From: C70:human-nets (C70:human-nets)
Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #67
Newsgroups: fa.human-nets
Date: 1982-05-19 23:14:09 PST

>From G.MDP@Utexas-20 Tue May 18 10:28:42 1982

HUMAN-NETS Digest        Tuesday, 18 May 1982      Volume 5 : Issue 67

Today's Topics:
              Query - Nomic Players & Braniff Intrigue,
       Programming - Dijkstra & Languages for Good Programming
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 16 May 1982 1556-CDT
From: David Phillips 
Subject: Nomic, "The Paradox of Self-Amendment" game

I am intrigued by Nomic, the game by Peter Suber described in the June
1982 METAMAGICAL THEMAS column in ``Scientific American''.  I would
enjoy a chance to play it with others.  I've entered the ``INITIAL SET
OF RULES'' in file:

   Nomic.Doc

on UTEXAS-20.  You can FTP the file by logging in as ANONYMOUS.

------------------------------

Date: 17 May 1982 1705-PDT
From: Craig W. Reynolds  from III via Rand  
Subject: AA hacked BRANIFF?

Does anyone out there know anything about the charges by the Braniff
exec that unnamed persons at American Airlines had hacked Braniff's
flight reservation computer system? They also alleged other nasty
business practices (such as "jaw boning" Braniff's bankers).

Specifically it was stated that data on the computer system was
modified to indicate that scheduled flights did not really exist, and
deleted some passenger reservations.

-c

------------------------------

Date: 17 May 82 16:41-PDT
From: rubin at SRI-TSC
Subject: Dijkstra's Ego

Despite the lofty tone of his writings, Professor Dijkstra is anything
but egotistical.  I believe the Good Professor is really quite a
humble and self-effacing man; his writing style simply belies his true
nature.  I feel we should offer not flames but our forbearance for a
problem that Dr. Dijkstra must understand all too well.

It is practically impossible to teach good writing to students that
have had prior exposure to Dutch: as potential writers they are
mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.

--Darryl

------------------------------

Date: 18 May 1982 00:58-EDT
From: Keith F. Lynch 
Subject: Dijkstra

   I didn't see any positive comments about any language from
Dijkstra.  I wish he would tell us what computer languages, if any, he
considers useful, or at least harmless.
                                             ...Keith

------------------------------

Date: Monday, 17 May 1982  09:33-EDT
From: Jon Webb 
Subject: Dijkstra

I have been taught Structured Programming by people following
Dijkstra's approach at Ohio State and the University of Texas at
Austin, and also I have listened to some lectures by Dijkstra at those
places, and I must say that there is definitely something there.
Programming in the way Dijkstra advocates leads to a much deeper
understanding of the algorithm, and can often lead to a more elegant
or more efficient algorithm.  This is especially true when the
programs compute number-theoretic or bottom-level operating system
functions.  The problem with applying Dijkstra's approach to more
complex problems, like user interfaces, is not in the methodology but
in the ill-defined nature of the problem to be solved, and the fact
that the problem must be solved regardless of the elegance of the
algorithm.

Jon

------------------------------

Date: 17 May 1982 1706-PDT (Monday)
From: davidson 
Subject: good BASICs

It's rather tiresome to read about all of these totally incompatible
"good" BASICs.  Even if portability is not an issue (do you really
want to reinvent the wheel constantly?) everyone should know that nice
control constructs (WHILE, REPEAT ... UNTIL, etc.) are not what Pascal
(and Pascal derived languages) are about, and is very little of what
constitutes the discipline of structured programming.  ALGOL had those
constructs, but Pascal has handily replaced it.  The strength of
Pascal is in the data structures, and in the compile time type
checking.  However, I wish to emphasize that structured programming is
not dependent on the programming language used.  In fact, until the
design of a program is nearly complete, it should be in English.
Pascal's virtues, then, are two: (1) making coding easier, and (2)
making bugs harder.

Greg Davidson

------------------------------

Date: 17 May 82 8:27:31-EDT (Mon)
From: Dave Farber 
Subject: Programming Languages

Sounds to me that we are mixing up a lot of things. I have always
taken the position that a person who claims to be a professional in
this field should have a selection of tools. In one part of the
computer business that means a selection of languages.  I speak Basic,
Pl/1, SNOBOL, Fortran, Pascal, Modula, Ada, Lisp etc and have a
working acquaintance with several others (even IPL V).  The fact that
I first learned the 650 L language seems not to have damaged me beyond
hope. The main problem in my mind is knowing when to use what
langauge. To do string manipulation in Fortran is difficult while to
do floating point calculations in SNOBOL is rather foolish.

Again there is a need for many tools and people who know when a
particular tool is applicable.

Dave

By the way, a person who knows how only one machine is programmed at
machine level is illiterate in this field also.

------------------------------

Date: 17 May 1982 1217-EDT
From: PETER MILLER AT METOO
Reply-to: "PETER MILLER AT METOO in care of" 
Subject: Anthropomorphic Languages (Truths That Might Hurt)

One of the greatest truths that has been learned from the development
of programming languages and programming systems is that there is no
single language or programming technique that is perfectly suited for
every problem.

The greatest problem faced by non-programming professionals in
attempting to use computers is the mapping problem - how to state and
solve their problem (which is well-understood in their own internal
model) in another quite alien model.

I would agree with Bruce Lucas that I would rather have a thoroughly
rigorous, mathematically-oriented language (probably programmed by
mathematicians) for problems such as FFT, string-matching, etc.

Other problems - office-oriented information systems, and business
data processing - seem less well-suited for such languages and
programmers.

Anthropomorphic languages, as real production tools, are really in
their infancy. Precision is possible. Even building good software
engineering practice into such a language is possible. Model-based
programming with natural language-style syntax offers the potential of
supporting a larger programmer base than is currently possible.

Regardless of the elitist contempt that EWD holds for such
technologies, they will be given their opportunity to compete in the
marketplace.

                                Peter B. Miller

------------------------------

End of HUMAN-NETS Digest
************************


From: C70:human-nets (C70:human-nets) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #73 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-07-31 22:22:18 PST >From Pleasant@Rutgers Sat Jul 31 03:13:39 1982 HUMAN-NETS Digest Saturday, 31 Jul 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 73 Today's Topics: Administrivia NSF Study Computer Access in the Home Future Shock and Network Videotapes ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 30 Jul 1982 1929-EDT From: Mel Subject: Administrivia Hi folks, The Human-Nets digest is alive and well and once again on the move. Submissions for publication should be mailed to HUMAN-NETS@RUTGERS. Matters concerning additions, deletions, and changes to the mailing list as well as requests for archives and the like should be sent to HUMAN-NETS-REQUEST@RUTGERS. Just in case you forget, all the pointers at -AI, -UTEXAS, -BRL and -SCORE have been updated to re-route any messages sent to them to me. -Mel ------------------------------ Date: 14 Jun 82 12:48-PDT From: mclure at SRI-UNIX Subject: NSF study c. 1982 N.Y. Times News Service WASHINGTON - A report commissioned by the National Science Foundation and made public Sunday speculates that by the end of this century electronic information technology will have transformed American home, business, manufacturing, school, family and political life. The report suggests that one-way and two-way home information systems, called teletext and videotex, will penetrate deeply into daily life, with an effect on society as profound as those of the automobile and commercial television earlier in this century. It conjured a vision, at once appealing and threatening, of a style of life defined and controlled by videotex terminals throughout the house. As a consequence, the report envisioned this kind of American home by the year 1998: ''Family life is not limited to meals, weekend outings, and once-a-year vacations. Instead of being the glue that holds things together so that family members can do all those other things they're expected to do - like work, school, and community gatherings - the family is the unit that does those other things, and the home is the place where they get done. Like the term 'cottage industry,' this view might seem to reflect a previous era when family trades were passed down from generation to generation, and children apprenticed to their parents. In the 'electronic cottage,' however, one electronic 'tool kit' can support many information production trades.'' The report warned that the new technology would raise difficult issues of privacy and control that will have to be addressed soon to ''maximize its benefits and minimize its threats to society.'' The study was made by the Institute for the Future, a Menlo Park, Calif., agency under contract to the National Science Foundation. It was an attempt at the risky business of ''technology assessment,'' peering into the future of an electronic world. The study focused on the emerging videotex industry, formed by the marriage of two older technologies, communications and computing. It estimated that 40 percent of American households will have two-way videotex service by the end of the century. By comparison, it took television 16 years to penetrate 90 percent of households from the time commercial service was begun. The ''key driving force'' controlling the speed of videotex penetration, the report said, is the extent to which advertisers can be persuaded to use it, reducing the cost of the service to subscribers. But for all the potential benefits the new technology may bring, the report said, there will be unpleasant ''trade offs'' in ''control.'' ''Videotex systems create opportunities for individuals to exercise much greater choice over the information available to them,'' the researchers wrote. ''Individuals may be able to use videotex systems to create their own newspapers, design their own curricula, compile their own consumer guides. ''On the other hand, because of the complexity and sophistication of these systems, they create new dangers of manipulation or social engineering, either for political or economic gain. Similarly, at the same time that these systems will bring a greatly increased flow of information and services into the home, they will also carry a stream of information out of the home about the preferences and behavior of its occupants.'' The report stressed what it called ''transformative effects'' of the new technology, the largely unintended and unanticipated social side effects. ''Television, for example, was developed to provide entertainment for mass audiences but the extent of its social and psychological side effects on children and adults was never planned for,'' the report said. ''The mass-produced automobile has impacted on city design, allocation of recreation time, environmental policy, and the design of hospital emergency room facilities.'' Such effects, it added, were likely to become apparent in home and family life, in the consumer marketplace, in the business office and in politics. Widespread penetration of the technology, it said, would mean, among other things, these developments: -The home will double as a place of employment, with men and women conducting much of their work at the computer terminal. This will affect both the architecture and location of the home. It will also blur the distinction between places of residence and places of business, with uncertain effects on zoning, travel patterns and neighborhoods. -Home-based shopping will permit consumers to control manufacturing directly, ordering exactly what they need for ''production on demand.'' -There will be a shift away from conventional workplace and school socialization. Friends, peer groups and alliances will be determined electronically, creating classes of people based on interests and skills rather than age and social class. -A new profession of information ''brokers'' and ''managers'' will emerge, serving as ''gatekeepers,'' monitoring politicians and corporations and selectively releasing information to interested parties. -The ''extended family'' might be recreated if the elderly can support themselves through electronic homework, making them more desirable to have around. The blurring of lines between home and work, the report stated, will raise difficult issues, such as working hours. The new technology, it suggested, may force the development of a new kind of business leader. ''Managing the complicated communication in networks between office and home may require very different styles than current managers exhibit,'' the report concluded. The study also predicted a much greater diversity in the American political power structure. ''Videotex might mean the end of the two-party system, as networks of voters band together to support a variety of slates - maybe hundreds of them,'' it said. Copies of the report, titled ''Teletext and Videotex in the United States,'' were scheduled to be available after June 28 from McGraw-Hill Publications, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10020. ------------------------------ Date: 15 Jun 1982 0844-PDT Subject: Computer access in the home From: WMartin at Office-8 (Will Martin) In the light of the recent submission concerning the NSF study on information technology: If this topic is of interest to you, watch your local PBS affiliate for a re-airing of the series "Media Probes". This is generally interesting as a survey of jobs and practices in the electronic media, but the last show in the series is particularily appropriate toward this topic. It is titled "The Future", and purports to be a factual account of an experimental installation of high-tech two-way cable and computer access in a small Ohio town, "Sugar Falls". However, the people interviewed and portrayed are determined to be obviously actors after a few minutes of watching, and the technology, especially the over-use of voice recognition, proves that the situation is fictional; there is a statement to that effect at the very end of the closing credits. Nonetheless, the portrayal of the supposed effect of this technology on the habits and family life of the subjects are of interest, even though some seemed over-dramatized. Even though this has finished its initial run, PBS repeats such series many times, and some affiliates may still be carrying it delayed some time later than the local one here did, so I thought it was appropriate to mention now. Watch for it or call your local station for info on it. By the way, is there a mechanism for buying or renting videotape versions of PBS shows or series for educational or business purposes? (Aside from just taping them off-the-air, I mean.) Some series, such as this one, or "Fast Forward", look to be appropriate for use in education or training classes in data processing or similar fields. How could I go about finding out how much it would cost to obtain such programs for private use by our training section? I have a catalog of cassettes from NPR; is there something similar for video from PBS? What about from the commercial networks? Will Martin USArmy DARCOM ALMSA ------------------------------ Date: 16 June 1982 0015-PDT (Wednesday) From: lauren at UCLA-Security (Lauren Weinstein) Subject: Future Shock and Network Videotapes I am always amused by these studies predicting tremendous changes in our "way of life" based on Teletext, Viewdata, Cable, and similar technologies. Anybody who looks behind the headlines sees that there are a number of problems with these technologies, many of which are economic rather than strictly technical. For example, the study that claims 40% of U.S. homes will have 2-way data services by the turn of the century can be flipped over: almost 2/3 of the homes WILL NOT have such services by the turn of the century. Experience is already beginning to show that "advertiser-sponsored" teletext/viewdata services do not seem capable of holding their own -- advertisers by and large need more display capability than most of the services provide, and usually (except in certain situations) prefer much more verbose ads than are conveniently possible with these text systems. The upshot of this seems to be that most of these services will be pay-as-you-go... which is not necessarily bad, but means that we are creating the potential for yet ANOTHER stratification of society -- those who can afford access to public online data systems and those who can't. If large numbers can't, we face some serious problems -- especially as these services become more of a necessity for "success". Studies of existing Viewdata systems seem to indicate some serious problems. To maintain a profit, most information in the databases has been priced in such a manner as to make its use impractical except by businesses in most cases -- and in fact it turns out that even in Britain, where these services have been around for awhile, Viewdata is mostly a business service. And even the businesses are complaining. The simple Viewdata channels (1200 baud in, 150 baud out) and fairly crude ("cheap") terminal equipment prevents any really sophisticated computer-based services (the screen size is 40 X 24, by the way), and many businesses are used to much more complex and useful services from their own LOCAL machines and networks... Viewdata just doesn't impress them. More problems? Of course. One fascinating study pointed out one reason why Teletext systems might generally fail -- the overall reading level of the population is so low (and falling) that many people would be incapable of reading any but very simple text... hardly encouraging for a new communications medium. There are still technical issues as well. While Teletext transmits its data over standard television signals, Viewdata requires the phone in a typical dialup configuration (with which we are all familiar.) However, it appears that many users would be: a) unwilling to tie up their (single) home phone for long periods for data calls b) unable to afford a second line c) unable to afford the access costs for the calls in any case (especially when local calling areas go pffffft!) One final note. I have access, right now, to three different Teletext magazines here in my home. They are all fully updated and perfect models of the types of services that are promoted for widespread use in the future. They *are* interesting, and occasionally informative, but usually they are not all that great. Sure, I sometimes look up the "current" (one hour old) temperature, and freeway bulletins are handy... but would I *pay* for this service? Hmmm. If I didn't get this equipment for free (as part of the project) I don't think I'd shell out money if I was the average consumer. (As an experimenter, I'd probably buy it anyway, I will admit...) In fact, many of the Teletext, Viewdata, and Cable TV studies are based on situations where the users in the testbeds get the services for FREE. Very few tests have realistically charged the users, and I suspect we'll see a big change in acceptance rates when charging becomes the order of the day rather than the exception. (The rosy glow of the original "QUBE" project in Columbus has already started to wear off... turns out that the 2-way interactive capability of the cable is uninteresting to most users, most of whom simply want to watch movies and sports). I'm the first one to admit that much of this technology is fascinating and useful ... but it *is* important to try keep it all in some sort of perspective... --Lauren-- P.S. Regarding videotapes of networks. All of the networks have very strict rules regarding taping of programming. While the current state of "home taping" regulations is in a state of flux, the rules regarding recording for educational or other reuse are very strict and not in question. PBS has special rules for educational users which are comparatively liberal, and not in question. PBS has special rules for educational users which are comparatively liberal, I believe. In any case, the best bet is always to call the networks themselves and talk to their legal people. CBS, ABC, and NBC would be called in NYC, PBS in Washing__GooGLE_SEParator__ X-Google-ArrivalTime: 1982-07-31 22:23:37 PST Message-ID: Newsgroups: fa.editor-p Path: utzoo!decvax!harpo!npoiv!npois!ucbvax!C70:editor-people X-Path: utzoo!decvax!harpo!npoiv!npois!ucbvax!C70:editor-people From: C70:editor-people Date: Sun Aug 1 01:23:37 1982 Subject: what you see is what you get X-Google-Info: Converted from the original B-News header Posted: Sat Jul 31 04:13:01 1982 Received: Sun Aug 1 01:23:37 1982 >From decvax!utzoo!henry@Berkeley Sat Jul 31 04:05:21 1982 "What you see is what you get" sounds like a fine idea, until one starts to ask questions like: "...what you get" on *what device*??? Combining WYSIWYG with formatting specifications that are sufficiently high-level and device-independent that the text will look ok when moved to a different device with different characteristics is very, very hard. WYSIWYG formatters tend to present a very low-level view of text, with change primitives being along the lines of "add a blank line here"; it is quite difficult to abstract from this to a higher-level specification of what the text is supposed to look like. In fact, I'm not sure it is practical to combine WYSIWYG with high-level specifications, at least not with any civilized user interface. WYSIWYG inherently tends to focus people's attention on fiddling with the final output rather than changing the basic specifications of the text. Henry Spencer decvax!utzoo!henry


