[Archivist's note: Formerly at http://www.math.fu-berlin.de/~guckes/afw/, and mirrored here for preservation.]

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The AFW FAQ - alt.fan.warlord, signatures, and all that

2002-11-18 in transition

      __      _
     /__\__  //
   _| /-_-\)|/_
  (___\ _ //___\
  (  |\\_/// _ \\
   \_| \_(( {_} ))
   ( |__|_\\___//
   (o/  _  \___/
  // |  | |  |
 //  _\ | |___)
//  (___| [dead sig]

Warlord In Armour

AFW FAQ - Overview

Start off by reading the -> Introduction Get acquainted with the subject.

Before you post to the newsgroup

AFW Folklore

Signature Specials

AFW Notables

Posts on AFW


Eliza can help you with almost everything. It poses the questions of life, the universe, and everything. Don't be afraid to ask for help!

Weizenbaum, J.,
  "ELIZA -- A computer program for the study of natural
   language communication between man and machine",
   Communications of the ACM 9(1):36-45, 1966.
A list of implementations can be found at [971119]

Hugh G. Rection

Well, Hugh (blow@me.cum) certainly was on of the most annoying
PW who ever posted to AFW. And sure enough, he also had the biggest, ehem, signatures of them all which ever got past inews. Btw, Hugh is not married or related to Mary Emily Cummins cumminme@wfu.edu.


Kibo - this is James Parry in real life, although it seems that he does not have a real life at all. he is noted for having had the longest signature for a very long time:

See also: http://www.kibo.com


"inews" is a program which takes "posts" from "newsreaders" and "injects" them into the News service distribution. The description in the source code (nn-6.5.0.b3/inews/inews.c) reads:
static char *sccsid = "@(#)inews.c      1.16    (Berkeley) 8/27/89";
 * Simply accept input on stdin (or via a named file) and dump this
 * to the server; add a From: and Path: line if missing in the original.
 * Print meaningful errors from the server.
 * Limit .signature files to MAX_SIGNATURE lines.
#define MAX_SIGNATURE   4
As you can see, inews cuts off the signature after four lines. And it also prepends the "sigdashes":
        fprintf(ser_wr_fp, "-- \n");
Please note that this code was produced "just in time" for

Asterisk Shortage FAQ

"All characters are equal."
(first rule of the Usenet of signal to noise ratio theory)

Due to many users who put asterisks into their sigs to make borders, the asterisks character is used way too many times causing a shortage for other users.

If you find yourself in such a shortage then you know what to do with people who use these kinds of signatures:

Leading - Solutions. "There is a solution. A Leading Solution!"***************
Damian Perry - Supplies dperry@leading.com.au*********************************
******Ph: +61 3 9848 8000*****Fax: +61 3 9848 9999****************************
*********Check out our Web Page on http://www.leading.com.au/*****************
Please - do not waste the asterisks! Use them only when necessary!

Perth - the world's sig capital

Australia (gif)
A lot of sigs show a little map of the losers country. The map which appears most often is the map of Australia. And somehow, the city which has been marked far more commonly than any other is Perth, a small village in the south-west of Australia:
              /     \
      Perth ->*.--._/
                   v  <- Tasmania
Due to its fame on AFW it has since been known as "the world's sig capital". Some say that this looks like a shitting bunny, but that's nonsense, of course. A real bunny, of course, has eyes:
             /     .\  <- eye
Compare this to a puking bunny with duct tape on its ass:
             /     .\
duct tape -> X_,--._/
                   v  <- puke
See the difference? Good!

For those of you with small fonts or too-fucking-big monitors here is a BIG map of Australia:

	      ___  |\
	   __| . \_| \
	  /           \
	/'            .\
	\       .       |
	 \.      _.    /
	  |__---' \_._/
[Hong Ooi hong@magna.com.au:] You might want to argue whether Perth is in the right place on this map. But asking whether Perth is "in the wrong place" misses the point. Sure, the actual physical object, "Perth", may have a fixed geographical location somewhere on the planet, but that's simply irrelevant on Usenet.

Perth, to put it bluntly, is now a metalocation. It's a symbol. It has transcended mere corporeal existence. The question of whether the fabled gifs of Marina Sirtis actually exist has not yet been settled, but that doesn't stop people looking for them. Similarly, whether Perth is "really" located on the west coast of Australia, or on the eastern seaboard of the US, or in the left nostril of that face on Mars, is beside the point. One might as well ask whether Rush "really" was a band -- it doesn't matter! All that matters is that, like Bob Dylan, they came up with a lot of quotes that sound significant but don't tie you down to actually _meaning_ anything -- perfect for sigs!

Perth is to Usenet as El Dorado was to the conquistadors, or Atlantis was to Edgar Cayce, or Venus is to Alexander Abian. Every time you spot a .sig with an excess of asterisks, that's another sighting of Perth. Every ascii map of Australia contains Perth, although it may not technically be visible. Every BUAG, in fact, contains Perth, whether or not it's visible. It's well-known fact [well, now it's well-known anyway] that any BUAG can be transformed into a map of Australia using the appropriate coordinate system.

Anyway, Australia is known for far more things like Sydney, Tasmania, emus, ostriches, ozzies, kiwis, toucans, and zucchinis, eg the "Southern Cross" can be seen from there:

  *    *


Why this is important, however, no one knows for sure. Only people who walk umop-ap!sdn claim to know.

