Chaos Corner V03 N05 9 August 1993 Copyright 1993 by Robert D. Cowles; Ithaca, NY 14850. P

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Chaos Corner V03 N05 9 August 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 -------------------------------------------------- Slow Mail Distribution Possible This issue my be distributed more slowly than normal. There is currently a mail loop on the Internet due to a host in Japan rejecting some of the White House news summaries and the Listserv responsible for distributing the summaries doesn't appear smart enough to stop it. Dr. Chaos would dearly like to turn this situation into some lesson but I think the situation speaks for itself. -------------------------------------------------- Mailbag - What does .gz suffix on files mean? Thanks to Gerhard Rentschler in Stuttgart and Achim Dreyer in Paderborn for informing me that the .gz suffix on files means that they have been compressed with the GNU version of the ZIP software. Achim even sent along the Unix MAN documentation pages for the gzip, gunzip and zcat commands. By the way, Dr, Chaos points out that gunzip can handle file compressed with gzip, and also zip, compress, and pack. Looks like a handy command to have around on a Unix system. Vielen Dank! -------------------------------------------------- Mailbag - E-mail to Antarctica David Coughran pointed out that when his brother was stationed at the South Pole, they exchanged mail through a machine that was supposed to have a satellite relay for messages. The technique was to send the mail to and put the name of the person you were sending to in the subject line. It certainly is another technique and the one you use MAY depend on where you are stationed. -------------------------------------------------- CHAOS CORNER is WORLD-WIDE Ron McCoy happened to see someone from McMurdo Sound post something to the weather list (wx-talk) and gave Dr. Chaios his electronic mail address. Within 24 hours, Matt Stinson responded to the call and is now our first subscriber from "way-down-under" (or "way-up-on-top"). Chaos Corner now goes to all 7 continents. -------------------------------------------------- Apologies for the Garbage If your last issue of Chaos Corner came through looking a little garbled, we had a slight problem in getting "smart quotes" turned off soon enough in Word4Windows (running under OS/2, of course). It seems that some mail transports detected the non-standard ASCII characters in the file and converted it to some other encoding scheme. We can send you a "clean copy" of the last issue if you need one. -------------------------------------------------- IBM ThinkPad 720c One reason that this issue is a little later than normal in coming out is that I have invested significant time the past month in becoming more productive (and if you believe that .... ); and am now the proud owner of an IBM ThinkPad 720c, with 12 MB RAM (before memory prices went out of sight in the past month), 160 MB disk, and two PCMCIA cards: and IBM Ethernet adapter, and a MegaHertz X-Jack 14.4 data/fax modem. Dr. Chaos and I fight over who gets to play with the new toy all the time. The machine is really a dream; from the large active-matrix color screen (we have read that it is the only laptop that meets German standards because there are requirements for how large the letters must be on a 24x80 screen that can only be met by one that is at least 10.4 inches measured diagonally. The machine has OS/2 2.1 and TCP/IP for OS/2 installed on it ... so using the Ethernet adapter we have achieved file transfers with FTP of 250KB to 320KB per second to pelican on the same network (no gateways in between). The X-Jack modem is nice ... it has a retractable connector that the RJ-11 plug fits directly into. The only problem is that MegaHertz has yet to develop the necessary software drivers to (1) get the modem to operate under OS/2; and (2) to get the modem to operate in a fashion that is consistent with the "Card and Socket Services" that is supposed to be used as the interface to all PCMCIA cards under OS/2. According to the BBS that MegaHertz runs, they expected to have OS/2 drivers in a couple of weeks ... and that was 7 weeks ago. This file is being written on the ThinkPad while I am accessing my stored files via slip through a Zoom V.32bis modem. I will be sending it out using LaMail that comes with the IBM TCPIP package. Look carefully at the "From:" line if you want to get some clue as to how secure Internet mail transport really is. We point that out not so you will try to send mail as your boss, but so you will maintain some degree of healthy skepticism about the origin of mail files you receive. By the way, for those of you looking for a way to move from a VM/CMS version of mail to a more politically correct one, LaMail under OS/2 will use your CMS NAMES file with almost no changes. There is also an add-ins available from in os2/2_x/network: gives an interface to POP3 mail servers; provides an interface to the Internet time service and allow you to set your PCs clock correctly; and provide gopher and wais clients, respectively; and (LaTimes) provides an interface to NNTP Usenet News servers. -------------------------------------------------- IBM Support BBS One great source of information that has been very helpful, especially for a machine as new as the ThinkPad 720c and an operating system just recently released as OS/2 2.1 (we're real gluttons for punishment here) is the IBM Support BBS. If