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From: ea...@smeagol.UUCP
Newsgroups: comp.mail.uucp,news.admin
Subject: Scary Thought ...
Message-ID: <919@smeagol.JPL.NASA.GOV>
Date: Wed, 4-Mar-87 01:20:26 EST
Article-I.D.: smeagol.919
Posted: Wed Mar  4 01:20:26 1987
Date-Received: Fri, 6-Mar-87 21:53:00 EST
Sender: n...@smeagol.JPL.NASA.GOV
Organization: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
Lines: 26

Recently, two people at JPL became recipients of Lauren Weinstein's `uulink'
package for IBM PC's & clones, which provides UUCP capability for them.  I've
also seen John Gilmore mention a thingy called `uuslave', which I would
imagine probably does the same thing or something similar (or a certain subset
of UUCP).  Now, these `uulink' copies are serial numbers #199 and #200, so it
is safe to say that there's nothing to worry about yet, but I shudder to the
thought of suddenly flooding the net with newsites that are all PC's running
these programs or equivalent.  Seems like we have enough sites as it is
without suddenly being deluged with a million PC-DOS machines suddenly
clamoring to be part of Usenet.  From both an administrative and logistical
viewpoint, it seems to me like this could present a problem of major
magnitude if everyone and his mother jumps on the bandwagon and starts running
these programs and announcing themselves to news.newsite.

Note that I am not passing judgement on this chain of events, it is just
something that I noted since I have now seen `uulink' in action on these
people's machines, and extrapolating from there.  I'd just be interested to
see what other people think of this possible scenario.

Am I being overly paranoid, or could this be a portend of things to come?

	Greg Earle	UUCP: sdcrdcf!smeagol!earle; attmail!earle
	JPL		ARPA: elroy!smeagol!
AT&T: +1 818 354 4034 (For the daring)
Is this an out-take from the ``BRADY BUNCH''?

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Path: utzoo!mnetor!seismo!rutgers!ames!ucbcad!ucbvax!decvax!vortex!lauren
From: lau...@vortex.UUCP (Lauren Weinstein)
Newsgroups: comp.mail.uucp,news.admin
Subject: netnews misc. (was "Scary Thought ...")
Message-ID: <963@vortex.UUCP>
Date: Sun, 8-Mar-87 15:40:20 EST
Article-I.D.: vortex.963
Posted: Sun Mar  8 15:40:20 1987
Date-Received: Mon, 9-Mar-87 18:49:30 EST
References: <1501@bnrmtv.UUCP>
Organization: Vortex Technology, Los Angeles
Lines: 56

Since I'm now working with some new technical writers, I hope to
have the UULINK doc situation in better shape pretty soon--registered
UULINK users will get manuals as soon as they are available.
In general, I have found it exceedingly difficult to find
competent technical writers--this appears to be a fairly common
problem throughout technical industries in the U.S. today, from what
I've heard...

Part of the problem with a manual for a package like this is to 
decide WHAT to put in it.  I have no interest in putting out a
tutorial on eletronic mail ("What is a '!'?  What is an '@'?
What does 'domain' mean?," etc.)  That's a book in and of
itself.  My concentration has had to be with the defined market--people
who already have experience with the network and uucp/mail systems or who
have such people available to them for assistance.  (This applies mainly
to installation--after the package is installed its day-to-day operations
are largely automatic and the main mail/netnews sending/reading programs, etc.
are fairly easy for even inexperienced persons to use.) 

In any case, we do not plan to change our market focus--we will
continue to do our best to make sure that the package is
installed only by those persons who have sufficient experience
and knowledge of the network and email systems to be able to
install it effectively, or that they have such a person available, or
that the package is "pre-configured" by someone with sufficient
knowledge before being installed on a inexperienced user's machine.
In general, we've found that if the person doing the installation is 
experienced with uucp systems, they will be operational quite
quickly after reading the comments in the various configuration
files and having a brief contact with us.  We do our
best to establish that they have such experience available before
we accept an order.  We do not charge for telephone consulting 
regarding the package, nor do we have any arbitrary limits to 
such consulting with users.

