Is Usnet Dying?

Page 9 of 11  
On Wed, 26 Nov 2003 19:20:49 GMT, "Michael Daly"

It has been a while, but if memory serves, in the first year, MS-DOS 1.0 was US$35.00, CP/M-86 was US$175.00 and CCP/M was US$225.00. When MS-DOS 2.0 came out, it listed for US$45.00, but by then, the other two were almost extinct. I was working on what eventually became the NCR PC-4, and we had to test all three on it, along with the standard set of programs. So we had to have three copies each of WordStar, CalcStar, DataStar, and a couple of others.
Bob McConnell N2SPP
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Bob McConnell responds:

I had almost--thankfully--forgotten WordStar's command structure..start the sentence with a dot (.) and a number to do certain things. Amazing what 20 years can chew up in memory. And trying to do mail merges was such a joy...but it did beat re-typing the addresses, if not by a whole lot.
As a writer, I found the ability to go back and erase or change half a page so that pagination changed a real marvel. The program took care of it. When typing a ms., you had to go back to that point, re-type and then re-type ever blinking page (my editors got used to a lot of crossed out words, additions on rubber cemented sheets and so forth).
Charlie Self
"If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner." H. L. Mencken
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Charlie Self wrote:

It *ruined* Piers Anthony. After he discovered computers, he started writing crap.
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Silvan writes:

Some will say he just practiced writing crap before computers, then was able to turn up the output so it was noticeable.
Charlie Self
"If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner." H. L. Mencken
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CharlieDIY wrote:

Another point: I quit reading Anthony years ago for a reason other than his deteriorating writing: I got sick of his constant whines at the end of every book about how badly his most recently dumped publisher treated him. Every writer can complain about publishers, every writer either changes publishers or uses more than one, unless they're in the fortunate position of having each book sell a few hundred thousand copies in its first couple months. It's known as making a living, something that isn't all pleasure for anyone I know.
Charlie Self
"If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner." H. L. Mencken
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Charlie Self wrote:

Yeah, me too. I was tempted to mail him a block of cheese at the end of every book. Wah.
I really liked his early stuff, but it could well be due to my age at the time.

Or never gets published. Let's not forget that most writers by volume can't get published unless they pay for the privledge. The ones earning any money at all are the fortunate few. :)
(DAMHIKT... No I didn't actually pay to get published. I just gave up. 500 billion other people writing better versions of everything I ever thought of writing. There are 10 trillion would-be authors in the world, and only 500 of them make any money. Only 10 of them actually earn a decent living at it. Sour grapes, hyperbole, sour grapes, hyperbole... :)
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Silvan responds:

Depends on what you're writing, I think. I'm working on book #41 (might be #42: I lost count) now, and will shortly sign for another. The money is NOT good for woodworking writers, but it does seem to do a better job of being a long term deal than do magazine articles. I've got one book I wrote in late '84 that still brings in a few hundred bucks a year. That's about the only one, though, which is largely my fault because a lot of the early books were written during a deteriorating home situation when the money in hand was more necessary than money in 2003, and onward. Flat fee stuff, in other words.
And far more than 500 make money at it. Let's not forget there are well over 40,000 books published annually in the U.S. alone. Maybe way more by now. And Internet publishing has increased the actual numbers more than a little.
But there may not be many more than 5000 in this country who make GOOD money at book writing. By good, I mean having the need to do only one book a year as primary income source, and making at least 4 times the per U.S. capita income ($30,941 in 2002).
Charlie Self
"If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner." H. L. Mencken
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Charlie Self wrote:

I can only imagine. Closest I came to getting published was a nice offer to get a few volumes printed up for $2,000 or something like that.
Of course, I'm not saying I'm necessarily that good of a writer to start with. That's part of the problem, really. I think I write very well, but it doesn't matter what *I* think of my writing...
Anyway, all my self-piteous hyperbolic whining aside, I'm glad you're making money doing something I've only dreamed of. Good on ya.
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Silvan writes:

Sort of an accident, too. I got out of the Marines and went to work for a small ad agency, ending a short period as a copywriter. From there, I eventually went back to school, and ended up with a BA in English, which is really not a whole lot of help in writing. Couldn't find a job and had sold a couple items, so I started freelancing motorcycle off-road stuff in upstate NY. Or from upstate NY. That worked, so I slipped into DIY magazines and thence into woodworking.
The money's not great, but it can be very, very enjoyable.
Charlie Self
"Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them." H. L. Mencken
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On Sat, 29 Nov 2003 00:39:16 -0500, Silvan

Au contraire, mi amigo. You'll need that Spanish in the new world order in Norte America after the Shrub wrings the money out of the US treasury and Seor Fox takes over. He already has just a few of his agents here in the States, ready to help.

Which can be enjoyable, the money or the work?

