September 1998


There was a bit of confusion as to who was guilty of the Mud Journal hack job, somehow I thought the posts on Mud Connector said who did the deed, but it turns out to be someone else who has really gotten under the skin of a bunch of people over there, including myself. Details below.

Ah, autumn is approaching...and when autumn comes, so do the college students. The college students have made up a large portion of our mudding population--yet do not have their own home internet service provider to use. For many of them, their accounts at school are their only means of accessing the internet cause either they can't afford a computer, either have no local ISP or afford its rates, or afford a phone line. But even then, some colleges do not want the students to be playing games or even web surf in there, despite when they have no homework and there are several open machines available. I shall relate an experience I had the previous school year, where I attempted to help one such mudder last year against what was considered a pesky computer lab assistant (I won't name the runner or where it happened, unless they want me to).

A friend of mine attends a small college in another state. This particular runner had one of the roughest times running to wizard, but she pulled it off after months of trying. It was not too long after that a certain lab assistant in the evenings began running her out of the computer lab and cutting her connection. After a while this got to be annoying when it was found that there wasn't a crowd and not much homework to be done--if any. At worst, this person was threatened with forfeiting computer lab privileges for the remainder of her years attending to get her degree. (Isn't this type of punishment supposed to be reserved for computer crackers and saboteurs?) Now, I already read this FAQ about mudding not being a "right", but I do not necessarily agree with the arguments presented. At this point I asked for the email address of the lab assistant who was doing this stuff so I could send that individual an informative letter about the do's and don'ts on when to ask someone to leave the computer lab and question why he cares when someone is mudding. At first, I was led to believe I had gotten the system administrator...instead I got another lab assistant who doubled as the webmaster. After a couple of exchanges the mail ended up with the real system admin. Finally, the desired effect began to emerge, although it wasn't clear if that was the case early on. For some of the notions expressed in the letter, these weren't true with this particular college...all students had "free" phones, and the monies from tuition weren't funding the computer lab. Somehow, the sysadmin though I was her boyfriend (!) even though I've never met this girl in person. And a month later, when I sent another note to this same pest that was spam booting her off from another location on campus, the sysadmin had the notion that I was "continually harassing" the lab assistants--not true of course. Eventually, things had settled down, where the mudder was allowed to be online, within reasonable limits.

Now, for someone to stand up to a computer lab assistant or a system administrator, it takes a lot of courage--cause their reactions are very unpredictable. The worse case being that the sysadmin will bar you from using the computer lab, but if that happens, you should file a grievance with the Dean of Students, the student government, or else demand a FULL refund of tuition. Since I was not anywhere near this college, it wasn't too much of a problem for me to send someone a list of complaints. The only real concern is getting the mudder in trouble, so being civil is a requirement. If you're needing a well formulated argument to tell someone why you shouldn't be bared from playing a mud...there it is.

It's been a bit of a busy summer for me, and a somewhat of an active summer for Abermuds in general in terms of coding. It fortunately has been quiet in terms of ugly incidents...which *I* like (that has changed in the last few weeks, details below). But there has been some problems in terms of authorship and permissions--this time concerning the C-Dirt codebase. Months ago I was asked to take down the Gold zone, of which I found out that the author never gave permission to distribute (a buggy, unusable version of) his zone in the C-Dirt archive. It appears possible that some other zones in it may not have that permission either. I think it's high time for anyone who has a zone in C-dirt to come forward and say they didn't give permission if that is the case. Until then, people like me should not be expected to take responsibility for the actions of the author of C-Dirt, and any zone included there is considered fair game. Here is what's included in C-Dirt, along with all the other codebases.

There have been a number of happenings in the Abermud community (some maybe passed over from last issue) here is a roundup of the newer additions over the summer:

Marty of Darkscapes has finally decided to release pDirt to the public again! Be warned though, Marty intentionally put a couple of things in the code that are open doors for crackers to break in, this being to keep "non-coders" from running a mud, or so he says on his webpage. Nothing a good patch from Abermud Central can't fix. You can get it from

