Chaos Corner V02 N04 14Jun92 My apologies for taking so long to get this issue out (last i

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Chaos Corner V02 N04 14Jun92 My apologies for taking so long to get this issue out (last issue was 24 March). Lots of things have gotten accomplished in the meantime ... including, but not limited to completing the second semester of German, a trip to Germany and France (along with two presentations at SHARE Europe); and catching up on my readings of PC Week, Open Systems Today, and other trade periodicals (along with collecting interesting articles from Net News for the last 11 weeks. Let's dive in! Mailbag First of all, there were the "usual" problems with mailers bouncing the last issue .. so I will be using a slightly different distribution path this time (mailing the issue directly from pelican, rather than mailing it from Cornella to an address list on pelican). I hope that will shorten the return address enough that the VM mailers will not have a problem. Will the people at SLAC let Dr. Chaos know if they don't receive this issue? (;-)) -------------------------------------------------- WAIS and gopher corrections Bob Blackmun pointed out that some statements Dr. Chaos made in the last issue about Gopher being related to WAIS (Wide Area Information Service) were not exactly correct. Bob says, "I'm not sure what you mean by 'related to', but it's my understanding as a user and highly involved party that Gopher is *not* related to WAIS -- it doesn't use the Z39.50 protocol that is the heart and soul of WAIS." Dr. Chaos admits that Bob is, of course, correct and points out that the blame lies in my filing system that tossed items about WAIS, Gopher, and Prospero (the information gathering and distribution protocol that *is* related to Gopher) all in the same folder ... and labeled them all WAIS. There is a gateway between the WAIS world and Gopher, but that's as 'related' as they get. -------------------------------------------------- More on time (GMT, CUT, UTC) Nick Gimbrone points out that the correct "new" name for GMT is not CUT (Coordinated Universal Time), but rather UTC since the French word order seems to be the standard in such things. Dr. Chaos points out that the French word order often works out better; the European Nuclear Research Center became CERN rather than ENRC ... a definite improvement. -------------------------------------------------- Chaos Corner feedback T. V. Raman objects to the chatty style used in preparing these items and says it gets in the way of finding the useful information. We pointed out that having an alter ego of Dr. Chaos gave us someone else to blame for the mistakes! Certainly, finding the information again is a problem and Dr. Chaos has been planning on using something to index the articles for some time ... Real Soon Now! -------------------------------------------------- GeoClock and OS/2; mapping information Joe Ahlgren of GeoClock fame thanks Dr. Chaos for the mention of GeoCLock in Chaos Corner (although it is unlikely to be as useful to him as the subsequent mention he got in PC Week). Joe was quite interested in the fact that GeoClock runs in a window under OS/2, since it only runs fullscreen under Windows. Dr. Chaos does point out that performance suffers a little, but it may simply be that he hasn't found the right combination under the "DOS Settings" menu. He just read the on-line help last night to discover that the two problems he had been having (and the ways around them) were clearly documented. I was very interested to hear that GeoClock runs in a window under OS/2 2.0. It of course will not run in a window under Windows (what a great fraud - Windows can only run text mode DOS programs in a window). Is this a capability that earlier OS/2's had? How does the performance suffer between small window and DOS or full screen mode? Joe also has the following to say about the DeLorme street atlas. "It is the first (and only) commercial mapping program for the PC that is neither a joke (PC Globe, for example) or impossibly expensive ... It has a few rough edges (I have the very first release, it may have gotten better) and really does not use anything in windows that it couldn't do from plain old DOS. However, it is pretty complete and has less than the expected number of errors. ... It is not clear what you would use it for, but it is great fun." -------------------------------------------------- BITFTP and VAXen Xiaobo Shao writes that he is having trouble making use of the software discussed in Chaos Corner because it never seems to work when he downloads it to his PC from his VAX. Since he fetched the files to his VAX as files across Bitnet through BITFTP@PUCC, Dr. Chaos suggested he *carefully* read the information on the problems with transferring binary files through a VAX that are documented on the BITFTP server. The first step in getting the info is to send a mail file to BITFTP@PUCC containing the single word - help. -------------------------------------------------- Lunar Eclipse Of course, those of you monitoring newsgroups like sci.astro already know that tonight (June 14/15) is the night for a partial lunar eclipse. The show starts slightly before midnight (EDT), reaching it's peak at 0057 (that's EDT again). At peak, 68% of the moon will be in shadow. -------------------------------------------------- Images of Gaspra Asteroid - several GIF files There were two photographs of the Gaspra asteroid released at a press conference last week, and the GIF files are available for anonymous FTP from ( in the pub/SPACE/GIF directory. Look for gaspra2.gif and gaspra3.gif (don't forget to use 'binary' transfer) for the pictures and corresponding .txt files that give descriptions. The pictures were taken by the spacecraft Galileo (on its way to Jupiter) from a distance of 3,300 miles (about 5,300 km). While you are ftp-ing files from that site, you may want to check out some GIFs of Mars. Look for file starting with 00*, 05*, 90*, or oly* (and accompanying .txt files in the same directory. The directory does contain an INDEX file, but it hasn't been updated for at least 6 months. -------------------------------------------------- FTP