Chaos Corner V01 N09 29Nov91 Those little nasty details . Correction on weather talk list

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Chaos Corner V01 N09 29Nov91 Those little nasty details .... -------------------------------------------------- Correction on weather talk list In issue 8, we said that to subscribe to the weather-talk discussion list from a VM/CMS machine you could 'tell listserv@uiucvmd ...'. The proper command is: tell listserv at uiucvmd subscribe wx-talk Note that the CMS tell command requires that you use the word 'at' rather than using the @ symbol. Thanks to Caroline Hecht at the Cornell Theory Center for catching this. Mailbag -------------------------------------------------- Chaos Corner Feedback Gary Buhrmaster of CIT's Computer Resources, ever the watchdog for Dr. Chaos, observed the end result of the battle Dr. Chaos had with the word processor in the last issue. The word processor seemed very happy to put either 80 or 60 characters per line and to absolutely refuse to consider something like 72 characters per line. Out of frustration, Dr. Chaos finally resorted to using the fairly primitive 'para' macro under VM/CMS XEDIT to get the lines formatted the proper length. Unfortunately, the macro thinks that 'Dr.' ends a sentence and inserts two blanks rather than one. Thanks to Gary for catching this error. Gary has also observed that this issue is several days late and asks for a definition of "timely" from the good Dr. Chaos. In return, Dr. Chaos has suggested that Gary should occupy himself more with eating turkey (doesn't IBM provide a free one with each MVS release?) and giving thanks (das Erntedankfest) that this issue got out at all. Bill Turner, Cornell University Libraries, asks about the formatting of many documents he finds around the network. They seem to be in the worst possible format ("print to disk") and they have clearly never seen a spelling checker. He asks if there is some way to print these documents so that they don't look terrible. Dr. Chaos might initially suggest that Bill look at the 'man' pages on his system, but then, the 'man' pages appear to be formatted in the same way. Does someone with a longer background in Unix want to jump in here? Is there some way for Bill to easily reprocess the text (removing the existing formatting information) thereby allowing him to run it through a spelling checker, pretty it up, and print it so it looks nice? -------------------------------------------------- Info on recreational vehicles wanted Dave Gomberg at UCSF is desperate to find a LISTSERV or NetNews list that concentrates on recreational vehicles. (Surely something of this national importance cannot have been overlooked!) Dave asks Dr. Chaos to consult his readers for any information they can provide. Before you suggest it, Dr. Chaos already thought of 'rec.bicycles' but thinks that that might not be the kind of recreational vehicle that Dave was referring to. -------------------------------------------------- Distributrion problems with long mail headers Rob Vaughn at Cornell's Materials Science Center thanks Dr. Chaos for Chaos Corner. "It is an invaluable collection of information, and a blast to read as well." Dr. Chaos and Rob were communicating because Rob's machine (and several others) seem to choke on the long mail header at the start of each Chaos Corner. We hope to reduce that down to a more reasonable size Real Soon Now. -------------------------------------------------- OSF/Motif Reaching farther down in the mailbag, we find a letter from John Guckenheimer of the Cornell Mathematics Department (among other places), who asks for information about who on campus is using and/or programming in OSF/Motif today? Dr. Chaos is planning on ordering Motif 1.2 (the version that works with X11R5) as soon as its availability and pricing are announced. That will give Cornell a site license for the Motif source code. Contact Steve Lasala ( if you are interested in getting on the Motif mailing list. -------------------------------------------------- Macintosh Editor Mark Bodenstein, of CIT's Computer Resources, pointed Dr. Chaos to an interesting editor for those of you with Macintosh computers. Called 'prep', the editor: allows parallel columns of prose that are linked together. Using these columns as content plus annotation is a particularly common example use of the PREP editor. In addition, columns (which are the unit of exchange in the PREP editor) are movable, hideable, resizeable, and you can have as many columns as you want. This allows for multiple sets of annotations to be viewed together which leads to easier integration of group-wide changes. This editor has been in development for over a year, and is available for anonymous FTP from Look for file prepv39.sit.hqx in the /usr/chandhok/public/prep directory. Once you 'get' the file (ascii mode), use binhex or StuffIt to un-binhex it. The resulting application, when you double click on it, will unpack itself into the documentation and the application. Has anyone tried this editor? It sounds like it might be useful (combined with the QuickMail enclosure facility) for passing around comments that a group of people have made on a document. If you do get the editor, please send questions/comments to so that the authors get some feedback on their work. -------------------------------------------------- Dr. Chaos and Science Fiction? Dick Crepeau from Cornell's Chemistry Department, says he enjoys reading Chaos Corner and finds similarities in style with Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor column in Byte Magazine. He asks if Dr. Chaos had ever considered writing Science Fiction. While Dr. Chaos attempts to NEVER write any kind of fiction (thanks to Gary Buhrmaster), he must admit that the inspiration for writing Chaos Corner came to him on a trans- Atlantic flight during which he read four back-issues of Byte. -------------------------------------------------- Weather Maps John Balogh from Penn State asked for more information about getting the weather maps from Dr. Chaos was remiss in not supplying the necessary information to 'cd phil.515' to access the minidisk (it's a VM/CMS system) to get the current weather map. Dr. Chaos, thanks to Jeff Honig of CIT's Network Resources, now has the current weather map (updated hourly) as the background of his display on pelican (it also becomes the "screensaver"). The magic shell script one needs to run in a Unix system is as follows: #!/bin/sh KEY=0 ONROOT="" while [ $# -ne 0 ]; do arg=$1; shift case ${arg} in -key) KEY=1 ;; -onroot) ONROOT="-onroot -fullscreen -border black" ;; *) echo "Usage: wxmap [-key] [-onroot]" exit 1; ;; esac done if [ ${KEY} -eq 1 ]; then files="wxkey.gif" ; else files=`date -u +"%m %d %H" | awk '{ for (i = 0; i < 7; i++) { j = $3 -i; k = $2 - 0; if (j < 0) {j += 24; k -= 1;} printf "SA%s%02d%02d.GIF\n", $1, k, j; } }'` fi # Note: This code has problems on month boundaries. Due to holidays # and weekends, it shouldn't be a problem until April, 1992. # At that time, Dr. Chaos will be in France. C'est la vie! for file in ${files}; do ftp -i -n <


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