As you can see, both the southern cross and the map of Australia are well within four line - and yet some Aussies use big ones like this:

()_____                                !!!                           _______
||    /___________________________ooO_(o o)_Ooo______________________\     /
||   |       ___  |\         ___       (_)                    *       |   /
||   |    __| . \_| \       | __| ___  ___  __ __                     |  /
||   |   /           \      | _| | __|| _ ||  ~  |        *         * | /
||   | /'            .\     |_|  |_|  |___||_|_|_|              *     | \
||   | \       .       |   .______________________________,           |  \
||   |  \.      _.    *<---| stylesie@sydney.DIALix.oz.au |           |   \
||---|   |__---' \_._/'    `------------------------------'   *       |____\
^^   |________________________________________________________________|
Then again there are some who know what a signature is [960801]:
* *   p.savage@chem.csiro.au                      Australian Science
*  .  http://www.chem.csiro.au/savage/            Australia's Future
   *  these comments are personal opinions not official CSIRO policy


September is the month when the "newbies" spam their sigs across the net and thus warlording is like shooting fish in a barrel. Therefore there are no warlords in September aka "
troll season".

[960601] However, "it's always September - somewhere...". And it seems that the very September of 1993 never ended. So to show you the current offset for that September, Rich Holmes wrote -> september.pl (originally called "sepdate").

Jeroen Scheerder js@xs4all.nl probably is the only using it on all his web pages: http://www.xs4all.nl/~js/. You can request the "Spetember time" online at http://korvet.cs.vu.nl:4444/. (Thanks, Jeroen!) [971215]

The following topics discuss various features of signatures.

Signature Specials

Some things are special to sigs and others just pop up everywhere.

UUencoded GIFs - Pictures as text

[961220,970121] Encoding pictures as text is not a novel idea. However, it takes some skill to produce pictures which encoded fit into a signature.

Using uucode the format look like this:

Johan Forsberg  961220
begin 600 sword.gif
Y1TE&.#=A0  @ (       /___RP     0  @   "BHR/JO@!(EC6S9W@84A34=Z9G",38(\-5A6AY)^84.::YF2GH&2HZ2EIJ>BI6   [

As you can see, uucode encoded data starts with a "begin line" and the end is marked by an empty line followed by a line with only "end" in it. So there are at least three lines taken by the format. If the first line of the sig contains the name and address then the uucode format would not allow any picture as there is no line left. But as most uucode programs will decode unto the last two lines without a problem we can drop them, thus resulting in a McQ sig. :-) Most uudecoders produce a warning about a missing end, but will work nevertheless. We can also drop the begin line as you can add them yourself easily. This gives us the following convention:

Picture convention:
A uuencoded picture in a signature does not require enclosing lines, ie the "begin permissions filename" and empty_line+"end" may be missing.

Here is the example again without end lines:

Johan Forsberg  961220               begin 600 sword.gif
Y1TE&.#=A0  @ (       /___RP     0  @   "BHR/JO@!(EC6S9W@84A34=Z9G",38(\-5A6AY)^84.::YF2GH&2HZ2EIJ>BI6   [
And here is the resulting GIF: [picture: AFW Sword (mini) GIF]

Now that you have seen an example you might want to try this yourself. Here are some goals for the uuencoded data:

Please send those GIFs to guckes-afw@math.fu-berlin.de


ASCII snails have been on Usenet for a very long time. They descended from Bible roaches and lived on in various publications until they came onto Usenet through the -> "Gutenberg Project".

Here is a picture of an ASCII snail:

Yes, this one is pretty small still. Cute, isn't it? Well, they're not! In fact, they're killers! Using a snail in your sig is dangerous!

These snails crawl around and eat away the whitespace, silly quotes and even - your very own email address! All of this makes them GROW!

	\ / @
	 O @@@
And if they sit in a signature for a very long time then they certainly grow to be BIG:
	#     #  #####
	 #   #  #     #
	  o o   # ### #
	  \_/   # ### #
	    ##  # ####
	     ## #
	      ## #####
Don't let them fool you with that big grin. They can be really mean! Once they grow to full size tehy will look like this:
	ASCII Snail with Usenet home

                    #     #
                    # ### #
	  o o       # ### #
	 __\_\_     # ####
	/      \    #
	\____   \    #####      / \
	     \   \_____________/  /
	      \                  /
Don't ever mistake the big snails for pets! Some of them even swallow their owner. It's not a pretty sight so we will only show the result of this:
	  o o
	/      \      _____
	\____   \    /     \    / \
	     \   \__/  \o/  \__/  /
	      \         |        /
Yes, they have eaten the sig of many a plonked wanker. So - if you put a snail into your sig - watch those snails and don't use your sig too many times!

One of these people is David C. "Davy Baby" Brogden (deadslug@cats.ucsc.edu) http://www.armory.com/~deadslug/.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! If you want to give other people a warning then you should append this (not-McQ) signature to your posts [960811]:

 @@@@@        @ Home of ASCII snails:
@     @      @  http://www.math.fu-berlin.de/~guckes/afw/#snails
@ @@@ @     @   Help the endangered ascii snails of Usenet!
@ @@@ @    @    Send asterisks, hash marks, and at signs.  Give generously!
@ @@@@    @
@        @
 @@@@@  @

Feeding the ASCII Snails

[970512] Although ASCII snails can become very big - please don't let them die! Feed the trailing whitespace to them! Whenever you encounter a post with trailing whitspace - put the snails in!

	From: me
	To: you

	> foo bar @/

	bar foo   \@

PEZ Heads

Some signatures are just for posts to a specials newsgroups. One of these newsgroups is the one about (newsgroup name - ask Karen!). And here is a sample:
Stuart, The PEZt (stuartc@hkusa.com)

\|/ ____ \|/
~@-/ o0 \-@~
/_( \__/ )_\
   | || |
   | || |
   | || |
   | || |
   | || |
   | || |
   | || |
   | || |
And now a comment from an expert:
Obviously a pre-1987 .sig, as it's footless.

