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  • skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com
    skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page Revised December 2002 1. Introduction and Background The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 1, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page
      Revised December 2002

      1. Introduction and Background

      The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in July 2000 by Jeremy Vecoli.
      His purpose was to establish a group in which owners of Orion SkyQuest
      XT Telescopes (6" and 8" aperture dobsonian reflectors having a spring
      tensioning system attached to their altitude hubs) could discuss their
      experiences with these scopes.

      Since that time, Orion has expanded the XT line to include a 4 1/2" and a
      10" model, and has changed the exclusive distribution arrangement it made
      with the original manufacturer. The original manufacturer now supplies
      scopes to other marketers. Small dobsonians, of construction similar to that
      of the XT's, are presently available from other sources. At least one other
      manufacturer is now also supplying the market. These non-XT (but
      essentially similar) scopes have been called XT-clones, a name which is not
      meant to be derogatory. Because of the mechanical and optical similarities
      between the original Orion SkyQuest XT line and the clones, the forum
      welcomes discussion from owners and prospective owners of the so-called
      clones as well as from owners of the XT scopes.

      2. Forum Scope and Purpose

      Discussion relating to purchasing experiences (both good and bad),
      problems with getting started and useful hints in that area, problems and
      successes in making modifications, problems and successes relating to the
      use of these scopes, etc. is welcome here. The purpose is to exchange
      information among owners, prospective owners, new users, experienced
      users and inveterate tinkerers. The construction and modest price of these
      scopes does lend itself to do-it-yourself modifications. Some of the
      modifications first proposed by members of this forum have, in fact, been
      included into later XT models. Apparently, Orion follows this forum from
      time to time.

      Getting full use of a telescope often means purchasing and using accessories.
      Eyepieces, filters, finders, dewshields, fans, etc. can enhance the viewing
      experience of any telescope. But the effect of these accessories may vary
      depending on the size and the focal length of the scope, and on the quality of
      the observer's eyes and skies. Discussion of these accessories is therefore
      also welcome on the forum, PROVIDED that the discussion relates to their
      use in the XT or clone scopes.

      Although there are non XT-like small and medium size dobs sold, used, and
      being home built, this forum has chosen to restrict itself to discussion of the
      XT line and its clones. The reason for this is simply to keep a common
      focus to the group, thereby limiting the volume of posts that appear. This
      formula has worked well in the past, with members typically being able to
      read every single posting without being overwhelmed.

      As Jeremy Vecoli first proposed, the forum was never meant to be an all-
      purpose astronomy forum. There exist other and better forums devoted to
      equipment, to observations, software, amateur telescope making , general
      astronomy, etc. Our members are strongly advised to peruse and contribute
      to these other forums so as to retain the XT-and-clone focus of this one.

      3. Posting to the Forum

      Listeners ("lurkers" in net terminology) are encouraged to speak up, even
      before becoming owners or users of the scopes we are interested in. Your
      questions may provoke answers that will be useful to you in making your
      buying decisions or encouraging you to think about other aspects that you
      have not yet considered. Someone, sooner or later, is going to lead you
      down a path that will end up saving you money, even if it by getting you to
      defer any equipment purchase at this time. And guaranteed, someone will
      lead you to ways of getting more out of the equipment you already own.

      The tone of the questions and answers, and the comments about the pros and
      cons of various pieces of equipment or of various retailers has always, in the
      past, been informative and respectful, even when something is being faulted.
      Frank and honest advice to newcomers is always welcome. But do provide
      that information, even if negative, in a way that is reasoned, considerate and
      non-confrontational. Messages whose content violates this spirit of
      cooperation and helpfulness will be deleted: the tone of the forum is as
      important as its content.

      The following thoughts have been taken, with permission, from the "Talking
      Telescopes" policy file. (The TT group is a forum whose focus on
      astronomical equipment is much broader than ours, and is one to which a
      large number of our members also belong):

      Try to avoid posting "banter" type replies. While saying "thanks" or
      "sounds great" etc. is nice, it does add to the volume of messages that really
      do not serve the group. By all means, contribute when you have something
      to say to the group, but if your comments involve just one member, you can
      always communicate with him directly, off line.

      Also, PLEASE don't quote the entire message to which you are replying. It
      is good net form to edit the message down to exhibit only the essential
      points you are addressing, and to retain a reference to the person or message
      to which you are responding. Anybody wanting to see the entire message
      can either click on the "up thread" button at the bottom of the page or, using
      the information you have provided, punch up the entire original message.
      The only thing worse than a "me too" post is a "me too" post followed by all
      twenty-five paragraphs of the eight messages preceding yours in the thread.


      4. Use of the Photos and Files Resources

      In addition to the message board (archives) and the search engine which can
      help you go back through earlier messages, the forum has a "Files" section
      to which members can post and can, via the message board, notify the others
      that they have done so. From time to time, I will go through the files and try
      to rearrange them into some logical order, putting files into folders that more
      or less cover a single topic. I may also have to delete postings from time to
      time: Yahoo provides us with only a limited amount of server space.

      There is also a "Photos" section to which you can post, and arrange your
      own pictures into albums. Material cannot be transferred between the
      "Files" section and the "Photos" section. Because pictures take up more
      storage space than do text files, and because Yahoo has alloted us more
      storage space in the "Photos" section, I recommend against posting pictures
      in the "Files" section, unless there is a really good reason for doing so.

      It is hoped that members who upload to the Files section will include, in the
      labeling information on their post, the number of the message that prompted
      it. This is even more important in the pictures uploaded to the Photos
      section: Identify what message relates to these pictures. Even though you
      notified the group (if indeed you did) when you uploaded, there is no way
      that someone browsing the photos section now can know who you were or
      why you uploaded these pictures.

      5. Unsubscribing

      You can do so yourself with the click of a button. There is a substantial
      volume of subscribes and unsubscribes which the server processes
      automatically each week. Asking me to do it for you is a burden I don't
      want to accept, and in retaliation, I'll do the only thing I can do: make sure
      that you won't be able to resubscribe.


      5. A Final Word to the Members:

      The message board and archive is open to the public to read. The ability to
      post messages, to reply to messages, and to browse the Files and Photos
      sections is limited to you, the members. It's up to you to make the forum a
      useful one.

      We can help only by setting rules that might be helpful in that regard, and
      trying, as non-intrusively as we can, to see that they are followed. There is
      no guarantee that something we think is helpful now will always be so. And
      so the rules may evolve with time. But again, it's your job to make the
      forum one that helps you and the rest of us to get the most out our
      astronomical interests and investments.

