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'[OT]: What's wrong with this list (Please Read)'
2001\09\14@205144 by Michael Cook

flavicon
face
Hello all. I have been watching the piclist for a month or two now. I liked
it at first but have become more and more dissatisfied. At first posts
seemed to get ANSWERED. Interesting questions/ideas got the most replies.
Now more messages seem to be off topic than on. And when a [PIC] post gets
replied to, it's usually a flame war over the person's signature or some
random comment them made (i.e. "I have to go shave my hamsters with
toothpaste now."). A question about the press-n-peel film was recently
posted. The only replies I saw were to the signature. I, also, wanted to
know the answer to that poor soul's question. I realize there have been a
lot of world politics in the last week that have caused discussions, but I
can't take the idiocy and randomness anymore. I am hereby unsubscribing from
this list as it has done nothing but fill my e-mail box with junk. I have
asked maybe 3 questions, and got 1 reply total. That reply was, of course,
completely off topic. I will check the web site from now and then but until
this list gets a good moderator, this is goodbye from someone who liked this
list.

GET A CLUE PEOPLE.

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2001\09\14@210855 by James Newton. Admin 3

face picon face
Please read the list FAQ
http://www.piclist.com/listfaq
and learn to turn on and off channels.

Also, please don't expect all of us to immediately hop to a question during
a time when we are all upset and have other issues on our minds. The FAQ
covers what to do if your post doesn't get an answer. Anyway, that post did
get answers.

And finally, I'm NOT a moderator; good or bad. I don't get to see the posts
before they go to the list. And I wouldn't have time to forward them if I
did. And the list members do a darn fine job of keeping the right topic tag
on their posts and of answering questions.

James Newton, PICList Admin #3
spam_OUTjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspampiclist.com
1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com

{Original Message removed}

2001\09\14@214238 by Jinx

face picon face
> toothpaste now."). A question about the press-n-peel film was
> recently posted. The only replies I saw were to the signature. I,
> also, wanted to know the answer to that poor soul's question.
> I realize there have been a

A search of the archives, AS SUGGESTED ONE DOES BEFORE
POSTING TO THE LIST, for "Press'n'peel" brings up 34 viewable
posts from just the past 2 years

http://www.infosite.com/%7Ejkeyzer/piclist/index.html

> GET A CLUE PEOPLE.

Have some patience person - this list is normally as dry as
toast. You've picked a particularly unique week to complain

(1) filter out topics you don't want
(2) look in the archives - home-made PCBs are discussed on
a regular basis. Which in fact they shouldn't be if the archives
were used as intended

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2001\09\15@024907 by Bob Blick

face
flavicon
face
Right on, brother!

The [OT]: tag is totally abused. Things should only be posted to the list
that are interesting in a technical sense, regardless of the tag.

The use of tags just gives all the Chatty Cathies a green light to blab
endlessly, while persons such as myself scan the list int the hope there
will be something interesting posted someday soon.

Any criticism of the list is treated defensively or with outright hostility
by management or by the chatty ones.

This is the first post I've made to the list in months. I still scan the
list, and I reply to questions, but have only been replying by private
email because of the large amount of spam each post generates(as the list
is now harvested by usenet) and because of the afore-mentioned hostility.

I have zero interest in non-technical issues. The piclist was good when
there were no subject line tags, because good people would complain when
someone posted off-topic stuff, and it would drop off. Now the [OT]: tag
protects that crap. Unfortunately if someone wants to ask a question about
something like optics, they have to use the [OT]: tag. Too bad it doesn't
even register above the other noise, and many of the smart ones filter out
all [OT]: posts so they don't even see it.

Posting that optics question with a [PIC]: subject line will get it
noticed, but probably only by management or one of the henchmen.

Am I making my opinion clear enough for management to understand? The
piclist is for technical people. There are philosophy lists for that other
stuff.

Get rid of non-technical posts and the number of posts will be slashed to a
manageable number. Then there will be no need for subject line tags.
Problem solved. Piclist improved.

I'm now waiting for a slow-top to suggest the need for still more tags,
perhaps one to allow for posts relating to optics :-)

Please send all defensive or hostile replies to /dev/null or whatever the
Windows NT equivalent is :-)

Cheerful regards,

Bob Blick

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2001\09\15@090410 by M. Adam Davis

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face
It seems to me that optics, press n peel, 120 ohm cat5, etc actually
should eb under the EE heading.

When is the last time you saw any interesting technical discussion in OT
that wouldn't fit under EE?  As you look through all the posts marked
OT, is there anything really very interesting to you?

When the split occured for the various tags, I was against it.  I'm
still against it, and much like you would rather have a single list with
pic and ee posts.  But since we can't get rid of those who want to chat
(and many of the most useful PIC people want to chat, so we shouldn't
try), then we may as well provide an outlet for their finger energy
which others can shut off.

Nearly /all/ of the messages on the recent tragedy have occurred in
either OT or without any tag.  It appears to me that one could turn off
the OT tag completely and not miss out on EE or PIC subjects.

Since it's not my list I have no control over how it's run, nor can I
control those who will chat.  While the list admins could vigorously
oppose those who don't stay on topic (EE, PIC, AVR), I feel it was good
for them to allow tame discussion (withou personal attacks) in the
'appropiate' channel.  Many people only subscribe to this list and this
is the only online community they can think of.  They are familiar with
the people, and trust us enough to share their feelings.  It is
important for communities, online of offline, to recognize that a
certian amount of discussion on such topics  really should take place
for a number of reasons.  It also give us a chance to get to know each
other in more terms than just 'Well, Adam's hobby is pic, and he's done
some home automation stuff...  I think...'  Which is important.  If it
is not important to some of us, then the ability to filter at the list
level has been given to us.

