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PaleoNet on the move (again)



Just a short note to inform everyone that the host institution for 
the PaleoNet listserver has changed from the Museum of Paleontology 
at the University of California, Berkeley, back to PaleoNet's 
original home at The Natural History Museum, London. There are many 
reasons for this change in venue, but the basic impetus is to 
incorporate new user features into the list and give myself more of a 
chance to be able to correct operations if they go badly wrong. The 
support provided since 1996 by the UC Museum of Paleontology has been 
nothing short of phenomenal, and often provided in difficult and high 
pressure circumstances. Many thanks are called for all around. 
PaleoNet would not have existed over the past 5 years without their 
support. However, times have changed and it now makes sense to move 
the list back to the NHM.

Nothing much will change as a result of the move. Two things that 
will (actually already have) change(d) are (1) the PaleoNet list 
address (= address to which paleoNet messages should be sent) and (2) 
the PaleoNet Server Address (= address to which user commands such as 
'subscribe' and 'unsubscribe' should be sent). These new addresses 
are:

New PaleoNet List Address: PaleoNet@nhm.ac.uk

New PaleoNet Server Address: PaleoNet-Request@nhm.ac.uk

The folks out at Berkeley have inserted code into their server that 
will automatically route postings from the old (Berkeley) address on 
to the appropriate new (NHM) address. Nevertheless, you should alter 
your e-mail software to reflect these changes as soon as is 
convenient. Other than this everything else should work the same as 
it did...for the moment. Coming soon is a much nicer, graphical, 
web-based user interface for subscribing, unsubscribing, and changing 
your user options, along with the 'long-delayed, but never quite 
forgotten' PaleoNet archives; right back to PaleoNet's beginnings in 
1993 and with its own easy-to-use web-based interface. Our goal, as 
always, is to improve the list by making it better able to serve your 
paleontological needs.

Below I've included a revised version of the PaleoNet User's Guide 
with all the new information about the NHM-hosted list. Once again, 
let me thank the computer staff at the UC Museum of Paleontology (old 
and new) for all the work they have put into PaleoNet over the years. 
And, of course, thanks go out to all the subscribers who make 
PaleoNet the enthusiastic and scholarly community it is.

Sincerely

Norm MacLeod

----------

PaleoNet: A User's Guide

Table of Contents

Introduction - General information.
Addresses - Where to send what and why.
Subscription - How to sign-on.
Unsubscription - How to sign off.
Reply Default - Current PaleoNet reply setting.
PaleoNet Archives - How to access past PaleoNet messages.

Subscriber Options

Digests - How to get PaleoNet to send mailing periodically.
Recipients List - How to get a list of PaleoNet subscribers.
Information About List - How to get information about the PaleoNet list.
Online Help - How to get on-line help.

Introduction

PaleoNet represents an experiment in establishing a higher level of 
personal interaction among paleontologists of diverse specialties and 
experience. This type of interaction was characteristic of 
paleontology during most of its existence, but has declined due, in 
large part, to our own success. Today paleontology is far more 
diverse than it was 20 or even 10 years ago; encompassing everything 
from descriptive systematics and biostratigraphy to remote sensing 
and biogeochemistry. In addition, paleontology has also been 
subdivided into the professional sectors of industry, academics, 
museums, and government to the extent that paleontologists in some 
sectors have come to feel as though they have little in common with 
their colleagues who have found employment elsewhere. The 
re-establishment of connections between paleontologists of all types 
is PaleoNet's primary goal.

PaleoNet's operating model falls somewhere between an informal 
electronic journal and a very large social gathering of 
paleontological professionals (including students) convened to 
discuss current events in the field. As a subscriber, you can expect 
to find wide variety of information accessible through PaleoNet at 
any time. These include ongoing informal conversations about papers, 
ideas, techniques, requests for information, announcements, etc., set 
against a background of more formal contributions such as editorials, 
meeting reviews, book reviews, software reviews, and the like. The 
purpose of these exchanges is to put you in touch, and keep you in 
touch, with what is happening in paleontology. The key concept that 
makes PaleoNet work, however, is participation.

