by Edward S. Baiz
Hello once again.
I am here to talk about something I love most
to do on my Hades, that is reading and answering
messages on the various newsgroups. From the
start, I chose to use Newsie which is one great
program for doing this. It is also very easy
to set up and use. As the years passed, I found
myself upgrading lots of things on the Hades
including the OS, NVDI and MagiC. Something must
have happened because Newsie started giving
me a bus error right in the middle of reading
and saving messages. This did not happen all
the time, but it started to become a very big
nuisance. I do not blame this problem totally
on Newsie since I believe it was made with the
ST/Mega/TT in mind. When I heard Newsie was
not going to be upgraded anymore, I decided
to look for another way I could access the newsgroups.
Newsie had served me well, but now it was time
for a change.
I had ran into Okami about the same time I first
found Newsie. I chose Newsie after reading Okami's
set-up instructions. To a person just starting
out, Okami seemed too hard for me to install.
I am hoping this little tutorial will help anyone
wanting to set up and use Okami. I will also
go into the installation and use of two other
programs: Popwatch and NEWSwatch. You need these
as they work with Okami to send/receive emails
thing to do is to download the latest version
of Okami from www.xs4all.nl/~josdb/okami.html.
The latest version at the writing of this article
is 3.0B-11. The original author was Wolfram
Roesler, but it has been taken over by Jos den
Bekker who has done a great job in upgrading
the next thing to do is to decompress the file.
After that you will have all the files you need,
but there are a lot of things that have to be
done. You must decide where you are going to
have Okami reside on your hard drive and what
will be the folder name. The obvious name is
"Okami" but anything will do. Next
you must create some folders in the Okami folder.
These would be BIGTMP, INFO, LOG, MAIL, SPOOL
and TMP. In the SPOOL folder you should create
three other folders: ARTICLES, MQUEUE AND NEWS.
I created two others DOC and MAN. When you decompress
the file you get alot of file with the extension
"MAN" which is short for manual I
believe. They are on a number of subjects like
oexpire, oimport, alias and more. I just figured
that they should have their own folder to make
things less cumbersome. The DOC folder just
has some files that I consider helpful to me
in using Okami.
I go on I must make one thing perfectly clear
and give credit where credit is due. I did not
install Okami all by myself. I had help from
two Atarians. First there was the author Jos
den Bekker who solved some problems I was having.
Then there was Martin Byttebier. Most of the
things I will be telling you Martin told me.
In the DOC folder I have all of his and Jos's
emails where they answered my questions. I referred
to them many times during the installation process
just to make sure things were being done correctly.
If it was not for these two gentlemen, I probably
would not have Okami up and running. I owe them
a great deal.
the other folders should be discussed. The SPOOL
folder and its three sub-folders are important
to Okami's performance. The ARTICLES folder
contains all incoming messages from the various
newsgroups you have subscribed to. When you
reply to a message, the outgoing response goes
into the MQUEUE folder. The NEWS folder contains
the BATCH.TXT file (will be discussed later)
and history information. Also in this folder
is a file which lists all of the newsgroups
available from your ISP. If you decide to respond
to a newsgroup message by way of email, then
the response would go in the MAIL folder. The
LOG folder contains a log file which contains
all the activities concerning the past use of
Okami. When you anything with Okami, the activity
is put into this file. The INFO folder contains
various information files which will be discussed
later. Strangely enough the information file
for Okami, O.inf, is not put in this folder.
is time to run Okami. At first you will get
some messages stating that the program cannot
find this and that. Do not worry, we will get
rid of those nasty messages as we go through
the set-up. However, there is one message that
you cannot get rid of until you register. Believe
me, if you like Okami (and you will) you will
want to register as this message appears almost
everywhere when you do almost everything in
Okami. Go over to SETUP and then click
GENERAL on the drop-down menu display. You will
get a window with some options
to fill in.
You can see my choices, but you
can set things the way you want them. However,
it is best to have the "Mode" as NOS
and the "Display groups" as any. Under
"display" I chose to activate everything.
You see under "misc" I did not activate
anything. If you click on "Own desktop"
this will cause Okami to run on its own desktop.