Like you I prefer to let the firehose full open, but recently I've split
the posts into their different folders and it has really crystallized
things for me,  everything in PIC aside form 3 or 4 posts in the last
week has not only been interestig, but on topic.

Lastly, this is barely the beginning of the school year.  Every summer
the list dies down a little, becomes a little more off topic, but it
always pics up at the end of summer (ok, summer for the /northern/
hemisphere) and you should find that OT will again take less than 1/5 of
the list bandwidth.

There is a point where the moderators should stop the discussion that's
currently going on,  but it may die out itself as those who are making
personal and flamable remarks are being removed, and those kind of
people are really the only ones that keep any off topic discussion going
on longer than a week.

I really appreciate your contribution to the piclist, Bob.  I would hate
to see you leave the list over this.  Hopefully you can be patient and
bear it - it will be business as usual very shortly.

-Adam

Bob Blick wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\09\15@120713 by James Newton. Admin 3

face picon face
Bob, someday I would like to be able to understand how your mind works....

...if you don't want off topic posts, WHY DON'T YOU TURN OFF THE [OT]
CHANNEL?

Here you are LISTENING to the [OT]'s and then bitching about them. It is
flabbergasting to me that you still have the [OT] topic turned on... Why?

Engineering subjects (including all the ones you mentioned) were posted
under [EE] which you could still get (or not as YOU choose).

Your apparent unreasoned hatred of me is unjustified and colors your
actions.

James Newton, PICList Admin #3
.....jamesnewtonKILLspamspam@spam@piclist.com
1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com

{Original Message removed}

2001\09\15@124734 by Scott Dattalo

face
flavicon
face
On Sat, 15 Sep 2001, James Newton. Admin 3 wrote:

> Bob, someday I would like to be able to understand how your mind works....

James,

What Bob is trying to say is that the [OT]: label is superfluous. This is
either the PICLIST or it is not. People like Andy Kunz chose to make it
not. People like Bob Blick want to keep it PIC focused. In an effort to
appease everyone, the concept of Manual Labling was imposed. Bob views
this as absolutely unnecessary. While Bob didn't make this suggestion (and
I don't wish to stuff words in his mouth), a more reasonable approach is
to create new lists to address the variety of subjects this one has grown
to emcompass.

Also, I don't think Bob hates you. He's a nice guy.

Scott

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2001\09\15@130205 by Dan Michaels

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Scott Dattalo wrote:
>On Sat, 15 Sep 2001, James Newton. Admin 3 wrote:
>
>> Bob, someday I would like to be able to understand how your mind works....
>
>James,
>
>What Bob is trying to say is that the [OT]: label is superfluous. This is
>either the PICLIST or it is not. People like Andy Kunz chose to make it
>not. People like Bob Blick want to keep it PIC focused. In an effort to
>appease everyone, the concept of Manual Labling was imposed. Bob views
>this as absolutely unnecessary. While Bob didn't make this suggestion (and
>I don't wish to stuff words in his mouth), a more reasonable approach is
>to create new lists to address the variety of subjects this one has grown
>to emcompass.
>


You have all noticed that piclist is settling down already.

BTW, I spoke with Andy.K by email yesterday, and they are getting
along ok where he lives in NJ - a few miles west of NYC.

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2001\09\15@130823 by Bob Blick

face
flavicon
face
>...if you don't want off topic posts, WHY DON'T YOU TURN OFF THE [OT]
>CHANNEL?

Then I miss posts about PCB fabrication, tools, etc.

>Engineering subjects (including all the ones you mentioned) were posted
>under [EE] which you could still get (or not as YOU choose).

Clearly they aren't and never will be. Whenever you force people to choose
from a small list there will be some that don't quite fit. Into [OT] they
go. Now someone will suggest adding more tags.

>Your apparent unreasoned hatred of me is unjustified and colors your
>actions.

I don't hate you. I hate what's happened to the piclist. It's grown in size
and mediocrity. Subject tagging is confusing and wasteful and makes people
who want a technical list drop the piclist like a hot potato. That guy who
left last night is a perfect example.  Wake up, smell the coffee, and
exercise your brain. Inspire us to greatness. This isn't a chat room.
Writing multipage instructions on the use of the piclist and subject tags
doesn't work either. The old piclist worked. It ebbed and flowed and good
people stayed.

Cheerful regards,

Bob Blick

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2001\09\15@133240 by James Newton. Admin 3

face picon face
Ok, Scott, who is going to supply the server and bandwidth to make a
separate PIC-OT-List?

Or do we have to unsubscibe anyone who posts off topic on the PIC only list?
Who is volunteering to police all off topic posts rather than just the few
people who loose there temper?

Andy started a PIC only list. If that is the solution, why aren't we all on
his list?

You should review the posts that Bob has made in the past...

...he has specifically said that he hates me.

And anybody who wants this shit for nothing job is welcomed to it.

James Newton, PICList Admin #3
jamesnewtonspamKILLspampiclist.com
1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com

{Original Message removed}

2001\09\15@134035 by Sean H. Breheny

face picon face
Regardless of what we all feel and what our opinions are, we need to
express our gratitude to James and the other admins. It is truly a
thankless job, most of the time. James, I want to thank you especially for
the piclist.com site. With the sheer quantity of work you put in on the
piclist itself AND piclist.com, it's a wonder to me that you have any time
left for your family and job, let alone yourself.