Promised Land, of which yours truly now ranks as a Demigod and does some of their coding (eek!), offers some new features this go-around. For zones, we become the first to open the Batcave quest by Sanyth (this was the winner in that zone-writing contest a few months back). Your mission here is explore the cave and avoid being caught in a trap, or eaten up by bats, werewolves and spirits while trying to free Akasha, the queen of the damned from her husband. Also we have the Chess quest, featuring a battle with a real Joker and the pieces on a chessboard. We also will be the first to reintroduce the Ildharas zone by Kalivar, long since lost when the Aber IV muds began to fade away. Ildharas was created in 1991, using the Aber IV format. You can read the prelogue story about this quest over at Some more skills have been added to the learning list, fightstrength and fightmana which allows you to regenerate your health and mana during a fight (at a lesser rate), meditate where you can regain your health at a faster rate temporarily, and robdeath where you can steal from deathrooms. These are only available when you have completed some services to your god. A poker game has also been added, where you the runners attempt to gather five playing cards scattered about the mud to make their best hand, and perhaps be rewarded. Some new commands were also added: SMELL, either stuff or others, ASSIST, which ends the conflict between reading help files and helping players, and ARREST for busting the bad guys (like the Criminal, who's stealing everything!)

Northern Lights continues to add new quests, this time the Brownies quest by the archwizard caveman, Og. In the land of the Brownies something is terribly wrong... The Mayor of Brownie Town might be able to tell you what has happened to them. NL is also moving away from hardcoded magically effected items by using a number of new object attribute flags. Some mystery rewrite of an old zone is coming shortly...but they wouldn't reveal what it is.

Phoenix also has been adding new quests. Warlock written by Heathen, where you find your way up a rocky climb near the Elven Forest into Firetop Mountain, bring the Warlock to justice and burn the sign at the entrance. Teardrop written by Aso, where you have to find a lakeside wayward pine and a book in the village of Omnival, situated at the foot of Mt. Vorpal in the moors, and save the village when the ghouls of Fallenthorp escape their volcanic prison. Players can now resurrect their familiars for a fee, new items and changes in policy in the shops, and some enhancements to the economic system. Another type of tournament is offered, Capture the Flag.

Asylum once again is one of the biggest newsmakers of the issue. The landscape is getting a revamp on one side, where the base zone is being called Osterland, which will make it easier to add new zones. New quests featured are: Earthgod by Lichen, Kjeldor by Bargalad and Abby, Vortex by Trog and Gandor, Phoenix by Arg. A number of gameplay changes have been implemented, where the most important change is that a number of flags and code have been added to facilitate the operation of our new aMobiles system.

* Microsoft Recommends Asylum MUD *

Asylum is one of the handful of MUDs which have been recommended in the new Microsoft Bookshelf "Internet Directory 1998" - and is the only Aber sourced MUD of those mentioned. Turn to page 710 of the directory to read our review. This inclusion does come to us as a pleasant surprise, given the fact that no adminsitrative contact was made at any time with the authors of the book.

* aMobiles System Launched *

Some of you may be aware of an idea put about several months ago called aMobiles - (Asylum-Mobiles). This idea centers around the concept that instead of introducing player-killing, mobiles could actually be programmed to work more like players themselves which would inevitably enhance general game-play while retaining the same difficulty rating within the game. Some minor testing has been carried out on this idea together with many emails between powers and eventually, Friends. A limited release of aMobiles is now functioning within Asylum code. So, what do aMobiles actually do? Well ask yourself, what can players do? They can:

* flee when they feel that they are in grave danger, depending upon wimpy.
* sleep when low on strength or aura.
* find food, carry it and eat it when needed.
* join in fights with players and fights against mobiles.
* use aura to cast spells and when it is used up, they cannot cast any more until aura is replenished.
* remember who saved them from death and help that person later
* be healed (for mobiles specifically by wandering healers...)
* Companions respond to two new tells:
Stay - Companion will remain and sleep until it has healed str and aura.
Follow - Companion will always follow you.
NOTE: Asking a mobile for help will put it into Follow mode (default).

Delusion has edged out the competition again as the largest Abermud of them all now offering 134 zones, 6997 rooms, 2366 mobiles, 3763 objects, and 66 quests. There are 172 quest points total, with 4 different WizLevels which is determined by your earned quest points. Recently introduced are multiple races and classes, each with different skills and spells. A new spell system, with spell categories and duration spells that are class dependant. A new skill system, with tons of skills that are also race and class dependant. A new money system with a trading post for mortals to trade equipment. Other odds and ends include a fully working clone and alias code, fully nonblocking socket code, with asynchronous hostname and ident lookup, subnet identification, route banning and linkdeath support. Identification of player´s origin (city + state/country), antispam and antimacro code (test state), and fully integrated mudmailer with ability to mail players on other muds round out the new stuff. New Planned features: 10 new quests (none of which will be by me), player familiars, and diseases. This MUD is a real darkhorse, better discover what you're missing today!

