<CT> Re: CT Nostalgia - Fifth Anniversary?

  • From: Robin Roe <roro@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: calmira_tips@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2003 08:00:05 -0700 (MST)

David Burgess wrote:

>Aren't we quite near to the fifth anniversary of this list? I remember that
>I joined around July '98, and the list was 2-3 months old at the time. I
>also remember being one of the first 50 to join, and the announcement that
>the list had reached the 50 mark.
>How many here are still hanging on from those early days?

Ahh yes, nostalgia, that sweet light of yesteryear, that rosy glow.

I remember that I started out in April of 1998 by sending a weekly
compendium of tips for using Calmira from my Juno account (thus the
name "Calmira Tips"). The first couple mailings were just tips from
me, but it wasn't long before the growing membership started
contributing posts.

Being that it was just a regular email account, I would have to take
members' posts that arrived in the mailbox and copy/paste them into
the digest using what seemed to be an unwieldy method of
copying/pasting involving Notepad. As the membership grew, this got
to be rather a clumsy method! I don't remember exactly what this
process was, but I seem to remember that this process actually
involved using a Calmira feature, so the little list about Calmira
was being made WITH the help of Calmira. :)

I started out with about 5 members, of which I have no idea where I
got them. Li-Hsin Huang (Calmira's creator) was the sixth or seventh
member to join.

The inaugural issue was to go out on Sunday the 12th of April 1998,
but it was a day late because I was so busy at work I forgot about
it. It wasn't long before I had to step up the frequency of the
mailings from weekly to tri-weekly, then to daily. And, as the
membership edged over 50, I faced another challenge: Juno's
limitation preventing me from sending to over 50 recipients at a

I had to start sending in two batches, 50 at a time. As you can
imagine, as I was using my Juno client's regular addressbook,
segregating the members into groups of 50 was quite the challenge
(anybody else here ever used Juno v1.49?).  As my addressbook grew,
it would take longer and longer to load on my rather straining 386,
until it took almost 5 minutes to do the simplest thing, like adding
yet another address.

In the early summer of '98, I started to consider using an actual
mailing list host, but I kept dragging my feet on it until something
happened to motivate me. A fellow from Austria tried to join, and
his ISP was rejecting all email from Juno, thinking that Juno was a
spam domain. Infuriated, I blasted his ISP (who never even remotely
responded to me).

Within two days, I had signed on with a small outfit in San
Francisco called "Makelist". With the fellow from Austria finally on
board, I started to rather enjoy the fruits of a REAL, fully
automated list that didn't take an hour a day to compile and send.
It was to be a short-lived joy however, as Makelist was a TERRIBLE
host. They would take over a day to distribute postings, even lose
some, and their downtime would be very nearly double-digit

Because at the time I was being primed to take over ownership of
another list called Juno_accmail which was hosted on world.std.com
at the time, I had a world account of my own. So, after an email to
the Majordomo manager at the world to set things up, I made my first
of a number of moves, getting everybody migrated over to the new

In late summer / early fall of '98, I took full ownership of the
Juno_accmail list, making two lists I had hosted on world.std.com.
The world was a pay service, and I was paying almost us$30 a month
to host two lists. And, the world had an interesting policy where I
would be charged an extra us$5 in any month where my total
membership between BOTH lists exceeded some certain number. As you
can imagine, this wasn't the best of situations.

So, sometime in the fall of '98, I migrated (again) to an outfit
called Onelist. This time, I was moving TWO lists, over 600 members
altogether, and I still remember what a pain that was. Ever hear of
the expression "herding cats"? LOL... Groan...

Onelist served me well for a good bit of time. In early '99, Onelist
and eGroups (who I later found out to formerly be Makelist) merged.
And, in late '99, it was announced that eGroups was being bought out
by Yahoo. This was shortly after Yahoo had bought out Geocities, and
raised a scandal with the "we own all your content" terms, so I was
rather infuriated and alarmed at the idea of having MY lists, MY
precious lists on Yahoo..

It was also in late '99 that I founded Calmira.org. Kind of a funny
story actually. When I announced my intention to the list to start
the domain, Li-Hsin was astonished, and thought I was telepathic or
such. Turned out that he had just (secretly) been on holiday to the
US to interview for Microsoft. AND, Microsoft offered him a job
working on Internet Explorer v5. So, when I broke the news about
calmira.org, he was just about to break HIS news. Due to the
possibility of a legal conflict of interest, Li-Hsin had to retire
from Calmira altogether, so my starting calmira.org was a bit of
most incredibly good timing.. In a couple short months, Calmira had
become a self-hosted and community-developed bit of software. What a
time that was!

It took a goodly bit of looking, but sometime in the first half of
2000 or so, I found this fledgling service called Freelists. It
seemed excellent, because I liked the ideals it was run on, I liked
the fact that it was running on entirely Free/GPL software (by this
time I'd been into Linux for over a year), and I rather liked it's
ad-free nature. So, with almost no hesitation I moved (AGAIN) to
Freelists. This time, it was THREE lists I was moving, as by then I
had founded FreeNET.. Augh! List moves!

It's been almost 1.5 years since I moved to Freelists, and I have no
regrets. It's run by a competant and intelligent fellow who I by now
personally know and like, and unlike some of the previous corporate
listhosts I had before, I can reach the Freelists owner on ICQ. :)

In answer to your question, a quick scan of the member list shows 5
names that I recognize as early-timers. Mind you, that's a very
subjective figure, as it's a very casual scan, and human memory
being what it is, for what that's worth.. Much to my surprise and
delight, the Austrian fellow who was the catalyst to the list's
maturation into an automated list is still here! (I'll certainly
never forget HIS name or email.. <g>)

Right now, we're sitting at 171 members. A bit down from more peak
times, but still a respectable number nonetheless.

So the list is almost 5 years old... Wow. Almost boggles the mind,
doesn't it, that anything at all on the Net could or typically would
last that long?

Well happy birthday C_T!

Happy computing with Calmira! www.calmira.org
    Robin Roe, owner/admin/webmaster, etc
Visit  YOUR  Calmira site  at www.calmira.org
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