Sean

At 10:30 AM 9/15/01 -0700, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2001\09\15@141410 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 01:39 PM 9/15/01 -0400, you wrote:
>Regardless of what we all feel and what our opinions are, we need to
>express our gratitude to James and the other admins. It is truly a
>thankless job, most of the time. James, I want to thank you especially for
>the piclist.com site. With the sheer quantity of work you put in on the
>piclist itself AND piclist.com, it's a wonder to me that you have any time
>left for your family and job, let alone yourself.

I agree, and really appreciate what James puts into this. He's a neat guy
and could probably find more rewarding things to do with his time.
(perish the thought)

"Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone"  -- Joni Mitchell

Best regards,
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
EraseMEspeffspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTinterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
Contributions invited->The AVR-gcc FAQ is at: http://www.bluecollarlinux.com
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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2001\09\15@181411 by Bob Blick

face
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face
>Ok, Scott, who is going to supply the server and bandwidth to make a
>separate PIC-OT-List?

I guess that would be something the people who want to discuss
non-technical issues would worry about. The rest of us could relax and
enjoy a piclist that had valuable content.

>Or do we have to unsubscibe anyone who posts off topic on the PIC only list?
>Who is volunteering to police all off topic posts rather than just the few
>people who loose there temper?

The list took care of itself pretty well. It had the feeling of community.
Not the feeling of a police state. Remember, even in a police state you
can't prevent a one-time outburst.

>Andy started a PIC only list. If that is the solution, why aren't we all on
>his list?

gee, why did he feel it was neccessary to start another list :-)

>You should review the posts that Bob has made in the past...
>
>...he has specifically said that he hates me.

Yes, I have reviewed them. I see posts from you where you say I hate you. I
also got very pissed when YOU took a private email, trimmed it, and posted
it to the list. I don't hate you.

>And anybody who wants this shit for nothing job is welcomed to it.

Fishing for compliments, I'm sure you'll receive lots of emails telling you
what a great job you've done. One of the things I cited was the
defensiveness when it comes to any criticism.

When you decided to change the piclist by adding subject line tag
filtering, it was because the list was not perfect. I say the list is worse
now because people who could be valued contributors are checking in and
dropping out because of all the [OT] stuff. Making them jump through hoops
using filtering just makes them think the piclist is a badly-run
mailbox-filler. Which it is. There is no reason to give the name "piclist"
to endless [OT] ramblings. At least this email I'm writing is of an
administrative nature, but it's still boring.

If you decide to take a vote for dropping subject line filtering, I bet
those that vote say to keep it. Because most of the others just dropped out
of the piclist altogether, or simply don't care anymore. I'm in the "don't
care" category. There is almost nothing left of the piclist that is valuable.

Please read the email posted by Michael Cook last night. No, I'll paste it
here:
--
{Quote hidden}

--

-Bob "get rid of non-technical posts" Blick

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2001\09\15@193052 by Wade Carpenter

picon face
Hello everyone,

I'm relatively new to the PicList (a few months), and so far I've been quite
happy with it.

I find most that unfortunately most of these "threads that never die" are
flame wars.  And it always comes down to blaming our friend who so
graciously hosts the list for all of us to use, share with and benefit from.
This is not acceptable.  Issues of a personal nature should be kept off the
list, and often they are not.  So then what?  Well, I see a message topic
ex. "Don't meddle".  After a few, I select the messages, I hit the "Mark
read" button, and I move on.

I would suggest that anyone who finds a similar issue, please do the same.

As far as the content filtering goes, it is also quite useful, especially if
I am going back later on to find something.  All I have to do is think what
I'm looking for and go to the write set of messages.

So please, if you plan to 'shout' at me as it were, keep it to e-mail.  I'll
be happy to receive your criticism there.

As far as this topic goes, I hope this is the last post!

Regards,

Wade

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2001\09\15@200208 by M. Adam Davis

flavicon
face
I just thought of an analogy-

Maintaining the piclist is like preparing steak.  You can trim the fat
beforehand, or you can allow others to trim the fat after.  Some fat is
obvious and easy to get to, this shouldn't be on the meat at all.  When
trimming that fat, though, it's best to cut close to the meat, but not
too close.  James would rather err on the side of being too permissive
and have a more open forum, than to trim too close and stifle any useful
(meaty) discussion.

Some fat is ingrained in the meat itself, and any fat left on the meat
when cooked serves to flavor and keep the meat juicy.

The EE channel was created for ALL off topic threads having /anything/
to do with electronics.  Those items showing up in the OT channel along
those lines are mismarked, and perhaps james and others could work to
shuttle those discussion into the channel so people (who are many) that
don't subscribe to OT will still see them and they'll get a wider response.

Really, those things you are describing that you feel you'd miss by
unsubscribing to OT should *not* be in OT.

James has made it possible for you to trim your own meat before being
cooked.  You'll still find some fat in there, but if you take out OT it
appears as though you'll miss so little that you care about that it's
not worth the time you spent discussing it.  You'll spend a lot of time,
as you indicate, with the OT posts if you choose to trim it after being
cooked.