MystiqueMUD recently has added the following to its mud: Foremost among Mystique's impressive features is a brand new, cutting-edge mailer, written entirely in-house. This mailer, inspired by other excellent mailers including FreddMail and several UNIX system mailers, features multiple folders to organize your mail, the ability to direct messages to multiple recipients, and an advanced and intuitive interface. Other innovations introduced by Mystique personnel include a Capture The Flag arena, an advanced ANSI color management system, a bounty system to reward tracking down and defeating difficult opponents, a fair player killing system which protects the innocent, a 'soapbox' system for self-expression, and a host of improvements to the game engine which the average player will never see but which nevertheless enhance the overall experience.

Acheron offers a bunch of new zones itself: Avernus that features the LostBook quest--Journey to a once abandoned castle to retrieve Academas' lost book and put it back on the table which is belongs (this is nothing like Mendax's LostBook/NRose zone). FireMage--Stop the fire raids by killing the FireMage. Queensryche--Save the Queen of Rycheland from her nasty king, and receive a great reward. Also by Academas: PrinceG and Rat.

Anarchy (no web page) has a revamped spell system where each player has to spend cash earned to improve the seven spell types they can cast. Of course, the key is killing mobiles and solving quests. Speaking of which, new quests added are Benefaction, Cataclysm, and Avalon. The layout of the mud has been redesigned, so it looks much differently than your standard stock layout we all know. The mud now self-respawns.

Antropo offers the following new quests: Frankenstein, where you help the mad doctor finish his latest creation and get rewarded; Horror, where you save a village and kill the master of horror (like Doom); Pentadragon, a hard puzzler where you seek the help of a warrior past to kill a resurrected dragon; Papunica, free a trapped people from the commander of an army of demons, the toughest mobiles are found here; Creator (also known as Gialco), which you have to kill an evil sorceror to avenge the killing of all the cyclops.

ANOTHER player file has been lost. This time Camelot (no web page) has fallen victim to this plague, caused by a hard drive crash. Head back over and mail Merlin for a reimbursement of points and quests.

Darkscapes offers these new quests: Creator previously mentioned in Antropo, and the Tree quest, where you must save Chanya The Tree of Wisdom, and rescue an unknown City from certain death!

Infinity (no web page) has done some work over time and offers some new features: A new talk feature has been implemented where private conversations can now be color coded, and accessed by a typing just three characters (uh excuse me, but isn't ERiC's color parser available everywhere?) This makes it easier to talk to those with similar names, and to keep multiple conversations straight. Soon, another new and innovative way to communicate will be implemented. A modified, improved version of the Jimmy zone with the ParrotHead quest has been added, which is designed to be a fun run for all, and an interesting blend of puzzle and combat.

Nalle offers the Lostcards quest--Pelle the card-player has lost 5 of his cards, find them and return them to him.

Hysteria has implemented some gameplay changes...while you're playing, you can SCOPE your surroundings and see who's nearby (just like a diku), and use AFFECT to see what all is affecting you. You can also see the "ticks" of the clock. Ticks are the MUD's timers. They control how long spells last, when repops will occur, and pretty much everything else. Magic has been changed, you may have to wait before you can do something after completing a spell, depending on the spell. Watch out, those of you that like to act like an IDIOT! The powers can flag you as such, and makes you slow down greatly, plus the embarassment! There are quests for wizards, which range from hide and seek to scavenger hunts. Two new guilds, Fallen Angels and Thugs for those are basically such. And finally, if 25 different people are logged in at any one time, everyone gets a point or levels reward (ingenius recruiting method!). Don't forgot to read THEIR newsletter..."Bit of Hysteria".

Smile has figured out a way to use your hands, now you can wield two weapons and use your shield for blocking. ROGUEs can do player killing without risk, SAVE won't work until you quit out or get killed.

