Charter & FAQ
Posting-Frequency: Once, who knows, maybe again
The firesign.* Usenet Hierarchy FAQ
Maintained by Frosty (email@example.com).
FAQ version number 1
Created - Mar 4 2006
Subject: 0.0 Table of Contents.
0.0 Table of Contents.
1.0 What is the firesign.* hierarchy?
1.1 History of the firesign.* hierarchy.
1.2 What firesign.* groups are there?
1.3 Recent Traffic Statistics.
2.0 Recent Votes.
3.0 Bogus groups
4.0 Creating a new firesign* group
5.0 Sample Configuration Files
7.0 Netiquette in the firesign.* hierarchy
8.0 Other Frequently Asked Questions
- posting to firesign.test
9.0 Credits for this FAQ.
Subject: 1.0 What is the firesign.* hierarchy?
The firesign.* hierarchy is a group of Usenet Newsgroups that are dedicated to four or five guys and their fans
This FAQ attempts to document various issues surrounding to firesign.* groups
including voting procedures and charters of various groups.
This FAQ is also available from:
Subject: 1.1 History of the firesign.* hierarchy.
OK, Here is the creation story for all firesign newsgroups:
The original two. Created with minimal discussion between Dr.
Cajones & Frosty. We both agree and Frosty typed them into existence.
We'll surely get flamed by the Usenet gods…ohhhh we're SO scared!
Nope, we din't get any votes from the community at large, but trust
us, Fireheads all love anything to do with Firesign Theatre.
Well it is, you know?
Who won the Second World War, you're so smart?!
Say…there's an idea!.
Subject: 1.2 What firesign.* groups are there?
The following is a list of the currently recognized firesign.* newsgroups. These
groups should be covered by all sites that claim to carry the
Firesign Theatre mp3's, wav's, jpeg's, etc. Traffic is fairly
Light. Post your real name and email address so the lawyers can more
easily serve you for bootlegging FST material.
Those are the headlines, now for the rumors behind the news.
Everything related to rumor and innuendo about the Four or Five. This
is where the Dirt Police hang their porky little hats. Discussions
also take place concerning the suppositions that the Guys are Time
Travelers and how do they make their voices do that?
This is where we separate the wheat from the chafe; the Who's Who of
the posters and the determinations if they are *real* Fireheads or
just wannabe posers.
This is the Terminal Bus; The output… and she really puts out!
For test posts. See Section 8.0 for more information.
Subject: 1.3 Recent Traffic Statistics.
February 2006 firesign.* Hierarchy Postings Statistics
Newsgroup Articles Kilobytes
Total for all groups: 0
Note: Each group's total counts all articles posted to that group, but
crossposted articles are only counted once towards the overall total
Subject: 2.0 Recent Votes.
None, but you know, if we ever get any we'll act on them.
Subject: 3.0 Bogus Groups
There AIN'T no steenkin' "Bogus" groups!
All groups are real.
Subject: 4.0 Creating a new firesign.* group
The procedures for creating a new firesign.* group are similar to that
creating a 'Big Eight' (ie news.*,comp.*,soc.*..) group except they
a smaller scale and less formal. Below is a recommended procedure for
creating a new group.
NOTE: This is only a recommendation, their are *no* formal rules,
a group that passes using these procedures has a good chance of being
accepted by administrators.
I would be very happy to help you if you have any questions.
A. Think up a catchy name for a Firesign group.
B. Tell us how oh so cool you think it would be.
C. Ignore everyone who tells you otherwise.
D. Create the group.
1) Decide what you want exactly.
This means you should think about what sort of group you are after,
answer to yourself questions like:
* Does it need to be moderated?
* Would a mailing list be a better idea?
* Does the traffic justify it?
* Would an International group serve the topic better?
* Where should it roughly go?
* Where should it smoothly go?
* Do I really care what other people think?
* Will I be satisfied with just one?
* Shall I just create it and not spell-check the name so everyone
everywhere forever will know what a moron I really am?
2) Post a Request for Discussion (RFD)
This should be crossposted to at least every newsgroup in existance to insure that everybody will see it. Try an include as much
information about the group as you can including a possible charter.
If you want ideas on what to write take a look at
and read the various RFDs and CFVs that are posted there. And PLEASE
don't forget to lick boots in alt.config!