Of course, the piclist isn't static and is subject to change.  While
it's a dictatorship, James and others try and run it according to
majority rule.  The majority of the list accepts the status quo, and is
happy with it.  The OT channel is explicity for the discussions that
have taken place recently.  This is currently the state of the piclist.
If you want it to change, you'll have to convince a lot of other list
members who feel the same way to speak up.  If they do, then I'm certian
changes will be made in that direction.

Unfortunately, your statement "Things should only be posted to the list
that are interesting in a technical sense, regardless of tag." is not
correct.  You can ask Jory, but pretty much your statement is only
correct when talking about every tag except OT and ADMIN.

If you want that kind of list, you should unsubscribe, at minimum, OT.
/Then/ your statement would be correct for the large slice of the list
that is sent to you.

If it helps you at all, then you can think of the piclist as three
separate lists.  You are officially subscribed to 6 lists:  PIC, EE,
AVR, SX, OT, ADMIN.

The interface is not intuitive or normal for subscribing, unsubscribing
and posting to the various lists, but it is useable and works for every
mailreader.  Furthermore MIT is giving us the tremendous bandwidth for
this one apparent, but subdivided list.  Perhaps it would be better to
think of it as a newsgroup, such as piclist.pic, piclist.ee,
piclist.avr, piclist.sx, piclist.ot, and piclist.admin.

Anyway.  I'm sure you understand all this.  Rereading your posts it
appears as though you're holding your position in more of an academic
way.  You understand the list should be one way, but it's not.  You
understand that OT sometimes has technically interesting threads, but it
should not.  It is too bad you haven't yet taken a more active part in
the list-I can see how you could change the course it has taken if you
did so.

-Adam

-Adam

Bob Blick wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2001\09\15@201216 by Jinx

face picon face
> The rest of us could relax and enjoy a piclist that had valuable content.

Relax is right. There have been topics lately that you could have
commented about but didn't bother to

(1) a request for help with an inductive power take-off from an axle.
You have such a thing as part of your propellor clock pages

(2) a moving sign using a LED matrix, also at your site

(3) Stirling engine

(4) other general questions about PICs. I realise your site
hasn't changed for several years, but you must have been
doing something

If you're so concerned about the S/N ratio, why not start posting
about PICs and PICs only and redress the balance

>Who is volunteering to police all off topic posts rather than just
> the few people who loose there temper?

Sounds like you are

> The list took care of itself pretty well.

And it does now

> It had the feeling of community.

And it does now

> Not the feeling of a police state.

What ?

> >Andy started a PIC only list. If that is the solution, why aren't we
> all on his list?
>
> gee, why did he feel it was neccessary to start another list :-)

Are you on AK's list ? Are you ? Why not start your own and
then you can run it the way YOU want it run. The piclist is not
mandatory

> >And anybody who wants this shit for nothing job is welcomed to it.
>
> Fishing for compliments,

And also offering you the chance to put your money where
your mouth is. Gone on, do it, dare ya

> I'm sure you'll receive lots of emails telling you
> what a great job you've done. One of the things I cited was the
> defensiveness when it comes to any criticism.

So you won't be addressing any of this mail then ?

> When you decided to change the piclist by adding subject
> line tag filtering, it was because the list was not perfect. I
> say the list is worse now because people who could be
> valued contributors are checking in and dropping out
> because of all the [OT] stuff.

How do you know ? I don't recall a flood of posts citing anguish
about the content of the list. I can tell there are some very busy
professionals who still find time to contribute

> Making them jump through hoops using filtering just makes
> them think the piclist is a badly-run mailbox-filler

Oh, mind-reader too. Do you call a few clicks "jumping through
hoops" ?

> Which it is.

Yes, so badly-run the membership keeps increasing. But as
you think, they're probably just drongos joining anyway

> There is no reason to give the name "piclist" to endless [OT]
> ramblings. At least this email I'm writing is of an administrative
> nature, but it's still boring

The piclist is what people make it. Your mail is not boring,
repetitive maybe

> If you decide to take a vote for dropping subject line filtering,
> I bet those that vote say to keep it. Because most of the others
> just dropped out of the piclist altogether, or simply don't care
> anymore.

Rubbish

> I'm in the "don't care" category. There is almost nothing left of
> the piclist that is valuable.

So why are you still here ? I don't remember a technical post
from you for a very long time, just complaining. As inexperienced
as I am sometimes, at least I have a go. I get my hands dirty
with other peoples problems and requests

> Please read the email posted by Michael Cook last night. No,
> I'll paste it here:

Michael Cook's post is so wrong it's not funny. Unfortunately he's
unsubscribbled (yeah, like hell he did) so he won't be reading this

> > Hello all. I have been watching the piclist for a month or two now. I
> > liked it at first but have become more and more dissatisfied. At
> > first posts seemed to get ANSWERED. Interesting questions/ideas
> > got the most replies. Now more messages seem to be off topic than
> > on.

"at first posts seemed to get ANSWERED". Interesting statement.
I see no trend to not answering queries. Oh yes, a month out of a
list with 8 years postings is really representative. Especially a
month with possibly the most singular news item for decades
that affects the vast majority of the list members, who happen
to be in the US

> And when a [PIC] post gets replied to, it's usually a flame war
> over the person's signature or some random comment them
> made (i.e. "I have to go shave my hamsters with toothpaste now.").

I don't even know where to start with that. "usually" ? Bollocks

> A question about the press-n-peel film was recently posted. The
> only replies I saw were to the signature.

