SpeakUp with Sundial Systems from 08/06/2001

<Walter While we're waiting I got a question for Rollin.
<rollin Go for it.
<Walter This afternoon JunkSpy quit accepting mail or whatever it does again. I thought it was my ISP, but I checked with my wife she could still get mail. When I took JunkSpy "out of the loop" then I started getting mail.
<rollin What exactly happens? Does Junk Spy report an error or your email program?
<Walter This seems to be the LAN problem I've been experiencing for awhile. Have you made progress tracking it down?
<rollin I'm not sure what LAN problem you're refering to. Refresh my memory.
<Walter PMMAil tries to connect and after awhile jus times out.
<Walter I believe I mentioned it at the last Speakup when you came. Is there some long I could have generated to help track this thing.
<rollin There is an advanced debug log we can turn on, but let's do a little trouble shooting first.
<rollin Looking back through the old email I have, have you added an entry to your \mptn\etc\hosts file for your new LAN IP address?
<Walter Rollin, I've got a large number of IP's in the HOSTS file.
<rollin Including your computer? Do you still get the error message when Junk Spy starts or is that resovled?
<Walter No, that problem is resolved. Junkspy doesn't give me any error messages.
<rollin Ok, I will email you a set of steps to do the next time the problem occurs. How often does it occur? What does it take to fix it a reboot?
<Randell Walter, as a side note, let me remind you and others that you don't need to wait for a chat like this one to resolve those kind of issues...
<Randell Just send them along anytime to junkspy@sundialsystems.com
<Randell Well... since we have sort of gotten started with that... shall we get started?
<Walter It varies a lot. Sometimes it can go for months and be fine; other times it can fail several times in a month. The real problem is when it goes down, there is no know way to get it going again! A simple reboot doesn't do it. Restarting both JunkSpy and PMMail doesn't either. I *think* reinstalling JUNKSPY may do it but its been awhile since I tried it.
<rollin Ok, I'm emailing you now with several suggestions.
<Walter So let's officially start the meeting.
<Randell Great! I apologize for the fact that we don't have a specific topic for tonight...
<Walter This evening we are privileged to have Rollin and Randell from Sundial Systems on hand for our meeting.
<Walter I'll now turn the meeting over them.
<Randell Thanks Walter!
<Randell We tried hard to come up with something specific for tonight but nothing really seemed to fit will...
<Randell So we're basically going to open it up for "random access" questions and answers on anything Sundial related...
<madodel0 So nothing new in the Sundial stable in the immediate future?
<Randell A bit later we're going to test out something we may use more in future chats... but we'll get to that later.
<Randell madodel0, well... not much "new" that we haven't already talked about some...
<Randell We are continuing toward the release of ClikClok that we talked about in the last chat...
<Mok Define "ClikClok", please.
<Randell but it's not close enough to release to concentrate on tonight.
<Sector !ask clikclok
<VoiceBot [clikclok] For a preview of Sundial's latest project see http://www.sundialsystems.com/clikclok/clikclokpreview.html (madodel)
<Randell Mok, it's a "graphical clock of the world" type of program... and, yes, see the preview from last time (and the log of the last chat) for details.
<Randell We're also still working on the next major version of Relish...
<Randell We had a preview of that on a VOICE chat many months ago...
<crimso Relish? Great!
<Randell but it's also not yet to the point that we are ready to talk about the release in any detail.
<Randell We're also working on relatively minor update for JunkSpy and Mesa in the short term...
<Walter I plan my life around Relish.
<Randell those are essentially maintainence releases.
<Mok ...but you can't talk about those either?
<Walter Please tell me you'll fix that bug that's bugging me in JunkSpy. :-)
<Randell Mok... since they are mostly minor, internal changes, there's not much to talk about in any detail.
<Randell Longer term we'll also still working on possible future versions of Clearlook, DBExpert, and the Rover Pack... but we have not mapped out the detailed plans for any of those at this time.
<Randell The Relish release is the most significant one we are working on at the moment...
<Randell It's a relatively large, feature rich, enhancement.
<madodel0 Any you can mention now?
