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(itstool) path: listitem/para
Context English State
A lot of badly formatted messages come from <link xlink:href="">bad mailers or badly configured mailers</link>. The following mailers are known to send out badly formatted messages without you finding out about them:
<trademark class="registered">Eudora</trademark>
<trademark class="registered">Microsoft</trademark> Exchange
<trademark class="registered">Microsoft</trademark> <trademark class="registered">Outlook</trademark>
Try not to use <acronym>MIME</acronym>: a lot of people use mailers which do not get on very well with <acronym>MIME</acronym>.
Make sure your time and time zone are set correctly. This may seem a little silly, since your message still gets there, but many of the people you are trying to reach get several hundred messages a day. They frequently sort the incoming messages by subject and by date, and if your message does not come before the first answer, they may assume they missed it and not bother to look.
Do not include unrelated questions in the same message. Firstly, a long message tends to scare people off, and secondly, it is more difficult to get all the people who can answer all the questions to read the message.
Specify as much information as possible. This is a difficult area, and we need to expand on what information you need to submit, but here is a start:
In nearly every case, it is important to know the version of FreeBSD you are running. This is particularly the case for FreeBSD-CURRENT, where you should also specify the date of the sources, though of course you should not be sending questions about -CURRENT to FreeBSD-questions.
With any problem which <emphasis>could</emphasis> be hardware related, tell us about your hardware. In case of doubt, assume it is possible that it is hardware. What kind of CPU are you using? How fast? What motherboard? How much memory? What peripherals?
There is a judgement call here, of course, but the output of the <citerefentry><refentrytitle>dmesg</refentrytitle><manvolnum>8</manvolnum></citerefentry> command can frequently be very useful, since it tells not just what hardware you are running, but what version of FreeBSD as well.
If you get error messages, do not say <quote>I get error messages</quote>, say (for example) <quote>I get the error message 'No route to host'</quote>.
If your system panics, do not say <quote>My system panicked</quote>, say (for example) <quote>my system panicked with the message 'free vnode isn't'</quote>.
If you have difficulty installing FreeBSD, please tell us what hardware you have. In particular, it is important to know the IRQs and I/O addresses of the boards installed in your machine.
If you have difficulty getting PPP to run, describe the configuration. Which version of PPP do you use? What kind of authentication do you have? Do you have a static or dynamic IP address? What kind of messages do you get in the log file?
A lot of the information you need to supply is the output of programs, such as <citerefentry><refentrytitle>dmesg</refentrytitle><manvolnum>8</manvolnum></citerefentry>, or console messages, which usually appear in <filename>/var/log/messages</filename>. Do not try to copy this information by typing it in again; it is a real pain, and you are bound to make a mistake. To send log file contents, either make a copy of the file and use an editor to trim the information to what is relevant, or cut and paste into your message. For the output of programs like <citerefentry><refentrytitle>dmesg</refentrytitle><manvolnum>8</manvolnum></citerefentry>, redirect the output to a file and include that. For example,
<prompt>%</prompt> <userinput>dmesg &gt; /tmp/dmesg.out</userinput>
This redirects the information to the file <filename>/tmp/dmesg.out</filename>.
If you do all this, and you still do not get an answer, there could be other reasons. For example, the problem is so complicated that nobody knows the answer, or the person who does know the answer was offline. If you do not get an answer after, say, a week, it might help to re-send the message. If you do not get an answer to your second message, though, you are probably not going to get one from this forum. Resending the same message again and again will only make you unpopular.
To summarize, let's assume you know the answer to the following question (yes, it is the same one in each case). You choose which of these two questions you would be more prepared to answer:
Message 1
Subject: HELP!!?!??
I just can't get hits damn silly FereBSD system to
workd, and Im really good at this tsuff, but I have never seen
anythign sho difficult to install, it jst wont work whatever I try
so why don't you guys tell me what I doing wrong.
Message 2
Subject: Problems installing FreeBSD

I've just got the FreeBSD 2.1.5 CDROM from Walnut Creek, and I'm having a lot
of difficulty installing it. I have a 66 MHz 486 with 16 MB of
memory and an Adaptec 1540A SCSI board, a 1.2GB Quantum Fireball
disk and a Toshiba 3501XA CDROM drive. The installation works just
fine, but when I try to reboot the system, I get the message
<quote>Missing Operating System</quote>.
How to Follow up to a Question
Often you will want to send in additional information to a question you have already sent. The best way to do this is to reply to your original message. This has three advantages:
You include the original message text, so people will know what you are talking about. Do not forget to trim unnecessary text out, though.
The text in the subject line stays the same (you did remember to put one in, did you not?). Many mailers will sort messages by subject. This helps group messages together.
The message reference numbers in the header will refer to the previous message. Some mailers, such as <link xlink:href="">mutt</link>, can <emphasis>thread</emphasis> messages, showing the exact relationships between the messages.
How to Answer a Question


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Source string comment
(itstool) path: listitem/para
Source string location
String age
a year ago
Source string age
a year ago
Translation file
articles/freebsd-questions.pot, string 64