There were 9 replies about P'n'P that I counted, a couple of
those were a short discussion about a signature line. 7 were
specifically about P'n'P. Sorry to put facts in the way of an
argument mate (oh, forgot, he's not here anymore)

The very first post after Benedicic's request

> It doesn't work well on fine traces, they tend to disappear. I'm
> not a big fan of these but if you get stuck using them, preheat
> the copper board before applying the PressnPeel stuff. Then
> go over it carefully with a resist pen. And after its all done swear
> to yourself you will never do it this way again ;-]

> I, also, wanted to know the answer to that poor soul's question.

Pity he didn't stick around OR LOOK IN THE #$%^& ARCHIVES

> I realize there have been a lot of world politics in the last week
> that have caused discussions, but can't take the idiocy and
> randomness anymore. I am hereby unsubscribing from this list
> as it has done nothing but fill my e-mail box with junk.

No, you let it get filled. Filter. Piece of cake

Easy - complain to admin directly asking that this topic is
out-of-hand. Or is MC another sit back and relax kinda guy,
waiting for someone else to do something ?

> I have asked maybe 3 questions, and got 1 reply total. That
> reply was, of course, completely off topic. I will check the web
> site from now and then but until this list gets a good moderator,
> this is goodbye from someone who liked this list.

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out

Chatty Kathy #1719A

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2001\09\15@205019 by Nick Taylor

flavicon
face
This controversy over OT posts has used almost as much bandwidth as
the OT posts!  And, it has generated many rude flames!

The attack on the US and the the western world's response may very
well be the most significant single event in most of our lives.  It
will change how we and our descendants live.

This is the one list that has many very intelligent members from
around the world ... most of whom are NOT political fanatics with
an ax to grind.  An extremely valuable resource.  As an example
see Wouter van Ooijen's three posts from about 1830Z 15 Sept.
Please don't continue bickering over "what's wrong with this list".
Just delete what you don't want to read.

Regards to all,
  -Nick T.

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2001\09\16@002528 by Dale Botkin

flavicon
face
On Sun, 16 Sep 2001, Jinx wrote:

> Michael Cook's post is so wrong it's not funny. Unfortunately he's
> unsubscribbled (yeah, like hell he did) so he won't be reading this

Actually he did.  Odd, though...  I would have thought someone technical
enough to be subscribed to the PIClist would at least be competent enough
to figure out how to filter email, especially given a well-defined string
to look for.  It's such a trivial task, even if the absurdly simple
listserv commands are too complex anyone should be able to figure it out.
I can do it with Procmail, Outlook, you name it...

Amazing someone who can write assembly code for a PIC can't figure that
out.  And frankly, if the shoe fits, wear it -- I wasn't just talking
about the dear departed Mr. Cook.  Not you, Jinx...

Dale
--
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Hallo, this is Bill Gates and I pronounce 'crap' as 'Windows'.

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2001\09\16@011302 by Scott Dattalo

face
flavicon
face
Jinx, Adam, etc.

I imagine Bob will be unsubscribing in a few hours - just like Tjaart did,
Andy Warren did, I did, and several other active posters from the past...
Andy and I have rejoined, but not with the the same intensity.

I'm subscribed to 6 or 7 lists, but not one of them discussed the WTC. In
fact none of the other lists discuss anything off topic. Often posters
apologize with, "I'm sorry if this is off topic, but ...". And usually
it's related enough to be pertainent. The difference between the PIC list
and other lists is the tone. Other lists stay focused on their themes.
The PIC list is out of control. It has nothing to do with James Newton.
The PIC list was out of control before James even joined. Could James
bring it under control? Perhaps.

However, each time we seriously discuss instituting "controls" to keep the
PIC list focused on Microchip PIC microcontrollers, the consensus is that
we should allow all of the EE/application side as well. Russel's recent
SMPS thread is perfect example of the kind of thread that is not
specifically PIC related, but is invaluable to those designing circuits
incorporating PICs. The Venutian finger thread a few years ago delved into
number theory. To many, the concept was alien (no pun intended) and they
were upset. However, those who saw the connection to number theory were
entertained and educated and are probably better PIC programmers now. That
was important thread too. The infamous Cow Tipping thread was totally
inappropriate.

I don't want James to be put in a position of having to choose what's an
appropriate post. He's over worked as it is. But I do agree with Bob that
the OT thing has lead to excessive abuse of PIC list posts. I didn't
realize until tonight that I could have the Server filter the [OT]: posts
for me! But now that I know that, I'm still not going to change the way
I'm subscribed. Every now and then there is a topic discussed under [OT]:
that's of interest. I suspect most people are like myself in that regard.


-----

Jinx, Do you realize that Bob has been /.'d? Do you realize that he get's
dozens of messages a day about the stuff on his pages? Do you realize that
he doesn't even have time to post the plans for his conversion kit that
transforms a Microwave oven into a 1500 Watt RF transmitter? He simply
doesn't have time to answer - or even read - all of the posts on the PIC
list. He's probably like me and has a hardened callus on his finger from
pressing the delete key too many times! But when Bob does have the time to
post, it's something definitely worth reading. That's why I read this
thread to begin with; there are certain posters I'll take the time to read
reagardless of the subject line.

Regards,
Scott

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2001\09\16@011320 by Jinx

face picon face
> Dale

Thank you Dale. And may I re-iterate my previous post in
vanilla, coincidentally words of one syllable

"Ask not what your list can do for you, ask what you can do
for your list"

I have nothing further to say on the subject - compared with
things going on in my private life, coping on a bicycle with
drivers that have send-4-box-tops licences, and an 18 hour
workday, complainers come a very poor 57th on the list

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2001\09\16@020003 by Russell McMahon

picon face
> And anybody who wants this shit for nothing job is welcomed to it.


