Dartmouth Name Directory

Dartmouth College uses a system called the Dartmouth Name Directory to handle centralized authentication and to serve as an email directory. This system is closely tied to the rather odd BlitzMail system which is used for all students and staff to do email. The BlitzMail system is compatible to send and recieve regular email, however, it is not a regular sendmail or postfix server like is normally used. The specalized servers can accept a name, say “Ryan Speers” in the “to” field, and can translate that into sending it to me. It can also accept “rms” and “rmspeers” as pointing to me as well as I have defined these aliases. This functionality is great, but is only avalible within the BlitzMail client. Other email programs, like Thunderbird, will not allow you to address an email to only “rms”. The LDAP connection to the DND is a step in the right direction, but only works for full names, not the aliases. An ideal system would allow a client like Thunderbird or Apple Mail to fully use the power of the DND. For now, this doesn’t seem to exist. Any thoughts on creating this are welcome.

For now, I use a DND search plugin for Firefox (should also work in IE, etc). This has the full functionality and I suggest installing it if you are a Dartmouth user. You can my implementation here.

Web Tools for German Grammar

I am currently in my eighth year of studying German, and I want to include some of the most useful resources which I use here.

The first invaluable resource is CanooNet, an online grammar guide and inflection dictionary. I use Canoo every time I am using a verb in a strange setting, or need to double-check my inflection of it. The website is canoo.net, however I have also created a Mozilla Search Plugin (also should work on IE), that allows you to quickly search for a verb without going to the page. Continue reading