Mike McCants (
Thu, 11 Jun 1998 13:19:08 -0500 (CDT)

Phil Clark wrote:

>Just curious, but what is wrong with the service being provided by myself 
>and Dave Ransom about which I posted a message earlier this week?

There are some things that could be better.

1. The service relies on you.  If you take a vacation or visit
a hospital, this service would be interrupted.  An obvious remedy
would be for several other people to also have access to this
"daily" file.

2. There is no service on Saturday or Sunday.  The "Friday" data
file will be prepared about 3PM Eastern time on Friday (unless
Friday is a holiday?).  It will become available about 8 or 10PM
Eastern time on Friday.  There will not be any new data available
via this route until about 8 or 10PM Monday.

3. The data via this route is about 10 to 12 hours old by the
time it is available and it will be another 24 (or 72) hours before
the next file is available.  These delays are unacceptable for
maneuvering objects and high-drag objects.  Obviously the web
interface will allow access to elsets for these objects.  The
problems with the web interface are:

A) There is a 100 tle limit for an individual user for a "24 hour"
period.  If a user gets 100 elsets at 4PM Eastern time on Saturday,
he cannot get any more elsets until after 4PM Eastern time on
Sunday.  I have not tried to test the system to see what happens
if you get 50 elsets Saturday morning and another 50 on Saturday
afternoon.  One obvious work-around is to sign up a number of
one's friends and relatives so that one has a number of userids
to switch to.

B) We do not currently have "automatic" scripts to perform web
access.  Such scripts were very easy using the "line-oriented"
telnet interface.  Such programs are much more complicated
for a "page-oriented" html interface.  I expect that this problem
will be solved some time in the future.

>Yesterday I experimented with sending the files to Dave in the evening (my
>time), about 12 hours earlier than I have been doing, and that worked 
>fine, so I will continue doing this.

Thank you very much.  Since it will be another 2 weeks before the
BBS telnet interface is terminated, I do not have sufficient
incentive to use your file at present.  But when June 30 arrives,
I will use it and it will satisfy my requirements for the "weekly"
files I generate.

Wouldn't it be nice if you had an "automatic" system for obtaining
this file and sending it on?

>Of course, if OIG starts to get "super user" demands from all and sundry, 
>then NASA might decide it's time to prune the list of people already with 
>the access, and that might mean I would not longer be able to access the 
>files and the existing service via Dave would cease.

I believe that you are the only person I know that has super user
privileges.  Typical access of the 500K file from this site would
take about 10 to 15 seconds.  It seems very unlikely to me that the
machine/LAN being used is busy more than 0.01 percent of the time.

I have sent another message to Mr. Hicks.  I assume he is a contractor
employee for Allied that administers the computers.  He has replied
that he has passed my message on to NASA.  I will inform the list
when I receive a reply.

In my message I informed them that our current plan was to use the
file that you are providing.  But not everyone is prepared to handle
a "Monday" file that expands to 3.7 megabytes.  This Unix box handles
it quite easily.

Mike McCants