The Easy Way
Your monthly password reminder looks something like this:
Subject: example.net mailing list memberships reminder From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Wed, 01 Feb 2012 05:00:07 +0100
This is a reminder, sent out once a month, about your example.net mailing list memberships. It includes your subscription info and how to use it to change it or unsubscribe from a list. You can visit the URLs to change your membership status or configuration, including unsubscribing, setting digest-style delivery or disabling delivery altogether (e.g., for a vacation), and so on. In addition to the URL interfaces, you can also use email to make such changes. For more info, send a message to the '-request' address of the list (for example, email@example.com) containing just the word 'help' in the message body, and an email message will be sent to you with instructions. If you have questions, problems, comments, etc, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! Passwords for email@example.com: List Password // URL ---- -------- firstname.lastname@example.org mysecretpassword
You've seen and cursed these reminders for so many years, little realizing that they contain the keys to untold power; or at least enough power to stop the hated monthly deluge. Note the subtle hint that 'you can also use email to make such changes'. In fact, email is the only tool you'll need. Start by copying the name of the list; in this case
software-users. Compose a new email message and paste in that address, followed by
-requestand the domain. For this fake version, we'd use
email@example.com. Skip the Subject line, and dive right into the body of the email. You'll need these two lines:
set authenticate mysecretpassword set reminders off
Send it off, in a few seconds (perhaps minutes) your heart will leap to see the response:
Subject: The results of your email commands From: firstname.lastname@example.org
To: email@example.com Date: Wed, 01 Feb 2012 10:21:41 -0500 The results of your email command are provided below. Attached is your original message. - Results: reminder option set - Done.
The Subtle Way
There is even more power lurking in the reminder email, in the form of a URL at the very bottom. Follow it and you'll be greeted with a simple login screen. Use the password that was conveniently supplied to you to obtain access, but don't be dismayed by the seemingly limited choices on the membership configuration page. Scroll down to the Subscription Options, and look for this:
Yes, that's right; you can exorcise your monthly email demons by selecting the No button. But there's more; if you have subscribed to more than one Mailman list at this server, you can set the option for all of them simultaneously! Sadly there is no universal Mailman, with hegemony over all the lesser servers, but at least this cuts down on the number of times you'll need to repeat the process.
The Noble Way
There is one user with even more power over the mailing list than you; the list administrator. The admin is omnipotent; in a single click all of the password reminders can be disabled, once and for ever. With the zeal of your convictions, surely you can convince them to think of all the other users and their silent suffering, and end the pain for all of you at once. Yes, it is more effort, but think of the good you'll be doing and the karma you must certainly accumulate.
A Moment of Silence for the Password Reminder
Should you find that in the absence of the Mailman reminders you have trouble remembering to give the dog his heartworm medication, pay the cable bill, or return your library books, you can always re-enable it; that's true even if the list administrator has been shown the path of enlightenment.
Now go and spread this word to all of the long-suffering Mailman users, whether they quietly bemoan their fate or shout their rage from the hilltops on each first day. Come to think of it, I may write a Twitter-bot that autoresponds with these instructions. . .