm not against "Cable VS DSL" as a topic though I'd tend to avoid it like the plague personally, because to me it's like comparing fiber to ethernet to wireless, I mean, they are different technologies. (shrug) What's to compare?

    In any case, my point is that in a "Help me" type discussion, I think the blithe instruction to go get (fill in the blank) is pretty useless, unless you're offering a *specific* provider of a solution. For instance:

    Mr. 1 : "My VA Beach,VA cable is really terrible, the tweaks haven't helped, the line is just bad, and too many users on my node. I'm miserable."

    Ms. 2 : "You're in VA Beach, VA. You should talk to Pxxxs, I have their 60.00 a month deal and I have 768kbps up/down and it's very stable."

    Is reasonable.

    Mr. 3: "Get DSL. It's stable, and besides, cable sucks."

    Is not. There's nothing in that second answer to help the person at all. THAT, is my point. Offering the alternative that way does nothing but give an opinion to the person seeking help.

    Alternatively, how would people feel in a Windows help forum when you asked a question about a SCSI interface only be told to "Get with it. Get Linux." You can pretty much imagine the flame war that would start. I want to avoid flame wars. ESPECIALLY when I'm trying to get an answer, or help someone else get an answer. THAT also is my point.

    As to free speech, this is private property. Your right to free speech has never existed on private property. Most people don't know that, but think of it this way. I *cannot* come onto your property and say whatever political/religious or other thing I want to.

    The same hold true here. The person or company supplying the server and the connection this bbs is run on is doing so at THEIR cost. I for one, am thankful that bbs's exist at all. Given that it's not funded by taxes, it's not a public server, and is treated under the law as private property. Which means your right to speak here only exists as long as you are allowed to speak.

    Seriously, that's not meant as a challenge, but people get this bizarre notion that they can say anything anywhere because of their "right to free speech" when all that's really guaranteed by the Constitution is that Federal Government cannot stop you from espousing political views on a streetcorner or public park. That's pretty much it. And for sure it doesn't apply on a private server on a privately leased line.

    It should be noted that Philip and Brent tend to be generous in what they allow, I think because they'd rather have a little too much freedom, than not enough. Be that as it may, I'm not arguing against "DSL vs Cable" as a topic (preferably waaaaaaay over there! (LOL)). I'm simply saying that we should as a group, discourage people from using a "Help me!" topic for bashing a technology.

    We're growing as a community of users, with that growth comes some challenges. We may not like guidelines, but if we don't implement some sort of guidelines, it's inevitable that the spammers and admen and flamethrowers WILL show up. If we have something in place to deal with it, we can. If we don't, then a free for all will be the *expected* environment, and it'll become much harder to implement guidelines.

    Regards,
    -Bouncer-

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    [This message has been edited by Bouncer (edited 02-01-2000).]

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    Once again into the void...

    As you may have noticed, the majority of comments made on this forum are intelligent and in context. But, as with all that is democracy, the odd crackpot will spill his beans and make us clean up. Such is life in North America.

    I also want to add that a BB should not be censored as you see fit, because maybe I won't like something you do and censor that. Do you see where this leads? Censorship is the first step to repression, which is soon followed by chaos.

    My opinion is that due to the technical nature of this forum, there is an implied proffesionalism present. It is seldom that we see a rude comment.

    I personally work in electro-mech design, a field I chose for the freedom of thought. Many a time has a co-worker disagreed with my ideas, but that is critical for any idea to progress.
    Remember that if you don't like something, you can always walk away.

    Finally, a bulletin board is not a medium where one can censor a thought, rather, it is a medium where someone can express themselves without serious reprisal or censorship. If you want a censored medium, maybe you should read a newspaper or rent a video.

    BTW: I don't want to step on any toes here, but I don't see a disclaimer on the front page to the site regarding the . Maybe it's in a link?

  8. #8
    Regular Member Thorazine's Avatar
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    Wink

    I personally like the idea of not posting "get this service" or "this service sucks" simply because it is foolish to think that one of these technologies is superior over the other. In my posts I will never tell the reader to get one over the other, and only the poorly informed will suggest such.

    I also think this is bar none the best forum I have come across and is the reason I stick around to help others and post any information relavant to the forum. Besides, it's one of the few places that flames/insults and the like are met with no responses or very few. I really like that.

    I do however think that if one wants to post their "cable is the best" or "xDSL smokes all others" threads, then so be it. Most of that stuff falls to the bottom of the forum quite quickly. I really don't think a censorship of the posts (outside of vulgar)should be put into place.

    The board works well as is, if in the future it is crowded with poor posting then maybe action should be taken.


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    Lightbulb



    JFF

  10. #10
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    I think what Bouncer originally proposed is more like a FAQ that would be informative, as well as give guidance to new users what's generally considered appropriate. One entry in such a FAQ that first comes to mind would be the ever-revolving KB vs. Kb vs. kb vs. kbps vs Mbps... Many newsgroups, IRC channels and Buletin Boards do have such FAQs/Guidelines implemented that do help new users and repel flames/spam - it's all for the benefit of users, rather than limiting their freedom... I think we're going a bit too far quoting the Constitution and freedom of speech.

    Noone is going to do unnecessary censurship of posts, we've been forced to censor no more than 5 posts in the past 8 months...

  11. #11
    ExtraTrstl
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    I think what we have here is a miscommunication. First off I percieved Bouncer's post as a guideline not a FAQ. Since he did say that we "NOT POST" cable vs dsl issues...and use that as a policy. I would not be against a faq saying something to the sort of "Please refrain from using a comment which instructs the user to switch his service unless you feel it is a valid comment" or some legaleese BS that basically states "help the person first"...That I am NOT AGAINST and would like to see. BUT I DO NOT WANT ANYONE'S POST DELETED. Becuase expressing your opinion in a forum, in a non-spam manner should be allowed, it is what we all do here.

