Chaos Corner V03 N04 30 June 1993 Copyright 1993 by Robert D. Cowles; Ithaca, NY 14850. Pe

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Chaos Corner V03 N04 30 June 1993 Copyright 1993 by Robert D. Cowles; Ithaca, NY 14850. Permission is hereby granted to republish complete issues in unaltered form. Republication of partial issues must reference the source and state that subscriptions to Chaos Corner are available (free) by sending electronic mail to ------------------------------------------------- OS/2 2.1 Well, it looks like IBM managed to learn something about marketing in the past year since shipping OS/2 2.0. It took us almost a month to get the 2.0 release after it became available ... 2.1 arrived exactly on June 14, the "official" date for general availability. Except for a few minor glitches (IBM has already distributed patches for several of the problems ... the patches are available on well-known Internet sites as well as CompuServe and the IBM OS/2 Support BBS) the system appears to be very solid ... running applications like Word for Windows in a window with only the color of the mouse pointer to indicate if you are running a Windows application (white pointer) or an OS/2 application (black pointer). David Bolen's freeware slip code still works wonders in providing fast and easy connection to our Annex terminal servers. As an example, I was just able to ftp a 200K compressed (zip) binary file from a machine on the Internet to the home machine in less than 140 seconds -- better than 1400 characters per second! Dr Chaos points out that it doesn't make file transfers any faster, it just increases the number of files that you're willing to wait on --- it still takes nearly 30 minutes to transfer the equivalent of a high-density floppy disk. (Did you ever calculate the bandwidth of your shirtpocket?) ------------------------------------------------- Jurassic Park, the movie Dr. Chaos had me go to the movie several times, just because he was so enamored with the character of the mathematician who was an expert in chaos theory. Aside from the special effects (the chase scene through the kitchen is especially good), the scene in the control room was the last straw as the girl was stroking the mouse over the mouse pad in an attempt to locate the correct file. We immediately went out and replaced our rodents with trackballs (you never know when a raptor is going to look in your window). Last but not least, the flight of pelicans at the end of the movie is a beautiful tribute to a majestic bird (at least, we here in Chaos Corner think so). ------------------------------------------------- X-based program for new German Postal Codes The new German Postal Codes (Postleitzahlen) go into effect tomorrow, 1. Juli. For those wanting a free X-windows based utility to search the database (available online, of course) can retrieve xplz 3.1 from in the file /pub/X11/misc/xplz/xplz-3.3.tar.gz (as of 28. Juni). (Was ist 'gz', .... ganz Z?). ------------------------------------------------- Fermat's Last Theorem The big news is that someone has finally figured out a proof for Fermat's Last Theorem (the one where he said the margin of the book was too small to record it). In response to the news, Jamie Kline at Simon Fraser University posted the following quote: "If I could come back after five hundred years and find that the Riemann hypothesis or Fermat's last 'theorem' was proved, I would be disappointed, because I would be pretty sure, in view of the history of attempts to prove these conjectures, that an enormous amount of time had been spent on proving theorems that are unimportant to the life of man." -- Morris Kline, from an interview in _Mathematical People_ (eds. Donald J. Albers and G. L. Alexanderson, Contemporary, 1985.) ------------------------------------------------- Legal News -- Windows browser for the Net Since necessity is the mother of invention, where else would you expect a Microsoft Windows Network browser to be implemented than at the Cornell Law School. Here is a slightly edited version of the original beta announcement: This is an announcement of the Beta Release of Cello, a multipurpose Net browser for Microsoft Windows 3.1 Features: --WWW(HTTP/HTML) browser, with user-configurable colors and fonts. --Full-featured Gopher (though unfortunately not yet Gopher+) client, including a hyper-ized CSO which permits (sorta dumb) SMTP mailing. --Transparent access (via WWW) to FTP, HyTelNet, Telnet, etc. etc. ad infinitum. --Graphics and PostScript viewing and sound playing via MSWindows Associations...feature, using add-on, shareware viewers such as SNDTOOL, GV057, and the Windows version