Chaos Corner V02 N11 21 December 1992 Here we go with the last issue of the year. Once aga

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Chaos Corner V02 N11 21 December 1992 Here we go with the last issue of the year. Once again, Gary Buhrmaster is the first to request a bound copy of this year's issue of Chaos Corner. While the bound version of volume 2 will not be available for giving this holiday season, Dr. Chaos hopes you will keep it in mind for that special someone on Valentine's Day. ------------------------------------------------- Information on getting Information about Germany A wealth of information on contact telephone numbers and addresses for various sources of information about German and Germany is assembled in the Frequently Asked Questions list for the NetNews news group soc.culture.germany [Note: the correct newsgroup is soc.culture.german]. Sources in North America for German Language videos and cassette tapes are included, as well as the address/phone number for getting a (free) 8-page weekly summary of news from Germany (available in German or English). If you would like a copy of this FAQ, send electronic mail to chaos- Those of you with satellite dishes probably know that Deutsche Welle TV is now (since 1 Nov) available on INTELSAT K (338.5 degrees East) at 11.605 GHz. To celebrate the new service, Deutsche Welle transmitted live a new production of Richard Wagner's Parsifal performed by the German State Opera in Berlin. ------------------------------------------------- Turtle PostScript and Fractal Images In response to the item in the last issue about a PostScript program for generating Sierpinski's Gasket, Christian Wettergren in Sweden sent a Logo-like PostScript program that uses a turtle language to implement a number of examples from the book _The Science of Fractal Images_, by M.F Barnsley; ISBN 0-387-96608-0. For a copy of the postscript program, send mail to Dr. Chaos at chaos- -------------------------------------------------- Call Deutsche Welle to be added to their Mailing List Would you like to get on the mailing list for the Deutsche Welle world-wide programs but can never bring yourself to send an international letter to Cologne? Now, in North America, you can call 1-800-393-3248 [the correct phone number is 1-800-392-3248] to give DW comments on their short-wave programming or request a subscription to their "tune-in" programming guide. If you are ever driving on the autobahn between Aachen and Koeln (Cologne), the radio antenna array near the town of Juelich (we have seen it a number of times at 5 am as we drive to catch a plane from Frankfurt back to the USA) ranks right up with the brown coal pits as some of the most amazing things to see in the area. (We assume that our friends at the KFA will correct us if those antennae are not for DW.) ------------------------------------------------- Macintosh interface for Gopher, WAIS, etc. Peter Shames, at Jet Propulsion Lab has a recommendation for you Mac users. Peter says, "I've been using TurboGopher for some time now and find it to be an ideal Mac client for Gopher, Archie, and even WAIS though I like WAISstation better for that. Find TurboGopher at: under /pub/gopher/ under /pub/archiving/gopher Highly recommended ... it even knows enough to display README files and to un-binhex files automatically and ask if you wish to UnStuff any .sit files. Pretty slick." -------------------------------------------------- New "Best of Journal of Irreproducible Results" coming soon Mark Dionne tells Dr. Chaos that a new volume of the best articles from the Journal of Irreproducible Results has just been finished by the current editor, Marc Abrahams, and it will soon be available. Dr. Chaos is eagerly awaiting the January thaw so he can capture some cluster flies and try out the fly-powered airplanes described in volume 1. -------------------------------------------------- Become your own Holistic Detective In the Macintosh archive at the University of Michigan you can solve the paradox of the sofa and the staircase as detailed in _Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency_ by Douglas Adams. Look for mac/graphics/graphicsutil/holisticsofa0.91.cpt.hqx in with many other interesting files (like new After Dark modules) at or one of the mirror sites: N. America in mirrors/ Australia in micros/mac/umich Europe in packages/mac/umich If you would like to be on the frequent ftp'ers (recent files) mailing list, just drop a note to mac-recent- ------------------------------------------------- Text of the Maastricht Treaty Online As an informed citizen of the world, Dr. Chaos is certain that you will want to know where to obtain your own personal copy of the treaty signed recently in Maastricht. If you use anonymous ftp to get to, just look in the /pub