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Minix Newsgroup and Mailing List

modified 18 December 2005


A usenet newsgroup, comp.os.minix and a mailing list, minix-l exist to facilitate contact between those interested in Minix.

What is comp.os.minix?

Comp.os.minix is a newsgroup for discussions the Minix Operating System. It is just one of thousands of Usenet * newsgroups devoted to discussion of specialized topics. This is the best place to ask questions about Minix or to listen to the ongoing discussions between Minix users and developers.

Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide access to some or all Usenet newsgroups via news servers using NNTP **, the Network News Transport Protocol. If you have access to a news server that carries comp.os.minix you can read from and post to the newsgroup by entering the URL news://comp.os.minix in your browser's address window. (If you haven't used newsgroups before you may have to configure your browser, ask your ISP for info). If you do not have newsgroup access through your ISP, many on-line services provide it. For instance, to view discussions on on comp.os.minix using Google, use the URL http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&group=comp.os.minix.

You can even read newsgroups on a networked Minix workstation, assuming you have access to a newserver. A program to access a news server and deliver new articles from selected newsgroups as mail messages was written by Michael Temari. [Hmmm, I cannot find it online just now, write me if you are interested -- asw].

* Click here for info about Usenet.

** Click here for info about NNTP.

What is MINIX-L?

The Minix-l mailing list exists for the discussion of the Minix Operating System. You can read it to keep in touch with Minix developments, and you can send your questions about Minix here to get help from the experts. The comp.os.minix newsgroup may be a better way to learn about Minix if you have news access, but the mailing list has two possible advantages. One is that messages are distributed faster via mail than by news. Also, for many people with limited access to the Internet, news is not available but e-mail is. This is especially true for many users in countries outside North America, Europe, and other highly developed countries.

How to subscribe to MINIX-L

To subscribe to the MINIX-L mailing list send a mail message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.NODAK.EDU. In the body of the message include just one line:
SUBSCRIBE MINIX-L your_first_name your_last_name
You will receive notification that you have been subscribed and some information about using the list server. Please save these messages, you may need them for later reference.
There is also a web interface to the Minix-l list at http://listserv.nodak.edu.

The mailing list and the newsgroup both date back to the time of the first release of Minix, about 1987. Originally the the MINIX-L mailing list and the comp.os.minix newsgroup echoed each other, so articles posted in one place could be read in both. However, this has not been the case since the mid-1990s.

Mailing list moderation

In order to avoid the plague of off-topic unsolicited advertisements ("spam") the Minix-l list has been moderated since August 1997. The moderation is very light-handed, the idea is simply to make sure that spam is rejected. Al Woodhull is currently doing the editing. Normally replies are forwarded to the list within an hour or two of being received. Occasionally moderation will be temporarily disabled and posting will become automatic if for some reason prompt response cannot be provided.

Alternative ways to read Minix-l

As of August 2004, Minix-l is being gatewayed by the mail-to-news service gmane.org.
* News URL: news://news.gmane.org/gmane.os.minix.general
* Web URL: http://news.gmane.org/gmane.os.minix.general
The gateway is unidirectional -- you can read minix-l on gmane, but you cannot post through gmane, you must continue to post directly to the mailing list (which is moderated). Also, e-mail addresses are encrypted to protect posters to the list from spam.

Archives

Archives of minix-l and comp.os.minix are available. Click here for more information.

Before you ask your question...

The newsgroup and the mailing list are both read by many people who are willing and eager to help you. But your chance of getting a good answer to a question will be better if you put some thought into how you ask your question. And, if you first make an effort to find an answer yourself you may be able to ask a better question. An article by Eric S. Raymond, "How to Ask Questions the Smart Way" is recommended reading. And, BTW, it is also worth reading if you often answer questions.


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