NDTnet - July 1996, Vol.1 No.07

NDT Net Bytes

Author Martin P. Jones


The Internet is more than the World-Wide Web (WWW)!

The WWW is growing at a staggering rate and for good reasons. With a click of a mouse, one can visit web sites all over the world and see and hear a wealth of information. However, there are other resources on the Internet beyond the WWW, such as Inter Relay Chat (IRC) and Usenet newsgroups.

Usenet Newsgroup: sci.techniques.testing.nondestructive

In late 1994, I searched the Internet for a Usenet newsgroup or mailing list that solely discussed nondestructive testing but found none. In Feb. 1995 I wrote a "Request for Discussion" which contained the proposed NDT newsgroup charter. The NDT newsgroup charter was put to a vote in April 1995. During the one month voting period, Russell Austin of NTIAC and I campaigned vigorously to spread the word to the NDT community of the newsgroup vote. In June of 1995, the newsgroup passed by a margin of 198 "yes" to 18 "no" votes, representing people in 16 countries and was created with the following key section in its charter:

"A newsgroup dedicated to the exchange of information and discussion of issues relating to nondestructive testing of materials and structures. Anyone interested will be welcome to participate in discussions about, but not limited to:

  1. NDT methods: x-radiography, acoustic emission, penetrant, ultrasonics, magnetic particle, visual, thermography, eddy current, leak testing, neutron radiography.
  2. Related NDT Methods: near infrared and Raman spectroscopy, magnetic resonance imaging and/or spectroscopy, interferometry, shearography, and others.
  3. NDT societies: the American Society for Nondestructive Testing, New Zealand NDT Association, Canadian Society of NDT and other NDT societies.
  4. Related NDT societies: American Society for Testing and Materials, American Society of Mechanical Engineering, American Welding Society and others.
  5. Employment opportunities within the NDT field.
  6. Educational resources.
  7. Upcoming NDT Conferences.
  8. Process monitoring and control.
  9. Medical applications of NDT."
Because many people have only e-mail and no access to newsgroups, I asked Keith Pickens of SwRI to create an e-mail list gateway to the newsgroup. Dr. Pickens kindly created the gateway and additionally created a FTP archive site (ftp://ftp.nde.swri.edu/pub/nde and WWW page (http://www.nde.swri.edu:8080) for the NDT newsgroup. To get on the NDT e-mail list, send a message to "nde-request@swrinde.nde.swri.edu" with a command "subscribe'' in the body of the email message.

The newsgroup is receiving about 3 to 4 posts per day with nearly all containing either a good NDT question or answer. This is a credit to the NDT community since the newsgroup is not moderated, meaning all messages to it are posted. However, please read the NDT newsgroup charter (see http://www.nde.swri.edu:8080/charter.html) for guidelines on what is permissible to post.

Inter Relay Chat: The NDT Channel

Although e-mail and newsgroup messages can be sent and delivered within minutes or seconds, this form of communication is not meant to be done in real time. Although the messages may be waiting in the recipient's mailbox one minute after being sent, it could take forever before they are read. In contrast, with Inter Relay Chat (IRC) you can get near real time interaction, not just between two people, but between dozens of people. With IRC software, you can enter a channel where a particular subject of interest is being discussed and type in via the keyboard a comment that will be almost instantly seen by all who happen to currently be on that channel. IRC is therefore the Internet equivalent to a telephone party line. The interactive nature of IRC makes it the most social oriented tool of the Internet.

You can connect to IRC if you have a PPP/SLIP connection to the Internet, some IRC software, and a winsock. I do know that many universities provide at least a unix/shell access to IRC for their students. If you have a personal Internet account with a private service provider or you have access to the internet only through your employer, please contact them to see what they know about how to connect you to IRC. Some IRC software is freeware, and I use MIRC which can be downloaded from http://sunsite.nijenrode.nl/ftp/pub/mirc/ and it comes with a very good help and instructions. If you run into problems maybe I can help if you tell me the type of connection to the Internet you have, including whether your computer is a PC, MAC, workstation....).

I will be maintaining a channel called#NDT each weekday from 12 midnight to 1 am and 7:30 am to 8:30 am EST during March, April, and May of 1996. The channel #NDT is on the Efnet network and I suggest using the server "irc.epix.net", although any other Efnet server will work. I am seeking volunteers to assist me during the above time slots or volunteers who would like to establish another time slot for the NDT channel. Discussion via IRC is informal and this will serve as a suitable forum for discussion of issues, like ISO 9712, that are currently challenging the NDT community. However, I think IRC will gives us the opportunity to get to know our NDT colleagues throughout the world on a personal level.


Author

Martin P. Jones, Ph.D.- Materials Testing Internet Resources Great information!
Dr. Jones was born, raised and educated in Baltimore, Maryland. He received his baccalaureate degree in Physics from the University of Maryland and masters and doctoral degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. While in graduate school, he was employed as a materials engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. His main areas of interest at NIST were acoustic emission, ultrasound, and thermal wave imaging. He later worked for eight years at the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) as a Senior Engineer in nondestructive evaluation of various metals, ceramics, and composites.
e-mail: mpjones@ewi.org

Further Information:

  1. GO TO NDT-Forum
  2. Information about the NewsGroup "sci.techniques.testing.nondestructive". Search Newsgroups, is an excellent Search Tool for selecting former contributions.
  3. The Weekly IRC #NDT is a newly established NDT real-time discussion channel. Here is the record for a former topic: IRC Record: Novel Methods for Generating Ultrasound" [01.June96]
  4. NEWs NDT Newsgroup Info: IRC #NDT Channel: Summer Break! [01.July96]

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Rolf Diederichs 1.July 1996, info@ndt.net
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