directory for the file named Maastricht.Treaty.tar.Z -- remember to specify "binary" before transferring the file. Dr. Chaos must sadly report that it was not immediately obvious where the Chaos Corner archive was located on ------------------------------------------------- Netfax becomes a GNU Project Peter Ware at Ohio State University has the following good news: "I've started maintaining netfax for the Free Software Foundation. I'd like to collect fixes to incorporate into the next release. In particular, I'm interested in any fixes you have needed to incorporate to get netfax to compile on your system. "I'd also like to start maintaining a list of OS's netfax runs under and a list of modems netfax works with including revision information. If you could email me this I'll include it in the list. [] "My goals for the next release (within two months) are: 1. Remove dependencies on GNU make 2. Automatic configuration 3. Have an "install" target for the Makefiles 4. Improve the documentation 5. Improve portability to other OS's, modems. "After that there are several directions I can go with netfax: - Incorporate "chat" scripts so netfax can work with any modem. This may be fairly painless as I can build off of taylor-uucp. - Add an X UIF for sending, receiving and viewing faxes. - Allow a person to receive and then distribute faxes electronically. - Make netfax independent of postscript for rendering (i.e. assume input is in g3 format). Any additional ideas? Any preferences? [] "Finally, continue to send bug reports to bug-" -------------------------------------------------- Interested in more information about free Unix (Linux)? One of the best places to get more information about the very popular free Unix-like operating system, Linux, is from the Linux Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Matt Welsh at Cornell provides the following methods of getting the file: 1) ftp to It's the file /pub/linux/FAQ. It's one big ASCII file (about 150k). or ftp to It's the file /pub/Linux/docs/FAQ. Again, one big ASCII file, same thing as on 2) If you don't have FTP access, retrieve it via the mailserver at Send mail to with the word "help" in the body. or If you simply can't find the FAQ, Matt will mail it to you. Just send to mail ( 3) The most recent FAQ will be posted to comp.os.linux and news.answers every month (if you want to wait...). ------------------------------------------------- Problems with W4W under the OS/2-Win3.1 Beta? If you are having problems running Word for Windows under the OS/2 beta that supports Windows 3.1, in that some of the drop-down menus don't -- Jason Mitchel at Harvard suggests copying user.exe from the system directory of a running Windows 3.1 system, and putting it in the os2/mdos/winos2/system (or wherever you have Windows 3.1) directory named os2user.exe. Be sure to rename the old version of os2user.exe in case this doesn't work for you (Dr. Chaos happily reports that it solved his problems with Word for Windows under OS/2-Win3.1 Beta. -------------------------------------------------- New releases of Excel and Word for Windows Without a lot of fanfare, Microsoft has released some fixed versions of W4W and Excel. If you haven't received your fresh copies from Microsoft in November/December 1992, you're backlevel. The current version of W4W is 2.0c --- Excel is probably 4.0a, but Dr. Chaos hasn't had time to get it loaded to check. Call your Microsoft support number for the free update. ------------------------------------------------- FLIST for OS/2 People that work with computers hate to have to learn new tools when they move between platforms -- they believe that they shouldn't have to conform to the "brain-dead" tools that are available on the new system. For current or former CMS users moving to OS/2 and looking for a full screen file utility like FLIST, try /pub/os2/all/diskutils/ from ------------------------------------------------- Movie credits for actors, actresses, directors, writers Each year, many books are published that rate movies and tell which actors and actresses starred in them. But where do you find an up-to-date list of the movie credits for each actor, writer, director? Correct, the network, of course. At in the pub/tv+movies/lists directory, Dr. Chaos found a README file that is quoted in part below: This directory contains the latest releases of the USENET rec.arts.movies lists. The lists are intended to provide useful, current references to TV and film credits in an electronic form. actors.list maintained by Col Needham actress.list maintained by Andy Krieg cinematographers maintained by Michel Hafner composers maintained by Michel Hafner dead.list maintained by Col Needham directors.list maintained by Dave Knight writers.list maintained by Andy Krieg The lists are posted to