Manchester & Lancs FHS

Computer Branch

Formed in 1991 by Joe Houghton and later taken over by Phil Stringer, the MLFHS Computer Branch promoted better understanding and use of computers and how they could be applied to genealogy & family history. The branch decided to suspend its activities in March 2005 when it was felt that computers were becoming so widely used that there was no longer justification to continue a separate programme of activities. Many former members of the branch remain active in contributing articles relating to computing to The Manchester Genealogist and in supporting computer users in the Resource Centre. Computing topics regularly form part of Society meetings. The most visible legacy of the Computer Branch is the Society's Internet Group.

MLFHS E-mail list (Computer Forum)

Member access to e-mail is now widespread and a list is maintained to enable members to contact each other and exchange information. Any member who wants their address adding to this list should click on the instructions link below. The list is actually an e-mail discussion list with several hundred members, and is growing all the time. Membership of the list is only open to members of the MLFHS.

The majority of discussions on the list are naturally about genealogy and family history in the Manchester & Lancashire area but do occasionally also cover other related topics. Typical topics can include location of records, interpretation of information, old words, pastimes and customs and announcements and discussion of new web sites.  Some members of the group are prepared to offer to look up information in local sources for other members who may have difficulty accessing them locally. A frequent comment is about how friendly and helpful the group are. Quite a number of problems have been solved and connections made as a result of comments made to the list.

MLFHS E-mail list (Mailman System)

The system we use is called MAILMAN, the GNU Mailing List Manager from the Free Software Foundation. This was introduced in 2005. We believe that it is more user friendly than the previous system that became outdated due to a number of factors. It gives members the ability to manage their own personal settings and one important benefit of this system is that only messages from registered members will automatically be sent to the list unlike previously. These notes are intended to make users aware of the features of the system and how best to access and use them.

Any member wishing to join in needs to click on "join the list" link at the foot of this page.

CLICK HERE for detailed instructions on how to join the list and how to use the various facilities available to manage your membership.

In order to maximise use of these features you will need to keep a note of your email address and the password which you provided as part of the joining process. Having done that lets look at what you can do, here is a brief summary.

* The obvious, send messages to and receive from the group. Subscribe as a digest or non digest member, non digest members receive all messages individually, digest members receive them in blocks of about ten.

* Change your email address and or your password or get a password reminder. Membership management is now performed via a web interface. You no longer need to send special emails in a rigid format to the majordomo program to make changes.

* Enable or disable email delivery, it is now a simple matter to change this option. If you are going away on holiday one simple mouse click is all you need to do is to disable mail delivery and another to restore it on your return.

* Subscribe with two email addresses so that you can submit messages from either address. You may choose whether to receive list messages at either registered address or both.

* There are comprehensive Archives of all past messages which can be accessed either by Thread, Subject, Author or Date.

* Although only messages from registered members will be forwarded to the list, post from non-members may be approved by a moderator if it is felt it will be of interest. This is done by the volunteers manning the office in Clayton House, who now also approve new member registrations.

* Look at the current list of subscribers to the group (members may, however, choose to hide their identity)

Click here to join the list or to change your list details

Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions  

[Last updated 7 July 2010 - John Marsden]