<Randell The most interesting "big thing" in my mind is that it will support the Relish Net group calendaring features...
<Randell both "out of the box" (so to speak) and via TCP/IP connections...
<Randell So you could, for instance have a Relish Net server for a geographically distributed group of people.
<Randell And all they would need to connect to it would be normal internet connectivity.
<Mok Kinda like a VPN sorta thingy?
<Randell You still get all the benefits of "automatic" sync between your machine and the server...
<Randell And you have full access to your own info even when you aren't connected to the net.
<Randell Mok, kinda, but it doesn't need any VPN software since it uses our private protocol between the workstation and server software.
<Randell Theres also a new "sliding week" view that allows you to see "the next 7 days" rather than just a specific week.
<Randell And that view allows you some flexibility to do things like "the last n days plus the next m days".
<Walter That sounds like a very useful feature.
<Randell We've also make the idea of a "week" more flexible some of our worldwide customers in countries where the week starts on Monday rather than Sunday for instance.
<madodel0 I remember someone asking about that at a Speakup with sundial a long time ago
<Randell And our Lookup views (that let you search for values) gain the ability to handle "or" conditions across fields and allow you to search the attached memos as well.
<Randell madodel0, yes, we take the comments we get from these Speakups (and other sources) seriously and try to factor them all into our product plans...
<Randell though we know we will never be able to address everyone's every desire.
<Sector That's ok, you do more then most
<Randell There's a bunch more stuff being added to Relish... but that will be the topic for some future Speakup when we are close to release.
<Randell So, back to questions... any specific questions, comments, requests (Sundial-related) out there?
<Sector Any plans to offer more then POP3 connectivity to JunkSpy (aol for example)
<Randell Rollin, you want to take that one?
<rollin AOL != POP3!
<rollin We're looking at issues around AOL and web based email services
*  Sector knows someone who would have purchased it if it had of worked with aol...
<rollin But nothing specific has been decided yet.
<rollin I know millions of AOL users who would like it, but the AOL protocol is very proprietary.
<Randell The main problem with AOL is that the don't publish their protocol.
<crimso Like Real...
<Randell crimso, yes.
<Randell Most of our JunkSpy users on the chat are probably aware of the issue... but, Rollin, why don't you comment a little about the current issue with the external detectors that Junk Spy uses.
<rollin There are external services that Junk Spy uses to add to it's own detection scheme.
<rollin One of them closed recently and the database was moved to a new organization orbl.org.
<rollin The other two are maintained by mail-abuse.org and have decided to require a contract with EVERYONE that is using their service.
<rollin As a result of the various changes we recently suggested that users disable all external detectors to keep their life simple.
<crimso You mean not only the vendors of software, but also the users?
<rollin We're working on a solution to allow all Junk Spy users to use RBL and RSS from mail-abuse.org without individually having to sign contracts.
<Randell crimso, yes.
<rollin Crimso, correct. It's mostly aimed at corporations using their lists, but it affects individuals too.
<rollin So, hopefully the dust will settle soon and in the end you'll have the same or better results from external detectors.
<Randell The good news is that Junk Spy still works great even without the external detectors turned on.
<Walter It also works a lot faster!
<rollin :) True.
<Randell Most Junk Spy detection is based on checking the content of the junk mail against our clue database... and the external detectors are mostly a "backup" to that.
<Walter I found those external services often really slowed down processing mail.
<Sector Works well without the external detectors
<rollin It turns out to vary sinificantly from DNS server to DNS server. We've done some tests and found them to add less thatn 1%. We've tested with others and seen 30% increase.
<Randell Walter, yes, that can happen... and as Rollin says it really depends on the DNS server provided by your ISP...
<Randell but we have a plan (not for the short term but later) that we feel will get around most of that as well.
<crimso Maybe you could persuade the database providers to give their IPs?
<Randell crismo, I'm not quite sure I understood that comment.
<rollin Crimso, we don't really want to be in the business of maintaining the databases. They change daily, and that's not the area we're interested in. That's why use other's resources. There are other lists too, if things don't work out with these.
<crimso Well, if the external database providers handed you/the user the IP, DNS would not be required.
