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There have been several requests for copies of old messages on SCREEN-L.
I think I've finally figured out how one may do this with a minimum of
frustration.
 
The entire protocol for doing this is available in a file called LISTDB MEMO
that you may get (I assume) from your local LISTSERV.  (To get the whole
file send the command INFO DATABASE to a LISTSERV address.  This command
could be sent as the first line in e-mail to, e.g., [log in to unmask])  I'll
boil it down to its key elements here.
 
You might want to file this message for future reference.
 
SCREEN-L's old messages are kept in a database at its home node here at
the University of Alabama.  This database may be accessed by sending
mail to LISTSERV@UA1VM (BITNET) or [log in to unmask] (Internet).
 
Please note:  these addresses are NOT the same as the one to which you
send SCREEN-L mail for distribution, which is [log in to unmask] Sending
database requests to the general list will likely result in snide
remarks being cast your direction.
 
In SCREEN-L's database are files with ALL of its messages--which you
could download, but they're large and cumbersome and you can be much
more selective.   You can select only the messages you want by first
searching the database for keywords you are interested in and then
telling the LISTSERV to send you only those messages.  Here's how it
works:
 
First:  send e-mail to [log in to unmask]  Beginning with the FIRST LINE of
that e-mail, type in the following three lines exactly:
 
//   JOB  Echo=No
Database Search DD=Rules
//Rules DD  *
 
Don't ask me what they mean,  but they're essential.After these three
lines,    you may put    commands to the LISTSERV.  You begin with the
search command:
 
SEARCH keyword IN SCREEN-L
 
If, for example, you were interested in the messages with the word
"kinko" in them, you would send this command (the keyword is NOT case
specific; it'll search for both upper and lower case versions of the
 word):
 
SEARCH kinko IN SCREEN-L
 
If this were the only command you sent you would receive a file called
DATABASE OUTPUT  that tellsyou how many messages contain this word (or
"string").  Each message with the word is called a "hit".  In our
example, DATABASE OUTPUT looks like this:
 
> search kinko in screen-l
--> Database SCREEN-L, 15 hits.
 
This tells you that there are 15 messages containing the word "kinko".
But that's not much help.  To actually get information about these
messages you send another command after the SEARCH command:  INDEX.
 
So, once again you start your e-mail with the above three lines and then
you follow them with these two lines:
 
SEARCH kinko IN SCREEN-L
INDEX
 
Once again you're sent a DATABASE OUTPUT file, but in addition to the
number of hits you also get a list of all the messages.  It looks
something like this:
 
Item #  Date     Time    Recs   Subject
000154  91/04/02 22:33   31     Copyright & Academics, Part 2
000160  91/04/03 17:24   18     re:  Copyright & Academics
(and so on, listing the 15 "hits")
 
This gives you basic information about the message:  the item number
(its identifying number in the database), the date/time of the posting,
the number of records of that message (its length), and the subject
heading.
 
The final command you need to know is PRINT.  This command inserts or
"prints" the actual messages into the DATABASE OUTPUT file that is sent
to you.  You may include the PRINT command right after INDEX in your
e-mail to the LISTSERV.  This, however, will insert ALL messages that
your search has turned up into DATABASE OUTPUT and that might be more
messages that you really want.  But still, that would be the simplest
way to get everything at once.
 
To do it this way, create e-mail using those opening three lines again
and follow them with:
 
SEARCH keyword IN SCREEN-L
INDEX
PRINT
 
In our "kinko" example, all 15 messages (or "hits) would be sent to you
in DATABASE OUTPUT.
 
If you only wanted one or two messages you may specify them by their
ITEM #, which you've already obtained by sending SEARCH and INDEX
commands in a previous message.   You must still preface your PRINT
command with the SEARCH command.  For example, the following e-mail
would get you a single message:
 
//   JOB Echo=No
Database Search DD=Rules
//Rules DD  *
SEARCH kinko IN SCREEN-L
INDEX
PRINT 154
 
So that's the technique, best I can figure.  It's new to me, so I don't
guarantee it.  It ought, however, to work on listservers for other
lists, too.
 
Let me know if there's something I've left out.
 
----------
      No matter where you go, there you are.
                                            --Buckaroo Banzai
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|                                      | Bitnet   :        JBUTLER@UA1VM |
| Jeremy G. Butler - - - - - - - - - - | Internet : [log in to unmask] |
| SCREEN-L Coordinator                 | GEnie    :           J.BUTLER27 |
|                                                                        |
| Telecommunication & Film Dept * The University of Alabama * Tuscaloosa |