|Comedy is an escape, not from truth but from despair; a narrow escape into faith. - Christopher Fry|
(January 19, 1994)
From Russia and from America comes a new information service called "Friends and Partners" -- one of the first information systems jointly developed by citizens of these two nations.
It is hoped that it will contribute towards better understanding between our nations by providing instruction on our countries and cultures, by providing a common base of information about issues affecting relations between our countries, and by providing a common 'meeting place' where folks can find and communicate with each other.
If you wish to visit, the following uniform resource locator (URL) will allow you to connect to the World Wide Web server:
What are the potential uses? Scientists should be able to use the service to find information about funding opportunities and exchange programs, access various databases and library resources, and locate potential colleagues and co-workers. Teachers and educators at all levels should be able to find and contribute interesting and up-to-date material to assist in their instruction -- making their courses more 'alive' and more pertinent to real world issues. Folks in business should be able to learn about the economic environment and opportunities in both countries as well as the rules and laws pertaining to conducting business. Artists from all fields (and their patrons) should be able to learn about, meet and work with each other. And people from all walks of life should be able to learn more about these two nations -- so closed off from one another for so many years.
The primary motivation of this service is to help introduce new friendships and partnerships between our peoples. It hopes to build upon the excellent work already being accomplished by our governments and by the various groups, centers, and institutes who have been working for so many years towards this same goal of cooperation and friendship.
Perhaps the only difference from other efforts is the intention to use the World Wide Web on the Internet as the method of communicating information. The World Wide Web was chosen because of its ability to handle mixed media (text, graphics, audio, etc.), the excellent graphic and non-graphic browsers available for free on the Internet, and its ability to 'integrate' information from all of the best Internet-based tools and utilities -- Listservers, Gophers, WAIS indexes, FTP archives, etc.
If you do not have a WWW browser, you can use our 'friends' account. Telnet to solar.ncsa.uiuc.edu. At the login: prompt, enter friends and press return (make sure to enter friends in all lower case). This will place you in a non-graphic WWW browser called 'Lynx' (on-line help is available). (Note: you must be emulating a vt100 terminal to use this method of access.)
We will soon be providing a 'mirror' of this server in Pushchino, Russia (near Moscow) on the computer of co-developer Natasha Bulashova. This will be perhaps the first information system of its kind in Russia. One of the most exciting developments underway in Pushchino is the development of a 'virtual network' of biological sciences information. This is being designed to be a global information resource on biological sciences research and will be offered soon as a part of this overall service. Efforts will soon begin to establish both servers in Russian and English languages.
We have established an electronic mailing list (listserver) to help facilitate communication for this project. Please feel most free to join by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following text:
SUBSCRIBE FRIENDS Your nameThis is a moderated list with which one 'digest' of all postings will be sent to subscribers each day.
Please send us your comments, criticisms, suggestions (and offers of help! :-) ).
P.S. We hope to quickly broaden the scope of this server to incorporate information and communication with all of the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. The information content of this server must reflect a much larger constituency than just our two nations and we should work towards that end. (but, of course, one step at a time . . . )
FIRST LISTSERV POSTING
|Files Transmitted During Summary Period||14910|
|Bytes Transmitted During Summary Period||80870101|
|Average Files Transmitted Daily||2130|
|Average Bytes Transmitted Daily||11552872|
|Domain||Accesses||Bytes||% Files||% Bytes|
|US Educational||7127||41853181||47.80||51.75 ****|
|**** Over 2,000 of these
accesses are from our own host machine -- reflecting
over 400 telnet sessions from all over the world for our special 'friends' account.
Weather information for Moscow and St. Petersburg has been updated (this should soon be done automatically each day).
Server statistics (including access by country) are now included as an option from the home page.
Current exchange rates for the Russian currency have been updated (on the economics/business page).
Notice of the The Financial / Economic Network has been added to the economics page as well as a description of the The Russian Graduate School of International Business. We have also added a link to a gopher server in Vienna, Austria at the University of Economics and Business Administration.
A hook to the World Wide Web server about the East-West International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction has been added to the Funding Opportunities page. This server also contains hooks to several other interesting resources.
A new section under "Education" is being prepared on The Alliance of Universities for Democracy. This is a consortium of over 70 universities devoted to "Enhancing the role of higher education in promoting democratic institutions, economic development, and common moral and social values."
We welcome the efforts of "The Alliance of Universities for Democracy" -- more information will appear soon -- look on the Education page.
Under the music section, we have had two very generous offers for some digitized music: from the University of Oregon, we are hoping to receive some ulaw files by the Irkutsk Philharmonic Society. From San Francisco, we will soon be posting some music played at the International Accordion Festival in Vilnius this past year. These audio files should be available for your 'listening pleasure' in a few more days.
From site eskimo.com, we will soon provide a WWW version of their excellent GlasNews newsletter.
We have received several generous offers of software, fonts, etc. for helping with the display and printing of Cyrillic text. We are planning to establish an ftp archive of such on our system with a hypertext reference from the F&P server.
We have had several suggestions and offers of help for telecommunications and computing assistance from various companies and from the International Science Foundation.
We received an offer from a school principal in the northeastern U.S. to begin work on an information 'exchange' program with Russian schools.
We have had offers from Vienna, Austria and from Moscow for the establishment of 'mirror' servers to help speed access to the material from Russia and from Central and East European sites. Natasha is actively working to establish a mirror server in Pushchino.
Dirk van Gulik is working to establish for us an interactive 'talk-room' (fascinating project -- you will see!)
We have received several offers to assist with such efforts as typing, transcription, and translation.
We have received several offers to provide us with photographs and slides for publishing on the server. The server should have much additional 'graphic' material in about a week.
We received a very generous offer from the City University of New York for material describing all aspects of computer-aided language activities and natural language processing (e.g., machine translation, text data- bases, language instruction -- native and foreign -- text analysis, and the linguistic dimensions of electronic communication).
We have received several notes from people who have made very open-ended offers of help.
Several more suggestions and offers of assistance will be summarized and posted here in the next digest.
Finally, in answer to a question we have seen a few times, there is
Once again, we thank each of you for your interest and hope
to hear from many as we begin our work together on this service.
Please write with your comments, criticisms, and suggestions
(and, of course, those offers of help).
Pushchino, Moscow Region
Greg Cole, Associate Director
National Center for Supercomputing Applications
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Once again, we thank each of you for your interest and hope to hear from many as we begin our work together on this service. Please write with your comments, criticisms, and suggestions (and, of course, those offers of help).
write to us
with your comments and suggestions.
F&P Quick Search
About Friends & Partners
ISOC '95 Paper
©1996 Friends and Partners