Karen. [don't panic]



Every MUD used to have one - a quest that involved a "katana":
Plenty of signatures had one - and these caused the creation of AFW!


The "caps lock key" is very special and helpful key; it locks down the "shift key" so you can enter a sequence of upper case characters without having to keep a finger on a shift key.

Some people use upper case character sequences to "shout" their text into your face. I can be fun for a few words - but it gets annoying after a few lines.

And then there are people who seem to write text in uppercase only. These people either have a broken shift key - or they earn their living by shouting. One of these even made it into a small book with the title "The HitchHiker's Guid To The Galaxy (aka THHGTTG, see also: http://www.winet.dk/staff/bong/guide/quotes/ukquotes.htm and http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~nhughes/dna/faqs/diff.html ).

But before you set out to post - remember to take a spare shift key with you:

	|    /\                         |
	|   /  \                        |
	|  /_  _\                       |
	|   |  |                        |
	|   |__|                        |
	|                               |


URLs in signatures

A "URL" is a "universal resource location", ie it is the address of some information on the WWW ("world wide web"). People describe themselves on "home pages" - and that leaves plenty of space for all kinds of info - signatures and even ASSCI pictures.

It is a good idea to add the URL of your home page to your sig as it gives the info that you actually have a home page and it saves others the trouble to find out about it. Also, it gives the name of the web server - which is not always as simple as "www.domain".

Specialized signatures with URLs are appreciated, too, if they give info about special info in newsgroups:

Sven Guckes guckes@math.fu-berlin.de     Newsgroup alt.fan.warlord on WWW:
AFW Home Page:  http://www.math.fu-berlin.de/~guckes/afw/
AFW Best of  :  http://www.math.fu-berlin.de/~guckes/afw/best.of/
AFW Acronyms :  http://www.math.fu-berlin.de/~guckes/afw/afw.acronyms.html


ASCII Pictures

There exists a natural urge to include pictures in signatures. Converting a picture to ASCII is a very difficult form of art, though. Anyone can take a picture, scan it in, convert it to GIF and then use a GIF2ASCII converter to get an ASCII picture - but they are usually BIG. And BIG means "no less than a half a page of a terminal" (about 1K).

The true art with ASCII pictures is to express objects in as little characters as possible - and this is truly a very very difficult matter. It has become a form of art and thus the newgroup alt.ascii-art was created.

However, there are some pinheads out there who use big ASCII pictures in signatures:

Quantum Mechanic (pinhead@islandnet.com) wrote:
                 +                 |  The Church of Blarney
                /_\                |  Proud Providers of Unhealthy Snacks(tm)
               /___\               |  to the Jihad (exorcisms upon request).
              /_____\              |  ---------------------------------------
             /_______\             |  Home of St. Windigo The Feral, Shredder
            /_________\            |  of Spongies
     _+_   /___________\   _+_     |
    |_|_|_/_____________\_|_|_|    |  ---------------------------------------
    |___|/_______________\|___|    |  Featuring frozen pizzas, Moosehead Beer,
    |_|_|/_______________\|_|_|    |  Extra Value Caloric Therapies, and our
    |___|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|___|    |  special-recipe SpongeMinion Cake(tm),
   /|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|    |  made with real Sponge Minions.
  /_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|\   |  ---------------------------------------
  |_|     |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|     |_\  |  Critical Mass(tm) celebrated each full
  |_|     |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|     |_|  |  moon.  Communion B.Y.O.S. (Bring Your
  |_|_____|_|_| |_|_|_|_|_____|_|  |  Own Sacraments - Oreos+Jolt Cola, please)
  |_|_|_|_|_|_||   ||_|_|_|_|_|_|  |  ---------------------------------------
  |_|_|_|_|_|_||   ||_|_|_|_|_|_|  |  Bishop Pinhead the Cenobite:
  |_|_|_|_|_|_||   ||_|_|_|_|_|_|  |  pinhead@islandnet.com
                                      Father Random:reverson@charlie.usd.edu
Well, beware of these people - they probably are "*the* youngest kid in the school district to suffer a suspension"...

The "plan file" - info by "finger"

You can read the "plan file" by people on UNIX machines by "fingering" them. The command is "finger user@host.domain" - and it shows the contents of the file "$HOME/.plan" (amongst other info).

The plan file sometimes contains the "PGP key" of that person which makes it easy to add it to the keyring with the command

	finger user@host.domain | pgp

However, the Inner Circle has developed a far more powerful tool - "zucchn":

ZUCCHN(1)                USER COMMANDS                  ZUCCHN(1)

     zucchn - display information about users

     zucchn [ options ] name...

     Zucchn  is  a  direct  replacement  for  SunOs Release 6.9's
     'finger'  function and supercedes   'poke' and 'goose'.   By
     default,  zucchn displays  information about each  logged-in
     user,  including  his  or  her:  login name,  full name, sex
     (prepended with a  `*'  if zuke-permission is denied),  idle
     time, orientation, login  time, and location  (comment field
     in /etc/erog_zones for users logged in locally, hostname for
     users logged in remotely) if known.

     Idle time is minutes if it is a single  integer,  hours  and
     minutes  if  a  ':'  is present, or days and hours if a d is
     present.  Stress level is directly proportional to idle time.

     -w   Ten seconds on high in the microwave.

     -F   Several minutes in the freezer.

     -l   Force long (cucumber) output format.

     -s   Force short (buttplug) output format.

     -q   Force quick output format, which is  similar  to  short
          format  except  that it can be done while on break or
          at lunch.