Since PaleoNet is primarily a forum for public communication within 
the paleontological community, all postings to PaleoNet should be 
made to the entire subscriber list and not to individuals. Anyone who 
receives a reply to his or her PaleoNet message through a private 
e-mail posting is encouraged to make the posting public along with 
their response.PaleoNet would also like to make a special request for 
participation by graduate students. I know that during both my M.S. 
and Ph.D. programs I often felt isolated because there were few 
people on my campus who were interested in the research problems with 
which I was grappling or had expertise/experience in the fields my 
research demanded. This is natural, but that realization does little 
to ease your sense frustration. PaleoNet is offered to you, as a 
practical means of finding knowledgeable people with which to discuss 
your research problems. Moreover, PaleoNet offers a means whereby you 
can participate in discussions of direct relevance to your future 
careers side-by-side with interested paleontologists from a wide 
variety of backgrounds and at all stages of their own career 
development.

PaleoNet is not affiliated with any professional paleontological 
society but seeks to serve as a clearinghouse for any information of 
relevance to any form of paleontology. Additional information about 
PaleoNet is available on the PaleoNet web sites:

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/Paleonet/ (PaleoNet West) 
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/paleonet/ (PaleoNet East)


Addresses

There are two e-mail addresses used by PaleoNet subscribers to post 
messages to the PaleoNet list and configure various list options for 
their address. The address to which messages to the PaleoNet list are 
sent (= PaleoNet List Address) is:

PaleoNet@nhm.ac.uk

This address should be clearly distinguished from the e-mail address 
of the PaleoNet listserver management software (PaleoNet Server 
Address) to which the commands that are the subject of this User's 
Guide are sent. That address is:

PaleoNet-Request@nhm.ac.uk

All e-mail lists are basically computer programs designed to accept 
e-mail messages from senders and route those to the list subscribers. 
In this sense, the distinction between the PaleoNet List Address and 
the PaleoNet Server Address reflects the difference between the 
datafile and program control options of any computer program. The 
Majordomo software that manages PaleoNet expects messages that are to 
be routed to the entire list to come to one address (the List 
Address). User commands that will control and/or change the manner in 
which the software sends you PaleoNet messages must, of course, be 
sent to a different address (the Server Address) to avoid confusion. 
This manual primarily concerns itself with commands that PaleoNet 
subscribers can send to the PaleoNet List Address to control the 
manner in which PaleoNet messages are sent to them and/or get 
information about the PaleoNet list from the Majordomo software.

Because all commands to Majordomo are sumbitted by e-mail PaleoNet 
users must be careful with any other text (e.g., signature files) 
that might be appended to their command messages. The danger here is 
that upon encountering any non-command text the server software might 
mistakenly regard this text as a command, become confused, and fail 
to execute any valid commands contained in the message. User's may 
avoid this by turning off any "append signature" routines in their 
e-mail software when they send commands to the PaleoNet server 
address.

The other e-mail address that PaleoNet subscribers should take note 
of is that of the PaleoNet list-owner:

N.MacLeod@nhm.ac.uk

If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, or are having any 
technical difficulty subscribing, unsubscribing, sending messages to, 
or getting messages from PaleoNet, please feel free to contact me.


Subscription*

The commands you can use to subscribe to PaleoNet are:

subscribe PaleoNet

or

subscribe PaleoNet <e-mail address>

Both commands should be typed on a single line of an e-mail message 
and sent to the PaleoNet Server Address (PaleoNet-Request@nhm.ac.uk). 
Either command should be followed by a carriage return and there 
should be no other information (e.g., signature text) included. The 
commands are not case sensitive so you can use upper-case letters, 
lower case-letters, or any combination thereof in your command. The 
first form of the command (subscribe PaleoNet) will instruct the 
server to use the return address of the incoming message as your 
subscription address. The second form of the command (subscribe 
PaleoNet <e-mail address>) will allow you to specify an address other 
than the return address of the incoming message as your subscription 
address. You can use the second form of the command to subscribe 
yourself from a remote location.

*When you subscribe to PaleoNet the Majordomo software places your 
e-mail address on the master PaleoNet list. It then uses this list to 
route all incoming PaleoNet messages to PaleoNet subscribers. If your 
e-mail address changes for any reason difficulties can develop unless 
you change your e-mail address on the PaleoNet list and/or contact 
the list-owner (see above) prior to the change. It is often the case 
that when subscriber's e-mail addresses change their local network 
managers will insert aliases into their local systems that will 
automatically route mail sent to their old address to the new 
address. This practice is very convenient, but can lead to 
frustrating problems later on when the user issues a command to 
PaleoNet's Majordomo server software under his/her new address and 
the software responds that the subscriber is not a member of the list 
because it cannot find the new address on its list. The best policy 
is to make a record of the e-mail address under which you subscribe 
to PaleoNet and then report any change to the list-owner so that he 
can make sure the appropriate changes are made in PaleoNet's 
subscriber list.


