by Andy Eddy
As we noted last month, the ST contingent on Delphi has been moved to a separate area. You may access the new ST SIG by typing "ST" at the Group > prompt. Here's how the entry to the ST area looks (thanks to Maurice Molyneaux (MAURICEM) for the logo).
welcomes you to the DELPHI Atari ST SIG Announcements Request Free Upload Conference Set Preferences Databases Topic Descriptions Entry Log Who's Here Forum (Messages) Workspace MAIL (Electronic) Help Member Directory Exit Poll Atari ST>What do you want to do?
The menu is much the same as in the 8-bit area, so familiarity should reign. For obvious reasons, the topics within the ST SIG—for forum messages and database entries—have been changed from the topics in the ANALOG/Atari SIG. Here's what we've got to work with now:
General Information Desktop Publishing Applications Educational Games & Entertainment Telecommunications Art News & Reviews Programming Current Issue Utilities Recent Arrivals Sound & Graphics
The recent "recent arrivals" arrival
On the list, you'll see a category called "Recent Arrivals." This category was requested by popular demand (as voted on by the masses after a Poll was created to settle the debate), based on MADMODIFIER's (Lloyd Pulley) recommendation.
His view was that with all the topics available, it could take a while to select a topic, run through the entries until you caught up with your last search, repeat the process with the next section, and so on. With a Recent Arrivals area, you have to pop only into that section for new files; if you're looking for older entries, they can be found in their designated areas. Files will only reside in the Recent Arrivals topic for a couple of weeks, at the most, giving everyone a chance to scan and download them from there.
The "Applications" topic will cover most of what was in the "ST Programs" area prior to the split; the other topic names are mostly self-explanatory. Keep in mind that we are always looking for new public domain files to offer to our online visitors, so if you get an interesting or helpful file from another user or local BBS (or have written it by yourself), please submit it to us for inclusion in the libraries.
Okay! I submit!
If you are new to submitting software, it can be somewhat intimidating. Here's an overview of the process:
The first thing to do is request time for uploading. Most of the major online services now offer free uploading, as an incentive to building up the software libraries. In Delphi's case, they prefer to keep file repetition down to a minimum by having the SIG managers confirm what a user is going to upload and when. To request free time, simply type "REQUEST FREE UPLOAD" (or "REQ" for short) at the main SIG prompts—that's what I love about Delphi: its easy-tounderstand, English command set. Completing a short online form will leave a note for the SIG manager, who will then set up an appointment (based on your request form). After the appointment is logged in, you'll get a confirmation through E-mail.
After you're given the go-ahead, the next step is to upload the file to your Workspace. Entering "WOR" (short for WORKSPACE) at either the ANALOG > or Atari ST> prompt will bring you there This Workspace is where Delphi stores your mail file (MAIL.MAI) and large mail messages, and where you can store files and messages of interest. This is your personal storage area and no one else has access to it. Remember there is a charge for storage over 50 blocks (Delphi's blocks are 512 bytes in size), which is billed at the start of each month, so be sure you frequently peruse your Workspace and delete unwanted files. To get the current charges, type "RAT POL" (short for RATES POLICY) from the "Using Delphi" selection off the main menu; at the time of this writing, the surcharge was 16 cents for every two additional blocks.
The actual transfer of the file(s) will be taken care of by your terminal software Virtually all commercial telecommunications packages—Flash! and Interlink for the ST, for example, are very popular and strongly recommended—are programmed for a variety of protocols, as there are many methods of doing this: ASCII (for text files), Xmodem, Ymodem (for binary files), Ymodem Batch, Kermit (for multiple file transfers), etc. Further information on these can be found by typing "OTHER" and "NEW" at the WS> prompt. Make sure you use the same transfer protocol as you select from the Workspace menu.
Once the file resides in your Workspace, you are ready to move it to the databases. From any Database topic prompt or the WS > prompt, type "SUB" (short for SUBMIT) and follow the prompts—just be sure when you submit, that you are in the SIG the file should be posted in. Figure 1 shows a sample submission, with my entries in capital letters and notations in [ ].
Holding out until the house is finished
Once that procedure is completed, don't fret if your file and description are not immediately visible in the selected area. The reason for this is that it will first go to a holding area for checking by the Sysops. This ensures that the file is not a duplication of another user's entry and that the file is intended for public viewing. Once this previewing is completed, the file will be moved into the public areas for all to see.
Name: SUBMISSION RUN-THROUGH Type: MISCELLANEOU Date: 21-APR-1988 21:14 by ANAL0G2 Size: 8034 Count: 0 THIS IS A TEXT FILE OF HOW TO SUBMIT FILES FOR THE DATABASES. . . Topic: News & Reviews Keywords: OTHER, TEXT, SAMPLE
One more thing to note: When you're finished with your transfer and submission process, you'll have some free time to peruse the area and download some files on our nickel. Consider this a reward for your hard work. The databases are one of the most heavily accessed areas of any SIG, which means an investment return for the SIG managers. Your contribution is valuable to everyone, especially if the program is one that helps the users save time or accomplish something they normally couldn't as easily. A good example is Charles F. Johnson's (CFJ) Arc-Shell program (originally published in the April 1987 ST-Log, but it has gone through a number of substantial upgrades since that time), which frees you from remembering the parameters to enter into ARC.TTP.
Let your fingers do the talking
We're doing our best to bring some of the major ST software developers online for product support and formal conferences. The latter lets the users conduct a press conference, with the manufacturer in the hot seat. By the time you read this, we'll most likely have had representatives from Michtron, FTL and Atari in CO (the abbreviation for conference) to tackle your questions in real-time.
To keep up with the events of this sort and when they will take place in the Atari SIGs, be sure to read the brief notices that come up when you enter. As well, there is an Announcements area that lets you read through these notices. By typing "AN" at either the ANALOG > or Atari ST > prompts, you can pick a specific area—Conference, Database, etc—to read what is developing.
The most active of these areas is the What's New section, which contains the brief messages you see at entry to a SIG. Typing "SCAN" will show the list of messages, in case you missed them the first time. Generally these messages are shown to a user once and not repeated.
We've covered a lot of ground this session. Till next month, C U online. . . .
How many files will you be submitting? 1 [Files can be grouped; for example, a few picture files may belong under one description.] Which of the following BEST describes the file(s) you are submitting: Program or Program Pack Newsletter Article(s) Transcript Documentation Data (Graphics, etc.) Miscellaneous Text Filetype: MIS Topic? NEWS [Hitting a ? here would bring a list of the topics, but we are targeting the News and Reviews section.] Enter a BRIEF description of the file you are submitting. Press control-Z when complete or type /HELP for help. THIS IS A TEXT FILE OF HOW TO SUBMIT FILES FOR THE DATABASES. . . ^Z Primary Keyword: ? [This ? gives a list of available keywords for the topic you entered.] The file you are submitting for publication in News & Reviews must be given one of the following PRIMARY keywords: Games Utilities Applications Programming Other Primary Keyword: OTHER Primary Keyword: Other You may now supply any optional keyword(s) of your choice, subject to review by the database manager. Please enter one keyword or phrase per line, and enter a blank line or CTRL/Z when complete. >TEXT >SAMPLE > Workspace filename: TEST.txt Now enter the "name" of the file as you wish it to appear in the directory. Display Name: SUBMISSION RUN-THROUGH Please wait. Would you like the file "TEST.TXT" deleted from your workspace? (Y/N) Y Your submission is complete. Thank you.
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