     -i   Force ``idle'' output format, which is similar to short
          format except that hair may grow on your palms and
          blindness can result.

     -b   Suppress  printing.  This is similar to -m,  the Mormon

     /etc/wank           who is currently using zucchn
     /etc/heybabe        for users' names
     /var/adm/lastlog    times of last restroom stops.
     /etc/erog_zones     terminal locations
     ~/.plan             plans
     ~/.project          projects
     ~/.fantasy          helpful hints

     finger(1), prod(1), poke(1), thrust(1), ouch(1), sigh(3)

     Schcock, H., NAME/ZUCCHN Protocol, 1977 December 30, RFC 742.

     Sometimes dinner and a movie is necessary for zucchn to be successful.
     On insecure systems, several hours of talk(2) may also be helpful.

Sun Release 4.1   Last change: 10 January 1988                  2

From: bigdave@tdd.sj.nec.com (David Sweeney  x2987)
Subject: zucchn (Was: Re: finger)
To: inner-circle@crash.canon.co.uk (Them Warlordin' Fools)
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 93 16:40:43 PST


TAB damage

A lot of signatures contain the tabulator character aka "tab". This character is used to move the following text to the next "tab stop". This is a nice feature to put text into columns without requiring the need to add or delete spaces.

But the big disadvantage is that the tab stops are almost always set to different values. While most people use multiples of eight, a lot of programmers use multiples of four or even just three.

Thus sigs with tabs almost never look ok. This especially is the case when sigs are quoted. And that happens a *lot* on AFW.

The following sig illustrates the behaviour of tabs. Please view this sig on different terminals, pagers, or any editor; if you are using a vi clone then change the value of the tabstop with ":set tabstop=X". Note that the fourth line contains only a tab followed by a caret (^):

Sven Guckes
	^	<- tab line!



Ever been to Egypt? No? Well, a lot of g^Hcreeps have been. And they obviously admire the ancient scrolls. So much actually that they need to have them in their signature:
                          )       \   /      (
                         /|\      )\_/(     /|\
*                       / | \    (/\|/\)   / | \                      *
|    University of Essex    '^`    \|/   '^`    University of Essex   |
|                                   V                                 |
|                                                                     |
|               Alan Greep....                                        |
|            E-mail:  greea@essex.ac.uk                               |
|                                                                     |
|         "It's the old, old story - 'droid meets 'droid, 'droid      |
|           becomes chameleon, 'droid loses chameleon, chameleon      |
|           turns into blob, 'droid gets blob back again, blob        |
|           meets blob, blob goes off with blob and 'droid loses      |
|           blob, chameleon and 'droid.                               |
|               How many times have we seen that story?"              |
|                                                                     |
| ._________________________________________________________________. |
|'               l    /\ /     \\            \ /\   l                `|
*                l  /   V       ))            V   \ l                 *
                 l/            //                  \I
There are no dragons in Egypt, you say? Well, you've never been there, have you? This one certainly did not watch where it flew - and hit the scroll. So remember boys and girls - don't fly and flame!


BUAFs are "big/butt ugly ASCII fonts". Many have been designed by numerous losers around the net for years. They are part of almost every big sig, eg:
    ##,        aw   _gmmw_   agmm_   _gmmw_    #f _gmmw_  _agmmw   _gmmw_
   0###      _###  J#"  ?#, d@  "#K J#"  ?#,  J# J#"  ?#, #@   #Q J#"  ?#,
  g#  #Q    d@ 0#  ##    #QJ#~   ]# ##    #Q  #F ##    #Q    _w#" ##    #Q
 _#&ww0#L ,#E__0Q__##    ##J#_   j# ##    ## J#  ##    ##    ""#m ##    ##
 ##    0#_'""""0#"'9#_  _#F #K   0# 9#_  _#F #F  9#_  _#F #L   J# 9#_  _#F
*#~     #*     *#   "#mm@"   *#m#P   "#mm@" d#    "#mm@"  "##m#@"  "#mm@"
          Home page: http://atlantis.ucc.ie/fergus-homepage.html


Some fonts even include "shading" to give the letters a three-dimensional look. "3DBUAFs" are not easy to make and most people just always get it wrong. So before you design your own, please read the 3DBUAF FAQ.

Kilroy and Bill the Cat

You may have heard about the army inspector "Kilroy" who put "Kilroy was here" everywhere he inspected. But there is also the "kilroy" which looks over walls and other things.


  \\\|||///  \ Even Holen, Berg Prestegerd, Jonsvannsvn 45, N-7016 Trondheim
 \\ ~   ~ //  \ mailto:evenh@stud.ntnu.no, Even.Holen@unimed.sintef.no
  | @   @ |    \ www: http://www.stud.ntnu.no/~evenh/
oOo  (_)  oOo   \        'Christians are not perfect they are forgiven'