*  Sector doesn't use the DNS server provided by the ISP...
<MADeCS Where do the these databases get their information?
<crimso Or would it?
<rollin MADeCS, it varies from list to list. One actively probes mail servers, another is a list of dial-up address, and a third is based on submitted input.
<Randell crimso, even if we had complete control of the database (which we don't want), the protocol used to access them today would still be dependent on your DNS.
<crimso Randell: I see.
<Randell MADeCS, the key, however, is that all of these lists are updated VERY dynamically.
<crimso rollin: Can you explain this a bit more in detail?
<rollin Which part?
<crimso I mean the "dialup address" and "actively probes mail servers".
<Sector Checking for open relay's
<rollin ORBL has a list of known mail servers. Periodically, they try to send a message though each server much the way a spammer might. If it works, they send a message to the administrator telling them their server is misconfigured.
<rollin The dial-up list checks for a special type of server-to-server connection that wouldn't normally happen fron a dial-up connection. Thus if it does happen, it is suspected as a spammer.
<Walter Do you find that spammers are getting more sophisticated in their methods?
<rollin Not as much as I had expected. A small percentage of them are, but still only a small percentage of what is possible.
<Walter That's good news.
<Sector Don't give them any ideas...
<rollin Spammers are generally lazy.
<Randell Wlater, the real issue is that more and more people/companies/etc are sending spam.
<Randell Thus the OVERALL sophistication is decreasing.
<crimso Walter: On the other hand it means that they are not afraid of the authorities.
<Randell So, overall it seems that it's actually becoming a bit easier for Junk Spy to catch larger amounts of spam...
<Randell since more and more spammers are doing things in very unsophisticated ways.
<Randell Other questions?
<crimso Hm, I think I heard that spamming was illegal in the US or at least some states. Don't they fear they get caught?
<rollin It's kind-of-sort-of illegal in some states, but I've seen very few news stories about enforcement.
<rollin Most of these guys are your average joe who bought some spamming software and have no idea about the big picture.
<Walter When I purchase software online, the vendor always asks for a certain amount of personal info--usually more than I would like to give, really. Regardless of the vendor's claims of treating my information confidentially, can I really be sure the info won't wind up on some spammer's list?
<Randell Walter, absolutely not!
<crimso Well, one should think that the vendors of spamming software should get into trouble at least.
<rollin It depends on who they are. We're actually starting to do some experiments to track if any of these big companies are the source of spam.
<Walter So what do I do--not buy anything online?
<crimso Yahoo is, definitely.
<Randell crimso, the definition of what is and isn't spam is still a bit gray legally...
<MADeCS A lot of the time I can't figure out what they are even trying to promote with spam. Does anyone actually respond to that junk?
<Randell Walter, no, it just like the issue of getting physical junk mail when you give our your physical address... you just have to accept it and use tools like Junk Spy to manage it.
<rollin MADeCS, you'd be suprised. There are enough ignorant users out there that don't know any better and go ahead and respond. Think your mother or grand mother.
<Randell MADeCS, yes, they do. It may only be a very small percentage... but when you are sending thousands of message virtually for free that small response is still more than worth the effort.
<Randell Another question?
<crimso Hm, your software is running too well here. :-)
<rollin Good!
<Randell crimso, Thank you!
<crimso Well, I'm the one who has to thank, since I won it all last December.
<crimso I couldn't do without Relish.
<Randell crimso, I think I can guess why, but why don't you tell us why that it?
<crimso I could say it kind of saved my life sometimes.
<Randell That's a strong statement!
<crimso As my brain is like a sieve sometimes, I tend to forget very important dates/mettings.
<crimso mettings=meetings
<Randell Have you tried other reminder programs in the past and Relish just works "better" for you... or is Relish your first try at using that type of product?
<crimso No, I tried about two before, Excal and something else I can't remember now.
<crimso I guess I would have bought Relish anyway.
<Randell Great! I'm glad to hear that Relish make a difference... others have told us that as well.
<Randell Now on to somethin a bit different...
<crimso Excal is also nice, but lacks some features and was quite unstable on my system.
