:: I know what you all think. You think that playing with puters, gadgets, games and other toys sounds like a pretty fun gig.

You’re wrong. It’s hell. Why, just this afternoon, the prostitutes that brought me my free Playstation4 made me breakfast – and burned the damn toast, again.

To simplify things for all concerned, here are some tips on the sort of message you should send me if you want to lighten my load by making sure that I don’t even consider replying to you.

:: First up – if you know a language other than English, use it. I love the German guys who decide that since they can read English, I must obviously be a spelling bee champion Auf Deutsch.

It’s fun to feed such messages to and get “Please let me touch your wood” when it should be “Knock on wood.”

Don’t worry if all you speak is something loosely describable as English, though. You still have a chance.

:: There’s a special place in my heart – well, in one of my organs – for people who read some piece I’ve written that explains that the Cathode Tubes and Neon Tubes are both good light sources for mods, but which one you should choose depends on what you’re doing. And then e-mail me to ask “so which one’s better?”

Maybe they’re just teasing me with a techno-modified book on Zen and the art of Feng-Shui modding?

:: If you ask me nine questions in one e-mail, then even if I know the answer to all of them, I’m still probably not going to reply. This is because I don’t have time to write Riscx’s Epistle To The Corinthians Who Want To Know Some Stuff About Modding your enter key.

I will be particularly unlikely to reply if Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button can answer all of your questions as well as I can.

Splitting your nine-question e-mail into nine one-question e-mails, by the way, may work. But at around question four, I’m going to start liking you less and less, unless at least some token PayPal remuneration starts coming my way.

:: Full points go to the occasional person who e-mails me for help with their gimcrack Web site (as if looks like an HTML masterpiece, or something) and then gets really angry when I point out that doing stuff like putting 1.2 megabyte JPEGs on your page scaled down with width=”240″ height=”160″ isn’t the greatest strategy.

I gave one woman who asked such a question a free image scaling tutorial, once. Complete with attached example files, hints on intensity curve adjustment, and links to a couple of cheap-to-free image editing packages she might like to try. She then told me to get lost, and how dare I tell her how to do her business, and who asked for my opinion anyway?

I am not making this up.

:: A Special Achievement Award goes to people who ask me an interesting question, which I spend some time answering, only to discover that my questioner’s reply address is nonexistent. A gold star goes on that Award for every time the questioner mails me again asking why I, like everyone else in the world, never seem to reply to their mail.

The same award goes to AOL users who’ve configured their Mail Controls to bounce all incoming mail that isn’t from, with the oh-so-polite “…IS NOT ACCEPTING MAIL FROM THIS SENDER” error in the bounce message.

:: Some people, of course, don’t get a reply simply because I don’t have an answer for them. I send a fair few “Nope – not a clue!” messages, but generally only to the people whose suffering I find amusing.

:: If you paid $2000 on custom mods to your computer and now the thing doesn’t even work then, well, you’re a figure of fun. Live with it.

I’m sorry, but you’ll have to excuse me now. A new start-up modding company has just sent me a brand new illuminated cooling fan to review, but apparently they’ve hidden it somewhere in the main UPS annex station, and I may have to work my way through large boxes of Corona beer and Red Bull before I find it.



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