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Symbolics system support?
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: Symbolics system support?
- From: dmitchell@APCTRC.msc.edu (Donald H. Mitchell)
- Date: Tue, 5 Feb 1991 09:35:00 -0500
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I don't know if you've notice but Symbolics system support is becoming much
quicker to respond! Clap, clap, clap, bravo!
The downside is that almost all responses I've received this week are of the
variety, "*** is a feature that was incorrectly documented." For example, the
inability to turn blinking cursors into solid non-blinking cursors as per the
documentation is a feature. The inability to select the zmail window from a
different X terminal even if there is only one current console on the
Symbolics is a feature.
More information: if you're using X windows, each blink entails two X packets
(one to erase and one to draw). If you're using X over a modem, you want to
reduce the number of packets so as to see what you're doing within your
lifetime. The DocEx section "Blinkers" says,
1Also, blinkers need not actually blink; for example, the mouse arrow
0 1does not blink.2 1A blinker's 3visibility1 may be any of the following:2
0 4:blink0 1The blinker should blink on and off periodically.2 1The
0 1rate at which it2 1blinks is called the 3half-period1, and is
0 1an integer giving the number2 1of 60ths of a second be-
0 1tween when the blinker turns on and when2 1it turns off.
0 5:on 3or5 t0 1The blinker should be visible but not blink; it should just
0 1stay on.
0 5:off 3or5 nil0 1The blinker should be invisible.
0 1Usually only the blinkers of the selected window actually blink; this
0 1is2 1to show you where your typein will go if you type on the keyboard.
0 1The2 1way this behavior is obtained is that selection and deselection of
0 1a window2 1have an effect on the visibility of the window's blinkers.
0 1When the window is selected, any of its blinkers whose visibility is
0 4:on1 or 4:off1 has its visibility set to 4:blink1.2 1Blinkers2 1whose visibility
0 1is 4t1 or 4nil1 are unaffected (that is the difference2 1between 4t1 and 4:on1,
0 1and between 4nil1 and 4:off1); blinkers2 1whose visibility is 4:blink1 contin-
0 1ue to blink.
0Well, software support says 4t0 and 4:on0 behave the same way: they always 4:blink1.
0Using genera over a modem on X is excruciating (but not deadly).
The other problem detail: after you cold boot, once you select a zmail window,
it's a true pain to get the window to appear on any other console until you
reboot even if you only have one console at a time. For example, I booted and
started a zmail console on my X terminal at home, I killed that genera process
(and thus that console), the next day I tried to bring up zmail on my Sun at
work: no can do. I've worked around it sometimes by weird and unrememberable
kill window, kill process, select activity, and do the hoki-poki routines, but
Symbolics says that the only way to start a "new" zmail window is to cold
boot. That's a feature that all X windows based symbolics users will love.
Note, the implications are that if you use a different X windows display to
bring up your genera console, you are unlikely to be able to access zmail.
Cheers to the discovery of even better features.
Don Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org
Amoco Production Company (918) 660-4270
Tulsa Research Center
P.O. Box 3385, Tulsa, OK 74102