Plea for simple self subscription instructions

BIOSCI Administrator biosci-help at NET.BIO.NET
Wed Feb 15 16:35:43 EST 1995

> I Know that email subscriptions to the biosci newsgroups are now discouraged.
> I also am not interested in email subcriptions for myself.  However, as a
> discussion leader, I do need to know about how to do this.  The current
> instructions for self-subscription are either missing, or buried in huge
> FAQ documents.  Yeterday, I tried getting help from MXT at RL.AC.UK (that's what
> was listed on the BIOSCI gopher!) but my email was returned (address bad).

I'd like to know which one you are referring to because I only find
the correct address MXT at in our documents here.  The
subscription method at is described in general terms
*purposely* near the end of the lengthy basic instructional document
following requests for people to use news software and an explanation
of how to participate via news first, but the UK server document asks
one to request help from the server.  No doubt that these can be made
more user-friendly despite the fact that we don't want to encourage
people to use mail.  That is a large part of the reason why the
details were buried.

> Please can we see a short document or news posting which contains basic
> instructions for email subscriptions at both the UK and the US Biosci sites?

Yes, along with an explanation about why this is *not* the preferable
method to use.  Unfortunately too many computer users always take the
path of least resistance for them which increases the overall burden
on the hardware and network and reduces response times for everyone
else as the computers have to chug out all of the e-mail
distributions.  I don't want to sound like I don't care about our
users because I sincerely do, but I have worked with enough people
over the years in this area and visited enough local sites that I
understand the issues and roadblocks pretty thoroughly.  I realize
that no one wants to be told to "do something because it's good for
you" and that I leave myself open to charges of "condescending
paternalism" etc., but we also have to think about the network and
community at large at a time when many inexperienced people are
jumping on the Internet at high speed.  A clear and simple explanation
of how to sign up by e-mail will unfortunately probably be used

People should be abandoning e-mail in droves, and I'll be speaking to
this and other issues soon.  This week I have something a much more
important and pressing issue to contend with that also impacts the
network.  Sorry, but I can't get drawn into further debates on this

> Please also can someone check that the documentation currently on the BIOSCI
> servers is indeed up to date.

To the best of my knowledge it is.  I don't know where you found the
bad address above.  If the problem is here, please alert us at
biosci-help at; if the problem is at Daresbury, they can be
reached at biosci at


				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				biosci-help at

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