Xerox Hermes Mail from ALTOs
Page Numbers: Yes X: 527 Y: 10.5"
Inter-Office Memorandum
ToALTO UsersDateJanuary 18, 1981
FromTed StrolloLocationPalo Alto
SubjectHermes Mail from ALTOsOrganizationVIS
Filed on: [MAXC2]<ALTODOCS>AltoHermes.MEMO
A form-driven, BRAVO coupled mechanism for preparing and sending messages via the Xerox Hermes is now available. It offers the ALTO user the capability of sending HERMES messages, TWX or TELEX messages, Telegrams, or Mailgrams. Laurel users can also use Laurel to send similar HERMES messages (by treating Hermes as the pseudo ArpaNet host @XNET), but there are some problems with line formatting hence the procedures described in this memo remain the standard way to communicate between Altos and the Xerox Hermes network. While I would like to encourage users to use this to test our Hermes connection at PARC; I want to be up front about the limitations; so, here they are:
The mechanism used to transfer files from the ALTO to MAXC2 (which is where the Hermes link resides) is somewhat kludgey. It can fail under obscure conditions. If it does fail, follow the recovery instructions at the end. TWX,TELEX,Telegrams,Mailgrams all cost real dollars. Please use them properly. The Xerox Hermes service is really a world-wide link of model 35 teletypes. Such devices speak only upper case ASCII text and data transmission reliability is not perfect. It is easy to get carried away with BRAVO, and not realize that all the fancy font stuff will just get stripped out by this program and the devices.
Getting the Necessary Files
If you get a copy of the file [MAXC2]<ALTO>Hermes.CM and then type @Hermes.CM to the ALTO EXEC, you will get the needed files to your disk and you will be sitting in BRAVO looking at a copy of this memo. You must have your user.cm properly set up for font 8 per the standard defaults in order for the image on the screen to look closest to the way it would look on a HERMES terminal. You must also have those standard fonts on your ALTO disk ([MAXC1]<ALTOFONTS>gacha10.al in particular). Your user.cm must also have the X.QUIT macro in the [BRAVO] section per the file XNETSLICEUSER.CM which gets copied to your disc as part of the package. [There is a peculiar { in the macro which has a control s typed after it; if you are good with BRAVO windows, that is perhaps the best way to get the macro into your user.cm].
Using the System
Simply type @HERMES or @MAILGRAM, @TWX, @TELEX, @TELEGRAM for whichever type of message you want to send. You next edit the BRAVO form as it appears on the screen. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CHANGE THE FIELDS TYPED IN BOLD AT ALL! [Some of the forms have the field "TO FA" in bold. This site is commonly used for refiling within the US, but it is not always the best choice. A complete list of TELENET site addresses appears in the back of the Telecommunications directory.] If you want a very close approximation of what the thing will look like on a teletype; input everything in upper case and do a "look hardcopy" at the body of the message. When you have finished filling in all the fields; type qxcry where cr means carriage return. This will send the message off to MAXC2 after preprocessing it to make sure no lines are longer than 72 characters. It does balanced left formatting. Any carriage returns are passed through as carriage returns; so use carriage returns only when you want them. As usual with BRAVO just type space as the normal separator. When the program finishes, it returns to the ALTO Exec.

Recovering from Errors

If the program should bomb out while trying to FTP to MAXC2(which can happen for assorted reasons); simply abort it and type
to get it to try again. You may have to do this persistently until it works.