Pen FAQ v 0.1a

The Ann Arbor 2600 Meeting / Pen Mailing List FAQ

Section 0 - Revisions

Section 1 - Meta-FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about the Frequently
Asked Questions
1.01 - Who maintains this?
1.02 - Why are you doing this?
1.03 - How can I help?

Section 2 - The Pen List
2.01 - What is the pen list?
2.02 - Why is it named pen?
2.03 - How do I subscribe?
2.04 - How do I unsubscribe?
2.05 - Who admins the list?
2.06 - What should I do about posting? IMPORTANT

Section 3 - The Ann Arbor 2600 Meeting
3.01 - Who goes to the meetings?
3.02 - When is the meeting?
3.03 - Where is the meeting?
3.04 - Where can I learn more about the meeting?

Section 4 - The Rest
4.01 - What is DiOps/DigOps/Digital Ops?
4.02 - Are Rev. George and Decanonized an "item"?
4.03 - What is Darkcube's real name?
4.04 - What is NFF's real name?
4.05 - What is Rubicon?

Section 0 - Revisions

(Revisions 04/05/00 by NFF)
Added Section 0
Changed 1.01 to include NFF
Changed 3.01 to replace "Michigan Union" instead of "Burger King" employee
Changed 3.02 to include Spring Break joke
Changed 3.03 to new location
Changed 4.02 because it was old
Added 4.03
Added 4.04

Section 1 - Meta-FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about the Frequently
Asked Questions

1.01 Q: Who maintains this?
Right now Rev. George ( and NFF
( are maintaining this. If anything in this FAQ
offends you, NFF takes no responsibility for George's opinions.

1.02 Q: Why are you doing this?
A: Because the pen list makes Decanonized cry.  The list (much like the
meeting) is supposed to be a place where "intellectuals meet with
intellectuals"[1], but winds up with a lot of people asking stupid
questions.  You may have heard somewhere that there are no stupid
questions.  In general that is true, but it's very annoying when someone
asks a question that simply pisses people off for various reasons.  So
please follow what's laid out here so we don't have to do something anal
like moderate.
[1] - Bonus points if you recognize this from They Might Be Giants

1.03 Q:  How can I help?
A:  Follow the guidelines in this here, suggest questions (and their
answers preferably), take over maintaining the FAQ, give me food, or
simply make pen a list worth being on.

Section 2 - The List

2.01 Q: What is the pen list?
A: The Pen list was originally a way for people who go to the Ann Arbor
2600 meeting to communicate with each other.  Thanks to search engine
technology, coupled with a link off the 2600 homepage, a lot of people who
don't go to the meeting, or even live in Michigan, wind up on the list.
As long as they practice good netiquette (see below), they're welcome.  In
short it's a list about hacking, cracking, phreaking, computer security,
technology, and occasionally political issues and geeky stuff.

2.02 Q: Why is it named pen?
A: [ from ]
"Once, on the spaceship Galleria in a galaxy far, far away, a small group
of rebels gathered to bring down the evil empire so information could flow
freely and peace and harmony would once again prevail. Or maybe they were
just looking for caffeine... When it was time for them to part ways, one
asked, 'But how shall we communicate with each other? Or shall we be
scattered to the far reaches of the universe, never to
hear from one another again?' And so they decided to form a Mailing List.
All who would join were to inscribe their names on a scroll, so the humble
List Admin, FiveEyes, could create the List. The List needed a suitable
name, that would instill a sense of awe in all who beheld it. As the
rebels pondered a fitting title, one, who was attempting to inscribe his
name on the scroll, queried of the others: 'Does anyone have a Pen?'  It
is this quest that is immortalized in the name of the noble List."

2.03 Q: How do I subscribe?
A: Send an e-mail to or go to and fill out the magic

2.04 Q: How do I unsubscribe?
A: Send an e-mail to or go to and fill out the form.  It
loses its magic when you're unsubscribing.

2.05 Q: Who admins the list?
A: Send all complaints, praises, money, etc. to

2.06 Q: What should I do about posting?
A: This is a long one, and the primary reason why I started this FAQ.

To start with, lurk for about two weeks.  This means read every post, but
don't post anything to the list.  This will let you get a feel for what is
acceptable and what isn't.  Remember, we're a community, and we have
standards.  You may think that you know what we're like, and what we are
interested, but you may be surprised, especially if you spend a lot of
time on IRC.

Please don't ask questions that you can find answered elsewhere.  I can't
emphasize this enough.  It really pisses people off when you ask something
that could be found by a simple search.  If you don't know how to use a
search engine, this list isn't for you, and you may find bad things
happening to your computer if you don't get off the list.  Really, don't
ask questions that the answer is publicly available for.  Please.

D0n'+ \/\/r|73 1i/<3 4 \\\4r3z d00d.  (Don't write like a warez dood).
The people who you see doing this are more ignorant than you.  Don't post
that really funny joke that you got, as most of the people on the list
have probably gotten it as well.  Don't do illegal things on the list.
Echelon aside, you'll notice how easy it was to get on this list.  It's
equally easy for the law enforcement community to get on the list.

So what should you post? Try to keep posts on topic.  This makes people
smile.  Post really interesting news items that people may have overlooked
(i.e. not on slashdot).  Or post an intelligent question.  But please make
sure you spell check!  When you've decided that you really want to post,
send it to

Section 3 - The Meeting

3.01 Q: Who goes to the meetings?
A: As they say, it takes all sorts.  There's hackers, crackers, phreaks,
freaks, the homeless, Michigan Union employees, cypherpunks, MIBs and
shady characters of all sorts.  I hope this doesn't plagiarize Dark
Tangent too much.

3.02 Q: When is the meeting?
A: The first Friday of the month.  No exceptions.  Not for you, not for
anybody. Unless you're on Spring Break and live in Wisconsin or NJ. Then
we'll make an exception.

3.03 Q: Where is the meeting?
A: The Michigan Union Welker room. The Michigan Union is the big ominous
building at the corner of South University and State Street in Ann Arbor,
MI. The Welker room is, for you old school people:

Up Front Steps
Up Inside Steps
Turn Left
Walk down hall
Turn Right
Walk down hall
Walk down hall
Look Left (until you see Welker room sign)
Knock on door
Save Game
Use Knowledge

3.04 Q: Where can I learn more about the meeting?

Section 4 - The Rest

4.01 Q: What is DiOps/DigOps/Digital Ops?
A: It's a multiplayer gaming facility with a cool setup.  People go there
after the meeting to play Action Quake.  You need to talk to Simba to sign
up, and give him $10 on top of that.

4.02 Q: Are Rev. George and Decanonized an "item"?
A: Oh, if you're still asking this, you obviously don't know that George
and Decan have girlfriends. Besides, Decan is in DC. As in Washington.

4.03 Q: What is Darkcube's real name?
A: Joseph Stanovich

4.04 Q: What is NFF's real name?
A: Nick Fucking Farr
   Nick's a Fucking Fed
   Nick's a Fucking Fone

   Pick one.

4.05 Q: What is Rubicon?
A: Something you will go to and pay for. It's a big weekend long 2600
meeting with speakers and stuff.