James,


1.    No thankyou !!!!

2.    Hang in there.
Rough times and too many people being (mostly understandably) grumpy.
You know we appreciate your efforts James.
Thanks again for keeping this "community" going.


While I'm here - presumably I'm one of Bob's Chatty-Cathies :-) so I might
as well be a "slow-top" as well (never met the term but it seems self
evocative) and suggest ONE more tag.

How about (shudder) [TECHO]: or [TECH]: (I prefer Techo - it's so terribly
Kitsch / Nerd :-)).

This is for technological issues which are not colour of the week / NZ sheep
head count / WTC disaster etc al.
It would include Bob's "optics" and most of my occasional OT posts on eg
Stirling engines, suspension bridges, Helium fusion. rocketry etc (maybe).
ie not electronic but liable to be of technical interest to a techno-freak
(like yours truly).



           Russell McMahon

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2001\09\16@030317 by David Lions

flavicon
face
I have been reading since mid 1996.  His was one of the best critical posts
ever.  His points were (yes he actually said something):

* He's only been here "for a month or two", and in this time he's noticed...
* Most chance to get a reply if it's interesting
* You replied but didn't *answer the question*, and instead posted something
pedantic and ridiculous ( in response to "some random comment" or their
email signature)
* He gave an example to support his argument (the press-n-peel thread)
* He recognized that some events such as the WTC are going to cause a lot of
traffic, but most of it is "idiocy and randomness"
* He wants a new moderator and people to get a clue

With the exception of the last comment everything he said was spot on (James
you're doing fine, happy families, it's all good :).

Thanks to Scott Dattalo who has experience of other lists (which I don't,
and I was wondering if this one is an exception, which apparently it is).
Andrew Warren still reads and posts, BTW.

My own pet hates are:
* Sorting through personal posts meant for 2 or 3 people on a list of 1200
* Hiding behind the OT tag when you know very well it is way beyond OT
* Trying to take the moral high ground as though the rest of us were at
fault or ignorant
* People that always have to have the last word
* Hit-and-run attacks like (sorry for personal example) Jinx's last post
* Posting a page of apologies to the effect of "the page i'm about to post
may be considered full of crap", then posting it anyway?

There are 1200 other subscribers who use their discretion.  We don't
complain because it's a big list and you have to expect some noise.  But
every now and then please consider it may be better to SHUT UP! ;)  Then you
wouldn't get "whingers" like us!

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2001\09\16@052532 by Jinx

face picon face
I'll respond just so you know I wasn't intending to hit-and-run.
No I didn't take that personally, no worries. If you can tell me
that anything I said is not factual or an opinion that's so wild
of the mark I will put my hands up and apologise unreservedly.
I've no wish to cause any ruffles but I felt Bob Blick's criticisms
deserved a response

> * Most chance to get a reply if it's interesting

True, but have you considered that there are times when
the list simply doesn't know ? For example, I've asked about
RFID a few times and never had a single reply at all. But I
didn't spit the dummy. (and as an aside I've asked Microchip
directly for information further to the datasheets and a quote
on 2.8 million chips. That was two months and I'm still waiting
for a reply, despite asking 3 times for one. So I'm going with
Atmel, they fell over themselves trying to help)

> * You replied but didn't *answer the question*, and instead
> posted something pedantic and ridiculous ( in response to
> "some random comment" or their email signature)

> * He gave an example to support his argument (the press-
> n-peel thread)

But like I said, that was 2 out of 9 replies. And there are
the archives (sigh)

> * He recognized that some events such as the WTC are going
> to cause a lot of traffic, but most of it is "idiocy and randomness"

Yes, I agree, and will step forward guiltily as a regular OTer.
Most of this past week's OT posts I have not read because of
the tone and I'm not swept up in patriotic fervour. However, I
do consider my OTs before I post them, hopefully they have
some basis in EE, for example Mr Hawking or the moon
landings hoax. There is life beyond PICs, but I do appreciate
the sentiment about OT abusage. OTOH I do pitch in and
help where I can. Many others do not (perhaps 95% of the
2000+ members, not 1200 btw), and I only assume they are
not interested enough in PICs to contribute or are there just
to take take take. If 2000+ people are using PICs the list
should be inundated with projects, code, queries, problems,
suggestions, tips. It isn't

> Thanks to Scott Dattalo who has experience of other lists
> (which I don't, and I was wondering if this one is an exception,
> which apparently it is).

As technical groups go, it is rather "free-flowing". But the PIC
is not just an engineers tool. It attracts (and is promoted to)
hobbyists, tinkerers and professionals alike. This is going
to cause chat problems because of the diverse range of
people that use it. Personally, I'm a jackdaw. I will try anything
anywhere anytime and talk to anyone on any level as my
competence allows

> My own pet hates are:
> * Sorting through personal posts meant for 2 or 3 people on
> a list of 1200

Guilty - can't disagree

> * Hiding behind the OT tag when you know very well it is
> way beyond OT

Yes, kinda agree. Some threads do wander off (which is
why they're called threads) but usually come back to where
they started. Introducing a new topic as completely OT
with no EE content at all is not desirable. I expect I've done
it once or twice, I hope no more than that

> * Trying to take the moral high ground as though the rest of
> us were at fault or ignorant

How do you mean ?

