Using Up-scripts with KA9Q

It's long been a problem to specify hostnames for some of the KA9Q and Textwin commands in such as "smtp server" or "time server", because at the time they are executed nameservice is not available, since the link is not connected.

Various options have been suggested:

The solution is to use the background scripting facility in Demon's customised KA9Q, as follows. All paths and filenames are relative to your KA9Q directory.

  1. Remove calls to "time server", "time auto" or "time set", "smtp gateway", "smtp timer", "smtp kick" and "nntp kick" from
  2. Create an ASCII file called, e.g., timeset.scr, containing the following:
    time server
    time set
    and another one called smtpcli.scr like this:
    smtp gateway
    smtp timer 60
    smtp kick
    Change the "60" on the smtp timer line to be whatever it was in
  3. If you already have 'up' and 'down' scripts, continue at step 5. Hint: look for a file called "scripts" like the one in step 4, and for 'up' and 'down' in directory spool\scripts. The 'up' script would typically contain smtp kick, nntp kick and finger@post commands. The 'down' script would typically be empty. If you haven't, then continue at step 4.
  4. Create a file called 'scripts' which looks like this: up down up down
    These inform KA9Q that a script called 'up' should be executed on connection to the vPoP's, and one called 'down' upon disconnection. If you use one of the tPoPs you should add its IP address here too - you will see it as the "remote IP address" if you do a "ppp sl0" after connecting (or "ppp ax1" for founder members).

    Create blank files called 'spool\scripts\up' and 'spool\scripts\down'.

  5. Add the following lines to the 'up' script.
    # This is where we put startup commands that require host resolution
    sourceb timeset.scr
    sourceb smtpcli.scr
    nntp kick
    There is a slight risk here of losing news articles, if the clock in your PC drifts a lot. If, when KA9Q sets the clock, the correction is normally more than about a minute, then change the nntp kick line above to say 'at now+0001 "nntp kick"'. This will ensure that your clock is set correctly before starting a news transfer, at the expense of waiting up to a minute before the transfer starts.

    Note that, if you were to put the commands from either of the "sourceb" background scripts directly into the up script, you would no longer be able to log on to Demon. You'd find that, after logging on, the link appeared to hang. So don't :-)

  6. If you have a line in of the form 'ppp sl0 idle 60 exit', change it to say 'at now+0001 "ppp sl0 idle 60 exit" ' - with the double quotes but without the single ones. This is because adjusting the clock backwards would otherwise cause the idle exit to occur immediately. By putting it on a timer, the worst that happens is you wait an extra minute before logging off. If this bothers you, then don't do it, and be prepared that about a third of the time (depending on speed of your PC) your session may exit immediately after setting the clock.
  7. That's it ! You will now no longer experience a two minute delay on startup whilst the DNS lookup of fails. And you are no longer at risk of time auto sitting there, banging its head against a failed ntpd, and keeping you online for hours on end.
Of course, all fiddling with your configuration is done at your own risk, and although I have tested these suggestions and provide them in good faith, neither I nor Demon Internet can accept any liability should you incur any extra costs for any reason whatsoever.