View Full Version : CONCISE Helpdesk

unknown user
07-01-1992, 07:50 PM
------------------------------ Start of body part 1

We at CONCISE are constantly searching for new areas of information which
would be of interest to the European community as a whole.

To help you get "a feel" for the Service, please find below an example of
how to retrieve information by electronic mail from CONCISE.

Firstly, you will need to know exactly what information is stored on
CONCISE and to do this, you will need the top level menu.

In order to obtain this you send the commands:


to this address:

The top level index will be sent back to you.

Crystallographers for example under SIGS are one of a number of Special
Interest Groups whose members are based all over Europe and who are using
CONCISE as a document repository. Documents, agendas, reports can all be
stored on CONCISE. This information is constantly updated to keep the
researchers "in touch" with the latest events.

To obtain an index of all the documents stored under Crystallography you
need to send the following message:

goto /sigs/crystal

When this information is sent back to you, you will notice that 2 of the
documents are in Italian and German. You may wish to access the German
document for example. To do this you send this message:

goto /sigs/crystal/de-mtg1

and the information will be returned to you.

If you are accessing CONCISE interactively, CRYSTALLOGRAPHY is found under
SIGS (item-id 73) and then CRYSTAL (item-id 145) will lead you to the

Please find in the next bodyparts three documents explaining in detail the
ways in which you can access CONCISE:

1. Information on how to access CONCISE interactively

2. Information on how to access CONCISE by Email

3. Information on how to access CONCISE by File Transfer

I am also sending you by post a couple of brochures on CONCISE along with a
Quick Reference Card and further information about the Project.

I look forward to hearing from you, Mr Hodgkinson.

In the meantime, if you need further information about the Project or
clarification on any of the points above, please do not hesitate to contact
me at the helpdesk.


Juliana EVANS
CONCISE helpdesk

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CONCISE User Guide - Interactive Service


CONCISE is the COSINE Network's Central Information Service for

CONCISE provides information about the COSINE project, networks,
conferences, networking products, special interest groups, projects
databases, directories, Email services and other networked services
in Europe.

CONCISE is accessible by Email, File Transfer or Interactively.

CONCISE is accessible over the European academic and research
networks, over public data networks and over telephone links.

Currently, users do not have to register to get a user-id or

Information is in English.

A help desk is available to provide information and answer queries
by Email, phone, fax or letter.

There are four user guides and one reference guide for CONCISE as

CONCISE User Guide - Information
CONCISE User Guide - Email Access
CONCISE User Guide - File Transfer Access
CONCISE User Guide - Interactive Access
CONCISE Reference Guide

To obtain a copy of any one of these guides send an Email message
containing the text shown below to one of the following Email
addresses; you will then be sent a copy of the guide you asked for

S=concise; O=concise; P=Level-7 Ltd; A= ; C=GB

For the `CONCISE User Guide - Information', Email the following

help cug-info

For the `CONCISE User Guide - Email Access', Email the following

help cug-email

For the `CONCISE User Guide - File Transfer Access', Email the
following message:

help cug-ft

For the `CONCISE User Guide - Interactive Access', Email the
following message:

help cug-inter

For the `CONCISE Reference Manual', Email the following message:

goto /cosine/concise/cref

If you have problems or comments about CONCISE please contact the
CONCISE helpdesk:

by Email: helpdesk@concise.level-7.co.uk
or S=helpdesk; O=concise; P=level-7 Ltd; A= ; C=GB
by Fax: +44 344 868 442
by Phone: +44 344 360 049
by Letter: CONCISE Help desk
c/o Level-7 Ltd
Centennial Court
Easthampstead Road
Bracknell RG12 1YQ

What you need to access CONCISE interactively

In order to access the CONCISE interactive service you will need a
terminal emulator or interactive access program on your computer.

To contact the CONCISE server you will either need access to a data
network or be able to dial up the server using a modem and the
telephone call to the UK.

How to access CONCISE

You will probably have access to a local network, your country's
research network or a public network. You must find out how to use
this to call an X.25 network address on either the IXI network or
the public X.25 network. If you do not know how to do this you
should contact your local network manager or someone in a similar
role to help you.

The following is the technical information you may need:

The IXI network address is 2043 3450 3999 15
The public X.25 address is 2342 3440 0193 15

If you cannot use a network to access CONCISE you may use a modem
and a telephone call to the UK.

The following is the technical information you may need:

Modem speeds supported are 300, 1200 and 2400 baud.
The telephone number to call is +44 344 868 436.

