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.:: Searching The Dialog Information Service ::.

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Current issue : #44 | Release date : 1993-11-17 | Editor : Erik Bloodaxe
IntroductionErik Bloodaxe
Phrack Loopback / EditorialPhrack Staff
Line Noise Part IPhrack Staff
Line Noise Part IIPhrack Staff
Computer Cop ProphileThe Grimmace
Conference News Part Ivarious
Conference News Part IIvarious
Conference News Part IIIvarious
Intro to Packet RadioLarry Kollar
The Moeller PapersErhart Moller
Sara Gordon v. Kohntark Part IKohntark
Sara Gordon v. Kohntark Part IIKohntark
Northern Telecom's FMT-150B/C/DFyberLyte
A Guide to Data General's AOS/VS Part IHerd Beast
A Guide to Data General's AOS/VS Part IIHerd Beast
An Interview With Agent StealAgent 005
Visionary - The Story About HimVisionary
Searching The Dialog Information ServiceAl Capone
Northern Telecom's SL-1Iceman
Safe and Easy CardingVaxBuster
An Introduction to the Decserver 200Opticon
LOD Communications BBS Archive Informationunknown
MOD Family Portraitunknown
Gail Takes A Breakunknown
International Scenesvarious
Phrack World NewsDatastream Cowboy
Title : Searching The Dialog Information Service
Author : Al Capone
                              ==Phrack Magazine==

                 Volume Four, Issue Forty-Four, File 18 of 27


                  Searching the Dialog Information Service
                               By Al Capone

     This file will show you how to use the Dialog Information Service.
It is divided into the following parts:

<> --- Background Information
<> --- Accessing Dialog
<> --- What to do when you're in
<> --- Searching and Search Strategy

     As loyal Phrack readers may recall, there have been two articles
written about Dialog already: Control-C wrote "Inside Dialog" in Issue
9 and much later Brian Oblivion wrote "The Complete Guide to The DIALOG
Information Network" in Issue 39. Why another one? The online world
changes so rapidly that things written just a couple of years ago can
be out of date today. What differentiates this file from its two predecessors
is that this file is: less 'manual derived', current (as of 11/93),
more hands on, and hopefully is easier to read and put to immediate use.

     To obtain additional information about Dialog contact:

                  Dialog Information Service Worldwide Headquarters
                  3460 Hillview Avenue
                  P.O. Box 10010
                  Palo Alto, CA 94303-0993
                  Phone: 1-800-3-DIALOG (800-334-2564)

<> Background Information

"The United States is turning from an industrial age nation into
an information age nation,"  U.S. Senator Gary Hart, The Tonight
Show, 1993.

     From Big Brother creating dossiers on subversives to credit
reporting agencies determining whether or not you get your credit
card application approved, it all boils down to the more you know,
the better you are able to succeed in society.

     Following through a hacker progression, huge databases have
amassed providing online access to a seemingly infinite number of
sources used for anything imaginable.  Lawyers can access these
databases to research such things as precedents for court cases. A
graduate student trying to earn his or her masters degree can gain
access to research a thesis, companies can get information on
competitors, and so on. Databases are distributed into two categories:
Research and Entertainment.

     Gaining prominence in the early 1980's, entertainment databases
were comprised of the big two: The Source and Compuserve. Another
prominent service, the Dow Jones News Retrieval Service was part
research and part entertainment.  A few other less significant databases
also existed at this time.

     The Source was a subsidiary of the investment firm of Welsh,
Carson, and Stowe.  It provided some seven hundred and fifty features
and services including electronic mail.  Investment features included
a discount brokerage firm, and a full range of stock, bond, and
commodities information, with an option to search portfolios.  It also
allowed you to search other fellow users by location, account number,
or interest.  The Source was subsequently bought out by Compuserve
and was shutdown on August 1, 1989.

     Compuserve is a division of H&R Block. It is the largest
service worldwide offering some four hundred thousand subscribers a
variety of news and financial information.  It also offers access
to Valueline and the Standard and Poor databases, which are online
business references.  It also has online games and a travelling service.

     The Dow Jones News/Retrieval is a part of the Wall Street Journal
and provides online abstracts of printed papers published by Dow
Jones and Co.  It now includes profiles of over forty six hundred
companies and has diversified to provide sports coverage.

     Today, most of you are aware of the myriad of other entertainment
online services such as Genie, Prodigy, America OnLine (AOL), etc. All
of these so called entertainment services have made attempts at
offering various business and research services to their users. Its
interesting to sit back and watch how each one tries to out-do the
other. You will find that some databases are offered through some of
these entertainment services as well as dialog and perhaps other
commercial services. Be aware that the costs may differ substantially
among them for the same exact database. If you are paying for access, be
sure to shop around if the particular database is popular.