Bill the Cat

Some ascii faces are looking over a line, too. Here is a variation of it, namely Bill The Cat:
	 O       \ o.O|
	 \\       =(_)=
	__))____ooO U Ooo
		```   '''

Double Sigs

People read News and they post, but they hardly care about the setup pf their newsreader. This causes all sorts of grief: Badly wrapped lines, mega-hyper-super-ultra-power-quoting, invalid sender addresses, MIME encoded ASCII, plaintext Kanji, and - double sigs.

You might think that one signature is enough - well, you're wrong. People will tell the newsreader to append a sig as well as use their editor to append a sig. So they compose a post with their editor (which appends a sig) and then they post it - and the newsreader will append the sig yet again. A typical case of this is:

	William Anker  wanker@chese.com
	Read my sig - no more asterisks!
	William Anker  wanker@chese.com
	Read my sig - no more asterisks!

Why don't newsreaders check for occurrence of a second "sigdashline"? Have people RTFM until they understand the error message "double sig means double death"! Extra penalty for tabdamage: Death by sauerkraut!! Or bunga-bunga. Your choice.

Maps and Flags

People on Usenet may not have a life - but they usually admit living in a country. And some of them have to tell everyone in their sig. Thus maps and flags have popped up everywhere in sigs. And they are just as hard to kill as the other stuff.

Flag example:

	<^\| |/^>
	 <__ __>
People from Canada will tell you that it is a leaf of some sort, but don't let them fool you! It is actually a wing nut. And don't listen to those who tell you that it's a pushpin with ears, either!

Map example:

	\_   /
	  \  \
	 o \  \
	 O  \ _\
	____// \\
	\__/    '
No, I'd never wear any shoes like this. Not even in Italy!


The word "fnord" has become a classic word on Usenet. You can see it in signatures as well.

fnord n. [from the "Illuminatus Trilogy"]
1. A word used in email and news postings to tag utterances as surrealist mind-play or humor, esp. in connection with Discordianism and elaborate conspiracy theories. "I heard that David Koresh is sharing an apartment in Argentina with Hitler. (Fnord.)" " Where can I fnord get the "Principia Discordia" from?"
2. A metasyntactic variable, commonly used by hackers with ties to Discordianism or the Church of the SubGenius.


Spoiler [970707,000229]

A "spoiler" is a text that can spoil the fun of some text (a puzzle/riddle or the point to a joke).

Email/Usenet messages often try to hide the spoiler by giving a warning message and adding many "empty" lines so it is out of view from immediate viewing. However, this is a bad method - for these reasons:

Instead, there is an easy way to hide spoilers with only one character; of course this method needs to be supported by the user client.

A spoiler character (control-l, denoted by ^L or ASCII#12) signals to the pager to hide the following text from view - until the user requests the text to be displayed with another command.

The newsreader slrn has support for spoilers. All following non-space characters are shown as '*':

        without spoiler:
        This is a spoiler text.  Do not show it!

        with    spoiler:
        **** ** * ******* *****  ** *** **** ***
But if you chose to not see anything then you can change this to simply show spaces or nothing at all.

Slrn optionally squeezes a block of empty lines into a single empty line. Adding many empty lines therefore does not have the desired effect. In fact, this feature is very useful as you usually see more text on your terminal that way. Do - don't turn it off.

Movies / Animation [960301]

Warlord movies are a special kind of warlords. This exploits a special feature of newsreaders and pagers: "Newpage stop" aka "
spoiler hiding".

A "newpage stop" is done when the (internal) pager of the newsreader encounters a "newpage line" in a post, ie a line which starts with the character "control-l". The page will not show the following text but hold it until the user presses a key. After that key press the pager will clear the screen and continue at the top again.

The effect is used to "overwrite" a signature with a slightly changed version of it, thus creating a sequence of pictures which add up to a "movie".

For best results you should assume that people are using a terminal with at most 80 characters (where have you heard this before? :-) and at most 24 lines.

Håkan Svensson (d95-hsv@nada.kth.se) put up two of his "movie warlords" and used client-pull to animate them:

For GUI browsers: [961030]

For non-GUI browsers (read: Lynx :-):

Road Kill

Have you ever been driving on a long motorway? Then you have probably noticed a few dead animals along the side. Cars do that to animals - humans never. *ehem*

Those poor animals are also known as "road kill" - and it never is a pretty sight. If you love watching horror films, though, read on:

        (@@@@#               (%%%%##                &&&%%  %%&
           #@@      ..0&&..       %%%            &&&%%%     \%
    .(@).   #@@@   /$&&&&&88\     $$%%         /&&@%%%
 .@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@&&&%%#%%$$$$$$$$$%%%%\    /&&%@/
   ^(@)"     $$$$  \@@@@@%%%/     @@@@ \@@@@@@/
            $$$      "@@*"       #@@     @@@@
      (##$$$$$/             (@@@@@@/
[Artwork by: hgwyman@tricon.net] However, some people think they're cute to put into sigs:
            //Z/Z//                   Ah yes, the new, the improved,
     |\    //Z/Z//   _,,,--,,_        the all purpose "Dead Cat .Sig"
     /x`. //Z/Z//-'`'   ._  \-;;,_    For use when posting or replying
    |x4- //Z/Z//  ) )_   .;.(  `'-'   to: alt.pet.feline & rec.anm-rights.
   '---'//Z/Z//'(_/._)-'(_\_)         Also available in "hanging from
