What Is the Power Globe?


Power Globe is an internet e-mail forum for persons having an interest in electric power engineering. It is implemented using an open-subscription listserver -- subscribers can add or remove themselves from the list, as well as control their subscription options. Once subscribed, a person can send e-mail to the list where it will be forwarded to all other subscribers. There are presently over 1650 subscribers world wide, with 2-5 messages being distributed on an average day. Typical of the messages distributed are:

  • Inquiries for information or assistance on SPECIFIC power engineering topics

  • Technological trends, policy, and current events that are of great interest in power engineering

  • Conference, Seminar, and Workshop Announcements

  • Open High-Level university positions (Faculty and Research Assistants)

  • Open High-Level Industry positions (Highly-specialized personnel)

  • Requests for obscure, hard-to-find publications

  • Announcements of new power engineering books

  • Announcements of landmark papers or articles

Who Manages the Power Globe?



Operation of Power Globe is overseen by a working group of the IEEE Power Engineering Education Committee (PEEC). The Power Globe Working Group members are:

B. Mork

, Michigan Tech University
G. Heydt, Arizona State University
Brian Johnson, University of Idaho
Andy VanSciver, Power Quality Magazine.

Objectives



To provide a worldwide forum for power engineers on power engineering topics via the Internet. The "Globe" is intended for all faculty, staff, and engineers interested in power engineering.

History



In 1989, Dr. Heydt, then at the National Science Foundation, put together a list of e-mail addresses taken from the NSF data base known as the “HP System.” This was a list of reviewers for the entire foundation. The names used were those who had participated in an NSF review in the power engineering program. The HP system was fraught with problems: many e-mail addresses were outdated and the list was poorly maintained. The idea of an e-mail bulletin board was described at the 1990 PES Winter Meeting and several useful suggestions were received on how to make use of the list.

At the 1990 PES Summer meeting, this was discussed further in connection with the possibility of forming a University Research Subcommittee of the Power Engineering Education Committee (PEEC). The idea was to use the subcommittee -- and potentially the list of names and e-mail addresses -- to network the community in matters of power research. Dr. Sarosh N. Talukdar of Carnegie Mellon University assisted in this matter and volunteered to use the computer at CMU as a host. The number of names on the list was in the 25-50 range, and all were at universities. The machine at CMU was called the Globe machine, and the name Power Globe was given to the list. Dr. Talukdar, assisted by Dr. Peter Sauer of the University of Illinois and Dr. Jerry Heydt -- then at Purdue -- put together the Power Globe.

Dr. Heydt composed the rules and edited the list, Dr. Talukdar made sure the computer implementation worked. There were a lot of problems since list editing was manual and often fell behind schedule. There were many disgruntled users who wanted their name added or removed in a timely way.

In about 1995, Dr. V. C. Ramesh, then a graduate student at CMU, was recruited by Dr. Talukdar to make sure that the list of names was maintained smoothly. This worked well initially but the list grew steadily in size, and it became clear that a manually-maintained e-mail list was not practical. The main additions to the list in this period were industry and government people on a worldwide scale. Dr. Ramesh completed his Ph.D. and left CMU for the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he continued to remotely maintain the Power Globe. This worked for a time, but maintenance of the list was still time-consuming.

In PEEC Research Subcommittee discussions, it was suggested that the operation of Power Globe might be streamlined by utilizing a more advanced listserver. North Dakota State was contacted in regards to the use of their listserver, which hosts over 1500 e-mail lists and employs software that is in common use at many universities. Dr. Don Stuehm of NDSU investigated and found that it would be possible for Power Globe to be hosted there.

On August 7, 1996, Dr. Heydt transferred the existing subscriber list to NDSU and the present listserver-based Power Globe was created. Dr. Mork has been the “list owner,” coordinating the configuration of the list and providing subscriber maintenance. The list owner task will be rotated among Power Globe Working Group members in the future.

Operating experience to date has been positive, with high reliability of service. Since most subscribers can now take care of their own subscription on a self-serve basis, maintenance has been minimal.

Instructions for Subscribing and Using the Globe



Following are instructions for the use of the self-service listserver "Power Globe." Please note that you should subscribe yourself to the listserver.

Operation and Use of the Power Globe List



Subscribers can for the most part take care of themselves. By visiting Power Globe’s subscriber interface on the web:
http://listserv.nodak.edu/archives/Power-Globe.html

it is possible to:

  • Join or leave the list (or change settings

  • Search the archives

  • Post a message to the list

Posted messages do not have to be sent through this web interface. Subscribers can also send an e-mail directly to:
POWER-GLOBE@listserv.nodak.edu. Should any additional support be required, the list owner can be contacted via e-mail see above.

With over 1650 subscribers, it is vital that the “signal-to-noise ratio” of the messages be kept high. Since only subscribers can forward e-mail to the list, unsubscribed spammers are thwarted. E-mails that include attachments are not forwarded, as virus and worm programs typically propagate via attachments. Short text messages are encouraged, using URL’s to point to more extensive information. Messages of a commercial or non-professional nature are not allowed. Finally, subscribers can elect to receive each day’s messages in a single daily “digest,” reducing the amount of incoming e-mail.

Subscribers are directed to this home page for rules of usage, recommended etiquette, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Ongoing Working Group Activities



Power Globe Working Group meetings are held at the summer and winter PES meetings. Interested persons are encouraged to attend. Present issues of interest are the continued enhancement of the Power Globe home page, further work on handling attachment files, more advanced methods of filtering viruses, and acting on suggestions and feedback from Power Globe subscribers.