     If you travel to your local university library you will notice
computer databases to which you can access such things as doctoral
dissertations (get brownie points by telling your professor how
interesting his/her thesis was), medical research (look up that newly
acquired disease that your doctor mumbled that you now have), even
national newspaper articles. This is just another source of information
at your disposal (aside from books that is).  Popping up more and
more in libraries are "fee based research services".  These are simply
professional librarians who use research databases to retrieve the
information you are too ignorant or stupid (or don't have enough time)
to retrieve yourself. Fees range from their cost only (ie, online charges)
to upwards of $100. per hour of their time spent PLUS any online

     As you can probably deduce, it would be cost effective to use every
possible free source of information before turning to online searchers.  I
recommend exhausting all the in-library databases before going online
simply because the in-library databases are usually available on
CD-ROM and you are not charged an hourly rate to use it. And don't
forget about all those free Internet FTP sites, Gopher, WAIS, WWW, and
even usenet!  Most librarians are just starting to pay attention to and make
use of the Internet. However once you have read this article you
will be well versed on one of the major databases that is being used by
these research services.  If you run into an online database
in your library, I suggest that you know what you are doing, as
librarians are very skeptical due to the fact that you are using their
money to do your searching.

     Running a research service seems to be a good idea.  Not
only does it provide a "legal" form of hacking to satisfy your
thirst for information, there is definitely a substantial amount of
money to be made.  Entrepreneur magazine lists it as being in the top
ten of prospective business opportunities.  You are professionally
known as an information broker, a degree in Library Studies (a
traditional four year degree) helps, and if you don't decide to pursue
the research angle, you could then become a librarian (how exciting).

     One of the research databases commonly used is the Dialog
Information Service.  Dialog is a subsidiary of Lockheed Missile and
Space Corporation.  It provides access to more than three hundred
databases containing over one hundred million records.  The
significance of this service is that it joins all 300+ databases
together, you can skip from one database to another simply by
'beginning' the database.  In the past, the user would have to
individually call each database and pay an exorbitant charge to
use it.  Dialog eliminates this and keeps all the databases
together.  Because of the vastness, all sources are summarized
with keyword searches.  Dialog has substantial signup charges
($295. last time I asked them) in addition to the fact that
each individual database charges an hourly rate.  Each rate varies
according to things like the relative importance of the topic,
cost to put the information online, and the main determining
factor: what they think the users will pay. Some database
providers seem to defy any logical reasoning as to how they
determined the cost to access their information.

  Dialog can be accessed in about a dozen different ways.  It is
available through Westnet, Wangpac, Dunsnet, IBM Information Network, and
TWX-TELEX.  The following chart lists some other alternatives along
with connection rates:

               Ways to Access Dialog with Connection Rates
                               Table 1

|         Service                           Rate per Hour (U.S.Dollars)    |
|         -------                           ---------------------------    |
|                                                                          |
| Dialnet Direct Dial (Palo                                                |
|   Alto Dialnet Nodes).................................$ 4.00             |
|                                                                          |
| Dialnet-In Watts (Direct 800#)........................$24.00             |
|                                                                          |
| GEIS-Marknet *........................................$25.00             |
|                                                                          |
| GNS (Global Network Services -                                           |
|   BT Tymnet) **.......................................$12.00             |
|                                                                          |
| Internet Gateway..(ANSnet)............................$ 4.20              |
|                                                                          |
| Journal of Commerce (JOC and                                             |
|    KRU Network) ***...................................$24.00             |
|                                                                          |
| Sprintnet (Formerly Telenet)..........................$12.00             |
|                                                                          |
|                                                                          |
*    = Available for users in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore,
       and the Philippines.
**   = Available in Europe.
***  = Available in the Far East and Asia.

<> - Accessing Dialog
     The following three scenarios will show you how to log in
to Dialog to begin your searching. [] denunciates what you
should type in:

1. - Accessing Dialog through the Internet via the telnet command:

$ Telnet dialog.com

?XXXXXXXX [Enter the Dialog Usernumber]
?XXXXXXXX [Enter the Dialog Password]

You're In!

2. - Accessing Dialog through Tymnet
please log in:[dialog]
DIALOG: call connected
?XXXXXXXX [Enter the Dialog Usernumber]
?XXXXXXXX [Enter the Dialog Password]

You're In!

3. - Accessing Dialog through Sprintnet
[Enter]  [Enter]  [Enter]
123 45K
@ [41548]
415 48 connected
?XXXXXXXX [Enter the Dialog Usernumber]
?XXXXXXXX [Enter the Dialog Password]

You're In!