With a bit of luck you will get half a dozen people following up your
RFD (Rural Free Delivery) with "good idea, go for it" type messages
and no criticism whatsoever.
However in the real world (or real Usenet in this case) you are likely
to get several people questioning points you raise, pointing out silly
spelling mistakes, calling you a moron and generally trying to pick
holes in your proposal.
The thing to remember is to take account of what these people say. If
they suggest another name consider the possibility. If they say that
your charter is not clear enough on some point then try to make it
clearer. Remember some people are naturally suspicious and will make
the strangest assumptions from what they see written in your RFD. The
most important thing to remember is that the RFD has to stand by
itself without any other explanations needed. The other most important
thing to remember is that you really don't care what anyone thinks:
this is gonna be YOUR newsgroup, by God! and to hell with all those
At this point you might also like to consider finding some one to count
noses if you proposal goes that far. Ideally the person should be
neutral on the topic (or at least seen to be), known to a few people
other than yourself (an academic staff member is a good choice if you are at
university) and familiar with the basic processes of Usenet and group
To assist in deciding what to put in your RFD you might like to check
the documents at:
3) 2nd RFD
If your proposal is pretty much accepted by everybody then you can skip
this step and go straight onto the CFV (Cardiofallopian Vitiate ) .
However usually you will have a few changes as a result of feedback
from your first RFD. These should be
incorporated in a 2ndRFD which is posted in much the same way as the
Once again take account of any feedback and if need be you might even
want to do a 3rd RFD if there are lots of changes in your proposal.
4) 1st Call For Votes (CFV)
Once you have arranged everything with your vote-taker you should issue
the first Call for Votes or CFV. Like the RFD(s) this should be
cross-posted to firesign.theatre and alt.config (just to **** 'em off)
with follow-ups directed to alt.comedy.firesgn-thtre. In
addition the "Reply-To:" header should have the address of the
vote-taker so people can send in their votes & be replying to the
message. Take a look in news.announce.newgroups for examples of CFVs
and how to structure them.
5) 2nd CFV
This should be sent out about a week after the first CFV and be pretty
much identical. It is merely to ensure that people who missed the
first CFV have a chance to vote.
6) Important points for the vote-taker
* All votes should be acknowledged by Email, this is so that the voter
knows that his/her vote has got through and been counted by the
If a vote is not acknowledged within a day or two by the vote-taker
the voter *must* assume that the vote has failed to get through and
should re-vote. This should be spelled out in the CFV.
* The vote-taker (nose counter) must not tell anyone (including the
proponent) about the number or nature of the votes received while the
vote is taking place.
If this is done the vote is immediately null and void. Obviously is
some circumstances it may be necessary to discuss the vote with other
people (such as ones system administrator if possible forged votes are
being administrated) but in all these cases no indication of the
overall result should be given.
* Only one vote per person and one vote per account. Anonymous votes
should not be accepted, nor proxies or votes from 'system' accounts
(such as root or postmaster) unless a name is attached. Also votes
where the acknowledgement bounces should be treated with suspicion.
* It should be stated before-hand if votes from outside *.firesign
will be accepted.
7) The Result
After voting has closed the the nose-counterr is satisfied as to the
legality of the votes received (and discarded any illegal ones) he/she
should determine the result.
Please note: The exact number of votes needed to create a firesign.*
group is currently still under debate. These numbers given below are
around those that have been suggested. In any case the exact numbers
for needed for a particular vote to succeed should be listed in the
The vote should be counted as having passed if the number of YES votes is
at least twice the number of NO votes *and* there are at least 25 more
YES than NO votes.
After the result has been determined the vote-taker should post it to all
the groups the the CFV was posted to (with appropriate follow ups) and
list the names of all the voters and which way they voted.
If there are no major disputes the group(s) voted in favor of should be
To make sure you vote has the best chance of being created after a
successful vote has occurred you should get Frosty
<firstname.lastname@example.org> to send out messages
to create the group (But I'd rather you not bother me with all that
crap & just make the group yourself. In fact, if you even read this
far, don't write to me. Get a life!)
Subject: 5.0 Sample Configuration Files
This section is for news administrators to enable them to carry the
correct firesign.* groups. It contains a checkgroups file and for
those sites that run INN control.ctl and moderators file entries are
included as well as the PGP key used to issue control messages for
The checkgroups entry for firesign.* is as follows, in order to run
this by hand you can use the "docheckgroups" program included in the
The following are extracts from files used by the INN news-server.