Having set up the call to CONCISE you will be asked to login. When
you are prompted to login enter the word `concise'. When you are
prompted to give your password enter the word `concise' again. (At
each of these prompts type the seven letters in the word `concise'
followed by the key marked `return' or `enter'.)

After logging in correctly, you will be see the CONCISE welcome
page. Press the return key to go to the top level menu.

The top level menu

The top level menu, like most screens in the CONCISE interactive
user interface is divided into three parts:

The top line is the status line. On the left it shows where you are,
on the right there is a percentage such as `100 %'. If the text in
the middle part of the screen covers more than one screenful, then
the percentage figure indicates how far through the text you are,
therefore if the top level index says `100 %' it means you can see
the whole index.

The middle of the screen is the result of whatever you have asked
CONCISE to do. It could contain an index such as the top level menu
or a file of information for example. The result could cover several
screenfuls. There are commands (`next' and `previous') which allow
you to step forwards and backwards through the text.

The bottom part of the screen contains a list of the commands you
can give and a prompt for you to type a command.

Getting `friendlier' output - the `display' command
================================================== =

The user interface can be more friendly if you use the display
command. You do not have to do this if you do not want to.

In order to use the display command you must know (or guess) your
terminal type. Many terminals and terminal emulators are of vt100
type - so that is a good one to guess if you do not know. To set the
display enter `d' followed by the return key. You will be asked to
enter your terminal type. If you enter a terminal type that CONCISE
understands you will find that the screen display is a lot faster
and a lot friendlier.

There are two special terminal types that you may enter - `simple'
and `nopage'. The simple terminal type is not particularly friendly -
but it will work on any terminal. The nopage terminal type does not
stop the display after a screenful. Using nopage, if you ask for a
file to be displayed it will appear continuously without stopping.
This is useful if you are capturing the output of the session in a
file on your local machine. It is not useful if you want to read the
results of your commands on the screen.

Getting help - the `help' command

The `help' command gives you information about how particular
commands work. To use this command enter `h' followed by the return
key. You will be shown an index of the help items from which you can

How to leave CONCISE - the `quit' command

To leave CONCISE you must enter `q' followed by the return key. You
will be asked if you really want to leave CONCISE (just in case you
entered `q' by mistake) to which you should reply `y' followed by
the return key.

At a few points in the CONCISE user interface, you cannot enter the
quit command. For example, when using the `display' command you will
be asked to enter your terminal type and you cannot enter `q' for
quit. At these points you can always enter the return key to get
back to a point where you can quit.

Browsing through the information - entering item-ids
================================================== ==

CONCISE often displays an index of items from which you can choose,
for example the top level menu. Choose the item that you want and
enter the item-id, that is the number on the left hand side. That
item may give you another index from which you can choose, and so
on. Eventually you will reach an item that has no index. This item
may have a file associated with it which will be displayed.

The item-ids are all different so you can enter the item-id of any
item, whether it appears in a menu on the screen or not. Thus if you
know that a particular item has item-id 145, you can go there from

Paging - the `next' and `previous' commands

Any index or file may cover more than one screenful. If it does you
may go forwards and backwards through the screens using the `Next'
and `Previous' commands (enter `n' or `p' followed by the return
key). Simply entering the return key has the same effect as `Next'.
You can tell how far through the index or file you are by looking at
the percentage in the top right hand corner.

Going to the main menu - the `top' command

At any time you may go back to the top level index by using the
`Top' command (enter `t' followed by the return key).

Going back to where you were - the `back' command

If you want to go back to somewhere where you were earlier you can
use the `Back' command (enter `b' followed by the return key). This
allows you to step backwards through the commands you gave earlier.
By using the `back' command repeatedly you can get back to where you
were up to ten commands previously. Note that this does not redo the
`previous' and `next' commands.

Searching for information - the `find' command

Sometimes you want to search for something and do not know which
indexes to look at. You can search the information in the whole of
the CONCISE system by using the `Find' command (enter `f' followed
by the return key).

All items can have keywords associated with them. For example, all
items about computer networks have the keyword `network'. You can
search for items with a given keyword using `Find'.

After entering `f' and the return key you will be prompted to enter
a keyword. Enter a word that you want to search for. You will be
given a list of all items that have that keyword. The information
that is given is the `pathname' and the item-id. The pathname
indicates the series of indexes through which you can go from the
top to get to the item. Also given is the item-id, so you can go
straight to any item by entering that number.

You may find that after doing a search the list of items is too
long, and you may wish to reduce the number. You can do this by
using another keyword. Use the `Find' command again and you will see
your original word displayed at the top of the screen. At the prompt
at the bottom of the screen enter the word `and' followed by a
space, a second keyword and the return key. The resulting list of
items will all have both the first keyword and the second. This will
be a shorter list than the first list.