From: C70:human-nets (C70:human-nets) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #74 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-08-02 03:19:51 PST >From Pleasant@Rutgers Sun Aug 1 23:16:09 1982 HUMAN-NETS Digest Sunday, 1 Aug 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 74 Today's Topics: Future Shock of videotext --> reading ability Videotext Future Shock -- call waiting Ignorance @i(isn't) bliss! User interface design DEC personal computer Xerox 1100 (Dolphin) User Group Call for Abstracts ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 17 June 1982 02:41-EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Future Shock of videotext --> reading ability Lauren points out that the low and falling level of reading ability makes teletext/videotext infeasible for the general populace. Perhaps the public-access el-cheapo bulletin board systems (CBBS et al) are good for society in an unexpected way, despite their cruftiness by our standards, they DO encourage youngsters to read. If everybody had access to a bbs, maybe everybody would learn to read? ------------------------------ Date: 17-Jun-82 11:28-PDT From: KELLEY at OFFICE Subject: Videotext Future Shock -- call waiting I find Lauren's list of problems a real (but hopefully not unsolvable) challenge to the development in 18 years or sooner of a viable (to the world) on-line market. I have questions about one potential solution to tying up the only line that most people can afford. Could the "call waiting" feature, where a special signal is sent when someone is trying to reach your busy line, switch you to voice I/O? Of course this depends on 1) the spread of exchanges (Class IV?) that offer call waiting Are these installations at all driven by demand in the market? Harder/easier for rural people? 2) communicating computers / terminals have a telephone output. 3) software is available to detect a waiting call and switch it. 4) that all of this does not cost more than a second line. If the "hold" feature can not maintain a signal that the remote modem needs to maintain the connection, then at worst, you would have to re-establish your connection to the data service after a call interruption. Not too bad if the remote service has a "detach" command. Are there solutions to the problems in this solution to this problem? -- Kirk Kelley ------------------------------ Date: 25 May 1982 1255-PDT From: William "Chops" Westfield Subject: Ignorance @i(isn't) bliss! The editorial from the May 12, 1982 issue of EDN, by Roy Forsberg: (copyright 1982 by Cahners Publishing Company. Reprinted by permission!) Quoted without comments.... "An interesting but alarming debate took place in print a couple of months ago. It was interesting because of its topic - "Informing the public (about science and technology)" and the debaters: Leon Trachtman, a science writer, and Isaac Asimov, the well known author. It was alarming because it occurred at all. "Trachtman questioned the validity of three basic assumptions underlying the need to keep a democratic society informed on science and technology: (1) Knowledge is a good thing in itself; (2) Such knowledge will make people wiser and better consumers; (3) The very structure of a democratic society depends on an enlightened citizenry, and the citizen's political and social behavior will be more constructive when informed by a solid scientific understanding. "The first assumption didn't bother Mr. Trachtman too much, although he ventured that spending several hundred thousand dollars on making the public aware of science and technology is a total waste of resources. Asimov, arguing the pro-information side, countered that compared with a quarter-trillion-dollar one-year defense budget full of science-and-technology-related items, several hundred thousand is insignificant - and a good investment. "Regarding the last two assumptions, Trachtman showed a low regard for the public. He maintained that any attempts to inform it about science and technology only confuse it, in both its consumer and social decisions -- and that such decisions are arrived at no more rationally than if the public were totally uninformed and merely making yes/no guesses. "Asimov disagreed and cited several instances where death rates, for example, are declining because the public is considering information about medical science seriously. He closed his rebuttal thusly: ""One thing is true, attempting to educate the public in science (and technology) is difficult. It's hard enough to get the essence... across to graduate students let alone people who have never learned the art of rational thought. ""The stakes, however, are very high, and we have no choice but to try -- and, as we try, to endeavor to learn how to try even harder and better -- and to remain undaunted by defeat. ""We may, in the end, lose. We may, in the end, have accomplished nothing, and left the world uninformed after all. We may (as Trachtman gloomily suspects) merely succeed in confusing the public, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars (half an advanced war plane) a year. ""But what is the alternative? To abandon the fight? To hold high the tattered banner of defeat? To leave the world to the @i(National Enquirer), the astrologers and the creationists? Shall we march off into the darkness loudly crying: 'We give up. They are just as well off ignorant anyway. And at least we save a lot of money and in two years we can buy one more beautiful warplane'? ""Never! As for myself, I may be defeated at last, but I intend to struggle to the end. I will not surrender, embrace ignorance and kiss its hideous face." "Well said, Mr. (sic) Asimov." ------------------------------ Date: 31 May 1982 2358-EDT From: Ron Fischer Subject: Re: User interface design Does anyone out there know of substantial literature specifically about designing user interfaces for computer software? I have read lots of individual articles over the years but would love to see some overviews or summaries. Please reply to me directly. If anyone would like I'll summarize and reply to the lists. (ron) ------------------------------ Date: 10 Jun 1982 1044-EDT From: Kimberle Koile Subject: DEC personal computer I have a couple of questions about the DEC personal computer: Is there any way to hang more than one terminal off of it? Is the file handler provided by DEC adequate for a database of about 2000 records, record size about 1000 bytes? (Send answer to KK@MIT-XX.) ------------------------------ Date: 18 Jun 1982 2123-PDT From: T. C. Rindfleisch Subject: Xerox 1100 (Dolphin) User Group This is to announce formation of a network user group for Xerox 1100 workstations (Dolphins). Its purpose is to stimulate communication and sharing between computer science research groups that are using or are interested in these machines. It differs from the WORKS group in that it will focus on issues particular to Dolphins rather than on workstations in general. Xerox PARC and EOS people are included in the distribution list to facilitate communications about new developments, bugs, performance issues, etc. As with all network interest groups, however, this is *NOT* to be used as a vendor advertising vehicle. User Group Mechanics -- 1) Network Addresses: Dolphin-Users@SUMEX-AIM For mail distributed to the entire user group Dolphin-Requests@SUMEX-AIM For distribution list maintenance, i.e., additions, deletions, problems, etc. 2) Mail Handling: SUMEX-AIM will serve as the expansion point for routing messages to group members. We run XMAILR and so can route between most of the current internet community. 3) Administration: Initially, messages will be sent to the list as submitted. Depending on the volume of mail, content, etc., messages may be collected and digested in the future. I have assembled a list of known Dolphin users and liaisons from various sources for this initial announcement. Please pass the word on to others you think might be interested. Tom R. ------------------------------ Date: 1 July 1982 16:08 cdt From: VaughanW at HI-Multics (Bill Vaughan) Subject: Call for Abstracts CALL FOR ABSTRACTS (Abridged) 2d Annual Phoenix Conf. on Computers & Communication March 14-16, 1983 ------------ Sponsored by IEEE, IEEE Computer and Communications Societies, and IEEE Phoenix Section. Topics appropriate for this conference include: COMPUTER SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE Multiprocessing, functional distribution; performance prediction/analysis; computer/communication networks; architectures taking advantage of new technology RAS (RELIABILITY/AVAILABILITY/SERVICEABILITY) Systems/hardware/software testing methods, failure analysis, life testing COMPUTER AIDED PROCESSES CAD: tools for S/W development; applications in electrical, mechanical, robot design; CAM flexible automation; CIM (computer integrated manufacturing); pattern recognition, resource planning; CAT (computer aided testing), auto. test program generation; S/W testability, test equipment SOFTWARE FOR DISTRIBUTED SYSTEMS Data base; operating systems; high-level language support; debugging and testing; decentralized control structure and protocols INTEGRATED CIRCUITS AND DEVICES Silicon/compound semiconductors; VLSI/VHSIC; micro/supercomputers; radar, ECM/ESM;novel circuits and devices; direct satellite communications SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT AND DELIVERY All phases of S/W life cycle; real time and other systems; technical and managerial aspects; tools, measures, methodologies; languages; validation, verification; field support, enhancement; documentation THE HUMAN ELEMENT Ease of use; man/machine communications; psychology, human factors; education and training; the effect on people/organizations/society of networking, personal computers, electronic mail/meetings Authors with papers on related topics are also encouraged to submit abstracts. Papers covering innovative ideas in related areas are especially welcome. Please include authors' names, return address, telephone number on the abstract. Note these important dates: September 15: Abstract (300 words) due October 11: Completed papers due December 1: Notification of acceptance January 10: Camera-ready manuscript due Send abstract and other correspondence to Gerald Fetterer, GTE Automatic Electric Labs, 2500 W. Utopia, Phoenix AZ 85027. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: C70:human-nets (C70:human-nets) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #75 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-08-05 03:32:49 PST >From Pleasant@Rutgers Wed Aug 4 22:28:19 1982 HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 5 Aug 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 75 Today's Topics: Administrivia Preliminary Announcement Working at home (9 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 4 Aug 1982 2210-EDT Subject: Administrivia From: Pleasant at RUTGERS During the transition from the old moderator to the new one (me), I managed to foul up the issue numbers. Issue 72 does not exist because of this. I am also aware that some sites are receiving several copies of the digest. Unfortunately, until some local distribution list maintainers return from vacation, there isn't much I will be able to do about this. I hope to have this problem straightened out by the beginning of next week. ------------------------------ Date: 30 Jul 1982 1224-EDT Subject: Preliminary Announcement From: JMCKENDREE at BBNB This is a preliminary announcement of the New Jersey Institute of Technology Continuing Education Program. It is of particular interest because students will not be expected to attend class on campus but will telecommute via a computer terminal. A mail response to the short form at the end of the announcement will assure a person's being put on the mailing list for NJIT's course catalog with full description of courses offered (both regular courses and these computer-mediated seminars). CONTINUING EDUCATION PARTICIPATORY SEMINARS via COMPUTER TELECOMMUNICATIONS A new kind of seminar taught on your schedule, in your home or at your workplace, with teachers and experts from all over the country, and with more personal involvement than any continuing education class you have ever taken before is now being planned by the New Jersey Institute of Technology. These seminars will be taught through computer terminals or microprocessors connected to a nationwide easy-to-use computerized conferencing system. Students will take part in on-line classes, ask and answer questions, and communicate as often as they need to with the instructor and other students. They may do this at any hour of the day, any day of the week that is convenient for them. The New Jersey Institute of Technology is proud to introduce this innovative program planned for 1983. We expect to offer programs during three semesters: spring, summer and fall. More than 20 courses will be offered in this program relevant to managerial, professional and technical areas. Among the topic areas planned are: PROFESSIONAL WOMEN & THE WORKPLACE COMPUTERS & SOCIETY WHAT EVERY MANAGER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ARBITRATION THE DELPHI METHOD MANAGERIAL WRITING CREATIVE WRITING DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS LOCAL AREA NETWORKS TECHNOLOGICAL FORECASTING N SUPPORT SYSTEMS LOCAL AREA NETWORKS TECHNOLOGICAL FORECASTING COMPUTER LITERACY MICROPROCESSORS APPLE II PROGRAMMING PASCAL PROGRAMMING TRS-80 PROGRAMMING HUMAN COMMUNICATION VIA COMPUTER OFFICE AUTOMATION In many subject areas advanced seminars as well as introductory or survey seminars will be offered. The catalog of seminars will be available in November of 1982. These three month seminars will be offered for approximately $600 for enrollment in one course and less than $1000 for two courses. Special sessions and tailored courses can be arranged for companies and organizations seeking "in house" electronic seminars. If you wish to receive the catalog or seek other detailed information fill out the form below and return to the New Jersey Institute of Technology at the address indicated. REQUEST FOR FURTHER INFORMATION List in order of preference the first four (4) seminars which are of interest to you: (1)_________________________ (2)_________________________ (3)_________________________ (4)_________________________ Other preferences_________________________ Your Name____________________________ Title________________________________ Organization_________________________ Business Address_____________________ City__________ State_____ ZIP________ Business Phone_______________________ Home Address_________________________ City__________ State_____ ZIP________ Home Phone___________________________ Age Group (Optional-Please Circle) 20-25,26-30,31-35,36-40,41-45,46-50,51-55,56-60,61-65,65+ Please return entire page to New Jersey Institute of Technology, Division of Continuing Education. 323 High St., Newark N.J., 07102. Please pass duplicate copies to interested associates. ------------------------------ Date: 3 Aug 82 18:59:43-EST (Tue) From: Ben Goldfarb Subject: Working at home I submitted the following article to Usenet and I have received quite a few responses that I believe the readers of this list would be interested in reading. I shall forward them separately with apologies to those who already read some of them on Usenet. ================ I understand that DEC has started allowing its employees to work at home to some degree, but the details given me were sketchy. Obviously many many firms have no problems with people working at home as long as they make the obligatory 9-5 appearance at the office, but apparently DEC has initiated something more interesting than that. I am interested in knowing just what type of arrangements DEC has made as well as what other companies are doing along these lines. Ben Goldfarb Uucp: ..duke!ucf-cs!goldfarb ARPA: goldfarb.ucf-cs@Udel-Relay [The following messages are the replies to this message. They are separated so that digestification software will work properly - Mel] ------------------------------ Date: 30 Jul 82 18:09:25 From: duke!dennis Subject: Re: Working at home I've been working at home for several months now, not because of any management program, but because office space around here is pretty tight, and the air conditioning at the office has been notably absent. I'm involved with a fairly large project using the IBM PC, and have one at home with all the goodies I need to work. I have no such regularly structured hours for it, as Will's people do, and I only show up at my boss's office when there's a meeting or some such that demands my presence. All in all, I regard it as a very positive thing; I can keep my own hours, and can easily stop work and watch Star Trek (twice a day here) or M*A*S*H (four times a day, plus prime time) (no, I don't watch them ALL). Since it's all stand alone (except for reading my mail and news via a terminal program that was my first effort, IBM's offering being worthless), I don't even need a dedicated phone line. Also, I've recently gotten married, and working at home enables me to be with my wife all day; we get along well being together all the time. The space requirements at home are not great; I have a desk covered with hardware and printouts, and a printer on a small table next to the desk, and a bookshelf filled with those damned IBM PC manuals (at last count, 15 of them). I'm on a monthly wage (ie, no time cards), and my paycheck is deposited directly to my bank, so those things don't require me to go to the office. I've always been a loner as a programmer; the couple of times I entered into a team programming project, I got too irritated with the other members to work easily with them (I refuse to allocate blame; I know I'm pretty fussy about things that may or may not matter). I heartily recommend it, and hope I can continue to work in this way. ------------------------------ Date: 2 Aug 82 09:26:18 From: duke!harpo!decvax!pur-ee!ecn-pa.scott Subject: Re: Working at home Those interested in working at home might find the following book interesting. The thesis of several of the contributing authors is that a *lot* of the time spent by scientists and engineers (you can decide which one you are!) is in communication. Most of that is spent in informal dialog with colleagues. There are often very complex communication networks among members of working groups, and certain members act as gateways between groups. All in all, it makes for very interesting reading. They *didn't* consider time spent doing exactly what you are doing now, i.e. time spent on a computer terminal reading news. Maybe news acts as a substitute for some of the informal communication. Any thoughts on the value of shooting the breeze as part of your job? The book is: Communication among scientists and engineers. Heath Lexington Books 1970 501.4/C737 (at Purdue, at least) OCLC #97550 Scott Deerwester Purdue University Libraries ------------------------------ Date: 1 Aug 82 13:51:26 From: duke!unc!smb (Steven M. Bellovin) Subject: Re: Working at home I don't find working at home to be an unmixed blessing. For one thing, it's often too easy to get distracted by things like my SF collection. If I'm not in the mood to work on something that *must* be done, being at home can be the worst thing for the project. More importantly, when I'm working at home constantly I get lonely. I don't find 'mail' to be a substitute for face-to-face conversation, either professionally or socially. I need the informal personal interactions to keep me functional, and a terminal just doesn't cut it. (To be sure, when the net is down for a few days I miss my contacts with all you folks out there in network land as well.) --Steve ------------------------------ Date: 1 Aug 82 08:31:28 From: duke!decvax!cca!mclure@sri-unix Subject: Re: Re: Working at home - (nf) For all of you interested in "tele-commuting", I recommend Toffler's THE THIRD WAVE, and its chapter "The Electronic Cottage". As far as I'm concerned, Toffler is a real soothsayer in that chapter. I've been a tele-commuter for the last 3 years. In my case it's fairly trivial to go to work. I live a block from SRI and spend 3-4 hours per day at the office and the rest of the time (and a lot more) at home. However, even if I didn't live so close, I doubt that this division of time would change very much. However, I can see how tele-commuting might not be everyone's cup of tea. Some married folks yearn to "get away" from unpleasant home environments. Others might find the office environment better suited to working on a computer if it requires frequent high-bandwidth interaction with co-worker. Electronic mail often just isn't fast enough! But for programmers, I think tele-commuting is a gigantic win if they have quiet surroundings and find the noise of offices distracting. The things I appreciate about working at home are: 1) no noise 2) good music 3) good food 4) other activities during lapses in programming Because of these, I can work at a single task much longer than if I'm at the office. Stuart ------------------------------ Date: 27 Jul 82 21:08:23 From: duke!harpo!presby!aron To: harpo!duke!ucf-cs!goldfarb Subject: working at home I work for a small software house here in Philadelphia in software development. I've been working here for two years. From the beginning they had a policy of providing technical types with home terminals (we have a VAX/11/780/VMS system). My first child was born around the time I started working, and my wife's part-time job was scheduled to begin three weeks after the baby was born. So I asked if I could stay home two days a week, to look after the baby while my wife was at work. Given the company's flex time policy, and given that 90% of my work was done sitting at a terminal, I argued that there was little reason for me to actually come in to the office. My managers agreed to a trial. Well, two years later, I'm still working at home two days a week. I'm still the only person in the company who has this arrangement. One of my co-worker's wife is expecting in October, but he hasn't expressed any interest as yet in working at home. Another colleague would like such an arrangement when she starts her family. I've found that on days I work at home, I often get more done since when I work, I really work (instead of BSing with the gang). It has been a tremendous help to my wife, and I feel I am a full partner in raising my son and (new-born) daughter. I have had four different managers since I started this arrangement (things move quickly in small companies) and not one of them has expressed any complaints or doubts about the arrangement. Unfortunately, our company has been going down the tubes recently, and we were just bought out by a large conglomerate. They have promised not to upset current work-environment policies. I hope they keep their word. aron shtull-trauring harpo!presby!aron ------------------------------ Date: 28 Jul 82 10:06:23 From: duke!decvax!ittvax!freb To: decvax!duke!ucf-cs!goldfarb Subject: Working at home I work at the ITT Programming Technology Center in Stratford, CT. In our group (a research outfit), we can work at home anytime we like, as long as we don't miss vital meetings, etc. We have even been given terminals, modems, and dedicated phone lines for use at home (ITT picks up the tab for everything). Sure is nice - I'd recommend it to anyone who can convince the management... Karl Freburger decvax!ittvax!freb ------------------------------ Date: 30 Jul 82 03:16:31 From: duke!harpo!cornell!bob To: harpo!duke!ucf-cs!goldfarb Subject: DEC work policy Well, I haven't been keeping up with DEC internal policies for the last few years, but I do know that the "work-at-home" policy has *always* been in effect for programmers. I have quite a few friends in software development for DEC working on 8's, 11's, 10's, 20's. Many of them have been there since the PDP-8 was the hot machine (i.e. pre-11 days). One of the attractions of working there has always been that DEC is extremely lax in work requirements. They merely insist that you get the job done. Furthermore, they have been so lax that some of the folks I know there tried to see how long they could get away with doing absolutely nothing. I believe it went for a few months before someone realized what was up. Perhaps the major source of the trouble is that nearly everyone at DEC is a manager -- all chiefs, no Indians. Where did you hear of a new policy being initiated?? I'd like to know what it is. Bob Harper P?S ------------------------------ Date: 30 Jul 82 18:13:58 From: duke!harpo!decvax!ucbvax!menlo70!sytek!msm To: menlo70!ucbvax!decvax!harpo!duke!ucf-cs!goldfarb Subject: Working at home I would be interested in the results from your "working at home" query on net.general. Could you please either post the results to the USENET news, or mail me a copy? As far as Sytek (Silicon Gulch, California) is concerned, while people are supposed to show up (at whatever hours they choose, as long as they can still interact with others with whom they must work and get their work done), occasional working at home days are acceptable. In my case, I live 37 miles (one-way) from work and will sometimes not come in but work from home (using dial-in lines for computer access and then downloading/uploading things to/from my home micro system). We have most all our equipment on a broadband-cable local network (LocalNet, which we manufacture), by dialing in to it, I can still run development systems, various test equipment, etc. as well as our Unix systems. Michael S. Maiten Sytek, I__GooGLE_SEParator__ X-Google-ArrivalTime: 1982-08-05 03:34:05 PST Message-ID: Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Path: utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!C70:human-nets X-Path: utzoo!decvax!ucbvax!C70:human-nets From: C70:human-nets Date: Thu Aug 5 06:34:01 1982 Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #75 X-Google-Info: Converted from the original B-News header Posted: Wed Aug 4 22:51:44 1982 Received: Thu Aug 5 06:34:01 1982 >From Pleasant@Rutgers Wed Aug 4 22:28:19 1982 HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 5 Aug 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 75 Today's Topics: Administrivia Preliminary Announcement Working at home (9 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 4 Aug 1982 2210-EDT Subject: Administrivia From: Pleasant at RUTGERS During the transition from the old moderator to the new one (me), I managed to foul up the issue numbers. Issue 72 does not exist because of this. I am also aware that some sites are receiving several copies of the digest. Unfortunately, until some local distribution list maintainers return from vacation, there isn't much I will be able to do about this. I hope to have this problem straightened out by the beginning of next week. ------------------------------ Date: 30 Jul 1982 1224-EDT Subject: Preliminary Announcement From: JMCKENDREE at BBNB This is a preliminary announcement of the New Jersey Institute of Technology Continuing Education Program. It is of particular interest because students will not be expected to attend class on campus but will telecommute via a computer terminal. A mail response to the short form at the end of the announcement will assure a person's being put on the mailing list for NJIT's course catalog with full description of courses offered (both regular courses and these computer-mediated seminars). CONTINUING EDUCATION PARTICIPATORY SEMINARS via COMPUTER TELECOMMUNICATIONS A new kind of seminar taught on your schedule, in your home or at your workplace, with teachers and experts from all over the country, and with more personal involvement than any continuing education class you have ever taken before is now being planned by the New Jersey Institute of Technology. These seminars will be taught through computer terminals or microprocessors connected to a nationwide easy-to-use computerized conferencing system. Students will take part in on-line classes, ask and answer questions, and communicate as often as they need to with the instructor and other students. They may do this at any hour of the day, any day of the week that is convenient for them. The New Jersey Institute of Technology is proud to introduce this innovative program planned for 1983. We expect to offer programs during three semesters: spring, summer and fall. More than 20 courses will be offered in this program relevant to managerial, professional and technical areas. Among the topic areas planned are: PROFESSIONAL WOMEN & THE WORKPLACE COMPUTERS & SOCIETY WHAT EVERY MANAGER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ARBITRATION THE DELPHI METHOD MANAGERIAL WRITING CREATIVE WRITING DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS LOCAL AREA NETWORKS TECHNOLOGICAL FORECASTING COMPUTER LITERACY MICROPROCESSORS APPLE II PROGRAMMING PASCAL PROGRAMMING TRS-80 PROGRAMMING HUMAN COMMUNICATION VIA COMPUTER OFFICE AUTOMATION In many subject areas advanced seminars as well as introductory or survey seminars will be offered. The catalog of seminars will be available in November of 1982. These three month seminars will be offered for approximately $600 for enrollment in one course and less than $1000 for two courses. Special sessions and tailored courses can be arranged for companies and organizations seeking "in house" electronic seminars. If you wish to receive the catalog or seek other detailed information fill out the form below and return to the New Jersey Institute of Technology at the address indicated. REQUEST FOR FURTHER INFORMATION List in order of preference the first four (4) seminars which are of interest to you: (1)_________________________ (2)_________________________ (3)_________________________ (4)_________________________ Other preferences_________________________ Your Name____________________________ Title________________________________ Organization_________________________ Business Address_____________________ City__________ State_____ ZIP________ Business Phone_______________________ Home Address_________________________ City__________ State_____ ZIP________ Home Phone___________________________ Age Group (Optional-Please Circle) 20-25,26-30,31-35,36-40,41-45,46-50,51-55,56-60,61-65,65+ Please return entire page to New Jersey Institute of Technology, Division of Continuing Education. 