WAPR News - June 2001

By Andy Nemec, KB9ALN

Welcome to summer, I hope it treats you well. Now that the warm weather is here, I hope you aren't spending all of your free away from your packet station. You don't have to leave it at home these days, either. If s easier than ever to put a portable packet station together, taking it with you can be a good deal of fun, too.

Last month 1 reported that Larry, WD9ESU was back on the air after his tower was blown down in March. It seems like his reappearance was all too brief - Larry has his entire setup (with the exception of the computer) up for sale. Some of it has been sold, but he still has a few pieces left. As of now, he does not expect to return to the air.

Which is sad news, indeed. As was mentioned last month, Larry's station has been a vital part of the Wisconsin Network for a very long time. As far back as I can remember, his node and BBS in Lodi were seen on node lists even up in here Northeastern Wisconsin. This even goes back to the days of the old 1200 bps VHF backbone on 145.010 MHz. Larry also had a great deal to do with the old WINFR stack in North Freedom, Wisconsin. Packet operators who have spent a lot of years at the keyboard certainly remember seeing both node aliases on then-local node lists, and a lot of them have probably used these nodes or checked out his BBS.

I have fond memories of keyboard chats I had some years ago with a ham friend who was in his first year at UW Madison. When band conditions were right, he could utilize the gateway at the university to gain access to the packet network. He would then make his way up to Green Bay. Larry's nodes made that possible, he was one of many who use their free time and facilities to be part of a working packet network.

I hope you'll join me in thanking Larry for. his years of dedication, work, frustration and money that he's put into rnantaining a great BBS and node stack. You can drop him a line at [email protected].

As of now, we are all scrambling in an effort to fill the gap, that Larry's absence creates. The Wisconsin DEM packet station has a shaky path into parts of the network, but could use more nodes to make the network connections solid. Then there is the business of making the network complete for the rest of us. As I learn more about any efforts in this area, ill pass them along.

On to something else - note that this month; there is a short article for newer users concerning addressing of personal messages and bulletins. If you've ever wondered about the "correct" -way to address a message for the BBS network, you may want to read this one, even if you're well familiar with BBS mail.

That's all for news for this month.-If you have any news concerning packet to report, feel free to send it to one -of the ad* dresses at the top of this page.

Until next rime, 73 from Andy.

A BBS Mail Primer by Andy Nemec, KB9ALN

These days it is easier than ever to send E-Mail anywhere in the world. This is really nothing entirely new; amateurs have been doing that amongst themselves for a long time. A worldwide network of Public Bulletin Board Systems (Stations) made it possible.

Folks who are relatively new to packet may not be familiar with the particulars of how to properly address a piece of personal mail or a flood message so that it can be forwarded to it's destination by the BBS network. Well start by discussing personal mail.

As with any electronic mail, the person who will eventually receive it needs to have an address, of course. Packet operators have an address that consists of their call sign, an @ (at) symbol, and then the address of the BBS where they will be receiving their mail. This is referred to as the recipient's "Home BBS'.

Each BBS is know by ifs call-sign and what's called a "hierarchical address". This consists of an optional region or city code, a state code, a country code, and a continent code. These codes are separated by periods and are easy to make sense of. Lefs take a look at my address:

[email protected]#GRB.Wl.USA.NOAM

Now lets pick it apart KB9ALN is the recipient. Coincidentally, KB9ALN is also the call-sign of the BBS, as I operate this BBS. #GRB is the city code, meaning Green Bay. Region or City codes are always "prefaced by a #.

If I were located in central Wisconsin, this would probably be the" region code of #CWI. Next comes the state code of WI. Then we get the country' code of USA, followed by the continent code of NOAM for North America.

Naturally, other users can and do receive mail on my BBS if they'd like. Lets say I have a user of WX9ABC. This operator's address would be [email protected]#GRB.W1.USA. NOAM.

Here's one for you to figure out. [email protected]#WONT.ONT.CA.NOAM The addressee is VA3ABCD. He or she gets mail at the VE3DEFG BBS in Western Ontario, Canada, in North America. If you wanted to send mail to this person, you would type the line:

S [email protected]#WONT.ONT.CA.NOAM

Then to BBS would prompt you for a subject, and once you entered it, you'd be prompted to enter the message and instructed how to end it.

Flood Messages (AKA Bulletins)

Flood messages, commonly referred to as Bulletins, are special cases that require special addressing. Instead of sending a message to a particular person, you are intending to reach a group of people over a wide area. Addressing such messages takes a different syntax.

The general rule of thumb is to address it to a subject or topic of interest, @ (at) the area or destination you want to reach. If you type this to send a message:

S [email protected] - you are directing this message to people interested "for sale" items all over the Untied States (ALLUSA). If you type this:

S [email protected] - you are sending a "for sale" message all over the world S [email protected] - sends a "for sate" message all over Wisconsin.

The general rule of thumb is to send it as [email protected] You can also send a message to all users of a particular BBS. Typing this on a BBS:

S [email protected]#GRB.WI.USA.NOAM - will send a message to all users of the KB9ALN BBS.

Common Mistakes:

One mistake I frequently see is [email protected] AM-SAT is not a destination, it is an organization. It is far better to send it to [email protected], or perhaps [email protected] Of course, @WW or @ALLWI are valid, too, depending on where you want your flood message to go.

Another common mistake is really not so much of a mistake as a cause for confusion. BBSs will often list message categories you can view, and some of them will not make any sense, or be variations of others already on the BBS.

For example, 4SALE and SALE are the same thing - why not just use SALE? It's one fewer tiling to type. The same goes for 6-MET, SIX-M, 50MHZ and 6METR - look on the BBS for other messages using one of these and select that topic. Perhaps, well achieve some land of ad-hoc standardization if we stick to the most common abbreviations.

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