Since I use a multi-tasking environment, I thought
it was not best not to use this function. That
is my choice and my opinion. Others may like
the MESSAGE set-up area. I just left it as it
was and have never changed it. You can experiment
with it to see its effects, but I am going
to skip it and go to the next part which is
USER DATA. Clicking on this brings up a window
that looks like this:
The "Real name", "Logname"
and "Organization" are all self explanatory,
but notice what I have for the "Site"
and "Domain". My ISP is AT&T Broadband
Internet of which the URL address is http://www.attbi.com.
When I originally saw this screen, I took the
word "Site" to mean web site, so I
left it blank as my name is not associated to
any web site. Under "Domain" I put
attbi.com. This worked fine except I was getting
some e-mails from people I had replied to saying
my return address was all messed up. Instead
of being listed as firstname.lastname@example.org, what
was showing was edbaizjr@.attbi.com. So unless
people knew my return address, their messages
would just come back to them. I had never noticed
it and could not find any reason as to why this
was happening, so I ask Jos and he told me what
the "Site" and "Domain"
should be. Now things are fine and I even changed
my settings under MintNet and MagiCNet.
option is FORMAT STRINGS which I am going to
skip as I left it the same as it was when I
decompressed the Okami file. If you want to
experiment here go ahead, but I would be sure
you know what you are doing. Things could really
get messed up unless you know what commands
to put down. Essentially this area governs the
way the message menu, message title, message
information and edit format are displayed when
you use Okami.
an important set-up option and that is PATHS.
Here is where you tell
Okami where all your directories and external
programs are. Clicking on the box next to each
directory/program brings up a file selector
which makes it easy to set each path. Notice
I left the "NOS program" option blank.
You do not need to set this if you are using
STiK, STing or GlueStik to get connected. There
are more internal paths and external programs
to set other the ones displayed in my screen
shot. Under "Internal paths" these
are the TMP, BIGTMP and INFO directories. If
you have not created these folders, do so and
set the paths. "Passwd file" I would
think you do not need unless you are running
Okami in a Unix environment. Okami does support
Unix-type mailboxes. I am not doing this, so
I ignored it. Under "External programs"
there are "Audio program" and "Image
program" which are important if you want
to display images and play sounds that are attached
to certain messages. The "Compress"
and "Diff" are not used unless you
are using Soup which I elected not to use since
it is mainly for a Unix environment. ARRAYS
is the next set-up option.
is here you can set your X-headers. I have not
used this option, but Martin does and pointed
out its use. When you ever receive a message
from someone, look at the message's information.
Noticed that some lines contain information
about the user (type of computer, programs used). By setting the X-headers you can also
do this to let people know a little about yourself
and your system. Actually, you can put anything
in this area. I have not decided what I am going
to put in this area as my personal information
is in my SIG file.
LIST EFFECTS comes next and is something
nice when used. It is here that you can set
the colors for the various kings of messages
(read, unread, killed) and groups (no new, no
unread, new, unread). This really adds a nice
professional look to Okami and makes it very
easy to keep track of the message read and the
ones that have not been read. One thing I would
like to see added in a future update is the
option to change the background window color.
From what I have heard from programmers, this
would not be a hard feature to add. The
last option in the drop-down set-up menu is OUTBOUND.
The only thing I changed
here was the "Timezone" entry. This
has to be correct for Okami to apply the correct
time to all replies. Experimentation will help
you find the correct information to type in
or you can look it up. I left everything else
the same. Make sure save the set-up by either
hitting [Control]+[B] on your keyboard or else going
under the "Setup" drop-down menu and
then to "Save setup". This will create
an o.inf file which will reside in the same
directory path as the Okami program.
with Okami set up it is time to choose which
newsgroups you will subscribe to. I know most
of you out there would know some names of the
newsroups you will like to use, but I must assume
some of you have not a clue. I was that way
when I first started to use Newsie. It had a
nice little feature that downloaded the full
list of newsgroups present on an ISP. Okami
does not have this feature as it is an off-line
newsgroup/e-mail reader, but NEWSwatch does,
so I must leave Okami for a moment and talk
about the setup of NEWSwatch.
thing to do of course is download the NEWSwatch
program from Gary Priest's web
site at www.gapcs.fsnet.co.uk/atari/atari.html.
