For the most part, my articles already contain all of the general advice I’m willing to freely offer. Anything beyond that tends to become a consultation service, and you are probably not thinking about emailing me with the intention of hiring my design services. My willingness to post free advice on the web is not an implict offer to provide free private design and engineering consultation services.
The proper way to get free help on the net is to post your question publicly so that many people benefit from the answer.
There are many approrpriate forums for such questions.
Are you asking about MySQL++?
Do not send personal email to me for MySQL++ tech support. Search the mailing list archives, and ask your question there if you don’t find the answer in the archives.
Are you asking about one of my audio circuits or articles?
First, be sure you have read all the information I’ve already put up on these pages. Most of the time when someone emails me asking for advice on selecting a part or whatever, the answer was already there in the article, or one of those it links to.
Failing that, you can find me and many other knowledgeable audio DIYers in the Head-Fi DIY Forum. Search the archives first; they are a gold mine. Someone, somewhen, has probably already run into your issue, posted about it, and gotten the right answer.
There are many other audio DIYer forums, but none where I regularly participate.
Are you asking about one of my more general electronics articles?
As with the audio DIY articles, I probably already answered your question in the article or linked to one that will answer it.
If your unanswered question is even vaguely audio-related, it’s probably fine to post it in the Head-Fi DIY forum as long as you make the application to audio clear in your question. If not, I suggest posting your question to Stack Exchange’s Electrical Engineering site. I only skim the site occasionally so I probably won’t see it, but I’ll bet you get an answer from those that do see your question which is at least as good as I could provide anyway. (Probably better.)
Are you asking about Winsock?
If you ask on Stack Overflow and tag your question winsock, I will see it in my feed reader, and will likely get beaten to the proper answer by someone else. :)
There are several subjects which you don’t have to worry about broaching via direct email:
Personal or private matters
Questions only I can answer
(Before you ask, though, are you sure that of the billions on this planet, only I know the answer to your question?)
Requests for enhancements or fixes to pages I have already published. I create public resources to inform, so if your question, comment, or request can improve what I’ve already published, I’m more than willing to entertain improvements to the existing efforts.
A request to weigh in on a discussion you have started in one of the above public fora.
(If you post to a forum I’m not already a member of, please don’t expect me to join just to answer your question. I already have more forums I’m not keeping up with adequately to add another.)
If you have never emailed me before, please send email to
If I have corresponded with you via email before, you have my real email address. Please use that instead.
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