How Ham Radio Mailing Lists Work

—–Original Message—–
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: Saturday, January 24, 2009 8:44 AM
Subject: [Heathkit] OT: How many list members?

I read this on another list and it reminded me of the recent discussion of Heathkit manuals and copyrights. Please don’t respond to this in any way to the list (lest I be guilty of starting a thread)!

How many list members does it take to change a lightbulb? (author unknown)

  • One to change the light bulb and a second to post that the light bulb has been changed (the first does not have regular email access).
  • Fourteen to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently.
  • Seven to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs.
  • Seven more to point out spelling or grammar errors in the posts about changing light bulbs.
  • Five to flame the spell checkers.
  • Three to correct spelling/grammar flames.
  • Six to argue over whether it’s “lightbulb” or “light bulb”… another six to condemn those six as stupid.
  • Fifteen to claim experience in the lighting industry and give correct spelling.
  • One to post the old joke about “Hams don’t change light bulbs, they redesign the circuit to use LED’s”.
  • Two to post that “LED’s” is incorrect grammar, and that the plural form of LED is LEDs.
  • Three to post that the “LED’s” / LEDs postings are Off Topic as the current discussion is about light bulbs.
  • Nineteen to post that this group is not about light bulbs or LEDs and to please take this discussion to a lightbulb (or light bulb or LED) forum / mailing list / chatroom / whatever.
  • Eleven to defend the posting to the group saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts are relevant to this group.
  • Two to say “I’m having to change lightbulbs tomorrow at work therefore it is relevant to ME”.
  • Thirty-six to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique and what brands are faulty.
  • Seven to post URLs where one can see examples of different light bulbs.
  • Four to post that the URLs were posted incorrectly and then post the corrected URL (bracketed inside < and > characters so that word wrap does not break the URLs).
  • Three to post about links they found from the URLs that are relevant to this group which makes light bulbs relevant to this group.
  • Thirteen to link all postings to date, quote them in their entirety including all headers, trailers and signatures, and add “Me too”.
  • Another four that again quote the above “all postings” and add “Me three”.
  • Five to post to the group that they are quitting the list because they cannot handle the light bulb controversy.
  • Four to ask “didn’t we go through this already a short time ago?”
  • Thirteen to say “Google is your friend”, or “Do a Google search on light bulbs before posting questions about light bulbs”
  • Three to tell a funny story about their spouse/cat/dog/parrot/whatever and a light bulb.
  • Neil W2xxx posts and says “I have 20 file cabinets of light bulb manuals here, let me pull the correct one out for you and give you the Motorola part number.”


  • One group lurker to respond to the original post 6 months from now and start it all over again.


  1. So not limited to ham radio mailing lists, but yet so true. :)

  2. John KC8ZTJ says:

    You must read Eham.

  3. Dan:

    I got a kick out of this. It is SO true. Thanks for making me smile.


    Ronny, KC5EES
    Austin, Texas

Speak Your Mind