      Gene Baraff December 30, 2002.
    • skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com
      skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page Revised December 2002 1. Introduction and Background The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 1, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page
        Revised December 2002

        1. Introduction and Background

        The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in July 2000 by Jeremy Vecoli.
        His purpose was to establish a group in which owners of Orion SkyQuest
        XT Telescopes (6" and 8" aperture dobsonian reflectors having a spring
        tensioning system attached to their altitude hubs) could discuss their
        experiences with these scopes.

        Since that time, Orion has expanded the XT line to include a 4 1/2" and a
        10" model, and has changed the exclusive distribution arrangement it made
        with the original manufacturer. The original manufacturer now supplies
        scopes to other marketers. Small dobsonians, of construction similar to that
        of the XT's, are presently available from other sources. At least one other
        manufacturer is now also supplying the market. These non-XT (but
        essentially similar) scopes have been called XT-clones, a name which is not
        meant to be derogatory. Because of the mechanical and optical similarities
        between the original Orion SkyQuest XT line and the clones, the forum
        welcomes discussion from owners and prospective owners of the so-called
        clones as well as from owners of the XT scopes.

        2. Forum Scope and Purpose

        Discussion relating to purchasing experiences (both good and bad),
        problems with getting started and useful hints in that area, problems and
        successes in making modifications, problems and successes relating to the
        use of these scopes, etc. is welcome here. The purpose is to exchange
        information among owners, prospective owners, new users, experienced
        users and inveterate tinkerers. The construction and modest price of these
        scopes does lend itself to do-it-yourself modifications. Some of the
        modifications first proposed by members of this forum have, in fact, been
        included into later XT models. Apparently, Orion follows this forum from
        time to time.

        Getting full use of a telescope often means purchasing and using accessories.
        Eyepieces, filters, finders, dewshields, fans, etc. can enhance the viewing
        experience of any telescope. But the effect of these accessories may vary
        depending on the size and the focal length of the scope, and on the quality of
        the observer's eyes and skies. Discussion of these accessories is therefore
        also welcome on the forum, PROVIDED that the discussion relates to their
        use in the XT or clone scopes.

        Although there are non XT-like small and medium size dobs sold, used, and
        being home built, this forum has chosen to restrict itself to discussion of the
        XT line and its clones. The reason for this is simply to keep a common
        focus to the group, thereby limiting the volume of posts that appear. This
        formula has worked well in the past, with members typically being able to
        read every single posting without being overwhelmed.

        As Jeremy Vecoli first proposed, the forum was never meant to be an all-
        purpose astronomy forum. There exist other and better forums devoted to
        equipment, to observations, software, amateur telescope making , general
        astronomy, etc. Our members are strongly advised to peruse and contribute
        to these other forums so as to retain the XT-and-clone focus of this one.

        3. Posting to the Forum

        Listeners ("lurkers" in net terminology) are encouraged to speak up, even
        before becoming owners or users of the scopes we are interested in. Your
        questions may provoke answers that will be useful to you in making your
        buying decisions or encouraging you to think about other aspects that you
        have not yet considered. Someone, sooner or later, is going to lead you
        down a path that will end up saving you money, even if it by getting you to
        defer any equipment purchase at this time. And guaranteed, someone will
        lead you to ways of getting more out of the equipment you already own.

        The tone of the questions and answers, and the comments about the pros and
        cons of various pieces of equipment or of various retailers has always, in the
        past, been informative and respectful, even when something is being faulted.
        Frank and honest advice to newcomers is always welcome. But do provide
        that information, even if negative, in a way that is reasoned, considerate and
        non-confrontational. Messages whose content violates this spirit of
        cooperation and helpfulness will be deleted: the tone of the forum is as
        important as its content.

        The following thoughts have been taken, with permission, from the "Talking
        Telescopes" policy file. (The TT group is a forum whose focus on
        astronomical equipment is much broader than ours, and is one to which a
        large number of our members also belong):

        Try to avoid posting "banter" type replies. While saying "thanks" or
        "sounds great" etc. is nice, it does add to the volume of messages that really
        do not serve the group. By all means, contribute when you have something
        to say to the group, but if your comments involve just one member, you can
        always communicate with him directly, off line.

        Also, PLEASE don't quote the entire message to which you are replying. It
        is good net form to edit the message down to exhibit only the essential
        points you are addressing, and to retain a reference to the person or message
        to which you are responding. Anybody wanting to see the entire message
        can either click on the "up thread" button at the bottom of the page or, using
        the information you have provided, punch up the entire original message.
        The only thing worse than a "me too" post is a "me too" post followed by all
        twenty-five paragraphs of the eight messages preceding yours in the thread.


        4. Use of the Photos and Files Resources

        In addition to the message board (archives) and the search engine which can
        help you go back through earlier messages, the forum has a "Files" section
        to which members can post and can, via the message board, notify the others
        that they have done so. From time to time, I will go through the files and try
        to rearrange them into some logical order, putting files into folders that more
        or less cover a single topic. I may also have to delete postings from time to
        time: Yahoo provides us with only a limited amount of server space.

        There is also a "Photos" section to which you can post, and arrange your
        own pictures into albums. Material cannot be transferred between the
        "Files" section and the "Photos" section. Because pictures take up more
        storage space than do text files, and because Yahoo has alloted us more
        storage space in the "Photos" section, I recommend against posting pictures
        in the "Files" section, unless there is a really good reason for doing so.

        It is hoped that members who upload to the Files section will include, in the
        labeling information on their post, the number of the message that prompted
        it. This is even more important in the pictures uploaded to the Photos
        section: Identify what message relates to these pictures. Even though you
        notified the group (if indeed you did) when you uploaded, there is no way
        that someone browsing the photos section now can know who you were or
        why you uploaded these pictures.

        5. Unsubscribing

        You can do so yourself with the click of a button. There is a substantial
        volume of subscribes and unsubscribes which the server processes
        automatically each week. Asking me to do it for you is a burden I don't
        want to accept, and in retaliation, I'll do the only thing I can do: make sure
        that you won't be able to resubscribe.


        5. A Final Word to the Members:

        The message board and archive is open to the public to read. The ability to
        post messages, to reply to messages, and to browse the Files and Photos
        sections is limited to you, the members. It's up to you to make the forum a
        useful one.

        We can help only by setting rules that might be helpful in that regard, and
        trying, as non-intrusively as we can, to see that they are followed. There is
        no guarantee that something we think is helpful now will always be so. And
        so the rules may evolve with time. But again, it's your job to make the
        forum one that helps you and the rest of us to get the most out our
        astronomical interests and investments.

        Gene Baraff December 30, 2002.
      • skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com
        skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page Revised December 2002 1. Introduction and Background The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 1, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page
          Revised December 2002

          1. Introduction and Background

          The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in July 2000 by Jeremy Vecoli.
          His purpose was to establish a group in which owners of Orion SkyQuest
          XT Telescopes (6" and 8" aperture dobsonian reflectors having a spring
          tensioning system attached to their altitude hubs) could discuss their
          experiences with these scopes.

