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Tidings of DOoM

Watch this page for news about MarlDOoM and PoslDOoM.

John Chew (poslfit)

2005-06-13: MarlDOoM at the CNSC

I resurrected MarlDOoM for game annotators to use at the recent Canadian Scrabble Championships, and have left it up largely unattended at poslfit.homeip.net port 7777. Feel free to use it (I've e-mailed JamesAC to ask if he can send me a copy of ACBot) and let me know if there are problems.

2002-03-25: new server IP

MD has moved to a new server with a new IP address. If you're connecting to it by name at www.math.utoronto.ca, you may need to wait a couple of hours for the address change to propagate. If you're connecting to it by numerical IP address, it's now at

2002-03-01: got lag?

If you're having trouble with lag connecting to www at port 7777, please switch to port 7776!

2001-06-25: 'penalty' command added

In response to several requests from MarlDOoM players, I've added a new command to the generic crossword game board code. If you type 'penalty' at any time during a game, you'll have five points deducted from your score. If you would like to deduct a different number, say 7, type 'penalty 7'. If you have any problems with this new command, please send me e-mail.

2001-03-14: brauer decommissioned

brauer.math.utoronto.ca has been decommissioned and MD has moved to www.math.utoronto.ca port 7777.

2000-05-07: synge decommissioned

synge.math.utoronto.ca has been decommissioned a little earlier than expected, and I am still looking for a replacement host for PD. I will make another announcement here when I have found one.

2000-03-07: Port 7776 added

MarlDOoM and PoslDOoM now accept connections at port 7776 as well as 7777. The extra port was added because of connectivity problems from some sites (in particular those used by James Cherry's bots) to the old port, but there should be no reason for anyone who can connect to port 7777 to change to the new port. Code changes affected the lowest level module of the server, necessitating reboots. Please e-mail me if any weirdnesses ensue.

2000-01-01: OSW4 adopted

Effective 00:00:00 UTC at 2000-01-01, we have adopted OSW4 for both OSW and SOWPODS games.

1999-11-11: OSW/SOWPODS long words

I have added a limited number of long Chambers words to the online osw and sowpods commands, and will add others upon specific request. (Feel free to e-mail me lists of your favorites.)

1999-08-10: cgdoom@onelist.com

I've set up a mailing list for DOoM-related announcements at onelist.com, so that the next time both MD and PD are down and my main e-mail service is unavailable, I'll still be able to tell people when service will resume. You can subscribe by clicking here.

1999-08-07: Recent service outages

Sorry the recent troubles with MD and PD. Some were due to the upgrading of the math department's file server; more recently the U of T's backbone network has had more trouble than usual. For information about the U of T's network status (when the U of T's connection is up), please see UTCNS's web page.

1999-08-05: NSA Ratings Updated

Player NSA ratings (as shown in 'who2') have been updated for the first time in ages, based on the current NSA ratings list. I will try to get this process automated soon.

1999-06-14: ODS3 Installed

The French dictionary, formerly known as ODS94, has been upgraded and now calls itself ODS3. Use 'ods mot' to look up words in it.

1999-04-12: Ratings sped up

I've rewritten a small part of the ratings system so that instead of causing 17 seconds lag followed by 66 seconds lag with each update, the ratings daemon now causes 17 seconds followed by 6 seconds.

1999-04-03: Ratings revised

Okay, I'm satisfied that it looks stable enough to test. As of now, RD should come and fetch ratings whenever a rated games on either MD or PD. Please e-mail me if this doesn't seem to be running correctly.

1999-04-02: Ratings revised

I've rewritten a large portion of the ratings system, and updated the ratings on MD and PD as of just now. For the time being, ratings will be updated only manually on both machines, but as soon as I'm sure they're running reasonably smoothly, I'll get them to run whenever a rated game ends on either machine.

1998-11-11: MarlDOoM may be up

I had some trouble getting MD up at its new machine, I think because of a Perl version problem. I believe it's working now, but need people to try it out to make sure.