You may find that after doing a search the list of items is too
short, and that you want to increase the number by supplying
alternative keywords. You can do this by using another keyword
again. Use the `Find' command again and you will see your original
keyword at the top of the screen. After the prompt enter the word
`or' followed by a space, another keyword and then the return key.
The resulting list of items will all have either one of the keywords
or the other or both. This will be a longer list than the first one.

To start a new search with a different keyword, use the `Find'
command, and after the prompt enter the new keyword without using
`and' or `or'.

If you want to you can use full boolean searching techniques using
`and', `or' and `not' operators. Enter a search expression, for
example `concise and not manual' to list all the items that have the
keyword `concise' but do not have the keyword `manual'.

Listing keywords - the `keywords' command

To obtain a list of the keywords already on the system you can use
the `keywords' command (enter `k' followed by the return key). This
will give you a list of all the keywords in the system. If you do
not want to get a list of all the keywords then you can select them
by entering the first part of a word after the `k'. This will list
all keywords starting with that combination. For example, if you
enter `k co' you will get a list of all keywords starting with the
letters `co'.

You can also use wildcards in both the find and keywords command.
The following characters are used as wildcards:

% is used to mean any combination of letters of any length
_ is used to mean any single letter

Thus when you do a `find' command and give the keyword `c%e' you
will get a list of all items with keywords starting with the letter
`c' and ending with the letter `e'.

Going up the hierarchy - the `up' command

At any time you may go up to the index above the point where you
currently are by using the `Up' command (enter `u' followed by the
return key). This is not the same as the `back' command, for
example, if you enter an item-id of something that is not in the
current index, and then use `up', you will go to the place just
`above' where you are currently, whereas `back' would go back to the
place where you were before.

Another way to move about - the `goto' command

The `goto' command in the Email service allows you to enter the
pathname of the item you want to go to. This is available in the
interactive service as well. Enter `g' followed by the return key
and you will be asked to enter a pathname. Enter the name and you
will go straight to the place where you have asked to go.

Getting an overview - the `overview' command

To obtain an overview of an item giving other details not usually
shown you can use the `overview' command. Go to the item you want to
see the overview of and enter `o' followed by the return key.

Displaying files - the `info' command

Sometimes an item may display an index but may also contain a file.
If you choose that item you will see an index displayed. If you want
to get the file of information instead, enter `i' followed by the
return key.

Cleaning up the display - the `refresh' command

When using networks to access interactive services you occasionally
find that the characters sent to you get accidentally changed. If
this happens the characters on your screen will not be correct -
words may be spelt incorrectly or the format of the screen may be
wrong. If this happens you can ask for the screen to be redisplayed.
Enter `r' followed by the return key.

Short cuts

Some of the commands require extra information, for example the
`display' command requires you to enter your terminal type. If you
know what question you are going to be asked you can enter the
answer immediately after the command name. For example, instead of
entering `d' followed by the return key, and then `vt100' in reply
to the question you are asked, you can enter `d vt100' and the
return key. Thus as you learn the system you can take shortcuts.

Advanced commands

Most of the commands available under the Email service are also
available under the interactive service. Thus the complex commands
such as `index + index' and `find concise + overview' may be entered
at the command prompt. For a full explanation of such commands,
please refer to the `CONCISE User Guide - Email access' or the
`CONCISE Reference Guide'.

------------------------------ Start of body part 3

How to Start Email Access to CONCISE

Access to the CONCISE service is through electronic mail (Email).
The sequence of actions that follows may be repeated as often as you
want, and is the basic mechanism for all access to the service:

1. User writes a set of instructions for the server.

2. User sends the set of instructions to CONCISE using electronic

3. CONCISE obeys the instructions it receives in its electronic

4. CONCISE sends the user the results of what it was instructed to
do using electronic mail.

5. User receives the results through his/her electronic mail

If you do not have access to an electronic mail service, then you
should contact your local or national network or computer services
organisation, and ask them what to do.

In order to mail the CONCISE service, you need to know its
electronic mail address. The addresses for the CONCISE service given
below both give access to the same service. The one you use depends
on the electronic mail system you have access to. Choose the one
that has the same format as other addresses you mail to. If in
doubt, see your local network or computer services organisation.