servers with astronomy and space related information For an up-to-date list of ftp servers with astronomy and space-related information, use anonymous ftp to (yes, it's in Finland) and fetch the file "pub/astro/general/astroftp.txt". Of course, Dr. Chaos has a copy he *could* send you but it's much better to be able to get an updated copy on your own. MISCELLANEOUS -------------------------------------------------- Perot Information For those people interested in learning more about the unannounced US Presidential candidate, Ross Perot, there are a number of files stored at (also is valid) in the directory: /pub/bjmccall/Perot ...including debates that have occurred on Usenet, biographies (official and unofficial), transcripts of various interviews, etc. Of course, this does not imply Dr. Chaos supports Mr. Perot, we're just reporting on where information can be found. -------------------------------------------------- Area Codes, I Love You, Smiley Dictionary, Dave Barry Under the random list category, we seem to have a list of the telephone area codes for the USA and Canada, a list of how to say "I love you" in over 100 languages, and another list that claims to be The Unofficial Smiley Dictionary. Also found on a Windows discussion list was a copy of an article by humorist Dave Barry on computing. If you would like a copies of either or both or even all three articles, just send mail to (Please specify a valid return address and let Dr. Chaos know which item you are interested in.) -------------------------------------------------- Book on writing Global Software Having seen many complaints on the network about programmers from the USA who write programs without recognizing there is a global market, the description of a new book caught our eye. "Information from planning to programming (with an extensive collection of actual program examples) as well as on marketing and presentation are given. Design errors and common pitfalls are pointed out to help readers avoid the same mistakes. The author also discusses export restrictions and other aspects of the politics surrounding international distribution. A clear and understandable explanation of what types of encryption software can and cannot be legally distributed outside of the United States is an added bonus to this work." _Global Software_ is written by Dave Taylor, President, Intuitive Systems, with foreword by John Scully, CEO, Apple Computer, Inc., published by Springer-Verlag, 332 pp, 25 illustrations, ISBN 0-387-97706-6 US$34.00. Dr. Chaos would be most interested in any reviews of the book. -------------------------------------------------- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Known Galaxy People on the alt.galactic-guide news group have decided to create the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Known Galaxy, filled with contributed articles written in the style of Douglas Adams (author of the Hitchhiker's Guide series) about anyplace. Dr. Chaos has the format for submissions to the guide, and you can get a copy of the PC software to look through the guide from, in the /pub/swbaker directory (look for and remember to use binary transfer). -------------------------------------------------- NREN Anyone interested in the roll-out of the new national network in the US (NREN - National Research and Educational Network ... if we spoke French it would probably be NERN, which is at least pronounceable) can get PostScript or ascii copies of the National Science Foundation's interim Implementation Plan via anonymous ftp from, and look for file in the recompete directory. -------------------------------------------------- Jargon Confused by all the jargon in the computer field. Either get the _New Hacker's Dictionary_ published by MIT Press, or use anonymous ftp to get the same information found in file /mirrors/msdos/info/ from (or any other Simtel20 mirror site). -------------------------------------------------- Mathematics Archive, Earth Sciences, JFK, Internet Access Interested in the mathematics archive? the location of ftp sites for information relating to Earth Sciences?, State Department documents referenced in the movie JFK? and how anyone with a PC can have personal access to the Internet for $29/month at 9600 baud (less for lower speed access).... just ask Dr. Chaos for the information he has by sending mail to -------------------------------------------------- OS/2 General Availability version is here! It's here! and Dr. Chaos has at long last received his official version of OS/2 2.0. Now if IBM can only find a way to distribute the updates so that it will run Windows 3.1 across the network rather than having to re-ship all those diskettes (and adding to the world-wide high-density floppy disk shortage), it will be really nice. -------------------------------------------------- 4os2 - a command processor for OS/2 Of course, what every operating system needs are applications and that infrastructure that makes it possible to use in a friendly fashion. JP Software has announced the release of version 1.0 of 4OS2, its enhanced command processor for OS/2 1.2, 1.3, and 2.0. Like their famed 4DOS program, this program replaces the normal command processor and provides a host of features (not the least of which is command recall and editing -- considering how many mistakes Dr. Chaos makes at typing, those features are vital for him). Get file 4os210.zoo from the /pub/os2/all/shells directory on or check the /pub/os2 directories on (Finland) or (Germany). -------------------------------------------------- MAC, sounds, and "Make it so!" Success! The sysop of the neighborhood BBS system, Daniel Quaroni, has captured the voice of Captain Picard saying "Make it so!" Daniel's BBS is known as Kender's Pocket and is available at (607)-257-7820. We hope to be able to announce access to the sound file from the Internet soon (but the line is busy right now). -------------------------------------------------- It's rapidly approaching midnight and time to look at the eclipse. Send Dr. Chaos suggestions you might have for the first anniversary issue ... as always to Dr. Chaos (I have a Masters Degree ...)


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