At 11:51 AM 4/13/01 -0700, Forum Administrator wrote:
>Several people have inquired about thier membership status for this forum
>because they have not received much mail latley. Forum members may check
>their own membership status by visiting the Association web page (see links
>below).

The links that were given below allow a user to leave or join the list, not 
too determine membership status. The correct link is:

http://www.techservinc.com/protelusers/getlistopt.html

>The discussion forums and servers are running normally. The small quantity
>of posting for the last few days I imagine is due to peoples vacations or
>busy schedules around this holiday.

Perhaps. In a normal week, posts are spaced at most about two hours apart, 
with the gap between most posts to the next being much less than that; 
there are thus posts around the clock. Weekends the traffic slows down, as 
might be expected, but there is still traffic, normally. For example, on 
March 10, a Saturday, there were still 17 posts.

I did a scatter diagram of posting times, GMT, for the period April 2 to 
April 14. There was a gap of more than 24 hours ending April 8, with a 
single post and then a gap of nearly a day. That sole post in the middle of 
the gap was posted via the web, not through email. April 7th was a 
Saturday, so the gap does make some sense: Saturday GMT is largely Sunday 
Australian time, so the two largest concentrations of list subscribers both 
have a weekend day.

Posts were coming in at a rapid clip until about 6 AM GMT April 11, when 
there was suddenly a 9 hour gap, then a single post, and then a gap of more 
than two days. The last post before the gaps was posted at 11PM April 10, 
from the time zone corresponding to California, and the single post the 
next day was posted at about 8 AM, also from that same time zone.

This gap is very unusual. Certainly it is possible that traffic just 
stopped for no particular reason, but it is also a reasonable possibility 
that the site was down or that there were propagation or nameserver problems.

I suspected that the servers were down when, in the middle of the day on 
the 11th, I made a submission to the Open Topic Forum and it was returned 
to me with a fairly mysterious fatal propagation error. I went to the 
Techserv web site and ran the server tests, and I did not receive the two 
messages which would indicate normal operation. Since then, the server test 
page has been edited to show that the tool is not operational.

Traffic is still far below normal, but it is now quite understandable 
because of Easter weekend. The gap earlier in the week is not so easy to 
explain.

The membership status tools suffer from a problem: if one has been 
accidentally unsubscribed from a list, one will receive no response; a 
response only comes to subscribed addresses. So if there is no response, 
one does not know if the problem is a subscription failure or a server 
which is down.

I've been recommending for quite a while that all subscribers to this list 
subscribe also to [EMAIL PROTECTED], which began as a backup 
list for this list, so that users can still communicate if they suspect a 
problem with Techserv. This list, protel-users, is operated by the Protel 
User's Association ([EMAIL PROTECTED]) and the 
webspace of this list has user-provided utilities and archives for the 
Techserv list. It would be useful if the Forum Administrator would 
subscribe to the backup list, so that any misinformation about list status 
could be quickly corrected.

[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Abdulrahman Lomax
P.O. Box 690
El Verano, CA 95433


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