While you are at it, you can also download Popwatch
as it was also written by Gary. Decompress it
and put all the files in the folder where you
want them to reside. Then you must make an ASCII
file called "authinfo.dat". In this
file you must put your sign-on information.
The first line should be your logname and the
second line should be your password. Use any
text editor (I used QED) to do this and save
it as a regular ASCII file. Make sure you put
it in the same folder as the NEWSwatch program.
Run the program, goto the drop-down menu "Preferences"
and click on "Edit Program Preferences".
You will get a screen that looks like this:
You must set the directories the same as you
did for Okami as I have done. The "History"
and "Get/Head.out" should be set to
go into the NEWS folder. "Retrieval Format"
is of course NOS. "Retrieval Method"
I set to Article Number as most ISPs use this
type the most. The "GMT Difference"
should be the same as set in Okami also. The
"Post News Automatically" I set to
yes. This means when you first run NEWSwatch
if you have any posts ready to upload, it will
ask you if want to that now. The rest of the
set-up options you can set to your liking.
is time to download the newsgroup list. Run
NEWSwatch. Go to the drop-down menu "Connection"
and click on "Get Full Newsgroups".
This can also be done by just pushing down [Control]+[F]
after NEWSwatch has loaded. If you have an internet
connection and if your "authinfo.dat"
is correct, NEWSwatch will start to download
the full newsgroup list. This may take a while
especially if you are not using a cable modem.
The size of the resulting file may be at least
800 KB. After NEWSwatch is done, it is time to
check to see if all went well. Go into your
Okami folder, then go to into the SPOOL folder
and finally the NEWS folder. You should have
a file named NG and it should be large. All
right, it is time to choose which newsgroups
you want to use. The best way is to use Okami.
Bring it up and hit [Control]+[O] or go under the
drop-down menu "File" and click on
"Open File". Load the NG file. Now
hit [Control]+[F] and you will get a search screen.
You may want to type in "Atari" as
I did and click on "OK. After a little while
the list shifts and you will notice that the
newsgroup at the top of the list will contain
your search string. If you want to use this
group, write it down exactly as it is. Then
hit [Control]+[G] to search again. Each time you
do this the list shifts and puts different newsgroups
at the top of the list containing your search
string. Once you have all the groups you want
written down, you can close this file.
Okami can do its thing, NEWSwatch needs to
have its set-up completed. There is a file that
tells NEWSwatch which news server to logon to
and which newsgroups to download messages from.
This is the "nttp.dat" file which
must reside in the same NEWSwatch folder as
the program file. My file looks like this:
Notice the space
before each newsgroup. This must be there. You
also must be sure the name of the newsgroup
is typed in correctly, else nothing will be
downloaded. After everything is in, the best
way to begin is to type a "O" everywhere.
The big drawback to this is that you download
all the messages for each group that is left
on your news server. This is a small price to
pay to getting things set up correctly. I went
through the same thing when I first started
Newsie. The "nttp.dat" file will be
automatically adjusted everytime you download
newsgroup messages. When you first start using
NEWSwatch, check this file to be sure it changes.
If not, something is wrong with your set-up.
There are three things to note. One is
that the last number beside each newsgroup represents
the last article downloaded. If I wanted to
re-download the last 50 articles in the comp.sys.atari.st
newsgroup, I would change the number "9502"
to "9452". Two, the article numbers
are not the same from ISP to ISP. And three,
when NEWSwatch downloads the newsgroups articles,
it puts them into a file (batch.txt) in the
SPOOL\NEWS folder in the Okami directory. This
is nice to know because if you have set up your
"nttp.dat" file incorrectly,
you can adjust it, delete the "batch.txt"
file and start over. Once you are sure everything
is correct, it is time for the next step.
