Many thousands of you like reading TidBITS in email each week, but email, as we all know, is far from perfectly reliable. Perhaps your ISP’s spam filtering takes exception to some bit of our prose, or maybe your mailbox has filled up while you’re on vacation. Either way, subscribers miss issues of TidBITS all the time and want to catch up on them later.
The easiest way to see what you missed is to go to the TidBITS Web site, where you can scan through article headlines and drill down to those articles that catch your interest. (Note the little Hide/Show Summaries of Articles link under the featured article; it lets you focus on just headlines or see the summaries as well, and your choice is remembered for your next visit.) Even better, if you’re used to the weekly email issue of TidBITS, you can read a Web version of the articles in each individual issue.
Also pay attention to the navigation bar on the left side, which has a Weekly Issues link that reveals additional links to the last nine issues, along with a tiny search box that lets you load any given issue by number. It’s easy to catch up on the last few issues there, but we’ve just added something new: a Send Me This Issue button that resends you the entire issue in email.
Some caveats. You must be logged in for this button to appear, and clicking it sends the issue to the email address associated with your TidBITS account. (And yes, if you receive TidBITS in email each week, you already have an account, even if you’ve never logged into it before.) This approach is necessary to prevent spammers and ill-mannered robots from attempting to exploit our site.
(By the way, if your email account has rejected TidBITS issues in appropriate ways, our system marks your account as bouncing and stops sending you email. When you log in to a bouncing account, you’re told that and given an opportunity to resume delivery. If you still have problems, contact me.)
Also, what you’ll receive from us is the HTML-formatted version of TidBITS, with the plain-text version as an alternative within the message for email programs that can’t display HTML. Although we could theoretically figure out which version you normally receive and send you that one, it’s apparently a hassle in the code, so we hope this is sufficient.
Ideally, this new feature will solve two annoyances. First, those who want to maintain a complete email archive of TidBITS can recover from email delivery problems on their own. (Much as I like helping, resending issues manually isn’t a good use of my time.) Second, those trying to troubleshoot an overzealous spam filter can send themselves test copies of the issue while working with their ISP’s tech support department. Enjoy!