          Since that time, Orion has expanded the XT line to include a 4 1/2" and a
          10" model, and has changed the exclusive distribution arrangement it made
          with the original manufacturer. The original manufacturer now supplies
          scopes to other marketers. Small dobsonians, of construction similar to that
          of the XT's, are presently available from other sources. At least one other
          manufacturer is now also supplying the market. These non-XT (but
          essentially similar) scopes have been called XT-clones, a name which is not
          meant to be derogatory. Because of the mechanical and optical similarities
          between the original Orion SkyQuest XT line and the clones, the forum
          welcomes discussion from owners and prospective owners of the so-called
          clones as well as from owners of the XT scopes.

          2. Forum Scope and Purpose

          Discussion relating to purchasing experiences (both good and bad),
          problems with getting started and useful hints in that area, problems and
          successes in making modifications, problems and successes relating to the
          use of these scopes, etc. is welcome here. The purpose is to exchange
          information among owners, prospective owners, new users, experienced
          users and inveterate tinkerers. The construction and modest price of these
          scopes does lend itself to do-it-yourself modifications. Some of the
          modifications first proposed by members of this forum have, in fact, been
          included into later XT models. Apparently, Orion follows this forum from
          time to time.

          Getting full use of a telescope often means purchasing and using accessories.
          Eyepieces, filters, finders, dewshields, fans, etc. can enhance the viewing
          experience of any telescope. But the effect of these accessories may vary
          depending on the size and the focal length of the scope, and on the quality of
          the observer's eyes and skies. Discussion of these accessories is therefore
          also welcome on the forum, PROVIDED that the discussion relates to their
          use in the XT or clone scopes.

          Although there are non XT-like small and medium size dobs sold, used, and
          being home built, this forum has chosen to restrict itself to discussion of the
          XT line and its clones. The reason for this is simply to keep a common
          focus to the group, thereby limiting the volume of posts that appear. This
          formula has worked well in the past, with members typically being able to
          read every single posting without being overwhelmed.

          As Jeremy Vecoli first proposed, the forum was never meant to be an all-
          purpose astronomy forum. There exist other and better forums devoted to
          equipment, to observations, software, amateur telescope making , general
          astronomy, etc. Our members are strongly advised to peruse and contribute
          to these other forums so as to retain the XT-and-clone focus of this one.

          3. Posting to the Forum

          Listeners ("lurkers" in net terminology) are encouraged to speak up, even
          before becoming owners or users of the scopes we are interested in. Your
          questions may provoke answers that will be useful to you in making your
          buying decisions or encouraging you to think about other aspects that you
          have not yet considered. Someone, sooner or later, is going to lead you
          down a path that will end up saving you money, even if it by getting you to
          defer any equipment purchase at this time. And guaranteed, someone will
          lead you to ways of getting more out of the equipment you already own.

          The tone of the questions and answers, and the comments about the pros and
          cons of various pieces of equipment or of various retailers has always, in the
          past, been informative and respectful, even when something is being faulted.
          Frank and honest advice to newcomers is always welcome. But do provide
          that information, even if negative, in a way that is reasoned, considerate and
          non-confrontational. Messages whose content violates this spirit of
          cooperation and helpfulness will be deleted: the tone of the forum is as
          important as its content.

          The following thoughts have been taken, with permission, from the "Talking
          Telescopes" policy file. (The TT group is a forum whose focus on
          astronomical equipment is much broader than ours, and is one to which a
          large number of our members also belong):

          Try to avoid posting "banter" type replies. While saying "thanks" or
          "sounds great" etc. is nice, it does add to the volume of messages that really
          do not serve the group. By all means, contribute when you have something
          to say to the group, but if your comments involve just one member, you can
          always communicate with him directly, off line.

          Also, PLEASE don't quote the entire message to which you are replying. It
          is good net form to edit the message down to exhibit only the essential
          points you are addressing, and to retain a reference to the person or message
          to which you are responding. Anybody wanting to see the entire message
          can either click on the "up thread" button at the bottom of the page or, using
          the information you have provided, punch up the entire original message.
          The only thing worse than a "me too" post is a "me too" post followed by all
          twenty-five paragraphs of the eight messages preceding yours in the thread.


          4. Use of the Photos and Files Resources

          In addition to the message board (archives) and the search engine which can
          help you go back through earlier messages, the forum has a "Files" section
          to which members can post and can, via the message board, notify the others
          that they have done so. From time to time, I will go through the files and try
          to rearrange them into some logical order, putting files into folders that more
          or less cover a single topic. I may also have to delete postings from time to
          time: Yahoo provides us with only a limited amount of server space.

          There is also a "Photos" section to which you can post, and arrange your
          own pictures into albums. Material cannot be transferred between the
          "Files" section and the "Photos" section. Because pictures take up more
          storage space than do text files, and because Yahoo has alloted us more
          storage space in the "Photos" section, I recommend against posting pictures
          in the "Files" section, unless there is a really good reason for doing so.

          It is hoped that members who upload to the Files section will include, in the
          labeling information on their post, the number of the message that prompted
          it. This is even more important in the pictures uploaded to the Photos
          section: Identify what message relates to these pictures. Even though you
          notified the group (if indeed you did) when you uploaded, there is no way
          that someone browsing the photos section now can know who you were or
          why you uploaded these pictures.

          5. Unsubscribing

          You can do so yourself with the click of a button. There is a substantial
          volume of subscribes and unsubscribes which the server processes
          automatically each week. Asking me to do it for you is a burden I don't
          want to accept, and in retaliation, I'll do the only thing I can do: make sure
          that you won't be able to resubscribe.


          5. A Final Word to the Members:

          The message board and archive is open to the public to read. The ability to
          post messages, to reply to messages, and to browse the Files and Photos
          sections is limited to you, the members. It's up to you to make the forum a
          useful one.

          We can help only by setting rules that might be helpful in that regard, and
          trying, as non-intrusively as we can, to see that they are followed. There is
          no guarantee that something we think is helpful now will always be so. And
          so the rules may evolve with time. But again, it's your job to make the
          forum one that helps you and the rest of us to get the most out our
          astronomical interests and investments.

          Gene Baraff December 30, 2002.
        • skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com
          skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page Revised December 2002 1. Introduction and Background The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in
          Message 4 of 9 , May 1, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page
            Revised December 2002

            1. Introduction and Background

            The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in July 2000 by Jeremy Vecoli.
            His purpose was to establish a group in which owners of Orion SkyQuest
            XT Telescopes (6" and 8" aperture dobsonian reflectors having a spring
            tensioning system attached to their altitude hubs) could discuss their
            experiences with these scopes.

