Another useful hidden utility. If you’ve never used Sysmon.exe, remember it. With Windows 98 and newer, you can use it to track CPU usage, memory usage, and disk throughput (usunted information, I always searched the Web. When I wanted useful information, I hit DejaNews. Sure, there was a lot of junk out there, but 50% of it was good stuff, and most of that never made it onto the Web. I never did find any useful information on the Asus SP97V motherboard on the Web, because the hardware sites weren’t into it. I found out what I wanted to know about it from DejaNews. When I wanted to know how to get Windows NT Workstation machines to authenticate against an OS/2 domain, I found out how on DejaNews. When I needed information about XTs and ATs for some insane reason, I hit DejaNews.

I spent a little time in the comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware hierarchy for old time’s sake yesterday. I’m sure I’ll get a ton of spam now because I probably didn’t spam-filter all of my e-mail addresses, but that’s OK. It was pretty fun. I’ll have to do it again someday soon. It’s the closest thing I can find to an old-style BBS that still exists and has a sizable community. The scary thing is, some of the old WWIVnet message boards had a bigger community than comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware seems to have. The questions I answered were hardly difficult ones, and some of them had been sitting for a couple of days, which never would have happened on WWIVnet. And I know WWIVnet wasn’t even the biggest of the BBS networks, it just happened to have a lock on the St. Louis market in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I wonder where all those wizards went?

I ought to install a text-based newsreader on my Linux box to give myself a more authentic atmosphere though. This stuff just doesn’t look right when it’s running in a GUI. Not to me at least–back when I was dialing up BBSs, nobody ever ran Windows. At the very least, it should be running in a terminal window. Hmm. Maybe next time…

Even if the community is smaller, Usenet does have one big advantage over the old-school BBS though: No busy signals.

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