Email Viruses and Other Hoaxes

There is now a possibility that your computer can be affected by a virus while reading email — if you are using older versions of Windows (Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 4, and Windows NT DEC Alpha) with IE5, Outlook, or Outlook Express and the message is in HTML format (which is not supposed to be sent to the list, and is automatically stripped off if it is). The fix for this is at http://www.microsoft.com/msdownload/iebuild/scriptlet/en/125795.htm.

Otherwise, the only way a virus can be transferred through email is if it includes an executable attachment, and you execute it.

Before doing a well-intentioned post to the list about the newest virus, modem tax, cookie recipe, or other scare, check the following sites to make sure that you aren’t being conned.

Symantec Anti Virus Research Centerhttp://www.symantec.com/avcenter/index.html
McAfee Associates Virus informationhttp://www.mcafee.com/centers/anti-virus/default2.asp
McAfee Associates Hoax informationhttp://us.mcafee.com/virusInfo/default.asp?id=hoaxes
Urban Legends Reference Pageshttp://www.snopes.com
Virus, chain-letters, hoaxes and urban legendshttp://hoaxbusters.ciac.org/ and http://www.hoaxkill.com/


If you want to leave the list permanently, with no intention of ever coming back,  send the command:


to the listserv@listserv.icors.org.

If you are planning to come back to the list at some point in the future, follow the instructions for setting NOMAIL under heading #2 — Setting MAIL and NOMAIL. If you send the SIGNOFF command, you will need to go through the listowners to begin receiving mail again.

REVIEW or, “I’ve lost a listmember’s address”

Any subscribed member can find the address of other subscribed members, send the command:


to listserv@listserv.icros.org

This will return a list of everyone who is subscribed to the list. Note that this is available only to those who are subscribed to the list — even if they are set to NOMAIL. It is not available to spammers, unless they are subscribed to the list (and this will not happen!).  If a list member ever did spam the addresses on the list, they would be promptly removed from the list.

CHANGE Command or, “I’m changing my service. Would you please add my new address?”

Subscribers can change their address themselves when they switch internet providers, send the following command (to the Listserv address), from the current (subscribed) address:


For example, if Joe Blow is subscribed to the list as joeblow@old.address.com, and is switching to joeblow@new.address.com, he would send the message:

    CHANGE ATCA joeblow@new.address.com

The message must be sent from the current address of joeblow@old.address.com. If the listmember no longer has access to the subscribed account, a listowner must do the change.  Send your request to atca-request@listserv.icors.edu or to webmaster @atcaonline.com

Listserv Searches

It is possible to search the list archives and retrieve posts for a specific time period, a specific author, or a specific subject.

Searching by Date

If fewer than 100 messages are expected, one command will work (date is in YY/MM/DD format): Send an email message to the Listserv address (with anything you like as the “Subject:”) and this for the first message:

    search atca * from 03/05/23 to 03/05/23

If over 100 messages are expected than you will have to send more than one command. For example, if close to 300 messages appeared in 2 days, the following commands could be used:

    search atca * from 03/05/23 00:00 to 03/05/23 15:59

…this for the second message:

    search atca * from 03/05/23 16:00 to 03/05/24 7:59

…and this as the third:

    search atca * from 03/05/24 8:00 to 03/05/25 00:00

Each of these will generate an email message back to you, containing a list of messages that looks something like this:

    Item #     Date      Time     Recs  Subject
    ------     ----      ----     ----  -------
    007474     03/05/23  04:09    19    Re: Polishing phones
    007477     03/05/23  00:44    18    the spring show
    007478     03/05/23  00:55    29    Re: wiring a 302

…and so on. When you’ve found which messages you would like to see, send another message to the Listserv address (with anything you like as the “Subject:”) and something like this as the message:

    GETPOST ATCA 7474 7477-7478

…this command will get message numbers 7474, 7477-7478.

Note that the time and date the listserv uses is not necessarily when the post was received. The time/date stamp is taken from the sending computer. People are sending from different time zones, and some computers are not set to the correct date or time. If the search comes back with message numbers that are much lower (older/earlier) than the bulk of the message numbers, these are probably old messages with incorrect date information. If there are gaps between numbers, then the time/date stamp of those messages is probably in the future — even though the listserv received it between the other messages. The safest way to retrieve all messages is to get all posts between the first and last consistent batch of numbers.

In the example above, it is a safe bet that 007475 and 007476 came in during that time period, but have a later time/date stamp. The command would be:

    GETPOST ATCA 7474-7478

Searching by Author and/or Subject

Say you want to find all the posts that discuss Strowger dials. You might send the command:

    SEARCH ATCA "Strowger dials"

Listserv will return a list of all postings that match your search command. This may return more than 100 posts, so it might be wise to narrow the search by time, sender, or subject of the postings. Here are four sample search commands.

    SEARCH ATCA "Strowger dials" SINCE 03/7/24
    SEARCH ATCA "Strowger dials" WHERE SENDER CONTAINS "Steph"
    SEARCH ATCA "Strowger dials" WHERE SUBJECT CONTAINS "wiring"

In the first example Listserv lists all postings that have the word Strowger dials anywhere in their body and were posted to the ATCA list since July 24, 2003.

In the second example Listserv lists all postings containing the word Strowger dials in their body that were ever posted to the ATCA list and had Steph anywhere in the “From:” mail header line.

In the third example Listserv lists all postings containing the word Strowger dials in their body and had wiring anywhere in the subject line.

In the fourth example the asterisk (*) means to list all postings which contain the word wiring anywhere in their subject header.