> * People that always have to have the last word
> * Hit-and-run attacks like (sorry for personal example)
> Jinx's last post

No offence taken. I merely thought I said what I had to say.
Quite happy to debate the points but I can't see my position
changing that much

> There are 1200 other subscribers who use their discretion.
> We don't complain because it's a big list and you have to
> expect some noise.  But every now and then please consider
> it may be better to SHUT UP! ;)  Then you wouldn't get
> "whingers" like us!

I for one will be more considerate. You aren't a whinger, just
expressing your opinion. But I'd ask you this - if OTs dropped
markedly, would there be a corresponding rise in PIC posts ?
I suspect not

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2001\09\16@084648 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

flavicon
face
       To our dear /dev/null

>I have zero interest in non-technical issues. The piclist was good when
>there were no subject line tags, because good people would complain when
>someone posted off-topic stuff, and it would drop off. Now the [OT]: tag
>protects that crap. Unfortunately if someone wants to ask a question about
>something like optics, they have to use the [OT]: tag. Too bad it doesn't
>even register above the other noise, and many of the smart ones filter out
>all [OT]: posts so they don't even see it.

       So filter off the [OT]: tag, and you are back in business ;o)


---8<---Corte aqui---8<----

Alexandre Souza
taitospamspam_OUTterra.com.br
http://planeta.terra.com.br/lazer/pinball/

---8<---Corte aqui---8<----

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2001\09\16@105913 by James Newton. Admin 3

face picon face
I still totally fail to understand why the solution for people like you and
Bob isn't just to turn off the [OT]: channel. If you would just do that, you
would never even be aware that there were any of this B.S. on the list.

Do you understand that the list server will just not send you posts with the
[OT]: tag? It is NOT that you can filter them with your email client; in
fact the list server never sends you that email.

In what way is that any different than if that post had never been sent?
Some "jerk" can send an off topic post to the PICList and you don't get it
and
I don't have to un-subscribe him. Please help me understand what is wrong
with that.

How is that any different than a PICList that doesn't allow off topic posts?

James Newton, PICList Admin #3
@spam@jamesnewtonKILLspamspampiclist.com
1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com

{Original Message removed}

2001\09\16@112027 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
James, his answer, as I understand it, is that there is content in the OT
list that he DOES want to read.

I for one find it very surprising that some people here don't know how to
use a delete button and don't know how to use a threaded email client. Being
heavy into newsgroups myself there is a lot more off topic stuff (signal to
noise ratio is much worse) in the average newsgroup then there usually is
here (the circumstances of Sept. 11 I for one believe deserve a certain
extra degree of latitude).

Perhaps I am being harsh but I often don't care about certain subjects on
this list, and I don't find it that difficult to simply delete them based on
title. I have been reading this list for longer then I can remember and it
has been very useful and educational to me, and in it's current state I find
more use out of it then I did before. About the ONLY thing I can complain
about is the necessity of that blasted colon on the end of the topic tag! :)
But I understand why that is necessary (and out of your control).

I for one would like to take this oportunity to personally thank you and all
others that make this listserv possible. TTYL

> {Original Message removed}

2001\09\16@130912 by James Newton. Admin 3

face picon face
So... let me get this straight... we don't want [OT]: posts, but we won't
drop the [OT]: channel because we might miss something?

Am I the only person who doesn't get that?

And yes, the colon is a major pain...

...but over all its just 5 or 6 keystrokes. Even so, I just heard from one
of the most brilliant PIC programmers in the world that he won't post to the
list anymore because of the need for those.

I can't do this anymore. It's running my life. I know it's my problem... I'm
over-reacting and letting it get to me, but I've been mean to my family this
weekend, and I'm so hurt by all the criticism of the best solution I could
find to the problem that I just can't bear to keep looking for a better
solution. I need to concentrate on my real family and help them through this
war. I also have other exciting new projects that I need to be spending my
time on.

I'll keep maintaining the piclist.com server, site and the archive, and
working on new tools (mostly parts search and free ecommerce stuff) for the
site, but I'm going to take a vacation from admining this list. Mark, Mike
and Dale are more than capable of running this list as they see fit. I'll
ask their permission to return if I find I miss it to much. <GRIN> Maybe if
you bug them enough, they will give some of the "people who know better how
to run the list" a chance to experiment on all of you.

I'm egotistical enough to assume that some people will miss me, so please
don't bother to say so.

Bye for now. Best of luck to all through the coming war. Stay in touch if
you are willing to help with more than just suggestions of what I "should
do".

James Newton, (former) PICList Admin #3
KILLspamjamesnewtonKILLspamspampiclist.com
1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com

----- Original Message -----
From: Herbert Graf <RemoveMEmailinglistTakeThisOuTspamFARCITE.NET>
To: <spamBeGonePICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2001 08:21
Subject: Re: [OT]: What's wrong with this list (Please Read)


James, his answer, as I understand it, is that there is content in the OT
list that he DOES want to read.
<SNIP>

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2001\09\16@160806 by uter van ooijen & floortje hanneman

picon face
> I'm egotistical enough to assume that some people will miss me, so please
> don't bother to say so.

Sorry to see you go. I hope it is temporarily. I wonder why the people that
have brilliant solutions don't implement those themselves? Yahoo has a
simple and free service to start your own list. If your idea is realy that
much better than the current situation everyone will surely follow you.

