NTLK NewtonTalk/UIC Listserv errors - mea culpa!

From: Ed Garay (garay@uic.edu)
Date: Wed Jan 26 2000 - 08:30:10 EST

I am really sorry about the Listserv error messages and all the
commotion that they have caused. Before I explain why, let me try to
get on your good side by saying that I have been a heavy user of the Newton
since the original MessagePad came out, and that over the years, I have
helped numerous Newtonians and have been a very strong advocate of the
best PDA to date. Perhaps, I'll try making it up to you, by obtaining
and legally sharing that mystical FileMaker Pro for Newton CD with you.

Anyway, this is what happened...

When I switched my NewtonTalk subscription from Digest mode to individual
messages (which are easier to read, save and reply to), I found myself
with about 80+ more daily messages to deal with, on top of my usual
250+ mostly work-related messages I get every day.

So I decided to subscribe my personal "read-later" GARAY2 Listserv list
to NewtonTalk instead, with individual messages. I use Eudora filters to
help with my daily email, and I defined another filter to deal with the
Garay2 NewtonTalk traffic.

All was working well, until our Listserv system 50 messages per day
threshold kicked in and until I missed its warning message telling me to
free up my personal list. I knew something must have happened because I
stopped getting NewtonTalk email, and I missed it! But the last few days
I have been rather busy and too distracted/interrupted to look into it.

Of course, I was not aware about all the email this had generated because
I was not getting this email! until I read the Listserv warning, at
which point: I freed my personal list and increased my daily-threshold
to 500 messages a day. In the mean time, Laura kicked me out of the
NewtonTalk list, deservedly so, I guess. :( I am on it again with
my real email address and in Digest mode. :(

So it looks like all NewtonTalk messages were being delivered everywhere
without a problem, perhaps, somewhat delayed, but delivered none the less,
except to my personal Listserv list. And I gather, our Listserv system's
error messages confused and annoyed a number of you. I am deeply sorry.

The moral of the story is: one should probably not use personal Listserv
lists to filter bulk email (although this is supposed to work and work well).
This incident also reminds us that Internet email delivery is complex and
yet very fragile. A single person can easily and inadvertently cause
problems and confusion.

The biggest moral of the story, at least for me, is that we read to much
email and we depend to much on it. I, for one, should get a life!


-- Ed Garay
   University of Illinois

> Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 11:22:24 -0500
> From: "Laura" <laurap@ideacast.com>
> To: "Gary Moody" <gmoody@hotmail.com>,
> <NewtonTalk@planetnewton.com>
> Subject: RE: Message ("The distribution of your message dated Mon, 24...")
> This is truly strange -- our list serv is hosted by Planet Newton which is
> in no way affiliated with, nor does it share servers with the University of
> Illinois at Chicago. Newton Talk is not hosted by the same Network Center
> or ISP, nor does it reside on the same Class C address with the University
> of Illinois.

> The only thing I can think of is perhaps there was a temporary routing
> problem related to your ISP or hotmail's routing -- this message is
> definitely not coming from our end. Laurent were you also using a hotmail
> forward to send mail at the time you got a similar error?
> If this problem occurs again for you or anyone on this list, please forward
> the entire mail, including headers to webmaster@planetnewton.com and we'll
> contact UIC's network admin and see if they're aware of any routing issues.
> Thanks!
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