Classic Computer Magazine Archive A.N.A.L.O.G. ISSUE 69 / FEBRUARY 1989 / PAGE 48


    by Michael A. Banks (KZIN)

You can customize DELPHI
to suit the requirements of your
terminal software and your
personal needs.

    Ah, winter! The time of renewal and preparation for spring. The time of kicking up the thermostat, kicking back and catching up on all the indoor activities you stayed away from during the summer. (Florida and Southern California readers excepted, of course! But, gee-isn't all that warm weather a drag?)
    Those of you who aren't away on cruises or holidays in warmer climes are probably spending a lot more time with your computers than usual, mainly because there's nothing to do outside (assuming you've already shoveled the snow). If you're spending more time with your computer, chances are you're spending more time on DELPHI-in which case you'll appreciate the discussion at hand: how to customize DELPHI for more efficient use.

As You Like It
    If you're like most computer users, you've probably customized your software, adjusting its parameters to match your system's configuration and your personal tastes. Undoubtedly, your communications software reflects your choice of screen colors, terminal emulation and other elements in how it interacts with you and how it works behind the scenes.
    You can also customize DELPHI to suit the requirements of your terminal software and your personal needs. It takes only a little time and planning, and you can do it all from within ANALOG's Atari SIG.
    The key to customizing DELPHI is the "Set Preferences" selection on ANALOG's Atari SIG menu. Type SET at the ANALOG> prompt, and you'll see this menu:

Preferences Menu

Name Change
Editor Preference
Topic Selection
Settings (Profile)


    The "Name Change" selection allows you to change the name you entered when you joined the SIG. (As noted in a previous column, this name is visible to others via the Entry Log.)
    "Editor Preference" enables you to select the default editor (EDT or Oldie) that you'll use in Workspace and Forum within the SIG. (While you are in the SIG, this setting supercedes any editor settings you may have made elsewhere.)
    "Topic Selections" leads to a menu from which you can change topics that are accessible to you in the Forum and databases.
    "Settings (Profile)" is a direct pipeline to the SETTINGS system that you'll find as a selection in the Using DELPHI area off the DELPHI Main Menu. This is a rather complex system, which I'll explain here.
    When you select the SETTINGS system (either here, or by typing US SET at the DELPHI Main Menu), you'll see this menu:


DEFAULT-Menu SET-High-bit
DOWNLOAD-Line-terminators SLASH-Term-settings

SETTINGS>What would you like to set?

    Here's an item-by-item explanation of each selection on the menu. The defaults for most of the items are what you will want to use (either because they work best, or because you selected them the first time you signed on to DELPHI). I've put a star by those items that you are most likely to want to change. (Note DEFAULT Menu in particular).
    BUSY-Mode: This setting disables or enables pages and "New Mail" alerts, as well as one-line "sends." (These features are normally on.)
    * DEFAULT Menu: If you never touch any other settings, this is one default you should change.
    Your Default Menu is the first menu you see when you sign on to DELPHI. Normally, this is the DELPHI Main Menu, but you can change it to ANALOG'S Atari SIG, which means that you will bypass the Main and Groups & Clubs menus at logon and go directly to the Atari SIG.
    To make the Atari SIG your default menu, simply type DEFAULT at the SETTINGS menu, then follow the prompts and enter GR AT as your new default menu. Every time you sign on thereafter, the first thing you'll see is the Atari SIG menu (and this will save you some valuable time).
    DOWNLOAD-Line-terminators: This determines what will be sent as line terminator during text transfers. The choices are carriage return, linefeed, or both.

Changing your password
frequently is important, and
it's a quick and easy process.