TerraFirmA finally put out their way overdue newsletter called FreeWheeling in late June. Their next issue's release is in question. As for enhancements, they've added the following: New Commands--INVOKE, this command activates stored majick in Enchanted Items. Look for these objects they lie scattered around the world and can hold powerful spells! RECHARGE, got your Enchanted object and used all its power? No problem, find the mage and use this command to charge its spell casting power. Majick Changes: This release includes a lot of changes to Majick. Some news spells have been added plus the already mentioned Enchanted Items. The Mage can now tell you more about majick related objects. The major change though this release is the introduction of mobile offensive majick. Some mobiles will now throw spells at you during combat, so its essential you have majick protect or majick nullifying spells on your side! New Quest: This release also sees the introduction of the Prague Quest. The story of Prague tells of a great Golem who helps the local townspeople in their everyday work. The Rabbi is a wise old man whose trust you have to gain in order for him to help you to create this awesome being. So, you want to solve the new quest in Prague? But how do you get there? Well, you have to catch the new Stagecoach which stops in Prague and Beilefeld. There's a small price to pay, but the journey is safe and smooth... for now ;) Another big change this release is the revision of small puzzles and tasks which change every reset. There are now many boards scattered across the world, and many many more puzzles to complete! Don't forget you can still hire out Mercenaries to help you in the game!

Here's the current breakdown on mud stats, take note--Mud Connector considers any mud with less than 10,000 rooms to be a SMALL one, so the horse race is on to break the 10,000 barrier (which just happens to be Abermud's physical limit) while maintaining quality:

Mud Name












Black Star


















Illusionary Realms II












Northern Lights
























General news items...

Mudzine didn't last very long, which is unfortunate considering there wasn't anything similar to it around--what killed it was time constraints and a lack of news submissions. Now there is another mud magazine taking its place called the The Mud Journal. It will be doing what Mudzine did where they report on mud happenings, mud players, and reviews. In this case however, there will be a reporting staff and it will come out on a monthly basis. As this issue was being written up, they were conducting a major poll where they asked who was the best role-playing mud, best player-kill mud, best overall mud, favorite codebase, favorite MUD client, and MUD vs. MUD (beats me what that means). LP and Smaug have been running away with the voting, and until I came across it, Abermud hadn't gotten one after casting my vote, I've put the word out that we needed to get our vote out and make a showing. This effort did pay off, as Abermud ranked third with 12% while Northern Lights finished in sixth place with 6% and Asylum tenth place with 3% for best overall mud. A new poll will start every month, and nominations should be submitted by the fifteenth of the month. If you want to keep your mud in the top ten, you have to submit new votes every month--and right now, our guys aren't doing too well in September.

UPDATE on Mud Journal--somebody broke into their site on 9/8/1998 and deleted everything. The FBI was called in to investigate, and TMJ had stated that they will press charges against whoever had done the deed. Unauthorized hacking is classified as a class C felony in all the NATO countries punishable by up to three years in prison. There was a bit of confusion as to who was actually the one who did the deed. The Mud Connector's General Discussion Area had posts shortly afterward in which someone named James Allison was the id'ed as the one who did it. Later on however, when the FBI performed the trace it turned out to be from an Ottawa Canada socket. The trouble indeed was a vendetta against the owner of Dark & Shattered Lands MUD, via a guy named Krantzstone who was banned from it for cheating and admitting only to play there to cause problems, amist a lot of other reasons. How did anyone become enabled to get in? He intercepted an ICQ conservation between TMJ's editors where they were talking about their passwords at the time. According to one source, snooping on private ICQ conversations isn't a difficult thing to do. TMJ unfortunately did not have a backup of the webpages and had to start over. If it is provable as to who committed the crime, the maximum allowed charges will be pressed. You can see for yourself the aftermath flamethrowing over on Mud Connector's General Discussion Area. Aside, heavy discussion with persons argueing on whether the polls are rigged--I don't think so, my own work on getting our two Abermuds ranked was legit campaigning and getting out the vote. Someone else however, thinks these polls are just for elevating someone's self-pride, and of course will never be accurate--personally, I nominate a mud if I think it has a chance and is popular enough.

What's new to download? Several of the zone files are scheduled to be updated soon (course this newsletter kept me from that...), since I now have a mud where I can directly test what I write when I attempt to put those zones in. A couple of zones will be added, starting with the Enchanter zone recently donated by Jonix (the specials file has yet to be located). The previously mentioned Ildharas zone by Kalivar, which has a bit of a story on how it came about. I of course in keeping with TCAL being complete periodically use the major search engines to locate anything new or obscure on the topic. Well, that day I came across one site where the author talks about some zones they had written in years past, most of them were some flavor of Diku, but one of them was for an Abermud. I made an inquiry about it, we exchanged email about the zone, made formatting changes, and mechanics, made an offer to convert the specials, and eventually Kalivar produced a rewritten zone file using the Dirt format. Along the way, she sent the format for Aber IV zones, which looked remarkably like Diku formats. Now we should be thankful to the authors of Dirt, cause without them we might still be using some Diku-type formatting in our creations. Ildharas should be available after it is introduced into Promised Land.

