ASCinfo info

ASCinfo: An On-line ASC Information System

by Eliot Shepard

What is ASCinfo?

The ASCinfo system is an on-line bulletin board service that makes a collection of ASC documentation files available to the astronomical community. ASCinfo resides at the SAO and is accessible to any user over the Internet. It features a menu-based interface (borrowed from the einline system), as well as on-line help and E-mail document retrieval.

How do I access ASCinfo?

Over the Internet:

To use the program over the Internet, use the command telnet:

% telnet (or

Once connected, login as user ascinfo. No password is required.

Telephone dial-up:

To use the multiplex modem at CfA, dial (617) 495-7031 (9600/2400/1200 baud; data bits=8, parity=none, stop bits=1). Press the `return' (or `enter') key and a message will appear to say that you are connected to the terminal server. Enter inputs to prompts as follows:

Enter username: ascinfo
Xyplex: c asc
login: ascinfo
The program will start automatically.

How do I use ASCinfo?

ASCinfo is an easy to use, flexible, bulletin-board program. Users familiar with the einline service for the Einstein observatory will find the interface similar.

The service's features are hierarchically organized. At the topmost level are the DOC (documentation) and COM (communication) areas.

The DOC area is the repository for documents and information. Files are sorted into directories by subject, and are available to read and mail. Upon selecting the DOC service, you'll be presented with a list of directories. Select one, and use the commands in the subsequent menu to list, read, or mail the available documents. HELP is available at any juncture.

The COM area is dedicated to news about ASCinfo itself and to user communication with its custodians. The NEWS command accesses articles on the system which may be read or mailed. Use the SYSMAIL feature to make comments, bug reports and suggestions to the ASCinfo system administrators. As always, HELP is available at any juncture.

ASCinfo hints

  1. You need only type the shortest nonambiguous abbreviation for any command. e.g., to access the DOC area from the main menu, you can type D (or d).
  2. Please help us keep track of program use by entering your name and institution when queried at startup.
  3. We value your comments! Please use the SYSMAIL feature to send us your suggestions.