Sounds more like they need a freakin' editor, Charlie. Go for it! We're all behind you.
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On Sat, 29 Nov 2003 00:39:16 -0500, Silvan

Au contraire, mi amigo. You'll need that Spanish in the new world order in Norte America after the Shrub wrings the money out of the US treasury and Seor Fox takes over. He already has just a few of his agents here in the States, ready to help.

Which can be enjoyable, the money or the work?

Sounds more like they need a freakin' editor, Mikey. Go for it! We're all behind you.
========================================================= CAUTION: Do not use remaining fingers as pushsticks! ========================================================= http://www.diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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Larry Jaques writes:

Work. Money's money.

That's Silvan's area, not mine. No more jobs. I can't deal with the backstabbing.
Charlie Self
"Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them." H. L. Mencken
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Doubt it. Most of those guys don't speak any language I can understand anyway. It's about as close to textbook Spanish as that black hip hop dialect is to textbook English, right right, nowumsain?

Yeah thay dew fore shore.
I'm exaggerating, but really, some of their writing is truly *awful*.
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Silvan writes:

Then you had better never move to Parkersburg. This newspaper is dreadful on its good days. The TV station is worse, but continues to win awards. Incredible. The talking heats mumble, don't know the difference 'tween 'of' and 'for' and lots of good stuff like that.
A lot like my ex-boss, who had a good chance at spelling 'cat'...if you spotted her the 'c', the 't' and explained that it was a small, furry animal that purred. And she was sure that "cat's" was plural.
Charlie Self
"Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them." H. L. Mencken
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme says...

someone complained that the letter writers should "get their thoughts in order" before writing letters.
I couldn't resist. I wrote a letter pointing out that such a requirement would reduce the volume by at least 2/3rds and deprive me and others of much amusement.
Sort of "trolling" in the newspaper. I wonder how many flames I'll get :-).
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Charlie Self wrote:

The only thing that bug's me more than people who don't know how to use apostrophe's are people who put accents where they don't belong to make things look "classy." There's some outfit that does strip malls all over the Carolinas. Red and white signs that say "[Town Name] Centr."
The in this instance is comparable to the -ed suffix in English, so those signs read [Town Name] Centered. Just bugs the hell out of me.
Or worse, people who put accents on words that should have them, but the wrong accents, or on the wrong letters. I've met women named Rene (very common) Rene (equally common) and various permutations. Just makes me want to slap people. Better not to do it at all than to try and get it wrong.
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On Sat, 29 Nov 2003 21:19:28 -0500, Silvan

Isn't there a fundamental law of the universe stating that any usenet post complaining about or correcting spelling and grammatical mistakes will have spelling and/or grammar errors? :-)

I agree with you. My pet peeve is that dishwatery Seattle imitation of real caff latte (in Italian) or caf au lait (in French), the so called "Latt". Latte means milk, not coffee, and takes no accent.

In my eyes, this is just as stupid and hilarious as the many mistranslations of English seen in various tourist establishments across the world and circulated throughout the net. You want to make Italians laugh at your ignorance and pretension, spell it "latt". Or calling a mall "[Town] Centr" is equally hilarious to francophones.
There is no longer any excuse with the multitude of language dictionaries on the web to misspell foreign words.
Here's a business idea for you, Silvan. Offer your services as an editor at the multitude of French and Spanish web sites with horrible English translations. For relatively benign examples, go see:
http://www.uselinuxathome.com/ENindex.htm
or bits of the (OBWW) General web site
http://www.general.ca /
like "Security First" instead of "Safety First" and "Instructions Manuals". BTW, "Adieu" is one word. ;-)
Luigi Replace "no" with "yk" for real email address
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Luigi Zanasi wrote:

Is your irony detector broken? :)

I never thought about that. Of course, I don't know Italian. I can only fake it a little.

Nope.

Hmmmm... That's a good angle to think about. Translations into one's native tongue are always fundamentally better.

Is it?
Yup. It is. Did it used to be two words, the way "today" used to be spelled with a hypen? :)
Oh well. I freely admit my French sucks anyway. French never has been my language. I only studied it because it was the only other offering at my high school, and once I had it, I just continued. My accent is pretty wretched too. I never have been able to get the vowels right.
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On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 20:56:21 -0500, Silvan

Oops! It was. My lame excuse is that I dinna see "bug's", which makes it rather obvious.
<snip>

Yup, comes from " Dieu" according to my Larousse. But that was way before you were born. :)

That comes from speaking a mouth-deforming language like English all your life. Almost no pure vowels, all diphthongs. And then you Murricans insist on diphthonguizing some that should be pure, like the "a" in cat.
Luigi Writing this while drinking his second caff latte this morning. Replace "no" with "yk" for real email address
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme says...

I found all of his writings to be pretty tedious, even before computers.
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