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Whole ALTO World Newsletter
Technology and Tools
XEROX December 31, 1977

WHOLE ALTO WORLD MEETING - The next Whole Alto World meeting is scheduled to
be held from 9AM- 3PM, February 7, 1977 at XEOS in Pasadena. Liz Bond is our hostess.
The last page of the newsletter is a flyer announcing the meeting. Please detach your copy
and post it on an appropriate bulletin board. See you all at the meeting!

WRC JOINS THE NETWORK - On December 17th the line connecting the gateway at
Webster with the gateway at PARC became operational. This, and the soon to be installed
IFS, will promote the sharing of tools and information, much of which is currently under
development at WRC. Attached to the newsletter is a diagram of the current network.

HARDWARE CATALOG - The first edition of the Alto Hardware Catalqg is included with
this issue of the newsletter. It lists by hardware type, e.g. Printers, Scanners, etc., devices
that have been hooked to an Alto or the Ethernet. For an item to be included at least one
working, reproducable copy must exist. Gathering this type of information tends to be a
hit- or- miss proposition so if you know of an item that should be included, please contact
the coordinator. It could save someone a lot of time and effort searching for or designing
and building something that already exists.

TIME STANDARD CHANGE - The Alto's internal date and time standard is going to be
changed because it is: 1) location dependent (WRC's Altos indicate PST), and 2) not
monotonic (daylight saving time). The change will involve modifications to the Operating
System and subsystems that deal wi th dates and times.

It is suggested that users update their disks promptly as subsystems are rereleased. Version
14 of the Operating System and a new release of BRAVO are expected at the end of January.
Subsystems that incorporate the time standard changes, such as the afore mentioned
BRA va, will SWAT on the current Operating System (version 13). Old subsystems will
continue to operate in the current manner on the new Operating System until April 30th
when they begin reporting in GNIT.

If you maintain such subsystems you should read AltoTinle.bravo and
(Taft>Time.tty. Briefly, the current standard is a 32- bit integer denoting the number of
seconds since midnight, January 1, 1901, PST. It is manually reset for Daylight Savings time
as appropriate. The new standard will denote the number of seconds since midnight,
January 1, 1901, GMT. This time will be modified by local time zone, begin daylight
savings date, and end daylight savings date. These parameters will be kept in server hosts
(gateways, IFSs, etc.) and in reserved locations in Alto main memory and on Alto disk (for
the convenience of stand- alone Altos), and updated whenever a timeserver is accessible.
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