            Since that time, Orion has expanded the XT line to include a 4 1/2" and a
            10" model, and has changed the exclusive distribution arrangement it made
            with the original manufacturer. The original manufacturer now supplies
            scopes to other marketers. Small dobsonians, of construction similar to that
            of the XT's, are presently available from other sources. At least one other
            manufacturer is now also supplying the market. These non-XT (but
            essentially similar) scopes have been called XT-clones, a name which is not
            meant to be derogatory. Because of the mechanical and optical similarities
            between the original Orion SkyQuest XT line and the clones, the forum
            welcomes discussion from owners and prospective owners of the so-called
            clones as well as from owners of the XT scopes.

            2. Forum Scope and Purpose

            Discussion relating to purchasing experiences (both good and bad),
            problems with getting started and useful hints in that area, problems and
            successes in making modifications, problems and successes relating to the
            use of these scopes, etc. is welcome here. The purpose is to exchange
            information among owners, prospective owners, new users, experienced
            users and inveterate tinkerers. The construction and modest price of these
            scopes does lend itself to do-it-yourself modifications. Some of the
            modifications first proposed by members of this forum have, in fact, been
            included into later XT models. Apparently, Orion follows this forum from
            time to time.

            Getting full use of a telescope often means purchasing and using accessories.
            Eyepieces, filters, finders, dewshields, fans, etc. can enhance the viewing
            experience of any telescope. But the effect of these accessories may vary
            depending on the size and the focal length of the scope, and on the quality of
            the observer's eyes and skies. Discussion of these accessories is therefore
            also welcome on the forum, PROVIDED that the discussion relates to their
            use in the XT or clone scopes.

            Although there are non XT-like small and medium size dobs sold, used, and
            being home built, this forum has chosen to restrict itself to discussion of the
            XT line and its clones. The reason for this is simply to keep a common
            focus to the group, thereby limiting the volume of posts that appear. This
            formula has worked well in the past, with members typically being able to
            read every single posting without being overwhelmed.

            As Jeremy Vecoli first proposed, the forum was never meant to be an all-
            purpose astronomy forum. There exist other and better forums devoted to
            equipment, to observations, software, amateur telescope making , general
            astronomy, etc. Our members are strongly advised to peruse and contribute
            to these other forums so as to retain the XT-and-clone focus of this one.

            3. Posting to the Forum

            Listeners ("lurkers" in net terminology) are encouraged to speak up, even
            before becoming owners or users of the scopes we are interested in. Your
            questions may provoke answers that will be useful to you in making your
            buying decisions or encouraging you to think about other aspects that you
            have not yet considered. Someone, sooner or later, is going to lead you
            down a path that will end up saving you money, even if it by getting you to
            defer any equipment purchase at this time. And guaranteed, someone will
            lead you to ways of getting more out of the equipment you already own.

            The tone of the questions and answers, and the comments about the pros and
            cons of various pieces of equipment or of various retailers has always, in the
            past, been informative and respectful, even when something is being faulted.
            Frank and honest advice to newcomers is always welcome. But do provide
            that information, even if negative, in a way that is reasoned, considerate and
            non-confrontational. Messages whose content violates this spirit of
            cooperation and helpfulness will be deleted: the tone of the forum is as
            important as its content.

            The following thoughts have been taken, with permission, from the "Talking
            Telescopes" policy file. (The TT group is a forum whose focus on
            astronomical equipment is much broader than ours, and is one to which a
            large number of our members also belong):

            Try to avoid posting "banter" type replies. While saying "thanks" or
            "sounds great" etc. is nice, it does add to the volume of messages that really
            do not serve the group. By all means, contribute when you have something
            to say to the group, but if your comments involve just one member, you can
            always communicate with him directly, off line.

            Also, PLEASE don't quote the entire message to which you are replying. It
            is good net form to edit the message down to exhibit only the essential
            points you are addressing, and to retain a reference to the person or message
            to which you are responding. Anybody wanting to see the entire message
            can either click on the "up thread" button at the bottom of the page or, using
            the information you have provided, punch up the entire original message.
            The only thing worse than a "me too" post is a "me too" post followed by all
            twenty-five paragraphs of the eight messages preceding yours in the thread.


            4. Use of the Photos and Files Resources

            In addition to the message board (archives) and the search engine which can
            help you go back through earlier messages, the forum has a "Files" section
            to which members can post and can, via the message board, notify the others
            that they have done so. From time to time, I will go through the files and try
            to rearrange them into some logical order, putting files into folders that more
            or less cover a single topic. I may also have to delete postings from time to
            time: Yahoo provides us with only a limited amount of server space.

            There is also a "Photos" section to which you can post, and arrange your
            own pictures into albums. Material cannot be transferred between the
            "Files" section and the "Photos" section. Because pictures take up more
            storage space than do text files, and because Yahoo has alloted us more
            storage space in the "Photos" section, I recommend against posting pictures
            in the "Files" section, unless there is a really good reason for doing so.

            It is hoped that members who upload to the Files section will include, in the
            labeling information on their post, the number of the message that prompted
            it. This is even more important in the pictures uploaded to the Photos
            section: Identify what message relates to these pictures. Even though you
            notified the group (if indeed you did) when you uploaded, there is no way
            that someone browsing the photos section now can know who you were or
            why you uploaded these pictures.

            5. Unsubscribing

            You can do so yourself with the click of a button. There is a substantial
            volume of subscribes and unsubscribes which the server processes
            automatically each week. Asking me to do it for you is a burden I don't
            want to accept, and in retaliation, I'll do the only thing I can do: make sure
            that you won't be able to resubscribe.


            5. A Final Word to the Members:

            The message board and archive is open to the public to read. The ability to
            post messages, to reply to messages, and to browse the Files and Photos
            sections is limited to you, the members. It's up to you to make the forum a
            useful one.

            We can help only by setting rules that might be helpful in that regard, and
            trying, as non-intrusively as we can, to see that they are followed. There is
            no guarantee that something we think is helpful now will always be so. And
            so the rules may evolve with time. But again, it's your job to make the
            forum one that helps you and the rest of us to get the most out our
            astronomical interests and investments.

            Gene Baraff December 30, 2002.
          • skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com
            skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page Revised December 2002 1. Introduction and Background The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 1 6:07 AM
            • 0 Attachment
              skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page
              Revised December 2002

              1. Introduction and Background

              The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in July 2000 by Jeremy Vecoli.
              His purpose was to establish a group in which owners of Orion SkyQuest
              XT Telescopes (6" and 8" aperture dobsonian reflectors having a spring
              tensioning system attached to their altitude hubs) could discuss their
              experiences with these scopes.