rec.arts.movies on roughly a monthly basis, spread randomly throughout the month. They will be updated here at the same Frequency. The tools directory contains a set of Unix shell scripts that enable users to create and search a massive movie database using the information contained on the lists. ------------------------------------------------- Helpful FTP but no dates? Many sites are now running a version of FTP that provides you with a single line description of the file when you do a 'dir' command. The problem with that feature is that sometimes you want to see what files are new since a certain date and that information is not displayed. It turns out that the date information is available if you specify 'dir - d' -- we are sure this is clear if you read the documentation available at those sites (READ THE DOCUMENTATION?), but such things aren't always possible (or even likely). (Parenthetical comments courtesy of Dr. Chaos) ------------------------------------------------- Looking for a good Majongg game to run under OS/2? Naji Mouawad at the University of Waterloo recommends that you try out [Note: the correct name for the games is Mahjongg and the file is named] from the soft/os2/Demo/Games directory (case matters) on He says that it is better than several other versions he has found, although it is optimized for use with a 8514/A video driver. ------------------------------------------------- Guide to Books about Unix The Concise Guide to Unix Books is an excellent starting point for finding out where to look for more information on the Unix operating system. The subject areas covered include: A. General Unix Texts B. Shells C. Unix Editors D. Networking and Communications E. System Administration F. Unix Security G. Programming H. TeX I. X Window System J. Dictionary K. Other Lists where "Other Lists" references other Unix bibliographies. The latest version of the guide is at (along with many other FAQ lists from Usenet news groups) in /pub/usenet/news.answers/books and look for the file named 'unix'. -------------------------------------------------- Release 1.2 of Xgopher is now available Support for new types (image files, binary files, tn3270 sessions), new bookmark support and a host of other features have been added to the most recently released version of Xgopher. Look for the file on in the uiuc/src directory or on in the contrib directory (the name of the file is xgopher.1.2.tar.Z). Of course, another good place to try is the home of all gopher software (in the pub/gopher/Unix directory). ------------------------------------------------- Network News - Other sources Dana Noonan publishes Network News about library collections and other things that might be of interest. One way suggested to find out if there might be a bitnet discussion list of interest to you on a particular topic is to send a mail file to listserv@bitnic.bitnet with the following one line command: list global /topic for example: list global /chaos The results of the search will be sent back to you within several minutes. If you are interested in trying out Net News, send a mail file to listserv@ndsuvm1.bitnet containing the line: subscribe nnews The ftp archive for back issues is on in the NNEWS directory. Another good list of Internet sources is Jean Polly's Surfing the Internet, now in version 2. Use anonymous FTP to access host and look in the pub/resources/guides directory for the file surfing.the.internet.2.0.2.txt (check for similar names because the version number is changing as it is being updated). -------------------------------------------------- Preview Issue of the CYBERSPACE VANGUARD is now available A new electronic magazine is just starting up with an area of focus on things of interest to the science fiction community (Dr. Chaos claims that that doesn't focus things down very much). They are also looking for authors, so here is your chance if you want to contribute to a new publication. For more information, write to If you would like to see the preview issue, let us know at chaos- -- a sample from one of the articles is shown below. -------------------------------------------------- What do Captain Picard and Scrooge have in common? The following article is excerpted from the preview issue of the CYBERSPACE VANGUARD. [Note: Patrick Stewart's one man version of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" will run from December 15, 1992 until January 3, 1993 on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theater (235 West 44th Street in New York City). Tickets are $45 and can be ordered from Tele- Charge at (212) 239-6200.] OK. Jean-Luc Picard as Scrooge. You can picture that, can't you? Heck, some of you probably think he IS Scrooge. All right, how about Picard as Bob Cratchit? Or Marley's Ghost? Now. How about Patrick Stewart, the