You should really try to solve your problem by yourself
first. There are several reasons for this:
You'll get to know GNU/Linux and your box better.
Even if it turns out that you've searched in the wrong corner, you will pick
up a lot of knowledge by the way that will be useful some time later.
You will be able to ask questions more precisely.
If you acquire some background knowledge your questions will become easier
You are judged by your questions. If you repeatedly
ask questions which show that you have made no effort whatsoever to solve
the problem yourself, people will be less and less inclined to answer them.
This has nothing to do with malevolence but it just isn't fun to answer questions
that can be solved by simply taking a short look into documentation or that have already been answered
again and again.
It will boost your self-confidence ;-).
So what is the right time, then? It is when you have
made surethat one or more of the following conditions do not
- You've made an error while invoking the program (typo,
wrong path, wrong permissions).
- The 'abnormal' behavior is covered in its documentation
or by major online resources (listed in the resources section). Maybe it's a feature,
not a bug...
- The error is known and has been dealt with in an
update or a fix has been posted on the programmer's homepage or Mandrakesoft.
- Your hardware does not support the intended operation.
- You've chosen the wrong program for your task.
- There is an alternative program which does the same
- What you are trying to do is covered by appropriate
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Now if you have decided to draw upon the help of other
people, the next intelligent thing to do is to consider where you want to
ask your question. Rule of thumb is: the more specifically the better. Have
a look at the support resources page
if you have no idea where to begin. You might want to check out the other
pages in the 'Resources' section, too.
For instance let's say you have a question about the
KDE newsreader 'KNode'. You may ask on one of Mandrake's mailing lists and
hope someone uses this program, too. The chance is fairly small, though.
Since it is a KDE program the newsgroup 'comp.windows.x.kde' would be a better
place. However, depending on what you want to know exactly, 'news.software.readers'
might be even better.
If you want advice in a language other than English, look for a matching
group or mailing list of your nationality, in Germany for example you would
give 'de.comm.software.newsreader' a try. Another good place to check out
would be the program author's homepage.
Many Usenet newsgroups maintain FAQs (lists of frequently
asked questions) which are a valuable source of information and should be
consultedbefore asking. The Internet FAQ Consortium maintains the
Internet FAQ Archives.
a vast archive of many newsgroups, so it might be another good idea to search
it for FAQs.
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A good question should be
To round it all of, here comes an example of a good question (published with
easy to read.
Turn on 'line wrap' in your mail/news program, since
being forced to scroll sideways is annoying. Use paragraphs and line breaks,
especially in longer messages. Do not use HTML.
easy to understand.
Try to establish some sort of logical structure,
like first paragraph: problem description, second paragraph: what you've
tried so far etc. Use a dictionary if you are not a native speaker of English.
Use your native language if you don't think you will get your point across
easy to answer.
Supply all important facts:
Name of operating system, distribution, architecture.
Of course you can omit these in Mandrake specific forums. Otherwise remember
that many GNU/Linux programs run on all kinds of Unixes and architectures.
Version numbers of programs involved (usually
rpm -q [name]should do). Hardware data (manufacturer, brand
etc) if applicable to your problem.
Report the error: what you did, what you expected
the program to do and what happened instead. Include error messages and configuration files (if applicable).
Say what you have done so far to solve the problem
and what effects you observed. Otherwise people will tell you what you already
Don't include irrelevant things like sulking
or whining. Statements like 'Linux sucks, Mandrake sucks, whatever sucks'
don't help anyone and indeed are of no interest whatsoever. Do it by yourself,
and when you are ready to face your problem with a serene mind, go on and
Be polite. The GNU/Linux community is run mostly
by volunteers. They are not obliged to answer your question. Rude behavior
will lead you nowhere.
ytalk does not work.
 full description:
ytalk hangs at the "Waiting for connection..." stage
(on both clients). to end the session, you have to suspend (^Z) and then
`kill -9` the process.
Mandrake 6.0 (Venus) ytalk 3.1-3 ytalk 3.1.1 [same
result; went back to 3.1-3 rpm for support reasons]
talk dgram udp wait root /usr/sbin/tcpd in.talkd ntalk
dgram udp wait
root /usr/sbin/tcpd in.ntalkd dtalk stream tcp wait nobody
/usr/sbin/tcpd in.dtalkd # enabled dtalk just for good measure
talk 517/udp ntalk 518/udp
 other info:
we primarily need ytalk to work on the localhost;
ytalk with a remote host hardly ever happens (I'm speaking past tense here
about our prior setup with RH5.2).
/usr/local/etc/ytalkrc is in place
can you reproduce this problem on your box(es)? it's
almost imperative that we get this working. any help would be greatly appreciated.
And remember to provide feedback if it worked, or if
you've found another solution!
Yes, this sounds like a lot of work. But you expect
other people to work for you, i.e. answering your question, so it's only
fair if you make an effort, too.
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