              Since that time, Orion has expanded the XT line to include a 4 1/2" and a
              10" model, and has changed the exclusive distribution arrangement it made
              with the original manufacturer. The original manufacturer now supplies
              scopes to other marketers. Small dobsonians, of construction similar to that
              of the XT's, are presently available from other sources. At least one other
              manufacturer is now also supplying the market. These non-XT (but
              essentially similar) scopes have been called XT-clones, a name which is not
              meant to be derogatory. Because of the mechanical and optical similarities
              between the original Orion SkyQuest XT line and the clones, the forum
              welcomes discussion from owners and prospective owners of the so-called
              clones as well as from owners of the XT scopes.

              2. Forum Scope and Purpose

              Discussion relating to purchasing experiences (both good and bad),
              problems with getting started and useful hints in that area, problems and
              successes in making modifications, problems and successes relating to the
              use of these scopes, etc. is welcome here. The purpose is to exchange
              information among owners, prospective owners, new users, experienced
              users and inveterate tinkerers. The construction and modest price of these
              scopes does lend itself to do-it-yourself modifications. Some of the
              modifications first proposed by members of this forum have, in fact, been
              included into later XT models. Apparently, Orion follows this forum from
              time to time.

              Getting full use of a telescope often means purchasing and using accessories.
              Eyepieces, filters, finders, dewshields, fans, etc. can enhance the viewing
              experience of any telescope. But the effect of these accessories may vary
              depending on the size and the focal length of the scope, and on the quality of
              the observer's eyes and skies. Discussion of these accessories is therefore
              also welcome on the forum, PROVIDED that the discussion relates to their
              use in the XT or clone scopes.

              Although there are non XT-like small and medium size dobs sold, used, and
              being home built, this forum has chosen to restrict itself to discussion of the
              XT line and its clones. The reason for this is simply to keep a common
              focus to the group, thereby limiting the volume of posts that appear. This
              formula has worked well in the past, with members typically being able to
              read every single posting without being overwhelmed.

              As Jeremy Vecoli first proposed, the forum was never meant to be an all-
              purpose astronomy forum. There exist other and better forums devoted to
              equipment, to observations, software, amateur telescope making , general
              astronomy, etc. Our members are strongly advised to peruse and contribute
              to these other forums so as to retain the XT-and-clone focus of this one.

              3. Posting to the Forum

              Listeners ("lurkers" in net terminology) are encouraged to speak up, even
              before becoming owners or users of the scopes we are interested in. Your
              questions may provoke answers that will be useful to you in making your
              buying decisions or encouraging you to think about other aspects that you
              have not yet considered. Someone, sooner or later, is going to lead you
              down a path that will end up saving you money, even if it by getting you to
              defer any equipment purchase at this time. And guaranteed, someone will
              lead you to ways of getting more out of the equipment you already own.

              The tone of the questions and answers, and the comments about the pros and
              cons of various pieces of equipment or of various retailers has always, in the
              past, been informative and respectful, even when something is being faulted.
              Frank and honest advice to newcomers is always welcome. But do provide
              that information, even if negative, in a way that is reasoned, considerate and
              non-confrontational. Messages whose content violates this spirit of
              cooperation and helpfulness will be deleted: the tone of the forum is as
              important as its content.

              The following thoughts have been taken, with permission, from the "Talking
              Telescopes" policy file. (The TT group is a forum whose focus on
              astronomical equipment is much broader than ours, and is one to which a
              large number of our members also belong):

              Try to avoid posting "banter" type replies. While saying "thanks" or
              "sounds great" etc. is nice, it does add to the volume of messages that really
              do not serve the group. By all means, contribute when you have something
              to say to the group, but if your comments involve just one member, you can
              always communicate with him directly, off line.

              Also, PLEASE don't quote the entire message to which you are replying. It
              is good net form to edit the message down to exhibit only the essential
              points you are addressing, and to retain a reference to the person or message
              to which you are responding. Anybody wanting to see the entire message
              can either click on the "up thread" button at the bottom of the page or, using
              the information you have provided, punch up the entire original message.
              The only thing worse than a "me too" post is a "me too" post followed by all
              twenty-five paragraphs of the eight messages preceding yours in the thread.


              4. Use of the Photos and Files Resources

              In addition to the message board (archives) and the search engine which can
              help you go back through earlier messages, the forum has a "Files" section
              to which members can post and can, via the message board, notify the others
              that they have done so. From time to time, I will go through the files and try
              to rearrange them into some logical order, putting files into folders that more
              or less cover a single topic. I may also have to delete postings from time to
              time: Yahoo provides us with only a limited amount of server space.

              There is also a "Photos" section to which you can post, and arrange your
              own pictures into albums. Material cannot be transferred between the
              "Files" section and the "Photos" section. Because pictures take up more
              storage space than do text files, and because Yahoo has alloted us more
              storage space in the "Photos" section, I recommend against posting pictures
              in the "Files" section, unless there is a really good reason for doing so.

              It is hoped that members who upload to the Files section will include, in the
              labeling information on their post, the number of the message that prompted
              it. This is even more important in the pictures uploaded to the Photos
              section: Identify what message relates to these pictures. Even though you
              notified the group (if indeed you did) when you uploaded, there is no way
              that someone browsing the photos section now can know who you were or
              why you uploaded these pictures.

              5. Unsubscribing

              You can do so yourself with the click of a button. There is a substantial
              volume of subscribes and unsubscribes which the server processes
              automatically each week. Asking me to do it for you is a burden I don't
              want to accept, and in retaliation, I'll do the only thing I can do: make sure
              that you won't be able to resubscribe.


              5. A Final Word to the Members:

              The message board and archive is open to the public to read. The ability to
              post messages, to reply to messages, and to browse the Files and Photos
              sections is limited to you, the members. It's up to you to make the forum a
              useful one.

              We can help only by setting rules that might be helpful in that regard, and
              trying, as non-intrusively as we can, to see that they are followed. There is
              no guarantee that something we think is helpful now will always be so. And
              so the rules may evolve with time. But again, it's your job to make the
              forum one that helps you and the rest of us to get the most out our
              astronomical interests and investments.

              Gene Baraff December 30, 2002.
            • skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com
              skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page Revised December 2002 1. Introduction and Background The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in
              Message 6 of 9 , Jul 1, 2003
              • 0 Attachment
                skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page
                Revised December 2002

                1. Introduction and Background

                The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in July 2000 by Jeremy Vecoli.
                His purpose was to establish a group in which owners of Orion SkyQuest
                XT Telescopes (6" and 8" aperture dobsonian reflectors having a spring
                tensioning system attached to their altitude hubs) could discuss their
                experiences with these scopes.

