FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 1996
Pictorius Releases Free Macintosh Net Servers
New Net Servers Offer a Free, High Performance Web Server Option
October 28, 1996 – Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada – Pictorius Inc. today
announced the first release of their free Pictorius Net Servers (formerly
Entrada! Net Servers) for Macintosh. Available for both 68K and PowerMacs,
the first release includes: a fully-threaded, full service Web (http)
server; native Open Transport support for maximum performance and
unrestricted simultaneous users; full support for CGIs and ACGIs; 14 Agents
which provide the functions of CGIs but are fully integrated into the
servers for better performance; multi-homing support for multiple domain
names on one machine; and security features, including: prohibiting access
by domain name or IP address; configuring user groups; and changing user
access control without restarting.
Pictorius will be adding new servers including Mail (SMTP and POP3), FTP,
Finger, DNS, News, List and features, such as database connectivity and SSL
v3.0 support, regularly over the next few months. All servers are available
free of charge and can be downloaded from the Pictorius web site
(www.pictorius.com). Pictorius will be making the complete source code to
the Net Servers available with Pictorius Net Builder, a product for those
wanting to create custom Inter/intranet applications and dynamic web sites.
Webmasters and System Administrators, with little configuration, will soon
be able to quickly and easily switch from several resource-intensive server
applications to the single Pictorius Net Servers application. The Pictorius
Net Servers can be used as the base platform on which to run net-based
applications without the overhead associated with independent servers, CGIs
Pictorius Net Servers Agents replace the need for CGIs by providing
specific Internet and intranet functionality. Agents are easier to build
than a CGI Script and existing agents can be added, removed and configured
without restarting the server. The most popular Agents are supplied
including: image mapping, text/graphic counters, date & time and others (a
complete list, with descriptions, is attached below). Pictorius Net Servers
also offer full support for existing and new CGIs and ACGIs.
Because they are compiled directly into the server application, and do not
run as external applications, Agents offer better performance and seamless
integration with the server. All agents can be edited with a specific start
and stop date. This means that users can specify a date for the agent to
become active and/or a date for it to become inactive. Agents extend server
functionality with easy-to-use dialog boxes that allow users to add custom,
dynamic content to their Web pages.
Pictorius Net Servers contain layers of object-oriented code for functions
that are consistent across the servers such as security, preferences,
logging and threading. This means lower overhead and reduced
administration. The end result is low profile, robust servers with powerful
Pictorius Net Servers require a 68030 or higher Macintosh computer, Open
Transport version 1.1 and System 7.5.3 (with Thread Manager installed). A
complete installation of the Pictorius Net Servers will require 6.5 MB disk
space for full install, including online documentation and requires a
minimum of 8 MB RAM to run.
Pictorius Net Servers are available immediately and can be downloaded from
the Pictorus web site at www.pictorius.com. Further information is also
available via e-mail at email@example.com. Logos and screen shots are
available on request.
Pictorius Inc. develops, publishes and supports the Prograph CPX
development environment and a family of Inter/intranet and
client/serverdevelopment tools. Pictorius is a privately held company
based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
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Pictorius Net Server Agents List
Pictorius Net Servers Agents are similar in function to CGIs, but are
compiled directly into the server application for better performance and
ease of use. Agents extend server functionality with easy-to-use dialogs
that let users add custom, dynamic content to their Web pages. Following
is a list of the Agents included with Pictorius Net Servers:
Date Agent – Returns the current date. Allows administrator to specify
exactly how to build the date string using pop-ups.
Time Agent – Returns the current time. Allows administrator to specify
exactly how to build the time string using pop-ups.
Countdown Agent – Returns the amount remaining until a certain event/date
occurs. For example, there are xx number of days until Christmas.
Time of Day Agent – Returns a string appropriate to the time of day such as
“Good Morning”. Allows administrator to specify different strings to return
at different times.
Image Counter Agent – Keeps a running count of hits to a web page and
returns a GIF or JPEG picture of the count. Allows administrator to specify
the type of picture and number of digits to return as well as to paste in
pictures for the number 0 – 9 that will be used to generate the image.
Text Counter Agent – Keeps a running count of hits to a web page and
returns a string with the count. Allows administrator to specify the number
of digits to return.
Imagemap Agent – Like a traditional imagemap CGI, goes to a URL when a
portion of an image is clicked on. Allows administrator to load an image
and graphically assign rectangles, circles, and points URLs.
Environment Agent – Returns a user environment variable such as User Name,
browser type or host address.
Random Agent – Returns different HTML text based on odds specified by the
administrator. Allows administrator to enter or paste in HTML and enter
percentages. For example, a contest is being run by the administrator. The
individuals browsing this Web site and playing the contest will click a box
labeled “Clues.” Each time this is done this agent returns HTML text based
on the percentages specified.
Redirect Agent – Redirects user to different URLs based on their browser
type. Allows administrator to use wildcards to detect browser types.
Form to File Agent – Allows elements of a form and environment variables to
be appended to a file. Useful for adding an on-line bulletin board or
creating a file that will later be imported into a database. Allows
administrator to build a template and specify where form parameters and
environment variables should be inserted. For example, a form is on a Web
page for those who wish to have a free sample product sent to them. The
first field they enter information into is their name; (parameter 1), the
second their address; (parameter 2), and the third their e-mail address;
(parameter 3). Each time the form is submitted the information for the
name, address, and e-mail address fields (Parameters 1, 2, and 3) are
retrieved into a file which may then be input into a database or other
storage systems. The field parameters may be in whatever order is required
by the database or other storage device; i.e. Parameter 3 can be before
HTML Agent – Returns text to a Web page. This agent allows an administrator
to use text repeatedly by referring to one agent. Should this text ever
need editing, the agent would be opened, edited, the Server updated, and
all entries of this text updated accordingly. For example, a company’s
address may be mentioned on several Web pages. If the address changed, the
appropriate HTML Agent text need only be edited, and all instances to it
would be updated.
HTML Page Alias Agent – Is a convenient way of providing an alternate
description of an HTML Address reference. For example, if your company’s
web pages provided an easy mechanism to return to the home page, then
changing the location or name of your home page would necessitate a change
in every document containing a reference to it. With the HTML Alias Agent,
all you do is create a separate file, which is the target of the reference,
and place within it the HTML Alias Agent metatag. The reference provides a
link to the metatag and the agent itself provides the link back to the home
page. With this mechanism you have a method by which you can change
multiple links from one central, easily updated location.
HTML File Agent – Returns a file to a Web page. This agent allows an
administrator to use an HTML file repeatedly by referring only to the
agent. Returning a file through an agent saves duplication time that could
occur in creating the file again on another Web page or site. It also saves
editing time should the file require changes. Since the agent refers to a
specific file in a predetermined location, editing the file would edit the
Web page or site. The file must be of HTML type.
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