FAQ - Answering the Frequently Asked

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Eventhough I don't like to write them I did it anyways. This covers UIA, not Macintosh questions. If you've further ones to add, tell me.

When/Why did the UnOfficial Information Alley (UIA) start?

I began UIA in August 1995 because I really hated .pdf files and these articles seemed to answer so many questions I had and others asked me. In short, I saw a need.

Who does UIA and IA?

Want to make this very clear. Apple produces the actual article content, not me. Both the dailies and the bi-weeklies are Apple's work, that's why the copyright notices appear on the bottom of each page.

I do all the HTML, even iota of it! I don't correct Apple's typos (but they sometimes tell me to correct mine!). I maintain the body of material that is IUA on my Macintosh.

What do the admins do? And how did you find them?

The admins are charged w/ keeping their site running, making sure it is up-to-date. They FTP an update file in .sit format from the FTP servers, then decompress it, read a instructions file, and put the files/folders in the proper places. Sometimes they need to edit a line or two of HTML. It is this process that sometimes generates out-of-date mirrors, if someone goes on vacation, or gets behind, getting them to speed might take a week or two.

The mirrors really found me. I asked for help in newsgroups or on Evangelist and people volunteer. That's how I got Mark White, our first mirror.

I use to use another mirror, what happened to it?

I'm big on having stuff up-to-date, if a mirror falls hopelessly out-of-date and efforts to rectify the situation don't work I remove it, including alerting Internet search engines to delete their entries.

Who are you?

God. No, really, see my shoddy home page for that answer. Yes, I know my homepage sucks, oh well. Wouldn't you rather I do UIA?

What's the official name for this site, I've seen many?

The official name is "UnOfficial Information Alley". I've used "The UnOfficial Information Alley" and "The UnOfficial Information Alley Homepage!" Regardless, it is just UnOfficial Information Alley, no "the."

Why doesn't Apple support UIA

Cause then it'd be official? No, really, here's the reasons, not necessarily in order:

  1. Legal Reasons. If I got hit by a truck who would continue? Apple would have all these users saying "You owe us this!" It is a case of implied contract.
  2. Fit. Let's face it, I don't follow Apple's guidelines strictly for WWW pages. So I'd look out of place.
  3. Employment. I don't work for them.
  4. Lack of Bran in their Diets. I think Apple is no longer requiring high fiber diets.

    Will Apple ever support UIA? For that matter, what have you talked about w/ them?

    I doubt it, see above. Actually, Apple does support us by continuing to provide content!

    Well, I've spoken w/ them about the possibility of UIA being on an Apple server, for above reasons that's not realistic. We've also discussed some cooperation to make my life easier, that hasn't come to fruition on the level I'd like. Further, there was talk of them absorbing UIA. Considering I've repeatedly offered them UIA this could happen, but not really easily as this format doesn't easy or at all support whatever they use internally.

    When will it end?


    Why do you put personal info in the update page?

    Just because I feel like it.

    Anyone at Apple that's been especiallly useful?

    I'm glad you asked. Wayne Brissette, Charlie McCabe, and former Editor in Cheif Janet Christassen all took intiative to help out. Charlie picked a note from Semper.Fi up and emailed me, we worked through some problems Apple had been having w/ the daily. Wayne did essentially the same and has been great keeping me informed what's going on at Apple like planned network downtime and such.

    Why don't you update every day?

    Good question and one I'm getting more and more from emails. The way UIA is structured and the mydriad of hosts used doesn't easily allow daily updates. Sometimes Apple can't get the articles on their website until the next day, another bummer.

    However, the largest reasons are two: I don't have that amount of time everyday and the effort to implement that schedule simply isn't worth the results in my opinion.

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