Re: Note to David P Hayes / ISP service

From: David P. Hayes
Newsgroups: alt.comedy.laurel-hardy
Date: Monday, February 09, 1998 1:28 PM

FunMage wrote in message <>…
>A copy of my note to you follows. I'm posting it here because it came back as:
>"The following addresses had permanent fatal errors
><>." I guess that answers the second part of my

It should have come back. The first underscore (the one between the second "d" and the "p" has to be deleted to make the email address into the legitimate one. This is an anti-Spam measure. I know it is hard on responses, but it got to where I had 15 spam messages one day, and some of them were 36K and 40K so that the download time on my email took two minutes.

With my new email address, spam is minimal, and later this month, when there is supposedly to be a Usenet fix that will enable me to alter my "from" as well as my "respond" addresses and still get my outgoing messages fully circulated, I'll take advantage of that.

>PS- How do you like Earthlink? I need a new provider (obviously… ..I'm on
>aol…), and used to hear ads for them back home. They sound pretty good when
>talking about themselves. I don't know if they cover Florida where I now
>live, but that's easy enough to check out.

As for Earthlink--it may be too early to tell, but thus far they have been a lot better than MSN. My main problem with Earthlink is that their software initially set up my modem setting at about 4x the correct speed, so that when I didn't send/receive/download for awhile (because I was still reading what I had already downloaded), the connection would become inoperable even though the phone line was still tied up. After a few phone calls, the matter was resolved, and they were helpful about changing the settings.

Still, the above experience was better than that I had with MSN, where a call to tech support 1) wasn't a toll-free call, 2) didn't have a recorded message on hold telling you how long the wait was at that time, 3) the information given by tech support was frequently wrong, 4) the support people didn't know that their email and/or news server(s) was/were down, even though their customers had been unable to access messages for three hours (the people who made the repairs would know and would be working on it, but this information wasn't conveyed to the people at the phones), and, if I emailed my questioned rather than phoned it in: 5) the "solution" given didn't take into account the efforts I had already taken and which I outlined in the very message they were supposedly responding to.

Incidentally, for about 10 days, I've maintained both Earthlink and MSN accounts in order to make the transition gradual and to be sure that I have a last chance to find out if anyone emails me who didn't get the new address who should have. Yesterday, I decided I would cut off MSN, being that the month billing period was about to end. I went to their Membership Services web page, and then to Accounts -- Cancel, which I had visited a week earlier so that I would be sure I knew how to go about cancelation once the time came. YESTERDAY MORNING, THAT SITE WAS INOPERABLE, as were other MSN user sites, AND IT HAS REMAINED INOPERABLE THROUGH YESTERDAY AFTERNOON and INTO THIS MORNING, and still AS OF JUST PAST NOON TODAY!

For someone who is interested in doing alot of newsgroup posting, Earthlink beats both MSN and AOL. AOL, I'm sure you're aware, does not allow cross-posting, although it is sometimes a legitimate and courteous way to get information to people who might appreciate info that applies to their interests as much as it does yours. (You may recall that within the last few weeks, when we had the thread about comedians stealing from other comedians, this wasn't just in L&H and silents, but that when I related something told to me by comedy writer Elwood Ulwood, I realized that his association with the Three Stooges (which I noted in introducing the quote from Ulwood) would mean that the Stooge group (in which I don't participate) would appreciate this first-hand account.)

As for MSN and newsgroups, they are faulty about getting all of the messages within a group. If you look at my old messages in DejaNews, you'll discover that sometimes I posted through DejaNews (as spelled out at the bottom of those posts). This wasn't because I chose not to use the regular newsreader, but because MSN had failed to provide the message being responded to. I would find some rumination of the thread in the news I was getting--or I would be curious how much I wasn't getting--and go to DejaNews to check. If I read something at DejaNews that I wanted to respond to, I did so there. For most large-volume groups, the MSN shortfall was not considerable, probably under 10%. However, I've done comparisons during the period that I've had both services, and the shortfall on low-volume newsgroups is substantial. The worst: for the Woody Allen newsgroup, for the period of Jan 25 to February 2, MSN had 17 posts versus Earthlink's supplying 75. Mind you, the Earthlink 75 had a higher proportion of advertising spam that MSN weeded out, but there were plenty--yes, PLENTY--of legitimate messages.

Some time ago, I contacted MSN through email giving them the message IDs of posts that they didn't deliver but which I found on DejaNews. The response I received from MSN indicated that they hadn't actually read the message.

As for Earthlink and newsgroups: if you go to, then click on "newsgroups," you'll find a paper from them about their efforts to gather newsgroup messages that might otherwise not bounce from server to server.

When you change ISP, be sure to take advantage of the specials. With Earthlink, there are snail-mail coupons and radio promotions that entitle you to the waiving of set-up charges and to 10 free days. Various ISPs have one free month.

I end with my current signature block, with its spelling-out of how my response address can be modified for proper delivery.

David Hayes


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