The Scout Report - September 20, 1996

September 20, 1996

A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Science Department, University of Wisconsin

A Project of the InterNIC

The Scout Report is a weekly publication offering a selection of new and newly discovered Internet resources of interest to researchers and educators, the InterNIC's primary audience. However, everyone is welcome to subscribe to one of the mailing lists (plain text or HTML). Subscription instructions are included at the end of each report.
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In This Issue:

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

Research & EducationEdinburgh Engineering Virtual Library, and Other eLib Projects
Edinburgh Engineering Virtual Library
biz/ed--Business education on the Internet
OMNI--Organising Medical Networked Information
SOSIG--Social Science Information Gateway
eLib HomePage
EEVL (Edinburgh Engineering Virtual Library)is a newly available web engineering meta-resource. Provided by eLib (Electronic Library Programme), JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee), and the University Library and Institute for Computer Based Learning of Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh), it contains over 1300 browsable and searchable resources. Users may browse nine major categories, including chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, petroleum, materials, and environmental engineering, engineering design, and general engineering. Each major category is further subdivided for ease of browsing, and filters allow users to specify both resource type and UK- or non-UK-specific information. Boolean AND/OR/NOT and truncation searching is also available. Each listing offers a general description of the site and a link to a more detailed entry, as well as a connection to the described site. EEVL joins several other eLib projects (biz/ed, OMNI, SOSIG--see URLs above) that should greatly aid researchers and educators in finding quality UK and non-UK research and education resources on the Internet (OMNI was discussed in the April 5, 1996 issue of the Scout Report). Each project, although funded by eLib, is controlled by its own producers.
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"Emerging Law on the Electronic Frontier"
The well known Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (JCMC), a joint project of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California and the Information Systems Division of the School of Business Administration, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is a net-only journal focusing on "issues that present special challenges in computer-mediated communication in a globally interconnected Networld." Its two most recent issues (Vol 2., Nos. 1 and 2), "Emerging Law on the Electronic Frontier" Parts 1 and 2, contain sixteen articles on this topic. Included are articles on "lawyers in the net world," cyberspace and copyright law, privacy, obscenity, online consumer protection, due process, customary law and process, and selling on the Internet, among others. "Cyberlaw" is a relatively new field, and there is much to be learned about it in these two issues. Note that while the home page of JMJC does not use frames, these two issues are frames based.
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Census Data for the United States 1790-1860
The Instructional Computing Group of Harvard University, in cooperation with Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan, has made a subset of historical data from U.S. decennial censuses from 1790 to 1860 available for forms-based querying on the web. Data availability varies by year and state. From 1790 to 1830, most data concerns population breakouts by age, sex, and free or slave. From 1840 to 1860 much more data is available, including occupation, education, churches, mortality, and property and wealth, among others. After year selection, users query the database for state(s) and variable(s). Data returned can then be sorted by variable. Data are available at the state and county level, although county querying is not possible. There is no facility at this time for downloading data to statistical programs; however, this is a small price to pay for a virtual treasure house of U.S. historical information.
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Exercises in Math Readiness For University Study
This site, provided by the University of Saskatchewan Mathematics Department, contains a collection of exercises "on those high school mathematics topics that seem to be most important for university study in mathematics, the other sciences, engineering, and commerce." Exercises are available at three levels of difficulty in fifteen subject areas ranging from absolute value and distance to polynomials and roots. In addition to the exercises, there is an explanation of each topic. Solutions are provided for all exercises, and, for more advanced exercises, hints are available as well. At present seven additional topics contain explanations but not exercises. This site is an effective resource for advanced high school math students preparing for college classes. Note that your browser must support subscripts and superscripts in order to get the most out of the exercises (version 2 of both Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer will work fine).
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Accounting Resources on the Internet--Rutgers University
Information on International Accounting Network
Accounting Resources on the Internet, provided by Rutgers University, provides one-stop shopping for accounting resources. Here, interested Internauts can find information on the "Big Six" accounting firms, links to over 200 accounting firms in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, 30 different accounting associations, information on accounting-related publications, educational, finance, and audit resources, and more. Accounting Resources is part of the Rutgers Accounting Web, which in turn, is part of the International Accounting Network (IAN). IAN, at present, includes providers from the United Kingdom, Australia, Finland, and the University of Hawaii.
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Canadian Review of Materials
Published by the Manitoba Library Association, the Canadian Review of Materials is the Web version of _CM Magazine_, a bi-weekly review of Canadian materials for young people. _CM Magazine_ contains book, media, and web reviews, as well as news, features, and stories of interest to teachers, librarians, parents, and kids. Though Web issues began appearing in June 1995, the site offers an archive of reviews, feature stories, interviews, and articles from the print version back to 1971. The archives are indexed by date, author, title, age group, and media type. The site contains pictures, sound clips and video clips. You can search for authors, book titles, and reviewers. In concert with McNally Robinson Booksellers the site offers ordering services for any book reviewed in the magazine.
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H-SAfrica is a new electronic discussion group dedicated to the promotion of all aspects of South African history. H-SAfrica can be described as a cross between an academic journal and a friendly academic newspaper that is delivered to your electronic mailbox on an almost daily basis. It will provide all sorts of useful information, like international job adverts, book reviews, conference announcements and calls for papers. Subscribers will be notified at times of new computer software, websites, films and videos. At the same time, however, it is hoped that subscribers with an interest in South African history will join with in mature discussions of ongoing research, of articles and academic papers, books and journals, methods of teaching and debates on historiography. H-SAfrica is moderated by the editors to filter out inappropriate posts. The primary purpose of AFRI-PHIL is to provide a forum for the exchange of views, experiences, techniques, and professional information pertaining to the teaching and study of the philosophical thought of African and African-diaspora cultures. The principal emphasis of the list will be upon the philosophical examination of African thought and culture, though this emphasis should not be taken restrictively or in a manner excluding the consideration of other approaches (e.g., literary, historical, anthropological, etc.).
To subscribe to H-SAfrica send email to:
In the body of the message type:
SUB H-SAfrica Firstname Lastname, institution
To subscribe to AFRI-PHIL send email to:
In the body of the message type:
SUB AFRI-PHIL Yourfirstname Yourlastname
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General Interest

The West
Developed by Stephen Ives and Ken Burns, PBS's offers a Web site debuting to coincide with the documentary series _The West_, which began airing this week. This frames-based site is both textually and graphically rich. Its stated purpose is to explore "elements of Western history--profiles, documents, images." It includes a mini-guide to each episode, over 75 biographies, interactive timelines, maps, photographs and text documents (letters, legislation and judicial rulings). The only drawback is that the site is somewhat confusing to navigate. Users must follow site instructions carefully in order to navigate between the contents listing frame and the main frame.
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Government Information Xchange
The Australian Governments' Entry Point
Two examples of sites that are powerful in their organization of government information pointers are the US General Services Administration's Government Information Xchange, and the National Library of Australia's recently reorganized Australian Governments' Entry Point. The GSA has established the Government Information Xchange in order to "facilitate the assimilation, sharing and dissemination of information resources among federal, state and local governments, and to provide a convenient forum for all levels of government to share and exchange information with businesses and the American public." The Xchange is a page of links to federal, state, and local government information providers, as well as selected foreign government sources. It is searchable as well as browsable. The Australian Governments' Entry Point has connections to commonwealth, state, and local government information, as well as judicial information. Although the information pointed to by these sites is by no means new, they both act as gateways to information at all geographical levels of government in their respective countries. Note that parts of the Government Information Xchange are frames based.
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MEDIAPOLIS, provided by Lavinia TV and BiB Media, is meant to be "a whole resources index about mass media about the Net." To that end, this frames-based site has compiled a large number of international (predominantly European and American) links to press, radio, TV, news agencies, university media, and advertising. While the site is a work in progress and the strength of each section varies, the press section is particularly strong. The fact that MEDIAPOLIS is organized on international lines also is a plus. At present the site available in English, Spanish, and French (see the flags on the bar under the MEDIAPOLIS logo).
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The Nixon-Presley Meeting--George Washington University National Security Archive
GWU National Security Archive
One of the highlights of the recently opened National Security Archive (George Washington University) web site, is the Richard Nixon-Elvis Presley meeting section. After writing a six-page letter in which he suggested being made a "'Federal Agent-at-Large'" in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs," Elvis Presley visited President Nixon on December 21, 1970. This site contains an image of the actual letter along with a transcription, and several presidential staff memoranda regarding the meeting (in .gif format). In addition, there is background on the meeting and photographs from it. The Nixon-Presley meeting is but one example of declassified documents that the Archive has acquired through the Freedom of Information Act and made available at the site. In addition, the Archive contains material on the Cuban Missile Crisis, selected White House email, and a searchable catalog of bibliographic records in its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Database (1945-1990).
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1996 Chess Olympiad
Game transcripts and commentary
Latest news on results and pairings
The 1996 Chess Olympiad is taking place from September 15 through October 2 in Yerevan, Armenia. Internet Telepresence is providing a web site for interested Internauts to follow the proceedings. At the heart of the site is the "Live Games" section, which replays selected games with commentary. Information is also available regarding the teams, the schedule, and the results, as well as the World Chess Federation's top 100 players listing as of July 1996.
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Finding a golf course has never been so easy! What started out as GolfAmerica, the world's largest golf course directory, has been taken over by InterZine productions (, renamed, and added to its popular golf site iGOLF ( is a comprehensive guide to over 16,000 golf courses throughout the world, and offers complete information about each course's design, layouts, maps, rankings, reviews, message boards, player fees, caddies/carts, and more. At its heart is the "course locator," an extensive search engine that can be searched by course name, location, course difficulty, cost, architect, or description keyword. There are also feature articles on such topics as travel, course architecture, and effects of the environment on your game. has the polished feel of a corporate web site and makes excellent use of tables and frames to organize information. Note that the site makes liberal use of graphics and complex layouts, so a fast connection is helpful.
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Decluttr--Recovery From Cluttering Mailing List

Decluttr is for discussion of recovery from cluttering (aka messiness, hoarding). It is primarily for clutterers; but family members and professionals are welcome. Appropriate topics include personal experiences, helpful organizations, and useful books.
To subscribe send email to:
In the body of the message type:
SUB Decluttr yourfirstname yourlastname
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Net Tools

Internet Engineering Curriculum
The Internet Engineering Curriculum, a frames-based site provided by the National Laboratory for Applied Network Research (NLANR), attempts to "coordinate and make available on the web a 'distributed living curriculum' in network engineering." At present, it contains sections on Infrastructure Support, Developing Protocols, Applications, Social, Code Development, and Imminent Technologies. Each of these categories is further subdivided; these subcategories point to existing higher education classes in the topic, when available, as well as to other resources relating to the topic. The "distributed" aspect of this project means that the site will always be a work in progress; where class information is presently missing, a forms-based interface allows you to add the URL of your class. In this way, a "living curriculum" can be built over time.
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Macmillan Computer Publishing Online Books
Macmillan Computer Publishing Home page
Highlight of the Macmillan Computer Publishing web site is the large collection of free online books available from its subsidiaries Que and Sams. Que's Digital Bookshelf at present contains 30 online books in topics including world wide web, web publishing, web programming, web servers, and networking, among others. Sams Publishing offers over 15 online books on topics such as web site construction, Java, Netscape 3.0, and Javascript. Also offered are _The Internet Starter Kit_, _The Computer Trainer's Personal Training Guide_, and early galleys from portions of _The Electronic Citizen: How to Speak Out and Organize on the Internet_, as well as an Internet glossary. Both the Que and Sams libraries can be searched as well as browsed. While the Macmillan site is designed to sell books, the publishers have made a staggering amount of their product freely available, and in so doing have rendered a great service to the net community.
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Querying Internet Search Indexes by Email
ftp to:
cd to pub/gb/gboyd
Gerald Boyd has spent much time learning the internal syntax of web search engines. He has made the fruits of his labor available at an ftp site. Interested Internauts can download FAQs on how to query fifteen generic and eight specialty search engines by email. Included are Alta Vista, Excite, Inktomi, Yahoo, Infoseek, OKRA, Open Text, SwitchBoard, TheList, and others. Also included is a FAQ on how to use an Agora Server to use the web by email. See the Scout Report for March 8, 1996 for more on Agora. The FAQs are of greatest use to those without a web connection, but are also interesting to anyone who is intrigued by the intricacies of search engines. Users should download wsintro.faq (table of contents of FAQs), wscrack.faq (basic strategy for figuring out how to query search indexes via email) and wshelp.faq (Agora help file) before any others. For those who would like to download everything at once, contains all of the files. Note that while these files are fairly technical, they are very useful for those who need such Internet access.
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Copyright Susan Calcari, 1996. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the Scout Report provided the copyright notice and this paragraph is preserved on all copies. The InterNIC provides information about the Internet to the US research and education community under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation: NCR-9218742. The Government has certain rights in this material.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Wisconsin - Madison, the National Science Foundation, AT&T, or Network Solutions, Inc.

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