     Here let me say a few things about getting a correct
logon/password combination.  In order to familiarize yourself
with the system, Dialog gives you a starter kit which includes
your legit logon/password, along with some other perks like some
free online time.  This online time can be used the minute you
get your starter kit.  You may also illicitly obtain a correct
logon/password combination using such an elaborate technique as
looking over the shoulder of the person typing it in (shoulder

     Of course Dialog will immediately revoke the 'hacked' account the
minute that the "scheme" is uncovered, but at least you will have by then
done your research and quietly slipped away.  Keep in mind that network
nodes send port identifiers and if you are using a bogus credit
card, then you might be in some hot water should they decide to
track you down. It is assumed that if you intend to gain unauthorized
access, you are somewhat versed in the various methods to negate
the 'tracing' capability of the network(s).

     Dialog offers 6 'free' accounts to prospective and current
subscribers.  These are restricted accounts which provide access
to their ONTAP training databases. There are two to three dozen
databases which they scale down to include a fraction of the
number of records and/or contain dated records from years ago. You
search these databases the same way as the full-scale ones.  The
purpose is for you to verify your search strategy, and once you feel
confident that your search strategy will pull up the info you want
(not too many records yet not too little), you use your dialog
account to access the same database at the going rate. This way,
you don't lose lots of cash if you screw up, because you made all
your mistakes using the free accounts. Since I use the free accounts
on occasion, I don't think it would be a good idea to list them in
this file. Suffice it to say that Dialog is happy to provide the
phone number to you that has the pre-recorded userid and password
combinations for the ONTAP accounts. Note that these passwords are
changed every month, with new passwords being provided at the first of
each month and that only one person may use each account at a time.

     Also note that Dialog occasionally offers a 'free file of the
month' in which you use your normal Dialog account to do searches in
the particular database. They usually allow you to rack up to $50 or
sometimes an hour's worth of search charges -- I guess that is Dialog's
definition of 'free'. The only charges you pay when you access any free
files of the month are telecommunications charges (see Table 1 above).
Once you leave the free file of the month, you will start to incur
normal Dialog online time charges.

<> What to do When You're In

     Once you have gained access to Dialog the system will show
you something like this:

Welcome to DIALOG
Dialog level 29.01.04B
Logon file227 22may93 12:27:30

***Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Data Available in CENDATA
   Menu 22.7

***Preformatted Patent REPORTS are now available for File 28,351


>>> Enter BEGIN HOMEBASE for Dialog Announcements <<<
>>>       of new databases, price changes, etc.   <<<
>>>        Announcements last updated 07may93     <<<


     The "SYSTEM:" prompt directs you to pick a file.  A file in
this case is the number to a database.  In the above welcome message
you will notice that the St. Petersburg Times appears in File 735.
This simply means that if I wanted to look up an article in the St.
Pete Times, I would type in "b735" at the "SYSTEM:" prompt.  The "b"
stands for begin, as if you are beginning in that database.  Like I
said earlier, each database charges a different rate which typically
depends on the 'importance' of the information.  Therefore, it will
probably charge more for biochemistry information than for newspaper
articles. The following list shows costs for the some of the "A" databases
in the Dialog system.

     HOMEBASE is the Dialog tutorial.  It provides all sorts of help
needed by the beginner hacker...errr user.  Homebase lists announcements,
dates and locations of training seminars ($70 to $140 for half/full day
seminars, I have been to a few for dialog and some of their individual
databases and highly recommend going especially if they are offered for
free), and lists dialups in various area codes.

               Individual Dialog databases by the Letter A
                               Table 2

|  File Number  |          Database Name         |  Rate per Minute/Hour   |
|    15         |           ABI/Inform           |         2.20/132.00     |
|    88         |         Academic Index         |         1.40/84.00      |
|    108        |         Aerospace Database     |         1.50/90.00      |
|    163        |           AGELINE              |         1.00/60.00      |
|    581        |         Agribusiness U.S.A.    |         1.60/96.00      |
|    10         |         Agricola 1979-present  |          .75/45.00      |
|    110        |         Agricola 1970-1978     |          .75/45.00      |
|    203        |         Agris International    |         1.00/60.00      |
|    306        |     The Agrochemicals Handbook |         4.41/265.00     |
|    157        |         AIDSline 1980-         |          .60/36.00      |
|    708        |       Akron Reacon Journal     |         1.60/96.00      |
|    38         |     America:History and Life   |         1.08/65.00      |
|    625        |     America:Banker Full Text   |         2.00/120.00     |
|    Banknews   |     American Banker News       |         2.00/120.00     |
|    460        |     American Library Directory |         1.25/75.00      |
|    236        |American Men and Women of Scien.|         1.58/95.00      |
|    305        |        Analytical Abstracts    |         2.66/160.00     |
|    257        |     API Energy Business News   |         1.60/96.00      |
|    897        |     API Energy Business News   |         1.60/96.00      |
|    354        |     APILIT (non-subscriber)    |         3.08/154.00     |
|    954        |     APILIT (Subscriber)        |         1.83/110.00     |