By the way, on the subject of netnews--it is true that I (purposely)
didn't go in for elaborate netnews support--judging from
the way these systems are used it appeared (and still does appear)
that sophisticated mail services are of more importance to
most persons using these small machines--and mail was thus my primary
focus.  However, I did provide the capability to send and receive netnews 
as a Usenet site, knowing that if users had any interest in 
fancier netnews handling they could tie in to various hooks to add on 
whatever additional netnews functionalities they felt would be useful
to them.  And in fact, I've heard from a couple of users who have
written programs that can operate to provide fancier netnews
handling by post-processing UULINK-delivered netnews into different
forms.  After I've seen these programs it may well be possible for
me to set up a library of such "user-contributed" UULINK utilities for
for those UULINK users who desire the particular specific functionalities
they offer.

As always, anyone with specific questions about the package and its
applications is welcome to contact us directly for info...


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Path: utzoo!mnetor!seismo!lll-lcc!lll-crg!hoptoad!gnu
From: g...@hoptoad.uucp (John Gilmore)
Newsgroups: comp.mail.uucp,news.admin
Subject: Re: Scary Thought ...
Message-ID: <1878@hoptoad.uucp>
Date: Mon, 9-Mar-87 13:23:34 EST
Article-I.D.: hoptoad.1878
Posted: Mon Mar  9 13:23:34 1987
Date-Received: Tue, 10-Mar-87 06:24:07 EST
References: <919@smeagol.JPL.NASA.GOV> <1112@altnet.UUCP>
Organization: Nebula Consultants in San Francisco
Lines: 35

My experience with the micro people interested in uuslave is similar to
Lauren's with UULINK.  Mostly people want it for email or for automated
file transfer.  A few people want to build gateways with it, e.g. a
Fidonet<->Unix gateway package that would interconnect the IBM PC-based
Fido mail network with the UUCP mail network, similar to the way the
Arpanet is now linked with UUCP mail.  Personally I'll be glad to have
another few thousand people whose communication with me can be
computer-mediated rather than conducted at the mercy of letters and

Administratively there is not much problem -- uuslave sites will look
like Unix uucp sites.  Since many will be hung off existing major sites
(e.g. at universities), many will naturally fall under an existing
domain, with no overhead to network routing or table size.

It's a pain to wedge the uucp and netnews software onto the brain
damaged micro operating systems of today.  Remember -- 11 char file
names with the only dot after the 8th char!  No multitasking.  No
delayed execution.  Can't listen on the phone while the user is
typing.  Directories a recent extension.  Etc.  The Amiga is the only
semi-cheap non-Unix machine that could run a serious Unix-like uucp,
mail, and news system.  It's possible to wedge it onto anything, but
the authors of micro software that uuslave must coordinate with for
modem access (e.g.  when someone calls in, what program is listening?)
are so far uninterested in making it easy to run anything but their own
software anyway.  Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

Also remember that netnews takes a signifigant amount of disk space and
administrative time.  Most users won't pay that price; The people who
run a full netnews feed on a micro will have to be at least as sharp as
the folks who administer news on a Unix machine.
John Gilmore  {sun,ptsfa,lll-crg,ihnp4}!hoptoad!gnu
Love your country but never trust its government.
		     -- from a hand-painted road sign in central Pennsylvania

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From: lau...@vortex.UUCP
Newsgroups: comp.mail.uucp,news.admin
Subject: small nodes, etc.
Message-ID: <964@vortex.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 10-Mar-87 15:06:55 EST
Article-I.D.: vortex.964
Posted: Tue Mar 10 15:06:55 1987
Date-Received: Wed, 11-Mar-87 20:49:05 EST
References: <308@micropro.UUCP>
Organization: Vortex Technology, Los Angeles
Lines: 21

I think someone hit it on the head when they pointed out that there are
lots of small nodes already out there, and the main network is hardly
even aware of them.  I know for a fact that there are a considerable 
number of UULINK sites on Usenet with multiple users on each one (each user
with their own individual user id's, mailboxes, etc.) and of course there
are many PC's running Unix with one or more users per machine.
Usenet seems to be surviving. 

I'm very interested in user-contributed add-on utilities designed to work
with UULINK, but I would appreciate it if the authors of such programs would 
send them to me first so that I can help ensure compatibility with the
evolving package.  

Finally, I sense that some of this discussion is no longer appropriate
for these particular newsgroups.  A UULINK-interest mailing list
is a possibility, but in the meantime I would appreciate it if persons
with specific questions about the package would contact me directly,
so that we're not forcing the entire network to wade through messages that
are only of interest to some.  Thanks.


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USENET (Users’ Network) was a bulletin board shared among many computer
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