FAQ demon.service Part2 v2.0.3

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Richard Ashton

Feb 6, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/6/99
Demon.Service FAQ : The Culture Revision 2.0.3

Changes, if any, are marked with a #

1.0 People, Places and a little history
1.1 The faces
1.1.1 Ron Chew
1.1.2 Malcolm Muir
1.1.3 {R} (aka Richard Ashton)
1.1.4 aDe Lovett
1.1.5 Jim Segrave
1.1.6 Clive Feather
1.1.7 Dave Williams
1.1.8 The JKO-bot
1.1.9 Richard Clayton
1.1.10 Thomas Lee
1.1.11.a Keegan
1.1.11.b Keegan
1.1.12 Brian {Hamilton Kelly}
1.1.13 Baby Eaters
1.1.14 Mark Lowes
1.1.15 The Noid (Doug Bollen)
1.1.16 Paul L. Allen (PLA)
1.2 Demon Supporters Club
1.2.1 The forming
1.2.2 The disbanding


This FAQ has been put together, as an attempt to make sense of some
of the history and recurring themes in demon.service which don't
relate directly to Demon Internet.

It is worth noting that some people are in disagreement with parts
of this document. However until they substantiate their claims no
changes will be made.

please repeat any claims to fa...@corixia.demon.co.uk


This FAQ is provided as is without any express or implied
warranties. While every effort has been taken to ensure the
accuracy of the information contained in this article, the authors
assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages
resulting from the use of the information contained herein.


1.0 People, Places and a little history

1.1 The faces

Now for the final bit a little bit of background on the in-jokes,
the regulars and anything else that occurs to me. This section
will get bigger, it just might take sometime before I get it
finished. Thanks to everyone who's mailed my bits for this
section, all flame on this section will be redirected to /dev/null
or maybe back to d.s. It should be noted that most of this section
is the opinion of the author or of those who contributed to the
section. The full story is of course available from those directly
involved, assuming they can be found....

demon.service was created by Giles Todd a.k.a the Baby Eater in a
desperate and largely sucessful attempt to put demon.ip.support back
on topic after a particularly strong round of demon bashing.

One Robert Nickleson aka "Steffie" after his nodename steffie.demon.co.uk
began complaining vociferously about the failures he perceived in the
service he was getting from demon. As this was the "good old days' of
Usenet before fuckwits were defined and everybody was polite, when one
regular told "Steffie" to "Fuck Off" the Baby Eater got cross and
demanded, and got, a public apology. Demon.service was created as a
"moan zone" with no support promised. The DSC led at that time by
Malcolm Muir then hassled Steffie until he left, the DSC did the
hassling Malcolm was then, as now, the essence of politeness in
the face of adversity.

1.1.1 Ron Chew

Once upon a time Demon created a new account for a Mr R. Chew for a
dial-up account with the name of "gsdr.demon.co.uk" and Ron and his
aliases began to post.

Sadly Demon did not reach his high standards and the entity known
as either "Ron" or "Anthony" began to post to demon.service. Pity
they had not discovered the principle of trimming articles. Such
posts were easily spotted the entire article was always quoted,
with one disparaging line added if we were (un)lucky....

After months of ranting Ron began to post from a nice shiny new
u-net address claiming how the grass was a much nicer shade from
over there. Into the fray did step one Neil J. McRae and he did
offer a wager of one year's subscription that he would be back at
Demon within a year. "No way will I ever rejoin Demon", came the

Silence reigned for a short period and relative calm did resume.
Electrons did soon flash across the ether - an article from
"postm...@gw2000.demon.co.uk" did appear on demon.service. The
style was unique there was a gnashing of teeth.

Thus began the saga of one line follow-up posts to Ron's articles,
"Bugger off Ron. Oh and pay Neil McRae what you owe him"

1.1.2 Malcolm Muir

Malcolm is one of the most patient and polite people I've had the
good fortune to meet on any of the demon.* groups. Despite the
baiting and flaming he takes, it is a rare day that he posts
anything other than helpful information.