       //Z/Z//                        tree" and "12-wheeler" designs...
[Thanks to Jason Hicks dhicks@cadman.cit.buffalo.edu for this.]
[960610] Cats in signatures get hit more often than other animals:
>                                ___/|              _______________________
>                                \ oO|  -----------/ "PTHPHTPHTPHTPHTPHTPH"|
>                                 | ~| /           `-----------------------'
>                              #  `-U'  #                          _________
>                              \\  ||  //                         |"Got Em" )--
>                               \\/  \//                          `--------'
> "Tire tracks all across his    | `' | //~~~~~                      Va-roooom
>  back means I had my fun!"     \____//
>                              .__||||__.
>                              `---'`---'
[Thanks to "ickie" Karen Cooper for the good driving.]
[960608] And as if that wasn't enough - you get dead cats in 3d, too:
Tigress       tigress@tigerden.gun.de
                _..--''``\--....__    _..,_
      ____ _.-'`   .-/";  `       ```<._  ``-+'~=. ____
     /  .-' _..--.'_    \                    `(^) )   /
    /  ((.-'    (< _     ;.__                 ; `~   /
   /             `-._,_)'``  ```--..._____..-'      /
  / Purrrr...             C Ray  /
"Old felines never die - they just end up in signatures." At least that's what I thought - until 960620 when I received the following news:
Subject: Excerpted: WhiteBoard News for Wednesday, June 19, 1996
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 11:40:01 -0400
From: glen mccready 

Clarion County, Pennsylvania:

Dead deer are on the menu of the prison board yesterday.  The panel is
expected to take up a proposal to permit road kill to be fed to inmates.

Supporters say the free venison would help round out prisoner's diets and
reduce food costs.  The practice was common at jails and nursing homes
until about 30 years ago, officials say.

But Jenni Gainsborough of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison
Project says her group doesn't know of any prison that serves road kill. [!!]

"This among the lowest levels prison officials have sunk to, and they can
sink pretty low."
Can you imagine what inmates will do if they are served "pavement pizza"?
       *  *           It's:           "SPLAT - MY CAT!"
   +>\        --__    Slower than a speeding Landrover 110.   Much slower.
   +>/       _------__  Mortally slower, one might say.    Rest in Pieces.
     -\\-\\--         drh92@aber.ac.uk  (Dan Holdsworth)
       *  *           Old Chinese Curse: May you live in Interesting Times
So, do us a favor - don't drink and kill. Thank you!

[960801] DrFun on roadkills:


"Zuke" is the abbreviation for "zucchini" - a vegetable almost unknown before the existence of the
Inner Circle. TODO: The story of "The Lost Zucchinis".

Communications Decency Act (CDA)

[TODO: Link to more info on the CDA] Some signatures contain comments on the CDA. As with a lot of rules that forbid something it somehow contradicts itself. The CDA forbids the use of some words - but how can you inform someone about these words in a message when the use of these words is forbidden?

The general ideas to circumvent these restrictions is to replace forbidden words with allowed words or to write them differently. Examples: Using rot13 on the text which contains forbidden words [960523]:

[Shpx gur Pbzzhavpngvbaf Qrprapl Npg] . . . . . . . . G e r b e n   V o s   <><
mailto:gerben@cs.vu.nl                           http://www.cs.vu.nl/%7Egerben/
Be conservative in what you send and liberal in what you accept.
                                        -- RFC 791, paraphrased


The Webster defines "troll" thus:
$ webster troll
2:a lure or a line with its lure and hook used in trolling
3:a dwarf or giant in Teutonic folklore inhabiting caves or hills
Meaning #2 is the correct one here - even though its Usenet meaning is used in the sense of "decoy" or "bait". A "troll" is a more general term, though. Any kind of posting that provokes a followup of some kind might be a troll.

If was often asked (this is a lie) how to followup to a troll when you read it. Well, here is one possible way:

	Subject: Re: Troll.
	From: scary@netaxs.com (j.serdy)
	Newsgroups: alt.religion.kibology

	Ian Porter (Ian@zx81.demon.co.uk) wrote:

	: This is a troll.

	this is not a flame

[960731] A troll that provokes a warlord with a bad signature is a "


Some signatures contain lots of the recurring "bad" things that you find in signatures - on purpose. They are used as "bait" to make people warlord them. This quickly shows warlord-newbies on Usenet. So the next time you warlord a bad signature - make sure it is not bait!

Recognizing a signature as warlord bait is not always easy. This signature is a fairly easy one:

              /\     | ||         __
             /\ \    | ||        /_/\
            /  \ \   | ||___    /  \ \
       __  / /\ \/_  | |/__/|  / /\ \/   /\
      /_/\ \ \/ /_/| |_____|/ / /\/ /   /\ \
     /  \ \ \  ___|/          \ \/ /   /  \ \
    / /\ \ \ \ \/              \__/   / /\ \/
    \ \/  \ \ \/                     /  \/ /
     \  /\ \/                        \/|  /|
      \ \/\/                           |_|/
 ______\_|/                             _______
/_______/|                             /______/|
|______ |/                            |  ___  ||
    /_/ /|                            | | | | |/
  _|__ |/\neil.pawson@smallworld.co.uk| \ \ / /
 /____\ \/|                            \ \_/ /
|_______|/                              \___/
          /\                           ____
         /\ \                         / / /
        /  \/|                       / /_/
       / /\ ||    ___      ______   /  \ \
