Re: "you were seriously stuck up a gum tree"
Dejanews came online in '85. It wasn't widely used until 1999 or 2000ish. In theory it still exists, but after purchasing it the gookids fucked it up rather badly. Seems they don't know what to do with ASCII communications, the poor dears.
Most Linux distros have their own forums where you can get questions answered. Going through google is an exercise in frustration.