Regulations of DICKNS-L

Regulations of DICKNS-L


Please save this message for future reference, especially if you are not familiar with LISTSERV. This might look like a waste of disk space now, but in 6 months you will be glad you saved this information when you realize that you cannot remember what are the lists you are subscribed to, or what is the command to leave the list to avoid filling up your mailbox while you are on vacations. In fact, you should create a new mail folder for subscription confirmation messages like this one, and for the "welcome messages" from the list owners that you will occasionally receive after subscribing to a new list.

To send a message to all the people currently subscribed to the list, just send mail to DICKNS-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU. This is called "sending mail to the list", because you send mail to a single address and LISTSERV makes copies for all the people who have subscribed. This address (DICKNS-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU) is also called the "list address". You must never try to send any command to that address, as it would be distributed to all the people who have subscribed. All commands must be sent to the "LISTSERV address", It is very important to understand the difference between the two, but fortunately it is not complicated. The LISTSERV address is like a FAX number, and the list address is like a normal phone line. If you make your FAX call someone's regular phone number by mistake, it will be an unpleasant experience for him but you will probably be excused the first time. If you do it regularly, however, he will probably get upset and send you a nasty complaint. It is the same with mailing lists, with the difference that you are calling hundreds or thousands of people at the same time, so a lot more people get annoyed if you use the wrong number.

You may leave the list at any time by sending a "SIGNOFF DICKNS-L" command to You can also tell LISTSERV how you want it to confirm the receipt of messages you send to the list. If you do not trust the system, send a "SET DICKNS-L REPRO" command and LISTSERV will send you a copy of your own messages, so that you can see that the message was distributed and did not get damaged on the way. After a while you may find that this is getting annoying, especially if your mail program does not tell you that the message is from you when it informs you that new mail has arrived from DICKNS-L. If you send a "SET DICKNS-L ACK NOREPRO" command, LISTSERV will mail you a short acknowledgement instead, which will look different in your mailbox directory. With most mail programs you will know immediately that this is an acknowledgement you can read later. Finally, you can turn off acknowledgements completely with "SET DICKNS-L NOACK NOREPRO".

Contributions sent to this list are automatically archived. You can get a list of the available archive files by sending an "INDEX DICKNS-L" command to You can then order these files with a "GET DICKNS-L LOGxxxx" command, or using LISTSERV's database search facilities. Send an "INFO DATABASE" command for more information on the latter.

Please note that it is presently possible for anybody to determine that you are signed up to the list through the use of the "REVIEW" command, which returns the e-mail address and name of all the subscribers. If you do not want your name to be visible, just issue a "SET DICKNS-L CONCEAL" command.

More information on LISTSERV commands can be found in the LISTSERV reference card, which you can retrieve by sending an "INFO REFCARD" command to


You can very easily get the number, the names, and the country of origin of DICKNS-L. Use the address and send first the message:

review DICKNS-L by name / review DICKNS-L by country
(that will give you the total and all the names and addresses)

then send this message to the same listserv address


Changing Addresses: What to Do

Keeping an eye on DICKNS-L has alerted me to the numbers of e-mail users who change addresses. Either their university sets up a new system or they switch commercial facilitators. DICKNS-L eventually catches on to what has happened but undeliverable mail tends to build up in the local mail-box.

Should you change addresses, it would be convenient for all if you first unsubscribe at your old address, thus:
--send message to listserv@ucsbvm.ucsb

then subscribe again at your new address: SUB DICKNS-L yourfirstname yourlastname
--to listserv@ucsbvm.ucsb

Should you have any problem with the switch, let me know, and I will gladly help.

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