Q. What is it?
A. A mailing list that allows users to correspond with others over Internet e-mail. Mailing lists are generally intended for messages on a specific topic. IBM-MAIN is intended for discussion of S/390-related material.
Q. How do I join?
A. Send an e-mail message toLISTSERV@BAMA.UA.EDU with this text as the message "Subscribe ibm-main yourname" where yourname is firstname lastname for example, Joe Smith.
You will get a reply from the list server asking you to reply OK to confirm that you really want to subscribe. This is to prevent someone from subscribing to a mailing list for someone else who may not want to be on it. Reply to the message with "ok" as the only text.
After you are subscribed, if you do nothing further, you will get LOTS of e-mail from the list every day. You may not want all these individual messages being sent to you, especially if you are just interested in reading what others write for a while.
You can choose to get a single consolidated message of all the days posts instead of individual messages. To set this option for yourself send an e-mail message to the list serverLISTSERV@BAMA.UA.EDU with this text as the message "set ibm-main digest" . You need to do this only once unless you want to change that option.
If you want to send a message to ALL the other subscribers on the list server (2K), then you send a message toIBM-MAIN@BAMA.UA.EDU . Very Important! You only send messages to this e-mail address that you want to send to all other people on the list.
Q. Are there any others ways I can read IBM-MAIN without getting e-mail?
A. Yes. The mailing list is echoed on a newsgroup bit.listserv.ibm-main .
Normally, you would use a news reader (NetScape Communicator, Outlook Express, etc.) to access news groups. News groups are very similar to mailing lists but run on a central server from which you must pull the messages rather than having them pushed to you as a mailing list server does.
Many people read the news group and do not get e-mail from the list server.
To set this option for yourself send an e-mail message to the list serverLISTSERV@BAMA.UA.EDU with this text as the message "set ibm-main nomail" . You only need to do this once unless you want to change that option.
The options discussed here are a couple of the more common ones you may want to set. You can get a complete reference of the available options by sending an e-mail message to the list serverLISTSERV@BAMA.UA.EDU with this text as the message "info refcard" .
The newsgroup mirror of IBM-MAIN bit.listserv.ibm-main is available through the Web at Google™http://groups.google.com In order to post messages to the list through these sites you still need to subscribe to the mail list and set to "nomail" if you don’t want email.
Note: The flow of messages from the list to the newsgroup is one way. In order to reach everyone (including some of the most active and helpful list members) you need to join the list (you can set nomail and not get email but you must join) and (copy) cc: email@example.com on your post. Most newsreaders allow you to easily do this.
Q. Where to get more information?
A1. David Alcock’s excellent
Unofficial IBM-MAIN FAQ http://www.planetmvs.com/ibm-main/index.html
A2. Sam Knutson’s LISTSERV Page http://www.cbttape.org/internet.phtml
A3. IBM-MAIN Archives Page http://bama.ua.edu/archives/ibm-main.html
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