some background info

From: Hannu Kaikonen (
Date: Tue Mar 10 1998 - 19:40:54 EET

Hello my dear friends

This is a (pre)historical story of a Hat and a thing called rp-ml...

Once upon a time Helsinki University of Technology was invited to take part
in a Concerted Action (CA) which became known as EARP, European Action on
Rapid Prototyping. CA's are low-budgeted projects and the objective is to
finance part of the travelling expences of the participants to meet a
couple of times a year. Imagine 30 - 50 people meeting for two days twice a
year... So André Dolenc decided they should go Internet and have regular
discussions via e-mail so their meetings could be more productive. After
all, André was the chairman of the CAD and software interest group and he
thought it was his duty to offer such an alternative to EARP.

It turned out that many in Europe did not have e-mil at that time, so André
included in the mailinglist 20 names from people from different parts of
the world, not only Europe. The list grew slowly and he inserted names by
"hand". Then one day came Yakov and placed a note in some Newsgroup related
to CAD. The requests for membership grew steadily. André say´s the messages
were distriputed using a simple forwarding mechanism until he decided to
get himself a proper mailing list program.

André also advertised the mailing list in Conferences and Workshops, but he
thinks tht Yakov´s posting in the Newsgroups did make some difference
becaus people were asking to sign up "out of the blue".

The time passed and eventually it happened that André decided to go
private. The list had grown a bit under 500 subscribers and was highly
appreciated as an unbeatable source of information. The list had to stay
alive and that´s when I got involved. I took over the adminsitration work
and Seppo J Niemi, the man behind the technical matters, luckily stayed
with us and carried on his work as a techical wizard. Since those days
rp-ml has gone through a lot of changes, we´ve changed the address, the
whole mailing system has changed a few times and even the physical
location of our server has changed. But still The List has been growing
steadily and some time ago we had our 1000th subscriber. The lucky one was
Vicki Billings from Helisys. We thought it was such a remarkable milestone
in rp-ml´s history, that it had to be celebrated somehow. This is why we
decided to send a few valued subscribers (the Loudest and the most active
ones) a small ´gift´ - a Hat - as a token of our appreciation. These hats
are especially designed for this purpose and personalize to make them unique.

I hope this longish story clarified the mystery of The Hat.

Yours truly

Hannu Kaikonen
'owner rp-ml'
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For more information about the rp-ml, see

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