How the information is Structured

The information is categorised. For example, all the items of
information which are to do with networks are classified under
`networks', and all the items of information to do with the aconet
network are in the sub-category `aconet'. An example of three
categories (COSINE, Networks and Services) is shown below. The
`COSINE' category has information on the various COSINE sub-projects
(eg CONCISE and PARADISE) and also the COSINE specification
documents. The `Networks' category has information on the European
networks (eg aconet, dfn, janet). The `Services' category has
information on the electronic services available over the networks
(eg netnews is a bulletin board, niss is an interactive information
server, and trickle is a file-server).

COSINE Networks Services

- concise - aconet - netnews
- paradise - dfn - niss
- specs - janet - trickle

The sub-categories may themselves be further divided into sub-
categories, and so on. For example, `specs' is a sub-category of
`cosine' which has many items of information beneath it, each of
them is one of the specification documents of the COSINE project.

Each item of information and each category has a name, eg `dfn', or
`Networks'. The items have another name, called a `pathname'; this
is a list of all the categories above it separated by slashes, eg
/Networks/dfn. The single word name is unique within the particular
category, but may not necessarily be unique in the whole of CONCISE.
The pathname, however, is unique in the whole system.

Some items of information can be put into two or more
classifications. For example, the NISS information server shown in
the example under `Services' is on the JANET network, and so would
also be classified under `janet'. Things like this may be found
classified under both.

Each item has a pathname which reflects the categories under which
it is classified. For example, the aconet network in the example
above has the pathname /Networks/aconet, the CONCISE information
service has information on itself under `concise' which is named

CONCISE Commands

This section is designed to introduce the commands (ie. the
instructions) that you can give to CONCISE. It is suggested that you
try each of the commands in turn as you read through the text. Use
your electronic mail system; send a message to the CONCISE service
at one of the addresses given in section 2, and where you usually
type the message itself, type in the commands given below. Send the
message in the usual way, and wait to see what reply you get. The
reply may come back in a few minutes, or you might have to wait
longer depending on the speed of the electronic mail.

At the beginning of each message, before any of the commands are put
in, you must include the following line:


This tells CONCISE to start obeying commands, anything put before
this line will be ignored.

Getting Help

To get information on what you can do use the `help' command. Enter
the following text in your message and send it:


You will be sent a message telling you how to access the system, and
how to obtain a copy of this user guide and the full reference

To get information about a specific command, or something about the
system that you do not understand, use the `help' command with a
topic you want help on. For example, to get help on the `info'
command, send the following:

help info

Moving Around

There are two types of information you can get in CONCISE: the first
is an overview of the information; this sends you a summary, who
wrote the information, when it was written, and various details of a
similar nature. The second is the information itself; this is a file
(potentially large) containing information about the subject in
question. The commands to get these types of information, `overview'
and `info' are discussed in 5.4.

The basic way to do anything on the CONCISE service is to go to the
place, and then perform the action. For example, suppose an overview
of netnews is required. Netnews is located at /Services/netnews. The
`goto' command will move you around, the `overview' command can be
used to get an overview, so the following commands will retrieve the
overview on electronic mail:

goto /Services/netnews

A message may have a number of commands in it, so you can move
around several times in one message. Before CONCISE starts to obey
the commands you have sent, it puts you at the top of the
information, that is at one level above COSINE, Networks and
Services. From there you can go anywhere you want.

Commands that allow movement around the different items are:

goto goes straight to the item specified
top goes to the top of the information, ie where you start
up moves up one level from where you are, eg if you are at
/Services/netnews and you use the `up' command, you will
get to /Services

Getting Indexes

In order to move around, it is necessary to know where you can go
to. This is achieved using the `index' command. For example, the
following commands list the top level index:


After obeying this command, CONCISE will send you a message
containing an index (ie a list) of all the main categories. In the
example shown in the diagram this would be:


Having obtained an index of the top level, you may goto one of the
items returned in the list, and perform another index eg:

goto /Services

You would then get a list of Services sent to you. This process can
be continued eg:

goto /Networks/dfn

. and so on. After doing this a few times you will no longer be
able to get an index as you will have reached the bottom - the most
detailed index.

Information and Overviews

There are two types of information you can get: the information and
the overview (see section 5.2). To get these use the `info' and
`overview' commands. Both commands can be used on the same item. For
example, to get all the information on the DFN network use the
following commands:

goto /Networks/dfn

There will be two parts to the message that is sent back to you. The
first is the overview, and the second is the information itself. You
do not have to send both these commands together, they could be sent
separately like this:

goto /Networks/dfn

and like this:

goto /Networks/dfn


Another way of finding out what items there are to go to, is the
`find' command. This allows you to obtain a list of items that have
got a given keyword attached to them. For example, to get a list of
items which have something to do with COSINE, use the following:


You will be sent a list of everything that CONCISE can find which is
to do with COSINE. There is no need to do a `goto' command before
`find' as it will search everywhere.