      /  \/ |/   /__/\    /_____/| / /\ \ \
     / /\  /    / _ \ \   |_   _|/ \/_/\ \ \
     \ \/ /    / /_\ \ \    | ||        \ \/
      \__/    / _____ \ \   | ||_        \/
             / / /   \ \/  /| |_/|
             \/_/     \/  |_____|/


The House of the Perpetually Warlord tenant List (HPWL)

Some people get warlorded but do not change their signature. These people tend to get warlorded over and over again. Usually those warlords just repeat what has already been said about them. This tends to get VERY boring. Therefore the HPWL was created.

And here is the list as of 940216:

From: gmcquary@Ingres.COM (George F. McQuary)
Subject: ADMIN: HotPW
Message-ID: <1994Feb16.213158.4853@pony.Ingres.COM>
Date: 16 Feb 94 21:31:58 GMT

House of the Perpetually Warlord tenant List
* alex@bilver.uucp (Alex Matulich)
* axjb@dcs.ed.ac.uk (Anthony Bailey)
  baseball@ncar.ucar.edu (Colorado Rockies logo)
* brianb@natinst.com (Br!an Bloom)
* bdb@becker.GTS.ORG (Bruce Becker) (Mr. AEIOU)
* crp5754@erfsys06.ca.boeing.com (chris payne)
* destill@mtu.edu (Stealth Dave)
* dmatt@iastate.edu (Mr. Rock Out Naked)
* DOBENSON@ua1vm.ua.edu (Joe Demon)
* earle@poseur.JPL.NASA.GOV (Greg Earle)
  edsall@iastate.edu (David M Edsall) (He of the 3-D fish)
* eyvind@lise.unit.no (Another four line boring sig. Eat Lawyer!)
  Frank@rover.uchicago.edu (Very bland)
  gberigan@cse.unl.edu (The Crab Head thingie)
* gio@wcl.bham.ac.uk (Giovanni Ciampa, a man with saucer eyes)
* gxas@dcs.ed.ac.uk (Gavin Scott)
* hahn@newshost.lds.loral.com (Karl Hahn, Mr. Chicken)
* higgins@fnalb.fnal.gov (Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey)
  house@acsu.buffalo.edu (MST3K sig)
  ibanez@ac.dal.ca (Oh no, here comes the bass solo!)
  jittlov@gumby.cs.caltech.edu (Mike Jittlov, the egocentric bore)
* jym@mica.berkeley.edu (Jym Dyer)
* julian@sun-1.cs.uct.ac.za (Julian Hansen)
  kartano@vipunen.hut.fi (Mikko Kartano)
  kayotae@mindvox.Phantom.com (Erik M Blackwolf, out in the woods drumming again)
  kebarnes@msuvx1.memst.edu (Ken Barnes, a way ugly conservative quote machine)
  kludge@u.washington.edu (Moonman)
  kv07@iastate.edu (Warren Kurt vonRoeschlaub)
  lsjumb@leland.Stanford.EDU (Stanford Band)
  lightnin@bigwpi.WPI.EDU (A man who ran short in his letter 'g' collection)
  mel@maddog.ece.nd.edu (Melvin Gladstone)
  ndr@tazboy.jpl.nasa.gov (Niles D. Ritter, The cause and effect)
  ngsippel@miavx2.ham.muohio.edu (Norman "Muddy" Stimpy)
  paull@plasma.co.uk (Paul Lee)
  peter@sugar.neosoft.com (Peter "wolf-boy" DaSilva)
  philip@research.canon.oz.au (Philip Craig)
  raj@netcom.com (Roger Lee and the state of Tennessee. Yawn)
  RICHARDVANCE@delphi.com (Richard Vance of the jumbled alphabet)
  rswiftrw@cc.curtin.edu.au (Rod Swift)
  scottk@lerc.nasa.gov (Scott Klosterman and his big sausage font)
  shannon@inter.com (Steve Shannon and the MST3K theater)
  spt@waikato.ac.nz (Simon Paul Travaglia)
  stirling@ozrout.uucp (Stirling Westrup) (Mr. Bungee Sideways)
  tabn3@isuvax.iastate.edu (Griffy)
  walker@unx.sas.com (Doug Walker and his beer stein)
  walrus@bessel.umd.edu (Grig Larson)
  warren@nysernet.org (Random sig of the form: The - is - but the - is -)
  weston.beal@sun.com (Weston Beal, confusing the Sun logo with a ninja star)
  z_coolidgeas@ccsvax.sfasu.edu (AKANE TENDOU, anime fan)
  zarthac@cs1.bradley.edu (Matt Simmons, Micky Mouse Monorail)
George F. McQuary
"He is mad, bad and dangerous to know." -Lady Caroline Lamb
Jorn Barger jorn@MCS.COM checked on these people on 960504 (Message-ID: <4mg2ao$2pl@Venus.mcs.com>) and could not find any posts by the people marked with '*'.

Distribution License

Every information seems to be worthy of protection these days. So if you think that your signature is worthy enough then you probably need add a "distribution licence" to it:
cerberus@ginch.dial.umd.edu, cerb@espresso.eng.umd.edu

Copyright Dave "Cerberus" Paper 1995, All rights reserved.
Microsoft Network and/or America Online are prohibited from redistributing
this message in any form, in whole or in part.  License to distribute this
message is available to Microsoft Network and/or America Online for $1000.00.
Reproducing and/or redistributing this message without permission constitutes
an agreement by Microsoft Network and/or America Online to these terms and
an intent to pay the fee for each work reproduced and/or redistributed.
License is expressly given to any entity not owned wholly or in part by
Microsoft Corporation and/or America Online to reproduce and redistribute
this message freely and at no cost.
If it ever comes to that then, well, "death of Usenet predicted".


So, what can *you* do to help raise the signal/sig ratio on Usenet? Well, tell people what a waste signatures can be! Help them reduce their signature to a minimum!

A minimum signature contains only the name and address:

	Sven Guckes guckes@math.fu-berlin.de
Want to get fancy? Well, there's plenty of room in a 4x80 sig! Take a look at this one:
	Sven   .-----   email:  guckes@math.fu-berlin.de  IRC: Sveng
	____  /Guckes   voice:  +4930 838-5817  (no FAX)  time zone: CET
	    \/          smail:  Free University of Berlin
	 "Four lines suffice!"  Arnimallee 2-6 / 14195 Berlin / Germany

Posting Hints aka Posting rules

There are a few things that you should take care of when posting to AFW:
Subject line - add "AFW".
Mark your post as an intentional post to alt.fan.warlord by adding "AFW" to the Subject line. This should allow readers to filter out spam more easily. Example:
	Subject: AFW: how to spam all newsgroups


Give reference!
Always make your post a followup to the original post, ie include the Message-ID of the original post in the "References:" line. Your newsreader should do this for you automatically with the "followup" command (don't use one that doesn't!). If you wish, add the most significant header lines of the post in the body, ie "Newsgroups:", "From:", "Subject:", "Date:" and "Message-ID:". Example:
