This is a copy of the file 'README' which is contained in the
doomhelp.zip archive file.
The Doom Help Service (DHS)
(what is it? where is it? etc.)
Last Change: 05/July/96
By Ian Mapleson (email@example.com)
This file describes the following:
- what the Doom Help Service is,
- where it is,
- how it works,
- how to use it.
Also explained in this file are the various rec-based USENET newsgroups devoted
to Doom and Doom II.
There is a separate file, called 'doomhelp.txt', which describes the various
individual help files contained in the DHS Archive. This help file is available
from a number of sources. See below for details.
Abbreviations used in this document:
rgcd. = rec.games.computer.doom. (eg. rgcd.misc, rgcd.playing, etc.)
agd = alt.games.doom
agdn = alt.games.doom.newplayers
Q: What is the Doom Help Service, where is it and how does it work?
A: The Doom Help Service, or DHS for short, consists of:
- the newsgroup rgcd.help and the kind people who help out by answering
peoples' questions which get posted to the group,
- the DHS Archive, accessible via the WWW and ftp (a plethora of help files
on Doom, Doom II and, to a certain extent, Heretic; most are written by
other people, some by myself with help from others),
- me answering (if I can) any help questions that I receive via email (try
the newsgroups first *before* emailing me).
One minor exception to the above are non-trivial editing questions - these
should be posted to rgcd.editing and not to rgcd.help.
Fields of Operation of the DHS
In existence since about March of 1994, the DHS has several fields of operation:
I created agdn on April 12th 1994 as a place where people could post help
questions on any aspect of Doom that concerned them, without fear of being
flamed by more experienced users, etc. Being an alt group, agdn never got a
wide site coverage. Coupled with the ever increasing daily posting rate on agd
(which, by November 1994, regularly exceeded 300 posts a day), the formation of
new rec based newsgroups was proposed and, after a successful vote was taken by
the readers of agd, the new rec groups were created on November 14th 1994. agdn
has, therefore, now been _replaced_ by rgcd.help. Please post help-related
questions to rgcd.help and not agdn.
To help the transition to rgcd.help, a brief message summarising the situation
is automatically posted in agdn on a regular basis to inform any stray readers
of the new DHS setup.
The RGCD Groups
Each rgcd group has a volunteer 'helper'; this person has _no_ moderation
powers and no censorship powers of any kind. So what do they do? Basically, the
helpers spend a great deal of time gathering together all available information
about Doom, Doom II and Heretic relevant to a particular rgcd group in order to
create and provide a series of always-up-to-date information help files (we
vall them 'PIPs', for 'Periodical Information Postings'). This is done by
maintaining close contacts with key members of Id Software and all the various
important people involved with Doom (such as the authors of the major editors
and FAQ files, etc.) The help files produced by this process are then
automatically posted on a regular basis to rgcd.announce and are also available
via the DHS in its various forms. A typical help file would be the FTP/WWW
sites list, or the Doom FAQ ('FAQ' stands for 'Frequently Asked Questions').
Hence, readers can post what they like; however, the only real restriction I
would like to see for rgcd.help is a self-imposed one on the part of those who
use the group: namely that there should be no 'flames' on the group. rgcd.help
is supposed to be a place where people can get answers to questions, not where
they get criticised for asking questions whose answers just happen to be well
known by more experienced players. The age range of people who play Doom is
vast (as young as 6, as old as 60); older people are unlikely to read a
newsgroup if its tone becomes nasty.
rgcd.help has been very successful so far; comments I get by email describe the
group as 'a delight to read'. I would like to see it remain this way. If you
have made a useful help file on some aspect of Doom, I will gladly add it to
the DHS Archive with credit duly given (where are all you Mac Doomers? And PSX
Doomers? I need help files for these systems! Especially for the Mac).
If you've found rgcd.help useful, please consider answering the occasional
question on rgcd.help yourself sometime - you might be surprised how cool it
feels to know that you've helped someone from another country get Doomed even
World Wide Web (WWW)
The DHS is accessible via the World Wide Web via programs like Netscape, Mosaic
and Lynx (I recommend you use Netscape; it is faster, easier to use and makes
for a better web-browsing experience). The Doom Help Service Home Page is at:
ie. the DHS is part of the main Doom web site at:
I used to have my own DHS web site at Heriot Watt University in Scotland. The
URL used to be 'http://www.cee.hw.ac.uk/~mapleson/doom/doom.html', but this
site has now *gone*, so please don't try and access the old address because
there's nothing there (if you have old links and/or bookmarks, please change
them to the new DoomGate address).
If you have a question about Doom, you can email me. I'd rather you
post your question to the appropriate newsgroup, however, because:
- you're more likely to get the answer you want (bigger audience).
- other people can benefit from the public display of the solution to the
If I don't know the answer, I usually just recommend you post to the
appropriate newsgroup asking for help from anyone who is in a similar
situation; I also can't guarantee I'll be able to reply within a
reasonable amount of time (I'm a busy person! :).
Note that sometimes it may be prudent to post to a group other than rgcd.help
(or perhaps as well as); it depends on the question. For example, if you wanted
to know what is the best keyboard configuration that people use for playing
Doom, then you're probably better off posting to rgcd.playing - in fact,
there's almost always a discussion going on in rgcd.playing about just this
Note that there are some aspects of Doom which I know very little about, namely
editing, hardware problems and multiplayer setup problems (I don't have a pc of
my own. I play Doom on a 200MHz SGI Indy), so remember: posting is best, but I
don't mind email if I can answer the question. :)
Incidentally, if you have a question that you're condsidering posting, then
please examine previous posts on the appropriate newsgroup(s) first to see if
your question has already been answered. Chances are it has. Especially check
the RGCD FAQ for any info as it answers the most frequently asked questions
that people have.
A note about ftp/WWW addresses.
Many of the help files available for Doom, especially the Doom FAQ v6.666,
contain references to ftp site addresses and World Wide Web HTTP addresses.
One of the problems of such addresses is that they change, sometimes quite
often (this is more likely to happen with WWW addresses than ftp addresses).
Many site addresses alter slightly, others move, some vanish altogether.
Hence, if you are unsure about whether a particular site address is still
valid, check the latest version of the "() DOOM-related FTP and WWW sites"
article posted weekly to rgcd.announce, or email me for a copy, or grab it
from the DHS web pages.
Finally, if you have any further questions or comments, don't hesitate to email
For a detailed listing of the various help files contained in the DHS Archive,
please read the file called 'doomhelp.txt' which you can obtain from me, from
the doom ftp sites in the directory docs/misc, from my DHS web pages or from
rgcd.announce (if you obtained this README file from the doomhelp.zip archive
file, then you'll already have the doomhelp.txt file as it is also contained in
Hope this helps! :)
The Doom Help Service (DHS): http://doomgate.gamers.org/dhs/
SGI Network Admin, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, England, PR1 2HE.
Tel: (+44) 01772 893297, Fax: (+44) 01772 892913 | Doom: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office machine: SGI Indy R4400-200Mhz/1MB cache | Misc: email@example.com
64MB RAM/2GB SCSI disk/24bit 17" 1280x1024/CDROM/DAT/IndyCam Digital Camera