323 High St., Newark N.J., 07102. Please pass duplicate copies to interested associates. ------------------------------ Date: 3 Aug 82 18:59:43-EST (Tue) From: Ben Goldfarb Subject: Working at home I submitted the following article to Usenet and I have received quite a few responses that I believe the readers of this list would be interested in reading. I shall forward them separately with apologies to those who already read some of them on Usenet. ================ I understand that DEC has started allowing its employees to work at home to some degree, but the details given me were sketchy. Obviously many many firms have no problems with people working at home as long as they make the obligatory 9-5 appearance at the office, but apparently DEC has initiated something more interesting than that. I am interested in knowing just what type of arrangements DEC has made as well as what other companies are doing along these lines. Ben Goldfarb Uucp: ..duke!ucf-cs!goldfarb ARPA: goldfarb.ucf-cs@Udel-Relay [The following messages are the replies to this message. They are separated so that digestification software will work properly - Mel] ------------------------------ Date: 30 Jul 82 18:09:25 From: duke!dennis Subject: Re: Working at home I've been working at home for several months now, not because of any management program, but because office space around here is pretty tight, and the air conditioning at the office has been notably absent. I'm involved with a fairly large project using the IBM PC, and have one at home with all the goodies I need to work. I have no such regularly structured hours for it, as Will's people do, and I only show up at my boss's office when there's a meeting or some such that demands my presence. All in all, I regard it as a very positive thing; I can keep my own hours, and can easily stop work and watch Star Trek (twice a day here) or M*A*S*H (four times a day, plus prime time) (no, I don't watch them ALL). Since it's all stand alone (except for reading my mail and news via a terminal program that was my first effort, IBM's offering being worthless), I don't even need a dedicated phone line. Also, I've recently gotten married, and working at home enables me to be with my wife all day; we get along well being together all the time. The space requirements at home are not great; I have a desk covered with hardware and printouts, and a printer on a small table next to the desk, and a bookshelf filled with those damned IBM PC manuals (at last count, 15 of them). I'm on a monthly wage (ie, no time cards), and my paycheck is deposited directly to my bank, so those things don't require me to go to the office. I've always been a loner as a programmer; the couple of times I entered into a team programming project, I got too irritated with the other members to work easily with them (I refuse to allocate blame; I know I'm pretty fussy about things that may or may not matter). I heartily recommend it, and hope I can continue to work in this way. ------------------------------ Date: 2 Aug 82 09:26:18 From: duke!harpo!decvax!pur-ee!ecn-pa.scott Subject: Re: Working at home Those interested in working at home might find the following book interesting. The thesis of several of the contributing authors is that a *lot* of the time spent by scientists and engineers (you can decide which one you are!) is in communication. Most of that is spent in informal dialog with colleagues. There are often very complex communication networks among members of working groups, and certain members act as gateways between groups. All in all, it makes for very interesting reading. They *didn't* consider time spent doing exactly what you are doing now, i.e. time spent on a computer terminal reading news. Maybe news acts as a substitute for some of the informal communication. Any thoughts on the value of shooting the breeze as part of your job? The book is: Communication among scientists and engineers. Heath Lexington Books 1970 501.4/C737 (at Purdue, at least) OCLC #97550 Scott Deerwester Purdue University Libraries ------------------------------ Date: 1 Aug 82 13:51:26 From: duke!unc!smb (Steven M. Bellovin) Subject: Re: Working at home I don't find working at home to be an unmixed blessing. For one thing, it's often too easy to get distracted by things like my SF collection. If I'm not in the mood to work on something that *must* be done, being at home can be the worst thing for the project. More importantly, when I'm working at home constantly I get lonely. I don't find 'mail' to be a substitute for face-to-face conversation, either professionally or socially. I need the informal personal interactions to keep me functional, and a terminal just doesn't cut it. (To be sure, when the net is down for a few days I miss my contacts with all you folks out there in network land as well.) --Steve ------------------------------ Date: 1 Aug 82 08:31:28 From: duke!decvax!cca!mclure@sri-unix Subject: Re: Re: Working at home - (nf) For all of you interested in "tele-commuting", I recommend Toffler's THE THIRD WAVE, and its chapter "The Electronic Cottage". As far as I'm concerned, Toffler is a real soothsayer in that chapter. I've been a tele-commuter for the last 3 years. In my case it's fairly trivial to go to work. I live a block from SRI and spend 3-4 hours per day at the office and the rest of the time (and a lot more) at home. However, even if I didn't live so close, I doubt that this division of time would change very much. However, I can see how tele-commuting might not be everyone's cup of tea. Some married folks yearn to "get away" from unpleasant home environments. Others might find the office environment better suited to working on a computer if it requires frequent high-bandwidth interaction with co-worker. Electronic mail often just isn't fast enough! But for programmers, I think tele-commuting is a gigantic win if they have quiet surroundings and find the noise of offices distracting. The things I appreciate about working at home are: 1) no noise 2) good music 3) good food 4) other activities during lapses in programming Because of these, I can work at a single task much longer than if I'm at the office. Stuart ------------------------------ Date: 27 Jul 82 21:08:23 From: duke!harpo!presby!aron To: harpo!duke!ucf-cs!goldfarb Subject: working at home I work for a small software house here in Philadelphia in software development. I've been working here for two years. From the beginning they had a policy of providing technical types with home terminals (we have a VAX/11/780/VMS system). My first child was born around the time I started working, and my wife's part-time job was scheduled to begin three weeks after the baby was born. So I asked if I could stay home two days a week, to look after the baby while my wife was at work. Given the company's flex time policy, and given that 90% of my work was done sitting at a terminal, I argued that there was little reason for me to actually come in to the office. My managers agreed to a trial. Well, two years later, I'm still working at home two days a week. I'm still the only person in the company who has this arrangement. One of my co-worker's wife is expecting in October, but he hasn't expressed any interest as yet in working at home. Another colleague would like such an arrangement when she starts her family. I've found that on days I work at home, I often get more done since when I work, I really work (instead of BSing with the gang). It has been a tremendous help to my wife, and I feel I am a full partner in raising my son and (new-born) daughter. I have had four different managers since I started this arrangement (things move quickly in small companies) and not one of them has expressed any complaints or doubts about the arrangement. Unfortunately, our company has been going down the tubes recently, and we were just bought out by a large conglomerate. They have promised not to upset current work-environment policies. I hope they keep their word. aron shtull-trauring harpo!presby!aron ------------------------------ Date: 28 Jul 82 10:06:23 From: duke!decvax!ittvax!freb To: decvax!duke!ucf-cs!goldfarb Subject: Working at home I work at the ITT Programming Technology Center in Stratford, CT. In our group (a research outfit), we can work at home anytime we like, as long as we don't miss vital meetings, etc. We have even been given terminals, modems, and dedicated phone lines for use at home (ITT picks up the tab for everything). Sure is nice - I'd recommend it to anyone who can convince the management... Karl Freburger decvax!ittvax!freb ------------------------------ Date: 30 Jul 82 03:16:31 From: duke!harpo!cornell!bob To: harpo!duke!ucf-cs!goldfarb Subject: DEC work policy Well, I haven't been keeping up with DEC internal policies for the last few years, but I do know that the "work-at-home" policy has *always* been in effect for programmers. I have quite a few friends in software development for DEC working on 8's, 11's, 10's, 20's. Many of them have been there since the PDP-8 was the hot machine (i.e. pre-11 days). One of the attractions of working there has always been that DEC is extremely lax in work requirements. They merely insist that you get the job done. Furthermore, they have been so lax that some of the folks I know there tried to see how long they could get away with doing absolutely nothing. I believe it went for a few months before someone realized what was up. Perhaps the major source of the trouble is that nearly everyone at DEC is a manager -- all chiefs, no Indians. Where did you hear of a new policy being initiated?? I'd like to know what it is. Bob Harper P?S ------------------------------ Date: 30 Jul 82 18:13:58 From: duke!harpo!decvax!ucbvax!menlo70!sytek!msm To: menlo70!ucbvax!decvax!harpo!duke!ucf-cs!goldfarb Subject: Working at home I would be interested in the results from your "working at home" query on net.general. Could you please either post the results to the USENET news, or mail me a copy? As far as Sytek (Silicon Gulch, California) is concerned, while people are supposed to show up (at whatever hours they choose, as long as they can still interact with others with whom they must work and get their work done), occasional working at home days are acceptable. In my case, I live 37 miles (one-way) from work and will sometimes not come in but work from home (using dial-in lines for computer access and then downloading/uploading things to/from my home micro system). We have most all our equipment on a broadband-cable local network (LocalNet, which we manufacture), by dialing in to it, I can still run development systems, various test equipment, etc. as well as our Unix systems. Michael S. Maiten Sytek, Inc. Mt. View, CA ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #76 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-08-09 03:36:07 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Friday, 6 Aug 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 76 Today's Topics: Call Waiting (4 msgs) Working at home (2 msgs) Command languages, bandwidth, abbreviations and encodings. (2 msgs) Comment on NSF Report Educational Gap Call for Papers ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 2 Aug 1982 1252-EDT From: Larry Seiler Subject: Call Waiting Call waiting already has the property of switching you to voice if a call comes in while you are on the computer. I spent a while wondering why I would mysteriously lose carrier, then have the phone ring the instant I hung it up, before I discovered that the phone company had given me call waiting on a trial basis. Unfortunately, I have to do some of my work on VAX/VMS, which doesn't allow me to continue an interrupted program. So call waiting with an un-enlightened operating system is a big loss, but if I worked only under TOPS-20 (for example), I'd love to have it. Larry Seiler ------------------------------ Date: Tue Aug 3 19:38:06 1982 From: decvax!utzoo!henry at Berkeley Subject: call waiting for voice breakin There are two problems with trying to use call waiting to let a voice call come through despite data traffic. The first is that one may not want to leave one's data activity in the middle just to take a call; the one-use-at-a-time-channel problem remains unsolved. The second, and more serious, is that it is not in the phone company's interest to encourage data traffic on residential lines and they cannot be expected to cooperate (e.g. by choosing suitable frequencies for the call- waiting signal). Phone company plant is designed around statistical estimates of traffic per line; data traffic is already a serious problem because it ties up lines for much longer periods than normal voice communications. Charging even local calls by the minute *might* make their attitude more reasonable. Henry Spencer decvax!utzoo!henry ------------------------------ Date: 3 Aug 82 11:38:17-EDT (Tue) From: Vonglahn.EE at UDel-Relay Subject: Videotext and telephony I've been reading the discussion lately about tying up one's only telephone for videotext. My field is not telephony, but I remember reading that many are predicting that the future will bring all-digital telephony. That is, instead of an analog line to your analog phone, you would either have a digital line (with digitization in the now digital phone) or a digital line to a spot near your home, with analog the rest of the way to your old analog phone. If the first scenario comes to pass, it seems to me that enough digital bandwidth would be available between your home and the phone company to piggyback a digital bit stream on the encoded voice signal (as several digital/voice PBX manufacturers do now). The piggybacked videotext signal could then be split out at the phone company (and at your home) and fed into the videotext system. If one believes the second scenario, on the other hand, I think that the a short hop analog line (from your home to the digitization point) has enough bandwidth so that you could use a special modem with frequency division muxing to put a secondary bit stream on top of the voice signal. At the digitization point, the secondary signal would be stripped off and fed into the videotext system. This would cost a bit more than the first design, but it also wouldn't tie up the voice part of the phone. In summary, then, I think that ways could be found to get videotext into the home over one phone line without sacrificing voice communications while using videotext. Of course, they would require the active cooperation of Ma Bell, which raises a whole host of other issues. Comments?? Pete von Glahn ------------------------------ Date: 4 August 1982 20:06 edt From: Richard Lamson at MIT-MULTICS Subject: Call Waiting Before we had two phone lines in the house, we used call-waiting to use the phone line for both data and conversations. We have a VA3451 in the house, and Vadic triple-protocol modems of some sort at the other end. The tone you receive when you receive a second call is sufficient to cause the modems to hang up at at least one end (when talking to another system with different modems, sometimes the line merely glitched, rather than hanging up). If your host system has automatic process saving when the line hangs up, you generally don't lose too badly. However, I can tell you from experience that the pain involved was sometimes sufficient to make me wish we could turn off call-waiting for the duration of certain data calls. This, of course, is why we now have a second line. I have a friend who lives in a three-person (actually, the germane information is that three programmers live there) house, and they have FOUR phone lines into the house, one for voice, and three for data. -- Richard Lamson ------------------------------ Date: 4 Aug 82 12:54:18-EST (Wed) From: Ben Goldfarb Subject: Working at home Another good reference for people interested in "tele-commuting" and general speculation on our future with networks is "The Network Nation", by Turoff and Hiltz. Chris Kent, Purdue CS ------------------------------ Date: 5 Aug 1982 0937-PDT From: LAWS at SRI-AI Subject: Working at Home I thoroughly enjoy telecommuting, but then I enjoy my work at the office also. I find that I do my best reading at home and my best writing at the office. Programming I do best wherever there are the fewest distractions -- it cannot be interrupted every half-hour the way that reading and writing can. (My experience may be colored by having much lower baud rates at home. While word-processing is a wonderful way to write, the editing process can be very painful over a slow line.) As to personal contacts, I find that communication via messages is much more time-effective than are bull sessions. Typed arguments tend to be much better thought out and to stay focussed on the original problems. I just wish there were a good method to communicate drawings and pictures. -- Ken Laws ------------------------------ Date: Sun Aug 1 20:34:08 1982 From: decvax!watmath!idallen at Berkeley Subject: Command languages, bandwidth, abbreviations and encodings. [ This article was originally submitted to the WORKS newsgroup. ] [ It was pointed out that the topic was more suitable for HUMAN-NETS ] We argue here over ways to make it *easier* and *faster* to do *more* with *less* typing, less reference to manuals, less guesswork. Bandwidth -- that's the central issue in command language design. People argue over schemes that will remain friendly and mnemonic and also provide high bandwidth (usually, less typing). To maximize bandwidth without regard for memorability, simply assign the first 26 most heavily used commands each to a single letter of the alphabet. Minimum typing, but hell to learn and remember! I have seen no discussions about how to maximize memorability without regard for bandwidth. How do we write a command language that is really *easy* to learn and remember? Not everyone wants to learn a command language that is optimized for speed and brevity. To want to learn such a language, the investment of time spent learning it must produce a day-to-day saving that is worth it. It's not worth it to me to Huffman-encode my command vocabulary to reduce the number of keystrokes to the absolute minimum! Let us be careful to distinguish how command language is used 1) when you know how to do something, and 2) when you don't know how to do something. When you know how to do something, you may be willing to learn an encoding scheme (such as abbreviation, command-completion, adoption of terse aliases) to make entering the known sequence of commands faster. If you are willing to spend time memorizing an encoding scheme, it doesn't much matter which one you choose. I think the type of scheme used will depend on personal taste. When you don't know exactly how to express your needs in terms of the names of commands that will do the job for you, then you aren't at all interested in fancy encodings. Your first objective is to get the task done. Speeding it up can be learned later. We all start life using command language in the second category. We all find ourselves in the second category at some time, wondering just what the name of that command was that did such-and-such. We know *what* we want to do, but don't quite know *how*. The few command languages I've seen (UNIX, Honeywell TSS, VM/CMS, IBM/TSO, CP/M) seem to echo the sentiments of many people on this News Network -- they are already semi-encoded for speed. They allow abbreviations, and all kinds of neat stuff. But nobody has told me what the design of the underling command language is. How am I to remember even the unabbreviated command names? I must insist that a language be designed to be easy to learn and remember. I should be able to guess how to do things once I understand the model. I see a lot of emphasis on abbreviations and encodings that allow command language to be typed conveniently. But, what is the underlying design of the language that everybody is trying so very hard to abbreviate? -IAN! U of Waterloo (decvax!watmath!idallen) ------------------------------ Date: 4 Aug 82 9:03:36-PDT (Wed) From: decvax!ucbvax!G.wing at Ucb-C70 Subject: Re: Bandwidth, encodings, abbreviations and command language. To make a rebuttal to the last news item posted on this subject from ARPAVAX:CSVAX:mhtsa!eagle!harpo!decvax!utzoo!watmath!idallen : The command language for VAX/VMS IS memorable, at least to a point. Some things are a little weird, i.e. using a command file, deleting something from a queue, but are for the most part memorable. The help system on here is somewhat cryptic, but it is pretty good and has fast response, unlike "man." One main reason for the site I am at (not Populi, but RIX) chose VAX/VMS is that it DOES have a more human oriented command language that one can understand. Another reason was that some of the possibily better system available when this system was booted up for the first time were not available for VAX-11/780's. And, by the way, I didn't miss your point, you missed mine... Live Long And Prosper, and May The Force Be With You. The One And Only, Philip L. Wing U.C. at Berkeley ETA Region IX/DOL P.S. If you know how to send stuff by mail to the Lawerence Berkeley Laboratory Vax/Unix, you could probably bounce something to RIX. My account name there is the same as here... ------------------------------ Date: 2 Aug 1982 1035-EDT Subject: Comment on NSF Report From: PHORWITZ at BBNG Why do forecasters have such unquestioning faith in the tenet that communication is going to replace transportation, e.g. with respect to work habits? If there is any group of professionals who are NOT required to travel to a central location in order to get their work done, surely it is the programmers. Their work habits are perforce quite solitary, many have (or could have) access to home terminals, and as a group they are presumably less intimidated than most by the technology. Yet in my experience very few programmers actually take advantage of this golden opportunity to stay away from their place of work for weeks or months at a time. Evidently, the higher bandwidth links associated with face-to-face communications (which make possible the process known to ordinary humans as "socialization") have a perceived value greater than the costs of commuting to work. Paul ------------------------------ Date: 3 Aug 1982 2100-MDT From: Walt Subject: Educational Gap Someone recently suggested in H-N that our society was forming a division between those who understood computers and those who didn't. The point is apparently well taken. The August 1982 @i[Scientific American] contains an article (in the @i[Science and the Citizen] section, p. 64) which reads in part: "The education in science and mathematics that American students get in elementary school, junior high school and high school has declined in both quality and quantity in the past decade. The decline may have become severe enough to affect the capacity of American society to produce a competent labor force... the future of scientific education may be bleaker than its present. Between 1971 and 1980 the number of candidates training to become mathematics teachers decreased by 77 percent; the number training to become science teachers decreased by 65 percent... the decline in science education, although widespread, has not been uniform. It is the education of lower-middle-class and working-class children that appears to suffer the most. Indeed, the education received by an elite of middle-class students seems to have improved in the past decade. [Paul D.] Hurd [of Stanford University] noted that test scores of children of couples who live in the suburbs and have had at least some college education showed little decline in the past decade. Furthermore, the number of students taking advanced-placement examinations in science and mathematics increased from 24,000 to 50,000 between 1969 and 1979, and the average scores increased in each of those years..." ------------------------------ Date: 19 Jul 1982 08:05:51-PDT From: allegra!rba at Berkeley Subject: Call for Papers CALL FOR PAPERS The Association for Computing Machinery announces a new quarterly acm Transactions on Office Information Systems (TOOIS) John Limb, Editor-in-Chief SCOPE: Significant and original work on analysis, design, specifications, implementation, and experience concerning all aspects of office information systems, including: communication systems data management distributed processing office organization user interfaces. SECTIONS: TOOIS will contain the following sections: Research Contributions Practice and Experience Technical Correspondence FREQUENCY: Quarterly. First issue dated early 1983. Projected content: 400 pages annually. Send four copies of all papers to: John Limb MH 3D-479 Bell Laboratories 600 Mountain Avenue Murray Hill, NJ 07974 ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #78 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-08-15 03:08:36 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Friday, 13 Aug 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 78 Today's Topics: Query - Lauren's Message on Lists, Programming - Command Languages & Memorable Command Language / VMS is? & Command Languages, Bandwidth, Abbreviations and Encodings & Text Justification, Computers and People - Human vs. Network Names & Computer Network Addiction... ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 11 Aug 1982 2106-EDT From: Daniel Breslau Subject: Re: Lauren's message on lists. Let's see: Telecommunications messages belong on Telecom. Messages about computers and politics belong on Poli-Sci. Messages about computers and science fiction go on SF-Lovers. Messages about computers and the law go on Law-digest (name?) Messages about computers and space go on Space digest. VAXen, CP/M, Unix, PC's, Twenex, Emacs, editors, workstations, etc. all have their own lists. Tell me, what belongs on Human-Nets? Facetiously yours, Dan Breslau ------------------------------ Date: 11 Aug 1982 1910-EDT From: Daniel Breslau Subject: Re: Command Languages Ian proposed a command language where all commands must be, in effect, English sentences (using a verb and object, with "you" as an implied subject). This probably requires too much typing on most systems, except -- Some people don't like Twenex, and not without reason. But one of it's best features, and one I haven't seen elsewhere, is that of recognition. One can start typing a command, hit and let the computer finish it if it can. The machine won't start the command at this point; it simply tells you what it'll do with your partial command. If you're stuck at any point, typing a ? at command level gets you a list of options. Of course this isn't news to many of you. But I'm surprised I didn't notice any mention of this on the list. I think it's the most winning command language available, especially in the programmable versions (PCL, et al). I'm surprised that no one else has used this feature. Comments, anyone? ------------------------------ Date: 11 Aug 1982 1048-MDT From: Walt Subject: Re: Memorable command language / VMS is? TOPS-20 has an excellent way of informing the user as to exactly what it is that the "delete" command deletes. If you type "delete" and press the ESCAPE key, the exec tells you what the object is. Example: @delete (FILES) _ The cursor is left at the point indicated by the underscore. Furthermore, the exec will complete any unique initial substring (such as "del", "dele" etc.) when the ESCAPE is typed, and will echo a bell for any ambiguous initial substring ("d", "de"). This is probably the best solution to the problem that I have ever encountered. ------------------------------ Date: 11 August 1982 04:37-EDT From: Glenn S. Tenney Subject: Command languages, bandwidth, abbreviations and encodings. Your comments follow my own over the past few years. A system MUST support the neophyte as well as the experienced user. At some times even the most experienced user becomes a neophyte, as when one hasn't used a command for a few months. I have implemented many full screen (VM/SP 3270) user-friendly "systems" utilizing the following basis: * There is always a HELP command and any other command responds to a ? with assistance. * Providing all parameters invokes the command (ie., experienced user). * Omitted required parameters cause a full screen entry 'panel' showing all entered parameters as well as what are missing. All parameters may be changed, the command may be aborted and missing parameters are shown with a default value when possible. When possible, a full screen includes some commentary about the command. * Program function keys provides a way to 'abbreviate' commands. These keys can change meaning being context sensitive. Glenn S. Tenney ------------------------------ Date: Wednesday, 11 August 1982 13:04-PDT From: Jonathan Alan Solomon Subject: Text justification I run my mailer (BABYL) and editor (EMACS) with fill mode on, what that does for me is it automatically inserts (new lines) into the text for me so I do not have to do it. This seems fine but looks awkward (in my opinion). I have tried out justification mode (where words are spaced out across fixed line boundaries) and don't mind it but it seems to offend others who have to read my messages. I just saw someone use a text justifier which inserts hyphens in for words which are longer than the line length you specify, and keeps the lines all the same length. It would seem to me that this is the solution. Does anyone have any comments on the subject of text justification? I remember an old discussion of this in HUMAN-NETS but I don't recall if there was a final resolution? --JSol ------------------------------ Date: Wednesday, 11 August 1982, 16:48-EDT From: Robert W. Kerns Subject: Human vs. network names BARBER at XX complains of using addresses rather than given names. He also refers to century old practices. I'd like to point out that "BARBER at XX" (or "Steve Barber at XX" for those mail systems that can handle it) is an extension of the century old practice of naming people after where they are from, who their father is, or what their title is. How many Joe Smiths do you think there are in the Boston phone book? (I count 29). There is only one Joe@HARVARD. It seems to me much more personal to be named specifically enough not to be confused with someone else, and to be named well enough that I can be corresponded with. If I were to refer to "Steve Barber" without the "BERLIN@XX" (as even HE didn't do!), it would be much less personal. ------------------------------ Date: Wednesday, 11 August 1982 12:52-PDT From: Jonathan Alan Solomon Subject: Computer Network Addiction... While we are on the topic of ... (well even if we aren't). I was recently reminded of yet another aspect of Computer Addiction, which is related to how seriously someone considers the network and the kinds of things that go on in the network environment (I'm using the ARPANET/UUCP/Local-network/CSNET environment as an example since it is the one I am the most familiar with). Ever since I first "found" the ARPANET; some 3 years ago, I have considered it a playground. It is also a place where quite a bit of work gets done, but I think the "playground" atmosphere really encourages the work, since if you can make your work fun then you will want to work harder, increasing productivity, but also increasing the addiction. One of the ways to tell if you are addicted is how you express yourself on the network. I have expressed myself in many ways (not all of which are good), and I have had my feelings hurt and my ego bruised by some of the people on the network. If you feel hurt personally by something someone said to you in a computer mail message, or you it more seriously at times than the "real world", then you are addicted. Sometimes it feels like it is the real world for me. It certainly is a place to escape from reality, thus my addiction. I have learned to put 'puters (and the network) into perspective, but I still get emotional about topics which I discuss on the network, and I probably always will. This is addiction. --JSol Jonathan Alan Solomon, for you ARPANauts, ....ucbvax!randvax!csevax!jsol for uucp people (don't you have a name yet?), and jsol.usc-cse@UDEL-RELAY for CSNET folks. p.s. I have only heard the term "ARPANauts" used on UUCP to reference ARPANET people. I have never heard ARPANaut used by Arpanet people. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #90 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-09-04 22:53:30 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 31 Aug 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 90 Today's Topics: Queries - What are Your Favorite TV Shows & How Do I Mail to this USENET Site, Programming - Games and Heuristics (2 msgs), Technology - User Interfaces & Print Fonts (3 msgs), Computers and People - Computer Names & Motivating non-Technical People to use Computers ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 31-Aug-82 14:20-PDT From: JWAGNER at OFFICE Subject: Hackers' favorite TV shows -- survey I would like to compile a list of hackers'/programmers'/engineers' favorite television shows to see how the list compares to ratings by Nielsen and other services (Arbitron, etc.). Current programs, reruns, cartoons, whatever your favorite is, I'd like to include it in my survey. If your job is in a related field, I'd like to hear from you. Students taking CS, engineering or related courses (or their instructors) are welcome to respond. Please send along a very brief job description with your TV favorite. Results will be made available when the survey is complete. Please send all responses directly to me, jwagner@office. Thanks. Jim Wagner ------------------------------ Date: 31 August 1982 18:00-EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: how to get message thru??? We've been trying for weeks to get mail thru to: menlo70!sytek!zehntel!teklabs!tekcrd!tekcad!keithl.at.UCB-C70 Does anybody know how to reach this mailbox on USENET? ------------------------------ Date: 30 August 1982 21:20-EDT From: Phillip C. Reed Subject: Distributed Games There was an article in BYTE a while back referencing a game that was played between two PET computers that are wired together. I believe that it is called FLASH, and that it amounts to a tank battle, where each player can only see the terrain near his tank (as modified by tree lines, hills, etc.). Granted, this isn't really a network... ...phil ------------------------------ Date: 31 August 1982 1931-EDT (Tuesday) From: Craig.Everhart at CMU-10A Subject: MazeWar game for Altos There is no centralized service for MazeWars; in fact, I think it's impossible to play the same game on different Ethernets, since the packets it uses aren't Pups, and therefore aren't transmitted by Pup gateways. Remember, too, when you play with possible distributed architectures for this and similar games, that Ethernets only deliver packets with high reliability, not with perfect reliability, so it's usually simpler to use some architecture other than token-passing (where you'd have to take special precautions against the token getting lost). I believe that MazeWars runs by each player's Alto sending a packet for each move made, picking up on packets telling where all the other players are, and having some "I'm shooting you" protocol between battling players; the shootee has to agree to die. But each game will time out the existence of other players if it hasn't heard from them. As far as adding net and host traffic and overhead, you pretty much can't stop taking up the net (even though you're operating at keystroke speed and sending only tiny messages), but you can play tricks to keep hosts from having to discard unwanted broadcast packets. For instance, you can set most 3Mb Ethernet interfaces to receive packets to any one host, or to receive "promiscuously" packets to any host (this is how you write protocol debuggers). Usually you set your receiver to pick up only those packets that are addressed to you; but Trek does a clever thing. For each universe being run, it computes a set Ethernet address; there are only about 15 different universes it can run. So when you join universe N, all copies of the game program in the various machines compute Ethernet address K = f(N), and set the Ethernet receivers to receive only packets addressed to K, and send all game traffic to (simulated) host K. This produces a directed broadcast! And most other receivers on the net will ignore these packets, because they're directed to some other host. On the Unibus 3Mb interface, no memory transfers or interrupts happen for such packets. Key points: truly distributed control in light of only mostly-reliable transmission (as well as people dropping into and out of the game at any time), and this directed-broadcast trick. Craig Everhart ------------------------------ Date: 30 Aug 1982 2207-PDT From: Les Earnest Subject: Recognition of cursive writing Regarding the handwriting recognition scheme used in Applicon cad systems that is based on a "paper from lincoln labs in the late 50's" (H-N V5 #87), I believe that the latter was one I wrote. While the original paper is inaccessible, an accurate description can be found in IEEE Spectrum, May 1965, "Machine Recognition of Human Language, Part III -- Cursive Script Recognition" by Nilo Lindgren. I am gratified to learn that someone is making use of this work -- it was news to me. To my surprise, no one seems to have developed a more reliable scheme in the intervening 20-odd years. ------------------------------ Date: 29 August 1982 10:08-EDT From: Zigurd R. Mednieks Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #89 I can readily believe that, depending on the quality of font information available at a given site, one might prefer Helvetica to Times Roman. For instance, the font information that comes with Berkeley VAX Unix is awful, and this lack of quality might affect serif fonts more than sans serif. Even though serif fonts were designed to be readable after the degradation involved in printing, they may not stand up as well to the degradation from poor digitization. There is yet another issue here: Times Roman was designed for narrow newspaper columns. Using it in a paper laid out as a single column of text would make that paper hard to read. I am not advocating the abandonment of Times Roman -- in fact I would rather see more papers use Times Roman and a two column per page format instead of a less condensed roman font like Hershey and single column format. Cheers, Zig ------------------------------ Date: 29 Aug 1982 1137-PDT From: Lynn Gold Subject: Helvetica vs. Times-Roman In the end, unless you have to deal with copiers which don't like certain fonts (I once worked on a paper where a font called Broadway didn't show up very well), it's all subjective. When I'm choosing a font, I tend to go by a combination of what is available on my output device, what looks good/best out of my possible choices, and what I'm printing. --Lynn ------------------------------ Date: 29-Aug-82 19:44:22-PDT (Sun) From: allegra!rba at UCBVAX Subject: How printing affexts readability There is an extensive body of research on how various characteristics of printing affect readability. Two references relevant recent human-nets discussions are: A.J. Campbell, F.M. Marchetti, & D.J.K. Mewhort, Reading speed and text production: A note on right- justification techniques. Ergonomics, 1981, 24, 633-640. P.A. Kolers, R.L. Duchicky, & D.C. Ferguson, Eye movement measurement of readability of CRT displays. Human Factors, 23, 1981, 517-523. Bob Allen BTL-MH ------------------------------ Date: 30 Aug 82 13:18:33-EDT (Mon) From: Andrew Scott Beals Subject: network naming I can think of 2 immediate reasons why someone would be referred to by their network address: a) it provides UNIQUE identification as to just *who* the person is (for example: if you are talking about Joe Smith, there could be *many* Joe Smiths around the network, but only 1 Joe@Harvard), and b) if you're reading the message, and you're lazy like I am, you don't want to have to look back at the headers to find out just *which* Joe Smith the author was talking about! - Andrew - BANDY@MIT-AI - BANDY@MIT-OZ@MIT-ML (AI is pretty dead these days) ------------------------------ Date: 30 Aug 82 13:42:54-EDT (Mon) From: Andrew Scott Beals Subject: getting non-technical people to use computers Take away their typewriters, scratchpads, calculators, file cabinets, and 3x5s! Make 'em use the little beasties. But, on a more sober note, show them that it *is* better/easier than doing it by hand, and unless they are a technical fraidy cat, they'll use it. - Andy - BANDY@MIT-AI P.S. I guess I tend to be a bit radical at times... ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #92 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-10-17 00:28:36 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 12 Oct 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 92 Today's Topics: Computers and People - Motivating non-Technical People to use Computers (4 msgs), Programming - Games and Heuristics (5 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 31 August 1982 22:16-PDT (Tuesday) From: GANESHA at OFFICE-1 Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #90 Take away their typewriters, scratchpads, calculators, file cabinets, and 3x5s! Make 'em use the little beasties. Andrew Scott Beals There's no better way to make them refuse. Remember, Work consists of what a body is obliged to do, while play consists of what a body is not obliged to do. Mark Twain (I think that was how it went....) Making computers into work would be the worst possible thing... ------------------------------ Date: 1 Sep 1982 0327-PDT Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #90 From: BILLW at SRI-KL I think the best way to get non-technical people to start using computers is to have their kids play games.... Then they play games... then they start reading SF-LOVERS and what not (every little network MUST have a BBOARD or bad-joke mailing list type arrangement.) Then they start replying, and they learn how to use the text editors and so on.... WW ------------------------------ Date: 1 Sep 1982 1347-MDT From: Walt Subject: Re: getting non-technical people to use computers I once worked at a company that designs and manufactures automatic warehousing machinery. I showed the chief mechanical engineer some of Applicon's literature for their CAD systems. He refused to even consider using such a system; he said "I don't type". Period. If I'd really cared maybe I could have talked him into a mouse and lightpen setup, but I didn't care enough to try. ------------------------------ Date: 3 Oct 1982 1211-PDT Subject: Travelers' Computers. From: the tty of Geoffrey S. Goodfellow Reply-to: Geoff at SRI-CSL a203 0920 03 Oct 82 AM-Focus-Travelers' Computers, Bjt,820 TODAY'S FOCUS: Placing Computers in the Air and in Hotel Rooms Laserphoto Cartoon NY6 By NORMAN BLACK Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) - John Q. Public, a sales manager at a major corporation, is working at his computer terminal in New York when he gets an order from the boss - get out to Los Angeles and help close a major deal . Two hours later, Public is on the airplane. He checks in by phone for some final instructions, then pulls out a portable terminal provided by the airline and resumes work. When he's done, his latest sales report is transmitted back to New York, from 40,000 feet in the air. Later that night, Public checks into a hotel. He flips on a small computer terminal in his room, reads several ''electronic mail'' messages waiting for him from other sales agents and files his own report back to New York on the Los Angeles contract. Sound farfetched? Guess again. The computer age is arriving faster than you think. Dallas-based Travelhost Inc. plans to begin placing small computer terminals in hotel and motel rooms in January. The company is convinced it can entice hotel operators to place 500,000 terminals in the field by mid-1985. An unrelated company, Airfone Inc., hopes to begin testing the nation's first commercial air-to-ground telephone system next month. Assuming the experiment works, Airfone officials say it's a small step from an airplane telephone system transmitting voices to a phone system transmitting computer data. Some preliminary tests indicate that the idea is feasible, says John D. Goeken, founder and president of Airfone, a Washington, D.C.-based company that is now 50 percent owned by the Western Union Corp. Officials of Airfone and Travelhost, although approaching their ventures from different perspectives, are focusing on the same travel market. The development of video teleconference facilities, allowing corporate executives to meet via television, will never completely replace the need for face-to-face meetings, the officials say. ''This will be the first amenity introduced for the hotel industry in the last 30 years that's significant enough to help push the industry into a new future,'' says Dr. Lee H. Smith, president of Travelhost. ''... this will become a vital service to the in-room traveler that allows him to avail himself of some very good travel-related services in an easy fashion.'' Travelhost and another Dallas company, the Quazon Corp., have already developed a simple, ''user friendly'' computer terminal for the new service. Quazon will manufacture the devices, with the first to be available in January. Smith says the terminals will prove attractive to hotel operators because they'll receive a payment every time a terminal in one of their rooms is turned on. Travelers, meantime, after punching in a credit card number, will be able to send and receive electronic messages; make airline reservations; check addresses and menus at restaurants; peruse the offerings of merchandisers, and check the stock market and latest news reports. ''If a person can count to 10, he or she can operate this Travelhost terminal,'' Smith claims. Travelhost has yet to announce how much the service will cost the traveler, although Smith says the rates ''will certainly be competitive with what's out there now for home computer users. A rough ball park might be $20 an hour during peak time and $7 or $8 during non-peak. ''Portability isn't here yet for computers, and we think the timing is absolutely right and that we can ... capture a significant share of the market,'' he adds. While there might not be many people carrying portable computers now, that is clearly something envisioned by Airfone. The company says that one day airline travelers will be able to use their own terminal or a portable device provided by the airline to work during flights. ''Our main concern right now is the in-flight telephone system,'' says Stephen Walker, the joint venture liaison for Western Union. ''But computer data transmission is one of the next steps,'' he continued. ''There's no trick to that, really.'' If you have the equipment to attach a computer to a telephone, he adds, ''it doesn't make any difference whether the phone is on the ground or in the air.'' Bill Gordon, Airfone's director of network planning, says the company has been developing the air-to-ground telephone service since 1974. ''But it took us until 1979 to ask the Federal Communications Commission to authorize the service and allocate frequencies,'' he added. ''The FCC hasn't done that yet, because they want to see the results of our experiment. We've got licenses now to build 37 ground stations and we're reaching the point of putting the gear into the airplanes. ''The airlines are very interested in this,'' Gordon concluded. ''They want to make the transportation time for their passengers as enjoyable and productive as possible.'' ap-ny-10-03 1219EDT *************** ------------------------------ Date: 1-Sep-82 21:07:32 PDT (Wednesday) From: Hamilton.es at PARC-MAXC Subject: Re: MazeWar game for Altos I'm pretty sure MazeWar does use PUPs. When you boot, there's a "Host" option that lets you specify an arbitrary network address on the Internet in order to join that machine's game. Thus it should be possible to play between say, England, Rochester, and El Segundo, although the response might be a bit sluggish if some players are 4 or 5 hops away. It is true that it's possible to "cheat" by running a kludged-up version of the program. That's why the sources have been (informally) carefully guarded over the years. Kudos should go to the author of MazeWar, Jim . --Bruce ------------------------------ Date: 2 September 1982 0034-EDT (Thursday) From: Craig.Everhart at CMU-10A Subject: Re: MazeWar game for Altos I stand corrected. Jim Guyton already pointed out my error privately; enclosed are some of his remarks about how it gets the job done. My comments were based on my bad memory of having peeked at the network traffic; I apologize for any damage done by my faulty memory. Craig Everhart - - - - - - - - Date: Wednesday, 1 Sep 1982 20:19-PDT Subject: Re: Mazewar From: guyton at RAND-UNIX Every player simply sends a single pup to every other player in the game on every change-state. 90% of the time this is in response to the player moving -- which is very infrequent compared to the capacity of a 3Mbit Ethernet (and the Alto). Each packet is not acknowledged; the assumption is that most of them get through and the ones following a lost packet make the lost one out of date anyway. Not entirely true, but good enough for a game! Of course the small number of people allowed in a single maze does help keep the communications overhead down. But the limit was to prevent crowded mazes, not because of communications. The only broadcast msgs are those when someone tries to join a game. To join a game on another network you have to supply net#0# as the duke-rat host number. It has been a long time since I left Xerox and even longer since I leaked a version of mazewar to the universities; but I think that that version "supported" multiple-network games. Certainly the current version does. -- Jim ------------------------------ Date: 6-Sep-82 15:06:06 PDT (Monday) From: Reed.ES at PARC-MAXC Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #89 "As I've overheard it, the main program for the game resides on a Gateway, with relatively low-bandwidth screen "transactions" being sent to the individual players' machines (vs. fully updating each screen remotely)." -- Ciccarelli.pa@PARC-MAXC Mazewar operates as follows: Up to 8 players may play. There are indeed three windows, but you didn't describe them quite correctly. The top window shows the rat's eye view of the maze: looking down the corridors as if you are in the maze. The middle window is the bird's eye view you describe, and the bottom window is also as you describe it. Each game. when started, searches for existing mazewar games on the local net (or a net specified by the user). If none are found, it establishes itself as King Rat. Other games starting after the King Rat game hook into the King Rat, which maintains the game's database. The King Rat is listed first in the scoring area. A game will also establish itself as King Rat when it can't enter an already in-progress game. Thus multiple games may exist. A user may choose which game to play by specifying the host number of the King Rat of the game desired. This is usually found out by agreement among the players, but the searching algorithm simplifies it. No gateways are involved except as they fulfill their normal functions of linking networks together. "There is no centralized service for MazeWars; in fact, I think it's impossible to play the same game on different Ethernets, since the packets it uses aren't Pups, and therefore aren't transmitted by Pup gateways." -- Craig.Everhart at CMU-10A This is totally incorrect. A game may be played between any machines that are connected over any number of gateways. (I once played a game where I was in Rochester, NY, and one opponent was in El Segundo, CA, and a third in Palo Alto, CA. The response time was not much worse than in a local net game.) The data packets themselves are stuffed into Pups and transmitted/received as any other Pup is. Your claim is more accurate for TREK (see below) than for Mazewar. When Mazewar was first introduced, the net traffic it engendered resulted in the management at Xerox edicting that people would not play during working hours. It was a very popular game. The inventors even had programs which could smash an arbitrary Mazewar program (by sending a quit packet to it) when people were deemed to be causing problems. TREK's speed depends noticeably on the number of players playing, although I don't think this is because of net traffic so much as machine limitations. TREK operates by sending all packets to a standard address, and each instantiation of it listens to that specific address. This caused a lot of problems early on since the standard address was not always available on a given net, and since a TREK game is limited to a single network (multi-network addresses were not supported; this may have been fixed, but I don't know), you couldn't always predict when TREK would interfere with someone on your network. Of course, one could always reserve specific addresses for TREK, but that kind of thing doesn't always sit well with network administrators. TREK's use of distributed databases essentially results in every machine having a copy of certain public information. Certain other information is not public - like the state of damage to a given ship (all the outside games see is the level of the shields and perhaps some erratic movement.) This has certain advantages, like preventing the game from being dependent on the status of a particular participant. However, just choosing random addresses is not a good idea, as we found out. Better would be to have the initial game use it's own address. A machine need not be up in order for other machines to listen for packets sent to it. And the fact that that game established its own address as a valid destination for game packets is an indication that the machine is not going to be interfered with. Of course, if the game outlasts the initial machine's involvement (since that player quits before the game is over), the use of its address would be a performance problem. In this case some mechanism should be established for switching the broadcast address to one that is currently involved in the game. -- Larry -- ------------------------------ Date: 1-Sep-82 10:10PM-EDT (Wed) From: Nathaniel Mishkin Subject: Speaking of home video games I see that various non-(video game manufacturers) (e.g. US Games) are finally making "software" (i.e. cartridges) for other people's (e.g. Atari) video games. Does anyone happen to know how these people got or figured out the format for the cartridges and the code? I'm curious whether it took this long since the introduction of cartridge-based games for some grunt to disassemble (i.e. uncompile) some ROM (would have been great fun). Or maybe they got a license (less fun). ------------------------------ Date: 30 Aug 82 22:23:53 EDT (Mon) From: Steve Bellovin Subject: network games The best network game I ever saw was the POLI-SCI Digest. I didn't learn as much from it as I learned from games like HUMAN-NETS and TELECOM, nor is it as funny as USENET -- but oh the gamesmanship.... --Steve ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #97 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-10-22 01:55:01 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Friday, 22 Oct 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 97 Today's Topics: Administrivia - Dedicated Discussion, Technology - Worldnet (7 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 22 Oct 1982 0019-EDT From: Mel Subject: Administrivia Due to the large number of responses, this entire digest will be dedicated to the WORLDnet discussion. -Mel ------------------------------ Date: Thursday, 14 October 1982 22:35-EDT From: AGRE at MIT-MC Subject: WORLDNET! (long msg) Hu-rahhh! Here are a couple of thoughts on getting worldnet started, one positive and one negative: (1) First positive. Here is how you can get an ersatz worldnet up RIGHT NOW with minimal hardware investment. Some large network company (like ITT or TPC or N others) should offer a service whereby you call them up on the phone and give them a phone number and a pile of bits and they ship the bits to the vicinity of that phone number and call it up and give it the bits with appropriate header information. Then you write software for some existing BBS's that bundle users' messages to users in other cities and call up the network company and ship out the bits for various cities in big bundles whose internal structure the network company doesn't care about. The BBS software at the other end gets a call from the network company, sucks in the bits (all of which are for its users), breaks them down into messages, and distributes the messages to the intended recipients. This can be done RIGHT NOW with trivial hardware investment (the network company has to make a minor investment in interfaces to TPC). The network company bills the BBS person by SnailMail and the BBS software generates SnailMail bills for the users. There has got to be some BBS person out there willing to talk some network company into setting up something like this at least experimentally. (2) Now negative. May InterNet burn eternally. Here's why. Any small-scale commercial part of a worldnet that gets started is going to need a core of seriously interested, tolerant, and technically with-it network hobbyists to keep it alive financially for its first few years. But very many such people don't have any special reason to put their money into such a thing because they get such good service from the ArpaNet, and for free yet. InterNet will only make this worse by expanding the space of government and academic networks that can serve as siphons of seriously interested network hobbyists. Now this might be OK if the InterNet protocols were capable of supporting anything like a proper WorldNet. (If we're going to have DoD socialism in WorldNets, well, let's at least do a minimally competent job of it technically!!!) But they're not, as Jim pointed out. They just haven't haven't solved the problem of addressing in a large space of small networks (like the one in the Smiths' house). Even zip codes (that is, some hierarchical geographically oriented coding system) would be better than the crock they ended up with, which is just routing specs no matter what they say. I don't know what action all of this implies for all of us who are benefiting from this creeping socialism, but it sure sucks. I could also be wrong. - phiL ------------------------------ Date: 15 Oct 1982 1530-MDT From: Walt Subject: Re: Worldnet! Worldnet is not only coming, it's here and it works. Utah-20 is directly interfaced to Telenet via my interface package. We have two regular interactive users in Japan who link in via KDD and Tymnet. We have had people use Utah-20 from France via, I believe, Transpac, but this does not go on regularly. The cost is unfortunately still rather high, but the technology works fine. I suspect that the cost will come down as use goes up and engineering costs are amortized. Cheers -- Walt PS. Usenet is a terrible model - horribly slow and unreliable. It's a fun toy though -- W. ------------------------------ Date: 15 October 1982 18:37-EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: WORLDNET! --> Your goals compared to PCNET's and my goals Mostly your goals are identical with the goals of PCNET. We want anybody to be able to join the net just by getting equipment, looking up (in a directory) the net address of somebody else, and just starting to send messages and wait for replies. If somebody's equipment breaks down, it shouldn't upset all the net routing algorithms, only messages to that node should be seriously affected. Also all uses (play, work, amateur research, commerce, school) should co-exist rather than each require its own network disconnected from networks supporting the other uses. Although high-speed operation is desirable, the net should support low-speed operation whenever that is cheaper than high-speed operation, as it currently is (300 baud Oregon to Florida costs only two modems ($400 each) plus long distance charges, whereas megabaud Oregon to Florida costs about $50,000 at each end for the satellite-microwave equipment). A single network design should support all speeds of equipment rather than requiring different speeds to be on different and disjoint networks (at the least, gateways for the major services, email, ftp, telnet) should exist even where differing equipment requires differing low-level protocols. The main problem I see with USENET is that they've adopted ARPANET's convention of English names for hosts that are assigned at random, instead of something like PCNET's node identifiers that convey latitude and longitude as well as phone number. This causes many headaches with routing of messages, when a simple geographic-proximity heuristic or even just a direct phone-number-caller would work better for messages sent between random points (such as from a random HUMAN-NETS reader back to the author of a random HUMAN-NETS message). After all, why should a message from REM at MIT-MC to keithl at tekcad have to take the route MIT-MC -ARPA-> UCB-C70 -UUCP-> menlo70 -UUCP-> sytek -UUCP-> zehntel -UUCP-> teklabs -UUCP-> tekcrd -UUCP-> tekcad instead of just going MIT-MC -ARPA-> UCB-C70 -ARPA-> tekcak ? Why should it be hard to discover that a shorter route such as MIT-MC -ARPA-> Udel-Relay -UUCP-> tektronix exists? Why should one gateway be able to dial direct but not another, just because one has secret info such as the phone number of the recipient that the other doesn't have? For that matter, why should the sender of the message have to specify the whole route in the first place? (What if one of the links in that route drops out of the worldnet?) [At this point MIT-MC crashed for several hours and I lost the rest of what I had typed, retaining only the above which had been saved in a file before the crash. The rest of the message, about ten lines about how PCNET has tried for over 5 years to build a WorldNet using volunteer labor and still doesn't have even a 3-node network working, how funding the creation of WorldNet is a real question, was lost.] ------------------------------ Date: 15 Oct 82 22:35:29 EDT (Fri) From: Velu Sinha Subject: worldnet (LONG) Re: Guyton's message of 10/13/82 A scientist from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay, INDIA has just finished writing a paper on the theme of worldnet. This person was here (in the US) this past month and visited uWisconsin (CSNET && MMDF) MIT, and has been in contact with ARPA and ALOHA people. His idea is mainly centered around India, but the scheme that he has proposed would work anywhere. His scheme is to put 5-6 satellites in orbit around the earth. Each satellite has TDRSS like capability (One satellite is able to talk to another). Every neighborhood/institution which wants to participate has to build/buy a satellite dish. Using packet technology the message will go from the neighborhood ground station to the satellite if the message has to travel more than 100 miles (for messages with less than a 100 mile destination ground radio channels are used). At the satellite the ''path'' name will be decoded and the message will either be relayed down to earth (if the message has to go to a place in the range of this satellite) or the message will be sent to the NEXT (messages can only travel a distance of ''one satellite'') satellite, there the satellite will decide weather to re-relay it or to transmit it down to earth... This will allow a ''world net''. The current Indianet is still in the planning stages and hopes for money are quite high. They plan to have an all India prototype by the end of this decade. Ideas, comments? - Velu ------------------------------ Date: 17 Oct 1982 2104-EDT From: ZALESKI at RU-GREEN (Michael Zaleski) Subject: Why not AT&T for WorldNet? In a recent message to Human-Nets, one reader expressed a wish for a "World-Net", to tie all sorts of computers worldwide together. In this message, the author stated a belief that it should not be owned by one company and specifically stated that "Ma Bell" should not be the owner. I must honestly say that I find this attitude toward the phone company hard to understand. Compared to ANY other phone system in the world, the U.S. has THE best. Phone service in many third world countries is at a level that Americans would find totally unacceptable. Even in France, (a country that despite its indiscriminate sales of weapons and technology must be called civilized) the wait for a phone is measured in months. (Incidentally, AT&T only serves about 40 percent of the land area in America, although that area has 80 percent of the U.S. population. In 1976, there were about 1600 independent phone companies. From all accounts I hear, and from my own experience, these phone companies provide the worst service in America. Of course, that is still tremendously better than foreign countries, primarily because these companies work closely with AT&T.) So, it clearly can't be the quality of "Ma Bell's" service that bothered the aforementioned author. Perhaps AT&T is considered suspect because the phone rates are too high? After all, don't companies like MCI and Sprint provide cheaper long distance rates? They do, but my experience with MCI showed me they also provide: - Poorer quality connections. - An extra nuisance at dialing time. - An extra bill every month. - A system where it is very easy to guess and use another (random) person's account number. - A less flexible system. (I can't use my MCI number if I'm away from my home area, but I can bill calls to my home phone from anywhere.) - Insufficient savings to justify the above annoyances. I am particularly concerned about the security aspect, since the future of the phone company will probably have everyone using systems like MCI - and will probably have all kinds of problems with people using random account numbers. Popular belief also has it that Bell's 1200 baud data transmission standard is inferior to Vadic's, because of some sort of resonance problem. My experience with Bell's 1200 baud is that it works fine both locally and long distance (New Jersey to sunny California). My experience with local calls using a Vadic has also been equally positive. Overall, I feel that our phone system is one of the things we should be most happy with. If anything, the federal government should have gotten rid of the 1600 little companies and established one gigantic regulated phone company. Telecommunications is sufficiently indispensible in our daily lives that a quality system is a need, not a luxury service to be provided in a hodge-podge manner by a sea of independent companies. It is my understanding that the breakup of AT&T will preclude further advances in telephone service and flexibility. I think this is the kind of loss that will result from the breakup of AT&T, brought about in part by the anti-big anti-phone-company feeling that some people have. (Also, in response to a different query - probably meant humorously - No, the phone company does not ring phones when system utilization is low to attempt to stimulate usage.) -- Michael Zaleski, mhtsa!mzal@UCBVAX or "Zaleski@GREEN"@Rutgers Bell Labs, Murray Hill, NJ ------------------------------ Date: 15 Oct 1982 09:52:29-PDT From: twc.hp-labs at UDel-Relay Subject: Re: WORLDNET! There is a relatively unknown Sci-Fi novella which depicts just such a WORLDNET as you mentioned (and maybe more). As far as I know, it is only published as part of Binary Star #5, by Dell. The name of the story is 'True Names' by Vernor Vinge; in the book it is paired with a not-bad novella called 'Nightflyers' by George R.R. Martin. This book is still in print (I think, because the Oregon State Bookstore just got more copies) so shouldn't be too hard to find. It is a pretty exciting visualization of the capabilities possible with such a net. Tw Cook - HP Personal Computer Division - Corvallis, OR twc.hplabs@Udel-Relay ------------------------------ Date: 19 Oct 1982 1442-EDT From: Greg Skinner Subject: Worldnet response It's a nice idea to dream about. However, the legal hassles alone (forget the implementation) would probably prevent such a thing from being developed in the next ten years or so. What with issues such as security, protection, etc., a totally distributed network consisting of local users running PCs would be extremely difficult to make safe, usable, etc. for all users without there being some centralized agency who is in charge of policy. For example, how would users be named in such a network. By name (given names)? Too many conflicts. By address? The addresses would most likely be akin to telephone numbers. (Hmm... could be a prelude to Visi-phones) Then, you want users to be able to add themselves to the Worldnet databases without intervention. A good idea in theory, but in case the users make errors in their applications the network must be smart enough to resolve those mistakes, lest great mixups occur when users try contacting and sending messages to each other. There should also be some sort of terminal compatibility requirement (most nets recognize a large variation of terminals, but yet in still a finite number not equal to ALL terminals in existence). Even still, you will always have the destructive hackers who will try to destroy the net from wherever they are transmitting. The net must (!!) be protected from destruction as much as possible, or it will be almost impossible to keep it up for long periods at a time. Still, it's a fun idea to think about. Maybe it should be tried on a smaller scale first (a distributed network of students with PCs at a university, perhaps a small city or large community). Who knows, with a PC in almost every home in a few years, maybe it'll be possible and desirable. --gregbo ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #99 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-10-22 01:56:14 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Sunday, 24 Oct 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 99 Today's Topics: Queries - Tex Formatting, Computers and People - Work Hazards & Computer Names (2 msgs) & Cable TV and the First Amendment (4 msgs), Technology - Tomorrow's Children, Artificial Intelligence - Computer Architecture ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 18 Oct 1982 18:20:05 EST (Monday) From: Mike Meyer Subject: Tex formatting I am in the midst of putting together a micro-based text formatter derived from Knuth's TEX. Knuth says much about his algorithms for spacing words out on a line, but I can't seem to find much on putting spacing into a formula, other than that what the user types for spacing is ignored. Does someone out there have information on how to typeset equations to make them look nice? Or a pointer to such information? Or a pointer to someone who has this information (like Knuth's net address)? If so, I would appreciate hearing from you/getting a copy of it... thanx, mike ------------------------------ Date: 14 Oct 1982 12:09:49-EDT From: csin!cjh at CCA-UNIX Subject: green screen scam I too get very unpleasant color abreactions after working for even a short time (1-2 hours) with the more aggressively green screens; I find this Z19 preferable to the micro I typeset on (anonymous cased by A-M) even though the micro has letters almost twice as big. The problem with any non-white color is that since it works by phosphorescing it can't be muted (note that "eye-ease green" paper (for instance), is a very pale green (the corresponding ink for use on white paper is a very dark, non-vivid green)). ------------------------------ Date: 14 October 1982 20:25-EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Net Addresses There would be a legal problem with some company giving Arpanet addresses, since it's illegal to use the net to conduct business, but those on TYMNET with mailboxes or those on CSNET or USENET might be able to do that. ------------------------------ Date: Thu Oct 14 1982 15:19:42 PDT From: Lauren Weinstein Subject: business replies via networks & L.A. Telecommuting Regarding the issue of why businesses don't encourage replies via network mail... I suspect the primary problem is that few generalized network services exist that would make such a procedure really feasible. For example, even assuming a business is on a commercial network already, most of the mail services are aimed at INTRA, not INTER, -company communications. In many cases, the fact that your mail system is totally isolated from others on the net is a major selling point of the system -- gotta have security, and the "hide your head under the ground" technique is certainly an obvious one to many businesses. Another issue is that there are a multitude of networks popping up, with few production gateways between them (as far as commercial users are concerned.) This will change with time, but the sort of environment we are used to on the Arpanet is a far cry from the comparatively restricted environments of most currently existing commercial networks. Additionally, there are almost certainly companies who would not consider electronic mail an "appropriate" medium for business queries, for their own antiquated reasons. These are usually the same businesses where sending a TWX or TELEX message often results in no response at all -- they just don't know how to handle a query that comes in via such channels. If they *do* respond, they usually immediately request your phone number so that they can *really* talk to you. One would expect these sorts of problems to fade as the years go by and the network technologies become more standardized...I hope. It goes without saying, of course, that within our own environment here on Arpanet, such use of the net by vendors would be considered illegal use of a DoD computer network. ----- In response to the query regarding the proposals to encourage telecommuting here in L.A. ... It was asked if there would be favorable rates for high speed digital lines and such. Without going into details, my only possible answer must be: "Surely you jest!" --Lauren-- ------------------------------ Date: 14 October 1982 15:35-EDT (Thursday) From: Bob Subject: Cable TV and the First Amendment Date: Wednesday, 13 October 1982 22:31-EDT From: Robert Elton Maas To: HUMAN-NETS at MIT-MC Re: Cable TV and the First Amendment The Constitution (bill of rights mostly) prevents Congress from making laws that interfere with various freedoms, and the 14th amendment extends most of those protections so that states can't make such laws either. But I think local (city/town) governments are free to limit freedom in any damn way they want. But I'm no sure. Maybe this question should be sent to POLI-SCI and when they come up with a consensus they should report back qua committee to here? Send the question to Poli-Sci if you must. It is so trivial that there is no ready citation for it. If private activity substantially resembles that of local government, that too is governed by the 14th, for that reason. Marsh v. Alabama, 326 U.S. 501, 90 L.Ed. 265 (l945). _Bob ------------------------------ Date: 14 Oct 82 19:00:00 EDT (Thu) From: Andrew Scott Beals Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #93 There is no difference between the electronic and the traditional media under the first amendment. Localities should have no right whatsoever to censor cable-tv broadcasts or any other non-public media. Have these same localities places restrictions on magazines that one may subscribe to? -andy ------------------------------ Date: 15 Oct 82 23:02:51 EDT (Fri) From: Andrew Scott Beals Subject: home censoring of television The Sharper Image (in their latest catalog) is advertising a device that will lock out a certain channel continuously, or during a certain time period (unlockable, of course, by a combination). This should shut up the people who say they can't control their own tvs. ------------------------------ Date: Saturday, 16 October 1982 12:42-EDT From: "Marvin A. Sirbu, Jr." Subject: First Amendment and Cable For a review of cable regulation see TECHNOLOGIES OF FREEDOM by Ithiel Pool (Pool@mit-Multics) scheduled for publication this spring by Harvard University Press. see also Besen, S.M. and Crandall, R.W., "The Deregulation of Cable Television," LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS Vol 77 (l980). The key decisions are U.S. vs Southwestern Cable Corp (392 US 157, 1968); FCC Report and Order on Cable Television 36 FCC 2d 143, 1972; and Midwest Video vs FCC , U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit 21 Feb 1978. ------------------------------ Date: 16 Oct 1982 (Saturday) 1456-EDT From: DREIFU at Wharton-10 (Henry Dreifus) Subject: TOMORROW'S CHILDREN TOMORROW'S CHILDREN Henry N. Dreifus October, 1982 Technology seems to progress and evolve faster than humans. As humans, we require at least one generation to pass to accept any major technological revolution as evidenced by our track record with such items as the Telephone, Automobile and Electricity. One can claim the advent of the computer is such a similar revolution. Just as we take the telephone and television more or less as accepted and natural components of our technology, the coming generation is being taught to accept the computer. To them the computer screen, keyboard and storage medium are as natural to them as the telephone is to us at their age. One should also note that they too accept the telephone. At a recent lecture the following numbers were mentioned: 65% of all high schools teach computer science. At least 50% have computer equipment of some sort. Moreover the growth rate is on the order of 10 to 15% per year. At the elementary level (Kindergarten through sixth grade) approximately 20% of all schools have some computer based education. This coupled with the fact that there are approximately 3.7 million personal computers out in this marketplace makes some very profound comment on the "naturalization" process taking place. It is important to understand this effect, note its passing as it is but one objective measure of our civilization. I wonder what's next. ------------------------------ Date: 15 Oct 1982 1406-PDT From: Paul Martin Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #96 Concerning the NON-VON project at Columbia, David Shaw, formerly of the Stanford A. I. Lab, is using the development of some non-VonNeuman hardware designs to make an interesting class of database access operations no longer require times that are exponential with the size of the db. He wouldn't call his project AI, but rather an approach to "breaking the VonNeuman bottleneck" as it applies to a number of well-understood but poorly solved problems in computing. