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The Rust List: Status
(Archive 4: 1999)

Postings below in reverse time order. Newest status is at the top.

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The Rust List: Status -- April 3, 1999

2001: A Rust Odyssey

Well, it looks like we made it through D2K (Digest 2000 of volume 5, the "Listmail/Multipro" years) fairly smoothly. Add in the 1030 digests of Volume 4 (The Novia year) and the 228 digests of Volume 3 (the instable Pobox months), and this digest puts us 259 digests into D3K (since I took on admin chores less than 3 years ago). Considering that we've never been off-line for a full day at any point in those years despite the heavy load, I'm thankful that this odyssey has been a fairly worry-free one.

That's not to say there haven't been ups and downs. Lord knows there have been some downs. But Rust has always bounced back by returning to its core focus: all things Neil. I salute all who have done so much to keep this the best on-line community on the net, bar none. Long May It Run...
. . . RE*AC*TOR

The Rust List: Status -- April 1, 1999

Thanx Much!

I sincerely thank all the considerate Rusties who have resisted the urge to respond to the blantant taunts on both sides of the political issues that a few inconsiderate ones continue to post to post to Rust.

Rust has just had its busiest month in history, averaging 5 digests -- well over 100kb of text -- a day for the whole month. Lots of new folks have joined us over the last couple of months, many due to the current tour. Lots of great new active posters to the list, the great majority trying to stay Neil related most of the time. I hope that you folks will continue to post away and not be turned off by the few who don't have any sense of appropriate venue for their highly NNC debates.

I remind those folks who've written to me pushing me to ban NNC and to kick the inconsiderate folks off the list that Rust has always allowed NNC (and always will) and that nobody gets "kicked off the list". The key to Rust's longetivity is BALANCE, and the balance of community-building NNC with the Neil content is what makes this such a great community. The vast majority know what BALANCE means, and know better than to post big NNC items or to go off into highly volatile NNC debates that drag down the list and cause many good Rusties mailboxes to overflow. Note that the folks who feel that there's nothing wrong with inciting major NNC threads in the middle of the busiest Rust period ever (despite the damage that it does to Rust) are few -- and hopefully wise enough to eventually admit the damage that they do and take the highly-NNC highly-volatile debate elsewhere. Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully they'll do so soon. As long as you don't take their bait, they should burn themselves out quickly. Hopefully.

Again, thanx much!
. . . RE*AC*TOR

The Rust List: Status -- March 21, 1999

Someone posited:
With about a trillion trillion mega mega bites of info going out over the web EVERY day....do you really think that ANYTHING we do here has ANY effect on ANY thing.....???
That's like saying "with millions of cars on the Interstate highways everyday, do you think OUR cars have an effect on ANYthing?"

The answer is YES. You can't look at the global view, you have to look at what happens regionally or locally. Sure, the massive interstates have millions and millions of cars on them, so what's a few more cars? But if YOUR EXIT FROM THE INTERSTATE is also the cut-through to Disney World, you'll always be stuck in traffic. However if the folks going to Disney World can be convinced to take the Disney World exit, life is a lot nicer at your exit.

The same is true on the Internet. Every host on the net has its own local neighborhood "roads". The server that feeds Rust to the world isn't sitting on the internet backbone -- those bytes have to flow through "feeder highways" that can and do get overloaded. And most of those folks RECEIVING Rust are off within local neighborhoods, too. Not everyone has the luxury of unlimited high-speed "streets" in their area. Excess junk in Rust DOES contribute to the congestion in their neighborhoods.

And just like when every tourist going downtown in individual cars takes every local's parking place away, all those Rust Digests can easily overflow all the mailbox space for some folks very quickly.

It's easy to sit back and take potshots at the others who have problems when the Rust load gets high. But there are PLENTY of folks on Rust who do NOT have the luxury of an unlimited amount of mail space or time to scan through the digests to find the Neil stuff. "That's their problem" is a highly inconsiderate response to their laments. All they're asking is that we TRY to stay somewhere near Neil-related.

Nobody expects that everything on Rust will or should be Neil-related. There's LOTS of non-Neil stuff on Rust. There's lots of non-music-related stuff on Rust. That's part of what makes Rust the community that it is. But is it too much to ask that when the load is so high as it is now, that we think of those other folks before posting large NNC ("Non-Neil Content" posts)? Is it any different than asking the Disney-bound folks to please take the Disney exit rather than driving their RVs down YOUR street to get there?

Until lately the load, though higher than most lists, wasn't outrageously high. This month, with all the cool Neil-related stuff going on, it's close to being there. If you have concern for your fellow Rustie, it's not hard to resist urges to post large NNC posts for now, just as it's a no-brainer to resist driving a tracker-trailer through the crowd of bikers at Daytona during Bike Week. Much better to take the truck out to the Interstate (or let limited folks who'd be interested in that large NNC post get it via any of the myriad other channels available).

