1. Recent changes to this FAQ
  2. What is this document?
  3. List of Questions
  4. Answers
  5. Credits


There are several things that have changed with this version (1.1):


This is the HTML version of part 1 of the FAQ file for the Cello program. Part 2 contains information on configuring Cello. FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions, and fortunately for you we have also included at no extra cost the Answers to those Questions.

The purpose behind maintaining this document is to keep discussion forums concerned with Cello free from as much repetition as possible. Not many people are keen on answering the same question over and over, especially if it comes up daily. It is hoped that by keeping a list of the most common questions for users to refer to, the quality of discussions will be much higher.

Also available is a plain text version of both parts of this FAQ. Look for it to be posted about the same time as this one.

Note that this document is not meant to replace the documentation for the program itself. Make sure you also consult it if you are having a problem. The online help files are particularly useful. Just select the Help menu and choose the Help item.

Both the plain text version and the HTML version are available from the following locations:

or through periodic posting to the CELLO-L list and the comp.infosystems.www newsgroup.






* - Answers in part 2 of FAQ


Q1.1 What is Cello?

Cello is a WWW browser that works under Microsoft Windows and allows people with a connection to the Internet (or to any TCP/IP network with WWW servers) to follow Hypertext (or Hypermedia) links to files and information services all over the world. It displays both regular text files and files that are written in HTML format, and will translate different Internet services like Gopher and News and FTP into a format that appears to the user as if it were a hypertext document. It was written by Thomas Bruce of the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School.

That is the technical explanation. More interesting is what Cello is (or will be) to you. It allows you to move around the vast information resources of the Internet with no knowledge of the service you are using, the machine you are connecting with, or the location of the information on that machine. You just follow the hypertext links to get the text or hypertext or sound or image or animation or whatever information is available. And the text that surrounds the links gives you the context you need to know that you are moving in the right direction.

The latest version of Cello is Version 1.0. It is available via FTP from, /pub/LII/Cello/

Q1.2 What is WWW?

WWW stands for World-Wide-Web, and the description given in the WWW FAQ is that it is a "distributed hypermedia system". It was developed initially at CERN in Switzerland, but is now being worked on throughout the Internet.

The Web is composed of hypertext and hypermedia links, combined with all the files and services that are accessible through those links. Or it can be described as all the servers that provide those files and services.

There are a variety of ways that links are formed. The most prevalent is through the use of HTML, which allows for links to be embedded in text. Gopher menu structure provides another type of link, and the directory structure of an FTP site provides yet another.

For more on the WWW, you can read the technical papers stored at CERN or read the newsgroups alt.hypertext and comp.infosystems.www. Perhaps the best source of information is through the Web itself. You can get general Information on the WWWor follow a Guide To Cyberspace, among others.

Q1.3 What is HTML?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is a DTD of SGML, but don't worry about that unless you already understand what it means. The important thing to know is that there are codes placed in an HTML document that define fonts, layout, embedded graphics, and hypertext links.

If you like, you can take a look at HTML codes at any time using Cello. From the Edit Menu, select the View Source option. You can compare this to the displayable text contained in the file using the View as Clean Text option instead.

Some of the HTML codes you will probably see include identifying a Title (which Cello moves outside the window and prints in large letters), end of paragraph markers, and hypertext links indicated with "HREF=(some URL)".

For more information, the WWW is once again your best bet. Try The Beginner's Guide to HTML for more information.

Q1.4 What is a URL?

A URL is a Uniform Resource Locator (was Universal). It is the pointer to a file or service on the Internet that the author of an HTML document can use to link one document to another. You can see examples after the "HREF=" code when you View Source from inside Cello.

Another use of the URL is as a launching mechanism. If you know a URL you would like to visit using Cello, and you do not want to try to find the links to get there, you can use the Launch URL menu option from the Jump menu, and type the URL directly into the program. See the online documentation for a description of the URL structure.

Because the URL contains the service type as well as additional information unique to that service, the same information can be presented in different ways depending on the service specified in the URL. For example, look at the change in the interface with each of these URL's that point to the same place:

There is currently a movement among the people designing standards for the Internet to change from using URLs, which require everyone following a link to end up in exactly the same place, to URNs, which allow everyone to end up at the place most appropriate for them. For example, if this FAQ list is available at 20 different sites around the world, it is inefficient for everyone in the world to retrieve it from the same place. URNs will allow each person to get the file from the site closest to them. This change is only planned for, however, and for the time being URLs are the state of the art.

Q1.5 What is WinSock?

WINSOCK.DLL provides MS-Windows programs with a standard interface to accessing a network. It insulates the program from knowing the nitty-gritty details about how the TCP/IP network does its business, and provides a relatively simple programming model based on the BSD sockets. The latest versions of Cello rely on a WINSOCK.DLL being present in order to operate across a network.

