Contents of the ALOGIN.DOC file
The automated login program for the LANtastic Network Operating System.
"Real programmers don't write specs - users should consider
themselves lucky to get any programs at all and take what they get."
- From "Real Programmers Don't Write Specs"
I have never really been good at writing documentation, but fortunately
this program is pretty easy, so we're all in luck! Anyway, I must first
make the following disclaimer:
Yes, I wrote this program, and I have found that it works fine on my
computer in my office. If, for some very odd reason, it does not work on
yours; or further, if it causes damage to your system for any reason,
I will assume NO responsibility for such damages. Also, noting that the
programmer is an employee of Artisoft, Inc., note that Artisoft is not
responsible for the contents of this documentation file; the functioning
of the program which this documentation describes (or any damages
resulting from the use or misuse of the program); and further, Artisoft
Technical Support and other employees of Artisoft, Inc. (except J Gerring)
are NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR SUPPORTING THIS PROGRAM! If you have problems or
suggestions when using this program, direct them to the author, J Gerring,
using ONLY the following methods:
US Mail: 4908 N. Via Carina, Tucson, AZ 85704
CompuServ: IBMCOM forum, 76050,1210
Arti-facts BBS: If you have a current account there.
Salt Air BBS: Ibid.
Do NOT call the author during business hours for support, this program was
not written during business hours, it will not be supported during
Which leads me to the following: The ALOGIN program is hereby declared
Public Domain (starting with version 1.2) and the source code is included.
You may freely use it, distribute it as the file ALOGIN.ZIP (containing
the files ALOGIN.EXE and ALOGIN.DOC and ALOGIN.C) and give as many copies
to your friends as you like. If you find it useful, fun, and interesting,
drop me a postcard and say thanks! This program is copyrighted, so if you
are interested in using any part or all of the source code in your own
programs, please contact me for licensing.
Previous versions of ALOGIN were designated as shareware. I changed my
mind. Anybody could write this program, I just happened to take a weekend
out to do it. Consider any earlier versions Public Domain also, but you
should probably upgrade to this version anyway.
10-1-89 - First release of program, I'm betting it won't need beta
v1.0 10-2-89 - Modified program to continue processing after encountering
an invalid command statement in user's data file. Ok,
but at least I found this one before it was pointed out...
(this release says "AutoLogin 1.0 ..." in opening
message, previous version did not.)
v1.1 10-13-89 - Added multiple adapter support. Previously, AutoLogin
would only work on adapter 0. See documentation for
v1.2 02-09-90 - Fixed a minor bug in the parser, re-designated the
thing as Public Domain, and gave you the source code
so you can fix the rest of the bugs! (just kidding,
if you find any, please let me know.)
Ok, here's the documentation! (finally...)
OVERVIEW (or, after writing a program, how do I tell you about it?)
Note that this documentation file assumes that the reader has some
experience with the LANtastic Network Operating System (LANOS). If you're
a brand new user, I'd suggest reading up on LANOS first. The function of
ALOGIN is to provide an easy interface for logging into, and using devices
on LANOS servers from the workstation (or redirector). In general, it
does this by accepting as user keyed input a username and a password, then
reading a data file which the system administrator (or whoever) has set up
for the specified username. Details follow:
SETTING UP (there's always a setup, but don't be paranoid...)
Before you run ALOGIN, you need to set up a data file for the user. This
file is just an ASCII file which you need to locate in your \LANTASTI file
directory. ALOGIN determines the file name by the following algorithm:
if username (entered at run time) is less than 9 characters then
filename = \LANTASTI\username.DAT
concatonate first 4 characters of username with last 4
filename = \LANTASTI\username[1 to 4]+username[n-4 to n].DAT
username entered filename extracted
So, now that you know how the filename is extracted, then get into your
favorite word processing program and create an ASCII username.DAT file
following these easy rules:
1. Basic rule of thumb: ALOGIN processes only NET LOGIN or NET USE
statements. Statments are entered one (1) per line, with the
NET part omitted.
2. If you feel like putting in a comment, start the line with a
semicolon character (;).
3. Put in as many blank lines and other white space characters BETWEEN
statement lines as you like.
4. Don't put comments on the same line as a command statment.
5. Don't put extra arguments on a statement line, or you will get an
error message from ALOGIN concerning that line.
6. LOGIN lines contain only the server name and an optional
adapter number, ALOGIN assumes that the user has the same
password on each server. (ed's note: this
was done to create tight security; you don't have your password
published in an easily readable .BAT or .DAT file anywhere. If you
don't use passwords, just hit the enter key when ALOGIN prompts
you for password.) If an adapter number is not entered, ALOGIN
will attempt the login on all possible adapters, starting with
adapter 0. If an adapter number is specified, ALOGIN will
attempt to login to that server ONLY on that adapter number.
