listservs for beginners,(experts, please disregard)
Ellen C. Lindow (sfdxb@SCFN.THPL.LIB.FL.US)
Sat, 9 Dec 1995 18:16:31 -0500
Hello fellow scouters,
>From some of the questions recently I thought a mini-lesson in what a
listserv is and how it works might be in order. I find it always helps
to know how something works in order to use it efficiently.
A listserv is a discussion group supported by special software called
LISTSERV. This is an automated system that allows messages to be passed
among a group of people. Note the word automated. No one is looking at
your messages to subscribe or set to no mail. That is why you must be
completely accurate. The computer either finds a match with a command it
is programmed to respond to or it does not.
Listserv commands are not sent to the discussion group, they are sent to
the listserv user ID. In other words, you are communicating only with a
piece of software, when sending commands. Usually the machine name will
be the same for both listserv and the group. (The machine name is
everything to the right side of the @ symbol.) The name of the group
will be the name you use to send messages to the group. If you want to
send a command to the listserv, you send the message to "listserv". That
alerts the software on the computer to respond to the command you are
sending in the message area of your note.
Basic commands that the listserv will understand:
subscribe -- This subscribes you to the list. The only info the computer
will understand is the word subscribe the list you wish to subscribe to and
signoff -- This will remove you from the list permanently. You need only
tell the listserv what list you are signing off of (example: signoff
scouts-l). If you are in a hurry and want to unsubscribe to all lists on
the internet use the command signoff*
info -- This retrieves a document listing information that is available
from the listserv at that particular site.
get -- requests a particular file from the listserv file list
review <listname> -- retrieves a document that lists all of the
subscribers to the list and their e-mail addresses. If you don't want
someone to have this information about you, send the listserv the command
"conceal" If you change your mind, you send the listserv the command
set "listname" no-mail -- very useful for going away for the weekend.
This does not take you off the list, just stops the mail while you are
gone. Your sysop will not send you messages and bigmail files if you use
this properly. To receive mail again send the next message:
set "listname" mail -- This starts your mail again.
list global -- don't get enough mail? send this command to get a
complete list of all listservs. (this will be very long)
Hope this helps you to understand a little about the technology we are
using. All info was taken from "The Complete Internet Companion" by
Allen C. Benson
Ellen Lindow | "This is the world we live in
Wife, Mother, Graduate Student | And these are the hands we're given
Webelos Den Leader, | Use them and let's start trying
Systems Administrator | To make is a place worth living in."
| Genesis, Land of Confusion
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City