                Since that time, Orion has expanded the XT line to include a 4 1/2" and a
                10" model, and has changed the exclusive distribution arrangement it made
                with the original manufacturer. The original manufacturer now supplies
                scopes to other marketers. Small dobsonians, of construction similar to that
                of the XT's, are presently available from other sources. At least one other
                manufacturer is now also supplying the market. These non-XT (but
                essentially similar) scopes have been called XT-clones, a name which is not
                meant to be derogatory. Because of the mechanical and optical similarities
                between the original Orion SkyQuest XT line and the clones, the forum
                welcomes discussion from owners and prospective owners of the so-called
                clones as well as from owners of the XT scopes.

                2. Forum Scope and Purpose

                Discussion relating to purchasing experiences (both good and bad),
                problems with getting started and useful hints in that area, problems and
                successes in making modifications, problems and successes relating to the
                use of these scopes, etc. is welcome here. The purpose is to exchange
                information among owners, prospective owners, new users, experienced
                users and inveterate tinkerers. The construction and modest price of these
                scopes does lend itself to do-it-yourself modifications. Some of the
                modifications first proposed by members of this forum have, in fact, been
                included into later XT models. Apparently, Orion follows this forum from
                time to time.

                Getting full use of a telescope often means purchasing and using accessories.
                Eyepieces, filters, finders, dewshields, fans, etc. can enhance the viewing
                experience of any telescope. But the effect of these accessories may vary
                depending on the size and the focal length of the scope, and on the quality of
                the observer's eyes and skies. Discussion of these accessories is therefore
                also welcome on the forum, PROVIDED that the discussion relates to their
                use in the XT or clone scopes.

                Although there are non XT-like small and medium size dobs sold, used, and
                being home built, this forum has chosen to restrict itself to discussion of the
                XT line and its clones. The reason for this is simply to keep a common
                focus to the group, thereby limiting the volume of posts that appear. This
                formula has worked well in the past, with members typically being able to
                read every single posting without being overwhelmed.

                As Jeremy Vecoli first proposed, the forum was never meant to be an all-
                purpose astronomy forum. There exist other and better forums devoted to
                equipment, to observations, software, amateur telescope making , general
                astronomy, etc. Our members are strongly advised to peruse and contribute
                to these other forums so as to retain the XT-and-clone focus of this one.

                3. Posting to the Forum

                Listeners ("lurkers" in net terminology) are encouraged to speak up, even
                before becoming owners or users of the scopes we are interested in. Your
                questions may provoke answers that will be useful to you in making your
                buying decisions or encouraging you to think about other aspects that you
                have not yet considered. Someone, sooner or later, is going to lead you
                down a path that will end up saving you money, even if it by getting you to
                defer any equipment purchase at this time. And guaranteed, someone will
                lead you to ways of getting more out of the equipment you already own.

                The tone of the questions and answers, and the comments about the pros and
                cons of various pieces of equipment or of various retailers has always, in the
                past, been informative and respectful, even when something is being faulted.
                Frank and honest advice to newcomers is always welcome. But do provide
                that information, even if negative, in a way that is reasoned, considerate and
                non-confrontational. Messages whose content violates this spirit of
                cooperation and helpfulness will be deleted: the tone of the forum is as
                important as its content.

                The following thoughts have been taken, with permission, from the "Talking
                Telescopes" policy file. (The TT group is a forum whose focus on
                astronomical equipment is much broader than ours, and is one to which a
                large number of our members also belong):

                Try to avoid posting "banter" type replies. While saying "thanks" or
                "sounds great" etc. is nice, it does add to the volume of messages that really
                do not serve the group. By all means, contribute when you have something
                to say to the group, but if your comments involve just one member, you can
                always communicate with him directly, off line.

                Also, PLEASE don't quote the entire message to which you are replying. It
                is good net form to edit the message down to exhibit only the essential
                points you are addressing, and to retain a reference to the person or message
                to which you are responding. Anybody wanting to see the entire message
                can either click on the "up thread" button at the bottom of the page or, using
                the information you have provided, punch up the entire original message.
                The only thing worse than a "me too" post is a "me too" post followed by all
                twenty-five paragraphs of the eight messages preceding yours in the thread.


                4. Use of the Photos and Files Resources

                In addition to the message board (archives) and the search engine which can
                help you go back through earlier messages, the forum has a "Files" section
                to which members can post and can, via the message board, notify the others
                that they have done so. From time to time, I will go through the files and try
                to rearrange them into some logical order, putting files into folders that more
                or less cover a single topic. I may also have to delete postings from time to
                time: Yahoo provides us with only a limited amount of server space.

                There is also a "Photos" section to which you can post, and arrange your
                own pictures into albums. Material cannot be transferred between the
                "Files" section and the "Photos" section. Because pictures take up more
                storage space than do text files, and because Yahoo has alloted us more
                storage space in the "Photos" section, I recommend against posting pictures
                in the "Files" section, unless there is a really good reason for doing so.

                It is hoped that members who upload to the Files section will include, in the
                labeling information on their post, the number of the message that prompted
                it. This is even more important in the pictures uploaded to the Photos
                section: Identify what message relates to these pictures. Even though you
                notified the group (if indeed you did) when you uploaded, there is no way
                that someone browsing the photos section now can know who you were or
                why you uploaded these pictures.

                5. Unsubscribing

                You can do so yourself with the click of a button. There is a substantial
                volume of subscribes and unsubscribes which the server processes
                automatically each week. Asking me to do it for you is a burden I don't
                want to accept, and in retaliation, I'll do the only thing I can do: make sure
                that you won't be able to resubscribe.


                5. A Final Word to the Members:

                The message board and archive is open to the public to read. The ability to
                post messages, to reply to messages, and to browse the Files and Photos
                sections is limited to you, the members. It's up to you to make the forum a
                useful one.

                We can help only by setting rules that might be helpful in that regard, and
                trying, as non-intrusively as we can, to see that they are followed. There is
                no guarantee that something we think is helpful now will always be so. And
                so the rules may evolve with time. But again, it's your job to make the
                forum one that helps you and the rest of us to get the most out our
                astronomical interests and investments.

                Gene Baraff December 30, 2002.
              • skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com
                skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page Revised December 2002 1. Introduction and Background The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 1, 2003
                • 0 Attachment
                  skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page
                  Revised December 2002

                  1. Introduction and Background

                  The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in July 2000 by Jeremy Vecoli.
                  His purpose was to establish a group in which owners of Orion SkyQuest
                  XT Telescopes (6" and 8" aperture dobsonian reflectors having a spring
                  tensioning system attached to their altitude hubs) could discuss their
                  experiences with these scopes.

