Suggestions to DoT from
Dr. S. Parthasarathy
Our Ref.: suggest.002
Date: 8 Nov. 1997
SUGESTIONS SUGGESTIONS SUGGESTIONS
I THANK YOU FOR THE EFFORTS YOU ARE TAKING TO IMPROVE THE
I USE INTERNET FOR VERY SERIOUS WORK, AND WILL BE GRATEFUL
FOR ANY IMPROVEMENTS YOU MAKE.
THE FOLLOWING SUGGESTIONS APPLY TO SHELL ACCOUNTS ONLY. MY
NAME AND ADDRESS ETC IS GIVEN IN THE SIGNATURE BOX BELOW.
MOST OF THE POINTS GIVEN BELOW HAVE ALREADY BEEN SUBMITTED TO
YOU. I AM REPEATING THEM WITH SOME MODIFICATIONS, AND HAVE
ADDED A FEW POINTS. I KNOW THAT YOU ARE WORKING ON MY EARLIER
SET OF SUGGESTIONS, I AM SENDING THEM AGAIN FOR YOUR RECORDS
AND CROSS CHECKING.
I MUST ADD THAT, DUE TO YOUR EFFORTS, THE SERVICE OF DOT HAS
SUBSTANTIALLY IMPROVED AND IS INDEED VERY GOOD MOST OF THE
TIME. BY AND LARGE WE ARE HAPPY, ALTHOUGH SOMETIMES THERE IS
A FEELING OF ANXIETY WHEN PROBLEMS APPEAR OR PERSIST.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SEND ME AN E MAIL, IF YOU NEED FURTHER
THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN.
1.1 The contract with DoT is for one year or 500 hours
whichever is earlier. It is therefore important for us to
know how much of this we have consumed at any time. You
should therefore display, at every log-in, both: days
consumed since start of account, as well as hours
consumed since start of account (for that particular
Presently neither of this is shown. The hours shown is
cumulative and includes hours consumed last year also !
The days completed in the present contract are not known.
Since this is a contractual necessity, it MUST be
implemented as soon as possible.
2. PINE - SETUP - CONFIG
2.1 There are too many restrictions, fixed by SYSADMIN in
the setup/config menu. Remove as many (harmless)
restrictions as possible.
2.2 Please include the possibility of modifying the choice of
character set. Presently it is fixed by sysadmin at
ASCII only. We would like to use ISO - 8859 -1 (French,
German etc.). This is very importnat, if we have to
project India on an international scale. This is VERY
2.3 Include the possibility to introduce NNTP server of
our choice using Pine setup/config.
3. UNIX COMMANDS
3.1 Give possibility to use I/O redirection with > and < (the
pipe | command may be dangerous, but not the i/o
3.2 Give access to Unix "mv" (move) command. This is
necessary since very often we have to "move" files with
long file names into files with dos format file names
3.3 Restore "who" command. It gives us the possibility
to electronically call up someone when we are
logged in and have a problem/question. It is
totally harmless and the user can not modify anything or
cause any harm.
4.1 Give us a script file for unlocking one's own files and
folders particularly the INBOX which gets locked quite
5.1 Please add a command in your daily cron or
other maintenance/housekeeping scripts to remove core
from all user directories. Core dumps occur due to many
reasons, and most users are not even aware of what it
means. These cores just occupy disk space and make the
user quota overflow in addition to causing system to
behave less optimally.
5.2 Removing INBOX locks should also be made automatic and
5.3 Please do use the "message of the day" facility to keep
us informed of extraneous disturbances e.g to your
trunk lines to Bomaby VSNL gateway.
5.4 We had given a suggestion earlier that we should be
warned in advance whenever you take the system on
maintenance. Please keep up the practice of warning us
in advance for scheduled maintenance activities. We
greatly appreciate your having started this practice.
6.1 Very often some of your modems misbehave: 1. they do not
respond (pick up). Causing endless ringing tone. 2.
sometimes when they pickup they give a FAX handshake
tone (whistling sound). 3. Or, they pickup and send a
blank screen/garbage. Please monitor your modems more
frquently, and disable faulty modems.
6.3 Hyderabad DoT collects a modem licence fee in spite of
its having been withdrwan by DoT everywhere. Please
ensure that you stop collecting the modem licence fee
7.1 Since very often we end up with blank screens, garbage
etc. And also since the line drops midway during a
session, necessitating additional calls, I suggest that
you use a toll-free number (like 197 / 198) for your
server. So our calls to this number are not charged. The
tariff for shell account can be increased prorata to
include the cost of calls.
7.2 Please improve your trunk line backbone from Hyderabad to
VSNL gateway at Bombay. Often, Web browsing, ftp, telnet
are very slow and take unacceptably long times.
8.1 The helpdesk can be made more responsive. You can install
an automatic response generated by the machine itself,
for each message sent by us. This will give us the
confidence that our message is indeed recorded and that
you will act on it.
This will reduce the number of phone calls you get from
8.2 Whenever you take the machine on maintenance, you should
divert the phone line (3324422) to an answering machine
which will give a recorded voice message saying that the
"system is down, will be back by....".
9. FAQ/ WEB PAGE
9.1 DoT Hyderabad, can create a FAQ of its own, and also put
up a webpage, for Hyderabad based specifics. This
facility, along with the automatic answering by HELPDESK
will reduce the burden on your officers considerably.
9.2 You can setup a link from this webpage to the shell club
webpage (see URL in my next para). This will save you
from a lot of nuisance calls made by subscribers who have
local problems with their machines/modems.
10. SHELL CLUB
10.1 To reduce the burden on your officers further, you must
inform the webpage address of the shell club to your new
subscribers. Also, when people call you about problems
specific to their machine/modem, you can quote this
I repeat the URL of the shellclub:
The shell club is an absolutely free association of
shell account holders. You are aware of the useful work
done by us. You can see our charter and rules in the
Your feedback please
Thank you for your visit.
Do get in touch.