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The all knowing Oracle

One other thing you can do through e-mail is consult with the Usenet Oracle. You can ask the Oracle anything at all and get back an answer (whether you like the answer is another question).

First, you'll want to get instructions on how to address the Oracle (he, or she, or it, is very particular about such things and likes being addressed in august, solemn and particularly sycophantic tones). Start an e-mail message to


In the "Subject:" line, type


and hit enter. You don't actually have to say anything in the message itself -- at least not yet. Hit control-D to send off your request for help. Within a few hours, the Oracle will mail you back detailed instructions. It's a fairly long file, so before you start reading it, turn on your communications software's logging function, to save it to your computer (or save the message to a file on your host system's home directory and then download the file). After you've digested it, you can compose your question to the Oracle. Mail it to the above address, only this time with a subject line that describes your question. Expect an answer within a couple of days. And don't be surprised if you also find a question in your mailbox -- the Oracle extracts payment by making seekers of knowledge answer questions as well!

"If just one piece of mail gets lost, well, they'll just think they
forgot to send it.  But if *two* pieces of mail get lost, hell, they'll
just think the other guy hasn't gotten around to answering his mail.
And if *fifty* pieces of mail get lost, can you imagine it, if *fifty*
pieces of mail get lost, why they'll think someone *else* is broken!
And if 1GB of mail gets lost, they'll just *know* that Arpa is down and
think it's a conspiracy to keep them from their God given right to receive Net Mail ..."
--- Leith `Casey' Leedom

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