probably guessed by now, that Okami uses the
"batch.txt" file. This file is basically
put in a form that Okami will draw from to allow
you to read and reply to articles in the various
newsgroups you have elected to join. But when
Okami starts to use the "batch.txt"
file there must be another file with the same
list of newsgroups that you entered in the "nttp.dat"
file when you setup NEWSwatch. Enter the "active.dat"
file which resides in the SPOOL\ARTICLES folder
in your Okami directory. Mine looks like this:
This ASCII file
must be present and again have all the names
of the various newsgroups you want to use typed
in correctly. If not, the messages will go in
another group labeled "junk". You
can still read them and reply to them, but it
makes it harder since you may have a mixture
of messages from different newsgroups all under
one heading. You do not have to type in all
the names if some groups have parts that are
similar. In others works, the first seven groups
could be entered in the "active.dat"
file as "comp.sys.atari*. Either way is
that you will notice when you first run Okami
is that it will tell you that it cannot find
the file "onews.def". This frustrated
me since I could never figure out why it was
happening. I thought that Okami would eventually
make the file. That never happened. Without
this file Okami will tell you that there are
no newsgroups available eventhough it has extracted
all the messages from the "batch.txt"
file created by NEWSwatch. So I came up with
something that worked. I used QED to create
a blank ASCII file and I named it onews.def.
Martin told me that the file should be in the
Okami directory in the same path as the "active.dat"
file which was SPOOL\ARTICLES. I re-ran Okami
and did not get the notice about the program
not finding the "onews.def" file.
However I did still get the notice about there
not being any newsgroups available. I checked
the "onews.def" file and was glad
to see that it had been written to and looked
Then I had Okami
unpack some messages. After it was done I checked
the "onews.def" again and it looked
This lead me
to believe things were fine. I also did not
get the notice that no newsgroups were available.
I realized that it was OK to get this notice
since its meaning was the fact that there were
no newsgroups containing messages available
for Okami to use.
file you may want to put together is the ASCII
"folds.inf" file which goes in the
INFO folder in the Okami directory. Folds, in
my opinion, would be short for folder. When
you extract your messages into various newsgroups,
you can group the newsgroups into various folds
to your liking. For example, I put together
a FOLDS.INF file that looks like this:
The first line
is the name of the folder and after that comes
the names of the various newsgroups in that
folder. Notice how I appreciated the newsgroups
in the folder "Atari Computers". When
you first extract the messages from the "batch.txt"
file you get a screen listing all the folders
and newsgroups which are not included in any
folders. It will look something like this:
If I click on the "Atari-Computers"
folder I will get all the newsgroups in that
folder with messages to read and it will look
something like this:
I have not mentioned it yet, each of the three
numbers preceding the names of the groups and
folders have a meaning. The first one represents
the total number of messages, the second is
the total of unread messages and the third is
the total of number of new messages. I like
to start clean everytime, so my numbers are
usually the same. If you want to have
a sig attached to your messages you will have
to create an ASCII sig file and put it also
in the INFO folder. The name of file should
be in the form of "logname.sig". Since
my logname in the user data is "edbaizjr",
my sig file would have the name "edbaizjr.sig".
If you want the same sig for every message,
like myself, you would type the file to look
Notice the "*"
at the beginning and the "\end" at
the end. You can have different sigs for different
newsgroups and/or mail. Here is a portion of
Martin's sig file:
feature in Okami is the ability to send/forward
email. You will need to create an ASCII address
book information file which again, goes in the
INFO folder. I tried to bring up the address
book under Okami when I first booted it up and
go nothing, so Martin told me the name of the
file so I again created a blank ASCII file.
I then imported some names from the various
Newsie address book files into the Okami file
and it worked. However, if you do not have a
list of names you can get things started by
adding one name in following form:
The dash between
my last and first name is my own doing. You
can put names in any way you want, but I would
put the last name first as Okami's address book
alphabetizes the real names as they are put
in. Having at least one name in the address
book will bring it up when you go under the
drop-down menu "Windows" and then
click on "address book". From there
you can add more name/addresses.
I should mention a little on the setting up of
Popwatch. This program is needed if you intend
to send e-mail while you are in an Okami session.
A lot of times I have this need when someone
leaves a message on a particular newsgroup,
but wants his/her replies to be done by e-mail.
I also like to forward myself messages with
important info/data. Bring up the "User
Preferences" screen and
fill in the blanks.
