Some tricks

J. R. Valverde JRAMON at
Wed Feb 6 12:56:00 EST 1991

Maybe this should have been post to Bio+soft... maybe it is of enough
general interest.

        A recent loop in another (unrelated) list, has led me to post this.
Now, here are some points to consider when a bounced mail reaches your mailbox:

1) FIRST.!!! Do not reply to the list telling that you receive a repeated
message. It could aleviate your ansiety, but, as well as you, all the other
subscribers know it since they all receive the mail. :-) And most important,
your message will also be delivered to the offending site and will then
increase your (and our) problems. >:-(

2) DO NOT post anything to the list till you get a notice that the problem
has been fixed. (Maybe ListMasters could advise when any such a message is
removed). Anything you send will also enter the infinite loop. >:-(

3) You want to relax and get help... OK, maybe you could tell to the list
owner your problem. MAIL to him/them. You can get their addresses from

4) You DON'T want to read all this repeated stuff. uhmm! Here is how I deal
with it. First I get advice on how new mail messages I have waiting to be read.
Since I read my mail regularly I know how many I should expect. More can be
a mesh. Hence I issue a DIR to see an brief report of their subjects. If
one is repeated I suspect a problem. I read it first. If it IS a problem,
then I ONLY read those that aren't repeated. Finally I issue a DELETE /ALL
to erase ALL messages.
        This way you won't read any undesired message. Issuing a DIRectory
first always lets you know the messages you must read, so you can read them
in order of importance.
        This won't take you much more time than any usual day and will clean
your mailbox.
        If I don't want some specific msg. deleted I either
        a) save it ("EXTRACT name" in VMS)
        b) move it into a folder inside mail ("MOVE folder" in VMS)

5) More information...
        Do NOT ask me nor the list. Send ListServ a message asking help:
To:     in%"ListServ at"
Subject: HELP

        I know it takes more work to go this way, but it's the correct one
and it's time for you to begin knowing the e-mail tools.

6) You are a System manager or PostMaster. You get bounced mail from a list.
DON'T just remove the message. The next one will do the same. If the user
has flown, then
        a) rebuild an account with the same username (you just need the
username, everything else can be dummy)
        b) login to that account
        c) with mail, send a message to LISTSERV at list-NODE with the line
        d) logout
        e) definitively delete the account.

7) Last but not least.
        Remember your Ph.D. or post-doc etapes? Learning to use e-mail is
by far easier than learning to use an ultracentrifuge or an HPLC.
        Don't forget this.

                J. R. Valverde
        Biomedical Researc Institute
                Madrid - SPAIN

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