Think about it. But if you could care less, so be it.
. . . RE*AC*TOR

The Rust List: Status -- March 17, 1999

Excessive Quoting

With the mass of new arrivals on Rust there's been a rash of posts of a not-so-uncommon problematic nature. (And note that some of the "old timers" are falling back into this "nasty habit" too, lately.) Here's the standard educational supplement:

Please don't repost entire previous posts when replying to one on Rust. Common practice is to edit down the post you're replying to to include just the main thought you're responding to. Copying an entire post just to add a single sentence or two or a short paragraph of your own thoughts adds unnecessarily to the load on all of the 1400+ Rusties' mailboxes, the network, the Rust servers, the digest archives, etc. With the current very heavy Rust load as we discuss the tour, new songs, etc, the extraneous material can push the Rust Load over the top for a lot of your Rustie friends.

So please take a minute or two when replying, to cut'n'paste the core of the item you're responding to, rather than just doing a blind "reply" with other post attached/imbedded. It really does a lot to keep Rust's "signal to noise ratio" high.

Thanx in advance for keeping this in mind on future posts!
. . . RE*AC*TOR

The Rust List: Status -- March 3, 1999

Smooth Rust

For at least a little while the discussion of the beginnings of the tour will add significantly to the Rust bandwidth. During this period, it's a good idea to have second thoughts about sending large Non-Neil Content (NNC) items to the list. The Digest rate is bound to go up right now even without big NNC space-consumers, so please think about that.

If you do have something like that you want to pass on, feel free to post a regular post including a note something like

"Hey, I found this funny / cool / interesting / sickening/ erotic / whatever article about ______. If you're interested, drop me a line and I'll send you a copy..."
A lot of folks who have trouble keeping up with the Rust Flow will be very appreciative of such consideration during this period. Thanx...
. . . RE*AC*TOR

The Rust List: Status -- February 22, 1999

Posting to Rust

For all y'all new folks lurking out there waiting for your opportunity to respond to something or make your first post, or even for you long-time lurkers who haven't posted yet but plan to, here's something you need to know: To post to Rust you must have your mail settings for mail that's going to rust to be sent as "plain text". Make sure it's NOT set so that it'll be sent as HTML. Thank you...
. . . RE*AC*TOR

The Rust List: Status -- February 16, 1999

Don't execute Happy99.exe!

I hate to do this, because there have been so many "WOLF!" cries in the past with regard to viruses, but this is one that is real. Actually it's more of a "Trojan Horse", but the effect is about the same. So here's a warning...

We've now had three different people attempt to post to Rust after being "infected". Rust is protected and won't propagate the virus, but seeing the evidence of these infections lets me know that the virus is spreading. Here's what you can do:

  1. Do not detach & execute Happy99.exe from any note you receive. (Actually it's best to never execute ANYTHING you receive without knowing exactly what it is.) Note that the infected notes you receive will probably come from somebody you know! But the person probably won't even know it was sent to you. So don't blindly trust the originator without that person explicitely telling you what he or she is sending. And even then, be wary...

  2. If you get a note with a Happy99.exe attachment, write back to the person to tell them they're infected! There's a good chance they don't even know yet. Tell them about (see next below)...

  3. Go to http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/3652/SKA.HTM for more info about the virus (it's actually called the "SKA" virus).
Be wary.
. . . RE*AC*TOR

The Rust List: Status -- January 29, 1999

AOL Delivery Problems

Looks like AOL is bouncing almost ALL mail for LOTS of the AOL Rusties this morning, with "Mailbox not found" messages. This includes the last two digests bound for them, as well as many individual posts since last night to non-digester AOL Rusties.

If you're one of them, you can catch up on the Rust you missed via the digest archive.
. . . RE*AC*TOR

The Rust List: Status -- January 28, 1999

Advance Warning

Some testing on the server where Rust sits will be happening Friday morning. There's a small chance it could hang up the server for a little while. Keep your eye here if you think something's wrong -- I'll post status if something happens.
. . . RE*AC*TOR

The Rust List: Status -- January 14, 1999

State Of Rust

Some thoughts on recent Rust activity and recent comments about Rust from various folks....

We're about through Month 17 since Neil has done any shows other than the short sets at Farm Aid & the Bridge shows. There's only been one comparable period for Neil, which was Oct 78 - July 82 when he did not tour (only did 2 special shows) while sticking close to home caring for infant Ben. But during that period, RNS, LR, H&D, the Where The Buffalo Roam movie, Re-ac-tor and Trans all hit the streets. So he was hardly "invisible" at the time.