Make sure the "Retrieval
Format" and "Send Format" are
set to "NOS". The path for the "Send
Format" should be the MQUEUE folder in
the Okami directory. Another thing that should
be mentioned is that in the "General Preferences"
screen, the "Check for Carries Detect"
option should be highlighted if you are using
a Modem with STiK/Sting, but not if you are
using an Ethernet connection using GlueStiK.
everything is set up, it is time to talk a little
on the use of Okami. First thing to do is to
run NEWSwatch and under the drop-down menu "Connection"
to "Retrieve News". If NEWSwatch has
been set up correctly, it should start downloading
the messages from the various newsgroups you
have selected and will stop when all messages
is time to run Okami. Upon loading into memory,
Okmai will inform you that there is new news
and asks if it should import it. Just click
on the "yes" button and Okami will
start to read the batch.txt file produced by
NEWSwatch. All the messages will be extracted
and you will get a screen that looks like this:
After the unpacking is done,
you will get a list of all the folds, if you
have created any, and any groups that are not
in a fold.
Like I said before,
clicking on a fold will bring up all groups
in that fold.
Now when you
click on a group you will get a listing of all
messages in that particular group.
Now comes the best part of using Okami
and that is replying to a message. First click
on a message that you want to view. On my Hades
the whole screen is taken up when a message
is displayed. I would imagine that this would
be the same with any computer that Okami is
used on. Clicking on any web site address should
allow you to bring up your browser and actually
go to the address if you are on-line. If you
want to reply to the message, just click on
the word "reply" which is at the bottom.
You will get a screen that looks like this:
At this screen you can
do a lot of things. The word "News"
at the bottom left means your reply will be
posted on a newsgroup. If you click on the word
"News", it will change to "Mail".
Now your reply will be done by email. If you
want to quote the message in your reply, you
must click on the word "Quote". You
will get another screen asking your to choose
your quote character. I just left it like it
was and used the ">" character.
You can also choose when your sig is added.
If you choose "now", your sig will
be at the bottom of the message when you are
typing your reply. If you choose "later",
then it will be added sometime when the message
is saved/exported. Now click on "Edit".
Your ASCII editor that you have chosen should
come up and it should either be displaying a
quoted message (if you clicked on "Quote")
or nothing (if you did not click on "Quote").
Type your reply, save it and get out of your
ASCII editor. When using Qed, I just click on
"Save and Quit" after I am done. Now
you must click on "Send". This will
get your message ready for export, but it will
not actually send it.
want to attach a file to a reply you must go
to the "Message" heading and then
click on "Mime" in the drop-down menu.
This will bring up your file selector to allow
you to choose which file you want to attach.
Of course you must do this before you click
the "Send" button.
notice that when you are reading messages that
have quoted messages in them, everything is
black. Jos did has not yet put a feature in
Okami for applying different colors for different
levels of text. However, there is a way to get
some color. You must add the following three
lines EXACTLY as they are and in the same order
anywhere in the O.INF file:
This will give
you black, blue and red lines. Now if
you are me you do not want to keep accumulating messages.
When I am done replying, I want to get rid of
all messages and start clean. To do this is
simple. When you have all the messages list
on your screen of a particular group, go under
the "Message" heading in Okami and
then click on "Set Msg Flags". Activate
the flag "Kill" and also "Visible
Messages". Clicking on "ok" will
put red "X" to left of each message.
Do this for all messages you do not want anymore.
Then hit [F8] or go under "Access" heading
and click on "Expire". This will get
rid of all messages that you have set to be
must export your replies/emails. Again go under
the "Access" heading and click on
"Export" or else hit [F7]. You will
get a screen that looks like this:
Now all that is left is to run POPwatch if you
have any e-mail replies and/or NEWSwatch
if you have any newsgroup replies. Both programs
will tell you that they have news/emails that
need to be sent. Just click on "yes"
for each/both and that is it. Everything should
be sent and now all there is to do is to wait
for replies. I hope this article has opened
your eyes on how good Okami, NEWSwatch and POPwatch
are. This set-up has now made it fun to get on
the newsgroups. I know I may have left things
out or said some things that may not be totally
correct, but I know this article will be of
some great help in getting people started on
the set-up of Okami. Remember that if you decide
to use Okami, please register it.
If you have
any questions, please e-mail me at email@example.com.Take care all until next time.