Chaos Corner V04 N02 5 June 1994 Copyright 1994 by Robert D. Cowles; Ithaca, NY 14850. Per

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Chaos Corner V04 N02 5 June 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 -------------------------------------------------- Service tales - Good and Bad All warrantee service is not the same. When the Trackpointer on our IBM Thinkpad stopped working properly, we thought we had arranged with a service department that they would examine the laptop when we took it in and give it back to us until the parts arrived. Our view was that that way we might be without the machine for a day at a time but not for a long period of time. It turned out that while I could have the machine back after a technician looked at it, the technician wouldn't be able to look at it for 5 days! To make a long story shorter, The Computer Center in Ithaca was able to perform all the work in three trips, never keeping the machine more than a half day at a time. Thanks! Just before a recent trip to Dallas, Texas, we learned of a service providing local Internet access. Thinking that it might be possible to work out some deal better than long distance phone rates between Dallas, Texas and Ithaca, NY ($0.08 - 0.09 per minute for night-time rates) we contacted the service. We arranged for an ID on their system at a rate that would be $23 per month for SLIP access but pro-rated just for the time I was actually in Dallas. It all looked very good except that I was not able to get the SLIP connection to work and was unable to get a response from the telephone number or via electronic mail for over a week. More later about how using DFW.COM works out as an Internet service provider. In an attempt to extend the life of some IBM PS/2 model 80 machines (Intel 386-20 processors), we purchased some upgrade chips from Evergreen Technologies ($230 each) that should double processor speed. Although the re-seller, Treasure Chest, claimed that OS/2 was supported, the chips are shipped without OS/2 support to enable the cache (without the cache, there is no noticeable performance improvement). Tech Support for Evergreen Technologies said that their OS/2 driver was just coming out of beta-test and they would mail me a copy on a diskette. Dr. Chaos grabbed the telephone from me and heaped ridicule on the poor fellow for actually wanting to send me a diskette through the mail when he could just put the appropriate files up on their BBS and we could get them much more quickly. The fellow checked with the BBS operator and agreed to put the file up (including appropriate documentation). The file did actually appear about 24 hours later, but it had no documentation (not necessarily a problem), and the ZIP file was encrypted (big problem). Meanwhile, it takes about 10-15 calls to the BBS to get a good connection (that may be due to a modem incompatibility since I got a good connection on the first try using the MegaHertz modem on my laptop), and no one responds to the messages I leave. On a technical note, a rough test that we performed by enabling the cache in a DOS session under OS/2 showed a factor of 2 performance improvement ... the problem is the random lockups encountered several minutes after the cache is enabled. We'll keep you posted on how this works out. -------------------------------------------------- Planned Chaos can be Pretty Ugly One of our favorite new groups on Usenet is alt.humor.puns. Ask Dr. Chaos at if you would like to receive a copy of the list of oxymorons compiled by Edward Lunny as an example of the contents of the group. In addition to the ones listed in the title of this item, consider: happy camper; jumbo shrimp, artificial grass; civil servant; and the ever popular - military intelligence. -------------------------------------------------- Clipper Chip follow-up A recent headline article in the New York Times announced that Matthew Blaze has discovered the Skipjack algorithm used in the Clipper encryption chip is flawed. The flaw allows transmission of messages using the chip that cannot be decoded with the special keys the government holds. The US Government's response was that anyone wanting to keep their messages really private would probably use a simpler alternative. Anyone decoding the secret message in this volume of Chaos Corner can claim a free bound copy of Chaos Corner volume 3. Dr. Chaos recommends the Usenet newsgroup sci.crypt if you want to follow or participate in the discussions. -------------------------------------------------- Cello and Mosaic follow-up We finally obtained the IBM fix to OS/2 TCPIP Winsock code that allows the Cello browser for World Wide Web (WWW) to operate properly. The fix also allowed us to use Mosaic on a system where it had never operated properly before. If you're interested in an alternative to Mosaic under Windows (especially since the newer versions of WinMosaic can't be run under OS/2) take a look at Cello on in the /pub/LII/Cello directory. Dr. Chaos points out that I need to start complying with our new standard ... so I will modify the above to say that the URL is -------------------------------------------------- Correction on Jupiter collision In the last issue, we mentioned that there would be a collision between a comet and Jupiter in June. Sorry, but there has been a change in plans and due to an illness the comet has been forced to reschedule the show into the latter part of July. Unfortunately, the actual collision will occur on the side of Jupiter that is away from Earth, so the effects will not be visible until a few hours after the impact. We expect images to be available on the net soon after event. -------------------------------------------------- Novell joins the Web Novell offers World Wide Web access to a number of electronic manuals, including 10,000 technical support documents that answer frequently asked questions. To help you wade through the documents, there is a boolean search capability. The technical support databases are updated every 2 weeks. Access to the Novell Web server is by the Uniform