<Randell Since I've started asking questions....
<Randell We'd like to try out something we've been working on that we might you in future chats.
<Randell Think of it as an on-line survey tool that lets us capture answers dynamically and use them in the chat.
<Randell It' nothing sophisticated, but it provides a better way of doing things than trying to capture answers from the chat text.
<Randell This particular time we going to use it to ask you a few general questions about your use of OS/2 and other things... nothing specifically Sundial related.
<Randell Rollin, you have the details, correct?
<rollin Yes, the URL to go to is http://www.sundialsystems.com/voicesurvey.html
<rollin Once you've answered the survey you'll see the results. You can also check the results wihout voting at http://www.sundialsystems.com/cgi-bin/vviewsurvey.cmd
<rollin The idea is for everyone in the chat to be able to get immediate feedback about everyone else's responses.
<crimso Looks like I'm the first to finish it. 100% everywhere.
<Randell crimso, hit the Reload button on your browser to see the update results... we didn't include that automation in today's test.
<crimso Randell: ok, already done it.
<crimso 66% belong to another user grouop besides VOICE. That's interesting.
<rollin I'm surprised at the answers to the Netscape question.
<crimso Mozilla and Links here.
<Randell Rollin, I'm surprised about the Netscape one as well.
<crimso I guess you'd be surprised how many people still use Netscape 2.02.
<rollin Looks like everyone's had a chance to respond?
<rollin I know I do, I just didn't expect many others did.
<Randell For those of you that are members of other user groups, I'm curious if they are other OS/2-related groups (like SCOUG or POSSI) or non-OS/2 groups or both?
<crimso OS/2-related: Team OS/2 Ruhr in Germany.
<MADeCS I've been a mmber of POSSI for several years
<Walter POSSI, I think, :-) and local OS/2 user group
<Randell Overall, computer user groups are really struggling these days... but OS/2 groups seem still to be stronger than many others. That seems confirmed by this.
<Randell Are any of you a member of any non-OS/2 user group?
<crimso Depends on what you call a "user group"...
<Walter No, what would be the point. :-)
<Randell crimso, give me an example...
<Walter I'm an OS/2'er through and through.
<Randell As for the "always on" internet connection, I'm curious about the people that answered No...
<Walter On vacation probably. :-( Probably not the best date for a Speakup as it turns out.
<Randell Is it because no "always on" connection is available in your area or is it because you don't feel the need for it.
<crimso Well, I contacted German Telekom last year. They said "You can have DSL in February". A while later I received a letter telling me "February 2002".
<Walter I guess you need to add another question. "If no, ...."
<Randell Walter, like I said earlier, this was kind of an experiment...
<Sector Not available around here (as far as cable modems and DSL go anyways)
<Randell crimso, thanks!
<crimso But I'll soon get a glass fibre/radio connection to my university. They said it would be faster than DSL. :-)
<Walter Does your tool allow for more than "Yes" or "No" answers?
<Randell Walter, yes... we wanted to try this one with strict yes/no answers rather than multiple choice or other things.
<Walter Then this experiment should give you an idea of when the multiple choice would be particularly useful.
<rollin Well thank you guys for particpating in the survey. I think it was a success, and I think it provided a little material for discussion.
<Randell Walter, yep! That's one of the goals we had... along with seen how detailed we needed to make the questions...
<Randell The idea was to get a base to further the discussion.
<Randell "This has been a test of the Sundial Systems VOICE Chat Survey System... had this been an actual survey..."
<Randell As Rollin said, thanks for participating.
<Randell I think that about wraps it up for us for tonight!
<Randell I'm not sure at this point what the plan might be for our October chat since the date would normally be the Monday just before Warpstock...
<rollin If there are any lingering questions PLEASE email us.
<Walter OK, well thanks for stopping by and giving us a tantalizing taste of things to come.
<Randell and we might not be available that day... so we'll work that out as we get closer.
<Randell Walter, thanks for having us... it was a pleasure as usual.
<Sector The pleasure is ours
<rollin Have a good evening everyone!
<crimso Thanks for coming!
<Walter Thanks, and the same to you!