Andrej P. Andreev & Vassil T. Vuchev
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
John C. Butler
Department of Geosciences
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77204
This month we have asked Professor Vassil T. Vuchev and Dr. Andrej P. Andreev of the Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences to provide an update of their recent activities in the use of the internet to foster collaborative work.
The rapid dissemination of ideas, experiences and information via the internet is probably one of the most attractive and promising attributes of the geosciences. Owing to the activity of the numerous professional societies, research and educational centers, publishing houses and periodicals, the recent developments are becoming highly effective and the results are encouraging. Working within the internet is quick, time saving, reliable, reasonably inexpensive and pleasant. The most advanced innovations give the participant of the "connection game" a chance even to face the image of his counterpart at the other side of the globe. This is just a routine part of the pleasure.
This journal is among the very first in the geosciences to support the distribution of materials over the internet. The efforts of its former editor, new chief-editor and the ANON associate editor helped to stimulate us in our efforts to establish a node at the Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. This node is in the framework of a local network which is maintained to serve the current research and management of the institute.
Another node exists at the Mining and Geological University of Sofia. Among the main users of the internet in Bulgaria are the Numeric Systems-Varna acting through EUNET-Bulgaria, the IBM- Bulgaria, using its own network of the IBM-BITNET, the Society UNICOM-B throughout the node BITNET/EARN in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and some others. EARN is an abbreviation for the European Academic Research Network which, as declared by its founders, is going be actively involved with the broad distribution of e-mail communications through the end of this year. Prof. Kiril Boyanov, the corresponding member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the director of the Central Laboratory for Parallel and Distributed Information Processing (former Coordination Center for Informatics and Computer Technics) of the Academy is a member of the Board of the EARN and contributed towards implementation of the e-mail communications in this country.
The Geological Institute is tied to the connections built within the Academy as a part of both IBM-BITNET and BITNET/EARN. The IBM is an internet service producer through the system IN Gate under OS/2 Warp or DOS/WINDOWS. The personal computer at the Institute is an IBM-PC, which is connected through modems and emulator as a terminal to the Mainframe computer (IBM). There is a second tie through the Sun workstation of UNICOM-B to which the Geological Institute belongs. The IP address of the Sun is 220.127.116.11 and their URL is http://www.acad.bg. The local network of the Geological Institute is based upon IBM-PC machines (both 386/486) under Windows for Workgroups 3.11. The server is a Pentium/100, having 32MB RAM, 2GB HDD. Also available are two Laser Printers, a scanner (Genius Color Page - II) and CD-ROM drive (Sony CDU-55E). Each knot has its own additional working periphery. The first attempted experience brought to the Institute some free materials via broadly announced internet resources (Butler, 1995; see also the all 11 papers in the special issue of the C&G, Vol. 21, No.6, the columns by J. Butler in Nos. 8 and 10 of the same Vol.21 and in Vol. 22, No. 1, 1996). The latest issue is marking the newly implemented way of using Computers & Geosciences through Contents Direct and other means of internet access (Bonham-Carter, 1996). The same new policy is announced for many other world-wide recognized periodicals at Pergamon, Elsevier Science and other publishing houses. At this stage the work is underway to bring to our server at the Geological Institute (see the above URL) some published materials, data, maps, specific software, a list of publications, a list of periodicals, books and professional series, and general information from the Institute.
Bulgaria is geologically rich and well studied and lots of maps and cross sections are publicly available from the Institute and the Committee of Geology and Mineral Resources. The territory of Bulgaria is completely covered by a geological map of the scale 1:100 000 accounting for over 90 sheets and it is hoped that all the sheets could be obtained through the internet under the conditions established by the Committee of Geology (the Bulgarian National Geological Survey). Information about the availability of the geological resources for this country on internet will be brought to our server before long. It is also hoped to have our server acting regionally as a mirror site for this part of the world and join the other 2000 servers acting together all over the Earth for the future of the Geosciences.
Since January 27, 1997
March 4, 1996, Sofia, Bulgaria