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #100 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-11-09 05:04:37 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Saturday, 6 Nov 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 100 Today's Topics: Queries - Knuth's Art of Computer Programming & Whetstone Benchmark Programs & Laboratory for Human-Computer Interaction, Artificial Intelligence - An Apology & Parallelism and AI, Technology - WorldNet (4 msgs), Computers and People - Computer Names (2 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 2 November 1982 15:35 cst From: Heiby.APSE at HI-Multics Subject: Knuth's AoCP In Knuth's "Art of Computer Programming" volume 1, published by Addison-Wessley, the preface says that the work is in seven volumes. I have never seen any volumes other than 1-3. Do the others (any of them) exist? Are they being written? Did they exist and are now out of print? Obsolete?? Thanks. Ron. ------------------------------ Date: 4 Nov 1982 1136-PST From: JBROOKSHIRE at USC-ECLB Subject: Whetstone Benchmark Programs In a recent exchange on INFO-PC there was a discussion about the Whetstone benchmark, and reference to runs which had been made and the location of the program used (FORTRAN - at USC-ISIB in whetst.for, FTPable). I got the program and have been doing several local studies with it. NOW - in the October issue of DIGITAL DESIGN there is a short (almost page) discussion of the Whetstone SERIES of benchmarks that were developed at the behest of the British government, and exist in at least two other languages - ALGOL and BASIC, and perhaps others. My question is: does anyone know of the availability of these other modules/versions, or can anyone provide literature references I could follow to get more info on these tests? Any help greatly appreciated, and I will summarize results and make them available for those interested. Jerry Brookshire ------------------------------ Date: 26 Oct 82 19:05:39 EDT (Tue) From: Mark Weiser Subject: Laboratory for human-computer interaction We are helping Nasa to equip a laboratory for studying human factors in human-computer interaction. This means not ergonomics (such as screen tilt and chair to console distance) but software and display content aspect, menu vs. commands, high-res bitmapped vs. regular, color or not, and anything you and we can think of. At the moment equipment is of interest, since it takes such incredible lead times to buy equipment for Uncle Sam. My question to you all is: What other human-computer interaction laboratories are out there, and how are they equipped? I think probably the whole community will be interested, so reply to the bulletin board (with cc to me please). [Mark has agreed to accept your replies, compile and summarize them, and send the summary back to Human-Nets and WorkS. Please send your replies to Mark without cc'ing these lists. Thanks - Mel] ------------------------------ Date: Friday, 22 October 1982 15:56-EDT From: AGRE at MIT-MC Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #96 By the way, I should make a public apology for forgetting the name of the head of Columbia's Non-Von project, David Shaw. He and his project are every bit as important as the others I mentioned. Also, the discussion was indeed not one of AI rescuing computer architecture, but rather one of computer architecture rescuing AI. (Both are of course simplifications.) - pHil ------------------------------ Date: 28 Oct 1982 1515-EDT From: David F. Bacon Subject: Parallelism and AI Reply-to: Columbia at CMU-20C Parallel Architectures for Artificial Intelligence at Columbia While the NON-VON supercomputer is expected to provide significant performance improvements in other areas as well, one of the principal goals of the project is the provision of highly efficient support for large-scale artificial intelligence applications. As Dr. Martin indicated in his recent message, NON-VON is particularly well suited to the execution of relational algebraic operations. We believe, however, that such functions, or operations very much like them, are central to a wide range of artificial intelligence applications. In particular, we are currently developing a parallel version of the PROLOG language for NON-VON (in addition to parallel versions of Pascal, LISP and APL). David Shaw, who is directing the NON-VON project, wrote his Ph.D. thesis at the Stanford A.I. Lab on a subject related to large-scale parallel AI operations. Many of the ideas from his dissertation are being exploited in our current work. The NON-VON machine will be constructed using custom VLSI chips, connected according to a binary tree-structured topology. NON-VON will have a very "fine granularity" (that is, a large number of very small processors). A full-scale NON-VON machine might embody on the order of 1 million processing elements. A prototype version incorporating 1000 PE's should be running by next August. In addition to NON-VON, another machine called DADO is being developed specifically for AI applications (for example, an optimal running time algorithm for Production System programs has already been implemented on a DADO simulator). Professor Sal Stolfo is principal architect of the DADO machine, and is working in close collaboration with Professor Shaw. The DADO machine will contain a smaller number of more powerful processing elements than NON-VON, and will thus have a a "coarser" granularity. DADO is being constructed with off-the-shelf Intel 8751 chips; each processor will have 4K of EPROM and 8K of RAM. Like NON-VON, the DADO machine will be configured as a binary tree. Since it is being constructed using "off-the-shelf" components, a working DADO prototype should be operational at an earlier date than the first NON-VON machine (a sixteen node prototype should be operational in three weeks!). While DADO will be of interest in its own right, it will also be used to simulate the NON-VON machine, providing a powerful testbed for the investigation of massive parallelism. As some people have legitimately pointed out, parallelism doesn't magically solve all your problems ("we've got 2 million processors, so who cares about efficiency?"). On the other hand, a lot of AI problems simply haven't been practical on conventional machines, and parallel machines should help in this area. Existing problems are also sped up substantially [ O(N) sort, O(1) search, O(n^2) matrix multiply ]. As someone already mentioned, vision algorithms seem particularly well suited to parallelism -- this is being investigated here at Columbia. New architectures won't solve all of our problems -- it's painfully obvious on our current machines that even fast expensive hardware isn't worth a damn if you haven't got good software to run on it, but even the best of software is limited by the hardware. Parallel machines will overcome one of the major limitations of computers. David Bacon NON-VON/DADO Research Group Columbia University ------------------------------ Date: Friday, 22 October 1982 19:22-EDT From: Vince Fuller Subject: WORLDNET ('True Names') There has been some discussion of this book on SF-Lovers recently, specifically concerning the general (non)availability. Check recent SF-Lovers issues for details and info about how to obtain the book. --vaf P.S. It's worth reading, if you can get a hold of it. ------------------------------ Date: Friday, 22 Oct 1982 22:00-PDT Subject: Re: Why not AT&T for WorldNet? From: guyton at RAND-UNIX Why not AT&T for WorldNet? Sigh . . . where do I begin? First, this is not the Telecom Digest. We're not talking about how well AT&T runs our phone system, or if Sprint or MCI are any better. My comment about "Ma Bill" was unfortunate. I guess the key point that was missed is that Worldnet must be a well connected community of smaller networks, where each subnet can be of a radically different communications technology. Take a good look at the DOD InterNet community. They've got leased phone lines for the 'ol Arpanet, satellites for some Satnets, a few radio-packet nets, and a lot of Ethernets and some others that I don't know how to describe. All of them up and running and talking to each other with the same protocols (TCP/IP). In this context it makes no sense to have any one owner of the entire network, regardless of how well they run their communications system. At the same time, I'm trying to lobby for development of a very cheap communications medium (ham packet radio is an example). This is not crucial for WorldNet to survive, only for it to grow quickly. You made a good point when you said the US telephone system is much better than those systems of the rest of the world. I agree, most other phone systems are very bad. Therefore we must not depend upon the phone systems for WorldNet, or we will be excluding most of the world. Enough flaming for tonight, -- Jim Guyton ------------------------------ Date: 23 October 1982 07:42-EDT From: Gail Zacharias Subject: Why not AT&T for WorldNet? Date: 17 Oct 1982 2104-EDT From: ZALESKI at RU-GREEN (Michael Zaleski) ... Phone service in many third world countries is at a level that Americans would find totally unacceptable. We must be in pretty bad shape to find comfort in being more technologically advanced than many third world countries... As for the general point you are making, one might mention that Hitler made the trains run on time. I.e. technical competence is not the point here, power is. Something as important as a communication network should not be controlled by any single group. Witness for instance the recent events in Poland, where a revolution was stopped by turning off the phones. ------------------------------ Date: Saturday, 23 October 1982, 15:42-EDT From: Robert W. Kerns Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #97 I just couldn't let these claims go by undisputed. Date: 17 Oct 1982 2104-EDT From: ZALESKI at RU-GREEN (Michael Zaleski) Subject: Why not AT&T for WorldNet? In a recent message to Human-Nets, one reader expressed a wish for a "World-Net", to tie all sorts of computers worldwide together. In this message, the author stated a belief that it should not be owned by one company and specifically stated that "Ma Bell" should not be the owner. I must honestly say that I find this attitude toward the phone company hard to understand. Compared to ANY other phone system in the world, the U.S. has THE best. I have been victimized by ma bell's utter incompetence in the use of computers so many times I am convinced that letting them have anything to do with world-net would be the kiss of doom. I'd rather let IBM do it. New England Telephone does not even do on-line service-order entry. They take down, on paper, the information about your service request. They then mis-transcribe it (when they don't lose it altogether), fail to add relevant information to the record (such as the fact that they already called you and asked you something), and take months to get things straightened out. (Not to mention their billing software!) I'll spare you the case histories, but in my experience, a service order *ALWAYS* results in a complete mess, and wastes about a day and a half of my time. It may or may not still be true that France is months behind in installation, but they are actively working on correcting the problem, and are working with such advances as distributing terminals instead of phone books. NET has shown no visible sign of correcting their inadequacies in the many years I've been a customer . Comparing them with other phone companies is not the point. Compare them with a non-monopoly, and they are clumsy, incompetent, inflexible, and uncooperative. Hardly the kind of company one would want to put in charge of the most exciting new forms of communications around. Another minor point: They do, but my experience with MCI showed me they also provide: - An extra nuisance at dialing time. This is because Ma Bell doesn't provide the signalling necessary to do it any other way. -- Michael Zaleski, mhtsa!mzal@UCBVAX or "Zaleski@GREEN"@Rutgers Bell Labs, Murray Hill, NJ As far as I'm concerned, Bell Labs and the installed physical plant are the only parts of Ma Bell worth keeping. ------------------------------ Date: 22 October 1982 10:47 cdt From: heiby at HI-Multics Subject: Net addresses in ads I have seen several advertisements in the personal computer field which give a mail address on Compuserve or The Source. This is, of course, most prevalent in Compuserve's magazine, but I've seen it elsewhere, as well. Ron. ------------------------------ Date: 22 Oct 1982 1102-PDT Subject: Use of network addresses by businesses From: WMartin at Office-8 (Will Martin) The only publicized solicitation of net mail that I have seen has been by columnists in Electronic Engineering Times. There were two who gave Source and Compuserve mail addresses; the current issue only seems to contain one -- Phil Koopman, TCP893 on The Source. Of course, it's hard for ARPANET people to credit either The Source or Compuserve as being "real" networks... Will ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #102 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-11-10 04:30:35 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 9 Nov 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 102 Today's Topics: Queries - Let's create a University-wide LAN Directory, Replies to Queries - Knuth's Art of Computer Programming (3 msgs), Artificial Intelligence - Parallelism and AI, Technology - Tomorrow's Children & Video Games, Computers and People - Unique Signatures ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 8 Nov 1982 1001-PST From: Hellmut Golde Subject: Request for Information The University of Washington, like many other Universities, is currently embarking upon a study leading toward the design of a Local Area Network (LAN) for the campus. There are a number of such networks already in existence, e.g. BRUNET at Brown University or KIEWIT at Dartmouth College. However, there appears to be no existing inventory of such networks. I believe that such an inventory would help many universities in their planning effort; hence, I am suggesting that one be started. As a first step, I tried to look into the archives for the mailing list for the ARPANET interest group LOCAL-NETS at MIT-MC. The archives of that interest group contained a lot of information about protocols and other technical issues. I would rather not use that list for the purpose at hand. I am setting up a file at our node, LAN-info.txt. You may look at that file, although it may be rather empty for a while. I simply ask all readers of a BBOARD to send me mail, containing the information below, and I will add it to the file. Any update on incomplete or erroneous information is also welcome. I would also like to request that those of you who have access to other networks send this BBOARD entry along. Note that I am limiting the list to campus-wide networks, excluding small departmental or single-building nets. Initially, I would like to gather the following information for every campus-wide LAN on a US or Canadian campus: 1. Name of institution and name of network (if any) 2. Name, address, and telephone number of contact person who can provide further information 3. Brief technical characterization of network (broadband-coax, twisted-pair, Ethernet, telephone lines, speed, topology, etc.) 4. Operational status (planned, under construction, etc.) 5. Access to national networks (ARPANET, TELENET, etc.) 6. Literature pointers (references to further information) Thank you. Hellmut Golde (GOLDE at WASHINGTON) ------------------------------ Date: 6 November 1982 21:29-EST (Saturday) From: Sam Hsu Subject: Knuth's AoCP yes. there are other volumes. when i was in new york, i saw volumes 5-7 -- the last one is on compilers, and one of them is on operating systems (i think). don't remember too well. hard to find though, as you may have noticed. ------------------------------ Date: 7 Nov 1982 7:14:20 EST (Sunday) From: Andrew Malis Subject: Knuth volumes 4-7 Knuth has been working on volumes 4-7, as well as revisions of volumes 1-3, simultaneously. However, he became so upset at the how hard it was to do his books right using the current typesetting technology that he took a sidetrack to invent TEX, a word-processing and typesetting system, and METAFONT, a font generator. During this period, he also produced several scholarly works on the mathematics and history of text fonts (sorry, I can't remember any references). Also, since he wrote volumes 1-3 he has seen the higher-level language light, and he is re-writing the algorithms in those and his newer volumes in a higher-level language (probably one of his own invention). This is all from a talk he gave at Brown Univ. in (if I remember correctly) 1979. Andy ------------------------------ Date: 8 Nov 1982 0957-PST From: Francine Perillo Subject: Donald Knuth The July 1982 issue of the Annals of the History of Computing (Vol. 4, No. 3) contains an interview with Donald Knuth and includes a discussion of his series, The Art of Computer Programming. The 7-volume idea is a plan which arose from the fact that Knuth had written far too much material to have published in 1 or 2 volumes. He has nearly completed Vol. 4, "Combinatorial Algorithms," which will have companion volumes, 4A and 4B, to cover the unexpected amount of extra material. -Francine ------------------------------ Date: 7 Nov 82 13:43:44 EST (Sun) From: Mark Weiser Subject: Re: Parallelism and AI Just to mention another project, The CS department at the University of Maryland has a parallel computing project called Zmob. A Zmob consists of 256 Z-80 processors called moblets, each with 64k memory, connected by a 48 bit wide high speed shift register ring network (100ns/shift, 25.6us/revolution) called the "conveyer belt". The conveyer belt acts almost like a 256x256 cross-bar since it rotates faster than a z-80 can do significant I/O, and it also provides for broadcast messages and messages sent and received by pattern match. Each Z-80 has serial and parallel ports, and the whole thing is served by a Vax which provides cross-compiling and file access. There are four projects funded and working on Zmob (other than the basic hardware construction), sponsored by the Air Force. One is parallel numerical analysis, matrix calculations, and the like (the Z-80's have hardware floating point). The second is parallel image processing and vision. The third is distributed problem solving using Prolog. The fourth (mine) is operating systems and software, developing remote-procedure-call and a distributed version of Unix called Mobix. A two-moblet prototype was working a year and half ago, and we hope to bring up a 128 processor version in the next few months. (The boards are all PC'ed and stuffed but timing problems on the bus are temporarily holding things back). ------------------------------ Date: Saturday, 6 November 1982 14:15-PST From: Jonathan Alan Solomon Subject: TOMORROW'S CHILDREN Hi Hank, Yes, computers (and modern technology) are being accepted and integrated into today's society, but I think this generation (i.e. yours and mine) are more readily able to handle *new* technology than our parents were, and certainly my parents are more adaptable than their parents were, not just more willing to accept Computers. By placing computers alongside Telephones and Televisions, as new technology requiring a new generation to accept them, you seem to be regulating the flow of technology at a time when new technologies and lifestyle changes are happening at a rate which is faster than it has ever happened before. New things will come out and will demand less than a generation to become accepted. Bottlenecks already occur in society when technology comes in, but we are learning to overcome them. Look at how long it took us to accept the fact that the world was round? Computers are being accepted on all generation levels. People are becoming less and less fearful of being "reeducated" whenever something new comes out. The concept of "You must unlearn what you have learned" (Yoda, in Star Wars-TESB) is becoming very popular with people of all ages. I find it really intense to see my Grandfather accepting Computers (his ability to learn them is not SEVERELY limited by his age), his children, and his Grandchildren. But fears are there - change is always frightening - but people are learning to face their fears, and change and grow with the world around them. New Technology is coming out faster these days than it has ever before. Your own words ("I wonder what's next.") sums it up for most of us, for people of all ages. We are all anxious to see what comes around the horizon. We all want to reach for the stars, and the luxury of a Generation-long wait to have these things become accepted is rapidly becoming and old fashioned idea. More and more people are learning the fundamental lesson of history - that the "definitions" of life which we are accustomed to are merely convenient explanations warranting further understanding, and more importantly, we are accepting change when it happens!!! Profoundly yours, [--JSol--] ------------------------------ Date: 5 Nov 1982 0826-PST From: Lincoln Hu Subject: Video games: serious business? COLUMBIA'S FIRST VIDEO-GAMES DAY Most people associate video games with white-knuckled, sweating kids whose only goals is to destroy one more wave of invaders. Is this a fad or the emergence of a synergy between technology and art similar to the advent of cinema 100 years ago? The computer science department of Columbia University and Atari Research are sponsoring a one-day program featuring speakers from the game industry who will explore this question. Topics include where video games are going, alternatives to violence in games, and video games as art and as educational tools. The seminar is free with no advanced registration required and the public is encouraged to attend. Arcade, home and educational video games will be available for play. Group attendance should be arranged through Julie Kenter at Atari Research, 1196 Borregas Ave, Box 427, Sunnyvale, CA 94086. (408) 745-0510. The program includes: 9:30 Registration 10:00 Welcome 10:15 Steven Mayer: "The Ultimate Video Game" 11:30 Christopher Cerf: "Adventure Games: Fact and Fiction" 12:30 Lunch break Games available for play 1:30 Christopher Crawford: "Computer Games: Art and Education" 2:45 Warren Robinnet: "Electricity is Orange: Teaching Kids Digital Logic" 3:45 Reception Games available for play The guest speakers have a wide range of interests and a variety of backgrounds. Steve Mayer leads a lab responsible for the development of advanced products for Atari. He was the chief inventor of Atari's home video game system as well as the Atari 400 and Atari 800 home computer systems. As a creative consultant with knowledge of computers and a love for toys of all kinds, Chris Cerf focuses his work in the information and entertainment industries. Chris has worked with Random House, Jim Henson Associates, the National Lampoon, Fisher-Price toys, and the Children's Television Workshop on Sesame Street. Chris Crawford manages the Games Research Group at Atari and is writing a book on computer game design. He has written numerous games and simulations and is actively shaping the future of games at Atari. Warren Robinnet is one of the founders of The Learning Company and is working to educate children in ways that need not be dull. Before starting TLC, Warren worked in the trenches of the industry designing games for home video systems. Participants should assemble on the fifteenth floor of the School of International Affairs on the campus of Columbia University at 9:30am on Friday, December 3, 1982. Columbia University is located in the City of New York at 116th Street and Broadway. [I was asked to forward this message onto the net and hit the broadest audience possible by the program organizers here at Columbia CSD. I take no responsibility for its content. Inquiries can best be answered by Julie Kenter at Atari Research. /Linc.] ------------------------------ Date: 8 Nov 1982 0513-EST From: EGK at MIT-OZ at MIT-MC (Edjik) Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #101 Re: signatures. I have been ending my personal corrispondance for a bout a year and a half thusly: 0 + @ + @ + \ * | * / % + -- EGK -- + % / * | * \ + @ + @ + 0 ------------------------------ Date: 8 Nov 82 19:20:37-EST (Mon) From: Simply Ron Natalie Subject: Distinctive Signatures? The User-Specified "From" line is a feature of the SEND program from UDel's MMDF package. The user is allowed to specify it through a file called ".signature" in his directory. Credit for the "Hi There" message must go to Will Martin, he had done it first when he first discovered the Custom From Field feature. Speaking of weird mail headers, here is one. Note the customized "From" line and also the "Phase-Of-Moon" as well as the signature. From: The One and Only Mijjil {Matthew J Lecin} To: PROTOCOLS at Rutgers Subject: Sperry Univac V77 600 Series Machines, anyone? Reply-To: Lecin at Rutgers Phase-Of-Moon: FM+6D.19H.40M.59S. ... {M} R. E. Mass signed his letter with something that would be quite a devastating statement had he been on a UNIX system: RM(*) (The command "rm *" means remove all files in this directory.) But I think the Customized From line award must go to the one that appears on every UNIX-Wizards mailing list letter: Remailed-from: the tty of Geoffrey S. Goodfellow which I makes me feel like submitting a letter to that list with the following "From" line: From: The Geoff Goodfellow Remailing of Ron Natalie Simply, -Ron ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #103 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-11-10 04:56:21 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Wednesday, 10 Nov 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 103 Today's Topics: Technology - WorldNet (3 msgs), Computers and People - Atari vs "Blue" Games (2 msgs) & Cable TV and the First Amendment & Magazines vs. Mailing Lists (2 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 7 Nov 1982 1102-PST From: CAULKINS at USC-ECL Subject: Amateur Packet Radio I agree with recent HN comment; packet radio is a good vehicle for WORLDNET. I think that this kind of packet radio should be modeled after citizen's band and not Amateur Radio; I believe the latter is too restrictive in requiring a lot of technical expertise not needed for WORLDNET access. Anyway, some of the best work I know of in this area is being done in Canada, fostered and supported by the Canadian equivalent of the FCC. Some pointers: The Vancouver Amateur Digital Communications Group 818 Rondeau Street Coquitlam, B .C. Canada V3J5Z3 [Digression - note superior design of Canadian zip] They publish "The Packet", a newsletter - subscription is $10; also kits for their hardware and floppies with supporting software for prices ranging from $15 to $150. In the US: AMRAD c/o Dr. William Pala, WB4NFB 5829 Parakeet Drive Burke, VA 22015 Membership - $15; includes monthly "AMRAD Newsletter" largely devoted to packet radio. Proceedings of the recent "ARRL Amateur Radio Computer Networking Conference" available for $8 (repro + mailing). ------------------------------ Date: 7 November 1982 20:09-EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Re: Why not AT&T for WorldNet? AT&T has a fine voice telephone network covering most of North America, but they don't yet have digital communications that allow me to connect my microcomputer into the network for hours on end every day for a charge comparable to rental on a pair of modems and a mile of twisted pair from my home to the local CO (Central Office) plus a reasonable charge proportional to the data I send. If and when they do provide such a network, with all the services I expect (electronic mail, file transfer, virtual-terminal-circuits (what we call TELNET)), then I think I'd be glad to use the AT&T network. But they haven't even started to provide that level of service as far as I know. Thus we're forced at the present time to do one of two things: (1) Use AT&T for the basic long-haul voice-grade circuit but adding our own modems and software on top of it (PCNET, DIALNET, CSNET, UUCP) (2) Lease our own long-haul lines or satellite circuits or radio channels independent of AT&T and also develop the software (ARPANET, TYMNET, TELENET, packet radio). Local networks have different tradeoffs. Leased or owned equipment being quite practical as an alternative to AT&T (ETHERNET). Local networks and isolated personal computers/workstations, connected to each other by some combination of long-haul networks, seems to be the consensus. Within that basic consensus the debate continues... ------------------------------ Date: 8 Nov 1982 at 0938-PST Subject: Re: AT&T From: chesley.tsca at SRI-Unix "Everybody hates the phone company." --From the movie The President's Analyst ------------------------------ Date: 15 Oct 1982 2311-PDT Subject: "We just couldn't see adults playing with spaceships Subject: anymore." From: the tty of Geoffrey S. Goodfellow Reply-to: Geoff at SRI-CSL a243 1643 15 Oct 82 AM-Atari-Blue Games,450 Atari Files Suit To Halt Blue Games SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) - Atari Inc., a leading manufacturer of home video equipment, announced Friday it had taken legal action against sex-theme games created for use on Atari consoles. ''Atari, like the general public, is outraged by this conduct and we are taking the initiative by filing this suit,'' said Michael Moone, president of Atari's consumer electronics division. Moone didn't give specifics about the legal action in a brief news release, and Atari spokeswoman Karen Esler declined to elaborate. Atari said it was taking action against the manufacturer of the game cartridges, American Multiple Industries, and the distributor, Mystique. ''This is the first I've heard of it,'' said Michael Weingart, a vice president for American Multiple, who otherwise declined to comment. The