This of course requires that your TCP/IP software provide a WINSOCK.DLL for you. If you don't have any TCP/IP software, you can get a shareware version of WINSOCK.DLL that will work over either the telephone lines or an ethernet card. It is called the Trumpet WinSock, and is available for ftp from, /pc/trumpet/winsock/

There is also a FAQ for Winsock, available from It, along with a lot of other files to do with WinSock, is in the /pub/micro/pc-stuff/ms-windows/winsock directory.

Q2.1 through Q2.11

These questions and answers have been moved to their own, separate file. Look for them in CELLOCFG.HTM.

Note that when storing these files on your local machine, you should keep both files in the CELLO subdirectory so that they know how to find each other.

Q3.1 What other browsers are there?

Under MSDOS, there is a line mode browser available if you are running PC-NFS. For MSWindows there are Cello and Mosaic.

Q3.2 What is the advantage of Cello over Mosaic?

The best answer to this question is one you determine yourself. Both do largely the same job, but there are subtle (and some not so subtle) differences that appeal to some individuals and turn others off. Many people keep both Cello and Mosaic on their computers and use them for different purposes.

In the end, the important thing is that the competition and cross-pollination of ideas keep both systems advancing and improving. What more could you want?

Q3.3 What are some good URLs to look at?

There are a lot of them, too many to list. I'm willing to take votes on which ones people would like to see included here. Send your votes to and maybe your favorite URL will be included here in the next release.

In the meantime, check the DEFAULT.HTM page that comes with Cello. Links from that document lead eventually to most of the really interesting spots in the WWW.

Q3.4 Are there any newsgroups for Cello?

There are not yet any newsgroups devoted exclusively to Cello, although there is a mailing list (see the Cello DEFAULT.HTM page for subscription info).

There are several related newsgroups, however:

Q3.5 How do I create HTML files?

There are many ways you can create your own HTML files. If you have a word processor that can write out RTF files, you can get a program that can convert from RTF to HTML. With WordPerfect, you can buy an add-on program called "Intellitag" from the WordPerfect Corporation that allows you to write SGML, including HTML.

Finally, what is perhaps the best solution for users of Cello is the HTML Assistant program available by FTP from, /Incoming/ This works under MS-Windows, and best of all it supports DDE to Cello. This way, you can edit your file in the HTML Assistant and then test the changes in Cello, quickly and easily.

Note that when creating your HTML files, you can make hypertext links to local files even if you don't have a network connection (see Question 2.1 for details). Make sure that you write URLs for local files properly. There are two alternate ways of writing URLS for local files.



NCSA (Cello will work with this):


Q3.6 How can I run a Web server from MS-Windows?

A Web server program, as opposed to Cello which is a Web client, allows people around the world to access the information you make available on your local machine. A program called SerWeb is available for MS-Windows that provides a WWW server. You can FTP it from, /pub/micro/pc-stuff/ms-windows/winsock/

Q3.7 Can I do non-anonymous FTP?

Yes and no. Don't you just love definitive answers?

If you mean "can I use Cello to transfer files TO another machine?", the answer is no.

If you mean "can I use Cello to get files from a machine where I have a private (ie. non-anonymous) account?" the answer is yes. URLs for non-anonymous FTP are in the form:


You can easily build one or more of these into your home page. You can also omit the password (omit the colon too if you do this) and Cello will supply a dialog box requesting the password when the link is clicked on. The latter is of course preferable from the standpoint of security.

Q4.1 Why can't I get past the login prompt with telnet?

Because of the need on certain systems (mostly Suns) for a LF instead of just a CR at login, Cello's telnet will not work. The temporary fix for this is to press CTRL/ENTER instead of just ENTER after typing in your login name. This problem will hopefully go away sometime in the near future. Another possibility is to use the Use Your Own Telnet feature to splice in a telnet of your own.

Q4.2 Why is sound so lousy?

If you are using the WPLANY.EXE program to play your sound files, you will get better performance by using the following line in your CELLO.INI file:

au=c:/your/path/to/wplany.exe -u -r 8000 ^.au

Q4.3 Why can't I see images?

There are several reasons why this might be the case. If you are missing inline images (the ones that show up within a document), it might be because you have the option turned off. Check the Configure/Graphics/Fetch Automatically menu option.

If the problem is an intermittent one, where some images show up and others don't, or the same image shows up one time and not another, it may be because of network problems. Some machines will refuse to accept a connection if they already have too many, for example. Or perhaps the link to an image is stale, and the actual image has been moved elsewhere. Maybe the document is still under construction and the image hasn't been put in place yet.