1.1.3 {R} (aka Richard Ashton)

A knowledgeable individual with strong biases against off topic
posts and over-long sigs. Tends to call a fuckwit a fuckwit,
typically correctly. Has a pathological hatred of Microsoft
software, but knows a lot about OS/2 where his advice is especially
useful. Sometimes benign, unless provoked (or bored). Richard is
also the power behind nospam.demon.co.uk, a free service to Demon
customers, more on this can be found at
http://www.nospam.demon.co.uk. He also keeps a copy of Peter McDermot's
Fuckwit FAQ on http://www.fuckwit.tm

1.1.4 aDe Lovett

aDe once Demon's newsmaster, now has a new set of responsibilities,
one of which is the development of the newsborg (the scalable news
system). He posts infrequently but is helpful more often than not,
however some readers may find his manner a little abrasive for
their tastes.
# Now working for an american Usenet service

1.1.5 Jim Segrave

A highly knowledgeable Demon staffer, his main area of expertise is
in diagnosing low level connectivity problems. If you have
problems physically connecting and have read, followed and followed
up all the advice in the FAQ's, Jim's your man. He posts only
occasionally and his posts are always accurate, helpful and
technically spot on.

1.1.6 Clive Feather

A well know Demon managment person with an interest in software.
Very very heavily edited a tale of past woe.

When I was young, I had a summer job at East Worcestershire Waterworks

The relevant parts of the water system are:
(1) Sugarbrook boreholes. (2) Sugarbrook reservoir,
(3) Sugarbrook High Lift pumps.(4) Sugarbrook-Evesham main.
(5) Evesham reservoir

The software I was working on had three major components...

Note that the software didn't control anything directly. It simply
generated a list of instructions for the TeleControl Room staff to carry

After fine-tuning the software, it was decided that we would go live at
0001 on 1980-08-01. So the machine was booted and the daily analysis
run, and the instructions were printed out. They contained a feature
that we'd noticed before but thought nothing of - after all, it made

So at 1 am the duty controller hit the "start" buttons for all 6 HL
pumps, and seconds later selected full speed. As near as we could judge
afterwards, a pressure wave ran down the 26 km of pipe, bounced off the
far end, and hit a following wave. The resulting surge literally blasted
a piece of concrete pipe out of the ground, followed by a fountain of
water. As the Water Research Council later said: "we didn't know you
could *do* that to concrete mains". And for the next two hours, until
the controller became alarmed at the discrepencies in the level of
Evesham reservoir, the HL pumps proceeded to dump about a million litres
of water over the Worcestershire countryside.

1.1.7 Dave Williams

Demon newsmaster (now you know who to blame), often see posting as
da...@clues.com when not in his official role. Generally helpful
but quite happy to call a spade a spade when provoked, and there's
enough willing candidates out there to act as targets.

1.1.8 The JKO-bot

A new bot, being produced by Bots'R Us. Sadly, the JKO-bot has
suffered from a chronic lack of investment and development skills.
The basics of the bot are in place, but the logic, understanding,
grammar, posting, and knowledge modules are sadly lacking. Mr
A. N. Droid, Chief Bot Designer is appealing for help on (yet
another) redesign of this bot - watch for the web page appearing

1.1.9 Richard Clayton

An extremely knowledgeable person, part of the team responsible for
the Turnpike Internet client that is now Demon's standard offering.
What Richard does not know about News, Mail and general internet
things is not worth knowing. With a very dry sense of humour, his
posts often tend toward the brief side. If you don't understand
them, that's your problem, not his. His advice is almost always
worth listening to.

1.1.10 Thomas Lee

Highly opinionated, but knowldegable individual, partly responsible
for Demon's demon.ip.support.win95 and demon.ip.support.nt groups.
Knows his stuff on NT and 95, but tends to go on, and on. Good
sense of humour (most of the time [ed: and responsible for most of
the text in this section]) and does have useful contacts. His
advice is usually worth listening to.
Thomas is now in the USA contracted to Microsoft.