controversial games were unveiled Wednesday by American Multiple, headquartered in Northridge. The cartridges sell for $49.95 each. The release of the games prompted a demonstration Friday in New York City by about 100 people from a woman's group and a group of American Indians. One of the three games, ''Custer's Revenge,'' was on display at an audio-visual show there. Kristen Reilly of Women Against Pornography said the game, in which Custer crosses an obstacle course to engage in sex with an Indian woman, is one of ''attack and rape.'' Michael Bush of the American Indian Community House said the game provides ''a reinforcement of the stereotyping of American Indians as something less than human.'' The game's creator, Joel Miller, denied in an interview in New York that Custer rapes the woman. ''He's seducing her, but she's a willing participant.'' Stuart Kesten, president of American Multiple, said he does not consider the games pornographic and won't withdraw them. Reached in New York before the announcement of the suit but after Atari had complained about the games, Kesten said, ''We just couldn't see adults playing with spaceships anymore.'' The games will be available nationally within two weeks, and he expects a half-million will be sold by Christmas, he said. Atari, a subsidiary of Warner Communications, said it ''does not condone or approve of this use of its home video game technology, which was designed for wholesome family entertainment.'' The games are the first offered by American Multiple, a year-old company whose only business until recently was the manufacture of plastic video and audio cassette storage cases. American Multiple's are the first known adult games created for use on Atari equipment. ap-ny-10-15 1936EDT *************** ------------------------------ Date: 18-Oct-82 13:04:20 PDT (Monday) From: Newman.es at PARC-MAXC Subject: Re: Racist Atari video games While I sympathize with the protests of women and Native Americans against these racist and sexist video games, I fail to understand the merits of Atari's suit. What right does a hardware manufacturer have to prevent someone from selling any kind of software to run on his hardware? /Ron ------------------------------ Date: 26 October 1982 03:44-EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: home censoring of television Ideally a computer should be tied into a network that distributes TV logs, so the program can match time slot against program name even when last-hour changes are made due to long sports games or emergency news broadcasts. The parents can mark which programs are acceptable and which aren't for their children to watch (or for themselves too), and whenever a new program not yet marked is listed in the TV log it shows up in a menu for the parents to mark at the earliest convenient time. Initially all scheduled programs would be in the menu, but gradually most of them would become marked as OK or NOT-OK for the children to watch, leaving only new shows and specials unmarked and thus in the menu. The children would have their own menu which showed only those shows marked as OK-for-children in the parent's menu. If the children were allowed only a certain number of hours per week viewing, the menu would allow optimal choice so the children wouldn't miss their favorite programs due to miscalculating the number of hours accumulated and consuming their allocation on a less-favorite program. The children could even have a favorite program recorded automatically if it came on too late at night or during school or when the family was out together. This would reduce hassles over "we can't go out tonight because the children's favorite program is on tonight". The only major problem (besides the fact that neither the computer-controlled VCR/tuner nor the TV-guide-network is yet available for consumers) would be that if parents are away the children can visit a friend's house to consume their allocation of TV hours then bring their friends home to consume their own allocation, and thus get double allocation, or triple, etc., limited only by the number of children who can fit in a room and want to watch the same program and the number of hours the parents are away. ------------------------------ Date: 29 October 1982 12:11-EDT From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Magazine vs. mailing list On the Arpanet there's a smooth continuum from free-for-all mailing list to edited magazine. Mostly the submitter can't tell the difference. Mail to HUMAN-NETS is edited for spelling and format, and individual messages are collected and rearranged and released in coherent subject-specific clumps. Some messages may wait a few weeks to get published if there aren't enough mates to create an issue (of the magazine) and the message isn't of crucial importance deserving immediate distribution. WORK-STATIONS has some editing. SPACE goes out thru a fully-automated process. Although the mailing list is private, no human sees the messages before they go out, so it's as if it were just a mailing list except for the digestification and nighttime distribution to reduce prime-time network load. INFO-PCNET is a direct mailing list not even digestified. Some mailing lists change their status from direct to digestified or back without the members even being notified ahead of time. Except for the mechanism involved I don't see a clear distinction between a digestified mailing list and a magazine. If subscribers to the mailing list pay for their incoming messages containing issues of the "magazine", and submitters pay only for their original submission message (this may be practical if the magazine is via selected retrieval rather than en masse data, i.e. the subscriber gets the table of contents automatically and the individual articles only on demand from the local electronic newsstand), then the same ambiguity between mailing list and magazine may exist in WorldNet. ------------------------------ Date: 29 Oct 1982 1404-EDT Subject: Re: Magazine vs. mailing list From: DDEUTSCH at BBNA I can't tell if we are agreeing or not. The sender of a message to a discussion group or edited magazine must know where to send the message; the recipient of a message from a discussion group or edited magazine must be allowed to know where it came from. The difference between a discussion group and a magazine is that the magazine has an editor who controls what is published, its form, and when it is published. Here's the most general diagram I can think of right now: Writer --> Editor --> Publisher --> Recipients The Editor may select or edit submissions; the publisher does the actual fan-out. Sometimes there is no editor; sometimes the editor is also the publisher. An unmediated discussion group that uses a mail-forwarder to fan out mail without any screening doesn't have an editor. MsgGroup is an example of that. If someone fans out his own submission, there is no editor or publisher. If the writer is not performing fan-out himself, the only thing he needs to know is the name of the person or process to which the message should be sent. That person or process might be an editor, a publisher, or might switch between the two. It doesn't matter as long as the name stays the same. Given that the reader is not actively involved in retrieving articles or magazines, the question of who pays for the transmissions initiated by the publisher is dictated by the agreement between the publisher and the recipient, and the ability of the relevant protocols to support that agreement. I would be hesitant to subscribe to a service that would indiscriminately send me messages for which I would have to pay the communications cost. If there were an editor, I would be more likely to subscribe under those conditions. I suggest that if there is no editor, the writer should pay for sending all the copies; if there is an editor then the writer should pay for sending one copy to the editor, and who pays for the final fan-out depends on the nature of the magazine. Debbie ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #106 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-11-23 00:20:34 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Monday, 22 Nov 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 106 Today's Topics: Publications - The Sholes Keyboard, Technology - Ergonomic Design, Computers and People - Video Games & Cable TV and the First Amendment (3 msgs) & Communications Breakthrough (3 msgs) & Food for Thought - Communicate with a Turing Machine ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: vivace!rba.allegra at BRL-BMD Date: 14 Nov 82 20:44:00 EST (Sun) I thought human-nets readers might be interested in an article by Don Norman and Diane Fisher that was just published in \Human Factors/ (vol 24, pp. 509-519). They compared several different keyboard layouts, and they found That the Sholes [QWERTY] keyboard actually seems to be a sensible design, superior to all of the alphabetical arrangements we have studied, and only 5 to 10% slower than the Dvorak keyboard,... As is well known, letters which are frequently typed together are separated on the Sholes keyboard. This turns out to be an advantage since key strokes from alternate hands are faster than key strokes from the same hand. Furthermore, they conclude Our lesson is simply this: Do not waste time rearranging the letter arrangement of the existing standardized keyboard. Bob Allen ------------------------------ Date: 19 Nov 1982 1151-PST From: UCLA-DESIGN at USC-ISIB Subject: The physical side Hello Human-netters! GOOD NEWS. The Office Environments Project of the UCLA Design Research Group was created in July of this year specifically to address the physical issues related to workstation design and effective office planning. Its one thing to identify the many factors associated with improving this work environment--and quite another to come up with viable solutions and alternatives. We would like your input. What are some improvements or alternatives to existing VDT design, workstation furniture, lighting, seating, planning, storage, communicating et al? We are aware that some issues are far greater than simple "ergonomic" modifications in creating a more stress-free and effective environment. What works well for you? What would you like to see? What changes would you make if you could? What other factors besides the physical work environment contribute to your "getting things done and feeling good about it?" The project is subcontracted by ARPA via the USC Information Sciences Institute of Marina Del Rey. It consists of faculty and graduate students from the colleges of Design and Architecture at UCLA. Please direct any suggestions, comments, or questions to us at . I look forward to hearing from you. Good day, Tom Capalety ------------------------------ Date: 15 Nov 1982 1733-EST From: Larry Seiler Subject: Atari Games There is (at least) one way in which Atari could legally restrict the games that are produced for its machines. If (repeat, if) Atari obtained a patent for their cartridge/machine interface, then anyone who wants to use that interface must get a license from Atari, or else be liable to lawsuit. I doubt that they did get a patent, or else they wouldn't have to mention indecency in the suit. And while there may not be anything in the Atari cartridge interface that is patentable, most computer companies patent their bus architecture when they come out with a new machine. That way, they can make a (deserved) profit on the add-ons that other people manufacture. Or close down people who make add-ons, if they choose (and if they are willing to go to court on it). Larry ------------------------------ Date: 16-Nov-82 10:39:13 PST (Tuesday) From: Suk at PARC-MAXC Subject: Re: TV and censorship I am personally against TV censorship, ESPECIALLY with regards to children. Children shouldn't be sheltered from the seedier and less pleasant parts of life; if they don't learn about things when they're little, they get into a great deal of hassles when they're older. You'd better censor the things your kids watch -- they're liable to see something good or decent when you're not peeking over their shoulder! Stan Suk (-: _(smiling from the right?) P.S. Are you really serious? ------------------------------ Date: 17 Nov 1982 0023-PST From: Lynn Gold Subject: Re: TV and censorship 1) I neither have children nor intend to have them. 2) Yes, I'm serious. Coming from a "Moral Majority"-type household where words like "F%&k" were never used into a rough school in a rough neighborhood can lead to very painful results. --Lynn ------------------------------ Date: 18 Nov 1982 1957-EST From: Rachel Silber Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #104 From: Lynn Gold Subject: TV and censorship I am personally against TV censorship, ESPECIALLY with regards to children. Children shouldn't be sheltered from the seedier and less pleasant parts of life; if they don't learn about things when they're little, they get into a great deal of hassles when they're older. I am opposed to adults censoring television, or any other medium, on the "behalf" of other adults. However, there are more reasons for censoring a child's television viewing than simply protecting the child from unfortunate realities. For one thing, we assume that adults are protective enough of their own interests that they will not be overly manipulated by advertising that is against those interests. I don't believe that the same assumption can be made for a five year old being bombarded with messages to want toys (which are often not as attractive in life as they are on the screen) and candy (which is nutritionally bad). Secondly, there are the possible educational effects of allowing children to watch a lot of television. TV is, except in RARE instances, a completely passive medium. It conditions them to expect to "learn" by sitting back, being amused, and having an attention span of a very few minutes. Third, one does not have to be a "moral majority cretin" to object strenuously to the values pushed by commercial television. For example, the sitcom, The Facts of Life, was pretty blatant about selling sex (and not even so much sex itself as the whole game of pretending to be something one is not to please a boyfriend) to junior high aged kids. I found the show to be offensive. One can't watch very much television without running into stereotypic portrayals of both men and women. If parents believe that part of their job is to provide a value system for their children (I phrased this carefully : I do not mean "force a value-system on their children", I mean "provide them a model for ethical adult behavior") then if they allow their children to watch any old thing without guidance or comment, they are, at the very least sending a double message. Last, while I don't think there is much to be said for over-protecting kids, given that one has a choice, most parents would prefer to introduce the harsh realities of life in some controlled way, and in a way that can be understood by a kid without being frightening or over his/her head. TV takes away this control. Myself, I've got no TV and no kids either. When and if I ever have both, I think it is my responsibility to at least be aware of what they watch, and try to counteract the harm that will be done. Rachel Silber ------------------------------ Date: 15 Nov 1982 11:42:37-EST From: csin!cjh at CCA-UNIX Subject: re [tone-of-voice in graphics] I ran across a variant of this some 20 years ago in, of all places, READER'S DIGEST; the symbol -) was used to mark tongue-in-cheek comments. For clarity I expanded it to ( -), with (occasionally) ( - ) (less bulky on a typewriter with a half-space key) for serious material; this prompted one punster to suggest (- -) for treachery. ------------------------------ Date: 18 November 1982 08:58-EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Communications Breakthrough -- sideways facial pictures This may be a dumb question <-) but how do I remember which way to turn my head? Also, it doesn't matter which way I turn my cap falls off. Couldn't you find a way to add those digital comments in the normal vertical orientation? /\ / \ / \ -------- ( O O ) !( .. )! !!( -- )!! !! wwww !! !!/ ww \!! /----/ \----\ ! ! ! ! ! ! (Yeah, I know, you can't tell whether that hair is exactly shoulder length or is longer but hidden from view, and the cap isn't tall enough.) ------------------------------ Date: 20 Nov 1982 0109-EST From: Andrew Scott Beals Subject: someone otta keep track of ``communications breakthrough'' thingies. (i.e. @= for nuclear war messages) or at least the new ones should be posted to HN -- i'd like to have as full of a list as possible. it's been more than once that i've been burned for losing humor in my messages... -andy |-> (late night) ------------------------------ Date: 12 Nov 82 13:06-EST (Fri) From: Steven Gutfreund Subject: Communicate with a Turing machine At last night's meeting of the cognitive science group at UMASS Glenn Iba and Dave Mcdonald presented an interesting proposition: Turing Machines are not good models of the kind of behavior that one can get from a computer, since it is incapable of interacting with the real-world in real-time. Any description of the activities of a computer, should include that of its user and the environment it contains. But this sort of simulation of the real-world (thermodynamics, dissipative structions, etc.) cannot be achieved in the simple model of a turing machine, unless you claim that all possible future events are encoded on the input tape, for the turing machine to compute on. Somehow, the generating of this prophetical tape is less that satisfying. Thoughts? ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #107 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-11-28 01:37:46 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Saturday, 27 Nov 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 107 Today's Topics: Query - English Interface, Programming - Unix, Computers and People - Cable TV and the First Amendment (3 msgs), Technology - Supercomputer Project ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 25 November 1982 04:02-EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: English interface A few months ago I sent out a query for parsers for English. Now I have a slightly different query. Has anybody developed a unified parser and un-parser (generator) system that runs from a single grammar instead of a separate grammar in each direction? ------------------------------ Date: 24 Nov 1982 at 0912-PST Subject: The trouble with Unix From: zaumen at SRI-TSC ... or how the TAB key deleted all my files (in one directory). Some time ago there was some discussion about the Unix user-interface. Here is an example of what can happen, even if you are reasonable proficient with Unix. The example given below is not typical of my use of this operating system, but... Recently, I tried to type the following sequence of Unix shell commands: rm ^U for i in * do echo $i cp $i $i.s done ^U (control U) is what my tty driver uses to cancel the line, so the first line in this command should be just "for i in *". What, one might ask, does the TAB key have to do with this? Well, the tab key is also ^I. My typing is a bit klutzy, and I hit ^I instead of ^U: these keys are next to each other. I also wasn't paying attention as well as I should have been. The Shell interpreted what I actually typed as rm for i in * and responded with rm: for not found rm: i not found rm: in not found Alas, * expands to all files in the current directory, and rm removed all of them. Moral of the story: EVERYONE makes mistakes. Anyone reading a Unix command that starts with rm for i in * would guess that there was a typo, and command parsers, shells, etc. should have a syntax that allows such errors to be detected before the commands are executed. __________ / \ | - - | (| /\ |) | | \ /\/\/\ / <==== ( arghhhhhhhh ) \ / ------ Bill ------------------------------ Date: 23 Nov 82 11:52:32 EST (Tue) From: Mark Weiser Subject: Children Being a parent is a soul-shattering experience which changes anyone who tries it. I do not say it is bad (I happen to think it is wonderful)--but one cannot stay the same afterwards. I always read comments by people without children about child-raising with amusement. If they only knew what they would really be like as parents... It is like a non-programmer talking trying to talk to a hacker about computers. (~= flame on:) Children are our investment in the future. If everything else was lost, but we still had children, there would be some hope. But with all the luxuries in the world, life would be pointless with no children to continue the mysterious journey of intelligence through the universe. There is NOTHING more important than the care and feeding of children (which doesn't mean that everyone should do it, any more than we all depend on farmers but not everyone must farm--but only people with children should be allowed to vote). (.= flame off.) ------------------------------ Date: 25 Nov 82 2:30:01-EDT (Thu) From: Randall Gellens Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #106 Regarding your comments [HN V5 #106] about children and tv in general, and censoring TV for kids in particular...Wow! I couldn't agree more or have put it better. (Of course, the fact that don't have kids and see very little TV [Sitcom: "Facts of Life?" Wazzat?] might have something to do with it.) --randall ------------------------------ Date: 26 November 1982 06:49-EST From: Jerry E. Pournelle Subject: Re: TV and censorship Think of it as evolution in action. ------------------------------ Date: Thursday, 25 Nov 1982 19:17-PST Subject: news clipping: "Supercomputer" project From: lauren at RAND-UNIX n043 1152 24 Nov 82 BC-SUPERCOMPUTER (Newhouse 002) BUILDING THE MIND OF MAN INTO A MACHINE By PATRICK YOUNG Newhouse News Service BOSTON - Stephen Grossberg envisions nothing less than building the mind of man into a machine. He is not alone in dreaming of creating super-smart computers with humanlike powers of thought and reason. But Grossberg is approaching the task from a different prospective than most others who labor in the high-tech world of artificial intelligence. In nearly 25 years of research into the intricate physical workings of the mind, Grossberg has evolved a series of mathematical equations to explain brain activity. These equations, he believes, can be used to write programs that will enable computers to think. The eventual results, he hopes, will include robots with the impressive powers of R2-D2 and C-3PO, the robotic duo of ''Star Wars'' fame. ''An intelligent robot must be able to adjust it parameters and adapt,'' says Grossberg, professor of mathematics, psychology and biomedical engineering at Boston University. ''That means making the computer more flexible so it can reprogram itself.'' Robots run by such advanced computers could carry out tasks too dirty or dangerous for humans. ''These jobs might include working in poisonous atmospheres, inside nuclear reactors or mining precious metals from the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter,'' Grossberg says. ''The first intelligent creature from Earth to explore another planet might not be human at all. It might be one of our electronic progeny.'' But first there is the matter of money to develop the computer, which Grossberg is trying to raise, and the Japanese. Backed by funds from their government, two Japanese research teams have embarked on a 10-year effort to build a computer with ''man-level intelligence'' that will be able to learn, think, read, write and speak. There is no comparable effort in the United States, although a number of researchers in universities and industry continue to pursue the goal of creating a computer with artificial intelligence. The Japanese have said such an machine will require new computer mathematics. And their description sounds to Grossberg suspiciously like the type of equations he has developed and refined with the aide of colleagues at Boston University's Center for Adaptive Systems. Today's computers, though capable of lightning-fast calculations and storing vast amounts of information, are stupid. They don't think; they only follow the instructions programmed into them. This is true even of the most sophisticated units, the so-called expert systems. By drawing on certain scientific principles and the collected experiences and learning of experts stored in their memories, expert systems can do such things as diagnose medical problems and predict the location of mineral deposits. But they don't learn from experience and they don't reason in a human sense. Grossberg's goal is to build a computer that will monitor its environment and change its behavior to adapt to changing conditions. He didn't start out to create to artificial intelligence or build a super-smart computer. His work has concentrated on understanding the interaction of mind and matter - how the physical brain, through the chemical and electrical activity of its nerve cells, produces behavior. ''Our work is to try to understand and predict neural events, to give a unified view of behavior and its underlying neural action,'' Grossberg says. Memory, learning, thinking and the brain's other activities depend on the complex interactions of a series of nerve cells. A single nerve cell can be studied in detail to determine its chemical, electrical and physiological changes. But ''in terms of understanding behavior, the functional level is not the single cell,'' Grossberg says. Yet determining how the brain integrates the actions of individual cells to produce a specific behavior has proved more difficult. ''A pattern of activity across cells forms a pattern of information,'' Grossberg says. ''The question is how does a whole field of cells compute things that no single cell will ever know.'' What he has found, he says, ''is a few different principles that occur over and over.'' And these can be reduced to mathematical equations. ''That mathematical model is the bridge to going to a new machine,'' Grossberg says. ''It's not just that you've got a wiring diagram - the architecture of the brain - it's really the dynamics of the system, the pharmacology and physiology. ''The question is what is the best and cheapest way to implant this in hardware. It is a major problem that we haven't dealt with yet.'' That effort - and perhaps a competitive race with the Japanese - will come if Grossberg secures funds to develop his super-smart computer. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #108 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-11-28 00:08:18 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Sunday, 28 Nov 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 108 Today's Topics: Computers and People - Communications Breakthrough & Computers in Education, Technology - Combinations of Telephones and Terminals & Keyboards & WorldNet ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 25 Nov 82 2:39:05-EDT (Thu) From: Randall Gellens Subject: Re: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #106 At one point in the dim, dark, past, we had a fairly active notesfile system modelled after that on PLATO, but running on other systems. People devised all sorts of hacks to compensate for the lack of standard graphics/animation/ alternate fonts available on PLATO terminals...changing the backspace character to a normal character (?CHAR BS=^C for example) allowed it to be used at text, which, combined with line-feeds, and escape sequences (these last necessitated warnings about which terminal type to read a note on) gave a fairly broad range of effects. (One I liked was a note that had space-bs-char for every char, resulting in slow, halting printing on (we used them then) DECwriters, and slower printing on screens. A reply asked what baud rate the note had been entered on). A lot of terminals in use then xmitted screen control keys as well as acting on them, which made it fairly easy to do animation. ------------------------------ Date: 26 Nov 1982 2305-MST From: JW-Peterson at UTAH-20 (John W. Peterson) Subject: Computers for school Those of you who reacted to CMU's plans to require students to purchase computers may be interested in this one: The "World Institute for Computer Assisted Teaching" (better known to WORKS readers as WICAT) currently has a proposal before the Utah state board of Education asking the state of Utah invest $15 million in Wicat, for them to develop a standard CAI system to be used in most/all of Utah's public schools. The state would be the sole owner of the program and receive the royalties (6% of the sales commissions) on the software. According to the proposal "the royalties would continue [at >$3 meg a year] for a 15-year period ... meaning the state fund would be fully reimbursed and the state would receive $30 million for the hardware acquisition." The courseware would include subjects such as "English, Writing, Calculus, Biology, History and Foreign Languages (with Audio)." These programs are to run on a "System 300 (the Hydra System)" that has 30 terminals "with audio, graphics and animation" and a CPU with an 80 meg disk. Price (w/ discount) is given at $67,000. WICAT's proposal also states they would be willing to "translate" the programs to other hardware vendors at the states option (the state would pay extra for this service). While the proposal does list some of the reservations about such a move (such as WICAT's current marketing capability, and having one company as a sole source), Utah's executive directory of administrative services claims "there are strong, positive feelings about WICAT's offer and it's potential role in assisting the State of Utah to develop and utilize CAI materials." The proposal is set to go before the '83 session of the Utah state legislature. The source for the above quotes is a Utah State Office of Education newsletter. -jw peterson ------------------------------ Date: 16 Nov. 1982 4:11 pm PST (Tuesday) From: NNicoll.ES at PARC-MAXC Subject: Re: Combinations of Telephones and Terminals Does anyone know of a touch tone phone where each of the twelve keys, and combinations of same, emits a different tone. You can type full ASCII with that combination (alphabet on request). NNicoll ------------------------------ Date: 24 Nov 1982 22:20:03-EST From: csin!cjh at CCA-UNIX Subject: re the sholes keyboard I'd be curious as to exactly what their claims were about hand balance; my experience (and due to a publishing hobby I've done a \lot/ of text typing) is that there are a significant fraction of words typed almost entirely with the left hand (I think the Sholes is supposed to call for left-hand strokes 56% of the time in stock English). Certainly if you compare similar strokes(finger/direction) for left and right hands, in most of the pairs the left-hand stroke calls a much higher-frequency letter. Do they claim that this contradicts other studies, in which the Dvorak was shown to be much faster (perhaps also easier to learn)? ------------------------------ Date: 25 Nov 1982 2320-PST Subject: The changing face of Micro-computing/effects on WorldNet From: William "Chops" Westfield Lauren's recent message about CPM 3.0 (to the info-cpm mailing list) which, summarized, said CPM 3.0 will be nice for OEMs who are producing a large number of identical systems, but not for much of anyone else, served to further prompt me into writing this message. Microcomputing is changing. Is it getting better or worse ? Used to be, no two systems were alike. If you wanted to sell software, it had to be configurable for just about anything. And the people who bought it would have to know how to configure it. Nowadays, things are a lot different. You can pick one of (apple, radio shack, IBM, osborne), write software for it that won't run on anything else, and if it's any good, you become rich. How will this change the way people compute ? For example, CPM remains about the only system for which lots of USEFUL public domain software is available... People with other systems pay for inferior products. Many people with CP/M will pay for a product rather than use an equivalent Public domain program... Why? Example 2: products aimed at a very specific market are appearing. For example, spelling correctors and thesarusses that run under WordStar(tm). What about us Mince/Emacs people? Example 3: PCNet is/was dedicated to the prospect of running a common communications protocol on every possible system, so they could all talk to each other. The idea was to put all of this in the public domain. PCNet is having serious problems. the only thing that might save them is that various large, diverse organizations like SRI, DARCOM, NOSC, etc are willing to spend money developing PCNet, cause they need their micros to talk to their large computers. Meanwhile, programs like CrossTalk, which will do file transfers only to other IBM PCs, has made the top 20 selling programs for the IBM PC for the last several months. The question is, I guess: Is the current proliferation of many basically incompatible micro-computers going to hurt or help the WorldNet concept? BillW ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #109 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-12-20 23:33:12 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Sunday, 19 Dec 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 109 Today's Topics: Queries - Productivity of Word-Processors & Integer Programming, Announcements - VDT Survey Result & Virginia Computer Users Conference & Computers and Weaving, Programming - UNIX (6 msgs), Computers and People - TV Censorship (2 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 2 Dec 1982 1114-EST From: KSPROUL at RUTGERS Subject: Productivity of Word-Processors Does anyone have or know of any reports or articles on the pros/cons of having technical people using word-processors/text-editors and such. We need to try to convince management that 'word-processing' should NOT be restricted to just the secretaries. and that it IS productive to let the scientist directly type stuff into the computer. Keith Sproul Ksproul@Rutgers ------------------------------ Date: 13 Dec 1982 1030-PST Subject: Integer Programming From: BERTAPELLE at USC-ISIE I am looking for information on programs that do integer programming (a type of linear programming routine). The program will have to be able to handle a large number of constraints (I'm not sure what large means except a moderate to large number of constraints). Thanks for the help, Tony Bertapelle ------------------------------ Date: 5 December 1982 23:19-EST From: V. Ellen Golden Subject: VDT Survey Result Blue Buttons, the Boston Globe "Chatter" who asked for a survey of VDT users a while ago, has now responded with the