1998-11-06: MarlDOoM moving today

MarlDOoM will be moved to brauer.math.utoronto.ca port 7777 later today. Before I reinstall it, I will be deleting all unclaimed accounts more than six months old, and all accounts which have remained unused for more than two years. (For statistics weenies, this amounts to 3485 of the 4709 accounts on the server.)

1998-11-01: New home for MarlDOoM

MarlDOoM will be moved to brauer.math.utoronto.ca port 7777 as soon as I have the time to copy everything over, and no later than this coming Friday, November 6th, in any case.

The new machine should be somewhat faster, but since it is colocated with PoslDOoM's machine (synge.math.utoronto.ca), there will be less connectivity redundancy when large parts of the Internet (or small parts near the U of T) fail. Thanks to the colocation, ratings updates should take place in future more or less instantaneously on both servers.

Heartfelt thanks to Ray Seyfarth and Marlene Milkent of USM for hosting MarlDOoM for many years, to Chad Wilson (formerly of Miami U.) for hosting the original WisDOoM, and to Emile Leblanc and the math department at the University of Toronto for generously offering a new home for MarlDOoM.

If you would like to host a server yourself, please contact me privately at poslfit@gmail.com. All it takes is a commitment of a 24-hour connection to the Internet for a period of at least one year.

1998-10-02: Hurricane ended, new home sought

MarlDOoM is back up in the wake of Hurricane Georges, and did not suffer any damage. I have been informed however that its machine will be retired soon, and am looking for a replacement. If you'd like to volunteer one, please send me e-mail.

1998-09-25: Hurricane watch

MarlDOoM may be unavailable for a few days on relatively short notice, if Hurricane Georges should continue on its course directly toward eel.st.usm.edu.

1998-08-16: ratings updated

Ratings have been updated again. They're still being done manually.

1998-08-10: MD up

The problem wasn't serious, and was fixable from here. Phew.

1998-08-07: MD down again

MarlDOoM is down again, I'm not sure why. Marlene, who keeps an eye on it locally, is away at the NSC in Chicago, so we won't be able to investigate what's going on until she gets back.

1998-07-02: ratings updated

Ratings have been updated again, to include games played up to some time on the afternoon of July 1st. They're still being done manually.

1998-07-01: ratings updated

Ratings have been updated again. They're still being done manually. Games played between June 21st and July 1st haven't been copied yet. Happy Canada Day!

1998-06-08: ratings updated

Ratings have been updated, and will be updated manually at irregular intervals, until I can get the automated software rewritten.

1998-04-28: eel.st.usm.edu back online

eel.st.usm.edu is back online temporarily and with limited software, and I am looking for a new home for MarlDOoM in the not too distant future. Ratings are not yet being updated.

1998-04-17: eel.st.usm.edu offline

eel.st.usm.edu, the machine that hosts MarlDOoM, was vandalised over the net this week, and has been taken offline indefinitely. Please watch this space for further details.

1998-03-02: TWL98 Installation

At midnight server time (CST for MD, EST for PD), the new TWL98 lexicon will be installed, taking effect immediately and affecting any games in play. For further information about the lexicon, see the NSA Dictionary Committee's home page.

1998-02-05: Long line disconnection - solved?

Ray Seyfarth has rebooted eel, which appears to have fixed MarlDOoM's problem. It disturbs me to think of what might have caused the problem in the first place. Please e-mail me if the trouble recurs.

1998-02-01: Long line disconnection and ratings

I'm still waiting for eel to be rebooted, which I hope will be sometime soon. The Ratings Daemon can't cope with the long line problem, so I just ran about a week's worth of ratings manually. Unfortunately, for possibly related reasons, I can't copy the information back to MarlDOoM, so it's currently only available on PoslDOoM. For the time being, if you need to know what your rating was effective 21:30 EST today, you can connect to PD at synge.math.utoronto.ca port 7777 and use the 'rating' and 'rated' commands as a connector.

1998-01-27: Long line disconnection

I've been told that the problem is confined to eel's local network (or to the rest of the net, depending on which way you look at it), to which no changes have recently been made. Ray Seyfarth is going to try rebooting eel sometime this week, we hope that this fixes the problem.

