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FAQ: The Dragnet & Starnet 3S Lists


History by Mike Suter and friends...


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How it all began...


The original Stealth/3000GT email list first saw the light of day in the late '91/early '92 time frame. It started when a few new Stealth/GT owners (Scott Whitman, Jim Budler, Brent Slone, Mike Suter and a few others) met via Usenet newsgroups. As email lists were relatively new (at least to us!) at the time, the original incarnation of the 'List was a bit kludgy - we all had static aliases set up within our (Unix) mail setup (each subscriber had to have a list of *all other* subscribers - you can imagine how fun it was to make sure everyone kept their list current!) Fortunately it was a small, close group back then.

Then, in August 1992, Mike set up the first "real" broadcast version of the 'List. It was still rather simplistic - just a Unix Sendmail broadcast alias. All subscriber adds/deletes, bounce handling, etc, was done manually, but at least it only needed to be done in one place!

Up to this point, the list had been hosted on a (gulp) UUCP connection at Mike Suter's employer (quick nutshell - UUCP is an old Unix batch-mode transfer protocol - calls are made to the UUCP server periodically to check for new jobs (messages), which are then transferred).

Some time in late '94/early '95, Mike was looking to get a new job, and wanted to move the 'List somewhere safe :) With the help of Dean Brunette, the list was moved to dragnet.com and the fun continued.

Mike wound up working for the ISP (Starnet) which, incidentally, provided the original UUCP connection to his first employer. When he eventually got established at his new job, he felt it was time to move the 'List back to a server over which he had complete control (especially in light of some problems w/ the dragnet.com setup, and the scarcity of Dean's time in assisting to resolve the issues). So Mike worked on setting up the 'List on a Starnet server, running Procmail/Smartlist (which handles bounces, adds/deletes, archives, etc, automagically).

About the time the list migration was completed, Dean Brunette disappeared. Mike asked him (repeatedly) to remove the dragnet.com mailing list to avoid confusion/duplication of efforts, but could not get ahold of Dean.

Eventually it played out that the Starnet and Dragnet lists evolved to focus on different areas - the Dragnet list covered more social topics, whereas the Starnet list pertained more to technical (and other) aspects of the cars.

The Starnet list today includes well over 800 subscribers (and growing daily) between the "live" and digest (aggregated) versions. List traffic often climbs to 100 posts/day. The list archives go all the way back to 1992 (with some holes).

As a side note, Starnet as a company no longer exists - we are now part of Verio, as of 4/98, but the starnet.net domain lives on!  ---
Mike Suter



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