The word that you put after `find' is called a keyword. To find out
what keywords you can use, the `keywords' command can be sent:


This will return a list of all the keywords that CONCISE.
Making Comments and Asking Questions about CONCISE

Any comments, suggestions, or questions about the service may be
sent to the CONCISE help desk. These messages can be mailed to the
help desk directly, or they can be sent in the commands using the
`comment' command. All the text you type after the comment command
up to the two semi-colons (;;) will be sent to the CONCISE help
desk. For example:


The contact name for superfile service mentioned under
/Services/superfile is no longer valid - I have just tried to get
her, and she has apparently changed jobs.

Note that the `;;' on a line by itself ends the comment, other
commands may be placed after the `;;' if you want.

Automatic Flagging of New Information

You may wish to be told when there is new information, or when
something is updated. To do this, go to the place of interest and
use the `register' command. There are two forms of this command:
`register update' and `register new'. The first is used to tell you
when a particular item of information has been updated. The second
is used to tell you when any new information is added beneath a
particular category. For example, to be told when the information on
the NISS information service is updated, send the following

goto /Services/niss
register update

Every time the information on the NISS information service is
updated (ie changed) you will now be sent a message to tell you
about it. Later you may want to stop these messages being sent to
you, so send the following:

goto /Services/niss
deregister update

Then you will no longer get the messages telling you about changes.

Multiple Commands

The `index' and `find' commands return a list. If you want to apply
some command to each of the items on the list, then you can use the
extension `+'. For example, suppose there are twelve items under the
/COSINE/specs item, and you want to perform the `overview' command
on them all, then you can use the `index' command to get the list,
and the extension `+ overview' to get the overview of each of them.
This is a lot easier than sending a `goto' and an `overview' twelve
times. Try sending the following commands:

goto /COSINE/specs
index + overview

You will be sent a message with an overview of each of the items
under /COSINE/specs.

Limiting the Size of the Result

Some mail systems are not capable of handling large messages. If you
are using one of these systems, you may find that when you get a
large file back from CONCISE something goes wrong. If you find that
there is a problem with large files, you can limit the size of the
returned result by using the `max-size' command. For example, to
limit the size of a returned message to 150000 characters (about
2000 lines) use the following command at the beginning of your

max-size 150000

The result will be sent back in a series of messages, each of which
is no bigger than 150000 characters.

Personal Reminders

If you store the commands that you send to the CONCISE service, you
may wish to annotate them with your own comments, in order to remind
you what it is for. (This is analogous to putting comments into a
computer program.) This can be done by putting `//' at the beginning
of a line. All subsequent text on the line will be ignored by
CONCISE but may be useful to you, eg


// CONCISE commands to return indexes of the top three
// levels. This may return a large file as a result.

max-size 500000
index + index + index



// Get the top level index

// Get information on SURFnet
goto /Networks/surfnet

// Find out what other information on networks there is
// (Note you are already at /networks/surfnet so that you
// can just go up one level.)

// Get the overviews of all the networks
index + overview

// Find out what help is available and get help on the
// goto command
help topics
help goto


Sending Commands to CONCISE

If you have problems using your electronic mail system, and you are
not able to send a message to CONCISE, then you should contact your
local network or computer services department. They should be able
to tell you how to get started. Take this document with you and show
them the addresses you are trying to send to.

Problems with the CONCISE Commands

To get more information on the commands available you can read this
manual, read the reference manual, or use the `help' command.

A copy of the full reference manual may be obtained by sending the
following message to CONCISE:

// Returns 'CONCISE reference manual'
goto /COSINE/concise/cref

------------------------------ Start of body part 4

Accessing CONCISE information by File Transfer

You can gain access to the files of information stored in CONCISE by
transferring the files from it to your machine. You will need a
file transfer program on your machine. You may have to ask your
local network or system administrator to help you set up the
connection. There are different programs that you can use, so you
will have to consult the instructions for your system to be able to
used it.

The file names follow the same structure as the pathnames that can
be seen in the interactive or Email services. The filename for each
file can be obtained using the `overview' command in either the
interactive or Email services.

The technical details that you will require are given below. It is
possible that you will not be asked to supply all of these.

Protocol used: FTAM
X.25 address:
for the IXI network: 2043 3450 3999
for the public X.25 networks: 2342 3440 0193
Call user data: 03 01 01 00
T-SEL (Transport selector): 259 (Hex)
User name: ANON

------------------------------ End of body part 4