     This list continues for some fifteen more databases (those
that start with the letter A).  If I were to list the entire database
list, this covers some ten pages of documents, not withstanding
that it's constantly being revised/updated.  If you look at my example
in logging on, the St. Petersburg Times was recently added as a database.
This would not reflect in my database list as I have compiled, outdating
it before I even listed it.  I suggest that you contact Dialog at the
phone/address at the beginning for an updated list of databases.  The
document is called "Price List".  However Dialog has online an entire
list of all its databases.  This list is located in File 411.

     Also contained in this list is the Dun and Bradstreet databases
(Files 514 through 522).  Dun and Bradstreet provides corporate
information to subscribers.  It can be used for anything from
competitive intelligence on another business to credit reports on
prospective clients to background intelligence.  File 519 contains full
disclosure on financial information on a company.  Each record costs $106.
(at this time).  The other databases are significantly cheaper, but not
by much. The way D&B gathers this information is they send out employees to
"interview" various corporations and their officers and simply translate
the info into a record which they then market.  One thing about each database
is that they each contain their own language within the general Dialog
language (which will be discussed further in this file).  In Dun and
Bradstreet you can search by company, PIC and SIC codes (these are simply
manufacturing categories which the searcher can use to find companies.
Example: if I wanted to find the top ten companies in long-distance
services, I could use a PIC code), or various other categories.

     The following is an exploration of Phrack's old buddies, BellSouth:

$ s dp=10-667-8006
$ t s2/co/all

(The "dp" command displays all subsidiaries of a company (only the
direct subsidiaries, the ones that report directly to BellSouth.  The
result is the following:)


Mobil Communications Corp
Bellsouth DC Inc
American Cellular Communications
Bellsouth Enterprises Inc
Bellsouth Financial Services
Bellsouth Advertising & Publishing
Mobile Communications Corporation
Mobilecomm of Nashville, Inc.
Bellsouth Telecommunications

Here is the record disclosure from File 516: D&B Market Identifiers:

2655560   DIALOG File 516:  D&B Duns Market Identifiers
Bellsouth Corporation
1155 Peachtree St Ne
Atlanta, GA 30367-6000

TELEPHONE: 404-249-2000
COUNTY: Fulton      MSA: 0520 (Atlanta, GA)
REGION: South Atlantic

BUSINESS: Telecommunications Services

 4813       Telephone communication, except radio
  48130000   Telephone communication, except radio, nsk
  48130102   Local telephone communications
  48130103   Long distance telephone communications
  48130104   Voice telephone communications

 4812       Radiotelephone communication, nsk
  48129901   Cellular telephone services
  48129902   Paging services
 2741       Miscellaneous publishing, nsk
  27410304   Directories, telephone: publishing only, not printed on site
 5065       Electronic parts and equipment, nec, nsk
  50650100   Telephone and telegraphic equipment
  50650103   Telephone equipment


                         LATEST             TREND             BASE
                           YEAR              YEAR             YEAR
                                           (1991)           (1989)

SALES          $ 15,201,600,000   $ 14,445,500,000   $ 13,600,000,000
EMPLOYEES TOTAL:         97,100             96,975            102,000
EMPLOYEES HERE:             982

  SALES GROWTH:  6   NET WORTH: $ 11,996,800,000

ACCOUNTING FIRM: Coopers & Lybrand Atlanta GA
BANK: Chase Manhattan Bank NA Inc  BANK DUNS: 00-698-1815