We are in need of the specials files for the following zones: Chylon, Cottage, Enchanter, Eosia, Rome, Town, and Windy. They have either been lost by the original author or weren't included with the C-Dirt codebase, I know how to run a couple of them, but it's better not having to reinvent the wheel recreating stuff that exists somewhere else. Jar authored Eosia, but lost his copy. Jonix authored Enchanter, but also lost his copy.

ZGEN has been updated again to v0.31. New this time around is visibility for objects, as opposed to assigning the "Destroyed" flag to it. Visibility hasn't been used too much in zone files, if at all, but it does exist in all of the Dirt codebases available for objects and mobiles. I plan to make use of visibility in future zones submitted. A problem raised recently was that ZGEN won't run in Red Hat Linux. Even though I have tested it in that environment, it should be noted that I've created ZGEN using perl v5.004.01 using SCO UNIX. As a rule of thumb, if ZGEN won't run, check the following: the version of UNIX/Linux you're running, the version of perl you're running. ZGEN will work under v5.003, but older versions and even newer versions of perl remain to be tried.

Some additional download sites were added to the mudstuff section, including where it has a selection of telnet and MUD clients, which is another site to download source code for a bunch of different kinds of muds. Abermud386 appears to be a SCO Xenix version of Aber Two, though looking thru the tar file it doesn't look like the tar file was built correctly. (Anyone know what the reliably factor with tar files is? Verification modes while building?) From what I could see in there, it appears to be a later version of Aber Two, where mobiles are able to move around and some more of the familiar zones missing from the older version has shown up here.

Ever wanted to advertise your mud using banner ads but didn't want to shell out the bucks to do it? About eight muds have used the free banner space at the top of my mudlist, but the people who see it are the ones who look at this webpage. Fortunately there's some other places to put that banner where a much wider audience can see it.

Talon's Gaming Network, which will feature codebase reviews, downloads, and information pertaining to online gaming, features a free banner exchange in which you can keep up on the stat ratio of showings and hits. It isn't very large at this point--about four banners make up the current rotation after I submitted one for my mud and this website, but with the exposure given here that should change very quickly.

Mudlinx is another free banner link exchange offering the same services as TGN, only that this has been around a good while and has several members.

Of course, whenever you use these services, you have to put their banner box on your webpage and everyone sees banners from other sites advertising their mud or webpage. The banners have to conform to a certain size limit, 10K or so, but they also get resized if they're bigger or smaller than the specified size.

The Mud Journal for a limited time is offering for free 200x75 sized ad banners, which will be posted around the site at random.

The Abermud Webring homepage is being moved to another server. The server where it was housed before is out of commission, so new submissions to the ring aren't being taken (changes of address are being taken however). The move hasn't been completed, and is taking longer than expected.

And now some comments about zone writing. Lately I've come across several instances of poor zone writing or placement, including on my own mud. There are several unwritten rules about where you should place a zone, transitions, warning signs of danger, etc. and they have been breached a bit too often. So here are some of the big taboos in zone writing:

Rooms With Cuss Words--we're supposed to be running muds that are for everyone, including kids. We shouldn't be teaching kids new four letter words. Secondly, using curse words in a zone shows poor English writing skills, you shouldn't be using curse words to describe something. No, don't claim to be writing "Catcher in the Rye" type zone. I found one zone that used the F-word to describe a wall, unfortunately it wasn't the real version of the zone and he was in a bad mood at the time.

Rooms with Poor or No Transition--This problem was on my own mud, and I've seen it elsewhere. In this case you're standing on a cliff, overlooking an ocean to the east. You take the east exit, and you find yourself in the middle of the forest...what the heck? Bad bad bad. You don't just stick a new zone just ANYWHERE. You have to look carefully for a spot, and imagine what it looks like if you were actually there to decide if it makes sense. Well, it was blanantly obvious that it didn't make sense so I moved the zone to another part of the mud where it did make some sense. Just watch what you're doing next time, discuss it with the other powers if need be.

