TEK for Linux: Release Notes

Thank you for trying out an Alpha release of the TEK Search Engine for Linux, Version 1.2.1! TEK - which stands for Time Equals Knowledge - is a low-bandwidth information delivery system that allows access to the World Wide Web using only email. The system is designed for low-connectivity communities where continuous Internet access is unavailable or is too expensive for everyday use.

This package contains the TEK Client, which provides a graphical user interface that runs inside a standard web browser. In order to retrieve web pages, the Client interacts via email with the TEK Server, which is currently based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Upon receiving an email from the Client, the Server retrieves candidate pages from the Internet, selects a representative subset that the Client does not already have, and sends them back to the user in an email attachment.

More information about the TEK system is available from the TEK home page at http://tek.sourceforge.net/.

Contents of this file

  1. System requirements
  2. Installation instructions
  3. Getting started with TEK
  4. How to uninstall
  5. Troubleshooting
  6. Reporting Bugs
  7. Helping with TEK
  8. Change log

System requirements

The system requirements for this version of the TEK Client are as follows:
  • Linux. The Client was tested with RedHat Linux 7.2, but might work on other platforms as well.

  • A web browser (developed with Netscape 4.76).

  • Java 1.3.1 or later.

Installation Instructions

To install the TEK Client, follow these steps:
  1. Copy the install file "tek.tar.gz" from the CD-ROM to the directory where you want to install TEK. On most systems this can be done as follows:
    • Insert the TEK CD into the CD-ROM drive.
    • Change to the directoy under which you'd like to install TEK.
    • Type "mount /mnt/cdrom"
    • Type "cp /mnt/cdrom/linux/tek.tar.gz ."
    • Type "umount /mnt/cdrom"

  2. Uncompress the file by typing "gunzip tek.tar.gz".

  3. Expand the directories by typing "tar -xvf tek.tar".

  4. Change into the tek directory by typing "cd tek/client".

  5. Run the install script: "./build-linux.sh". This will set up your configuration for TEK.

  6. Adjust your web browser to talk to the TEK Client instead of talking directly to the Internet. This involves changing the proxy settings in the browser, which currently must be done by hand:

    • For Netscape 4.76, go to Edit/Preferences, and expand the "Advanced" tree at the bottom left. Click on "Proxies" (on the left) and select the "Manual proxy configuration" option on the right. Click on "View..." and fill in the first line of the table (for HTTP) to have address "localhost" and Port 11111.

    Note that once you change these settings, all communication with the Internet will go through the TEK Client, which can slow down your normal web browsing (in fact, in this release, we disabled direct web access through the Client in order to facilitate debugging). For this reason, we recommend installing a separate web browser for TEK -- even if it's just a separate copy of the web browser that you already use.

Getting started with TEK

Here is a quick guide to getting started with the TEK System. After installing the TEK Client, follow these steps to retrieve a web page via email:

  1. Start the TEK Client from the command line.with the command "./run-proxy-linux.sh" from the "tek/client" directory.

  2. Start a web browser that you have configured for TEK, and visit the location "http://tek/". This should bring up a registration page.

  3. Complete the registration process according to the instructions on the page. The TEK Client will send a registration email to the TEK Server so that the Server knows where to send search results.

  4. Wait for a reply from the TEK Server. The reply will show up as an email in your Inbox. Open the attachment (by clicking on it) and the TEK system will process it automatically. (If you have trouble with this step, see the troubleshooting section below.)

  5. Go back to your web browser and visit "http://tek/". At this point you should find the main menu for TEK.

  6. From the main menu, click on "Create new query" to enqueue a search request. The first time you visit this page, you will have to create a "new user" account. Then you can login, enter search terms, and confirm the search. Then return to the main menu.

  7. To send your active queries to the TEK Server, follow the "Send Pending Queries" link from the Main Menu. This will prompt you to connect to the Internet, after which an email will be sent to the TEK Server.

  8. Check your email account for a reply from the TEK Server. Open the attachment (with the default application) so that the TEK Client will process it.

  9. Return to the main menu at "http://tek/", and click on "View results". After logging in, you should be able to see the results of your query.

  10. Subsequently, you can search through all of your results using the "Search locally" option from the main menu.

How to Uninstall

To uninstall the TEK Client, you can issue this command from the tek/client directory: "clean-linux.sh". Also, you will need to restore the proxy settings of your web browser to interact directly with the Internet instead of with TEK. This can be done as follows:
  • For Netscape 4.76, go to Edit/Preferences, and expand the "Advanced" tree at the bottom left. Click on "Proxies" (on the left) and select the "Direct internet connection" on the right.


Due to variations in email clients and servers, you might experience trouble using TEK to automatically send and receive emails. However, there is an easy workaround whereby you can manually send and receive email for TEK.

If you are still experiencing difficulty, or if you are having other problems using TEK, please contact us at tekbug@mit.edu.

Reporting Bugs

This release contains several known bugs, and a large wish-list of items that we hope to implement in the future. The most recent bug list is available from our website at http://tek.sourceforge.net/.

If you encounter a bug, please send it to us at tekbug@mit.edu so that we can incorporate it into our list and give you credit for discovering it. If possible, please include with each bug report the version of your operating system, web browser, and email program, along with the sequence of steps necessary to reproduce the bug.

Helping with TEK

For those of you who are interested in helping to fix bugs, implement additional functionality, or contribute in other ways to the TEK project, we are very interested in hearing from you - please email us at tekadmin@mit.edu. Our source code is available for download (under the Lesser GNU Public License) so that everyone can help in developing and deploying the software.

Change log

The following features were added in version 1.2.1:
  • Fixed unpredictable bug in login for SMTP authentication.
The following features were added in version 1.2:
  • SMTP authentication and HTTP POST are supported.

The following features were added in version 1.1.5:

  • WaveMail is supported.

The following features were added in version 1.1.4:

  • Improved HTML layout, help files, and user interface.

  • Lucene indexing is more robust.

  • Numerous bug fixes.

January 4, 2004