DUNS NUMBER:             10-667-8006

CHAIRMAN:                   Clendenin, John L  /Chb-Pres-Ceo
PRESIDENT:                  Clendenin, John L  /Chb-Pres-Ceo
VICE PRESIDENT:             O Neill, Robert W  /Vp Assoc Gen Counsel
                            Markey, David J  /Vp-Govt Affairs
                            Fiedler, Mark L  /Vp-Corp Development
                            Gunter, John R  /V Pres-Corp Responsibility & C
                            Casey, Patrick H  /V Pres-Comptroller
                            Yokley, Arlen G  /V Pres-Sec-Treas
SECRETARY:                  Yokley, Arlen G  /V Pres-Sec-Treas
TREASURER:                  Yokley, Arlen G  /V Pres-Sec-Treas
VICE-CHAIRMAN:              Holding, Harvey R  /V Chb-Finance &
                            McCoy, William O  /V Chb
COUNSEL:                    Alford, Walter H  /Exec V Pres-Gen Counsel
FINANCE:                    Holding, Harvey R  /V Chb-Finance @
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT:   Fiedler, Mark L  /Vp-Corp Development
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT:   McGuire, Raymond L  /Exec V Pres-Govt Affairs
                            Alford, Walter H  /Exec V Pres-Gen Counsel
                            Mauldin, Earle  /Exec Vp & Cfo
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT:      Reddersen, William F  /Sr Vp-Broadband
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER:    Clendenin, John L  /Chb-Pres-Ceo
ADMINISTRATION:             Reddersen, William F  /Sr Vp-Broadband
                            McCoy, William O  /V Chb
                            McGuire, Raymond L  /Exec V Pres-Govt Affairs
                            Mauldin, Earle  /Exec Vp & Cfo
                            Holding, Harvey R  /V Chb-Finance &
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER:    Mauldin, Earle  /Exec Vp & Cfo
MANAGEMENT:                 O Neill, Robert W  /Vp Assoc Gen Counsel
SALES-MARKETING VP:         Gunter, John R  /V Pres-Corp Responsibility & C
FINANCE VP:                 Casey, Patrick H  /V Pres-Comptroller
ENGINEERING VP:             Fiedler, Mark L  /Vp-Corp Development

Record 519 goes on and displays news and personal information on
the executive officers, including the following:

     At divestiture, AT&T transferred to this corporation its 100
ownership in South Central Bell Telephone Company, Southern Bell Telephone
and Telegraph Company and Bellsouth Mobility Inc.
     Shareholders of AT&T as of Dec 30 1983 received one share of
Bellsouth stock for every 10 common shares of AT&T stock.
     Business started 1983.  The common stock is listed on the New York,
Boston, Midwest, Pacific and Philadelphia stock exchanges under the symbol
"BLS".  As of Jan 31 1993, there were 1,286,670 shareholders of record. The
majority of the outstanding common stock is owned by the general public.
Officers and directors own less than 1 of the outstanding stock.
      ............RECENT EVENTS.........
      In Jan 1992, the company and RAM Broadcasting Corporation formed a
business venture to own and operate certain mobile data communications
networks worldwide as well as certain cellular and paging operations in the
US  (Further details on file at the Woodbury, NY office of Dun & Bradstreet).
     During 1992, the company made several small acquisitions, principally
related to cellular phone service.
     On Sep 20 1991, the company acquired several properties in Indiana,
Wisconsin and Illinois from McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc in exchange
for $361 million, including BellSouth's interest in Rochester, NY's
non-wireline cellular provider.
     On Sep 17 1991, the company completed the acquisition of Graphic
Scanning Corp for an adjusted total cash purchase price of $168 million.
In addition, certain liabilities of Graphic Scanning amounting to
approximately $142 million were assumed by BellSouth.
    On Mar 28 1991, the company acquired from GTE Mobilnet Incorporated
two cellular partnerships in which it held minority interests, which
resulted in BellSouth Enterprises, Inc gaining an additional 21 interest
in the Atlanta-Athens Limited Partnership and an additional 42 interest in
the Lexington, Kentucky MSA Limited partnership.

     ........MANAGEMENT BACKGROUND........
     CLENDENIN born 1934 married.  1955 Northwestern University BS.
1955-1978 Illinois Bell Telephone Co, Chicago, IL.  1975 Vice President.
1978-1980 Pacific Northwest Telephone Co, Seattle, WA, Executive Vice
President.  1980-1981 AT&T Vice President.  1981 Southern Bell Telephone.
1984-present Chairman of Board, President, and CEO, Bellsouth Corporation.
     MCCOY born 1933.  Graduate of University of North Carolina, 1955 BS,
BA and MIT and 1968 MS Management.  1955-1959 U S Marine Corps. 1959-present
BellSouth Corporation; 1993 Vice Chairman, BellSouth Corporation.
     YOKLEY born 1937.  Graduate of Catawba College, Salisbury, NC 1959.
1959 joined subject.
     MCGUIRE born 1933 married.  Graduate of Mississippi College 1957 and
University of Mississippi 1960.  1961-1965 law clerk of the U S Court of
Appeals, 5th Circuit and trial attorney for tax division at the Department
of Justice, Washington, DC and 1966 became Assistant U S Attorney, Northern
District of Mississippi.  1967 joined Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph
Company (Inc), Atlanta, GA. Mar 1985 elected to present position.