The following should be placed in the "control.ctl" file.
Maybe someday I'll figure all this tech crap out & put something here.
The following key [Nope, we ain't doin' this]
-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Subject: 7.0 Netiquette in the firesign.* hierarchy.
As well as general Usenet netiquette (see the introductory posts in
news.announce.newusers) the firesign.* groups have their own
particular guidelines for posters.
Crossposts & Multiposts
Put 'em in the Binaries group!
No SPAM is allowed! Never ever post spam! We don't want Viagra (or
then again, some of us are getting on in years so maybe we do.) But we
fersure don't want to learn how to get rich quick by scamming PayPal.
If you spam our binary group with porn, please only post attractive
models, none of those uglies, OK? And girls with big breasts.
Don't post test messages to discussion groups, use firesign.test
Yes, we know there is no firesign.test group. Does that give you a hint?
* Try to write your posts in clear English, don't forget to use a
spell-checking program on your post before you send it.
*Lacking the ability to write in clear English, cloudy Swedish might
* Don't use HTML, and format each line to 75 characters
* Be accommodating to other posters, remember that not everybody may
share your beliefs, experiences or lifestyle. And you know what? If
they don't they're probably just wrong. Flame the hell outta them!
* Think before you flame someone or post when angry, remember that all
posts are archived and something you post now can come back to haunt
you in years time. Don't listen to him! Show your ass!
* Respond via email if what you have to say is mostly if interest to
the author of the original post. To that end you should post using
your real email address. Then you'll get LOTS of spam! (Mung your
address) Mung?Ain't that a bean?
* Ensure that the newsreader you use generates standard conforming
posts but remember that others may use newsreaders that lack useful
features such as killfiles and threading.
* Read a newsgroup for a week or two before you post anything. This
helps you to get an understanding of the culture of the group. Read
the charter and FAQ (if it exists) for the group as well.
* Avoid sending messages or posting articles that are no more than
gratuitous replies to replies. But lots of "Me Too's" are encouraged.
* Read all of a discussion in progress (thread) before posting
Avoid posting "Me Too" messages, where content is limited to agreement
with previous posts. (Oh.) Content of a follow-up post should exceed quoted
* If you've posted something and don't see it immediately, don't
it's failed and re-post it.
* If you post to a moderated firesign.* group remember that it may
take a day or more before the moderator processes your article.
* Create a really long sigfile with lost of ASCII art and make sure it
doesn't post alligned. or
* Keep your signature file short, about 24 lines. You can use this
space to tell a little more about yourself, to add witty sayings to
your articles, or to advertise your web site or business. Begin each
signature with two hyphens followed by <enter> "-- " [no quotes] so
your signature will magically disappear upon replies.
Subject: 8.0 Other Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few FAQs relating to Usenet, please let me
know if you are aware of any others or have additional info on the
ones already listed.
How do I post to firesign.test?
Well, since there is no Firesign.test in existence, I guess you don't.
If the article leaks overseas you might also get responses from many
sites around the world to you post. To prevent this you could try
setting the distribution of your article to "depends".
How do I get firesign.* groups on my NNTP server?
Email your ISP and beg him to carry the Firesign. * groups!
Few pay Usenet providers carry the firesign.* newsgroups, A list of
and a guide to using them is provided by Jeremy Nixon at:
The Open Directory also has another list at:
Subject: 9.0 Credits for this FAQ.
* Frosty <email@example.com>
Maintainer and misc text.
* Dr. Cajones
Moral and Immoral support
* The Fifty Voice Saint Louis Aquarium Choir
Turn off that damned internet!
Re: Charter & FAQ
> FAQ version number 1
> Created - Mar 4 2006
> Subject: 0.0 Table of Contents.
> 0.0 Table of Contents.
> 1.0 What is the firesign.* hierarchy?
Another smack addict attempts to post.
Re: Charter & FAQ
> Archive-name: usenet/firesign-news-hierarchy
> Posting-Frequency: Once, who knows, maybe again
> The firesign.* Usenet Hierarchy FAQ
> Maintained by Frosty (firstname.lastname@example.org).
> FAQ version number 1
> Created - Mar 4 2006
I think you pressed the wrong button.
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