Overview: PLANT»>

Introduction

WebPLANT»> was a UNIX-based utility for monitoring users logged into a VAX machine in NUI, Galway called ORBSEN. The picture below was a plan view of a terminal room in the Civil Engineering Block of NUI, Galway.

If there were any people logged in to ORBSEN from this terminal room, their names appeared highlighted on the corresponding terminals in the room below and clicking on them produced a finger output.

This program, known to NUI, Galway VAX users as PLANT»>, has gone through many reincarnations over the past few years, from BASIC to FORTRAN to C. Sadly, WebPLANT»>’s lifespan has come to an end with the replacement of the last DEC terminal room in NUI, Galway with a Novell LAN.

Sample Output

 ____DOOR_________WebPLANT»> Civil Engineering Terminal Room_________________ 
|           __      __      __      __      __      __      __               |
|      DS501/LC-2-13  |DS501/LC-2-5|  |DS501/LC-2-3|  |DS501/LC-2-12         |
|          |  |DS501/LC-2-6|  |DS501/LC-2-4|  |DS501/LC-2-7|  |              |
|          |__|    |__|    |__|    |__|    |__|    |__|    |__|              |
|                           __      __      __      __      __      __       |
|      DS501/LC-3-11   John Breslin|  |DS501/LC-2-8|  |DS501/LC-2-11  |      |
|DOOR      |__|            |  |DS501/LC-2-1|  |DS501/LC-2-9|  |DS501/LC-2-10 |
     | DS501/LC-3-12       |__|    |__|    |__|    |__|    |__|    |__|      |
     |     |__|                             __      __      __      __       |
     | DS501/LC-3-10                   DS501/LC-2-15  |DS501/LC-3-1|  |      |
     |     |__|                            |  |DS501/LC-2-14  |DS501/LC-2-16 |
     | DS501/LC-3-9                        |__|    |__|    |__|    |__|      |
     |     |__|                     __      __      __      __      __       |
     | DS501/LC-3-8            DS501/LC-3-6|  |DS501/LC-3-4|  |DS501/LC-3-3  |
     |     |__|                    |  |DS501/LC-3-5|  |DS501/LC-3-2|  |      |
     | DS501/LC-3-7                |__|    |__|    |__|    |__|    |__|      |
     |     |__|                                                              |
     |_______________________________________________________________________|

How Was It Done?

With a little bit of help from unix’s awk and sed commands, the “source” of the program is given below.

finger @orbsen|grep DS501|awk '{print "s/<b >" substr($0,index($0,"DS501"),5) "/" substr($0,index($0,"LC-"),length($0)-index($0,"LC-")) "</b>/<a href="/cgi-bin/finger.cgi?" substr($0,1,8) "@orbsen.nuigalway.ie">" substr($0,10,length($0)-index($0,"DS501")) "</a>/"}'>plant.temp
sed -f plant.temp plant.html

History

Coming soon…

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