A couple of days ago I wrote to this list asking if others have
recently had trouble with mail from the host: NOVA.NOVANET.ORG. I no
longer expect that any of you will have experienced what they're
putting me through, but since I know a few things now that I didn't
know before, I'd like to widen this discussion to see if I'm
being unreasonable with my current state of displeasure.
I maintain the dinosaur mailing list which is a fairly serious forum
-- professional paleontologists and others with similar training
frequently participate in it. If a college or university offers a
course about dinosaurs and they recommend that students subscribe to
the mailing list, I have no problem with that. But...
At least twice during the past 15 months, an instructor of a general
course on electronic communications has given students the assignment
of subscribing to a mailing list, and (although I have yet to directly
confirm this since the people I've managed to communicate with have
been generally rather clueless and uncooperative) my list was
apparently given to the students as one of a few lists they could
choose to assault. Since the students are just learning how to use
e-mail, they frequently make mistakes. In the case of
nova.novanet.org, the machine itself is seriously misconfigured, which
has made my troubles over the span of this week much worse than they
would have been just from the newbie assault.
Now, given that some students have explicitly stated that they are not
interested in the subject material of the list, and given that they're
causing me to spend my time educating them (or at least cleaning up
after them), I'm rather upset by the fact that any instructor would do
this. In my opinion, the instructor should set up a fake list just
for the purpose of having the students learn how to subscribe and
unsubscribe. A second alternative would be to give them access to the
PAML or some other huge list to at least spread the burden around.
Has anybody else here suffered grief from incidents like I've just
described, or am I just "lucky"?
Thanks for your consideration,
Mickey Rowe (rowe @