1998-01-26: Long line disconnection

As of about noon today server time, entering a line of sixty-two or more characters disconnects you from the server. The simple workaround is of course not to type lines of more than sixty-one characters. ("Doctor, it hurts when I do this....")

I believe the reason for this is security changes to USM's campus router, and have inquired as to whether this is so and what there is that we can do about it.

1997-01-06: New server software

The changes mentioned below have been implemented on PoslDOoM (but not yet MarlDOoM) with one difference: if you don't press return for two minutes after you initially connect, the server will time out and tell you what you were supposed to do. I've also made a cosmetic change to the server: people were complaining that entering a room full of objects spammed them with object identifiers in square brackets, so those added details will now only show up if you enter look here. I will install the new version of the server on MarlDOoM after it has run trouble-free on PD for seven days.

1996-12-29: Connection protocol change

I am considering changing the server so that it won't give you the welcome message until you've entered a line of text. If you're using tinyfugue (which I strongly recommend), you probably won't notice any difference, as tinyfugue will send your password without waiting for a welcome. If not, then you'll either have to press return once first (which some of you with broken telnet programs are already having to do) or just type your password in before being welcomed.

The change will not take place before January 6th, but may take place on or soon after that date. If you have a strong case to make against the implementation of this change, or have questions about how it will affect you, please e-mail me.

Technical Note: This change is necessary in order to upgrade the HTTP service offered on MarlDOoM from HTTP/0.9 to HTTP/1.0 or HTTP/1.1, as the latter protocols require that the first line transmitted depend on the first line received. I'm considering adding support for these protocols mainly so that I can offer HTML forms and user authentication.

1996-10-24: Privacy enhancement

Players who have requested that their e-mail addresses and real names be hidden from public view will no longer have their connecting hosts listed in who.

1996-09-08: OSW ratings system up

The OSW ratings system is now up (type rating -osw). If you would like your board's certification switched from OSPD/TWL to OSW, please send me e-mail.

1996-09-01: OSW ratings system starting up

At the request of Kea, I am starting up a separate ratings system for games played using only the OSW dictionary. Until I have a reasonable number of rated games, I will be keeping track of OSW ratings manually; if you would like a game rated, please arrange for the loser to e-mail me the results, including who played first and second, what the score was, and the date (use the date command) on which the game was finished.

In addition to the default (OSPD) ratings system, there are currently ratings systems in place for DOPS (OSPD Clabbers - where it doesn't matter what order you put your tiles down in), SOWPODS (words are acceptable if they are in either OSPD or OSW) and French (ODS) games. To make sure that the games you play get rated in the right system, check the description of your board's certification when you look at it.

1996-07-20: Online ratings lists available

At the suggestion of Bob Jackman, the online ratings tables are now available by FTP. They list the same information as is given online by the rating command, and are automatically updated at the same time as the ratings databases on MarlDOoM at around 05:30, 17:30 and 23:30 Eastern time each day.

The ratings databases are:

DOPSTWL96 Clabbers

1996-07-02: Monthly statistics

Monthly statistics about most active players in each of three ratings systems, as well as a comparison of the online system with the NSA system, are now available for the month of June in:

1996-06-16: DOoM on the web

Do you have a home page on the web that you'd like to advertise in your DOoM player description? Would you like to have a URL to a player, a board or a room? Here's how:

If you need more help with this, please send me e-mail at poslfit@gmail.com.

1996-05-18: Ratings System Trouble

Verdant has reported that over the past few days, several rated games have not made it into the ratings database. Examination of the log shows that this is due to disk space problems on eel.st.usm.edu, most recently during the period 14:24 to 23:22 server time (CDT) today. I am looking into the problem, but don't see an easy fix, or even an easy way to get the ratings daemon to report the problem.

The ratings daemon currently updates ratings information three times daily, at 04:30, 16:30 and 22:30 server time. If you notice that a game that you have played has not made it into the database after the daemon has visited, please arrange for the loser of the game to e-mail me making sure to mention the date and time that the game ended, who played first and second, and what the final score was. Sorry for the inconvenience!