Explanation of Bellsouth search results:

    WOW! All they made in sales was 15 billion dollars -- and they call
hackers crooks.  The data showing the news is helpful, and all
the personal information could really be used for harassment purposes if
necessary.  Take a look at their credentials.  A prospective employee
could use this data to ass-kiss a little.  Their college references
clearly show why the E911 document created such a fiasco in the company....

<> - Searching and Search Strategy: Contrived and Free Text Searching

     There are two different types of searching to find the topic you
need: contrived and free text.  After selecting the "file" or database
number that you want, Dialog gives you a "?" as a prompt.  At this
point you can begin your searching.

     Contrived word searches should begin offline though.  The database
in question will send you a thesaurus (for a fee usually) which
will tell you exactly what words correlate with your topic, so that
you can go directly to the topic eliminating a lot of extra online
time.  Keep in mind that each database has a different thesaurus
so unless this database you have chosen is going to be your primary
database of use down the road, then you may want to just use free
text searching.

     The only problem with free text searching is if your word is
anywhere in an article it is counted and shown to you whether
relevant or not.  Imagine searching for the word "aircraft" in an
aeronautical database or "student" in an educational database.  The
result could be apocalyptic as you would have to sort the data by
its relevancy or irrelevancy.  That is why you need to develop what
is called a "search strategy".  Although Dialog permits you to expand
a too narrow search or condense a broad search, a perfect strategy will
not require the use of these commands (I will discuss them later though).
A perfect strategy is both effective, time efficient, and doesn't
generate too many headaches.

     The only things I feel that a search strategy needs to be considered
a good one is the correct use of the system's language (you need to know
exactly what you are typing in and why, just as with any other language -
Fortran, C, etc.) and a synonym dictionary.  Occasionally my mind will go
blank in searching through a database for a topic because once I have
input the primary topic, I run out of ideas with which to draw
correlations.  That is why you need the dictionary.  If I were searching
with the word "student", I could use the word "pupil" and "scholar" as
other points of venue to search with after I have looked up "student" in
the dictionary.  By using this technique, you are sort of using a
modification of the contrived word search as the costly thesaurus
does the same action as your two dollar synonym dictionary.

Beginning Your Search: The SELECT Command

     After completing the login procedure, began the database that
you want to search, and viewed the welcome banner, etc. you will
be shown the following message:

Set  Items  Description
---  -----  -----------


This question mark tells you to start your search.  Functionally
the Select command will search through the database looking for the
terms that you have specified.  The correct way to do this is as

? S [term]


Although very broad, the select command will search the entire database
for the word "Computer" and will compile a total list.  It will
display it to you as the following:

   S1 27263  COMPUTER

After each search the S# will increment itself by one.  What this
does is ease in the resurrection of searching.  If I ever wanted to
use the word "Computer" again, all I would have to type in is: "S1"
for an easy substitution.  Especially when I am using CD-ROM, I like
to use a very broad topic to begin my searching, and then I will narrow
it down.  The word "Computer" fits this description.

Adding meaning to the SELECTion

     Here I would like to talk a little about the words "and" and
"or".  These words are definitely the most important words to search
with.  Specifically they will narrow down your search because you
are using one more word to help you find and article.

ex.  ? S COMPUTER AND CRIME             or          S S1 AND CRIME
        27263  S1
        356    CRIME

        S2  49 S1 AND CRIME

Notice how "CRIME" had 356 articles that contained its word, however
when combined with the word "Computer" only had 49!  This makes it
very easy to narrow your search down to specifics, but not all the way
as I will further explain.

     Another command I would like to discuss is the "SS" command.
This is an abbreviation of the Select command known as "Select Steps".
What this does is break up a search into individual steps.

          S4  27263  COMPUTER
          S5    356  CRIME
          S6     49  COMPUTER AND CRIME

This is specifically used if I want to individualize a search and
use the terms for other topics.  Keep in mind that the assigning of
these steps and the individual searches that it must conduct may
result in slower processing times thereby running up your total
online bill.

     When Dialog is asked to do a search, it retrieves the following
in what is called fields: Title, Abstract, Descriptors, and Identifiers.
The two most important fields are the descriptors and identifiers.
When scanning a database that has come up with fifteen sources the
easiest way to determine if these articles are worth keeping or
tossing into the circular file is through the descriptors and
identifiers.  The "Descriptor" will in two words or less explain the
entire article, which is why they are otherwise known as the controlled
vocabulary terms.  Identifiers, on the other hand, are the free language
terms.  These are the ones we can relate to on an easier plane.  You
can also search specifically for descriptors or identifiers as well as
a lot more terms by the following commands.


