by Adam C. Engst <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? If so, you may want to subscribe to our new mailing list for the German translation of TidBITS. The German translation, ably led by Walter J. Ferstl, began in December of 1995 and is one of our longest running translations. However, we've just brought its mailing list in-house, where it will stay for the foreseeable future.
To subscribe to the German TidBITS mailing list, send email to <email@example.com>. As you might expect, to remove yourself from the list (or change your address, which requires unsubscribing from the old address then subscribing again from the new address), send email to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Old Macs Rock -- Although we rely on StarNine's ListSTAR for the main TidBITS mailing list (about 50,000 active subscribers), we've decided to run the much smaller (currently about 1,000 subscribers) German TidBITS list and future lists for other translations using Fog City's LetterRip 2.0 on our oldest Mac, an SE/30 with 20 MB of RAM and a 105 MB hard disk. Along with LetterRip, the SE/30 runs Now Software's Now Up-to-Date and Now Contact servers, Men & Mice's QuickDNS Pro, Maxum's PageSentry Pro, and Apple's LaserWriter Bridge. That's impressive for such an elderly machine.
We decided on LetterRip because our hybrid ListSTAR/FileMaker Pro solution for the main TidBITS list works best when we handle both the list maintenance and the issue distribution locally. Since the translation coordinators don't necessarily finish each issue on a specific day, we thought it would be best if they could distribute the issue without needing to coordinate with us or our database. The decision was helped by the fact that setting up a list in LetterRip is truly simple and takes about two minutes. ListSTAR isn't hard, but ListSTAR's impressive flexibility makes setting up, testing, and tweaking a new list more of a production.
Overseas Mirrors -- The Web site for the German translation of TidBITS lives in Austria, where it's readily accessible to European readers. Also, those of you who are not in North or South America should note that some other translations and the English version of TidBITS exist both on our main Performa 6400-based Web server in Seattle, plus on mirror sites throughout the world. If you are in Europe, Asia, or Australia and aren't getting good performance from our Web server, a mirror site may be a better choice (check the home page for each translation for an up-to-date list of translation mirror sites). Webmedia, an Austrian non-profit organization, hosts a mirror of recent issues in England, and SVMMac hosts a full mirror site in Paris, France. In addition, the Social Sciences Research Centre at the University of Hong Kong hosts a mirror in Hong Kong for Asian readers, and Sensei Consulting provides an archive of back issues in Australia.