results. As many of you might have predicted, the results were not exactly surprising. She decided in the end that a more scientific survey was required. It is my suspicion that the responses of the Arpanet community may have represented a majority of the "individual responses" she mentions. This opens some interesting questions about OTHER sorts of VDT using jobs. In any case, her reply is available on MIT-MC as ELLEN;VDT RESP and may be FTP'd. And thank you from Blue Buttons to all of you who took the time to reply. ------------------------------ Date: 10 December 1982 19:28 est From: Jarrell.Advisor at M.PCO.LISD.HIS Subject: Virginia Computer Users Conference Reply-to: Jarrell.Advisor%PCO-Multics at MIT-MULTICS The thirteenth annual Virginia Computer Users Conference is being held on April 15-16, 1983. The topics are: Ada, Human Factors, and Graphics (as an art-form) If you desire to speak, or just wish to attend, please contact Luanne Melown, or Paula Brimer at: VCUC 13 Department of Computer Science Virginia Tech Blacksburg, Va 24061 Please do not reply to any of the above lists, as I am not a member of any of them. ------------------------------ Date: 3 Dec 1982 1228-EST From: Rachel Silber Subject: Computers and Weaving (yes, really!) A magazine for weavers and spinners, Handwoven (Interweave Press, $15/yr), has begun a new column called "Interface". This column is to be about the uses of computers for weavers. They plan to cover topics ranging from things that seem pretty standard (eg, using a computer to plan your studio/small business finances) to applications that really are off the beaten path. For example, there is a program commercially available that can convert threading and tie-down patterns (a compact representation of what you're going to do to the loom) to a drawdown (a diagram of what the resulting cloth will look like). This is a really time consuming thing to figure out by hand and graph paper, and a good, creative application for a home computer. (I may have my weaving terms a little confused; I'm very new to this hobby.) If memory serves, the authors of the column are Carol and Stewart Strickler. I have been in one home with a loom in one room and a computer in the other, and know at least 2 people who re proficient at using both. But I admit that I was surprised to find this column proposed as a regular feature. The interest that I think this has for Human-nets readers is simply to see what varied fields are making use of computers, for what varied reasons. The paranoia-inspiring view of computers taking over the world gets dealt a resounding blow by this instance of people taking over computers. Rachel Silber ------------------------------ Date: 30 Nov 82 03:52:04 EST (Tue) From: Tim Curry Subject: soft remove under unix The potential hazard of accidental file loss under UNIX has generated much debate in the past. Locally, our system programmer came up with a reasonable solution to most complaints. Through some aliasing and shell scripts, he redefined rm so that all files that are removed during a session are actually just moved to a backup directory. When you finally logout, it then really removes all files under that backup directory. If you want to recover a removed file, he had another script to restore the deleted file (as long as the removed file was during your current session). This entire process was quickly and easily implemented and is selectably used by the user community (I personally don't use it but I recognize its usefulness for those apprehensive of rm). The point I wish to get across is that nearly every complaint (note the qualifier and please don't flood me with exceptions!) that I have heard people mention about UNIX's human interface (or UNIX in general) can be quickly and easily altered to give the user what he wants. UNIX is the only OS that I have used that I have been more impressed with the better I get to know it. The human interface takes on each user's personality to a degree. Of course (as with any extensible system) it sometimes gets difficult to accomplish any work on somebody elses account but my own account has been nicely tuned to fit me. And it takes very little effort to get the account tuned once the user gets slightly knowledgeable about the system. I feel that the human interface of the sophisticated user is often overlooked in attempting to get a system that is easy for beginners to use. After all, if a computer is purchased, you should expect a learning time for all users but those users who are on the computer with any frequency can eventually be hindered by the simplicity of a system. Also, I would also argue that the "apropos" and "man" commands should be sufficient to help the new user get going at the terminal (after a degree of pre-terminal reading). I certainly don't consider UNIX the last word in OS but until something better comes along, I'll keep my "I __ __ / `' \ \ / \ / UNIX" button displayed. (:-}) \ / \/ Tim Curry USENET: ucf-cs!tim ARPANET: tim.ucf-cs@udel-relay ------------------------------ Date: 30 Nov 1982 1015-CST From: Clyde Hoover Subject: UNIX and sloppy typing Expecting the UNIX shell (or any other command interpreter) to provide useful capabilities (such as *, for, etc.) and still protect you from your mistakes is flat out silly. You cannot blame the system if YOU enter a bad command that blows you away. You want hand-holding, use a TOPS-20 system. ------------------------------ Date: 30 Nov 82 08:13:26 EST (Tue) From: Andrew Scott Beals Subject: The trouble with Unix it you want to turn the tab character off as a separator, just do this: $ IFS=' ' $ and now only space and newline will be field (read word) separators, newline being a bit different (it's only used as a word separator when you need to close off a command or quote or ')' or whatever.). simple. a number of people i know (everyone at work except for me) use the DEL key when they want to wipe a line of input. -- of course, this is usually VERY close to RETURN. oh well. it's more of a trouble with the keyboard. -andy :-) p.s. if you still aren't happy, use ^X as your linekill -- it's not near anything too dangerous (unless you have VERY fat fingers). ------------------------------ Date: 1 Dec 1982 at 0923-PST Subject: Re: The trouble with Unix From: zaumen at SRI-TSC The editors I use (emacs or emacs look-a-likes) use to delete the last character typed. I also use TOPS-20 occasionally, so its nice to have ^U and ^C work similarly on both systems. Not using tabs as a separator sounds like a nice idea. is right above on my H19, and really looses as an interrupt character, especially if you switch between Unix and TOPS-20 several times a day, as I was during the last few months. Bill ------------------------------ Date: 1 Dec 82 23:07:13 EST (Wed) From: Andrew Scott Beals Subject: DEL vs ^H frankly, i don't know *why* there is all this usage of DEL as the erase character. (yeech!) why use DEL over ^H? ^H is on the home row (both control and H on a good keyboard, that is), so it's MUCH easier to type. WHY? ------------------------------ Date: 2 Dec 1982 at 1056-PST Subject: Re: DEL vs ^H From: zaumen at SRI-TSC It seems to be a convention on many systems. When in Rome, ... Besides, naive users find "delete" easier to remember. ------------------------------ Date: 29 Nov 1982 0229-PST From: Henry W. Miller Subject: TV Censorship I, too, am against censorship in all forms, unless it is for the good of the population as a whole. (By that I mean facts that really don't have to be known, as it would cause mass hysteria, etc. But, this is the topic for another discussion...) I grew up in the turbulent sixties. I don't know how many times I saw the reply of the assassination of President Kennedy, Senator Kennedy and Martin Luther King, likewise with the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. Remember the film clips from Vietnam? The riots in Watts and Chicago and numerous other cities? I think it taught me how valuable life is. I grew up on a diet of the Three Stooges and Bugs Bunny. The eye-gouging, face slapping, head bashing antics of the Howard brothers and Larry Fine never encouraged me to try such tactics, though I still roar with laughter when I see them in action. The fact that Wyle E. Coyote got blown up, smashed, crushed many times never made me imitate those actions. (Although, I remember the time the stink bomb I was making literally blew up in my face, spewing glass into me and throughout the kitchen. I never tried that stunt again...) I was severely disappointed by the way "Blazing Saddles" was hacked when it was aired on national TV. It was cut so badly they might as well not have shown it. Hell, if I want to watch a dozen cowboys passing gas around the campfire, that's my right, isn't it? One of my favorite movies, "Patton", faired better. The first time on TV, they only cut 18 seconds from the movie . Only the most offensive language and the shooting of the jackasses was taken out. Still, I didn't appreciate it. Anybody remember "Beany and Cecil?" For a "kids" show 20 years ago, it was light years ahead of its time. It made so many adult references, like "No-Bikini Atoll". Even now, I still remember, and just "get" certain of the punch lines. I haven't seen the show in years. No one seems to be showing it. Anybody seen "Hill Street Blues"? Whew!!! Some of the references there are down right naughty. And, in "Star Trek", remember how many times Kirk was shown putting his boots back on after being with a young lady? I happened to watch an old "I Love Lucy" a couple of days back. Fred and Ethel were arguing again. Lucy told them to stop it. Ethel said, "We can't, that's the way we make love." Yet, in that same series, they couldn't say that Lucy was pregnant, but merely "expectin'". In the "Dick Van Dyke" show, as well as many others, the couples were always shown as sleeping in separate beds. Why? I guess I've covered both sides. It seems that censorship has a double standard. What, or why, is still beyond me. What I am getting at is that I don't feel that things should be censored. If you don't like it, if it offends you, don't watch it. Let the rest of us see what we want. -HWM ------------------------------ Date: 5 December 1982 19:25-PST (Sunday) From: Scott J. Kramer Subject: Censoring? I just read some of the comments concerning censorship of children's TV watching and wanted to add something. It appears to me that many young people are becoming nearsighted, more so than ever and that this is partially due to their focusing for long periods on such things as TV's, CRT's, books, blackboards, and other "close-in" objects at an earlier age than in the past. This is something to consider if you want to "censor" your child. scott ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #110 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-12-23 16:21:55 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 21 Dec 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 110 Today's Topics: Technology - WorldNet & Combinations of Telephones and Terminals & Looming Technology (2 msgs), Computers and People - Human Memory Capacity (5 msgs), Queries - Studies on Window Usage, News Article - Audio Response System ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 29 November 1982 01:14-EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: The changing face of Micro-computing/effects on WorldNet I think when PCNET or other World-Net type of thing becomes established, suddenly permitting FTP between all these incompatible systems, there'll suddenly be a market to convert files from private obscure cretinous formats (RSX-11M Files-11, IBM EBCDIC RECFM=FB, and many others), and even some private good formats (NLS, Hypertext/XANADU), various compressed forms of data (WYLBUR, Huffman codes, my IRSM-encodings, etc.) and special-purpose data formats (BASIC sourcefile, Scribe&TEX documents, etc.), into the standard form (probably ANSI-ASCII making full use of alternate-characterset-escape capabilities, or NBS/Postel structured multimedia text/data). Somebody'll make a bundle writing all this conversion software, then more money will be made modifying operating systems to use the standard-format files directly instead of requiring format-conversion. Eventually most computers will be able to exchange files efficiently. ------------------------------ Date: 1 Dec 82 2:54:41-EST (Wed) From: Ron Natalie Subject: Touchtones It isn't TouchTone (TM) if it isn't the standard dual tones that the Genuine Bell stuff makes. Therefore you are limited to the 12 (or 16 in some specs) dual-tone combinations. However most phones allow you hold two buttons down in the same row or column and get only the common tone transmitted. This allows up to 19 (or 24 on 16 button encoders) different one and two tone combinations. Holding down more than two buttons or two buttons not in the same row or column generates no tone. However, some phones, including the Bell Exeter (available at your phone center) and some of the other Touchtone Style (NOT GTE) phones from other manufactures ORs all the tones together for all buttons held down simultaneously. All the possible one and two button combinations would therefore yield 88 combinations, which would be usable for most of ASCII, and you could use three button sequences for less used ones. Decoding is slightly tricky, but cheaper to implement than having a different tone on each key, cause you would only need 7 tone decoders rather than 12. Don't forget in your design to allow for the fact that multiple buttons will not be depressed and released simultaneously. If all you want is letters and numbers, and just a few symbols there are gizmos out to do this. I saw one designed by a grad student at Johns Hopkins that used two button sequences to encode the letters. The user on the other end could use a small device that either output (switch selectable) either ASCII, 5-Bit code for Deaf TTYs, or Morse Code. The thing was small enough that a deaf person who new morse code could carry the thing around with him and use it with any phone, not requiring the other party to know morse (the tone sequences involved the location of the letters on the phones, with the Q and Z imaginarily placed on the "1" button). -Ron ------------------------------ Date: 20 Dec 1982 0930-PST From: LAWS at SRI-AI Subject: Computers and Weaving (yes, really!) Karen Huff at Kansas State University developed a drawdown simulator back in the very early 70's. Her minicomputer was an IBM 360, and the plots came out on a CalComp. -- Ken Laws ------------------------------ Date: Monday, 20 Dec 1982 12:35-PST Subject: Looming technology From: mike at RAND-UNIX Its not so surprising that weavers should use computers to control their looms. History fans will recall the impact that steam and mechanical looms had in England during the industrial revolution. Patterns were encoded in various mechanical ways for those devices, now they probably use floppy disks. ------------------------------ Date: 18 Dec 1982 1458-EST From: DANNY at MIT-OZ Subject: Human Memory Capacity Does anyone out there know of any estimates of human memory capacity? That is, how many facts (or better yet bits) are stored in the average human? ------------------------------ Date: 19 December 1982 0101-EST (Sunday) From: Hans Moravec at CMU-CS-A (R110HM60) Subject: Re: Human Memory Capacity My amateur researches agree with the 10 trillion bits/human brain figure. A survey article "The Molecular basis of Memory" by Kandel&Schwartz, Science 29 Oct 1982 reviews the increasingly conclusive evidence that all memory and learning, short and long term, indeed takes place in the synapses. Short term memory is mediated by varying concentration of a small molecule (tentatively identified) in the synapse, that dissipates in time; long term by migration of a large protein that stays lodged once it arrives. There are great redundancies - I bet an efficient program could make like a human with only one trillion bits. -- Hans ------------------------------ Date: Sunday, 19 December 1982 02:19-EST From: MINSKY at MIT-MC Subject: Human Memory Capacity It might be good to ask Chase, at CMU. He's been doing that stuff on people learning to remember long sequences (like 100 digits). My impression is that he thinks these people can deposit "chunks" in LTM at a rate of about 1 every three seconds or so. This is impressive, but still within the old scale of fairly conservative size: if you did 50,000 of them for 20,000 days you'd get a billion. By the way, "chunks" ought to be like address-connections. Instead of bits, they might be routings or something. ------------------------------ Date: Sunday, 19 December 1982 13:50-EST From: DANNY at MIT-MC Subject: Human Memory Capacity Here are some other interesting estimates I have collected over the years: Minsky (In Semantic Information Processing) estimates you use 100,000 to a 1,000,000 facts "for ordinary things". (Do you still believe this Marvin?) Von Neumann: 10^15 bits, he claims this comes from counting "the impressions which a human being gets in life" or "other factors". Luria: (in Mind of a Mnensist) claims the capacity of his subject was "infinite". -danny ------------------------------ Date: 19 Dec 1982 1427-PST Subject: Re: Human Memory Capacity From: ISAACSON at USC-ISI Oh, well, if you actually collect these things, here is another one: "The storage capacity of the human brain, namely a theoretical maximum of a thousand million bits in a lifetime.... though there can be few men who fill their memory to capacity..." [Source: Intelligence Came First, E. Lester Smith (ed.), at p. 56. P.S. at p.59-60 there is an interesting citation from an old paper by M. Minsky] -- JDI ------------------------------ From: "METOO::MILLER c/o" Date: 6 DEC 1982 1347-EST Subject: Studies on Window Usage I would appreciate hearing from anyone on human-nets who is aware of any on-going studies which are attempting to look at the following (types of) questions: 1. Optimal arrangments of screen windows by function being performed and relationships among the information in the various windows. 2. Optimal window sizes and structures. 3. Optimal number of co-existing windows. 4. Color relationships among co-existing windows. Written replies can be sent to: Peter Miller Digital Equipment Corporation 110 Spit Brook Road Nashua, N.H. 03062 M/S: ZKO2-3/N30 Thanks, --Peter ------------------------------ Date: 23 Nov 1982 0449-PST Subject: Computer Operator. From: the tty of Geoffrey S. Goodfellow Reply-to: Geoff at SRI-CSL a017 2328 22 Nov 82 PM-Computer Operator, Bjt,450 That Information Operator Is Inhuman DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Telephone users who don't let their fingers do the walking can hear a computer do the talking when they call directory assistance here. Northwestern Bell's new system lets a human operator take a call, search a computer for the number requested and then hit a button, putting the computer on line to read the area code and number in a slow, female voice. The electronic voice will then repeat the number and advise callers to stay on the line if they have a question or need more assistance. Bell officials say the system, now handling 70 percent of the information requests in Iowa, Nebraska and Indiana, saves about 5 seconds a call. In Iowa alone, Bell averages 150,000 directory-assistance calls a day. Operators, who continue to handle emergency requests, say it saves their voices. ''I like it,'' one operator in Iowa, where the system has been used since Sept. 1, said Monday. ''I think it's all right myself,'' said another. ''It's no extra work.'' The operators said they were not allowed to give their names while on duty. A supervisor, Joyce Lutz of Des Moines, said the system helps operators because they ''don't have to talk quite as much. It's a lot speedier.'' The computer voice, more formally known as the Audio Response System, will be used in other states as soon as the equipment can installed, said Ed Mattix, Northwestern Bell's media relations manager. ''Only a very few have complained they can't understand the voice,'' he said. ''Some people say they'd rather talk to a live operator rather than a computer and I guess that's to be expected. ''Some people think computers are coming along and replacing people, but you still have to have people servicing those computers, working with them.'' He said operators can handle more calls more efficiently. ''The most tedious part of their job was the repetition of the numbers. This way, they can keep going and take more calls. They stay busier and the time goes faster,'' he said. Many people think the computer's voice, which Mattix described as ''very understandable,'' comes from a tape recording. But it's straight from a computer where it's generated by silicon chips. Phone company policy allows callers to get two phone numbers from directory assistance for each call. After receiving the first number from the computer, the caller stays on the line and is automatically referred back to an operator where the process is repeated. Mattix said the use of computer voice technology has only begun. ''We've just scratched the surface,'' he said. ''Next thing, we'll be able to talk to computers rather than sitting at a computer keyboard like we do now. It's really amazing.'' ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Search Result 114 Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #111 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-12-31 03:14:26 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Thursday, 30 Dec 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 111 Today's Topics: Administrivia - Head Crash at Rutgers, Queries - Computers for the Blind & MIT Hacker's Glossary, Annoucements - A New List is Borne, Programming - Unix (7 msgs), Computers and People - Video Games (2 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 29 Dec 1982 0028-EST From: Pleasant at RUTGERS Subject: Head Crash on Disks If anyone submitted a message to Human-Nets on December 23rd or later, please resend it to the list. Rutgers had a head crash on one of its disk and we were forced to restore files from Thursday's (23rd) full backup. -Mel ------------------------------ Date: 28 Dec 1982 1159-EST From: SOMMERS at RU-GREEN at RUTGERS Subject: Computers and Blind Youth Does anyone out there know of any studies on the use of micros in educating blind students. Also, I am looking for any information on micros and terminals set up for the blind (prices, problems, what is available and from whom). Thanks, Liz Sommers ------------------------------ Date: 29 Dec 1982 0819-PST Subject: Gweep Glossary From: APAGE at USC-ISIE After just reading a great issue of Time magazine (Jan 3, 1983 - The Computer Moves In) and a feature article on page 39 titled "Glork! A Glossary for Gweeps" I'm very interested in getting a copy (if possible) of the hacker's dictionary. "Time" indicates that the glossary has been "assembled by a network of hackers at M.I.T., Stanford and elsewhere", and I'm just hoping they are talking about the ARPANET. I also have created a file on-line of hacker jargon that I utilize as a training aid with new users here in the ARPA environment, which is growing rapidly from many users' inputs. If anyone has heard of this glossary, I'd love to hear from you. If not, please forward this message on to someone else that you think might have an idea of who to contact. cheers! arlene APAGE@USC-ISIE ------------------------------ Date: 28 Dec 1982 1245-PST From: Henry W. Miller Subject: A new list is borne... A new list is being formed: COMICS-LOVERS@SRI-NIC This list will attempt to cover all aspects of of the comics, a subsection that has been sorely neglected by SF-LOVERS (No downplay on that list; it is merely that comics fans represent only a small faction of that list.) For the time being, this list will be an immediate distribution list, although I can soon see it growing into a digest. So, send your ideas to COMICS-LOVERS@SRI-NIC. If you wish to subscribe, send then to COMICS-LOVERS-REQUEST@SRI-NIC. Note: if you subscribe soon enough, I'll clue you in on what is planned between Superman and Lois Lane. Comically yours, -HWM ------------------------------ Date: 19 Dec 1982 2154-PST From: Lynn Gold Subject: Favorite operating systems: UNIX vs TOPS-20 It's weird...whenever I ask someone who has been exposed to both which they prefer, the answer tends to be almost exclusively subjective. For example, I asked one of my co-workers which one he preferred, to which he replied "Unix." I asked him what he liked about Unix, and he said the pipelining, the way everything is a file, and the general feel of it. I felt these were perfectly reasonable reasons for liking it. I then asked him what he didn't like about TOPS-20. He replied, "Well...it isn't Unix." A similar question and answer session with someone else who preferred TOPS-20 came out with the user liking recognition, the way you could find your way around by just typing "?", and the general friendliness of the operating system. When asked why he didn't like Unix, he said "It's a flaky operating system." I think the moral of this is that the only way you can judge either of them is to check them both out for yourself and THEN decide. While I admit to being more familiar with TOPS-20 than UNIX, it look as if both have something to offer in some areas and lose in others. --Lynn ------------------------------ Date: 20 December 1982 19:37-EST From: Stuart M. Cracraft Subject: Unix - Recovering Deleted Files Tim Curry's mention of a recoverable file delete for Unix spurred my interest. We recently installed a similar command on our system; however, a nightly disk skulker does the actual deletion. You can specify how long the deletes files are to be kept around before the skulker can flush them. This scheme (from some guy at Hplabs) seems much better than the one mentioned, in which they are only retained until logout. Stuart ------------------------------ Date: 20 Dec 1982 2200-PST From: Pierre MacKay Subject: DEL vs ^H You ask why use the DEL (or DELETE) character for deleting an unwanted ASCII code instead of using the ^H BACKSPACE format effector. The answer lies in the very definitions of ANSI X3.4 and ISO 646. BACKSPACE is a very useful character in a great many environments. It can be used to place accents on a serial printer (nearly all of them now respond to the code). It can be used for pseudo-boldfacing and for underlining on even a Selectric based serial printer, and on many others as well. Once you get stuck with an operating system which pre-empts BACKSPACE for purposes for which it was not intended --- I know, it was the erase character in BCD, but BCD has been dead a long time now --- you lose a great deal of functionality. DEL serves no function except as an erase code and is therefore ideal for the purpose. There is no normal ASCII or ISO character string that can include a DEL character. There are plenty which can or should be able to include a BACKSPACE. I seem to have spent far too much of my computing life struggling with operating systems which pre-empted the use of ASCII control characters for improper purposes. One of the great moments in my text-editing experience was when the BACKSPACE SPACE BACKSPACE response was first implemented on our operating system as a full-duplex echo for DEL. I find the recidivism of UNIX very unfortunate, and am glad to learn that it can be taught better manners. Long live the DELETE code! Pierre MacKay ------------------------------ Date: 21 December 1982 08:54-EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: soft remove under unix Hmm, your pseudo-deleted files get actually expunged when you logout. I certainly hope you fixed the shell so ctrl-D doesn't cause logout like I've heard it does on Unix as supplied originally. ------------------------------ Date: Tuesday, 21 December 1982, 02:00-EST From: Robert W. Kerns Subject: Del vs ^H Date: 1 Dec 82 23:07:13 EST (Wed) From: Andrew Scott Beals frankly, i don't know *why* there is all this usage of DEL as the erase character. (yeech!) why use DEL over ^H? ^H is on the home row (both control and H on a good keyboard, that is), so it's MUCH easier to type. WHY? You ever try to type ^H while typing with one hand? On a well designed keyboard RUBOUT can be easier to type than ^H. On our keyboards, for example, it's just to the left of A, on the home row, and double width. ------------------------------ Date: 21 Dec 1982 1122-PST Subject: UNIX user interface From: Ian H. Merritt I prefer DEL to ^H for rubouts as a general rule, but it certainly should NOT be used as an interrupt, since it is the second most common data hit in most modem protocols. On other notes, my objections to the unix user environment are not with its configurable features, but with its initial state. A virgin unix without any user changes is virtually useless to anybody new to unix. A user interface should not REQUIRE any changing to become useful, but should allow changes for the purpose of enhancing an already well designed interface. Unix does a very nice job of allowing one to cater his environment to exact specifications, but its initial state is so ridiculous that it is absolutely necessary to start changing things before one can use the system. My other major gripe is that it is quite SLOW and seems to buckle under heavy load conditions. As a single user (multi-process) system, it's fine in that sense, but on a VAX780, it has trouble supporting 10-15 moderate users without getting very slow. VMS, a system about which I often complain for a variety of reasons, has at least one thing going for it: it's VERY FAST. End of flame. <>IHM<> ------------------------------ Date: 23 Dec 1982 1047-EST From: Tim Subject: Re: DEL vs ^H The main problem I have with using DEL for the backspace character is that, on so many keyboards, DEL is located very close to the carriage return key. This can lead to some very embarrassing errors. I agree, though, that DEL (otherwise known as RUBOUT) is more mnemonic. Also, since many keyboards only have one Ctrl key, which is usually located on the left side of the keyboard, many people might find it hard to type Ctrl-H with one hand. Imagine not being able to drink a cup of coffee and backspace at the same time! (I note, proudly, that my own keyboard has neither of the above-mentioned deficits. The real reason I don't like Ctrl-H is because it reminds me of the IBM I used to work on.) Twinerik ------------------------------ Date: 28 November 1982 2207-EST From: Dave Touretzky at CMU-CS-A Subject: computer sex The recent discussion in Human Nets of that obscene "adult" video game for the Atari reminded me of an ad I saw recently in one of the personal computing mags. It showed a guy with his clothes loosened, staring incredulously at a TV set. (You only saw the back of the set.) The advertiser was offering a way for you to play strip poker with your computer. His program offered you two female opponents who would be displayed on the screen in various stages of undress as the game progressed. For the truly hard-up, one of these opponents was guaranteed to be dumb, and therefore sure to lose each hand. According to the ad, the images the program displayed were so stimulating they could not be reproduced in the magazine. (where have we heard that one before?) When I read that ad, a chill ran down my spine. Not because of its pedestrian brand of sexism. Women are still portrayed primarily as sex objects by advertisers and the media but, while that's objectionable, it's hardly shocking news. What blew me away was the suggestion that someone should obtain sexual satisfaction by taking off his clothes in front of his COMPUTER. Now that's kinky! Maybe Weizenbaum was right. Is this where ELIZA leads? @Begin(Cynicism) Not to be outdone, I have designed my own offering in the category of "sexual substitutes for the socially inept." Remember those inflatable, anatomically correct dolls you see advertised in the back of the sleazier magazines? The ones that are guaranteed washable, with vibrating fingers $15 extra? Here's my idea: let's modernize the sex doll business with microprocessor technology. If vibrating fingers are worth $15, how much would your average loser pay for a doll that moans "Ohhhh baaaaaaby!" (through a voice synthesizer of course) at the correct moment? A few microswitches in the right places and a microprocessor controller should do the trick. Even better, our doll would be supplied with a limited amount of intelligence (not too much, you don't want to threaten the sensitive male ego) so that it could RESPOND interactively with lines like "I love it when you touch my like that." Now, here's the best part: we make the doll programmable. Have it plug into your customer's home computer (except if it's an Atari), and he can program it to call him by name. ("Oh , you're such a man!") But the real reason you want it to attach to the home computer is so that you can sell sexual fantasy cartridges with catchy names like "The Naughty Maid" and "Bondage Slave" that program the doll to play a particular role. I know the computer-as-sexual-substitute theme has been around for a while; the movie Westworld showed human beings having sex with robots that were indistinguishable from human beings. But my proposal is practical, requiring only a few hundred dollars of off-the-shelf electronics and some modest programming effort. (Slogan: "We don't just sell software, we sell sexware.") One catch: would an electronic sex doll have to be UL listed? @End(Cynicism) I hope no one takes this idea seriously. -- Dave ------------------------------ Date: 29 Nov 1982 0254-PST From: Henry W. Miller Subject: Video Games in Nursing homes I'm all for it. My mother spent the majority of her last 12 years of her life in a rest home. Although it was one of the best homes in the state, I found it very depressing. Too many of the folks vere vegetating. With a video game, it requires mental and physical dexterity. Such use would tend to keep a patient at their peak. (Of course, my Great Aunt Pearl is still going strong at 103 (104 now, maybe) by knitting mittens for the orphans in Detroit...) When I was a teenager, I was one of those Pinball Wizards: I could play all night on a single quarter. These new video games have me stumped. I've never made it past the first board on PACMAN or Donkey Kong, although I have fared well with Tempest and Centipede. It irks me that a 10 year old can challenge me and win. (Let me get the little so-and-so on a pinball machine, and we'll see what happens...) I think that using such stimuli as video games would help keep the old folks active, which is good. (I scored 139000 on Tempest today...) -HWM ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************


