Thu, 12 Jan 2012

TDS Telecom

Today, I filed a complaint with the FCC against my telephone company, tds telecom.

Two months ago, TDS started charging what they call a "Two party Processing" fee in the amount of $2.90 if you pay your telephone bill with your telephone!

You won't be charged this fee if you pay by credit or debit card on their web site, and you won't be charged this fee if you pay by check via postal mail.

I WON"T pay on their website. The last time we did that, we were overcharged a month's billing... what crooks!

posted at: 15:11 | path: /technical | permanent link to this entry | 0 comments | "

Tue, 02 Aug 2011


Mood: smiling

You know it's summer when kids get together and put up a lemonade stand. Boy do I wish I lived closer to Ithaca!!

posted at: 18:27 | path: /technical | permanent link to this entry | 0 comments | "

Wed, 29 Jun 2011

FidoNet Mailers 101

What you need to know...

Basically, Fidonet uses two or three type mailers

1. Frontdoor type mailers are called arcmail attach mailers.. this is because netmail messages are used to transport archives of say netmail or echomail, as "attaches" to the netmail message. Every time you create a packet, a netmail message is created with an attach for your packet, for instance:

Packet name: d7347ec8.we1 is shown as an attach to 6725520.msg


Phil Kimble
29 Jun 11  00:00:04
INTL 1:128/2 1:261/38

Arcmail attach mailers like FrontDoor use one outbound for all zones.. so with an arcmail attach mailer, you'll see all your netmail messages in one single outbound area, regardless of the zone.

2. Other Mailer Types

We also have what we call Binkley-Outbound (BO) style mailers or FLO mailers.. these mailers use a separate outbound for each zone. They don't use netmail messages to attach the packet, rather the mailer sometimes creates a .flo file that lists all of the netmail messages that should be sent by the mailer to the destination node.

.flo files might look like this:


The BO mailer also lists the flavour of the netmail to be sent, such as crash or hold, by using a specific extension for each flavor of mail being sent out... in other words, crash netmail is shown as being listed in a .CLO (flo, but with a C), messages on hold are shown as in a .HLO file.

So.. if the list of netmail messages to be sent are listed as a .CLO file and hold messages are shown as .hlo files. binkD creates a directory under linux at least, for each node:

-rwxrwxrwx 1 bbs bbs 16 2010-09-26 02:07 0000000c.clo
-rwxrwxrwx 1 bbs bbs 16 2010-09-26 02:07 00000005.clo
because of the .clo extension the mailer knows to send that traffic immediately (crash).

BinkD is a BO style mailer in that it creates separate outbounds for each node it sends mail to.. though binkd doesn't create a .flo file listing all the netmail messages like Binkley mailer (the grandad of mailers) does, rather it creates a directory for each node it sends to.

Using an Internet Mailer like Argus or BinkD

Essentially the first thing you have to remember is to tell your BBS program and your mailer what type mail you are going to send (BO or Arcmail attach) - both the BBS program and the mailer have to match as to the type mail being sent.

If you are using ARGUS mailer, you have to decide if you want "many outbounds" (flo_mailer) or just one (ArcMail).. for many outbounds, you'd specify "FLO_MAILER" in say the sbbs.cfg file if you are running Synchronet.

Here's an example of a sbbs.cfg file of a node using a Argus in BO mode, Thanks to Robert Starr for this example:

===========cut here========start sbbsecho config==========

FLO_MAILER                                     (comment Zone 1)
LOGFILE d:\sbbs\data\logs\sbbsecho.log         (can change)
INBOUND d:\sbbs\radius\inbox\                  (comment: can change, for each ftn program)
SECURE_INBOUND d:\sbbs\radius\inbox\secure\    (comment: can change, for each ftn program)
OUTBOUND d:\sbbs\radius\outbox\                (comment: can change, for each ftn program)
DIRECT 1:261/38
PACK %!pkzip %f %s
UNPACK %!pkunzip %f %s
USEPACKER  ZIP 1:261/38 1:ALL 2:ALL 3:ALL 4:ALL 5:ALL 6:ALL 10:ALL
AREAFIX    1:261/38 ******
ROUTE_TO   1:261/38 1:261/38 1:ALL 2:ALL 3:ALL 4:ALL 5:ALL 6:ALL
=================cut here======end sbbsecho config========

Using Argus as an ArcMail Attach Mailer

This tutorial takes you through setting up Argus as an Arcmail Attach type mailer. Just follow the steps outlined in this document, and you should be all set.

3. T-Mail style T-Box Mailers

One of the neatest things you can do with BinkD, is use T-mail style boxes to send mail.

You tell BinkD in the binkd.cfg file where the inbound and outbound directories are for this particular node, like this:

node 1:123/500@fidonet PASSWORD /home/bbbs/binkd/rossout

This tells Binkd to use the normal inbound directory for mail from 1:123/500, but only to use the directory, /home/bbbs/binkd/rossout/ for outbound files

posted at: 01:21 | path: /technical | permanent link to this entry | 0 comments | "

Wed, 08 Jun 2011

Facebook has changed users' privacy settings again.

This automatically enabled feature, which can be turned off in your privacy settings, uses Facebook's "Tag Suggestions" feature with facial recognition software 'to speed up' the process of labeling friends and acquaintances in new photos posted on Facebook... Facebook enabled this with no notice to users, as usual.

At first I'd read elsewhere that this feature would be enabled in the next few weeks.. however it was active "now" when I took a look today... So I disabled it today.

It would seem the people who run Facebook figured this new "feature" would be something most people would want turned on. Why not let users opt-in instead? Probably because they knew most people would not want it enabled.

How to Disable Facebook's New Facial Recognition Feature