If the images which are external to the document (you have to click on a link to them) are causing the problem, there are a number of things to check. If the file association is stored in your CELLO.INI file, check that the file and path are correct, and that any required parameters are present. Something like "^.gif" (for a .gif file) should be one of the parameters.

If that checks out, find out what the link actually points to by clicking with the right mouse button. This will bring up a little window. Check that the file extension is the same as you have in your CELLO.INI file. Remember that an extension of ".JPEG" will be truncated to ".JPE", not ".JPG".

You might also try other viewers for that file type.

Q4.4 Why do some inlined graphics look bad in Cello?

Make sure your Windows screen driver supports 256 colours. Cello needs 256 colors to work correctly; with 16-color drivers, Windows dithers the image in a way which looks patchy at best. Installing a 256-color driver usually clears this up.

With 256-color drivers, Cello provides accurate color rendition almost all the time. Some inaccuracies have been introduced in the interest of performance. Rather than using processor-intensive methods in which a great deal of calculation would need to take place each time a new image is added to the screen, Cello uses an orthogonal palette which gives good results in most cases. You'll see some blotchiness occasionally (that's the bad news) but the good news is that you'll see the image much faster.

Q4.5 How do I specify search terms to an HTTP server?

Cello gives you two choices: You can either turn automatic search dialogs on (using the main menu choice Configure/Automatic Search Dialogs), or you can turn them off and ask for a dialog box when you need one. If Automatic Search Dialogs is on, you'll get a new dialog box each time you enter a searchable document. If they're turned off, you select Search/Index document from the main menu, and Cello will produce a dialog box for you.

Q4.6 Why does some text print in teeny-weeny type?

Chances are you are using an old version of Cello. The new version pretty much clears up this problem, although for best results you should use TrueType fonts.

Q4.7 Why does the O'Reilly GNN title page shows the balloon in different parts?

It was designed that way.

Q4.8 Why do some FTP sites not display proper lists of files and directories?

The real cause of this problem is that there's no standard way for an FTP server to respond to a LIST command; the format of the output returned varies from software package to software package. Cello does its best, but sometimes fails if it hasn't been taught to recognize the particular server involved.

Cello recognizes and tries to appropriately format output from the following FTP servers:

  1. Most Unix servers, including SunOS, System V, and Linux boxes -- in other words, anything which responds with the most common format to a LIST command.
  2. IBM VM systems.
  3. DEC MultiNet and other VMS systems.
  4. Windows NT, in two flavors.
  5. QVTNet
  6. NCSA/CUTCP/Rutgers PC servers.
  7. FTP Software PC server.
  8. HellSoft* NLM for Novell.
* - Note that in tests Cello has handled the formatting of output from this software correctly, but the software itself often responds very slowly. This is not meant as a slam at HellSoft; the testing was not extensive and was done over a fairly slow connection.

Q4.9 Why do I get results to previous searches in Veronica?

This is a problem with the way Cello caches information.

Ordinarily caching is a good thing. If you go back to a file you have looked at recently within a session, you don't have to wait while the file is again transfered across the network. Instead, Cello reads it from your local drive.

A problem arises, however, when you combine caching with the way some of the search programs, notably Veronica, work. They create documents "on the fly" using the search terms you specify. The trouble is that the name of the document is the same no matter which search terms you specify, so it is difficult for Cello to know that it can't rely on the cached version stored locally, rather than going out to the network to pull in a new version of the document based on your new search terms.

Perhaps someday Cello will be able to throw out cached documents that involve search terms, but until then the solution for you is to select the File/Reload document menu option. That will force Cello to flush the cached document and load in a new one. You'll get a new dialog box asking for your new search terms.

Q4.10 Why won't Cello work when other WinSock applications do?

Cello makes extensive use of the asynchronous-sockets features of Winsock, unlike many other Winsock applications. It uses this somewhat more advanced technique in order to improve both its own performance and that of any other apps you may be running in the background. Unfortunately, it's been our experience that the asynchronous-sockets portion of most Winsock stacks is probably the least-tested part (more than likely because so few applications make extensive use of it). If you are having this kind of trouble you will want to make sure that you are:

  1. using the most recent version of Cello, and
  2. using the most recent version of your vendor's Winsock package.
If you still have trouble, we suggest testing with Peter Tattam's Trumpet Winsock, which we know to be reliable in almost all situations. Then mail cellobug with a description of the problem.


The maintainers of this FAQ are Bruce Atherton and Will Sadler. We would like to thank the following people for providing information for us to plagiarize and feedback on what we are doing wrong:

and all the others that the maintainers, being bears of little brain, forgot to include. Thank you.