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The Daily Tar Heel

Long list of problems: UNC listservs cause headaches for all involved

Students should start using third-party listservs like Yahoo or Google Groups for sharing information that isn’t essential to the University.

There are about 17,000 lists on the University’s servers, and it’s becoming apparent that the situation is not working out too well.

The sheer number of lists is causing delays in delivery that sometimes need patches and other maintenance to fix.

And some of these, such as Christmas card and local homeowners’ association lists, have no business being on the University’s servers.

Information Technology Services is investigating two ways to deal with the problem.

ITS could purchase more server hosts to spread out the stress the lists put on the servers.

But that isn’t sustainable.

Eventually, people will just create more lists and overload the servers again.

ITS could also implement guidelines on who can create listservs and for what.

That’s the better of the two options, but it doesn’t fix the immediate problem of potential delays. It’s also going to create some chaos while people figure out what to do.

Students should instead act on their own.

Consider setting up a Google or Yahoo group if you will not be sending e-mails for University- related purposes.

Also, given Yahoo and Google’s resources, their e-mail systems will probably be more reliable than ours is due to its current overcrowding.

As a result, the University’s servers would get some much-needed stress relief.

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