    ECHO-mode: The echo-mode toggle is useful iif your communications software happens to run in full duplex, or if for any reason you don't want DELPHI to echo what you type.
    * EDITOR: This sets the editor-EDT or Oldie-that you'll use in the Forum, Mail and Workspace.
    * FILE-TRANSFERS: This selection leads to a sub-menu at which you can set your default file-transfer method.
    KERMIT-SETTINGS: Kermit settings are changed at this menu.
    * LENGTH (Lines/page): LENGTH sets the number of lines of text DELPHI will display before pausing with a "More?" prompt. (If you want a nonstop text display, set your length to zero.)
    NETWORK-PARAMETERS: Here you set network and terminal configurations. This one's a bit complicated, but a menu is provided from which you can select pad parameters involving how the connecting network communicates with you.
    * PASSWORD (Change): Changing your password frequently is important, and this is the place to do it. It's a quick and easy process; just follow the prompts.
    * PROMPT-Mode: As you become more skilled and knowledgeable in using DELPHI, you will find that you don't need to see full menus. DELPHI'S designers were aware of this fact, and have arranged things so that you can "turn off' menu display with this setting. When you select PROMPT-Mode, you can select any of these prompt settings (examples of the prompts you'll see follow each):
    1. Brief - SET>
    2. Verbose - SET> (Brief, Verbose, Menu, Exit)
    3. Menu - (The full menu)
    This is another time-saver, because with the Brief or Verbose setting you will not have to wait for menus to scroll by as you move from one area to another.
    SET-High-bit: This setting controls whether the high bit of each byte is set to 1 or left unchanged during an Xmodem or Kermit downloads. In general, this should be left unchanged.
    SLASH-Term-settings: This selection leads to a subsystem that you can use to set certain terminal characteristics (i.e., how DELPHI communicates with you). Type /TERM at any prompt to see a list of these characteristics.
    TERMINAL-Type: Here is where you set terminal emulation (VT52 or VT100). Certain features, like screen blanking before Forum messages are displayed, are enabled when you use terminal emulation.
    TIMEOUT:  The timeout setting is the number of minutes that DELPHI will remain connected with you if there is no input-useful if you are called away from your computer while you are online, and forget that you are online.
    UTILITIES: This selection allows you to perform advanced settings operations.
    * WIDTH (Columns): This sets the number of columns (letters) of text DELPHI displays on a line before moving to a new line. The range is 16 to 132.
    * XMODEM-SETTINGS: Here you can set the way DELPHI handles Xmodem file transfers. You can set the Xmodem error-checking mode, timeout period, number of retries, and line terminators for text transfers.
    * HELP: An obvious selection, HELP provides help with the SETTINGS system
     EXIT: Use EXIT (or Ctrl-Z) to exit this menu. (Note that Ctrl-Z or Ctrl-C cancels any selection, as long as you haven't made any changes permanent by pressing Return.)
    By the way, many of these items are accessible, too, via "slash" commands (commands preceded by a /). Type /HELP at any prompt other than the Conference prompt to see a list of settings you can change.
    And one final word about the Set Preferences menu: The HELP selection leads to a help sub-menu at which you can select any of the topics on the Set Preferences menu. When you select a topic, you have access to one or more articles on that topic.
    That's it: everything you need to know about customizing DELPHI to work with you and make your sessions on DELPHI faster and easier.

Make the
DELPHI Connection!

    As a reader of ANALOG Computing, you are entitled to take advantage of a special DELPHI membership offer. For only $19.95 plus postage and handling ($30 off the standard membership price!), you will receive a lifetime subscription to DELPHI, a copy of the 500-page DELPHI: The Official Guide by Michael A. Banks and a credit equal to one free evening hour at standard connect rates. Almost anyone worldwide can access DELPHI (using Tymnet, Telenet or other networking services) via a local phone call. Make the DELPHI connection by signing up today!

To join DELPHI:
1. Dial 617-576-0862 with any terminal or PC and modem (at 2400 bps, dial 576-2981).
2. At the Username prompt, type JOIN DELPHI.
3. At the Password prompt enter ANALOG.

    For more information, call DELPHI Member Services at 1-800-544-4005, or at 617-491-3393 from within Massachusetts or from outside the U.S.
    DELPHI is a service of General Videotex Corporation of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

ANALOG's Atari SIG Databases
    Database offerings are growing like grass in the Spring, and you'll find programs from the most recent issues of ANALOG in the Current Issue database. And don't forget to check the Recent Arrivals database for new programs, text files and data files not yet moved to specific database categories.
    Speaking of databases, here's a reminder to ANALOG readers who aren't yet DELPHI members: among the many benefits of DELPHI membership is being able to download program listings that appear in ANALOG. That's a major convenience, when you consider all the time you spend keyboarding programs-and correcting errors. And there are thousands of other programs uploaded by ANALOG Atari SIG members, as well as the latest Atari news and reviews, and much, much more.
    Interested? You can sign up right now: see the accompanying sidebar for online signup information.

The Conference
    Tuesday. 10 P.M., EST. The Atari Users' Group real-time conference. Be there-or be an obtuse rectangle.
    (To join a real-time conference,type CO at the SIG menu, then type WHO at the conference menu. You'll see a conference group name, with a list of the members participating beneath the group name. The name will be preceded by a number; type JOIN followed by the number, and you're in! Type to talk. If you get stuck, ask those in the conference group for help, or type /HELP.)
    That's it for now. Next month: using DELPHI's online, interactive Help system. Until then, use DELPHI's alternate interactive help system: DELPHI: The Official Guide. See you online!

    In addition to having published science fiction novels and books on rocketry, Michael A. Banks is the author of DELPHI: The Official Guide and The Modem Reference both from Brady Books/Simon & Schuster Look for his general articles on telecommunications and tips on using DELPHI in the Atari Users' Group databases. You can contact Banks to talk about custom software, custom cars and science fiction (among other things) by sending E-mail to membername KZIN on DELPHI.