And in the End...

J. R. Valverde JRAMON at ccuam1.uam.es
Tue Feb 5 19:22:00 EST 1991


        I also think that the Rob's resignation is an unvaluable loss. Also
I must recognize here that the work of the maintainers of the lists is a
GIANT's job.


        However, I would like to signal a few thougts. Dave and Rob said that
everything would work better using newsreading software. I can't tell since
I don't know but...

        Now I'm receiving BIOSCI news via e_mail through a Vax in the Computer
Center of the University. It was my first (and then only) way to the net.
People at the C/C were (and are) VERY busy trying to keep it running, and
to keep (most important) the University with the pace of times, this means
building new local area networks for the faculties, new networks with
consorted research centers, hospitals, new clusters, many of them independent
and all of this in places where no one knew anything of computers. They still
are busy maintaining and growing this from just a single central site.

        Obviously, I was able to ask them to install new software (I did),
but they were NOT able to do it at the pace needed, and there are always
more important things.

        Now,thanks to them, we have a flamant new computer center at Medicine,
to which my institute is connecting its computer center. I am the current
C/C manager, but Medicine has none, so I must deal with the needs of our
centre, Medicine and the Hospitals. I WOULD like very much to install news
reading soft but...

        I must first finish our own LAN, install GCG, attend users AND I
have not enough space nor to install the mailing software so that we must
still use it through a remote computer in the C/C of the University.

        Back again to the beginning.

        What I want to say is: OK, I understand your "In the end". I
simpathize with them, I will do everything to help (beginning with getting
funds for a hard disk), and I will NEVER be able to pay your devotion. But...

        Informatics has just begun to enter in the biological community as
a usual tool (e.g. a microfuge), this means building lots of new things
that weren't planned a year or two ago, and this in turn, convincing many
research fund programs of the need of it. Many of us are still trying to
begin, many even read BIOSCI via a remote site, and this WILL grow, every
day faster, in the next two or three years, with lots of beginners, lots
of C/C managers very busy or even too far from Biology to understand our
needs.

        No hope.        NONE?           Yet there is!

        I learnt mainly by trial and error to use the net (nobody here to
help). And more will in the future. I don't find too onerous receiving a
SUB BIOSCI Newcomer Smith       msg. from time to time. And I suspect that
if every time such a msg. comes somebody replys a polite and CLEAR answer,
the said Newcomer Smith won't repeat its error. Also, if periodically there
is a post of some simple instructions for readers, I wouldn't mind too
much, and it would help a lot of new users. BioBit was a fantastic solution,
and I have many a time used it to teach new users at our site (THANKS, ROB).
Only that each time it comes with a new theme and going back to past
issues is NOT easy for Newcomer Smith, and no one gives clear notions on
how to get them nor even their existence.

        What about a msg. once a month (e.g. the BioSci review) telling that
more information can be get by issuing a message with "GET BIOBIT.XX" to
a given server?

        YOU said it, Rob, the fail is not in the net, but in users, and mostly
in new users. So, my gess is that informing better them would hide a lot of
problems. And maybe, teaching system managers how to face some situations
(e.g. a dead account should be unsubscribed, how? -I had to teach this to
some managers no long ago) A msg. ready for these situations to accompany
the letter to inform of the problem could be useful.

        In brief, I think that more education -either from us, site managers,
and from the same lists- would be a great relief. And surely, will be the
only solution in next few years.

        Sorry for the length. I'm not in a great moment after struggling
the whole day.

                Yours sincerely :-) | (-:

                J. R. Valverde
        Biomedical Research Institute
                Madrid - SPAIN

        JRamon at EMDCIE51.BitNet
        JRamon at ccuam1.uam.es
        JRamon at uamed.uam.es
        JRamon at cnbvx1.uam.es

Just to give a few and none the definitive at my site.



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