Chaos Corner V04 N01 24 February 1994 Copyright 1994 by Robert D. Cowles; Ithaca, NY 14850

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Chaos Corner V04 N01 24 February 1994 Copyright 1994 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 -------------------------------------------------- Mailbag - Out-of-this World PILOT Software Tax Dollars at work ... this information is provided by John Fwu: October 1993, The first UNIX workstation went to space with Space Shuttle Columbia for NASA's STS-58 mission. On board Columbia, two astronauts conducted the first tests of the Portable Inflight Landing Operations Trainer (PILOT) which measures the effects of space flight on pilot proficiency. Using a work-station class laptop computer (Panasonic 2100 running SUN OS 4.X) and a hand controller, PILOT replicates the orbiter's response to inputs from the pilot "flying" it. With the shuttle engineering simulator software loaded in the computer PILOT closely mimics the orbiter's handling characteristics. PILOT was developed in record time. From General Pearson's approval of the project, through design and procurement, to production of a working flight model, took only nine months. Team members included Justiz and Engle; Al Strahan and Bill Overton; Pat Wilson, Dirk Johnson, John Fwu, Bob Hinson, Rocky Smith, Jim Brock, Dave Jossi, and Don Hannsz. -------------------------------------------------- Mailbag - Subscribers in Norway can switch to fa.chaos-corner Nicolai Langfeldt asks Dr. Chaos to include a note letting people know that some people may want to drop their direct Chaos Corner subscription and instead read Chaos Corner in the newsgroup fa.chaos-corner. (If you haven't heard of it don't worry, the fa.* news hierarchy is limited to Norway and consists entirely of mailing lists.) -------------------------------------------------- Mailbag - PC Upgrade Tales Loren Stafford describes his experience with taking the 'easy' path for upgrading his PC-AT. He was going to increase disk space of his newer Dell system and donate the PC-AT to charity. When he tried to install the new disk drive, he discovered that the BIOS did not support a disk drive as large as the new one. The good news is that Dell was willing to ship him a new BIOS that DID support the disk; the upgrade was just a bit more complicated than he thought it was going to be. By the way, he found the following programs to be useful for printing out the disk sizes supported by your BIOS (so you can carry the list to the store when you go shopping). ../ The experience the Dr. Chaos has had with the PC-AT upgrade has good news and bad news. Good news: the motherboard finally worked OK in the machine; bad news: to get it to work he had to buy one megabyte of memory at the then outrageous prices; good news; DOS worked OK and by switching around the cables he was able to make the high density 3.5 inch diskette the A: drive; bad news: Windows would not even install with 1 megabyte of memory; good news: Dr. Chaos found 'Ski Bum' at Kansas State University who was willing to sell 4 MB at a good price; bad news: Doom requires a VGA video adapter to run; good news: VGA adapters are real cheap these days and applications look so much better than they do with EGA that it is worth the expense; bad news: finding a VGA monitor. The saga continues. (We haven't even mentioned what a squeeze it is to fit DOS/Windows and Word on a 30 MB disk drive and still have much space left over). -------------------------------------------------- Review of *Das Internet* from Chaos Corner V03 N09 Peter Shipton writes with the following review of *Das Internet*: My first impression is that it is a good basic guide to what the Internet is, with fairly clear descriptions of how things work: mail, FTP, Archie, Gopher, WAIS, News, etc. There is also good advice on Netiquette. There is some good source information in the "Internet Gold" section, although a lot of important stuff is missing. As stated in the first chapter, the book is intended as a basic guide for beginners (like me). I think it does its job fairly well. However, there is very little information on how to go about getting a connection to the Internet, and virtually no advice on selecting software. These two points are what have caused me personally the most difficulty. -------------------------------------------------- Mailbag - Gophering the Internet via Mail Glee Willis send the collection of gophermail servers that he has been able to find on the Internet. If you are interested in trying one of these out, just send a mail file containing the word 'help' to the address indicated below: Gophermail servers (as of 1/12/94): -------------------------------------------------- What is that strange notation you used for a file location? Careful readers will note that in one of the above articles we used a new (for Chaos Corner) notation to give the location of a file that is available by anonymous FTP. There is a draft standard for specifying objects on the Internet (files, newsgroups, etc.) and it describes the use and format of a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). Examples of URLs for objects available by anonymous ftp are: file:// or Other resources may be indicated by URLs like: telnet:// file:///c|/ (files on local C: drive) gopher:// The URLs that may look least familiar are those starting with 'http'. These indicate files to be accessed through the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and typically they reference files written in Hypertext Markup Language (html is related to the SGML standard). Hypertext files can contain pointers to other files and there exist browsers that present a nice interface for traversing the linked files. Some browsers implement a form of Hypermedia that includes not only text, but also includes images, sounds, or animations. The major impetus for URLs has been a project initiated by CERN (the particle physics research facility near