This will search for computer and will use crime as a descriptor.  /ID
works as well for identifiers.  Other suffixes can be used as according
to the following table:

                         Index Listing - Part 1
                                Table 3

| Suffix |     Field Name     |     Indexing     |   Examples              |
|  /AB   |     Abstract       |      Word        | S COMPUTER AND CRIME/AB |
|        |                    |                  |                         |
|  /DE   |     Descriptor     |  Word and Phrase | S COMPUTER AND CRIME/DE |
|        |                    |                  |                         |
|  /ID   |     Identifier     |  Word and Phrase | S COMPUTER AND CRIME/ID |
|        |                    |                  |                         |
|  /TI   |     Title          |      Word        | S COMPUTER AND CRIME/TI |


     Truncation permits you to search for different forms of a
search term.  On Dialog, the symbol is "?".  For instance, if I wanted
to search for a word and I didn't know its exact spelling, I would do
the following:

ex. [Searching for the word Capone or Capoan, but not quite sure]

     ?  S CAPO?
          S1 122753  CAPO?

This also can be used in several other ways.  For instance, plurality,
or maximum number of letters following a word.  Example:

ex.  ?  S CAPO??

This maximizes the word search at two letters past the "O".

ex.  ?  S CAPONE?

This finds the plurality in the word capone.

ex.  ?  S CAP?  ?

This finds the letters between the two question marks.

Proximity and Field Operators

     Proximity operators specify the position of search terms in
relation to each other within a record or field.  If I wanted to search
for the words "Legion" and wanted to make sure that the word "Doom"
was within a certain area around it, I would use a proximity operator.
For instance:

       932   LEGION
       812   DOOM
        27   LEGION(3W)DOOM

In the above example Doom was searched within three words of Legion.
You can use any number in place of the three.  The good thing about
this proximity operator is that it searches the second word from the
first on both sides.  Using the above example here is a picture of it:

         Doom <---- 3 words ----> Legion <---- 3 words ----> Doom

     A field operator allows two words to be within a field in any
order.  For example:

       14321  COMPUTER/DE
        2720  CRIME/DE
          95  COMPUTER(F)CRIME/DE

This shows that in the descriptor section of a search, the words
computer and crime show up ninety-five times together.  They could be
completely unrelated, although this is doubtful.

     The L operator is used exclusively for the descriptor section.
This operator simply "links" the words together.  A search term looks
like this:


     The N operator is used similar to the W operator in that it
searches for a proximity of one word from another.  Here is an example
of a search:


This searches for the words computer and crime within five words
of each other.  Another way the N is used is to search with words
that are the same, for instance the words: air-to-air, or
protein(N)protein.  The below example when using the "N" operator
shows in the text just why the file would be flagged by the search
program.  Notice the "protein/protein".


... surfaces presumably as a result of dynamic process of protein
adsorption and desorption and protein / protein interaction.

Sample Record

     In order for me to discuss critical points in a found record
I first need to show the record itself.  The following record was
searched in the ERIC database (File number 1 - - $.50 per minute and
$30.00 per hour).


  EJ330267  JC504091
  Invitation to a Hacker.
  Archer, Chalmers, Jr.; Archer, A. J. Finch
  Community, Junior and Technical College Journal, v56 n4 p26-28 Feb-Mar
  Available From: UMI
  Language: English
  Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080)
  Journal Announcement: CIKMAY86
  Examines the susceptibility of computerized institutional records to
security violations by "hackers," wishing to access the systems.  Points
to practices that encourage security abuses and risk confidentiality.
Outlines procedures used by Northern Virginia Community College to protect
its computer system. (LAL)
  Descriptors: Community Colleges; *Computer Oriented Programs; *Computers;
Confidentiality; *Confidential Records; Two Year Colleges
  Identifiers: *Hackers; School Records


Let us examine this search more closely.

EJ330267                : This is what is known as the Dialog Accession
                          Number.  All files contained in the Dialog system,
                          no matter what database has an accession number.
                          You can search for an article exactly by this.
                          Use the index AN=.  Example:
                          S AN=EJ330267  |  Will call up the above article.

Invitation to a Hacker  : This is the title, use /TI as the index for this.

Archer, Chalmers, Jr.   : This is the author, Use the index AU=.  Example:
                          S AU=ARCHER, CHALMERS, JR.

Community, Junior ...   : This is the location, the source of the
                          publication.  Use the index SO=.

English                 : This is the language.  Dialog lets you search
                          for articles in different languages.  Use the
                          index LA=.

CIJMAY86                : This is the Journal Announcement.  You can use
                          the index JA=

And you know the Abstract, descriptors and identifiers.  The following
table shows all the indexes including the ones above for convenience.

