Frequently Asked Questions about Poor Gabriel's Almanac
1. What is PGA?
Poor Gabriel's Almanac is a daily publication consisting of birthdays
and other significant events that happened on a given day in history.
2. Where is PGA posted?
The Almanac is currently posted to soc.history.moderated, alt.astrology,
If you don't have Usenet access, you can subscribe to the today mailing
list by sending the following message to majo...@angus.mystery.com:
If you are using a mail system that tends to produce unusual "From:"
headers, you may need to send the following:
subscribe today us...@some.site (Your Real Name)
subscribe today ga...@angus.mystery.com (Gabe Helou)
3. How do I get back issues of PGA?
To obtain back issues of the Almanac, send the following message to
majo...@angus.mystery.com in the following format:
get today today.MMDD
get today today.0229
get today today.1231
A message can contain multiple "get" commands (one per line).
4. Where does PGA get its information?
Here, there, and everywhere. The original collection of data came from
a series of text files that provided the input for numerous on-this-date
programs used by msdos-based BBSs. Since then, the files have been
updated with input from broadcast and print media, other almanacs, and
the contributions of several dedicated readers.
5. Didn't I see that error last year?
Possibly. I don't catch all of the errors right away. The ones
that are brought to my attention are added to a to-do list, which
tends to be rather large. Corrections are not always processed in
the order in which they have been received.
6. Are the data files publicly available?
Probably not. They're in a near-constant state of change and the
entire set is often not useable. I.e. the coming month may be ready
for processing, but the previous month may be in the middle of being
The current long-term plan is to create a web site with a search engine.
7. Is the source code for the today program available?
The source code for the today program is still under development. It's
really quite ugly looking at the moment.
Once it's cleaned up and made to work a little better (and documented),
it may be made available.
8. I'd like to add an entry; what kind of entries are allowed?
Just about anything. The birthdays of famous individuals are
always in order. So are the dates of well known events. When in
doubt, send it in. Corrections are _always_ welcome. Typographical
errors show up from time to time; other items are based on faulty
information. Any assistance in tracking them down is appreciated.
Contact today...@mystery.com if you have something to contribute.
9. Can you help me with an astrology question?
Probably not. I know next to nothing about astrology.
A special thanks goes out to all the people who have sent in updates and
corrections. In particular, I would like to thank the following
individuals for the extra effort they put into helping keep PGA as
accurate as possible:
Homer J. Welch
Audrey Helou, SWMBO
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Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once.
History simply documents the success of that approach.