PACKET RADIO: Fancy Messages
(and why you shouldn't use them)
Steve Wolf, W8IZ@W8IZ
(This text from the W8IZ packet radio bulletin
board. It's formatted to fit a 80 character screen.)
From: Steve, NO8M@NO8M.OH.USA.NA
Date: January 15, 1990
Subject: Keeping Your Messages Simple
DON'T GET FANCY
Many newsletter editors watch packet messages for ones they would like
to print. Do not add fancy stuff the messages that you might want to see
printed. It causes additional work to reformat them into usable text.
Do not justify your text. Justification adds spaces between words to
make both margins come out straight. It is very difficult to edit these extra
Do not indent your whole message. These indentations are a pain to take
Add two spaces between sentences. After each period, question mark,
etc., there should be two spaces.
Single space your messages. This saves network time as the extra
carriage return does not need to be sent over and over as the message gets
sent to other boards. Again, the newsletter editors will not have to remove
the extra carriage returns.
The use of capital letters is a questionable practice. Studies have
been done showing that messages in all capital letters are more difficult to
Many times, the AMTOR PBBSs, called APLINK, will be used to send
traffic. AMTOR has a very restricted character set. There are no lower case
letters. Many characters, such as "]", "^" and "_" will be ignored.
PROOFREAD YOUR MESSAGES!
After sending a bulletin, read it yourself and see if that is what you
meant it to say and how you meant it to look. After sending it, use the
command "LL" (list last) to get the number and read it.
You can send messages to yourself. You can then read them back to see
if what you have done is what you wanted to do.
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