Geneva, Switzerland) called World Wide Web (WWW or W3) and it is also strongly supported by the High-Energy Physics (HEP) community. Other institutions are now joining in by creating home pages that point not only to local information but also to links across the Internet. -------------------------------------------------- Browsing the Internet for browsers via telnet WWW browsers are generally able to provide access to a superset of the information available via gopher or WAIS. The availability of high quality browsers for different platforms is growing, so there is a dramatic increase in usage of the Web. If you are interested in obtaining exploring the Internet through the Web, a good place to start is by using one of the browsers accessible through telnet. The official list of telnet servers on WWW is but some initial suggestions are to use telnet to access (no id or password required). Dr. Chaos, in his concern for not overtaxing the links across the Atlantic Ocean, suggests that others in the Americas may want to try out a full screen browser at our alma mater, just telnet to and login as www (no password required). Those of you across the Pacific Ocean will probably need to access one of these servers to find out if there is a server that is closer ... things change very quickly on the net, so you never know when some may appear. -------------------------------------------------- Browsing the Internet with your own browser - Mac and PC Browsers named Mosaic are available for both the Macintosh and Windows environment from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). In particular, the current version for Windows is available in: file:// Both the Windows and Macintosh versions assume that your computer is either directly connected to the Internet or that you have a SLIP connection to provide TCP/IP connectivity and in the Windows environment you are expected to have a correctly configured WINSOCK interface to the TCP/IP code. (Don't worry if you don't understand this ... a lot of people don't; just be sure to ask when you have problems.) Another browser is available for Windows from Cornell Law LII named Cello. While I have heard very positive things about Cello, Dr. Chaos has been unable to get it to work under OS/2 (due to a bug in the IBM WINSOCK code), so we haven't actually had it in operation here. To try out Cello, you can get it via anonymous ftp from in the /pub/LII/cello directory. (Version 1.0 was recently released after extensive testing.) -------------------------------------------------- Browsing the Internet with your own browser - Unix The browsers either of us have seen or had recommended to us are xmosaic available from NCSA ( in the Mosaic directory (note that pre-compiled binaries exist for a large number of systems if you don't feel like going through the process yourself) and midasWWW, available from: -------------------------------------------------- Want Clipper to clip your wings? While we try to avoid politics, it doesn't seem to be the case that politics always avoids us. The current administration seems to be embarked on a foolish path of supporting a data encryption scheme that allows encrypted data to be decrypted. The encryption keys are to be held (in two different pieces) by as yet undetermined agents who would only provide those keys when legally authorized to do so by the order of a US court. Now comes the hard part: (1) name two US public or private agencies that you would trust with the keys; (2) explain how US corporations can compete in a global marketplace when encryption software is treated as munitions in terms of US export regulations (hint: don't forget that encryption is not only a way of hiding data from prying eyes, it also provides a measure of trust that faulty hardware and software are much less likely to make undetected errors during data transmission.) Dr. Chaos encourages subscribers in the US to become more informed on the issue by following the debates currently in progress on newsgroups such as and -------------------------------------------------- What's a good WWW page to start with? A new WWW page that shows a lot of promise is to be found at: High level topics exist in broad subject areas and it appears to be the net-surfer's dream. Weather freaks will want to know about the URL mentioned earlier: since it contains pointers to current weather information and images all across the globe ... from a number of satellites and using radar, IR and visible light spectrums. Files available include the weather animations (like you see on the evening news) and really remarkable images showing the composite world weather map that is pieced together from all the different satellite images. Dr. Chaos is still grumbling about the need for a good MPEG viewer (used for the animations) under OS/2. -------------------------------------------------- Closing for now ... back soon We here at Chaos Corner want to thank you all for the support and feedback over the past years. As Chaos Corner starts with volume 4 it seems remarkable that we're experiencing greater than 10-20% growth in the subscription list month (for 380 subscribers, this is their first issue). This is an unusual issue because I haven't told you about all the wonderful files I have tucked away just waiting for you to ask for them. Don't worry, they will be there again ... we just felt that the increasing number of file references in URLs meant that an explanation was required. Of course, the other reason is that I ran out of time because I have two machines and Mosaic runs on one and not on the other ... and Dr. Chaos can't figure out what the difference is. See you in a short while ... -------------------------------------------------- Get your Free Subscription Here! Just send a message to Dr. Chaos - and ask to be put on the subscription list. From CompuServe, use the address It's that easy. Don't delay ---- act now! Dr. Chaos .


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