[sf-lug] On hearing the sounds crickets make

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Feb 1 00:59:36 PST 2015

In truth, crickets are quite noisy.  

However, metaphorically speaking, hearing 'crickets' means hearing
silence where a response was expected or (at bare minimum) socially

I've asked a number of questions to SF-LUG folks in honest and, I think,
reasonable expectation of response.  Often, that's been in the really
baffling situation where I'm asking something specifically to -help-
SF-LUG, e.g., when I asked Jim very recently whether Michael Paoli
should be also getting the new weekly mailing of the membership roster.

But here, let me show what I'm talking about.  This is not intended as a
complaint, just mostly to point out the pattern of my repeatedly trying
to help you and getting rather impolitely ignored, for my efforts.

March 2011.  I inform Jim and SF-LUG of a Mailman option Jim should make
use of, as listadmin:

There's a feature in Mailman that meets users halfway, though: You go to
the Mailman adminstration pages' 'Mass subscription' subpage and put in
one or more address of people you think might want to subscribe.
However, instead of immediately hitting Submit Your Changes, you should
first alter this radio button setting:

 Subscribe these users now or invite them?  (o) Subscribe ( ) Invite

to this:

 Subscribe these users now or invite them?  ( ) Subscribe (o) Invite


{Four years later in January 2015, I again post this reminder to the
mailing list in response to a 'people need to get added' thread, as
nobody learned from my explanation the first time.  Again, crickets}

March 2013.  Attempting to give Jim some good advice in response to his
intent to dual-boot Knoppix and Ubuntu:

Also, have you considered something more satifactory than
dual-booting?  Like a virtual machine setup such as VirtualBox?
Many vexing problems go away if you do, and you get incidental benefits
like concurrent use of multiple OSes rather than needing to shut down
everything to switch between them.

Again, the real question is:  What problem are you _really_ trying to


March 2014.  There was much discussion about how a PGP keysigning would
be a really good idea.

Quoting The Doctor (drwho at virtadpt.net):

> I think it would be a good idea.

Make it happen.



Still March 2014.  Jim Stockford had been talking about his system
partitioning practices.

Quoting Jim Stockford (jim at systemateka.com):

> For my personal computer I usually have a 50 GB or greater part for
> /home/.

I'm just curious, your rationale for separate /home is...?
(I can think of reasons, but was curious about yours.)


July 2014, for the _second_ time, I provided a better way to deal with
'the Web site is down' situations than just guessing about cause.

Quoting Jim Stockford (jim at well.com):

> My guess is that netsol has un-dns'd sf-lug.{org,com}, and
> suggests I'm right.

No need to guess.

Upthread I laid out an explicit, detailed set of six steps to isolate
what's wrong when 'the Web site is down', i.e., when you have good
reason to think something is broken on the service-provision end[1], and
want to determine what.

1.  Domain registered?
2.  Auth nameservers listed in the registration?
3.  Auth nameservice works?
4.  Routing to the server works?
5.  Connectivity to the Web server IP & port works?
6.  Web daemon returns site HTML when queried on that IP & port?

Each depends on the one before it, so you can just use that rundown as a
diagnostic checklist.


August 2014, replying to mmdmurphy at gmail.com:

Anyway, if you're curious what happens if you kill init, why not try and
see for yourself?  It's not necessary to ask a mailing list the answer
to a question you can easily determine just by typing the command and


Early January 2015:

On Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 2:40 PM, jim <jim at well.com> wrote:
> I'm for MailMan. Either we wait until Rick gets to
> it or we set up our own (after we get the backups
> from Rick).

[snip the many-times-already-repeated explanation about how to download
at any time the cumulative mbox of all SF-LUG mailing list information
to date -- which over a period of years and many pleas to do this,
nobody had ever done.  This finally got fixed later in January -- not
surprisingly, by Michael Paoli.]

In the case of my server, all mailing list information is present on
both my backups and on the live hard drives of the (down) server.  If
you-all decide you wish to get the current data, you can visit my
house and bring a Linux machine able to read an ext3 filesystem from a
USB device.  I can easily give you the cumulative mbox file during
your visit.  For the roster, I can give you Mailman's stored copy,
which is in a Python's 'pickle' stored-data format.  You would need to
figure out how to extract what you need from that.

You have my cellular number.

{crickets.  I find it particularly interesting that I was glad to go way
out of my way to get you current mailing list data, but the moment you
guys needed to do something, i.e., get off your tochises and visit,
suddenly you lost interest and didn't bother to reply to my offer in any

January 2015

Quoting Daniel Gimpelevich (daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us):

> Any chance the messages from the recent interim "mailing list" can be
> added to that?

Someone assemble an mbox for me.

{crickets - except for Daniel expressing his assumption that I keep all
mail.  I said no to that assumption, and added this redirect by me to my

Anyway:  You want me to add messages to the archive that weren't passed
through GNU Mailman?  OK, no problem.  Just send them to me in a
suitable format for merger, i.e., mbox format.


January 2015

I just ran this manually:
# /var/lib/mailman/bin/list_members -f sf-lug | mail -s "sf-lug Roster as of $(date +%F)" Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu 

I _could_ add Michael Paoli as a recipient of that mail weekly (Sundays)
via cron job, as Jim already is a recipient.  Would that be to your


Later in January 2015:

Quoting maestro (maestro415 at gmail.com):

> Right now this is uncertain as there may be a new SF Linux/open source
> mail list & meet-up space going up online...

Interesting.  How are you putting this together?  I'm interested in


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