During these last 17 months though, he's released NO albums. And the one he released just before it had no new material. We're at about 31 months (!) since he's released any new material. Thankfully the Year of the Horse movie and our tapes have been around, else we'd be REALLY Jonesing for some Neil.

In the few years prior to this current dry spell, there were many many Neil "events":

But even during those more exciting times, there were still periods on Rust that involved more Non-Neil Content ("NNC") than Neil content. In a community like this, where anyone is free to discuss what they wish, the topic will often stray from Neil. In a time like we have right now, were Neil IS virtually invisible to us, it's amazing to ME that we manage to work Neil into the discussion as much as we do!

A couple of weeks ago there was a blow-up when somebody posted to Rust their indignation at something that was apparently going on with a particular Rustie off-list. The details of what WAS going on are actually very sketchy and haven't been resolved, but those details sounded pretty bad. The indignant posting came at about the same time that that particular Rustie was involved in an ON-LIST bruhaha, so that Rustie became the center of a Rust storm of bad feelings, knee-jerk reactions, knee-jerk defenses, accusations, pontificating, arguing, etc, etc. To a lot of folks, the Rust List at the time seemed to become a list to discuss that Rustie.

This was not the first time that such things had happened on Rust. Others had been in the center of such things in the past, including yours-truely. And true to form, the bruhaha died down after a few days. And very surprisingly to me, it was followed by several days of the highest Neil Content on this list that I've seen in many months. Even as a few stragglers to the bruhaha came in, looked at what HAD BEEN going on (was in fact already over) and left in a huff, the Neil content was hitting a high point. It was a great few days.

Unfortunately it didn't last long, and now we've swung to the opposite extreme: over the last few days, the Neil content has been virtually non-existent. This isn't anything NEW, that happens from time to time around here. But this time, coming on the heels of the recent bruhaha, and with the subject of said bruhaha still an active participant, a number of folks seem to be focusing on said Rustie.

I'm not saying that the focus is without some justification -- said Rustie does post a fair amount of NNC, and plenty of it is controversial. BUTTTTT, he's by no means alone at that. It behooooves us to really be sure we're being fair before casting stones. Remember, this is a fairly evenly divided community on the issue of said Rustie, so strong statements on either side aren't going to make life any easier around here. I suggest that anyone with an axe to grind with regard to ANY other Rustie, PLEASE try to just ignore their posts -- it'll make you feel lots better in the long run.

Let's keep the focus where it belongs: too many of us are posting too much NNC (I plead guilty to adding my share). But on the other hand, too many of us are failing to participate in threads that ARE Neil-related. Last week's Neil- related surge was a good example of how nice Rust can be when folks jump in and run with new Neil-related topics that are thrown into the ring (to mix a couple of metaphors :-) On the other hand, right NOW is a good example of a time when some folks post good Neil-related topics that really DESERVE to be discussed, but end up being ignored.

There are plenty of excuses for this:

IMHO, only the first two are reasonable. The others are pretty lame, and those who hide behind them need to take another look at their priorities. If you have time to reply to a Neil-related post and have something to contribute, but don't...you have no right to complain about the NNC ratio on Rust. You are as much part of the problem as anyone who posts the NNC.

To those with the second excuse (shyness), please please please give it a try. There have been a number of "long time Rustie/first time poster" situations lately, and many of them went very well. Questions were answered, or topics were discussed, or references were given. Try it, you'll like it!

To those with the first excuse ("...busy..."), PLEASE try to make time. I've gotten some pretty wild responses to this statement when I've made it off-line in the past, but it's true: There's nobody on Rust who's busier than I am (believe me -- I'm going to catch hell for spending the time on THIS post). But I make it a point to reply to as many Neil-related threads as possible. That's what we're here for. That's what ultimately keeps this community alive. Sometimes it isn't easy, but it IS worth it. So you'll be five minutes late for something if you do. Do it! At least once a day, anyway.

And you non-shy lurkers who are just sitting out there watching for news or goodies or whatever: remember that the less interesting this community is, the fewer VALUABLE PARTICIPANTS there will be around here. Keep the "interestingness" level high and the bait will bring in the very folks you're hanging around waiting for.

And for gods sakes EVERYONE: before you post an NNC post, try to think of a way to turn it into something Neil Related. Even though this is a COMMUNITY, and a COMMUNITY doesn't always "eat the same food", the COMMUNITY will best thrive with lots of appropriate "food". And the food here is NEILSTUFF. Serve it up and we'll chow down, and thrive. And we'll love it.
. . . RE*AC*TOR

The Rust List: Status -- January 1, 1999

Advance Warning

The major storm sweeping across the US right now will probably hit the area where the Rust server sits sometime over the next day or so. If your Rust mail stops during that period, take a look here for whatever news I can pass on.

Cross your fingers....
. . . RE*AC*TOR

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