Unsubscription

There are two commands subscribers can use to permanently remove 
themselves from the PaleoNet list:

unsubscribe PaleoNet

or

unsubscribe PaleoNet <e-mail address>

Like the subscribe commands (see above) these commands are not 
case-sensitive and should be sent to the PaleoNet Server Address 
(PaleoNet-Request@nhm.ac.uk). Either command should be followed by a 
carriage return and there should be no other information (e.g., 
signature text) included. The commands are not case sensitive so you 
can use upper-case letters, lower case-letters, or any combination 
thereof in your command. The first form of the command (unsubscribe 
PaleoNet) will instruct the server to unsubscribe the return address 
of the incoming message from the list. The second form of the command 
(subscribe PaleoNet <e-mail address>) will allow you to remove an 
address other than the return address of the incoming message as your 
subscription address. You can use the second form of the command to 
unsubscribe yourself from a remote location. It should also help in 
the event your e-mail address changes and you want to unsubscribe the 
old address.


Reply Default

PaleoNet's reply default is set to send standard replies back to the 
entire PaleoNet list. If a subscriber wishes to send their reply 
directly to the person who posted the message they must manually type 
or copy that person's e-mail address onto the "To:" line of their 
e-mail program. There is no way for individual users to change this 
feature of PaleoNet.


PaleoNet Archives

Archives of previous PaleoNet messages are available at serveral 
different addresses. All archive locations can be addressed from the 
PaleoNet Archives Page within this WWW Site.


Digests

PaleoNet digests are available. These consist of collections of all 
PaleoNet postings that are automatically sent to PaleoNet-digest 
subscribers once every week. Digests are an excellent way of 
remaining (relatively) current with what's happening on PaleoNet 
without having PaleoNet postings arrive in your mailbox individually.

PaleoNet digests are set up as a separate list called 
paleonet-digest. In order to become a PaleoNet digest subscriber send 
the command

subscribe paleonet-digest

to the PaleoNet Server Address (PaleoNet-Request@nhm.ac.uk). 
Unsubscribing from the PaleoNet digest list is accomplished by 
sending the command

unsubscribe paleonet-digest

to the same address. Although the PaleoNet digests are 
administratively treated as a separate list all messages posted to 
PaleoNet are routed to the digest list and all members of the digest 
list are able to post messages to PaleoNet. If you are a digest 
subscriber and want to post a PaleoNet message please direct the 
message to the normal PaleoNet address (PaleoNet@nhm.ac.uk). Also, if 
you currently are a regular PaleoNet subscriber and wish to become a 
digest subscriber, don't forget to unsubscribe yourself from the 
regular PaleoNet list (see above). Otherwise you will receive 
individual postings and the weekly digest collection.


Recipients List

Subscribers can request that they be mailed a copy of all 
non-concealed (see below) PaleoNet subscribers by submitting one of 
the commands:

who PaleoNet

The commands are not case sensitive and should be sent to the 
PaleoNet Server Address (PaleoNet-Request@nhm.ac.uk). No other text 
should be included on the command line.


Information About The List

Subscribers can request that they be mailed a descriptive summary of 
the PaleoNet list by submitting the command:

info PaleoNet

This command is not case sensitive and should be sent to the PaleoNet 
Server Address (PaleoNet-Request@nhm.ac.uk). No other text should be 
included on the command line.


Online Help

Subscribers can obtain a description of all subscriber options and 
associated commands available for PaleoNet (= this document) by 
submitting the command:

intro PaleoNet

This command is not case sensitive and should be sent to the PaleoNet 
Server Address (PaleoNet-Request@nhm.ac.uk). No other text should be 
included on the command line.



Norman MacLeod
Department of Palaeontology
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD

N.MacLeod@nhm.ac.uk



-- 


___________________________________________________________________

Dr. Norman MacLeod
Associate Keeper
Department of Palaeontology, The Natural History Museum,
Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD

(0)20-7942-5295 (Office)
(0)20-7942-5546 (Fax)

Web Page: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/palaeontology/a&ss/nm/nm.html

___________________________________________________________________



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