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Why do USENET articles disappear? (Pete Hickey)
Communication Services, University of Ottawa
(original, smirk, computers)

In article <3u6moi$>,
foo <> wrote:
>I have noticed that some postings are disappearing faster than others. Why
>is that and who decides? 

Its the size of the  article.  You see, the articles are stored on
disk.  An article is encoded in things known as 'bits' which are
written on the disk.  A disk is a rotating platter.  As anyone knows
centrifugal force will force anything off of a rotating surface.

As time goes on, the article moves closer and closer to the edge
of the disk, and finally, it flies right off.  Of course, the larger
articles (more bits == more weight) tend to fly off faster.

Unix systems have something known as a "sticky bit" which can
help articles remain longer if it is set.  Remember, USENET was
originally set up by Unix people, and they knew what they were doing.

On the other hand, some systems have their own rules, and you might
get a better (or at least more correct) answer by asking the
people who administer your machine.

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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