Frequently Asked Questions

A little FAQ

To help you and me not to exchange mails about trivial things, here you find a list of frequently asked questions along with my usual answer.

Where can I find this FAQ?

You are already reading it. Please proceed to the next question.

Are there spelling errors in your mail signature line?


For quite some time I used this mail signature line:

Die Gedanken sind frei. Auschnahme regelt ein Bundeschgesetz.

This was a pun on the dialect of our former Home Secretary, Mr. Schäuble. The second sentence is written in the dialect of the Swabians (the region around Stuttgart). The correct spelling is

Die Gedanken sind frei. Ausnahmen regelt ein Bundesgesetz.

[The thoughts are free. Exceptions are regulated by a federal law.]

When reading this, most people immediately understood that Mr. Schäuble was addressed here. He has a very strong dialect. Kudos to my brother for coming up with that quote.

Over time our constitution was enhanced with exceptions; in many cases these exceptions are merely the term "Exceptions are regulated by a federal law.". I don't know how long it will take until they want to control thoughts. That guy, his successors and the folks behind them are really crazy with all their surveillance plans. Fortunately our supreme court does not agree to all of these plans.

Are you really a hacker?

I hope so. Note that I still use the term in its original sense. As stated in the Internet Users' Glossary (RFC-1983) a hacker is:

A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular. The term is often misused in a pejorative context, where "cracker" would be the correct term. See also: cracker.

What is this dd9jn thing you are sometimes using?

This is an radio amateur call sign. Radio amateurs used to be the hackers who fostered the development of radio techniques since the very beginning of wireless communication. Meanwhile many of them just buy commercial equipment and chat with others without having fun with self developed hardware. Sure, there is still a minority which is up to the latest developments and are tinkering like in the old times. Anyway, I gave up as an active radio amateur years ago and mostly keep my official call sign as a worldwide unique name.

Why should I not use HTML mail?

Using HTML in mails is harmful because the extra formatting makes it harder to read and even more important, most spam mails use HTML. Thus I silently reject all HTML mail. You should send mails always in in plain text format.

If you encountred problems send a mail to me (i.e. not getting a response) you should check that you did not unintentionally sent your message with a HTML part: Check that your mailer does not use HTML and also does not send a mail using the mixed format of Plain text and HTML.

If you want to send me HTML formatted documents, please compress them using the gzip utility and attach them as a binary attachment to your message.

What is top posting, and why should you avoid it?

A3: Please.
Q3: Should I avoid top posting on this mailing list?

A2: Because, by reversing the order of a conversation, it leaves the
    reader without much context, and makes them read a message in an
    unnatural order.
Q2: Why is top posting irritating?

A1: It is the practice of putting your reply to a message before the
    quoted message, instead of after the (trimmed) message.
Q1: What is top posting?

(by Perry E. Metzger)

Can you help me?

I do consulting and programming for a living; if you are seriously interested please contact me at the company address.

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Copyright 2000, 2001, 2008 Werner Koch. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.