This will return the same type of info as the day search example, and posts can be retrieved the same way.


If 50+ posts landing in your mailbox is daunting, you may want to set yourself to DIGEST or INDEX. DIGEST groups the messages into one large post and sends it out in 1-3 batches a day, depending on that day’s posting volume. INDEX gives a daily list of posts; you choose the ones you want and follow the instructions given with the INDEX posting to retrieve them.

To set either of these options, send a message to the Listserv address. The message will read:


— or —


If you decide you want to go back to individual mail postings,

send the command:


— or —


Setting MAIL and NOMAIL

To activate your subscription in the standard manner (where you receive up to 50+ individual messages per day),  send the following command to listserv@listserv.icors.org:


If you find you are unable to cope with the large volume of individual posts then review the section on DIGEST/INDEX that directly follows this section. Either of these options will enable you to continue to participate in the list, without receiving many individual posts.


If you will be away from your computer for long enough for your mailbox to fill up (ATCA typically generates 50+ posts a day) set yourself to NOMAIL to prevent your mail from bouncing. To do this,  send the command


to the Listserv address. When you are back at your computer,  send the command


to the Listserv address, If you have forgotten to set yourself to NOMAIL, were away unexpectedly, your server had problems, or anything else caused your mail to bounce, the  listowner will set you to NOMAIL. If your mail stops coming, the first step is to perform the SET ATCA MAIL command ( as described above). If that doesn’t work, contact the ATCA-REQUEST address about the problem. Including copies of what you sent the Listserv and the Listserv’s response will help in solving the problem.

HELP! My mail stopped coming!

When list mail stops coming to you, it is usually for one of the following four reasons.

  1. Most common: Your mailbox has filled up or your server (the computer system that receives your mail (i.e. AOL, Erols, WebTV) has had problems. When that happens, your posts bounce (do not go into your mailbox and are returned to the sender). In the case of ATCA, two things might happen. We now have auto bounce control, so an account that bounces for five days is assumed to be an invalid account and is deleted. If this happens to you (you will know because your attempt to set yourself to MAIL will be returned with a message that you are not subscribed to ATCA), let the listowner know that your account is now functional and you will be added again.
    If your server uses a non-standard bounce, or sends an unusual code, the posts are returned to the listowner who is handling errors, and their mailbox fills up with copies of every post that is currently being bounced. The listowner then sets the account that is bouncing to NOMAIL. Once the member has cleaned out their mailbox, or their server has come back online, the member is able to set themselves back to MAIL by using the instructions in this FAQ (see Setting MAIL and NOMAIL below). If you are subscribed to several lists, and all have been stopped, chances are that your posts were bouncing left and right and you need to set yourself back to mail (after cleaning out your inbox).
  2. The server has gone offline temporarily but is still collecting your mail. This leads to a temporary lull in mail, and nothing will be received. Once the server is operational, all backed up mail is received at once.
  3. One of systems your mail passes through on its way to your server has gone down. Not too long ago, a major hub for the East Coast went down and mail was disrupted for almost everyone whose accounts were based here. Again, mail will be held until it can go through, then will be received all at once.
  4. The listserv has gone down. This isn’t a common occurrence, but it does happen. If you’ve attempted to set yourself to MAIL, or written to ATCA-REQUEST and did not receive any response, this may be what has happened. Please do not post to the list and ask if the listserv is down.

There is nothing that can be done about #2 , #3, and #4 but to wait. If you have tried to set yourself back to MAIL after emptying your full inbox and did not receive anything from the listserv, then chances are your mail is being held up somewhere along the way.

Listowners are able and willing to set you to MAIL and NOMAIL. But it is better for you to do it yourself so it can be done when you need it. None of us are on the list continuously — we’ve got families and lives, too — and it may take a while before we see and respond to your request.

If you’ve done all this, and are still having problems, write to atca-request@listserv.icors.org, instead of to the list. There is no need for mail problems to be posted publicly and be archived forever :-).

Useful Listserv Commands


There are three email addresses associated with the ATCA listserv. It is very important that you understand the differences between them.

This address…Is used for…
ATCA@listserv.icors.orgPosts to the list. Mail sent to this address will be sent to every list subscriber. It cannot be used to send commands to the listserv software (to alter your options).
atca-request@listserv.icors.orgMessages for the attention of the listowner. Mail sent to this address will be sent to Chuck Eby but not to other list subscribers.
listserv@listserv.icors.orgCommands sent to the listserv software. Messages sent to this address are acted upon automatically by the listserver. They are not sent to the listowner or list subscribers.

All of the listserv commands mentioned this FAQ need to be sent to the Listserv address: listserv@listserv.icors.org, and not to the list address (atca@listserv.icors.org). Queries to the listowner should be sent to atca-request@listserv.icors.org, not to the list.

The correct format for sending a listserv command is to leave the subject line blank, and have the listserv command — and only the listserv command — in the body of the message.  Disable your signature file if you use one.


  To: listserv@listserv.icors.org

Send commands in exactly the format specified. This is being read by a computer, not a human, and the program doesn’t recognize words such as “please,” “thanks,” or anything other than the one format. You do need to specify that it is ATCA that is being referenced. ICORS (the list’s server) runs hundreds of lists, and will not know which list to execute the command for unless you specify it.

Sending the command to the list or to atca-request will only delay the processing of it until a listowner sees it. The list will treat it as a regular post and send it to all subscribers. atca-request goes to Chuck Eby, he will eventually see it and take care of it, or send you another copy of this so you can take care of it yourself. Sending it to the listserv address will enable it to be taken care of automatically, without having to wait for human intervention.