Mailing lists are one of the older uses of the Internet. Not as common now, since web-based message forums have many advantages, including ease of use. But the mailing list format has some unique qualities. And some mailing lists remain in that format just because they are well-established. One advantage over web-based forums is that they can be more private. Also many people prefer to have information sent to them regularly rather than having to go look for it. And since mailing lists are based entirely on email, they can require simpler technolgy than anything web-based, where more powerful computers may be needed (not much of an issue these days).
As a member of a mailing list, you recieve every message that any member sends to the list. Normally there is the option to subscribe in "digest mode", so that you get one message per day, which contains all of the messages sent to the list on that day.
The Sorehand mailing list is a well-established, very active list for the discussion of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other RSI conditions or other conditions of the hands and arms. There is much discussion there on all aspects of these subjects. Members include authors, therapists, doctors, and sufferers of various conditions. Some topics discussed include drugs, surgery, doctors, medical theories, alternative theories, alternative treatments (yoga, massage, Rolfing, Feldenkrias, Alexander), political issues, workers compensation, insurance issues, legal issues, ergonomics (mice, keyboards, chairs, desks), computer software (voice recognition), books, websites, etc, etc.
To subscribe to the Sorehand mailing list, just send an email message to this address:
with this text in the body of the message:
subscribe sorehand yourname (substitute your name for yourname)
You will get a message back immediately to confirm your subscription. You will need to reply to that message to complete the process. Note that most mailing lists are completely automated. You are sending commands to a "listserver" to tell it to subscribe you or unsubscribe you or to change to digest mode.
To receive the list in digest mode, which I prefer and recommend, you will need to send another message to the listsever after you are subscribed. This one would have this text in the body of the message:
set sorehand digest
To unsubscribe, send this message:
Note that you do not need to put anything in the subject field of the messages sent to the listserver. (But some Internet providers may require that messages have something in the subject field - in such cases it doesn't matter what is entered there).
To send messages to the list (rather than the listserver) you use a different address:
Messages sent to the list are then sent to each subscriber. You may get replies directly from individuals as well as through the list. And of course, you should always fill in the subject field on these messages.
There is an official FAQ page for the Sorehand list on the web here:
Please check it out for more info, but note that the page has not been maintained for quite a while and much of the info is out of date or incorrect. The link given there for info on how to search the archives is no longer valid. Here is a link to complete info on how to use any mailing list based on the LISTSERV software, made by L-Soft, which is the software used for the Sorehand list.
The manual has a section on how to seach archives for particular subjects. I have not done this. There is also info on how to find what archive files are available and how to get them. This is the way to get the complete archives. To find out what files are available, send this command to the listserver:
(Note that this message is sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)
You will immediately get a message back listing the available log files. You can then request the files by sending a command like this to the same address:
get sorehand log0001A
This example asks for a file named LOG0001A which is one of the avialable log files. You can ask for more than one in a single message, with each command on a separate line. These files are very large (like a third of a MB to two thirds of a MB) so you may want to just get them one or two at a time. I requested 5 in each message. Currently, (as of JAN 2004) the archives go back to January of 1999. The oldest files are periodically deleted since they take so much space, so don't wait forever to get them if you are interested. (Get them now and read them later) Each file is one weeks worth of messages. They are named like this: LOGyymml where yy is the 2-digit year, mm is the 2-digit month and l is a letter from A to E.
I highly recommed this to anyone who hasn't been on the list long. If you find this list interesting or are looking for specific info, read the archives! Many of the top experts in the world on this subject are members of this list. They may be from various backgrounds with differing ideologies, but there is probably a lot more agreement on basic "Sorehand wisdom" than there sometimes seems to be. If you want to learn about hands and RSI, this is the place to read.
Sometime in 2001, a Sorehand member created a web-based search tool which is a very easy way to search the Sorehand archives. This can be found here:
I'm pretty sure this covers the archives back to at least 1999. To protect the privacy of the members, a password is required. This can be obtained by asking on the Sorehand list.
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Revised 01/26/04 (this page first posted 03/16/02)