DO NOT enter the '\\' in front of the server name on the LOGIN line.
E.g. LOGIN TECHDATA is right, LOGIN \\TECHDATA is wrong.
7. USE lines are done just like you were typing them into the
keyboard or in a BAT file, but without the NET part.
Here's a (real live) example file:
;This file logs me into all the machines on the network that I want to use.
;Additionally, I can write a whole novel of comments!
;login to techdata
use f: \\techdata\rootd
use g: \\techdata\root
use m: \\techdata\rootd
;login to Lu's machine, try login only on adapter 1
login lka 1
use lpt1 \\lka\@laser
use lpt2 \\lka\@lkalase
use l: \\lka\root
;do bbs login
use n: \\bbs\root
use o: \\bbs\rootd
login bruce fun
;note that the above line WILL produce an error message!
;end of login file
RUNNING ALOGIN (one small set of keystrokes for humankind...[apol. to N.A.])
...is really quite easy. I will leave the basics to the reader...
However, I will mention a couple of things. First, as mentioned before,
ALOGIN will prompt you for a USERNAME and a PASSWORD. The assumption is
that you use the same username and password across the LAN. If this is
not true, you will need to create a \LANTASTI\username.DAT file for each
username that you use on the LAN and invoke ALOGIN multiple times. Or,
you can make it easy on yourself and use the same username across the
LAN... If you have different passwords on each server, the best solution
is to change them all to be the same, it will save you a lot of headaches!
There are two basic Ideas behind the function of ALOGIN:
1) To make it easy and fast to login to more than 1 server while providing
good security. ALOGIN prompts for a password (and echos *s) so that you
don't have to prompt for it on each NET LOGIN line of a batch file.
(which you should be doing if security matters at all on your LAN) The USE
part of the program was thrown in for completeness.
2) To make it easy for different people who are using the same workstation
at different times to obtain access to those resources that they need to
access. For example, say you have a part-time payroll accountant and a
part-time student programmer who work for the same company. They share
the same machine and office (they work non-overlapping hours, of course),
and obviously need access to very different resources - and you may not
want them to have access to each others resources. Maybe the programmer
is paranoid that her programs might be "missing" one day... So, create
ALOGIN data files for each one and you've headed off some potential
problems! AND maintained security. Wow!
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT (or "to function correctly or not to function crrecly")
[apol. to you-know-who]
Ok, so, you create your data file, run ALOGIN, and enter the username and
password. Did it work? Here's how you know...
ALOGIN displays messages in the following order:
Opening message: --- AutoLogin for LANtastic (tm) ---
(c) J Gerring, 1989, 1990
Username prompt: Enter username:
Password prompt: password:
Then, when you hit enter, it tries to open the data file for the username
you entered. If no file exists, you'll hear about it - this is the only
aborting error condition, bad lines in the .DAT file produce error
messages, but processing of the file continues. If ALOGIN dies due to a
non-existant data file (say, if you mistakenly type MMARK for your user
name), the ERRORLEVEL is conveniently set to 1. Next, it begins executing
the statements from the data file, displaying info about what it's doing
along the way. You'll get messages which indicate success or failure of
the data file statments. To explain, here's a complete capture of the
screen output of an ALOGIN run based on the example data file above:
--- AutoLogin for LANtastic (tm) ---
(c) J Gerring 1989, 1990
Enter username: $jag
Logging in to all defined servers for your username...
Logged into: TECHDATA
Device F: redirected to \\TECHDATA\ROOTD
Device G: redirected to \\TECHDATA\ROOT
Device M: redirected to \\TECHDATA\ROOTD
Error logging into LKA -> Duplicate redirection or login to network node LKA
Error redirecting LPT1 -> Duplicate redirection or login to network node LKA
Error redirecting LPT2 -> Duplicate redirection or login to network node LKA
Error redirecting L: -> Duplicate redirection or login to network node LKA
Error logging into BBS -> Cannot locate network name
Error redirecting N: -> Path not found
Error redirecting O: -> Path not found
Warning: Badly formatted LOGIN statement ->LOGIN BRUCE FUN<-
A LITTLE TROUBLE SHOOTING (although they are often difficult targets)
Generally, your output should look like the first 4 message lines of the
above example for each login and redirection in the data file (starting
with the line "Logged into: TECHDATA"). If you see error messages (as in
the above example), these are the most common reasons:
1) The server specified in the LOGIN statement is not powered on.
2) Specified server is not currently running LANOS.
3) Specified server is not running the LANOS SERVER program.
4) You are already logged into that server, or have already redirected the
If you are getting very odd error messages that look something like
Error redirecting LPT1 -> \\LKA\@LASER
then you aren't running LANOS...
THE END (Well, I never claimed to be a "real" programmer anyway...)