Your conference’s “rc” and “urc” files are two of the most versatile tools you have at your disposal as a host. Command shortcuts can also be defined in the “rc” file which can make access to specific files or special programs very easy for the PicoSpan user. The potential uses for the “rc” file are nearly limitless. We’ll cover some of the more common ones here.

12.1 What Are the RC and URC Files?

Your conference’s RC File is a lot like an individual user’s .cfonce file, but it belongs to the conference itself. Whenever a user enters your conference, the contents of the RC File (the “Run Command” File) are read into PicoSpan’s environment for that user. The URC file is a file of commands that are also read into PicoSpan’s environment for that user, but are executed as the user him/herself. The URC file of your conference allows you to make a menu area available just for your guests. The RC file is available for you to create any customizations you wish for your conference. For example, if you want your guests to be able to type a command to access a list of concert dates or a particular document about something, you could program that command into your RC file, or put the document in your web directory, and use the RC file to point the lynx web browser to it automatically.

The RC file is located in your conference’s directory. Hosts cannot make changes to the URC file directly, but they can directly play with the contents of the RC file. At the OK prompt in your conference, just:

Type: c rc

The URC is protected for user privacy reasons and can only be changed by the confteam staff. If you have a command you wish to add to your conference’s URC file, and you’ve experimented to be sure it will not work in the RC file, just email confteam and they can install it for you.

Like the other special files in your conference directory, the RC file may be seen by any conference user in the PicoSpan environment by use of the “display” command. At an OK prompt, just:

    Type: d rc

You’ll see something like this:

    define signit 9 “lynx http://www.phantom.com/~slowdog/”
    define menu 9 “system /usr/local/bin/amenuinfo -c screen -F -b -s”

The line in the RC file defines a specific command so when a guest types “signit” they are sent to a particular web site; in this case, it’s a web page on another system. The URC command sets up a menu system specific to The WELL that the host can customize to provide information, access to files, and so on that they have chosen as possible interest points for conference participants. More information about menus is covered in Section 13.

Take a look around some of your favorite conferences’ RC files and menu options. There are many examples of clever and creative uses of this resource. There have been changes over time to the way the RC and URC files are utilized, so your conference may differ if it still contains the more archaic set up. If you have questions or don’t under stand the RC files in your conference, just ask confteam and they’ll be glad to help you interpret. If you would like to experiment with macros, take a look at the material on using your .cfonce in The WELL User’s Manual.

RC and URC commands will not work for Engaged users. You will want to use the wlogin file and make direct links to files instead of using the RC to build commands or menus for those users.

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