High SeeSat-L volume/Introduction of SeeSat-D

Wed, 24 Jan 1996 00:59:16 +0100 (CET)

During these last weeks the number of SeeSat-L messages has exploded. Back
when Walter Nissen and I started SeeSat-L (in december 1994) a normal day saw 
about 2 or 3 messages. But since the start of the new year, the average has 
been 8.5 messages a day. Walter and I have been discussing this 'problem'
intensively in the recent past. A problem, yes, because we feel SeeSat-L is
read by many busy people who may be put off by the amount of messages to
wade through every day, and who may consequently unsubscribe. This would be
a pity, since we feel that the input of many of these people is paramount
for the success of SeeSat-L.

There is no doubt that part of the problem is caused by the fact that we now
have 215 (and growing) subscribers. But we feel that another part of the 
problem is the non-negligible number of messages that are not exactly 
'on-topic', contain repetitive questions or contain questions that could be 
answered easily if the author had used WWW, telnet or ftp. 

Several solutions present themselves :

1. Before posting, it might be a good idea to look at some of the Internet 
pointers mentioned in our new and changed (!) help-file. SeeSat-L does not
have a FAQ (yet), but the pointers on WWW and ftp mentioned in that help-
file should be a good starting point. If you have questions after reading 
some of those documents, feel free to post them to SeeSat-L. To get this
help-file, send a message with as SUBJECT: field the word 'help' to

2. If you're new to the list, try to find out whether a certain subject has
not been recently beaten to dead on the list. Our archive has an excellent
search facility called 'grep' to search for key-words in archived messages.
If you send a message (to the REQUEST address) with SUBJECT: the words 
'archive egrep mir latest/*', you will get back a message that contains
the names of all messages in the archive that contain the word 'MIR', 'mir'
or any combination of lower/upper case. Try this for the subject you want
to mention before posting hastily. Try sending a message with as SUBJECT:
the words 'archive help' to read more about our archive server.

3. There are several possibilities to get orbital elements for artificial
satellites. Orbital elements of some special satellites are posted on SeeSat-L,
but orbital elements of almost all satellites can be found elsewhere on 
Internet. See for example the following page on the world wide web :
Posting orbital elements to SeeSat-L is OK, as long as there's
something special/interesting about them, e.g. MIR, Shuttle, spy sats,
satellites you would like observations of, decaying sats, new sats, etc...
The list is long ;-)

4. Try to avoid using large .sig files.  As you may know, the netiquette 
maximum is 4 lines.  If you quote previous posts, please only quote the
parts relevant to your reply. Most people get pretty solid e-mail service, 
so that you can assume they have read the post you're replying to.

Walter and I recognize that at times, we may be a bit overconcerned about the 
welfare of "our baby". So don't take all this too seriously, but rather as 
some goals that could be pursued. And if you have some goodie that people 
will want to know about ASAP, for Pete's sake, post it.  :-)

And finally, an new and easy solution for those people that are weary of 
receiving several messages per day, you might consider subscribing to the 
digest form of SeeSat-L instead of to SeeSat-L itself.
The digest form is called SeeSat-D and it has just been created. It is 
identical to SeeSat-L, except that the digest is sent out once a day or if 
the submissions exceed 32 Kb. Messages sent to SeeSat-L are sent to both
SeeSat-L and SeeSat-D and vice versa, so you're not missing out on anything.

To SUBSCRIBE to Seesat-D, simply send a message with the word "subscribe"
in the SUBJECT: field to "Seesat-D-request@iris01.plasma.mpe-garching.mpg.de".

You can also receive a help-file more or less specific to SeeSat-D, by
sending a message with the word "help" in the Subject: field to

You can keep being subscribed to both SeeSat-L *and* SeeSat-D, but I would
presume most people will only want to receive messages once, so it might be
wise unsubscribing from SeeSat-L if you're subscribed to SeeSat-D. You can
unsubscribe from SeeSat-L by sending a message with the word 'unsubscribe'
in the SUBJECT: field to SeeSat-L-request@iris01.plasma.mpe-garching.mpg.de

Concluding, I hope nobody will take offense at some of the suggestions in
the above. They are just that: suggestions. We just felt that maybe some
fine tuning was in order. :-)

   Bart De Pontieu <bdp@mpe.mpe-garching.mpg.de>, 
   with considerable help from Walter Nissen <dk058@cleveland.Freenet.Edu>