of GhostScript. --Ad-hoc Telnet, FTP, and Gopher sessions. --SLIP/PPP support with dialup scripting language. --Supports wide range of LAN configurations via Distinct TCP/IP runtime stack. --Hardware: Cello needs a Windows 3.1-capable machine with enhanced mode and (preferably) swapping enabled. It is hungry for extended RAM. --Software: Cello depends (for now; we're working on a Winsock version) on the Distinct TCP/IP runtime stack. The LII has licensed the use of a runtime of this software for use by US academic institutions for a period of one year, starting June 1, after which we will renegotiate the license. All non-USA-academic users are strongly urged to contact Distinct directly at --How to get it: FTP to, the /pub/LII/Cello subdirectory. The distribution is in multiple files. At a minimum, you will need: README.1ST, which contains unpacking instructions. CELLO.ZIP, which contains the executable and Help application DIS.ZIP, which contains the runtime stack. It is requested that you get the optional packages like VIEWERS.ZIP and GSWIN.ZIP from other ftp sites (like or to keep the load down on fatty. (GSWIN.ZIP is over 2MB ... you are going to need a LOT of free space to play around with this stuff, especially when you get started with sound files). Installation is performed by following the instructions in README.1ST, then using the online help. Additional support is available from a listserv list called appropriately enough CELLO-L. To subscribe, send a message to with the one-liner: sub cello-l your full name in the body of the message. cello-l is watched by the developer and by a few folks who graciously assisted in alpha testing and who know more about the software's treacherous behavior than its author; the listowner is Will Sadler at Indiana University Law School ------------------------------------------------- Mailbag - Antarctica Thanks to Greg Earle, Christian Smith (aka Blackplague), David Camp and Nick Gimbrone who responded to the query about Antarctica being on the net. It appears that the research installation at McMurdo Sound at least has electronic mail access routed through New Zealand. ------------------------------------------------- Mailbag - Access to US Government Information Joe Ahlgren (author of GeoClock -- thanks for sending me the new version, Joe) says there is a BBS at 703-321-8020 named FedWorld in the Washington DC metro area that has the White House info mentioned in V03N03. Anyone know if FedWorld is accessible on the Internet? Joe is teaming up with CNN to produce a product like GeoClock (look for WorldClock in a store nearby) ... he's still waiting for the invitation to the party with Jane Fonda. ------------------------------------------------- Everything you wanted to know about Gopher The latest Gopher Guide, a revised version from June 15, is now available for anonymous ftp from the source of gopher things ... boombox.micro, Look for the file in the /pub/gopher/docs directory. It's over a megabyte in length, so make sure you have plenty of room on your disk (and lots of paper in your printer). ------------------------------------------------- Object Oriented Database results Mike Carey, David DeWitt and Jeff Naughton at the University of Wisconsin have developed a set of benchmarks for Object Oriented Database systems. They reported the results of running a number of the benchmarks at the 1993 SIGMOD conference, but you can get copies of the paper presented at the conference (in PostScript form) and an expanded version that contains more information from more tests. This information is from the README file in the OO7 (that's uppercase oh- oh-seven, not zero-zero-seven) directory on 1) - the postscript file corresponding to the OO7 paper that will appear at the 1993 SIGMOD conference. 2) implementations - directory containing implementations of the OO7 benchmark for E/Exodus, Objectivity, Ontos and ODI. An O2 implementation is in the works. The implementations directory contains tar files for the four systems. 3) - a postscript file that is the "full version" of the sigmod paper. This is an expanded version of the sigmod paper with some more tests and a more thorough description of the benchmark and its motivation. Dr. Chaos points out that you shouldn't miss the README file; it contains a fascinating description of the actions of one of the database vendors (ODI) and why the results of their benchmark tests are not reported. ------------------------------------------------- Wrapup of V03 N04 For your own *free* subscription to Chaos Corner, send electronic mail to Dr. Chaos (I have a master's degree ...) .


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