Thursday, August 27, 2009


At the beginning of the year someone decided to subscribe everyone to several annoying PR mailing lists handled through our campus listserv. To unsubscribe, you need to go to the listserv management page and tell it which list and what your email address is. This is not as simple as it seems, as our campus email addresses have several equivalent versions. Between the @ and the .edu you can either have the full name or the initials of the campus. Both versions work for sending and receiving email*, but the listserv software doesn't know that they're the same. Some of the offices subscribe everyone using the version with the full name, and some do it using the initials. If you guess wrong when you try to unsubscribe, then the listserv management software can't find your subscription, and it sends an automated email with some helpful tips, including the following:
2. If you are a BITNET user, you might be subscribed under your Internet address and sending this command via BITNET, or vice versa. Most BITNET sites have registered their Internet addresses in the BITNET nodes database, BITEARN NODES (the "tag" containing this information is called ':internet' - if you do not understand any of this, just bring a copy of this message to your user support people). Unfortunately, some sites have still not done that, and in such cases LISTSERV has no way to determine that, for instance, BITNET node XYZCOL1 is the same as Internet host VM3.XYZ.EDU. If you suspect this might be your problem, try resending your request via both interactive message (SEND under VMS, TELL under VM) and e-mail.

Somehow, this strikes me as an unlikely scenario.

*For most people. You can go into the directory system and break one of the addresses if you want.