1.1.11.a Keegan

The entity known as Keegan is a regular annoyance in demon.service
(and demon.local). He pops up on a semi-regular basis, usually
something like a couple of times a year, bringing his followers and
flamers from the depths of alt.flame and talk.abortion. His normal
rant is about "forgery" from Demon staff, it has been impossible to
get the concept of "customers" and "staff" through to this
particularly dense lifeform. In Keegan's universe everyone posting
from *@*.demon.co.uk is an employee of Demon Internet. How best to
deal with this net.kook? Either ignore him, killfile him (best to
deep six anything cross posted to talk.abortion) or join in making
fun of him.

1.1.11.b Keegan

Keegan is the manager of Fulham FC, a team which Demon just
sponsored to the tune of 1.5 million over three years. Not to be
confused with the other Keegan.

1.1.12 Brian {Hamilton Kelly}

Brian is the fount of all knowledge regarding BT. Unlike most
within BT (particularly operators and their supervisors) he knows
*exactly* what defines local/regional/national calls and assisted
Demon by supplying them with, and confirming information about which
of their regional dial-up numbers were local calls from which
charging areas.

He has the full BT price list (the one that is about a foot thick)
and can give accurate cost details when BT's operators usually get it

You may like to know that the foot-thick paper version of the BT
Price List is now available on the World Wide Wait; the paper version is
still the definitive version, in case of any discrepancies.

The front page is at:
The principal table of contents is to be found at:
Whilst there is apparently a search engine at:
This remains untested.

The way he chooses to indicate his unhyphenated
double-barrelled name will indicate (to some) which typesetting
package he uses (and has written DVI drivers for). As with many of
the clued-up posters to demon.service, he rarely posts unless he's
sure he knows what he's talking about, apologises for his rare
mistakes, hates Microsoft and calls a fuckwit a fuckwit.

1.1.13 Baby Eater also known as Giles Todd

Giles was one off the technical people behind Demon Internet when it
first started, he is not now a director of Demon Internet, he still
haunts demon.service.
He posted exactly one message with the .sig "We also eat babies" in
response to a post accusing Demon Internet of responsibility for
everything from the extinction of the dinosaurs to the Holocaust.
Quite how or why many people remember just one post is a mystery.

1.1.14 Mark Lowes

Mark started the demon.service FAQ now in two bits.
Ex-civil engineer, Mark finally submitted to his geekhood when he got
a job at Frontier Internet with fellow lspacer Rob Collier,
exercising his skills at running around like a headless chicken. He
now has a job title to go with his pointy hair and recently a wife
(fellow lspacer Lady Kayla). Known to his friends as the Flying
Hamster [Why ? {R}] and to fellow lspacer Tony Finch as "that
bastard who keeps taking the piss in demon.service".

1.1.15 The Noid (Doug Bollen)

Another of Demon's home-grown net-loons, the Noid is a prolific poster
of complete gibberish to many diverse newsgroups and shows only a
tenuous grasp of logic or reality. He has previously posted as

He has an uncanny ability to sniff out cabals, which he vigorously
opposes. The only problem being that his ability operates in reverse -
he sees cabals everywhere *except* where they actually exist. On the
one hand, he is irresistably drawn into participating in the
cross-posted trolls instigated by the uk.miscreants but denies that
there is any organized group behind the trolls. On the other hand, in
his latest outburst of inanity, he identified all those names listed
in section 1 of this very FAQ (fuckwits and anti-fuckwits alike) as
being the "demon.service cabal".

Opinion is divided as to whether he is a paranoid schizophrenic with
no firm hold on reality or merely somebody who enjoys, and is good at,
trolling. Many suspect that both opinions are true.

1.1.16 Paul L. Allen (PLA)

His technical competence is exceeded only by his ugliness (this says
more about his ugliness than his technical competence).

1.2 The Demon Supporters Club
1.2.1 The forming

The DSC didn't form it "comprised", it appeared first in demon.ip.support.