you have a modem, you can always get the latest versions of reference diskettes, diagnostic diskettes, drivers, etc. from this bulletin-board system ... it's at (404) 835-6600 for right now ... but as of August 27, 1993, locate it at (919) 517-0001. The OS/2 drivers for the IBM Ethernet adapter card were not available when we picked up the machine, but on July 17th they appeared on the BBS and we have been using them ever since. -------------------------------------------------- Downsizing Expo We have just returned from this year's Downsizing Expo. There are some interesting changes in what appears to be the conventional wisdom this year as opposed to last year. We will soon be announcing the availability of our notes (thanks to having a laptop) ... if you would like a copy, just ask for it at ... and they're guaranteed to get out ssoner than the notes from last year (which never got out at all). -------------------------------------------------- Open Vendors and Open Specifications We listened to a number of vendors talk about how "open" they were. It appears that vendors like Microsoft and Novell believe that they are open because when they make up a new standard, they publish the specs "openly" so that anyone can follow them (of course, they still retain control over the spec and feel free to make any changes they want to). Other vendors support the open standards that are not under the control of a single vendor ... and that seems to be what we really want when we talk about open systems. Hats off to those vendors! (As usual, IBM is a large enough company that it does both at the same time!) -------------------------------------------------- KERMIT faster than ZMODEM? It has always beeen common wisdom that if you wanted to used the fastest PC file transfer protocol, you used Zmodem ... with the standard DOS implementation being available as the shareware program DSZ from Omen Technologies. If you wanted to use a more solid and universally available protocol, you used Kermit, a freeware program available from Colombia University ... and you paid for that by having to live with a slower form of file transfer. No More! According to the latest Kermit Digest, the newest versions of MS-DOS Kermit (3.13) and C-Kermit 5A(189) (available for VMS, Unix and OS/2) now understand a fast transfer mode that can allow them to meet or exceed the speed of Zmodem transfers! To get the latest version of Kermit, look in the /kermit/bin directory at For MS-DOS Kermit, get the file (don't forget to use 'binary' transfer mode), for OS/2 2.x get the file ckoker32.exe (get ckoker16.exe for releases 1.x). If you want the Unix version for a particular machine look for files of the form ckuker., e.g. ckuker.sparc.sunos41c or ckuker.unixware for binaries that have already been compiled for the appropriate system. -------------------------------------------------- Educational Software Guide A Parent-Teacher Association in Maryland has put together a guide to educational software that may serve as a good starting point for getting kids to work with computers. Not only are programs given a score, but the guide includes vendor addresses and telephone numbers. If you woud like a copy, ask Dr. Chaos at -------------------------------------------------- CERT Advisory for Anonymous FTP Providers The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has been receiving an increasing number of reports of people misusing anonymous FTP. To protect anonymous FTP as a resource service on the net, CERT has issued some configuration guidelines on the accepted ways to set up your system to provide an anonymous FTP service. For your own copy of the CERT advisory send electronic mail to or get the original (or any CERT advisories) from /pub/cert_advisories of the machine ( by anonymous FTP (we assume that they have their directories set up correctly). -------------------------------------------------- Need Translation between IP Address and Hostname? The University of California at Berkeley has an experimental server available that allows one to do searches of host nametables, BITNET node tables, etc. Just issue the telnet command to host and specify port 117 (usually that is the second parameter on the telent command line). Entering a ? will get you a list of the commands. Of course, you might need to know the IP address to get there ... so use or -------------------------------------------------- Like Directory Viewer in "Jurassic Park"? It can be yours ... that is if you use (or know someone who uses) a Silicon Graphics machine. The binaries for the program are on the host in the directory /sgi/fsn. Look for file fsn.tar.Z and check out the README in the same directory for more information about the program. -------------------------------------------------- Images from "Jurassic Park" If you would like GIF or JPG images from some scenes of the film Jurassic Park, look in the gifserv/jurassic/gif or gifserv/jurassic/jpg directories of ... there are about 15 jpg files and twice as many gif files there for your enjoyment. The machine is at East Texas State University (Central Time Zone) and they restrict the number of anonymous FTP users from off-campus during prime hours. -------------------------------------------------- Get you Free Subscription Here! Just send a message to Dr. Chaos - and ask to be put on the subscription list. It's that easy. Don't delay ---- act now! Dr. Chaos (I have a Master's degree ....) .


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