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HOW TO SEARCH FOR AND RETRIEVE a previously read article

by Jim Meagher


There is a two step process to retrieve a past message from *ANY* listserver. In this example, we will be searching the PCBUILD mailing list for messages about the Intel CELERON cpu.

You must first search for the message(s) that you want.

Searching for a message on a list server is very much like searching for a web page on a search engine. You supply a list of keywords or a particular phrase that you want to look for, and the server then returns a list of messages that match your phrase or keywords. The major difference is that a listerver can host many different mailing lists, so you mustt also tell the list server which mailing list you want to search.

Send a message to the listSERVER (not to the list) and in the text of the message write


For our example, the command would look like this:


SUBJECT: [none required]


Soon the server will send a message back listing all the posts that contain your search words/phrase. Notice that in the reply from the listserver, it ignored the capital letter C in Celeron. Also keep in mind that this list could be very long (sorry, there is no way to limit it to a special date range).

For our example it would look like this:

> search pcbuild celeron

-> 47 matches.

Item # Date Time Recs Subject

------ ---- ---- ---- -------

001832 98/04/02 0027 39 Re BX Chipset?

001867 98/04/03 1903 44 Re BX Chipset?

001879 98/04/02 1644 47 Re BX Chipset?

002824 98/05/08 1136 37 Re RAM Limitations with Pentium II Processors??

002838 98/05/08 2027 29 Re RAM Limitations with Pentium II Processors??

002860 98/05/08 1557 61 Re RAM Limitations with Pentium II Processors??

002870 98/05/10 1429 40 Re RAM Limitations with Pentium II Processors??

002888 98/05/11 1312 65 Re RAM Limitations with Pentium II Processors??

003218 98/05/28 1754 20 Intel's BX chipset

003219 98/05/28 1727 44 Re Intel's BX chipset

003237 98/05/30 1552 66 Re Intel CPUs

003265 98/06/01 1811 32 Re Cacheable RAM

003626 98/06/21 1305 47 Re Intel vs Cyrix vs AMD

003696 98/06/23 1728 44 Re .

**The rest of the list has been cut off for brevity **

Directly below the list will be a prebuilt command which you can cut and paste into the message you will build in step two (below). And then the message will continue on with an brief excerpt from each of the posts (which will help you narrow down your choices) similar to the following

>>> Item #2838 (8 May 1998 2027) - Re RAM Limitations with Pentium II Processors??
> All PII's to date, except the new Celeron bogosity, include 512K


> of cache, and can cache up to 512MB or 1GB [I can never remember
>>> Item #2860 (8 May 1998 1557) - Re RAM Limitations with Pentium II Processors??
>performance cost? The May issue of PC World was not too keen on this
>new Pentium II, the Celeron. In addition, it appears to be a "dead


Now on to step two.

Once you have found the message (or messages) that you want, you must now send another command to the listserver requesting the messages you want to receive.

The format of the command is:

GETPOST listname item# item# item# ....(as many as you want)

For our example, the message would look like


SUBJECT: [None Required]

TEXT GETPOST PCBUILD 1832 2838 3626 2860

Notice that the item numbers do not have to be in order or consecutive and that all leading zeroes are removed. You can request as many items as you want with a single command, but I advise not stringing the numbers so far out that they word-wrap to a second line. Just create a second command within the same message if you need more items.


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