	From: guckes@math.fu-berlin.de (Sven Guckes)
	Subject: AFW: Original Subject Line
	Date: Mon,  4 Aug 1997 12:07:00 +0200
	Message-Id: <slrn5ubb42.8hp.guckes@banach.math.fu-berlin.de>

Do not crosspost!
There is no need to crosspost your warlord to other groups. This should prevent discussions and flame wars about crossposts. Crossposts do not count as warlords and will silently be ignored. Besides, posting to the previous newsgroup will just make some wankers think that they should enlarge their sig. So don't do it!

Be original!
Do not try to copy the style of others. Think of something new! Try to add some originality to the flavour of AFW! Be original!

Make it rhyme!
The text of a warlord does not need to rhyme - but it sure can be a nice touch. One rule that developed was that it has to include the rhyme of the words "crass" and "ass". (It's an ickie thing, so don't ask!) Should you try to use Haikus then *please* use the correct number of syllables.

Add a signature!
Hey, you know how to handle this, don't you?

Please check you post before you send it off. Avoid spelling errors and a double-sigs. And please restrain your sig to 4x80!

And if you want to compact signatures into a McQ box then feel free to use the "SigCompactor Bulldozer":

	\  i | o|
The SigCompactor Bulldozer

Posting Followups on AFW

AFW gets the usual amount of weird posts, ie ads, spams,
One word: Killfile!

Boring and Lame Posts
Some people deserve a flame for wasting bandwidth and the reader's time:
                                THIS IS A FLAME


[ ] asshole     [ ] fag         [ ] ignorant snot       [ ] prick
[ ] nerd        [ ] Elvis       [ ] lonely masturbator  [ ] computer geek
[ ] retard      [ ] sycophant   [ ] David Sternlight

 You are being flamed because

  [ ] you continued a boring useless stupid thread
  [ ] you repeatedly posted to the same thread that you just posted to
  [ ] you repeatedly posted the same article
  [ ] you posted a homework assignment
  [ ] you posted a "test"
  [ ] you used vi and left a whole bunch of editing garbage on the screen
  [ ] you posted a request for an article which was posted three times
          in the past week
  [ ] you claimed to have the original GGBJ
  [ ] you posted some sort of religious crap that doesn't belong in this group
  [ ] you posted an article that was not funny, unoriginal and very boring
  [ ] your mother dresses you funny

 To recant, you must

  [ ] actually post a humorous article
  [ ] give up all your worldly possessions and become a Tibetan monk
  [ ] go to the public library and try to do your own homework
  [ ] hang yourself by the big toe for 72 hours
  [ ] abstain from sex for a month (shouldn't be too hard for you)
  [ ] shave your head, paint a target on it, and go to Iraq
  [ ] give your MP (Congressman in U.S.A., I guess) a donation of
          three hemp plants to decorate his office
  [ ] become politically correct and demand that manholes be renamed
          to peroffspringopenings
  [ ] cut your balls (or breasts, if you're a woman) off
  [ ] _________________________________________________

 Thank you for the time you have taken to read this, and please desist from
the offending behaviour that led to this flame.


                                END FLAME

"Is there a FAQ?" "Yes, there is."

One word: Killfile!

One word: Killfile!

Test Posts
See the -> Test Post Followups Collection!

If you are trolling then do not forget to direct the followups to an appropriate newsgroup via the Followup-To: header line:
 1) /dev/null
 2) misc.misc
 3) misc.test
 4) alt.flame
 5) alt.slack
 6) alt.discordia
 7) alt.sex.hello-kitty
 8) alt.society.neutopia
 9) alt.religion.kibology
10) alt.sci.physics.plutonium
11) alt.ted.frank.troll.troll.troll
12) cabal.config
13) rec.org.mensa
14) all of the above
[Thanks to Hong Ooi hong@magna.com.au for the list.]

Warlord Requests [960805]
Once someone understands that AFW is not about a game but about signatures and some kind of scoring, they post a signature to AFW and ask for evaluation. Sometimes they even ask to "please warlord my/this signature". However, there is no need to be original here. Just use the AFW Warlord Form:
----------------------------- ALT.FAN.WARLORD FORM ----------------------------





___ LAME ASCII GRAPHIC OF (Choose all that apply):
    __ BICYCLE
    __ SWORD




Best of AFW

For those of you who rather "surf" than "read news" I have collected some posts from AFW as examples. However, do not think that these posts are "instructions" for warlording. Do not replicate this stuff. Before you post try to think of something original, give it your own style. Impress us!

However, if you cannot come up with a warlord - don't bother to post a followup! You have been warned!

For those of you who cannot think up anything, here are some clues: [960926]

Best Of
A collection of the best posts to AFW, currently containing the posts from

Best of AFW Archive

The "AFW BestOf" archive file; a collection of the best posts to AFW, currently containing the posts from 950811 to August 1996.

AFW BestOf Nominees Archive
Good posts to AFW from August 1996 unto today.

Remember the words of the Borg: "You will be assimilated!" Whatever your reasons, sooner or later you will join the Dark Side of Usenet:


And if you still think that big signatures are a cool thing then take care! Or else...

	|/  |     .____
	|  \o/    |/ 'o
	|   O     | /O\
	|  //     | /|

Warlords around the Net

rec.humor-best-of-usenet faq

jargon file

Sven Guckes <afw@guckes.net>
AFW Pages HOME Mirrors: none so far. -->
add mirror? contact me!