Over the last few weeks, I’ve been taking a break from visions of sugar plums to delve into the great mysteries of completely new server software. As I noted a few months ago in "Seven Hundred Issues, a CMS, and Creative Commons" in TidBITS-700, we’re in the lengthy process of switching all of our Internet services over to the industrial-strength Web Crossing running on a dual-processor Xserve hosted at digital.forest.
Making such a major switch while keeping everything running is tricky, but I’ve started by moving most of our local email users over and converted some of our internal mailing lists to Web Crossing. That’s all in preparation for moving our much larger mailing lists as well, starting with the translation distribution lists and TidBITS Talk, and finishing up with the main TidBITS lists, after which we’ll turn our attention to Web services.
I tell you all this for two reasons. First, it’s possible that I’ll make a mistake that could result in mail bouncing briefly, duplicate messages, or some similar confusion. Don’t stress about such issues, and unless the problem continues, assume I already know about it.
Second, and more important, one of the big advantages of Web Crossing is that you’ll be able to manage your own subscriptions, which of course requires an account. Whenever I move a mailing list from our old list software to Web Crossing, the Mailing List Manager account will send you a message telling you that you’ve been subscribed to a list. Pay special attention to the first message you get, because, at the bottom, it will display your Web Crossing username (which is your email username, possibly with a random number appended to it to avoid duplicates), a randomly generated password, and a link to our Web Crossing server. With that information, you can log in to Web Crossing to change your password to something you’ll remember, manage your subscriptions, and change your email address. If you forget your password, Web Crossing can create a new one and email it to you.
I’m taking the conversion slowly, partially because it takes time to learn and configure software as powerful as Web Crossing (especially while doing all my normal work), and partially because the folks at Web Crossing are making requested changes as I go. So far, it’s been a great learning process, so keep your fingers crossed as I keep working at it!