Wouter van Ooijen

Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
Jal compiler for PIC uC's:  http://www.xs4all.nl/~wf/wouter/pic/jal

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2001\09\16@185409 by Dmitry Kiryashov

flavicon
face
Hi James.

> ...but over all its just 5 or 6 keystrokes. Even so, I just heard
> from one of the most brilliant PIC programmers in the world that
> he won't post to the list anymore because of the need for those.

If you mean that was me I would precisely explain my current thoughts to
eliminate any misunderstanding. I don't have any intentions either to
criticize you as PICLIST admin or to make any provocative suggestions.
But list is not under control... I think there is no hurry, especially
taking in mind current situation with attacks and following people
reactions. I hope people will stay cool and really consider the lessons
of history first, old methods don't work anymore. Returning to PICLIST
I think it is necessary to bring very strong rules, message size, num-
-ber of messages per day, spam. I think it is not necessary to premo-
-derate list but it is enough to temporary restrict those who broke the
rules. I like PICLIST, I would like to bring it back to technical state
as it was mostly on the beginning.

James I'm really apologize if my words hurted you somehow and I will do
so in PICLIST as well.I'm just tired of all these [OT]: crap in PICLIST.
Most of them don't carry any sense anymore like they did initially.
I really can't just read it, tons of mess to find a cute idea or ques-
-tion. Probably I should learn all this internet related things to help
you somehow to manage this monster. Let's take some time I'll try to
help you not just by giving a suggestions but more in practice.

I really respect you for all titanic work you've done and contribute to
piclist. Hope your vacation from piclist administrating will be not as
long as 255 years. ;)

WBR Dmitry.

PS.

My vacation has been ruined by sep-11 because I was planning to fly to
Cyprus, and now it is very close to region that many people would like
to consider as a target, I can't put my family under additional risk...

PPS.

I really hope we all will stay calm and will find a way how to keep
things straight and under control, without wild emotions.

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2001\09\17@104643 by Lawrence Lile

flavicon
face
Sorry to see James go from burnout.  His steady hand on the tiller will be
missed.

Personnally, I like the PIClist just as it is, warts, off-topic posts,
flames,  jerks, geniuses and all.  The PIClist is THE most valuable
technical resource I have, bar none, and also a community.  Finding out
immediately  from somebody in New Zealand that the lights didn't go out on
midnight Jan 1st 2000 ranks up there with finding out how to handle pointers
in C for me.  I learn something here every day, not necessarily related to
electronics.

Membership in Groups like this always waxes and wains.  I'm here for the
long haul!  I WILL reduce the amount of [OT]: chatty cathie stuff I post, in
deference to those who hate it, because I am among the [OT] criminals.  Now
to answer some newbie questions.....


--Lawrence Lile

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2001\09\17@123315 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Sorry to see James go from burnout.
>His steady hand on the tiller will be missed.

Count me in on that comment as well.

I also like the list the way it is. The tag system makes sense in its usage,
and helps to prioritise what I read first. As to how much traffic is OT,
well I did not keep count of the number of messages with the subject of
"tragedy" I skipped over, along with others that were obviously related. (In
a moment of dark humour seeing the list of messages when I opened my mail
the following morning had me thinking of a certain song by the BeeGees)

While I appreciate everyone has a right to express their opinion, I do not
need to read it. I'm in the fortunate position of having constant connection
to the Internet and it doesn't cost me a bean, so the message count is not a
problem. I do get a small number of useful items out of the OT stuff, so I
do download it. The switch is there if people do not find it useful, and
have a download cost they wish they did not have to pay.

Hence my vote (if anyone is counting) is to keep the tags, and the list the
way it is.

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2001\09\17@131051 by Tom Handley

picon face
  Jim, I've been away last week for obvious reasons and I can't believe
what I've come back to... As another one who has been here for years, I'd
recommend leaving things as-is and letting the `dust settle'... It was hard
enough to get Andy, Scott, Bob, and others, to come back. Changing things
again will most probably do more harm than any amount of `OT' messages... I
have no doubt that there is a large `silent majority' that is much more
tolerant of OT messages during these times of crisis. I can't believe we are
even having this discussion...

  As has been demonstrated time after time, the value of this list lies in
it's expertise from around the world. Given the variety of cultures, we have
done an amazingly good job of regulating ourselves. Even if this list was
restricted to engineers from Alabama who have to be members of the IEEE, and
design PIC applications for cotton gins, there would still be OT messages,
especially in such a time of crisis...

  Finally, and this isn't said often enough, thanks for your hard work on
this list and elsewhere. I really appreciate it.

  - Tom






------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Handley
New Age Communications
Since '75 before "New Age" and no one around here is waiting for UFOs ;-)

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2001\09\17@131404 by Quentin

flavicon
face
Guess I have to throw in my "Me too" with Lawrence and Alan B.
This community is my kinda community. The people on this list has a
broad range of interest and they are not scared to discuss it. Yes, we
have the odd guy who are looking to pick a fight, but there are also
people here who will stand by in what they believe in.
This list was the only one I belong to that took the recent tragedy head
on. All the other lists were only full of condolences.
And then there is the technical and science knowledge of this list.
Sometimes I just sit back and go "Phew!" at what some of the people here
come up with.

As far as the amount of posts go. I've learned on how to scan the
headings very quickly and read only those that interests me.

Keep the tags and the list as it is. I agree, drop the personal
(attacks), religion and political posts and let a thread die in peace.

Quentin

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