Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(February 2005)

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Subject: Orphans seeking host
From: "hilbro" <hilbro @ comcast . net>
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 20:02:00 -0500
To: <list-managers @ greatcircle . com>

Hi, group, I've just joined and been looking for archives to avoid posting 
something redundant, but I can't find what I'm looking for.

I'm speaking on behalf of several Majordomo listowners who have recently been 
set adrift due to the sudden, tragic death of our 41-year old list and web 
host, Paul Rice at vlists. net.   Paul served us with unfailing competence and 
reliability for years.  With Paul's passing, the world is a poorer place.

Paul's family, concerned for his abandoned customers and entirely unfamiliar 
with his business, gave access to his operation and his servers to an 
acquaintance, another web host with a larger operation than Paul's.  She very 
kindly offered to assume his customers and provide us uninterrupted service 
for our various accounts at the same prices and using the same set-ups.  The 
cost part was graciously honored as most of us had prepaid for the upcoming 
year shortly before Paul passed away.  The new organization began transferring 
accounts, waived set-up fees, and contacted owners for information about the 
services contracted for, etc.  But the pledge to continue our Majordomo list 
service and our domain-list connections has failed rather miserably.  Some of 
us, after repointing domain nameservers and providing our current and complete 
configs, etc., have sat for a couple of weeks wirh no list service at all, no 
access to our webs.  We waited patiently because it was worth it to keep our 
systems unchanged.

Imagine our surprise to wake up this morning to our new *Mailman lists, loss 
of branded list adddresses, non-functional webs, and various other 
unacceptable situations.  We've been informed that they've changed their mind, 
won't run Majordomo because it's too complicated and support-intensive and our 
domains can't be properly integrated with lists, etc.

Some of the customers, worried about the already long down time for their 
lists and sites, resigned themselves to the Mailman option and it will 
probably serve their purposes adequately.  Others of us can not make operate 
our projects properly.  Speaking for myself, as an example, I run an 
academically-oriented, fully moderated veterinary list in conjunction with a 
same-name web site.  I have a longstanding commitment to the doctors and 
others in our group to maintain control of a number of functions that I have 
managed for years, issues of privacy and, most important, the ability to edit 
posts during the moderation process, correct errors and spellings, insert 
citations and resource links, etc., before posting the messages through still 
carrying the original author's ID headers.  Others among us have some other 
issues that underlie their need to retain Majordomo lists and lodge them with 
a service that will also support their web sites.

The problem is, we can't seem to find any such host that isn't either 
restricted to large commercial customers or that runs Majordomo as an 
afterthought with no host support available.  We have been operating quite 
happily with Majordomo 1.94.5+ (some enhancements) and demime, and web pages 
requiring Front Page extensions and with a couple of POP mail acacounts for 
admin addresses..  We have current complete copies of configs for regular and 
digest lists.  We are "easy keepers" with Majordomo understanding.  So the 
question, after that long explanation of our dilemma, is if anyone here can 
confidently recommend (or be) a host service that would meet our needs.  We 
understand that Majordomo is supposedly becoming a dinosaur, but if Majordomo 
is a dinosaur, Mailman is a fast-food drive-thru and does not offer the level 
of service necessary for specific needs of certain customers.

If anyone can help, point us to a reliable and reasnable provider, or be one, 
I would be very relieved to be advised of it and will share the information 
with our group.  Thanks so much.


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