Kill Your Television. Upgrade Your Monitor

Well, sometimes it seems like watching TV since I am paying a lot of attention to the flickering light of the monitor, but since I love jumping into the fray, I'm at least making my own entertainment here. It is an advanced way of playing hooky from all my adult responsibilities at my happy little bungalow, known net-wide as the Berkeley Farm and Pleasure Palace, but I console myself with the notion that it's not totally mindless. (I imagine I'd spend a lot more on books without netnews.)

Here are some of my favorites, with the disclaimers. I recommend getting a Real Newsreader (not Netscape), though; the ability to " killfile" (filter out) certain types of posts makes some of them a lot more readable. trn is my preferred newsreader. Ask for it by name. Of course, if you are new to the idea of newsgroups, read news.announce.newusers first (and then read your newsgroups of choice for some time before posting).

I started on the road to net.divahood in a regional newsgroup, It's not as fun as it used to be (just nod and say, " Yes, Grandma") and does seem to be going through a bit of an identity crisis at this writing. Check out the FAQ, which I currently maintain and resident HTML d00d Bob Kenyon prettifies.

After I graduated from an employee account with a limited newsfeed to a proper ISP account, I wandered into on the recommendation of a friend of mine. This is one of those groups for which a Real Newsreader, preferably one that can killfile on crossposts, is essential. has spawned, which is robo-moderated to kill all crossposts except those to This one should be doable without advanced killfiling capabilities, although you need to read the FAQ to figure out how to post. Trygve Lode keeps a web page with the FAQ (not the ssm FAQ- check if you don't see it) and lots of links.

Disclaimer for the .singles groups: Not for the humor-, sarcasm-, and irony-impaired. Don't post personal or commercial ads on any of these groups, or send commercial ads or drooling wannas to the posters in email; we bite.

Although I only read at most a quarter of the posts on this high-volume newsgroup, I love the good fellowship on There is occasionally a lot of noise about the amount of non-cooking-related fluff on this newsgroup, but, hey, I like that (and the recipes are usually pretty good). It, like the other newsgroups, have a core of regular posters and a real sense of community; unlike the others, it's actually gotten some positive press. Although, since the press was occasioned by the death of my friend and rfc regular Susan Hattie Steinsapir, it's bittersweet to me.) Do check out Mimi's Cyber Kitchen - it's an excellent food resource. For more local (and less high-volume) foodie news, I read instead and just kill all the south bay restaurant threads.

I lurk but rarely post in rec.arts.books., although I have met a fair number of RABble on various occasions and enjoy much of the by-play. Bob Teeter keeps the RAB web page.

The general " Off-Topic" chatter level prepared me well for the chatter on rec.crafts.textiles.quilting. Magic Mike keepst a good RCTQ page.

I lurk in a group for tech support people letting off steam, (Strictly speaking I am a sysadmin rather than a tech support person but the sysadmin support group isn't my cup of tea.)

There is one more non-technical newsgroup I read regularly, but according to the Unwritten Code of the regulars, it's Bad Form to mention its name in public. If you start hanging out on one of the singles groups and posting good stuff, one of us might tell you about it. another trendy moron with a web page. Oh, yeah, sending me random commercial email is a bad idea. I can read headers and do traceroutes.

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