Chaos Corner V02 N07 02Aug92 New Format for Chaos Corner At long last, with nearly 300 pub

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Chaos Corner V02 N07 02Aug92 -------------------------------------------------------- New Format for Chaos Corner At long last, with nearly 300 published items, it has become necessary for Dr. Chaos to get all of this organized. Even though yesterday was a beautiful, cool, sunny day, Dr. Chaos spent his time going through all the back issues putting in separator lines and item headers. Using the WAIS software, he only has to enter a few keywords and up pops the specific item he wants to see. Of course, this work will benefit more than just Dr. Chaos. Look for announcements soon on how you can use WAIS software on your PC, Macintosh, or Unix system to remotely search the Chaos Corner archives. -------------------------------------------------------- WAIS on RS/6000 AIX 3.1 information needed Of course, one reason that the conversion of Chaos Corner to a set of WAIS-index items took all day was that Dr. Chaos decided that he should be running the latest version of the WAIS code (wais-8-b5). After much futile effort, he was unsuccessful at getting it to compile on an RS/6000 under AIX 3.1 (whereas the compiler does not complain about apparently identical code in the previous version of wais). If anyone has been successful at getting that version to compile, Dr. Chaos could use some help. -------------------------------------------------------- Gopher (Rice version) on CMS information needed Yesterday was really one of frustration ... while Dr. Chaos was battling with WAIS, I was trying to get the latest version of Rice Gopher working in CMS. The latest version uses an operand LINEND (or something like that) on the DEBLOCK command that our version of CMS Pipes doesn't seem to like. Is it just that we are running an old version of PIPES or is there something else I am missing? (The new version of Gopher is necessary to use the Gopher-WAIS gateways that are available.) -------------------------------------------------------- Major copyright faux pas -- Many apologies extended Mark Dionne at Interleaf (a company known for its publishing software) sent a red-faced Dr. Chaos the following note: The article "Scientific Truth in Product Warning Labels" by Susan Hewitt and Edward Subitzky, which appeared in Chaos Corner recently, is copyrighted material from the Journal of Irreproducible Results, of which I am Associate Editor. Please notify your readers, and anyone else who may copy this article, that it is copyrighted. It would also be helpful if you would tell your readers that subscriptions to the Journal can be obtained by contacting: Blackwell Scientific Publishing, Inc. Three Cambridge Center Cambridge, MA 02142 (617) 225-0401 Mark was also nice enough to subscribe to Chaos Corner (welcome); I hope for more reasons than to watch out for copyright violations. -------------------------------------------------------- Catching Alligators Here's one more try at humor -- this from Bob Blackmun, and I certainly would think that anyone would be embarrassed to have the copyright on this one: To catch an alligator, you take a telescope, a box of matches, a pair of tweezers and dull book to a house in the Everglades. You go inside the house and make sure that all the windows and doors are locked securely, except one small window that you open. Then you go outside and walk around until an alligator spots you. When he does, you let him chase you back to the house, and you go inside and lock the door. Then, sit down in the most comfortable chair in the house and begin to read the book. Since it is a dull book, you will fall asleep very quickly. Meanwhile, the alligator runs around and around the house, looking for a way to get inside. Finally, he sees the small window and climbs in. Imagine his surprise to find you asleep! Wondering why, he picks up your book and begins to read. Since it is a *dull* book, the alligator also falls asleep very quickly. Since you fell asleep first, you wake up first, pick up the telescope and look at the alligator through the wrong end, pick him up with the tweezers and put him in the match box! And that's how you catch an alligator! -------------------------------------------------------- A Unix clone for the 386 - Linux Nicolai Langfeldt ( from Norway points out the great amount of activity around a rapidly developing Unix clone for the Intel 386 architecture. He writes: Heard about linux? A very nice unix clone for i386 machines, and if you've got a video card mit's stock X11R5 server for 386 supports, you get X11 as well! A must for all computer nuts! In principle you can run it on two diskettes, but it's better to run it on a HD (let's say minimum 10Mb partition). 4Mb mem should be enough to do some things, if you add 4Mb of swap (or real RAM) you can do much more, and so on. Linux enthusiasts meet in the newsgroup comp.os.linux, and on irc channel named #linux. For the even more enthusiastic there is a mailing list (linux-activists). Linux is evolving rapidly, Linus (the author..., A 3'rd yr CS student at Univ. in Helsinki, Finland) releases weekly patches, and a lot of people are contributing to it, with kernel fixes, X11 was ported by 3rd party, scsi disk drivers, and _lots_ more! It's POSIX compliant and pretty stable. Most of the programs are ports of GNU software of-course... -------------------------------------------------------- OS/2 and FAX software As Dr. Chaos will loudly agree, DOS or Windows software for using fax boards or modems do not seem to get along with OS/2. The discussions on the net seem to be in favor of two products that work well with OS/2: BitFax and PMFax. The two programs are reported to be similar except that PMFax supports the Intel SatisFAXtation (and some other proprietary boards). Perhaps by the next issue, Dave Gomberg