Passport for Windows and McGill TCP3270 topics at ABCD-Library Meeting
by Julie Wetherill
The December ABCD Library group meeting featured a demonstration of the OCLC Passport for Windows software (by Steve Godfried, Loeb Design Library) and an update on the status of the McGill TCP3270 terminal emulation software (Heather Reid).
Passport for Windows
The Loeb Design Library has been beta testing Passport for Windows since August 1995 and has not experienced significant problems. These observations are based on Design's experience using Passport for searching and claiming in the OCLC Union Catalog. Steve noted that the hardware and software requirements to run Passport for Windows include: Windows 3.1 or higher, 10 megabytes of hard disk space, 8 megabytes of RAM (OCLC says 4 MB, but you will want at least 8), and a Winsock-compatible TCP/IP stack (if you are running Netscape now, you have this).
The Passport interface is relatively intuitive, enabling a user to establish an OCLC session without consulting the manual (the manual is short and not that unhelpful anyway). Passport uses the standard Windows interface (menus and toolbar); to use it you must open a session. A "Session Guide" helps the user through the connection process. Once set up, a session is easily "startable" next time. One great advantage is the ability to establish simultaneous Passport sessions or a Passport session and a HULPR session via McGill. Heather Reid cautioned that OCLC will charge Harvard for each TLP session established and Harvard units could reach the limit of 22 simultaneous TLP connections to OCLC if everyone works with multiple Passport sessions.
In a Passport session, all regular Prism commands are available. The user can customize session display aspects (font size, toolbar buttons, etc.) and keyboard definitions. The user can input diacritics by selecting from a table of ALA extended characters. These can also be assigned to shortcut keys. The Windows cut and paste feature is available and extremely useful. Passport offers a macro facility which is based on recording keystrokes. While useful, this facility is less intuitive than some other parts of the package. Passport includes some ready-built macros, including a useful inactivity macro to insure a clean session disconnect and a macro that prints a whole record rather than a single screen. Macros can be assigned to the keyboard or to buttons on the toolbar. Passport includes a macro editor/debugger where more elaborate macros can be created. This feature may be too complex for the average user.
The Passport printing function uses Windows printer drivers, eliminating the puzzle of which DOS Passport driver to use with your printer. TrueType fonts must be enabled in Windows for Passport printing to work.
Passport for Windows does offer an IBM 3163 emulation that can be used to connect to HULPR or HOLLIS. After starting the connection supply the "hollis1" terminal type, then log in normally. HOLLIS/HULPR function keys will work but diacritics are not readily available (they must be individually mapped). Bill Hayes noted that connections to HULPR using Passport have not been terribly stable. OIS recommends that units continue to use their existing network connection methods (McGill TCP3270 or Cornell PCIP, for example) for staff access to HOLLIS and HULPR. Units still interested in doing this need to contact Heather Reid in OIS for the IP address to use when setting up the session.
Most Harvard libraries that use McGill to access HULPR are on version 2.5; a version 2.6 with minor changes also exists but few units have migrated to it. OIS advises units to stay on version 2.5 until OIS and a few Harvard test sites have a chance to further evaluate version 3.0. Units interested in being beta testers should contact Heather Reid in OIS.
The GET command, enabling catalog users directly to request retrieval of items from the Harvard Depository, is scheduled to be made available 30 January. A million Widener items will initially be eligible for retrieval in this manner as will several hundred items from Andover-Harvard and Countway. The Law Library will also use the facility as soon as its training for the use of HOLLIS circulation is completed.
Use of GET was described at length in the December issue of this newsletter (p.12:8-11.) Since that description was written, a few details have been refined.
1. When a user makes a request, the system will consult its circulation policy tables to ascertain that the user has some borrowing privileges at the library which owns the item. If not, the request is denied and the user is advised to consult library staff. If the user may borrow some things from the library, but not those having the loan code of the requested item, the user is advised that it may be necessary to use the material in the library and is asked to confirm or cancel the request in light of that restriction.
2. When the item is charged to the pseudopatron representing that the item is coming from HD, a recall is automatically placed on the item for the user who has requested it. (The recall enables circulation staff to see in the item record who the requestor is and ensures that anyone else placing a hold or recall on the item will get properly queued up.) No recall notice will be sent to the user. The recall expires on the last day the the library has promised to hold the book; so that if the user fails to claim it by that time the library can discharge it from the pseudopatron without an item- available notice being generated.
3. Generating the recalls necessitates some small changes to the circulation display screen for requested items, and for items with holds or recalls generally. An item requested from HD will display the message Requested from Depository. Being held for a reader. That second sentence will now also display for any item with a recall or hold on it after it has been discharged from the original borrower and is being held for pickup. Recalls or holds on charged items will continue to be indicated in the catalog by a message of the type 2 readers are waiting for this item.
The January HOLLIS Liaisons meeting will feature a demonstration of the GET command. You may direct questions to Charles Husbands in OIS.
January 10, 1996 Location: Gutman Media Center Time: 2:30-4:00 pm
1. Announcements: by Jon Rothman
2. Demonstration of the new GET command (patron-initiated HD requests from HOLLIS): by Charles Husbands and Julie Wetherill
3. Demonstration of the new system for cataloging government documents in HOLLIS: by Robin Wendler
Notes and Reminders
Several people have expressed interest in Passport training. NELINET is hosting training at their facility in Newton. However, Harvard-specific training at an on-campus location (probably the ETC) could be arranged. OIS would like to hear expressions of interest from those units who would participate in such training if it were available. Please contact Heather Reid in OIS.
10 January Acquisitions Roundtable
10 January HOLLIS Liaison's Meeting
10 January ABCD-World Wide Web Meeting
12 January Cataloging Discussion Group
16 January ABCD-Library Meeting
12 noon, OIS Conference Room, 1280 Mass. Ave., Suite 404
8 February Cataloging Discussion Group
Time and place TBA
13 March HOLLIS Liaison Meeting