                  Since that time, Orion has expanded the XT line to include a 4 1/2" and a
                  10" model, and has changed the exclusive distribution arrangement it made
                  with the original manufacturer. The original manufacturer now supplies
                  scopes to other marketers. Small dobsonians, of construction similar to that
                  of the XT's, are presently available from other sources. At least one other
                  manufacturer is now also supplying the market. These non-XT (but
                  essentially similar) scopes have been called XT-clones, a name which is not
                  meant to be derogatory. Because of the mechanical and optical similarities
                  between the original Orion SkyQuest XT line and the clones, the forum
                  welcomes discussion from owners and prospective owners of the so-called
                  clones as well as from owners of the XT scopes.

                  2. Forum Scope and Purpose

                  Discussion relating to purchasing experiences (both good and bad),
                  problems with getting started and useful hints in that area, problems and
                  successes in making modifications, problems and successes relating to the
                  use of these scopes, etc. is welcome here. The purpose is to exchange
                  information among owners, prospective owners, new users, experienced
                  users and inveterate tinkerers. The construction and modest price of these
                  scopes does lend itself to do-it-yourself modifications. Some of the
                  modifications first proposed by members of this forum have, in fact, been
                  included into later XT models. Apparently, Orion follows this forum from
                  time to time.

                  Getting full use of a telescope often means purchasing and using accessories.
                  Eyepieces, filters, finders, dewshields, fans, etc. can enhance the viewing
                  experience of any telescope. But the effect of these accessories may vary
                  depending on the size and the focal length of the scope, and on the quality of
                  the observer's eyes and skies. Discussion of these accessories is therefore
                  also welcome on the forum, PROVIDED that the discussion relates to their
                  use in the XT or clone scopes.

                  Although there are non XT-like small and medium size dobs sold, used, and
                  being home built, this forum has chosen to restrict itself to discussion of the
                  XT line and its clones. The reason for this is simply to keep a common
                  focus to the group, thereby limiting the volume of posts that appear. This
                  formula has worked well in the past, with members typically being able to
                  read every single posting without being overwhelmed.

                  As Jeremy Vecoli first proposed, the forum was never meant to be an all-
                  purpose astronomy forum. There exist other and better forums devoted to
                  equipment, to observations, software, amateur telescope making , general
                  astronomy, etc. Our members are strongly advised to peruse and contribute
                  to these other forums so as to retain the XT-and-clone focus of this one.

                  3. Posting to the Forum

                  Listeners ("lurkers" in net terminology) are encouraged to speak up, even
                  before becoming owners or users of the scopes we are interested in. Your
                  questions may provoke answers that will be useful to you in making your
                  buying decisions or encouraging you to think about other aspects that you
                  have not yet considered. Someone, sooner or later, is going to lead you
                  down a path that will end up saving you money, even if it by getting you to
                  defer any equipment purchase at this time. And guaranteed, someone will
                  lead you to ways of getting more out of the equipment you already own.

                  The tone of the questions and answers, and the comments about the pros and
                  cons of various pieces of equipment or of various retailers has always, in the
                  past, been informative and respectful, even when something is being faulted.
                  Frank and honest advice to newcomers is always welcome. But do provide
                  that information, even if negative, in a way that is reasoned, considerate and
                  non-confrontational. Messages whose content violates this spirit of
                  cooperation and helpfulness will be deleted: the tone of the forum is as
                  important as its content.

                  The following thoughts have been taken, with permission, from the "Talking
                  Telescopes" policy file. (The TT group is a forum whose focus on
                  astronomical equipment is much broader than ours, and is one to which a
                  large number of our members also belong):

                  Try to avoid posting "banter" type replies. While saying "thanks" or
                  "sounds great" etc. is nice, it does add to the volume of messages that really
                  do not serve the group. By all means, contribute when you have something
                  to say to the group, but if your comments involve just one member, you can
                  always communicate with him directly, off line.

                  Also, PLEASE don't quote the entire message to which you are replying. It
                  is good net form to edit the message down to exhibit only the essential
                  points you are addressing, and to retain a reference to the person or message
                  to which you are responding. Anybody wanting to see the entire message
                  can either click on the "up thread" button at the bottom of the page or, using
                  the information you have provided, punch up the entire original message.
                  The only thing worse than a "me too" post is a "me too" post followed by all
                  twenty-five paragraphs of the eight messages preceding yours in the thread.


                  4. Use of the Photos and Files Resources

                  In addition to the message board (archives) and the search engine which can
                  help you go back through earlier messages, the forum has a "Files" section
                  to which members can post and can, via the message board, notify the others
                  that they have done so. From time to time, I will go through the files and try
                  to rearrange them into some logical order, putting files into folders that more
                  or less cover a single topic. I may also have to delete postings from time to
                  time: Yahoo provides us with only a limited amount of server space.

                  There is also a "Photos" section to which you can post, and arrange your
                  own pictures into albums. Material cannot be transferred between the
                  "Files" section and the "Photos" section. Because pictures take up more
                  storage space than do text files, and because Yahoo has alloted us more
                  storage space in the "Photos" section, I recommend against posting pictures
                  in the "Files" section, unless there is a really good reason for doing so.

                  It is hoped that members who upload to the Files section will include, in the
                  labeling information on their post, the number of the message that prompted
                  it. This is even more important in the pictures uploaded to the Photos
                  section: Identify what message relates to these pictures. Even though you
                  notified the group (if indeed you did) when you uploaded, there is no way
                  that someone browsing the photos section now can know who you were or
                  why you uploaded these pictures.

                  5. Unsubscribing

                  You can do so yourself with the click of a button. There is a substantial
                  volume of subscribes and unsubscribes which the server processes
                  automatically each week. Asking me to do it for you is a burden I don't
                  want to accept, and in retaliation, I'll do the only thing I can do: make sure
                  that you won't be able to resubscribe.


                  5. A Final Word to the Members:

                  The message board and archive is open to the public to read. The ability to
                  post messages, to reply to messages, and to browse the Files and Photos
                  sections is limited to you, the members. It's up to you to make the forum a
                  useful one.

                  We can help only by setting rules that might be helpful in that regard, and
                  trying, as non-intrusively as we can, to see that they are followed. There is
                  no guarantee that something we think is helpful now will always be so. And
                  so the rules may evolve with time. But again, it's your job to make the
                  forum one that helps you and the rest of us to get the most out our
                  astronomical interests and investments.

                  Gene Baraff December 30, 2002.
                • skyquest-telescopes@yahoogroups.com
                  skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page Revised December 2002 1. Introduction and Background The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in
                  Message 8 of 9 , Sep 1, 2003
                  • 0 Attachment
                    skyquest-telescopes: Welcome and Introduction Page
                    Revised December 2002

                    1. Introduction and Background

                    The skyquest-telescopes forum was founded in July 2000 by Jeremy Vecoli.
                    His purpose was to establish a group in which owners of Orion SkyQuest
                    XT Telescopes (6" and 8" aperture dobsonian reflectors having a spring
                    tensioning system attached to their altitude hubs) could discuss their
                    experiences with these scopes.

