Access to Data via the World-Wide Web (WWW)
June 2, 1995
To: All BOREAS Investigators and Staff
From: Jeff Newcomer, BOREAS Information Scientist
[(301) 286-7858] [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Subject: Various Items and WWW Access to Data
We have not yet received all of the one page write ups from the science teams
that are needed for compiling the Operations Document. The current goal is to
have a full draft of the document by June 30. GSFC staff are working on their
portions and need your contributions to fill in needed areas. If you are
unsure what is required, contact your group leader or Fred Huemmrich
[email@example.com or (301)286-4862].
Several people have been sending multiple versions/formats of data and
documentation files in their submissions (e.g., a text file of the data and
an Excel spreadsheet file of the data). It is clear that the intent is to be
sure that BORIS gets a copy of the data and documentation that we can use
effectively. In most of these cases, we could have used just about any one
of the formats sent. However, by sending multiple versions it adds additional
effort for us in checking the extra files to be sure that they all contain the
same information and in inventorying all the extra files we receive. The best
situation from our perspective would be to send only one version that has been
approved by the BORIS group representative. If you have questions about this,
please contact your BORIS group representative or me.
We plan to continue to use our current email lists and aliases to send out
information like this to you. If you are aware of someone who should be
getting these mailings but is not, please contact us. The lists are only as
good as their contents.
The following chart provides an example time conversion for standard and daylight
savings time periods in 1993, 1994, and 1995 from local times at the SSA and NSA
to GMT. For most of you this may be information you already have and know but
for those of us shoveling data of various sorts, we have found it to be handy in
checking dates and times and encourage you to use it also.
Daylight Savings Time Dates
April 4 - October 31, 1993
April 2 - October 30, 1994
April 3 - October 31, 1995
GMT Maryland Manitoba Saskatchewan
Standard Time 1300 0800 0700 0700
Daylight Savings 1300 0900 0800 0700
In a nutshell:
- both the NSA and SSA are 6 hours behind GMT during standard time.
- the NSA and SSA are 5 and 6 hours behind GMT, respectively, during
We have been having an increasing number of questions and problems reported about
the Data Documentor and Data Formatter software utilities. Based on the FIFE
Information System effort, these utilities seemed like a good idea and to a
limited extent have at least partially fulfilled their mission. Your use of
them has provided us with information and ideas about improvements to continue
their viability and to improve them. However, we do not have the resources to
maintain and improve them at this time and the ASCII documents and tabular ASCII
data files being received are working out well. Essentially if these programs
work for you and you are happy with them, you can continue to use them. If you
have problems with them, we strongly encourage you to output the data files as
tabular comma separated ASCII files and the documentation as simple ASCII text
As of June 5, BOREAS data will be available through the World-Wide Web. You will
have access to the BOREAS data though the BOREAS Web pages directly, with the
Netscape Web browser.
Netscape is the only Web browser currently available that can make FTP connections
to a VAX (which is where the BOREAS data is stored). NCSA Mosaic does not work
with VAXes running VMS and Multinet. Several browsers were tested, and only
Netscape worked correctly.
Using the current access restrictions, only BOREAS Investigators and their
associates can currently access the BOREAS data. Therefore the data is PASSWORD
PROTECTED, and can only be accessed by people who know the current password.
The current password can be obtained by connecting to the BOREAS.GSFC.NASA.GOV
system, logging on to your user account, and accessing the available electronic
Bulletin Board. BORIS will periodically change the password to enforce data
security. As part of the BOREAS project, you will be informed of any password
change via email. At that time you will need to access the bulletin board to
obtain the new password. Alternately, you can call Ms. Beth McCowan at the
BOREAS Information System (301) 286-4005, 0900 to 1700 EST to receive the
current password. Please help us maintain the needed data security and do not
share this password with anyone not associated with the BOREAS Project. An
example session of getting the password is contained at the end of this message.