at UC San Francisco will be able to report on his experiences? -------------------------------------------------------- New versions of Frequently Asked Questions It's the start of a new month, so the new FAQ postings are starting to roll out. Recent arrivals include new postings for the nn newsreader and the mh mail system (both in Unix) and a new version of the FAQ for OS/2. Let Dr. Chaos know at if you need copies of any of these. -------------------------------------------------------- Having trouble with Windows 3.1? You need WDL! Microsoft issues updates to drivers associated with Windows 3.1 by making them available on their BBS and on CompuServe. (It is known as the Windows Drivers Library.) Many of these updates also make their way to the Internet Windows archive, The drivers for a very LARGE number of printers have been updated, along with video drivers, the CD-ROM driver, the Solitaire game, the MSDOS executive, and many more. Let Dr. Chaos know at if you would like a copy of the list of updated software (the file is over 300 lines long). -------------------------------------------------------- Windows version of LOGO The wonderfully popular Apple ][ software called Logo is now available for Windows -- and it is free! Version 1.1 of the software has just been released to UseNet so expect it soon on a Windows archive near you. If you just can't wait, I did put a copy under the name on (Don't forget to use 'binary' before you transfer it to your machine.) -------------------------------------------------------- Fixes available to X11R5 (would you believe #16 is the latest?) A large number of fixes have been made available to the MIT X Window System Version 11 Release 5 software. As usual, all fixes are available at, or you can get them locally (to Cornell) on in the /pub/X11R5 directory. -------------------------------------------------------- What does Dr. Chaos know about WAIS? I know, ever since you started this issue, you have been wondering what I was talking about with searching, indexing, and that stuff. Dr. Chaos has mentioned (and been corrected) about WAIS before, but he is willing to try again. Actually, the real motivation is that last October, Rick Cochran sent Dr. Chaos a mail file asking the question above, and Dr. Chaos COULDN'T STAND to admit that he didn't know much at all about one of the exciting new developments in accessing information across the Internet. Having had much more exposure in the past several weeks, he is willing to try again (and he is confident that the gentle readers will correct him if he goes astray). Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS) are now available across the Internet on a broad range of topics (currently over 250 servers freely advertise their archives). Keywords for the information topics available at each server is maintained on a Connection Machine at The Thinking Machines Corporation ( This directory-of-servers is the "root level" of a query which can then allow you to search all the servers at one time that appear to have information you need. Queries with a large number of keywords may return a correspondingly large number of items, but the items are scored by "relevance" and those with high scores are presented first. The amazing capability of WAIS is the ability to refine a search by selecting articles YOU find to be relevant, and telling the search engine to "go find me more articles like these". That very powerful capability along with being able to store queries and re-execute them later goes a long way in turning the veritable flood of network data into a manageable stream of network information. -------------------------------------------------------- How can I get more information about WAIS? The fastest way to get more information is to use telnet to access and login as user 'wais'. That will allow you to use WAIS to search for information about WAIS. (It does help to be at some terminal that can emulate a vt100, in fact, Dr. Chaos can guarantee that it doesn't work usefully to attempt telnet from a 3270 session.) Software to access WAIS servers currently exists for the Macintosh, for the PC using the Clarkson Packet Drivers, for the PC using Windows and FTP Software's TCP/IP protocol stack, for Unix (there is a 'diff' file to get it working on an RS/6000 and AIX), and there is a very nice X Windows implementation. If you have the latest version of Gopher available to you, there are a number of Gopher/WAIS gateways that allow searches (but not necessarily all the features are available). -------------------------------------------------------- Are there useful things for WAIS besides searches? Dr. Chaos normally stores items of interest using RiceMail ... which puts the items in files called "notebooks" with each items separated by a row of + signs. It took Dr. Chaos (and he doesn't know very much about C at all) about 15 minutes to define a new file structure type for RiceMail that gave Dr. Chaos the ability to index all his mail files for almost instant retrieval! No more need to keep multiple copies of files (should the item about fax software under OS/2 be fined under OS/2 or should it be under FAX?) In fact, it's not necessary to file it ANYWHERE! ... just drop it into any old notebook and WAIS will allow you to pull it out again. Of course. many file formats are already handled, for instance the format of this Chaos Corner required no changes. All in all, it's very easy to either fit the data to the software or fit the software to the data ... as you choose. -------------------------------------------------------- That's all for now ... I'm back to using Word for Windows and I'm over 10,000 characters again (but this time I will use a spell checker). Act now and don't delay, it's easy to subscribe -- just send your request off to Dr. Chaos (I have a Master's Degree)


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