man who plays Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, as all of them. And Tiny Tim. And dozens of others. At the same time. "It's the ultimate piece of fun for an actor, because not only do I get to play the dramatic role of Scrooge but also the children, Mrs. Cratchit and Mrs. Fezziwig," Mr. Stewart said in an interview with the New York papers around this time last year. This is the third year that Patrick Stewart has taken time off during the holidays to perform his one man adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Mr. Stewart has created his own adaptation of the book. More than just a reading, he performs all the roles, including the props. (You know it's not English 101 when you're dealing with a man who takes a break for an imaginary glass of water.) At one point, during the Fezziwigs' party, he plays eleven roles at once. "It's a stupendous actors' workout and that's what it's meant to do: Keep my stage arteries from clogging up." -------------------------------------------------- Need access to NetNews? If you have a newsreader, or something that can talk to NNTP servers on TCP/IP port 119 (telnet will do this if you want), give ( or ( a try [another site worth trying is]. For a public access Unix system with Usenet NetNews, try using telnet to ( -- login as "new" -- reports are that it is a nice system but can be a little slow. -------------------------------------------------- Results of the November and December Internet Hunts First with archie, then gopher, wais and now veronica ... it's almost becoming TOO easy to find things on the Internet, right? Let Dr. Chaos know if you would like a description of how the winners did it when it came down to finding incredible things on the network (the December winner did almost all his work from within gopher). Have no fear, look for Dr. Chaos on a wais server near you in the coming year. For the Hunt results send your request to -------------------------------------------------- Scientist's Workbench Version 2.0 is now available The following information has been provided by Caroline Hecht, Project Manager at the Cornell Theory Center: The Scientist's Workbench (SWB) is an X and Motif- based software package developed at the Cornell Theory Center. The main functions of the Scientist's Workbench are to bring together the tools and software required by scientific researchers in a distributed computing environment, to provide a graphical interface to access those tools, and to provide the software necessary to allow researchers to easily build their own graphical interfaces. Included in the distribution are executable widgets (small X clients) that provide graphical interfaces to common tasks such as displaying and responding to a prompt, or specifying a file name. The output from the executable widgets is sent to standard output by default. Executable widgets may be invoked from the command line or shell scripts, enabling users to easily replace text-based interfaces with graphical ones. Version 2.0 of the Scientist's Workbench software is now available from the Cornell Theory Center. The new software may be obtained via anonymous ftp from, in the directory pub/swb. The file README.TOP describes the rest of the files in the anonymous ftp. We are now providing binaries for Sun SPARC, RS/6000 (AIX 3.2), SGI, and DEC 5000 (and 3100), as well as the source code. To build from the source, the user must have OSF Motif; however, to install and run the binaries Motif is not required. -------------------------------------------------- CCITT Documents to be available across the network! Carl Malamud, author of several Interop books, has been waging a campaign for several years to get the CCITT documents widely available. It stands to reason that without wide availability of the standards documents, not as much software will be developed that conforms to the standards. At long last, starting in November 1992, the TELEDOC distribution system became operational. Document formats that are planned to be made available include ASCII, Microsoft RTF, Word for Windows, PostScript and CCITT ODA/ODIF. For more information or to obtain a user's guide, the press release recommends you contact either or -------------------------------------------------- Subscribe to Chaos Corner We will now close off the year of 1992 as we head into the winter season. Dr. Chaos and I hope you have found some items in the past year that have been helpful, amusing, outrageous (where did we put the Complete Set of Clinton Jokes?) or instructive. If you would like a subscription, send your request to and you will be sent a confirmation and directions for obtaining back issues (hint: look in the pub directory of Dr. Chaos (I have a Master's Degree ... )


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank