Poor man's auto dialer

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May 23, 1981, 9:32:35 AM5/23/81

At the University of Cincinnati, we were very excited
about uucp, and anxious to get onto the net. There were
some problems, however. We were licensed for V7, but didn't
have it running on our machine (an 11/60) yet. With the help
of Duke University, we got a version that works on V6, and
eveything was fine. Except that the only equipment we have
to connect to the phone system is an acoustic coupler (Bell
103 style). I quickly figured out that by manipulating the
L.sys file, I could fake uucp into thinking that we had a
hardwired line to the system, and that it was OK at this
time to call, so that what I had to do was dial the other
system, twiddle L.sys, and start uucico, all quickly enough
that the login sequence didn't time out. In addition, I was
constantly having to look in the dialcodes file to find the
numbers (I quickly found that I knew many of them by heart).

Needless to say, this was a time consuming and error
prone mechanism. I messed L.sys up many times, and quickly
got tired of having to su back and forth to fix things.
Also, it was impossible for me to explain all the mechanism
to one of our operators and expect him to get it right
without screwing something up, which would always get me a
phone call at an opportune time to fix things. So, I wrote
a program that I called uucall, that takes care of this type
of thing. It temporarily modifies L.sys so that the system
to be called has 'Any' in the times to call slot, and has
the name of a hardwired line in the connection slot. It
also goes into L-dialcodes and prompts the user with the
number to dial. When the user indicates that the connection
is made, uucall starts uucico up with the appropriate argu-
ments, as well as any that the user may have wished to be
passed through. It is, in effect, a poor man's auto-dialer.

Anyone who is interested in this software is welcome to
it. I have a manual entry and modified makefile, as well
as the source. Drop me a note on the net and I will be more
than happy to uucp the stuff to you.

There is only one drawback to the program -- it is up
to you to decide which systems must be called. It does not
attempt to analyze the work that is queued. As our L.sys
grows, this is becoming a problem. It is currently neces-
sary to invoke uucall for each system you wish to call. I
don't yet know how to best attack this problem, whether to
cycle through all systems in L.sys (but you may be polled by
some system...) or to only do those systems for which work
is queued (which may cause some incoming mail to be missed)
or both or neither. I would appreciate any input you might

Chris Kent (duke!cincy!chris)
University of Cincinnati EE Dept.

May 23, 1981

Kyle Jensen

Jul 12, 2021, 12:13:01 AM7/12/21
Sorry, I don't have any input for you, but it was an interesting read.
I appreciate the opportunity for an incredible 40 year necrobump!

Kyle Jensen
July 11, 2021
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