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Med TechNet: a lab-oriented BBS.

Med TechNet: A lab-oriented BBS

Last month, this department described computerized bulletin board systems (BBS) in general and introduced one in particular, Med TechNet, available from the department of medical technology at the State University of New York at Buffalo.(1) This month we will discuss what Med TechNet offers and how to reach and use it.

Med TechNet charges no fee. The entire cost of use is your phone bill for calling in through your modem. For the past four years, we have provided the system as a community service; local users pay nothing at all. To keep the line open, we restrict access to one hour at a time and 1.5 hours per day. Most calls take only 10 to 15 minutes.

Because the vast majority of current Med TechNet users have IBM or IBM-compatible systems, our downloadable program files largely use PC/MS-DOS format. * Calling Med TechNet. For best results, set your communications software for eight data bits, one stop bit, and no parity. Instruct your modem to dial 1-716-897-0504. When Med TechNet answers, you'll hear the two modems squeal as they lock onto each other's signal. A message appears confirming that a connection has been made. After about five seconds, press <ESC>. Med TechNet will display a welcome and ask for your name. New callers are greeted with instructions on how to use the system. Eventually the main menu will appear.

Navigation through Med TechNet is completely menu driven. After a few calls, most users become familiar enough with the steps and codes to have menu selections abbreviated or turned off, thus speeding the process.

Med TechNet's message areas focus on new diagnostic procedures, instrumentation, and equipment-related problems. Users are encouraged to post messages with questions of their own and to respond to queries posted by others.

The file areas offer numerous powerful utilities for PC users. Many programs are of special interest to clinical laboratory personnel. One package, for example, was written specifically for the line of microplate readers manufactured by Bio-tek Instruments, Inc. (Winooski, Vt.). This package, MPREAD4.ZIP in File Area #10, features statistical analysis and plotting of microplate data.

We are currently porting many in-house programs from the DEC Rainbow PC environment to the IBM PC. As these programs are completed, probably by early 1990, they will be released to the public domain and posted.

Now turn the page for a whirlwind tour through Med TechNet. If it appeals to you, give us a call. (1) Hliwa, W.R. Tapping into an electronic bulletin board. MLO 21(10): 69-72,October 1989.

The author is clinical assistant professor in the department of medical technology, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:bulletin board system
Author:Hliwa, William R., Jr.
Publication:Medical Laboratory Observer
Date:Nov 1, 1989
Words:452
Previous Article:A lab conference that works.
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