From: Pleasant@Rutgers (Pleasant@Rutgers) Subject: HUMAN-NETS Digest V5 #112 Newsgroups: fa.human-nets Date: 1982-12-31 04:53:35 PST HUMAN-NETS Digest Friday, 31 Dec 1982 Volume 5 : Issue 112 Today's Topics: Computers and People - WorldNet (3 msgs) & Productivity of Word-Processors, Technology - Looming Technology (5 msgs) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sunday, 28 November 1982, 19:53-EST From: Vinayak Wallace Subject: The changing face of Micro-computing... From: William "Chops" Westfield Subject: The changing face of Micro-computing... Microcomputing is changing. Is it getting better or worse ? Yes. Used to be, no two systems were alike. If you wanted to sell software, it had to be configurable for just about anything. And the people who bought it would have to know how to configure it. That answer was not facetious. The future will bring both good and bad results of this trend. What you will make of it (on the overall) depends on your background and orientation. We (meaning the CPM hackers who've used it for more than a year (that's all!)), are indeed hackers -- we know the system to a greater detail than most (> 90%) of the microcomputer users out there. We've grown up with them, and are used to thinking of them as toys which need great amounts of care and attention. Modifying the source code is not a problem -- in fact, to us, it's a feature. We get just what we want. After a while, we hardly count the minutes it takes to compile a version with the equates set correctly. Just doing that (running an assembler) is beyond not just the skill but the interest of this "normal" microcomputer user. He's been sold a tool by a salesman, and he wants to use it, not customize it. In essence, he wants a pinto or a civic, NOT an xj7 or low-rider. Nowadays, things are a lot different. You can pick one of (apple, radio shack, IBM, osbourne), write software for it that won't run on anything else, and if it's any good, you become rich. How will this change the way people compute ? We're different. Ok. That doesn't mean we're bad, does it? Well, to a normal computer salesman, it does. We'd rather spend $50 on a bare board video card than 1200 on an IBM terminal. Obviously, his profit on us is lower. Especially when there are more terminal customers then there are hackers. For example, CPM remains about the only system for which lots of USEFUL public domain software is available... People with other systems pay for inferior products. Many people with CP/M will pay for a product rather than use an equivalent Public domain program... Why? Do they really get an inferior product? I no longer think so (although this problem worried me for a long while). I used to and still do think that the current situation vis. a. vis. the state of commercial software is going to bring its general quality TO US down. However the "normal" computer user likes what he gets, because it is (relatively) easy to use, and almost does what he wants. Just because WE know it's easy to make it right doesn't help him. He's still better off with an inferior product than none at all. There is a problem with this: He gets used to an inferior product and cannot trivially update. That problem probably won't get solved until a 2060 costs $.59 and has a 96-pin package. C'est la vie. Even the business CPM user doesn't want free software because, by paying for software, he's basically buying insurance. If the software breaks, he has a better chance of finding the author and getting it fixed. Also, he has a better chance of getting a working piece of code in the first place. It IS a problem for us because, as computer scientists (or whatever) used to state-of-the-art technology, we're continually frustrated by the shittyness of most commercial software. The feature of all this, on the other hand, is that pre-packaged computers, however bad, place the concept of available computation in the public eye. Children will grow up being comfortable with computers, at a level not far below where most of us probably are. They will be able to think of a computer as a flexible tool. It's too late for the parents. The question is, I guess: Is the current proliferation of many basically incompatible micro-computers going to hurt or help the WorldNet concept? Well, I don't think anything will happen until the current batch of 12-year-olds hit around 22 or so. So another 10 years. By that time, we'll have reasonable home computers with which to play anyway. As for us using CPM, well, there seems to be a pretty big batch of public domain software available to us now, even with the small number of us there is. If we continue at this rate (which we won't -- there'll be more, just wait) then we'll still be well off. We have compilers and utilities and games .... and in general, better toys than the "real world." Perhaps I sound elitist, but I think that it's better for everyone that they lose the way they do. That way, personal (not micro) computers don't get a bad reputation in the "marketplace," and are still around. .....Is it getting better or worse ? In a sense, it's getting worse. There is less free software per microcomputer user, and the public sense of what a microcomputer is is, in our minds, warped. However, there IS a lot of software there. And it's getting better in that there are more incentives for businesses to develop new products, and by the time hardware technology gets to the point that the "average" user will accept the programs we want, he'll also be ready to accept the KIND of services we want. Be patient, Bill. We'll win in the end. ------------------------------ Date: 30 Nov 82 16:10:18-EST (Tue) From: Gene Spafford Subject: CrossTalk William Westfield made a statement in Vol. 5 #108 about CrossTalk only working on IBM Pc's -- that is an error. Les Freed, the author of CrossTalk, is a friend of mine and I am all too aware of how many different systems it runs on (about 30 now). One of Les' biggest headaches is maintaining all those different versions of the same program so that they are compatible. The user interface is basically the same, and any two systems running CrossTalk can communicate with each other without having to establish a new protocol each time. It is a very nice program and runs on lots of system with minimal setup --- that's one reason why it has become such a big-selling piece of software. That's also why Les curses a lot every time a new system is released. He likes the business but isn't too fond of the adaption. ------------------------------ Date: 28 Dec 1982 0706-PST From: Robert Maas Subject: What services should WorldNet provide to users? With the NCP --> TCP switchover coming soon, now seems like a good time to ask you all what kinds of services a WorldNet should have. The basic services that always come to mind are: Electronic mail, including not just person-to-person messages/memos but mailing lists and electronic magazines. This service could be implemented via direct link (direct dial, local-area-net, or direct satellite rebroadcast), via store and forward, or via indirect end-to-end link such as packet switching. File transfer, similarly. Remote virtual terminal (TELNET), for running programs such as games or information retrieval remotely and interactively. Except for local service which could be done by direct dial or local-area-net (and in some cases WATS lines), this would probably be done mostly by indirect link (packet switching etc.). The question I'm asking is what other types of services do we want? They could be implemented either on top of virtual circuits (for interactive services) or on top of electronic mail (for non-interactive services, you send a query and a few minutes or hours later you get a reply). Electronic mail would be preferred because direct-dial would be cost-effective immediately whereas virtual circuits would have to wait until the service bureau gets installed on a large network such as TYMNET or TELENET before many non-local users would be able to afford using it. But don't dismiss a service because you think the communications requirements would make it not cost effective. I'm looking for pipedreams at this time. All our wishes for genuine user services that are implemented either directly via the network or by cooperating programs on workstations that can occasionally send each other messages. Here are some ideas of my own: Consumer information exchange whereby consumers can exchange their experiences with various products and submit rebuttals to earlier reports; Worldwide gamemaster where players of Chess, Go, D&D, etc. can locate opponents for games at the same level of skill at any time of day or night and then conduct games over the net; Catalogs of musical tunes with recognizer software so somebody with a tune running thru hir mind can ask the computer to "name that tune"; Inventory of second-hand merchandise, with bidding on price, so that people who were about to throw away something no longer wanted can sell it conveniently instead without having to spend a day at a flea market or hold a "garage sale"; Computerized-conferencing (including debate) on any random subject, including a "computer dating" system to set up discussion groups in the first place; A new-idea consideration network where anyone with an apparently good idea can pass it around for criticism (it may have flaws, or may have been thought of before, or it may actually be a brilliant new idea). So anyway, let's have all your ideas, all several-hundred-odd members, huh? Send quick stuff that comes to your mind immediately, before the NCP --> TCP switchover. Save the rest for whenever TCP comes up on our favorite hosts in 1983. (I.e. either get it to me before Dec 31, or you'll have to wait a while before we're back in communication.) I'd like to collect the best of the ideas that are sent to me, organize them a little, and forward the resultant listing to HUMAN-NETS when it is back in service next year. FROM:37'28N122'08W415-323-0720, about 3 miles from Stanford ------------------------------ Date: 21 Dec 82 13:51:12-EST (Tue) From: David Axler Subject: Getting Management Involved w/Word Processors One of the more inventive notions used recently to get management more directly involved w/word processing is the design of terminals that don't look like terminals. A few months back, I met someone whose brother is now working for a small Boston firm (don't recall which, alas) that's designing a new mini-terminal, about the size of a cigar box, with useful semi-intelligent capabilities like remembering phone numbers of the machines you use, etc. The box plugs directly into your mini-phone jack, so you don't need a modem. The friend had brought one of these gadgets along to play with, which I did. When I complained that the small size eliminated easy typing, I was told that this was actually intentional -- it was felt that managerial types tend to assume that anything that looks too much like a typewriter (or at least has a key- board that looks like a typewriter keyboard) in matters like key size and overall shape should be given to their secretaries, and not used by important individuals like themselves. Interesting notion.... Dave Axler (axler.upenn @ udel-relay) ------------------------------ Date: 21 December 1982 08:51-EST From: Robert Elton Maas Subject: Computers and Weaving (yes, really!) Gee, how long has it been since the Jacquard Loom predated the Hollerith punchcard? It's about time somebody uses a computer to emulate the result of the loom in order to debug loom programs! Congratulations to whoever finally did it! Next step, write a program to go the other way, given desired pattern, compute whether it's possible to loom it and if so the best way to do it (the one with the fewest complexities together with strongest most interlocking structure). ------------------------------ Date: 21 Dec 1982 1048-MST From: Walt Subject: Re: Computers and Weaving (yes, really!) La plus ca change, la plus c'est le meme chose. The Jacquard loom was supposedly one of the things that inspired Babbage's work. ------------------------------ Date: 21 Dec 1982 1116-PST From: Pierre MacKay Subject: automated weaving patterns I suspect that the old punched card of the Jacquard system is still the commonest way of transferring a pattern to the actual fabric. (This is usually given as the lineal ancestor of the Hollerith punched card.) The last few places I have happened to visit--entirely by accident, it is not my thing at all-- had the same old clatter of punched cards running in 1982 as might have been seen in 1882. Since you can't drive a spun fiber faster than a certain maximum, there may be no very good reason to change from punched cards (metal cards in this case) to newer technology. I admit that a floppy disk would be quieter, however. The cards make an awful racket. Pierre MacKay ------------------------------ Date: 22 Dec 82 3:19:40-EST (Wed) From: Ron Natalie Subject: Loomings... History fans will also note that the Punched Cards used to control the Jacquard loom predate Hollerith by a bit. -Ron ------------------------------ Date: 25 Dec 1982 1936-PST From: GRANGER.RS at UCI-20A Subject: Weaving I'll bet some of you don't know the derivation of the word "system:" it comes from the greek "syn-" (together with) and "histemai" (to weave!). From this bit of etymology I conclude that weavers were the first true systems people -- our primordial ancestors. ------------------------------ End of HUMAN-NETS Digest ************************