From the HBD Archive
From: hplabs!utah-cs!cs.utexas.edu!raven!rcd (Dick Dunn)
Subject: knowing where you are
Date: 1989-03-20 06:33:12 GMT

Folks, we can do a lot to facilitate email for personal conversations with
a little care in addresses...Batte wrote:

> ...Although I can reach the network
> address MOST of the time, there are many of
> your home or commercial addresses which DO NOT
> link...

Part of the problem is that people don't necessarily know where they are!
The first thing to do is find out what your address is; the second thing
is to put that address in your signature, and religiously append that to
every piece of mail you send. (I can't remember whether I appended my
signature to the last note I sent to `homebrew', but if I forgot, flame
away [by email:-] since I deserve it!) The reason a signature is needed
is that even if your mail leaves you with a good return address, the
chances are high that it will get munged into uselessness if it crosses a
gateway. Signatures, being text, aren't subject to the rewriting that
happens to the headers of mail.

People mistakenly assume that the mailing list operates on bitnet or
fidonet or uucp or whatever. It doesn't; it comes by all manner of
combinations of networks. That means you gotta have your act together
about giving an address. It also means, alas, that there are some
addresses you'll never be able to reach because there are lots of bad
mailers managed by people who won't fix them, and these stand in your path.

I can give a few easy guidelines for a couple classes of addresses:
- An address like joe@machine (with no "." in machine) is always wrong--
this is a local address and is useless to the rest of the world.
- If you can get to the machine `uunet', you can hand over a path for a
uucp site (a "bang path", so called because the address is formed with
! as the separator).
- If you can get to an internet machine, you can hand over a domain-style
address (like fred@rock.boulder.edu). Internet addresses are good if
anything is.
- Simple uucp addresses like raven!rcd are only useful for people who
are on, or can get to, a machine with pathalias and routing software.
- "UUCP domain" addresses, like rcd@raven.uucp, are technically wrong
but have been made to work.
It would be nice if we had one standard form of address...but we don't.
We're no worse off than the rest of the [slightly] electronically-connected
world...which is small consolation. Can someone tell us how to get to the
bitnet world, for example?

> By the way, Charlie Papazian and the AHA apparently are going to
> be available through a SIG on Compuserve soon. I wish that they
> were simply tied into BITNET to participate in this forum which
> is obviously more active...

Well, yeah...BITNET or uucp or the Internet or...

Does anyone know more about this? Why don't we see if we can at least
automagically gateway some of it into the mailing list. It's interesting
that Charlie didn't try to do this, since there must be a couple dozen
people in Boulder who could have arranged it!
---
Dick Dunn {ncar;ico;stcvax}!raven!rcd (303)494-0965
or rcd@raven.uucp

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