The first I knew of its existence was when some disgruntled punter
accused one of the "club" of being a member. On reflection there was
present in demon.ip.support and then demon.service a group of regulars
who defended demons systems and explained how demons systems worked,
their mantra was often "It's your setup"

As the DSC comprised some of the more clueful users the mantra was
often correct. The halcyon days of the DSC were before Windows 95 and
the WWW polluted the Internet.

1.2.2 The disbanding
The DCS fell apart when many users who may or may not have acknowledged
their membership announced their resignation. In my view the defining
moment was the TGNSNAFU [Third Great News SANFU] according to one poster
to demon.service this is the unofficial history of the SGNSNAFU and

The Second Great News SNAFU
The NewsBorg was born, conceived, birthed and undocumented by Ade
Lovett. This was to be *the* scalable solution, gestation was long
and painful, the birth was difficult. Eventually the string broke.
News died. Horribly. Due to a number of administrative an other
cockups Demon were without an *effective* news server for 14 days.
This was due to the inability of someone to copy a 28GB database
from drive X to drive Y in less than 14 days. A post mortem was
*promised* by a Demon representative but this promise was broken.
News became an unsupported service, (not that it ever was
supported, just not unsupported).

The Third Great News SNAFU
The Newsborg was being transformed [redesigned because the first
design was unworkable]. The problem, inherent in the original design
was that when one of the customer facing machines failed, the feed
to all the customer facing machines was halted and news dried up.
This lead to the farcical situation where customers were receiving NO
news, for hours at a time, and Demons representative, Mr Muir
insisted that because he could get some news off some groups the
news system had not "stalled", it was during this period that the
DSC lost all remaining faith in the veracity of the statements from
Demons Newsgroup Representative and fell by the wayside.

1.2.3 The last member
Currently Peter Ceresole has this privilege

(Or I'm not taking all the flak :)

Neil Barker for the basis of the Ron Chew text.

Thomas Lee for his text and suggestions for the "People" section

Everyone who mailed me after the first posting with comments and
suggestions for improvements, many thanks.

Written by Mark Lowes <ham...@wibble.org>. Maintained by Richard
Ashton <{R}@sunshine.tm> who has authored some content.

Any comments or suggestions about this FAQ or information contained
within should be sent to fa...@corixia.demon.co.uk. Comments made
to the newsgroup may or may not be noticed, any requests for changes
to any section should be at least copied to the contact address.

Copyright 1998 by Mark Lowes <ham...@wibble.org> This file may be
freely distributed provided that it remains unedited from its
current form. It may be printed for personal use only. Sections
may be quoted for reference providing its source is given. The
latest version is posted regularly to the newsgroup demon.service

dave d

Feb 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/9/99
On Sat, 6 Feb 1999 Richard Ashton In article <918313085snz129.os2.7@suns
hine.tm>, Richard Ashton <fa...@corixia.demon.co.uk> writes

>1.0 People, Places and a little history

would it perhaps now be in order to add a 'posthumous' entry for Cliff
since newer demonites may not have heard his name before and especially
as he may self-resurrect occasionally?

dave d

we moderns, on the other hand, do not even speak of major personalities until
we encounter men who have gone beyond all original and idiosyncratic qualities

Gary Cooper

Feb 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM2/9/99
In article <pg9jeHAf7$v2E...@stejonda.demon.co.uk>
new...@stejonda.demon.co.uk "dave d" writes:

> would it perhaps now be in order to add a 'posthumous' entry for Cliff
> since newer demonites may not have heard his name before and especially
> as he may self-resurrect occasionally?

Hang on, wasn't it Count Dracula who did that?


Gary Cooper

Andy Mabbett

Mar 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM3/8/99
In article <918313085s...@sunshine.tm>, Richard Ashton
<fa...@corixia.demon.co.uk> writes
> 1.1 The faces

Is it time this section was updated. For one thing, there are no
(obviously) female "faces".
Andy Mabbett, Development Manager, Birmingham Assist
Birmingham City Council - http://www.birmingham.gov.uk
Phone: (+) 44 121 303 3640 - Fax: (+) 44 121 212 1930
Post: 3rd Floor, Central Library, Birmingham B3 3HQ

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