About the autox Mailing List (Team.Net)


What is the autox mailing list?

The autox mailing list is a listserv type electronic mailing list. The mailing list is about autocrossing, for the most part dealing with SCCA Solo II events. There are currently about 700 members on the list, and the list generates maybe 300 messages a month, about half a megabyte of material. When some popular subject crops up, the volume of mail on the list rises accordingly.

In addition to the main list, there are sublists for some of the more common areas, such as a sublist for the San Francisco Bay Area, and another sublist for the northeastern US of A, and one for Utah.

The list is available in a real-time format or as a digest, with the day's messages collected into one large nightly mailing. Some folks prefer this format over the steady stream of mail throughout the day.

Although most of the list members are from the USA and Canada, there are some Europeans aboard, and people from all countries are welcome.

What is Team.Net?

Team.Net (pronounced "Team dot Net") is the competition arm of a computer mailing list for autocross enthusiasts across North America. The members include men and women from computer hardware and software manufacturers, universities (faculty and students both), and other organizations or online services that can reach the worldwide Internet computer communication network. The only qualifications you need to join Team.Net are an interest in participating in autocrossing, and a computer that can talk to the Internet.

The list has been active since 1987, when Richard Welty and Mark Bradakis started a computer mailing list called racers to handle discussions between active participants in motorsports. Spawned by a computer news network called USENET, which has a readership estimated in the hundreds of thousands of computer users worldwide, the racers mailing list grew to include contributors across the continent, including a number of past and present national Solo II champions. Over the first year or two, the focus of the list changed from general motorsports participation to autocrossing specifically, so the list's name was changed to "autox."

In late 1989, as mailing list members began to appear in fairly high concentrations at autocrosses across the continent, it became obvious that the mailing list needed a name to put on the entry forms. Borrowing from computer file system naming conventions, the name "Team.Net" (pronounced "Team Dot Net") was suggested and stuck. (For the record, it was Akkana Peck's idea to put the dot in "Team Dot Net") About this time, using various computer graphics languages and tools, Tim Villanueva, DSP contender from San Francisco Region who traded his pickup truck for an X 1/9 at the start of the 1990 season, designed the team logo, which shows a computer "mouse" navigating an autocross course. (The fact that the mouse is DNFing the course didn't faze the team members.) A new logo, which appears on the mailing list pages has since been introduced. Yet a third design is now available from Solotime, an equipment vendor

The Team.Net advantage, though, is more than just in its numbers, diversity, and really neat graphics. The real benefit to belonging to Team.Net is that it serves as a forum in which novices can ask questions -- about car preparation, reference materials, driving techniques, concentration exercises, and legal modifications for various classes -- from National champions and winning Pro Solo drivers such as Karen Babb (Solo II national champion in 1983, '86, '87, '88, '89 and '90), Paul Brown (Pro Solo S6 champion in 1990), Akkana Peck (DSPL National champion in 1989), and many others. It's experience like this that helped Lisa Kenas (now Lisa Noordergraf), 1990's GSL winner in Salina, to rise from novice to National champion in less than two years of autocrossing.

In addition to providing a kind of interactive library of racing lore and suggestions, Team.Net is also an effective support group. Since there's no substitute for seat time, one of the most valuable side effects of Team.Net is the sense of healthy competition and enthusiastic support to show up at events. With this many committed and successful racers on the team, it's easy for the newcomers to find out when events are scheduled to occur; with exciting and timely reports from events around the country, it's equally easy to keep newcomers enthused about joining the competition.

In short, Team.Net represents a combination of skill, experience, and enthusiasm for autocrossing that is both fun and effective. It's a cross between a very active autocross club with a good mix of novices and champions, and a kind of high-tech bench racing session at the local pub.

How do I subscribe?

For the regular subscription (about 15 messages/day):

Send an email message to majordomo@autox.team.net, with "subscribe autox" in thebody of the message.

For the digest subscription (one message/day listing all the previous day's postings):

Send an email message to majordomo@autox.team.net, with "subscribe ax-digest" in the body of the message.

To subscribe to the San Francisco Bay Area sublist:

Send an email message to ba-autox-request@autox.team.net with "subscribe" in the body of the message.

What else should I know about this list?

The postings to this list are intended only for those on this list. Any reproduction by any means without the express consent of the author is not only rude and stupid, but prohibited.

If you join team.net by subscribing to the list, we would like to know what sort of car, if any, you race, as well as your geographical location. Please go to http://tamscc.tamu.edu/whoswho and add yourself to the online database.

What if I get an error message?

Mail for the list gets sent to hundreds of people, traveling through many hundreds, if not a thousand or more, computers. This may take days to actually occur, as some sites still use once a day polling to transmit mail.

Given the current state of technology it is not improbable that one of those links will exhibit some sort of problem. When you post a message, you may get back error messages. This DOES NOT mean you need to resend it. What it does mean is that everybody got it except for maybe one or two folks. Don't repost things unless you are absolutely, positively sure it did not reach anyone on the list.

What if I like to talk a whole lot?

Also remember that not everyone has the latest and greatest technology at their fingertips. Keep your text limited to lines less than 80 characters long.

Try to keep the size of your submissions under control. Post writeups of events you attend, but don't describe every cone placement, every run and every competitor in detail. Keep it short and interesting, and only elaborate on the necessary points. The same sort of guidelines apply to technical postings. This list generates a lot of traffic, and keeping the volume down will keep folks happier. If folks have to wade through pages and pages of stuff they don't find interesting, they won't be happy with you, or this list. And we do want folks to enjoy themselves. And avoid long and usually less than funny signatures on the ends of your mail. You shouldn't need a dozen lines to tell folks who you are.

Also, instead of sending three message so of one sentence each, try to send one message with three sentences in it. Same information content, it just puts a little less load on the system. And if you are replying to a message, use discretion in how much of the original message you quote. Forwarding a complete message only to add a single sentence or two of your own doesn't make you look too smart. Folks will delete the message they think they've already seen long before they get to your comments. And speaking of trying to look smart, read over your text at least once to catch the obvious editor errors, spelling errors and such.

My mailbox is overwhelmed. What should I do?

If at some point you feel that the traffic is too high for you, you may wish to switch to the digest form of the mailing. If you choose to receive mailings this way, you will receive a single letter each morning containing all of the previous day's postings, rather than receiving each one individually. As with other administrative requests, to switch mailing forms send mail to autox-request.

Are there any rules of etiquette I should obey?

Of course. There are several simple practices that make Team.Net a civilized forum. (We hope :-)

  1. Be nice to each other. Realize that everyone is entitled to their opinions. Flames sometimes get out of hand when folks forget that. Make your case in as logical a fashion as possible, and you may be able to sway some opinions; but spew out a flame and you can kiss your chances of being convincing to others goodbye!
  2. Take your personal arguments off-line. For example, if you have a problem with another list member's attitude, there is no need to bash or verbally assault him/her over the entire list. Take it outside! Mail your flames directly to the intended target.
  3. Keep private mail private. This should apply to your emailing practice in general. If you alone are sent an email message, you must first get permission from the sender if you want to share that mail with the list. One way of discouraging recipients of private mail from sharing it with the list is to label it **PRIVATE MAIL** at the top before sending it off.
  4. Think before you click 'send'. Your messages will most likely be better received by the list members if they are constructed with care. Think carefully about what you want to say. After writing it, re-read your message to see if it really says what you want it to say, and check your spelling for good measure.

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