                         Index Listing - Part 2
                                Table 4

| Prefix |                 Field Name                  |     Indexing      |
| AN =   |  DIALOG Accession Number                    |      Phrase       |
| AU =   |  Author                                     |      Phrase       |
| BN =   |  International Standard Book Number (ISBN)  |      Phrase       |
| CD =   |  Conference Date                            |      Phrase       |
| CL =   |  Conference Location                        |      Word         |
| CS =   |  Corporate Source                           |      Word         |
| CT =   |  Conference Title                           |      Word         |
| CY =   |  Conference Year                            |      Phrase       |
| DT =   |  Document Type                              |      Phrase       |
| JA =   |  Journal Announcement                       |      Phrase       |
| JN =   |  Journal Name                               |      Phrase       |
| LA =   |  Language                                   |      Phrase       |
| PY =   |  Publication Year                           |      Phrase       |
| SN =   |  International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)|      Phrase       |
| SO =   |  Source Publication                         |      Word         |
| SP =   |  Conference Sponsor                         |      Word         |
| UD =   |  Update                                     |      Phrase       |

The TYPE Command

     The TYPE command is used to display your search results.  Once you
"S" the topic, you can display it in eight different formats.  Each
format costs a different price and varies with each database.  It is
usually more to display a full record than abstracts though.  The
command is listed as follows:

T (or TYPE) set/format/range of records

ex. T s1/5/1-20

This will "type" the results found in s1, show the whole record
(format 5), and display the first twenty records.  The command can
also be used to directly display an accession number as displayed
in the following:

T (or TYPE) accession number/format

ex. T EJ330267/5

This will display the full record of the "Invitation to a Hacker"
(the sample record). Note that most Dialog databases contain citations and
sometimes abstracts of articles but NOT the full text of the article. There
are some databases that do contain the full text of articles but most don't.
The reason most people search these databases is to get a bibliography
of articles that have been written on their topic. After reviewing the
results of their search, they can decide which if any, of the articles
published that they want a copy of. Obtaining full text copies of
articles is referred to as 'Document Delivery' service. Sometimes you
will see that the newspaper, magazine, or journal that a specific article
you obtained a citation of is in your library and can just photocopy it
yourself. Other times, the journal may be in another library perhaps
hundreds of miles away, in which you can request it via ILL (Inter-Library
Loan). And if you have no clue where to find a copy of the source of
an article, you can ask Dialog or the individual database supplier to
get a copy for you, typically at a cost in upwards of $15.00 for an
article from 1 to 20 pages. Fifteen bucks is a bit steep for a 2 page
article, so be sure you really need it before ordering. Besides, most
articles don't contain as much info that the title or abstract implies
it does.

   If you need direct record access, with any options in the Dialog command
system, just input the accession number.  All eight formats are shown in the
following table.

                             Predefined Formats
                                  Table 5

|          Format Number             |            Record Content           |
|               1                    |  DIALOG Accession Number            |
|               2                    |  Full Record except Abstract        |
|               3                    |  Bibliographic Citation             |
|               4                    |  Full Record with Tagged Fields     |
|               5                    |  Full Record                        |
|               6                    |  Title and DIALOG Accession Number  |
|               7                    |  Full Record except Indexing        |
|               8                    |  Title and Indexing                 |

User Defined Format Options

     If you are not satisfied with the eight formats, you can
modify the output to display exactly what you want.  The command
would look like the following:

ex. TYPE S3/AU,TI/1-5

This would exclusively show the author and the title in records
one through five.

The EXPAND Command

     The EXPAND command allows you to look through the database
like looking through a dictionary.  The command would look like this:

ex.         ? E AU=CAPONE, F
           Ref  Items  Index-term
           E1       4  AU=CAPONE, A
           E2      10  AU=CAPONE, B
           E3      55  AU=CAPONE, C
           E4       8  AU=CAPONE, D
           E5       4  AU=CAPONE, E
           E6       2  AU=CAPONE, F
           E7      10  AU=CAPONE, FA
           E8     912  AU=CAPONE, FB

This is an especially useful term or name if you don't know exactly what
you are looking for.


     This file should give you an overview of the Dialog Information
System.  I exited the hacking world shortly after The Leftist, The
Urvile/Necron 99, and The Prophet were arrested in Operation Sundevil,
and Digital Logic's Data Service went down permanently along with my
sysop access.  It wasn't until a few years later did I reenter the
computer world to find a whole lot of things to have changed
including my hacker ethic.  I felt writing this file would be a
natural progression from my original hacking talents to "hacking" on
a legal basis.

     I would like to thank Erik Bloodaxe (for encouragement and
project ideas) and Lex Luthor (for more project ideas and editing).
If you have any questions or comments my Internet address is:
alcapone@mindvox.phantom.com.  On IRC, I am usually on either
#mindvox or #hack so look me up and say "Hey!".
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