The History of the DML


Note: This page is being provided for historical reference and nostalgia only - many of the e-mail addresses, URLs, mailing list commands, etc. shown here are no longer valid.

If I get some time, in the future I will expand a bit, but here is the condensed version....

Before I traded it in on my Dakota, I had a '91 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4, and was a member of the Stealth/3000GT mailing list. There was no such list for the Dakota, and I missed the benefit of having such a resource. After participating in discussions on Usenet such as this one, I realized that there were other people out there who felt a Dakota mailing list would be a good thing. I didn't know anything about running a mailing list, but nobody else volunteered so I decided I'd create one myself. After searching for mailing list software, I couldn't find anything. So, taking the whole theme of "if you can't find what you want, build it yourself" a step further, I wrote a mailing list system which I named "SimpleList" in C++ on an Amiga 3000 running NetBSD. Should you be so inclined, you can take a look at the code for this system here.

Once the list was set up and running, I posted the following message to a few Mopar related newsgroups:

From: stei0302@cs.fredonia.edu (Jon N. Steiger)
Subject: ANNOUNCE: Dodge Dakota mailing list.
Date: 1995/11/17
Message-ID: >DI7G4w.5LB@cs.fredonia.edu#<1/1
x-nntp-posting-host: mary.cs.fredonia.edu
sender: news@cs.fredonia.edu (Jin Mazumdar)
organization: Math / CS, State Univ. of NY college at Fredonia
newsgroups: rec.autos.makers.chrysler,rec.autos.misc,rec.autos.tech,rec.autos.4x4,alt.autos.macho-trucks

 The purpose of this mailing list:

    To provide a forum of discussion for all aspects of Dodge's Dakota
pickup truck.  Related items would be well within the charter as 
well.  (i.e. Magnum engines, Dodge ABS, etc.)  Basically, anything even
remotely related to Dodge Dakotas.   There seems to be a niche for 
something like this.  Heres hoping!  :-)

   The owner and administrator of the Dakota mailing list is Jon Steiger,
(stei0302@cs.fredonia.edu), proud owner of a black '96 318ci SLT 5-speed.

How to subscribe, unsubscribe, etc:

 Valid commands are info, help, list, subscribe, unsubscribe, and special.

   info - will send you a message explaining what the list is all about,
        and how to subscribe and unsubscribe.

   help - is the same as info.
   list - will send you a list of the e-mail addresses of all subscribers

   subscribe - will subscribe you to the list
   unsubscribe - will take you off the list.

   special - will forward your request to the list owner, to be handled
           personally.  Please use this SPARINGLY!!

 All of these commands must be placed in the subject line, followed
 by your e-mail address.  For example:

    subscribe user@host.domain
    unsubscribe user@host.domain
    info user@host.domain
    help user@host.domain
    list user@host.domain
    sub user@host.domain
    unsub user@host.domain
    special user@host.domain

  Note:  subscribe and unsubscribe can be abbreviated as sub and unsub,

 The address to send these requests to is:


   Thanks!  We look forward to seeing you on the list!!


 | Jon Steiger == DoD# 1038 == USUA# A46209 == NMA# 117376 == KotWitDoDFAQ |
 |   stei0302@cs.fredonia.edu  &&  http://www.cs.fredonia.edu/~stei0302/   |
 |   '96 Dakota SLT V-8, '91 FZR600R    /* Just another mangy hacker */    |

The Dakota Mailing List started out on an Amiga 3000 running NetBSD. This machine was sitting in a corner of the Computer Science lab at SUNY Fredonia. The network connection was a serial line (using SLIP) which consisted of frayed wires crammed into the holes of the port with paper clips and thumbtacks. (Yes, really. I have pictures.) The list was known as dakota@csclub0.cs.fredonia.edu. Life was good.

Then, beaurocracy and politics conspired against us, and as a result, we moved the machine to a different building, a different domain, and a different name. The network connection was upgraded to 10 base 2 ethernet, which really ripped along compared to that serial connection. The list became dakota@sseg.ait.fredonia.edu. Life was once again, good. However, during this period, the list activity increased above and beyond the capabilities of my simple mailing list software. Bounced error messages were becoming annoying.

The list was moved again; this time as an upgrade; to make things run much more smoothly for subscribers. It was moved to a Windows NT server running NTList. The network connection became 10 base T ethernet. The list became dakota@ait.fredonia.edu. The mailing list software did a wonderful job, and everything ran quite nicely. Life was good.

However, I should have known that it would only be a matter of time... Once again, beaurocracy and politics conspired against us. I lost all administrative control over the list, and it became plagued with problems. Obviously, another change was in order. I could have moved the list back to dakota@sseg.ait.fredonia.edu, but that would have required a rewrite of the still obsolete mailing list sofware. Also, that machine was crashing several times a week. My only option wasn't a very good one. At some point, I considered a commercial ISP (I think it might have been at the suggestion of a list member). I did some research and found a good local ISP which hosted mailing lists for about $10/month. After some thought and discussion, the list was moved again. It is was now known as dakota-truck@buffnet.net. For the most part, the service was great, but at one point the list went down for a few days and the techs couldn't seem to locate the problem. So, I moved it to the same server as the web site, and its now dakota-truck@dakota-truck.net. (dml@dakota-truck.net works too). Life is, once again, good.

However, our new life has a price. As a result, the DML is now surviving through the contributions of its members. A contribution is not required to be a member; you are perfectly free to sign on and free-load. However, if too many people do that, the list will run out of money and die. Hopefully, there are too many subscribers who are addicted to (errr... I mean, "value") the list to let that happen.

Go Back to the DML Home Page
Jon N. Steiger / jon@dakota-truck.net