The Digest has existed in various forms since before
1988. The most successful incarnation of the Digest came at the hands of
Rob Gardner, the original Digest Janitor (though, I must say, its current instantiation may be more
successful yet). The least successful incarnation
occurred in 1996, and very nearly destroyed the Home Brew Digest.
Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen
acquired the heart of the Digest, the subscription list, from the AOB in
January of 1997. They also acquired the soul of the Digest: Rob Gardner's
original scripts. Pat set about the task of building a server to house the
Digest, with the help of many contributors now listed on the Donors page. Karl set about
configuring the software to run on the new machine at its new address. The
HBD was resurrected and the "new old Home Brew Digest" was
Several new features have been added to the Digest
with this new incarnation, and a low-level moderation feature was introduced, due
to the heavy influx of spam in recent times. Most importantly, though, the
Digest has been returned to its former self, allowing its contributors to
see what's on the queue and to cancel their postings should they have a
change of heart.
The digest acquired its own domain name, hbd.org, and
a guiding Steering Committee - a body of representatives taken from the
readership to guide policy setting on the Digest - in mid '97 (disbanded in
Additionally, since the Digest now exists as its own domain having excess
capacity, this Digest web site was created. Housed on this site are
information regarding the Digest, home brew club home pages and some
interesting brewing related pages that either wouldn't have been created,
or would have "blinked out" had the Digest not stepped in to
preserve them. The new server has also allowed the centralization of
cross-media publications of the Digest (HTML at http://hbd.org/hbd and Usenet news at rec.crafts.brewing) and its archives
The following presents information regarding the
evolution of the Digest over the years.
Many people have, through their direct efforts, contributed to the HomeBrew Digest's success over the years. These people have been assigned the name "Janitor" in honor of their responsibility to the mailing list. We honor them below...
The original Digest Janitor.
Rob's innovations helped make the Digest one of the oldest and most active
mailing lists on the net! (He's also the one to coin the term "Janitor" to
mean Digest administrator.)
The first Digest Janitor under the AOB. Shawn ported the Digest to majordomo, and introduced the "undigested" version.
Mike "took over" when Shawn left the AOB for greener pastures.
Adrian was made an unwilling janitor when his company was hired by the AOB to "fix" the HBD. The Digest becomes strict majordomo.
Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen
The "Bonny & Clyde" tag-team Janitorial staff of
the HBD from January '97 to September 2003. The Digest was restored to the Gardner
scripts at that time and has been continually enhanced ever since. As
Pat says: "With the turnaround we've accomplished with the Digest, we
could compare ourselves to Jack Welch of GE. I mean: going forward at
the end of the day - as long as we're all on the same page. That's the
Mmmm, nah! That'd be truly stupid! We're absolutely nothing
In a flash of unexpected (and uncharacteristic) brilliance, the
term: "Management by clicking around" is born.
With Karl's "retirement" from the HBD in
September of 2003,
the current Janitor is Pat Babcock. Having been in "Gottagetitdun
University" since '97, Pat was forced into programmatic servitude to
the HBD server, and can now wield code with the best of 'em. Using these
newfound skills, Pat continues to enhance the Digest
with such things as "auto-munged" email addresses to help reduce SPAM abuse,
online queue viewer, etc.; and maintains the entire HBD.ORG and BREWERY.ORG
domains. Now, with over ten years of running the Digest under his belt, he
also wears the crown of The Longest Running Digest Janitor. Hail to the
king! That, and a couple of bucks, will get you a decent coffee in most
Pat Babcock and Spencer Thomas
Life at the speed of light, coupled with SPAM at the
speed of light, has taught Pat that the HBD cannot run as a one-man show.
Spencer Thomas agrees to assist in moderating the queue shortly after Karl
leaves the scene...
Pat Babcock, Jason Henning, and SpencerThomas
Well! Isn't SPAM yummy?! Shortly after resurrecting
the HBD yet another time, Pat enjoined the assistance of Jason Henning to
put yet another set of eyes on the queue in the hope that even less of the
insidious virtual meat product will make it onto the Digest. If 100%
inspection is good for spotting 80% of the problems, we should float
somewhere around 96%, one would hope. Now, to find a Janitor whose day is
our night. Any Australian volunteers out there?
Pat Babcock, Jason Henning, and SpencerThomas and a whole
bunch of UCE Blacklists...
Enough already! To reduce the deluge of virtual
potted meat products inundating the server, let alone making it into the
Digest, I've incorporated several UCE blacklists into the mail processing on
the HBD server. I've also incorporated processes to ensure that subscribers are
not blacklisted (this after the blacklist process nuked almost 1000
subscribers from the list...); however, if you ARE in one of the UCE
lists (wrongly or otherwise), your mail can no longer enter the HBD domain,
and the HBD domain cannot mail you. Bummer. To aid in this horrid
circumstance, I've added the means for you to request that your address be
"whitelisted". This will allow you to subscribe to the Digest, which will
ensure that your access to the HBD is not unfairly limited to the web
version only, with no means to send posts. Visit the FAQ on this website for
access to the form.
The hosts are no less important than the
janitor! Without the host, the janitor, quite frankly, would have
absolutely nothing to do! The host under Rob Gardner
appears to be Hewlett-Packard. If you have information to these hosts, please let me know and I'll correct this page.
(Host under Rob Gardner 1986 - 1996)
The Association of Brewers (1996 - 1997)
The Observer & Eccentric Newspapers (1997 - 2000)
HBD.ORG (Present Host)
THE "EDITORIAL STAFF"
Editorial staff? What staff, you say! All those who have published informative, entertaining, or probing information to the digest over the years comprise the editorial staff of the HBD. Without you folks, there would be no Digest. And there are many notables among your ranks!
And, of course, there are those who sacrificed to
ensure the Digest found a new home. Without this group, there would be
nothing, as the Digest would suredly have perished. These generous people
are listed on the HBD Donors page.