    I would also LOVE to see something on kb and KB...please for the love of god tell people the difference ~

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  12. #12
    ExtraTrstl
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    Also, your opinion of cable or DSL is just that, an opinion! Freedom of speech! If you post a guide saying no arguing abotu that then it would be infringement on my constitutional rights! DOWN WITH THE MAN! THE MAN IS ALWAYS DOIN STUFF LIKE THAT. WE MUST RAGE, RAGE AGAINST THE MAN!

    Anywho...I think people who spame or create 50 billion threads about cable/dsl should be banned, but other than that NO.

    Perhaps you make a forum just for them, so they can see that maybe all of 2 people will care about what they think. Call the forum something cryptic like 'open forum', and whoever starts cable/dsl posts gets moved there.

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  13. #13
    Moderator Bouncer's Avatar
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    Err, okay...
    How this got into a censorship versus free speech thing...probably partly my fault for reminding people that this is a private server, and not a public park. (LOL)

    In any case, I apologize for any miscommunicating on my part. When I think of a guideline, I think of series of commonly asked questions, and a loose or informal series of rules of conduct. More a suggestion than a command, if you follow. Like keeping the language within certain ranges.

    However, as with *any* type of guidelines or rules, there's a point where it becomes more necessary to enforce. In cases where the person is trying to get help, and the thread has become an unrelated flame war, would it be censorship to move the flames to a different thread, so that the ORIGINAL idea behind the topic could once again be seen?

    Why is it considered a bad thing to not allow someone to commandeer a thread by picking fights? Where in the US Constitution does it grant you the right to do so? I honestly must have missed that day in class.
    Because I'm sorry, but I just don't see it anywhere in that great document.

    Most folks here have probably been on USENET and seen how some folks make their whole presence there nothing but an attempt to pick fights with others. The noise to signal ratio goes through the roof, the original point of the thread is completely lost and reasonable discussion falls apart in a flamefest.

    I've yet to see any constitutional amendment that grants people the "right" to behave this way. Yet on USENET, it's more or less expected that there will be this type of behaviour. I'm not personally fearful of that kind of whiny fighting, but I really really really just do not want to see this forum invaded by the internet infants. We have enough of our own. (LOL) We don't need to import any. I am, of course referring to myself.

    I'd like us to establish a "tradition" if you will, of frowning on unhelpful "mine is bigger" (which is basically the whole point of that kind of post anyways) type of post. That's pretty much it. No blindfolding, No dictatorship of approved speech. Just a general consensus that we won't post that kind of response, and we will discourage others from doing so as well.

    Moving on...
    I'm also very much in favor of the Posting Guidelines (FAQ) dealing with the Distance Question for xDSL, the whole kbKB thingy, and what is "good ping for games"?

    Regards,
    -Bouncer-


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    [This message has been edited by Bouncer (edited 02-02-2000).]

  14. #14
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    can't we all get along!!!! lol
    i agree with all you guys
    have a nice day!!!!

  15. #15
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    Let's lighten up guys! This site has given me lots of help in the last few months!If it's not broke let's not try to fix it!

  16. #16
    Bman
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    Cool

    I for one am in agreement with Bouncer. As this, or any BB grows, it inherently gets more and more chaotic. Back in the day when BB's were accessed with 300 baud (yes, i said 300 baud)modems, technology was cost prohibitive. You did not have to moderate the BB, because not too many people had access to it. But we all found out the hard way that soon, lots of people meant that you had to have some rules. I don't think what Bouncer means to is wrong. If the only help you can provide is to tell someone to switch to another technology, stay out of it. Lets just try and help the people with what they have.

    sorry for the long post

  17. #17
    BubblyBabs
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    Hello,

    I think most people who dig through these BB's are doing so because they can't afford to spend tons of $$$ on their computer at the moment yet want the speed and stability of their system... I know that for me, I use the alladvantage bar to help pay for my modem connection (isn't that sad??)... I'm being paid to shift through these posts and writing this note...

    Anyway, I'm frustrated by the slowness of my cable connection and am REALLY hoping what I find here will help... I've considered DSL just because I want the steady rates and I want to put a server on my computer... But, I like being connected all the time via cable... BTW, nobody has mentioned being cut off in the middle of a download/upload with DSL like you get with a modem... Guesst that'll be my question for the BB...

    OK, my comment on this since I've seemed to have gotten lost from the original post is it should be ok for people to voice their opinion on what they like and what help they can give, but to tell someone who has just had a hold drilled into the side of their house (me) to switch from cable to DSL isn't much help... So, it would be best to not have tons of posts like that, I don't think people would appreciate it much...

    BubblyBabs



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  18. #18
    TonyT
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    I am all for free speech as well as guidelines for all. There are folks already indoctrinated by past experience here on these boards, but what could help thin the "useless no-help posts" would be a mandatory faq read for new sign-ups. Not that it will be read or won't be skipped by some, but a faq page w/ some basic guidelines could be made to appear at a key point during sign-up. Maybe just prior to his user name/password being accepted etc.

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  19. #19
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Too many bouncer posts to quote ahhhhhhhhh, bouncer post overload, ahhhh phillip post too!!!!!!



    ok now that i'm done with that i do agree.

  20. #20
    EgoKilla messiah's Avatar
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    While I understand that sometimes (switch) can sound rude, but I'm postive it's our honest opinions. I tell people (in person) all the time, they should invest in LAN services, or even DSL for the always on capability. Perhaps if people were not so over-sensitive about things, they wouldnt find upgrade advice as rude.

    The objective is to help and assist, and I believe a better connection would help/assist that person.

    However I realize the PC policies that everyone around the world is adopting, and will respect the rules. (just make them official)

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