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17th of November, 2017

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Good Advices

I’m not a huge fan of Netscape products. About the only really sensible thing Netscape has done since they basically invented the Intel-based Web browser was to turn it over to the Open Source community.

Netscape web-servers, however, are big-iron beasts, and power a lot of the sites people have come to rely on, for example The New York Times, ,Washington Post, and L.A. Times, three of the United States’ most import online news sources. And while their Novell Enterprise Webserver is strangely a pig, the Netware Internet Mail Server is about the best commercial mail server I’ve ever set up. It’s complicated, but integrates beautifully with NDS and a client-side IMAP infrastructure.

So, tell me, was it the AOL thing that made Netscape jump the shark? Have they really replaced all their big brains with a bunch of tie-wearing suits who wouldn’t know a web server from an accelerating cache-proxy? Check out this little tidbit of advice from the Netscape Mail help page:


Q. How do I back up messages?

A. The best way to back up your messages is to print them. That way, even if you have system problems, you still have access to your messages.


What? Did I read that correctly? Has it really gotten that bad? That’s almost Microsoft-worthy, only Microsoft would probably say, “the best way to backup your email is to re-install Windows and then type them all again.” As among thieves, there is a honor among geeks, so I won’t even assume that an administrator at Netscape wrote that horrifying Q&A. Instead, it soothes me to think that it was some clueless knucklehead technical writer fresh out of the Dupree School of Management , probably the very same one who sat down next to me in the NeXT Lab that time and started talking into the mouse1.

Even though I only use my Netscape Mail address when I register at porno sites, I still expect at least halfway-decent technical support. Everyone knows that the best way to back up emails is to read them aloud to your roommate.


[1] Joke

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