Access methods

Since there’s lots of discussion about digests and the the like, I figured I
would list the alternatives for the group and individuals.

Mailing list: The current situation. Its good because everyone can get it
without too much effort, even from some BBS’s. We don’t need the approval of
anyone to do this. A busy mailing list can clutter up mailboxes, though.

Digest: This would be possible if we got majordomo at my site or if someone else
runs the list. It would reduce the quantity of pieces of mail in the recipient’s
mailboxes, but may be a little less convenient to read because all the messages
are lumped into one file. This does not reduce the total contents of mail, so
you still have to watch your quota. I’m trying to get majordomo installed here,
at which point I will add digesting.

Newsgroup: This would give unicycling greater exposure, and be easier to read if
your newsreader is better than your mail reader. This avoids mailbox clutter and
lets you look at unicycling stuff only when you want. Some places don’t receive
non-business oriented groups (like where I work), and others just don’t have
USENET access (like most BBS’s and many places of work). A group will also be
open to more pinheads and spammers. Ken Fuchs ( has put
together an RFD for a newsgroup and will submit it when he has the time to
handle the process.

Mail filters: Programs like filter, which comes with elm, and procmail let you
filter your mail before you see it and do things like store it in a separate
mailbox. This makes it almost like a newsgroup for those with one of these
tools, but the mail still counts against your quota if you have one. I think
this is the best answer for now for those who can do it and are annoyed by
mail volumes.

Separate user id: Have your administrator make another user id for you, and
direct your mail there. You can then put your mail in another mailbox, and check
it when you want. You will need to control your system or have a generous
sysadmin to do this. You’ll have to login to the alternate account, or make it
have the same user-id as your regular one (This is UNIX stuff; if you’re not
sure what this means don’t worry). I would only recommend this if mail filters
aren’t available.

Don’t subscribe: Some people have quit the list, saying they will periodically
check the archives. This avoids all mailbox clutter, but involves downloading
several hundred K of data each time you want to read the mail, since I just lump
the mail together.

My opinion: I hope that we get a newsgroup, at which time we will use a gateway
to move messages between the group and the mailing list. This will provide
maximum coverage for the sport and give people good choices. I will also try to
get majordomo here so we can send out digests (I get the chile pepper list this
way and it works well). In the meantime I would recommend that people look into
mail filters if they are available and they are bothered by mail volume.


Beirne Konarski | Subscribe to the Unicycling Mailing List
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