“From Mailing Lists to Weblog: why I started this blog”
Congratulations, you have found my blog!
At the time of this post, there’s not much content, but I promise you I will post some good stuff over the next few weeks.
I’m known around the Web as
tPenguinLTG (“Hi! I’m a geek!”). It’s a contraction of
`The Penguin' says: "You have just lost The Game!", a phrase that appears in my email signature as a caption to a false-coloured ASCII Tux from the *nix program
.--. |o_o | |:_/ | // \ \ (| | ) /'\_ _/`\ \___)=(___/ The Penguin says: "You have just lost The Game!"
Why is that a part of my email signature? Simply because one of my close friends told me it was cute. I added the caption after learning about The Game in 2009.
As for the emails I write, apart from the normal stuff, I maintain four mailing lists. I started them because I had interesting things I wanted to share with my friends.
Initially, I just sent these mass emails to people whom I thought would be interested. Of course, some people complained, so I had to change my model, which eventually became the subscription-based mailing list.
Furthermore, my recipients all used to be listed in the
TO: header, and naturally, that was a security issue. Consequently, my recipients list was hijacked at least twice by people who wanted to ask for help from the bulk of the list. Even worse, one of these people accidentally sent the list some hentai in an attempt to get me to stop sending him emails, hitting “Reply all” instead of just plain “Reply”. I tell my recipients to inform me when they want to unsubscribe, but this is just ridiculous! We all laugh about it now, but back then — actually, even now — I was quite relieved that a certain few weren’t on the list.
I BCC my lists now.
My mailing lists:
- My oldest list. I usually put a series of FoxTrot comics around special events and major holidays
FoxTrot is a newspaper comic strip by American cartoonist Bill Amend (pronounced “AY-mend”). Running daily until the end of 2006, it is now a weekly Sunday comic that centres around the lives of the Fox family. You can read more about the strip at the official website.
geek || nerd
- Pronounced “geek or nerd”, this is my most active list. These guys get tips, tricks, tweaks, and rants. The content is usually about software for the three major operating systems, hidden goodies, and stuff I’ve done to my computers. They’ve also received the occasional FoxTrot list and whatever else I thought would interest them.
- Occasional updates to my bookmarks list, presented in a simple hand-coded HTML page. This has largely become obsolete as the most-recent copy can always be found in my Dropbox folder
- My newest mailing list. So far, every email has been a playlist of songs showcasing an artist.
Recently, one of my friends (the same one who sent the hentai) made me make a blog: he put his Lenovo ThinkPad in front of me and got me to set it up right then and there (guess what this is?). He got me to do it because he was tired of me sending my emails, but oddly enough, I don’t even send any to him!
The thought of starting a blog wasn’t new to me; I’ve been telling my geek list that the stuff I send them is better suited for a blog. Besides, you know you should start blogging when you write your emails before sending them.
Over the course of this blog, in addition to original content, I will be porting my mailing list emails to blog posts. Posts based on my emails will have their titles prefixed with “From The Archives:”, and suffixed with the original sent date.
Apart from minor edits and corrections, there will be two major changes:
I will only be embedding at least the first comic in the post, and hyperlinking URLs for the rest of them. To quote Bill Amend,
For non-commercial websites, I’m generally okay with people reposting a strip now and then, so long as you include a link back to foxtrot.com.
Since this list isn’t blog-friendly and is largely obsolete anyway, I have decided to rework this list specially for this blog to highlight links in my bookmarks page. As this will not be based on emails, they will not bear the “From The Archives” prefix.
That’s that. If you skipped to the end of this post, you didn’t miss much; the good stuff will come later.