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NOT ALL USERS ARE GRATEFUL FOR INTERNET GARCIA PRANK

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The ghost in the machine was Jerry.

Some users of the Internet over the weekend started off their sessions with a scrolling four-screen image that spelled out "Jerry Garcia," the popular leader of The Grateful Dead who died last week.The perpetrators of the stunt created 157 new USE-NET news groups - the bulletin boards of the Internet. Read singly, each group had a nondescript name.

But a series of artfully placed number signs on each single line, when seen as a whole, spelled out Garcia's name in Roman script.

Online users responded to the tribute-cum-prank with everything from gentle chiding to cheers.

"Irresponsible but amusing. A tribute to the most net-literate music fans in the world," commented one Internet user.