Here you go: (01 March 1998)
Hello Fravia+,
To be honest, my IRC experience lasted about 1 day. I never really used it,
multi-user chats are too much a waste of time. 

Part 3, adding specialized personal contacts, the ICQ approach. Although the web is a big resource of information and knowledge, not EVERYTHING exists on the web. Also when you need information on a specialized subject, a question 1 > produces answer 2, and question 2 > produces answer 1, situation often happens. If you're new to the subject, don't exactly know what to look for, if the subject is too specialized to find a satisfying result, you ask people. If the knowledge doesn't exist on the web, you find the PERSON on the web, who has that knowledge. Also when you're lost in an overkill of disorganised information that doesn't make sense to you, a chat with someone who is specialized in the field, will help orientate and organise your search. ICQ is a chat program much like IRC, except that you don't join a noisy channel, with many people talking about one subject, but you have your own contact list, who can see you when you are online (if you choose so) and you can see them. I'll give you an example from yesterday. It's not the most specialized info you can think of, but it does fine as an example. I have to buy a new harddisk, and am hesitating wether to buy a 6.4GB hard disk which is about the price i want to spend on a new HD, or the 8.4GB version which is more expensive. I have no experience with video on pc,(i dumped my trident for a mystique 2 weeks ago) yet i want to use my pc in the future, to burn CD video's. Now something tells me that i'm going to need a partition bigger than 2GB for a 74 minute AVI ;). So first i find out if it's possible to have larger partitions. Search: partition > 2GB. I end up with info on Fat32, (3rd hit) telling me that partitions of up to 2 terrabytes are possible (2000GB). Then i wonder what other difficulties i may experience, so i search for: mpeg2 > CD-video hmmm. long compression times when using software encoders. A burner which supports CD-XA, - yes mine does. A program which allows you to write CD video, - no mine doesn't, i need easy cd creator, not pro, which i'm using now. Probably a video add on for my mystique. I still have no answer as to the mpeg2 compression ratio of an AVI and, i think of a new question: some satellite channels broadcast standard is mpeg2, is it somehow possible to capture that? (remember i'm a complete newbie in this) To make a long story short(er), my answers lead me to new questions. General orientation questions on digital video, and very specialized questions on aspects of burning a CD-video from your home pc, which very few people are doing today. Two posters of answers to newsgroups of the basic orientation question "how do i burn CD-video's" (my keywords mpeg2 and CD-video)(NOTE: which others had already asked.) , seem knowledgeable on the subject. One of them is a senior engineer at Philips US, one is a cameraman for a commercial TV station. I chose to contact the cameraman for three reasons: 1) The cameraman knows enough, he knows what i want to know, and will confuse me less with things that i do not need to know. 2) The cameraman has his ICQ # in his sig, a question > answer > new question situation can take days with email, it takes minutes in a chat. 3) The cameraman lives 20 minutes from where i live and is around my age. I added him to my contact list, a valuable contact for my future experiments with writing CD-video, no doubt. On ICQ you help eachother out, when the cameraman needs some info, on anything, he can call on me. Maybe i can help him out with audio. Now i figured i just need one video contact on my list, because i'm not going to do that many things with it. But i'm in the music business, so half my contact list are people in the music business. If my passionate hobby was "Märklin steam locs", i'd search for: Marklin > ICQ and started adding people who shared that interest. If i need just one specialist on Märklin, to tell me where to find this ONE elusive old steam loc, i'd just add this one specialized person to my contact list, and ask him. It's not only a faster alternative to searching yourself in some cases, but an additional feauture. Remember: if the answers aren't there, the person with the answers could be. Surreal5
part 4: information management: using webstyle search techniques offline & password updating. (or why you can trash your dbase program...) There are a couple of tools which make on line and off line information management a lot faster and easier. There will probably be more, but here are two i use, as an example. Ofcourse you shouldn't trash your dbase program, there are a lot more uses for it, but i think you'll be seeing a lot less of it, after reading this :). offline: Textfinder ( Your personal search engine for ASCII text files. It looks in a dir, and scans all txt files in that dir for your searchstring. Match string, match all words, match any word. Rather than a normal search engine that displays as description the first lines of the page, it displays the text around the found keywords. It's uses are many. - In combination with HTMASC32 ( which converts multiple html files to ascii text, and a well known proggie like teleport pro, you can download an entire website, convert it entirely to ascii text - with the click of a button, and search it for keywords or strings. Yet another better and faster way to get what you need from Fravia's site, than clicking through his links. ;) (trash your dbase program - reason 1:) - In combination with proggies like foldercat & advanced disk catalog, or any other dir to text converting tool, you can make txt file indexes of your CD's, zips, tapes, HD's, put the indexes all in a dir, and search the txt files for a keyword (program name, file name, a wildcard) like you would search the web. Foldercat is better for indexing folders, advanced disk catalog is better for volumes (C: D: E: etc). Foldercat already allows a search for its own cat files, including descriptions. - Just thought of this use: A few days ago i looked for an ftp tool that auto indexes an ftp, and saves as text file. No luck there. What i did find though were a lot of tools that monitor a list of favourite ftp's, dirs on ftp's and possibly fetch updated files. (i'm going back to look now :) ). If you tell your contacts with an ftp to index their ftp regularly (say daily), with a proggie like foldercat or advanced disk catalog, and put the index.txt file up. You can set one of these ftp tools (there are many) to autofetch all index.txt files, and you have your own *updated* ftp search engine. (trhash your dbase program - reason 2) - Serials. rather than spending time on maintaining a stupid database of serials, with this proggie you can just save the text files with serial lists all in one dir, and search them when you need one. I just used the web before, but this proggie definitely kills any reason you may have to use a dbase program for it. There are a lot more uses for this proggie, i just downloaded and installed recently, so i'm bound to come up with more :) Password updating. (trash your dbase program - reason3) using a password tracker. Just like most of the male internet users, i spent a good part of my first 6 weeks or so online, exploring the xxx hierarchy of the web's urls :) Soon i came across a proggie called password tracker deluxe. It makes the updating of passwords (for sites with pop up boxes) a lot faster. I never used it much because by the time i had a big list of working passwords, i'd pretty much seen all there was to see :). These days there's only one site i need a password to, and i always find one when i need it. ;) The use of a proggie like this though, can be valuable to password site maintainers, who need to check long lists of passwords, as well as to hackers, who maybe, just maybe, may find it interesting to know which ones still work ;P . Surreal5