Dear Colleagues,

One of the advantages of LISTSERV/LISTEARN-based email lists like ours is
the possibility of being identifiable as a subscriber. Unless you opted
for remaining an anonymous subscriber (3 out of 285 at the present time),
your email address and personal name can be retrieved (by fellow subscri-
bers only!) via the command

review biomch-l (countries

to LISTSERV@HEARN.BITNET (if you subscribed through an EARN/BITNET mailer)
or LISTSERV@NIC.SURFNET.NL (if you subscribed through another mailer). In
reply, you will receive the lists' profile, the list of all subscribers, and
a country-wise breakdown of all subscribers. This breakdown is specific for
EARN/BITNET addresses, while adresses on other networks (Internet, UUCP/EUNET,
JANET, etc.) are lumped into one or more ?? categories: the LISTSERVER merely
handles EARN/BITNET country specifications. For EARN/BITNET subscribers, the
reply is usually received as a NETDATA file which may require other reception
activities than email (e.g., when using JNET mailer s/w on VAX/VMS-machines
like the present one, use the RECEIVE utility); for other subscribers, there
is no difference.

For EARN/BITNET addresses, it is relatively easy to obtain further details on
a subscriber's email site. Such information is available from an information
server NETSERV quite similar to the file retrieval component of LISTSERV/LIST-
EARN. This facility is available to all email users, whether or not on EARN/

A current list of EARN/BITNET nodes can be obtained by sending the request
SERVer closer to you. If you don't know which one is closer to you (usually,
you should find one at the National Backbone for EARN/ BITNET), NETSERV@HEARN
will honour your request and inform you which NETSERVer should be used at
future occasions.

If you want to know more about a specific EARN/BITNET node, e.g., HNYKUN53,
you should send the request GET NODENTRY node_id, also to your nearby NET-
SERVer. If the node is known at the NETSERVer (brand-new or relatively
"small" nodes may not be known world-wide, so it might be useful then to
address the relevant, national/state/provincial NETSERVer), you will receive
a dataset containing postal addresses, type of machine and networking mode,
names and telephone numbers of directors, postmasters, contact persons, etc.
This is particularly helpful if some user_id at that node cannot be reached.
Often, the address POSTMAST@node_id will work (similar to the Internet's
convention postmaster@subsubdomain.subdomain.domain), but there is no
guarantee that this will always work. The approximate location of any EARN/
BITNET site can be obtained by "tracking" it to its nearby link mentioned
in the BITNET NODELST file.

In order to facilitate identifiability of subscribers w.r.t. each other,
I would suggest that you all consider changing your name on the listserver
by adding your affiliation and/or location (in my case, Eindhoven/NL). This
can be done by simply "resubscribing" using the command

subscribe biomch-l firstname lastname (affiliation/place/country)

to LISTSERV@HEARN or LISTSERV@NIC.SURFNET.NL ( n o t to Biomch-L at these
sites!): "resubscribing" from an already subscribing address is interpreted
by the LISTSERVer as a name change only. Please limit the length of the name
and claryfying entry to 40 characters or less, including spaces.

If you are on an EARN/BITNET address, try to avoid resubscribing by inter-
active messages because of address mapping and lower-case/higher-case con-
version problems, and especially so if you are on a (VAX/VMS) cluster with
different "site_id's" tied to one "node_id". The best approach is to (re-)
subscribe by sending an electronic mail request -- this is also more secure,
since interactive messages may get lost without feedback to their sender that
something has gone wrong. For "store-and-forward" email, the chances for
such problems are much smaller.

With kind regards,

Herman J. Woltring, co-moderator Biomch-L.