Deathrooms With No Warning--this is a big annoyance to the runners, you're walking along, everything looks fine and dandy and...BOOM you're dead! The typical non-marked deathroom is where the room describes your exits but doesn't give anything that would hint at trouble, same goes for the deathroom itself with a non-threatening title. On my mud we had one of those, the deathroom was called "Climbing the Mountain" where the room before described two paths and said there was a mountain in front of you...but no description of the mountain itself. Several other rooms in the game were called "Climbing the Mountain", but weren't deathrooms at all. Avoid this zone-writing taboo.

Mobiles that Block All Flees--What bothers me about this one is the author creates a room with only one exit, then puts a tough mobile in there blocking the only exit out, and add to that the mobile can't be killed by normal weapons. Caught in a fight you cannot win, you can't flee, automatic loss of half your score. If you had the lone teleport scroll, you could escape...but most people would not. That kind of zone exists on Virtual Sun, and I haven't run on that mud since because of that trap (that particular zone doesn't exist on any other mud, no big surprise). That is something you should avoid coding for your zone, cause it doesn't really make the zone better.

Geocities has made their desperate move, and bumped me off for blocking their eyesore from interfering with my content--this lasted a total of 72 days, don't remember when I started with blocking the pop-up ads. As you can see, XOOM doesn't have anything of the sort (yet, except they block graphics accessed from their site used on other sites), which explains how their membership doubled in three months--disgruntled Geocities members by the millions jumped ship here or other places like it. (Someone claimed XOOM has only 250K webpages there, supposedly their membership is due to their chat server and sale items.) Despite the massive campaign against it, it steadfastly won't buckle to the opposition--and has been doing its best to destroy it. The management has convinced itself that somehow this cattle branding will cause someone playing the stock market to buy its stock...uh yeah, the value of the stock is currently about the same as it was when it was offered for sale. (The high teens or low twenties, off a high of $46.)

The FTC recently sued Geocities for violating privacy laws and selling information about its members, even though Geocities claims the press got it wrong about what they were doing when they were cited, but their credibility right now is extremely low. This has actually damaged the value of their stock, and when their "real" cattle brand appears, that being a large pop-up box pushed into your face whenever you hover your mouse over it, will damage their stock even more. But this has not stopped there, they had introduced a LARGE delay loop in javascript (1 to 35,000) that detects and freezes your Netscape 3 browser until it finishes. IE3 users weren't affected, because it pops a warning to the user alerting you to this loop. This was taken out days later, after a large uproar prompted a response saying they were using it to correct some problem with their advertising banners.

There is another important piece of information though, seems to have had a major role in developing the floating logo. This ought to be BAD news for the viewer as other websites may do what the television industry has done and stick its logo over what you're reading...ala the Stamp Act of 1769 that helped start the American Revolution. (I got a copy of this stupid code too, wonder what a real hacker could do with it?) As my act of revenge against Geocities, I am posting up a photo of Tom Evans, their CEO, where the viewer can use him as a punching bag. Incidently, this guy was the former president of "U.S. Snooze and World Distort" (okay, U.S. News and World Report, but you get the point...thanks Rush) who in an interview said the web was not being fully utilized for advertising and promotion (read: you haven't been SPAMMED enough.) MY suggestion: write to Netscape, Microsoft, and Sun begging for java program and javascript filtering. It should provide the ability to block the execution of certain scripts deemed troublesome, such as the "open browser window" bomb that opens new browser windows repeatedly until your computer runs out of memory, and obviously that cattle brand. By the way, have you heard about the "Strange Brew" javavirus?

ANOTHER Late news breaker: offers a piece of software that DOES block out the stuff you don't want by filtering it through a proxy. Although I've had trouble with it early on, which included system freezes and a load of javascript errors, this configurable piece of software ought to clean up the junk that's uploaded to your server when you hop from one place or another, including those dirty cattle brands and nasty javascripts. What you do see when something is blocked is a broken-picture symbol or the Internet Junkbuster hyperlink, which when clicked tells you what was blocked out. Oh yeah, the software is FREE and comes with both Windows and Unix systems and can be used as either client-side or server-side software.

Well, that's it for this edition--any longer and I'm gonna have to hire an editorial staff. My thanks to Og for encouraging me to write this issue even though I should have been doing a lot of other things. The next one will appear whenever there's too many news items popping up. Happy running...and condolences to everyone who's been sucked back into school. Click on NEWS below to read the previous issue.