Re: Future of the SATURN list?

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#1 Tue, 2010-11-30 11:59
Christopher Trent
Last seen: 11 years 5 months ago
Joined: 2010-12-22 23:50

Re: Future of the SATURN list?

John, Steven,

Yes, the current host of this list is stopping the service at the start of January.

As Steven says, The software they use (Listserv) is an expensive commercial product - the alternatives are software such as he suggests (mailman) or else reconstituting ourselves as something like a Yahoo group. I think Steven's offer to set up a GNU mailman installation would be a good way to go.

The archives are downloadable as monthly digests - I have started to accumulate all of these. At the worst, these large text files could be available as downloads, but having searchable archives has been really useful, and it would be good to figure out how to restore that capability on whatever new system we can put together. As Steven says, it's probably a much bigger job than moving subscribers to a new mail server system.

More later,


On 30 Nov 2010, at 18:00, Steven Scotten wrote:

Hi John, Chris & everyone!

Yes, the end of the year is fast approaching. A few months ago I had promised to make my Mailman host available to house the list. I've been sporadically investigating the (non-trivial) task of moving the list to new software.

Listserv (the software currently running the list) is not free and the licenses run from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars. Otherwise I'd just set up a Listserv installation. What I have is GNU mailman.

Setting up the list itself is not a huge problem, but moving the archives is a much bigger task. It's also very important! We can't lose those.

I apologize for the delays. I've been fitting the migration setup in between work projects but I certainly didn't mean to scare anyone.

I'll touch base with Chris again offlist and we'll come up with a plan/schedule for the rise of the new list.


On Nov 30, 2010, at 8:52 AM, John Sudduth wrote:

Hi all,

The end of the year is fast approaching. Has the listserver issue been resolved? I'd really hate to see the Saturn list dissolved on Jan 01.


On Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 9:36 AM, Christopher Trent <



I still get the admin emails.

Curiously, I don't recall seeing notification from that their listserver was closing, but I checked and indeed it is.

I've emailed Steve Scotten offlist, to see if I can get him administrator status, with a viee to moving the list to another server.

I agree that the archives are well worth preserving.


On 9 Sep 2010, at 00:13, Stephen Ramirez wrote:

I believe Chris Trent is still the list administrator.... >

For those members who have never accessed the archives here is a text file I saved years ago that describes the options.

The list was particularly active in the mid-90s when Robert Campbell was revising and updating The Earthly Recordings....



Point your browser at

This gives you the opportunity to search the archives by keyword, or to browse through the postings month by month.


A list of archive files can be obtained by sending a message

index saturn

to the list's administrative address:

(Please don't send such requests to the saturn list itself, this will just cause spurious messages to be distributed to everybody on the Saturn list. Also, note that such requests addressed to owner-saturn or saturn-request won't work: the ONLY correct address is

Monthly archives can then be requested by sending a message such as:

get saturn log9805

to the same administrative address.

(This particular example will retrieve all the May, 1998 postings.)

The monthly archive files will then be sent back to you by email, so that you can read them offline.

You can put multiple such "get" lines in your message, to request several months' archives at once.

(Warning: some of these files are large, 500KB or more, depending on the level of list activity for the month. If your internet account cannot cope with large incoming email items, this method will probably not work reliably for you.)


This method avoids the problem of large incoming monthly archive emails, by retrieving only individual postings.

You can ask the listserver to search the Saturn archives by keyword, by sending a message such as

   search 'Popcorn' in saturn

to the administrative address: (Again, please try not to send such messages to the list itself.)

The listserver will send you an email reply giving details of individual postings containing your keyword (in this example "Popcorn") and will give details on how to then obtain any/all of the matching postings by email.

On Sep 8, 2010, at 3:13 PM, ihor sunra wrote: >

very good point - the archives are really great. well worth

preserving both the archives and the list.

I've found howtos for transferring both list and archives from Listserv to Mailman. It would be a project, but not too problematic.

It would of course require the cooperation of the existing list administrator. I'm embarrassed to admit I don't even know who that is.


-- 3 = 0, 3 = 1, don'tcha know