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Re: Lost my newsgroups

__/ [ John Bokma ] on Friday 19 May 2006 21:35 \__

> Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> __/ [ pecan ] on Thursday 18 May 2006 20:36 \__
>> Hi,
>>> "John Bokma" <john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
>>> news:Xns97C782C1B5B59castleamber@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>> "pecan" <pecan.NOSPAM@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>> > I went away, and when I got back I found I'd lost my newsgroups.
>>>> > This means that I haven't received any of the responses I was
>>>> > waiting for and I'm peed off.  Can someone tell me how to find
>>>> > them please? Or how to get them back into my OE.  The file is
>>>> > there, but OE isn't reading it - somehow my settings seem to have
>>>> > been corrupted.
>> I suggest you see a thread subject-lined "Outlook Express..." in
>> alt.os.windows.xp. It was posted a few days ago and there are
>> commonalities perhaps. OE, in general, is not most reliable for
>> information storage, portability and settings generalisation, which
>> are stored in proprietary form rather than something generic or
>> standard like a directory structure or XML.
> Uhm, quite a lot programs, when they crash in the middle of the data
> writing process leave you with corrupted data. This the more for XML,
> since your document is no longer well-formed, so if the last line is
> missing, nothing. A normal binary format might be readed back until the
> corrupted record is found.

Not true, if implemented properly. There's this programming trick where you
build your data aside and only link to it (or exchange old data with it)
once it's complete. You then find yourself in a scenario where a single CPU
cycle may suffice. With 2GHz processors (2 billion per second), the
likelikelihood of a loss is so small that it is utterly negligible.

> Moreover, have you ever studied the history format of Firefox, to name
> one Open Source application? If you understand it, you are invited by
> many people to document it.

If there is a plug-in hook for history, then it can't be difficult to write
something that dumps the data in a reasonable fashion.

> While you're looking at it, check the other files as well. Clear?
> Document it :-)

Actually, data in Firefox and Thunderbird (to name 2 JRE apps from Mozilla)
is retained in a simplistic form (RSSOwl likewise, XML primarily). I
sometimes edit the JavaScript files to make use of hidden options. There is
some more stuff in chrome, like which allows you to specify a global CSS
modifier, which I personally use to nuke advertisements.

> Finally, Thunderbird had recently a bug that lost a bit too much data
> when compacting folders. You might say: ah, well, the mail box is just a
> text file. But can my mom fix it?

I once had to restore my Thunderbird folders from backup. I was transferring
big heaps of mail while having very little free space on my hard-drive.
Frankly, I should have been warned about this exception (which I did), but
_without_ data loss.

> In short, for most users it doesn't matter if it's a text file, or a
> binary file that they can decode by reading the source (Mork).

I disagree. XML is more readable than binary. At worst of circumstances, you
can read a fairly rhetorical XML file and put in the settings manually in
another application that you migrate to.

>>>> You might want to switch to Xnews or another news reader anyway.
>>>> Here, Xnews is able to load old headers and articles. You can always
>>>> use Google Groups to look back in time.
>> I hear splendid things about XNews, but John once said that he wanted
>> to 'relocate'. Consider posting a question in news.software.readers.
>> The folks there would be helpful.
> Yes, Xnews is a bit weird :-) But I am too little on Usenet to change
> now. I have heard good things about Dialog and XanaNews (
> http://www.wilsonc.demon.co.uk/xananews.htm )

Lots of Xnews and Dialog threads in news.software.readers, especially
recently. I still like my KNode...


>>>> For OE, unsubscribing and then subscribing might fix the issue. In
>>>> the past I used to delete some files (mbx, idx), but I haven't been
>>>> using OE for ages, so I can't advice on that point. I know that OE
>>>> has that problem when it crashes, or your computer suddenly turns
>>>> off.
>> Inconsistencies or management in RAM rather than disk, I guess. Never
>> happens with KNode, which you know I always advocate. *wink* In KDE,
>> as in GNU, everything is a file^tm.
> Doesn't matter. If you application crashes (or power outage) while
> writing to disk, the file will be corrupt. And don't say that this is
> not happening under Linux, because I have seen it there too.

See rebuttal above.

> Moreover:
>>> probably my fault I lost it... was copying only certain files to the
>>> laptop for going away, and must have left off something vital.
>>> Sigh.
> Linux can't magically create a file that hasn't been copied.
> Just a request: next time you post a "GNU/Linux is better then Windows
> XP" post, reread it carefully. Especially the parts you're unsure about
> regarding to Windows, since most of the times your post seem to be based
> on lack of knowledge of Windows XP and too much trust in GNU/Linux.

I'm biased. *smile* I hope this doesn't annoy you. Honestly.

> I have been using several operating systems in 20+ years, and all have
> issues, and many of those issues are shared. The thing is, an expert
> user rarely has any issues on any of those operating systems. It's often
> the very inexperienced user that messes things up time after time. Just
> read help post by inexeperienced GNU/Linux users, and it doesn't sound
> that different from users at the same level with any other OS.

Good point, John.

> The thing with Windows is that the user base that is at that level makes
> all other OSes insignificant. But don't let that fool you again.

Ubuntu is simpler to install and use from Windows, according to many. But
let's leave advocacy aside and make fun of Google instead...

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      | "This sig seemed like a good idea at the time..."
http://Schestowitz.com  |  GNU is Not UNIX  ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  3:35am  up 22 days 10:32,  11 users,  load average: 2.21, 1.76, 1.43
      http://iuron.com - proposing a non-profit search engine

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