[Oberon] n-o: timer-reset chit-chat

easlab at absamail.co.za easlab at absamail.co.za
Wed Oct 15 11:10:03 CEST 2003

Very quiet here lately ?
Is it part of the academic cycle ?
It's often valuable to seek social explanations to apparently technical
problems: my ISP never acknowledges technical problems, but by
considering the weather (effect on out-door activity vs. inet usage)
and TV etc. alternatives I can estimate the ISP load.

How many of you got nailed by the swen virus ?
Many, judging from NewsGroup reports.
Regretably (because 'bringing it out' would help the combined
effort to fix it) many people like to be macho and deny problems.
 I had to change:
  eas-lab at absamail.co.za
  easlab at absamail.co.za
because my 10M mail-box quota was filling up each hour, with
swen virii.

Apparently many users download full articles, instead of first
viewing the headers and selecting the desired articles.

Under native-oberon (n-o) I use:  
  TextMail.Directory , TextMail.Show , TextMail.Delete , TextMail.DeleteAll
for 'full control'.

More inet connectivity info/mysteries:
  last weedend I desperately needed to email - important stuff,
and by standard n-o box would not login to my ISP, nor the alternative 
town's.  As normal the ISP denies any problem and starts diagnosing 
ME via M$ terminology.   The linux box (which gives deeper 
diagnostic/traces than n-o ) with and alternate modem also fails to
negotiate/login. That leaves the telco-line, which 'sounds' ok.

To use an alternate telco-line, I can visit an alternate office, but must
transport my n-o or linux applications.  [I might have a nervous
breakdown if I try to reconfigure the Winxx, resident on the alternate
office's boxes - not my machines !].

I have previously confirmed that my 486, 4Mb portable with DOSbased
V2.3.6 can connect to ISP, although since the single ser-port is needed 
for the modem, the 'tracker-ball' usage is painfull.

The alternate telco-line has a PABX (which is 'hidden' since I hacked
the previous one) and needs 'dial-zero and wait' to get dial tone.
And I since I can't see how to modify the n-o dial script to handle 
this, I needed to T-in a parallel hand phone, to manually dial zero,
before dialing the ISP via n-o.  With all the sequencing of reading and 
entering the password, the manual acrobatics/timing is non-trivial.

This painfull exercise revealed the following:
  1. as I have repeatedly reported: after an abort eg. power down
   to modem during ppp connected, the ser-control to modem
   fails on further dial attempts.

   I wrongly suspected that this might not apply to earlier Versions 
   than my 2001 n-o. But  V2.3.6 ALSO 'locks up'. A reboot clears it.
    On V2001 repeated (apparently critically timed) Ctrl/Break releases 
    it, but I couldn't see how to do Ctrl/Break on the note-book.

   AGAIN, my explanation as to why 'nobody else reports this problem':
   none of you are heavy users of n-o via dial-up, and if you have a
  problem, you use M$ medicine: reboot !
  Since I often have a dozen text-frames which are pending attention
  from 10 days ago, re-booting is very inconvenient.
  One day I'll debug the cause/explanation, especially now that it
  seems unlikely to be a quirk of my n-o box.

 2. the problem that my ISP has allocated me a login-name with
  an embedded "@" char which the n-o dial-up parser uses as
  a 'token-separator', and which I hacked in my 2001Version,
  prevented me from TextMail.Directory ( wrong password was 
  reported), although Mail.Send apparently worked.

3. In the panic I forgot to implement the safety measure.
   For News, to prevent virii infestation to your mailbox, do:
System.CopyFiles  Oberon.TextN => Oberon.Text ~
     which uses:
EMail = "top-post at not"  {* your return address (leave out the < and >) *}
    but for email which requires your return address do:
System.CopyFiles  Oberon.TextM => Oberon.Text ~
EMail = "easlab at absamail.co.za"  {* your return address ....

Apparently because I posted a few News-articles, with the note-book
using the patched version of V2.3.6,  with my return adrs. showing, I've 
again started to get "M$-security-patch virii".

How many other users get these  ?

== Chris Glur.

PS. a superficial patch which allows this safety of hiding one's 
email-return-adr. during News-posts is, send emails (which require
the correct return-adr. via Configuration.DoText  Mailinglist ~
  which is a script eg.
Mailinglist : ------

System.CopyFiles  Oberon.TextM => Oberon.Text ~  for emailing

Mail.Send   < list of emails to send>   ~

System.CopyFiles  Oberon.TextN => Oberon.Text ~ restore for News-safety

! Mail.Send  TmpEmail3 ~ == lines of commented-out reminders
 since conditions are continually and unexpectedly changing, 
one needs an open system, to cope.
 N-o is not only open, but exceptionally FLAT (in the concept space
sense) in that eg. the relevant source code is 3 clUcks (mouse cords)

Here's a bench mark re. other OSs:
How many clUcks (operations) to find and change and recompile the
source code in the file ppp-suit so that the mesg: "ERROR: too short"
is changed to: "ERROR: too short or Y2K effect".

The unix/linux gurus love their cryptic strings, which can never
compete with n-o's conceptual-cording, which imitates semantic nets,
IMO.   Here are the nodes in the semantic net which I raced through to 
find the out putting of a text string in any of the sources for the ppp-suite.

1. ? does the ppp-suite use "ppp" or "PPP"   >  CRGppp.Do <- my script
2. ? what kind of commands are used to output text > Out Watson.ShowDef  ^
     == >  "String"
3.  ? how to find some uses of 'String' in *PPP*.Mod > QED

The lack of these types of simple 'Howtos' for would be new users
is one reason why n-o usage will never grow.

One reason is the academic snobbery, that Howtos are for the gutter.

More information about the Oberon mailing list