IMPORTANT- PLEASE READ ASAP - SYSTEM PROGRESS REPORT

David Kristofferson kristoff at net.bio.net
Thu Jan 20 17:05:51 EST 1994


I'm sorry to have to announce that we are going through some rough
times here at BIOSCI at net.bio.net right now and your patience and
understanding would be greatly appreciated.  I also request that you
take the time to read everything below carefully.  This would help us
immensely by avoiding the need to answer repeated questions about the
system.

The mail-to-news fix which we have installed on
BIOFORUM/bionet.general appears to be working and we will probably
begin switching the redirected net.bio.net mailing addresses back here
from Daresbury.  Thanks are due again to Kenton Hoover for this work.
In summary, the main distribution services continue to be operational.

However, we are continuing to have load problems on the hardware here
and may still need to do some significant tuning of net.bio.net.  This
may require significant additional system down time which will be
announced in this forum before it occurs.  Our machine is a powerful
multiprocessor Solbourne computer and should be up to the task of
handling the demands placed on it but appears to be in the need of a
systems "tune-up" to use layman's terms.

In addition to the above we have had problems with our WAIS indexes
for the last couple of weeks.  Currently the BIOSCI user address
database source is operational and has updated address information in
it received through 5 January 1994.  Other data received since then is
being stored for later processing.  The general WAIS index and the
journal contents index are still in need of work.

Continuing with other items, after being sick earlier this week, the
backlog in my mail file is exceeding 1700 messages.  I am able to stay
on top of BIOSCI help requests that are properly sent to
biosci-help at net.bio.net.  If you send mail to kristoff at net.bio.net,
the odds are tremendous that I may not see your message for weeks if I
am not expecting it.  I regularly scan my kristoff mail for messages
from several different locations but mail from elsewhere is at high
risk of being neglected if it is not sent to the
biosci-help at net.bio.net address.  I would also request that you take
the time to read our literature *first* before asking questions right
now and help us get through this bind.  You can retrieve a copy of the
BIOSCI info sheet automatically by sending *any* message regardless of
content to biosci at net.bio.net.  FTP and gopher services to net.bio.net
are also available for getting BIOSCI documents including info on how
to get started with USENET, etc.

Messages sent to the groups that I moderate are also backlogged.  I
hope to be caught up on bionet.announce later today and will do my
best to get backlogged messages to the journal.contents and
science-resources groups going again.  The load on our system is
slowing the rate that this can be done however.

The genbank.updates newsgroup is also returning to operation again
after a lapse and will be getting caught up over several days.

Finally, I am saddened to have to announce that Kenton Hoover has
accepted an offer from Cisco Systems, a large computer networking
hardware company here in Silicon Valley.  Kenton has added many new
features to BIOSCI/bionet during his time here, and I would like to
thank him both on behalf of myself and everyone else on the network
for his contributions over the last few years.  He has made a major
contribution in helping introduce biology to the networking world.

We have hired a new senior systems programmer named David Mack who is
working together with Kenton to pick up BIOSCI tasks from him before
he ends his time here.  Needless to say, this transition has taken
time also and has added to the delays in resolving some of the
problems above.  Again your patience is appreciated while David comes
up to speed.  Dave has experience both in USENET administration and
particularly the INN software that we have recently adopted as well as
with the various tools that we use for our archives such as gopher and
WAIS.  We are fortunate to have his services available to BIOSCI.

Please rest assured that resolving the problems above are at the top
of our list.  You can help us by lowering the volume of private help
messages sent in in the interim and also by ensuring that your use of
the network is really for professional purposes.  This is definitely
not the time for flame wars or other non-biology discussions which
would only add uselessly to the burden on our system.  Again, please
take the time to read our literature first.  We are here to help you
if needed, but please utilize what we have already put together for
your benefit first.

				Sincerely,

				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				biosci-help at net.bio.net



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