                    Since that time, Orion has expanded the XT line to include a 4 1/2" and a
                    10" model, and has changed the exclusive distribution arrangement it made
                    with the original manufacturer. The original manufacturer now supplies
                    scopes to other marketers. Small dobsonians, of construction similar to that
                    of the XT's, are presently available from other sources. At least one other
                    manufacturer is now also supplying the market. These non-XT (but
                    essentially similar) scopes have been called XT-clones, a name which is not
                    meant to be derogatory. Because of the mechanical and optical similarities
                    between the original Orion SkyQuest XT line and the clones, the forum
                    welcomes discussion from owners and prospective owners of the so-called
                    clones as well as from owners of the XT scopes.

                    2. Forum Scope and Purpose

                    Discussion relating to purchasing experiences (both good and bad),
                    problems with getting started and useful hints in that area, problems and
                    successes in making modifications, problems and successes relating to the
                    use of these scopes, etc. is welcome here. The purpose is to exchange
                    information among owners, prospective owners, new users, experienced
                    users and inveterate tinkerers. The construction and modest price of these
                    scopes does lend itself to do-it-yourself modifications. Some of the
                    modifications first proposed by members of this forum have, in fact, been
                    included into later XT models. Apparently, Orion follows this forum from
                    time to time.

                    Getting full use of a telescope often means purchasing and using accessories.
                    Eyepieces, filters, finders, dewshields, fans, etc. can enhance the viewing
                    experience of any telescope. But the effect of these accessories may vary
                    depending on the size and the focal length of the scope, and on the quality of
                    the observer's eyes and skies. Discussion of these accessories is therefore
                    also welcome on the forum, PROVIDED that the discussion relates to their
                    use in the XT or clone scopes.

                    Although there are non XT-like small and medium size dobs sold, used, and
                    being home built, this forum has chosen to restrict itself to discussion of the
                    XT line and its clones. The reason for this is simply to keep a common
                    focus to the group, thereby limiting the volume of posts that appear. This
                    formula has worked well in the past, with members typically being able to
                    read every single posting without being overwhelmed.

                    As Jeremy Vecoli first proposed, the forum was never meant to be an all-
                    purpose astronomy forum. There exist other and better forums devoted to
                    equipment, to observations, software, amateur telescope making , general
                    astronomy, etc. Our members are strongly advised to peruse and contribute
                    to these other forums so as to retain the XT-and-clone focus of this one.

                    3. Posting to the Forum

                    Listeners ("lurkers" in net terminology) are encouraged to speak up, even
                    before becoming owners or users of the scopes we are interested in. Your
                    questions may provoke answers that will be useful to you in making your
                    buying decisions or encouraging you to think about other aspects that you
                    have not yet considered. Someone, sooner or later, is going to lead you
                    down a path that will end up saving you money, even if it by getting you to
                    defer any equipment purchase at this time. And guaranteed, someone will
                    lead you to ways of getting more out of the equipment you already own.

                    The tone of the questions and answers, and the comments about the pros and
                    cons of various pieces of equipment or of various retailers has always, in the
                    past, been informative and respectful, even when something is being faulted.
                    Frank and honest advice to newcomers is always welcome. But do provide
                    that information, even if negative, in a way that is reasoned, considerate and
                    non-confrontational. Messages whose content violates this spirit of
                    cooperation and helpfulness will be deleted: the tone of the forum is as
                    important as its content.

                    The following thoughts have been taken, with permission, from the "Talking
                    Telescopes" policy file. (The TT group is a forum whose focus on
                    astronomical equipment is much broader than ours, and is one to which a
                    large number of our members also belong):

                    Try to avoid posting "banter" type replies. While saying "thanks" or
                    "sounds great" etc. is nice, it does add to the volume of messages that really
                    do not serve the group. By all means, contribute when you have something
                    to say to the group, but if your comments involve just one member, you can
                    always communicate with him directly, off line.

                    Also, PLEASE don't quote the entire message to which you are replying. It
                    is good net form to edit the message down to exhibit only the essential
                    points you are addressing, and to retain a reference to the person or message
                    to which you are responding. Anybody wanting to see the entire message
                    can either click on the "up thread" button at the bottom of the page or, using
                    the information you have provided, punch up the entire original message.
                    The only thing worse than a "me too" post is a "me too" post followed by all
                    twenty-five paragraphs of the eight messages preceding yours in the thread.


                    4. Use of the Photos and Files Resources

                    In addition to the message board (archives) and the search engine which can
                    help you go back through earlier messages, the forum has a "Files" section
                    to which members can post and can, via the message board, notify the others
                    that they have done so. From time to time, I will go through the files and try
                    to rearrange them into some logical order, putting files into folders that more
                    or less cover a single topic. I may also have to delete postings from time to
                    time: Yahoo provides us with only a limited amount of server space.

                    There is also a "Photos" section to which you can post, and arrange your
                    own pictures into albums. Material cannot be transferred between the
                    "Files" section and the "Photos" section. Because pictures take up more
                    storage space than do text files, and because Yahoo has alloted us more
                    storage space in the "Photos" section, I recommend against posting pictures
                    in the "Files" section, unless there is a really good reason for doing so.

                    It is hoped that members who upload to the Files section will include, in the
                    labeling information on their post, the number of the message that prompted
                    it. This is even more important in the pictures uploaded to the Photos
                    section: Identify what message relates to these pictures. Even though you
                    notified the group (if indeed you did) when you uploaded, there is no way
                    that someone browsing the photos section now can know who you were or
                    why you uploaded these pictures.

                    5. Unsubscribing

                    You can do so yourself with the click of a button. There is a substantial
                    volume of subscribes and unsubscribes which the server processes
                    automatically each week. Asking me to do it for you is a burden I don't
                    want to accept, and in retaliation, I'll do the only thing I can do: make sure
                    that you won't be able to resubscribe.


                    5. A Final Word to the Members:

                    The message board and archive is open to the public to read. The ability to
                    post messages, to reply to messages, and to browse the Files and Photos
                    sections is limited to you, the members. It's up to you to make the forum a
                    useful one.

                    We can help only by setting rules that might be helpful in that regard, and
                    trying, as non-intrusively as we can, to see that they are followed. There is
                    no guarantee that something we think is helpful now will always be so. And
                    so the rules may evolve with time. But again, it's your job to make the
                    forum one that helps you and the rest of us to get the most out our
                    astronomical interests and investments.

                    Gene Baraff December 30, 2002.
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