Resource Locator If you don't have a Web browser, don't worry -- just use gopher to access the alternate site -------------------------------------------------- Documentation on World Wide Web standards The documents on the Web are often in the form of a hypertext document conforming to the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) specification. HTML is written in the international standard ISO 8879 - Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). If you have a Web browser, look at the file for a description of HTML. Lots of other documentation, both on HTML, and on Uniform Resource Locators (URL) and Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI) can be found at the "mother-of-all-web-sites" in the /pub/www/doc directory. -------------------------------------------------- Maps of the World Over 230,000 maps are available covering most of the world. Warning, a number of these maps are over 200K bytes, so you will want to have plenty of time of a fast Internet connection to do much browsing. The URL for the site is -------------------------------------------------- Financial information available As an experimental service, the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab is providing stock market information across the net. For a number of stocks, you can obtain graphs of stock price and volume over the past 6 months. A new commercial service will soon be starting that can provide more complete information, including such things as a portfolio report detailing the value of all your stocks as of the close of the market and sent to you via electronic mail each day. Point your Web browser to: -------------------------------------------------- Calling all weather freaks! If you would like to know the current conditions and/or local forecast for any part of the United States, the service provided at MIT is very nice. When you connect to, the document transferred is the current US weather map which you then click your mouse pointer on to obtain the local conditions and forecast. Very nicely done except that we encountered a small problem with the image being too large to fit in the Mosaic window and there was no way that we could figure out to reposition the image to show the eastern US. It could be a problem caused by the early version of WinMosaic we are using. -------------------------------------------------- Movie Reviews available online - you supply the popcorn The Usenet group has a good reputation as a source of movie information. If you have ftp access, you need look no further than the directory usenet/ on site The reviews are filed in subdirectories by the first letter of the movie name. European users can get the reviews from in the directory /pub/culture/tv+film/reviews. -------------------------------------------------- How to keep current with the latest Windows software The following from by Chris Johnson at SUNY Buffalo: Every morning at 3:00 EST, I have a program that runs and gets a list of the files in the uploads directory at, the definitive ftp site for Windows programs. My program separates the new files from the old files, and then goes back to the site to get the new text files. Once all the files are received, the program packages it up in one message. The first part of the message is an explanation of CICA-List. The second is the list of new files (.zip, and .txt). And finally, the third is the actual text files. This allows one to keep abreast of the new programs available at cica, without ftp'ing there everyday. This list was created because I got tired of trying to keep up with the new files there and decided to automate it... them a few friends asked for it, and the list was born. There are currently more than 200 subscribers and is growing at a steady rate. If you would like to subscribe to CICA-List, please send mail to with the following characteristics... in the Subject line: CICA-ADD in the body: add username@internet.address where username is your username, and internet.address is your computer's internet address. -------------------------------------------------- Need to develop Internet training, fast? Deborah Newkirk at the University of Alaska has made available Internet training presentations she developed for the DECUS Symposium in May '94. They are available via anonymous ftp at in the subdirectory decus-no94.mac-ppt or decus-no94.dos-ppt depending on your need for DOS or Mac version. Sessions are named IN00#.PPT (black & white) and IN00#C.PPT (color) for the Mac and IN#-D.PPT (black & white) and IN#C-D.PPT (color). The seminar handouts are designated with INET in a similar fashion. INET Seminar: Software Tools for Accessing Internet Resources IN001 Opening session: The Internet Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together IN004 Internet Puzzle: What's in the Future? IN005 Community Information Systems: Internet information for the Public IN006 Software Tools for Accessing Internet Resouces IN007 Global Discussions and Information Exchange via the Internet -------------------------------------------------- Boon to Computer Science researchers A collection of bibliographies in various fields of computer science is available via anonymous ftp and the World Wide Web. The bibliographies contain about 240,000 references, most of which are references to journal articles, conference papers or technical reports. The collection has been formed by using various freely accessible services in the Internet (anonymous ftp, mailserver, telnet) and converting each bibliography into a uniform BibTeX format. It is organized in files containing references to a (more or less) specific area within computer science. All files containing bibliographic data are compressed with gzip (extension ".gz"). The bibliographies are accessible FTP: ( Read the README file in that directory WWW: pub/literatur/Mirror/bibliography/www/bibliography.html Read the introduction in that document -------------------------------------------------- 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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