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Published in TidBITS 94.
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TidBITS Fileserver

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The review of uAccess is still in the works but I am making progress. In the meantime, I've thought of a good way to introduce you to one of uAccess's more impressive features while at the same time providing a useful service that can save us all time.

I've just finished setting up a fileserver in uAccess, which is a piece of cake to do with ICE Engineering's custom address command. Other custom address commands can autoReply to mail or autoForward mail to another electronic address. The fileserver address command is the most powerful one so far though. It's not up to the level of the LISTSERV software or even a Unix-based mailing list program, but it appears to work fine and is a breeze to configure and administrate, which I suspect is not true of the Unix systems.

Essentially then, all I had to do was create the files that I wanted to make available, format them for transmission through the Internet, and then make a record of them in the fileserver configuration dialog, adding a keyword and setting some options such as what to do with the request mail, keep it or trash it. There are currently five files available, although I can make more available at any time. These five files are:

help (for using the fileserver)
index (which lists all the available files)
guidelines (for writing articles and reviews for us)
info (general information about TidBITS)
locations (where you can find issues of TidBITS)

You can read the help and index files for more details, but if you wish to request a file from the fileserver, send email to fileserver@tidbits.halcyon.com with the keyword (filename) as the only word in the Subject: line of your message. Other words in the Subject: line and the entire text of the message will be ignored, which means you can only request one file per message. Sorry.

One addition I would like to make to the fileserver soon is a list of bulletin boards and phone numbers where people can find TidBITS. So, if you know of any bulletin boards that carry TidBITS issues, please send me email telling me:

BBS name
BBS location
BBS phone number
BBS modem speeds if you know them

So for instance:

Memory Alpha
Ithaca, NY USA
607/257-5822
12/24 (or if Mark has added a 9600 bps modem, 12/24/96)

I'm sure someone will ask, but I cannot make issues of TidBITS available on the fileserver because of the possible demand from thousands of people on the Internet. My site runs over a 2400 bips UUCP link that only connects three times per night and not at all during the day. There's no way the link could support that level of demand, though a dedicated phone line and a high speed modem might help significantly. In addition, because I don't have a dedicated line, you won't get a return file quite as quickly as you might like, although uAccess will process requests promptly. If you get a request in for the 1:00 am call, that file should go out in the 3:00 am call. If you hit the 7:00 am call, your file will have to wait until 1:00 am the next day to go out. Just so you realize what you're dealing with here... :-)

So if you wish to get any information that is contained in the above files, please use the fileserver rather than asking me personally. It will save us both time and is generally more efficient. However, if you have any suggestions for other files that I should include on the fileserver, please let me know.

Cheers ... -Adam

 

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