"If they're in the manual, they must be secrets" - The Cheshrie Catalyst.
But some of this stuff you can't find a manual for!

The Cheshire Catalyst's Internet Secrets For Newbies

The Cheshire Catalyst's
Internet Secrets For Newbies
"So you want to use the Internet,
and don't know anything about it."

By Richard Cheshire

This FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) file about the internet was created to explain a few concepts to my brother, who (at the time) was a relative newbie to The Net. You're invited to come along for the ride. Please send me feedback. Let me know what I didn't explain properly, and what needs clarification. If you think I got it right, you could say so too. Email me at cheshire@2600.com.

What is the Internet

The Internet is a loosely constructed maze of cabling, controlled by programming that enables users to communicate with remote computers, and the users of those computers. The cables are connected to a variety of computer systems, all controlled by programs that emulate "Internet Protocol" (IP), the standards agreed to allow these computers to communicate with each other.

Since the computers all use different operating systems and programming languages, the standards do not specifically say how you must program your computer, but instead tell you what the network expects your computer to do in any given situation, and leaves it up to the programmer to get the machine to do that.

How do I connect to the internet on my home computer?

First off, you need more than one piece of software. In some cases, a "Web Browser" such as Netscape, or Internet Explorer will do many of the internet functions you're looking for. Before you can do this, though, you need a Dialer. Windows users will know about "Dial Up Networking", and Mac users will use "PPP" (Point to Point Protocol) to get the modem connected to the phone line, dial up to the ISP (Internet Service Provider), and get connected to the net. This sets up the "pipeline" that will get information between your computer and the Internet.

Without setting up this "pipe", nothing else works. All your Internet access software, whether a web browser, an e-mail package, and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) package, or other software that hooks up to the net will not work unless the dialer has done it's job and connected you to the net.

To get a Dialer connected, you need to 1) have an Internet Service Provider, and 2) have them instruct you on how to set up your equipment. When I worked in "Tech Support" for an ISP, the major job was talking the user through the steps to set up the "Internet" box in the windows control panel. Some of the stuff is just specific to individual ISP's, so you have to call and ask.

If it's done right, you can click on your web browser from the "Desktop", and it will bring up the Dialer software for you. Once you get connected, you're "on the Net".

So if my Web Browser is hooked up, what more do I need?

Software That Cheshire Can't Live Without
Thunderbird Portable. Put it on a Flash Drive, and you can access your POP3 E-mail from anywhere there is Internet Access, and a floppy disk drive. You can also check your E-Mail from your friend's house or a Cyber Cafe without upsetting their settings! This software is no longer maintained, and the Registration Passowrd is "$SHANGRILA" (yes, upper case).
WS_ftp, a Windows® based FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program for transfering files between systems. This is how you move the web page you've been working on, to your web site.
FileZilla, a Windows® based FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program for transfering files between systems. It has replaced WS-FTP in my life.
EWAN, the Emulator Without A Name. This program emulates the Telnet client with a VT-100 terminal.
PuTTY.exe A Pretty Useful TTY (TeleTYpe) emulator - Handles both Telnet and SSH telnet connections.

mIRC, Internet Chat software. This lets you enter the world of Chat Rooms.
Well, IMHO (In My Humble Opinion), I think you need e-mail software that is separate from your web browser. You can download the Shareware software mentioned in the box to the right. Check with your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to find out if they have Telnet access to their system. If so, you can Telnet to your ISP's host computer, and in many cases, check your e-mail from the road. Most people don't realize that Windows® has "Telnet" and "FTP" already in the machine. The thing is, they are old "throwback" versions that harken back to the days of teletypes, and video terminals on time-sharing systems of the dim & distant past (the 1970's & 80's).

Most web browsers will handle FTP (File Transfer Protocol) for visiting FTP sites, and doing downloads, but for uploading files into a web site, you need real FTP software that will PUT a file into the directory you specify on the remote computer.

This document is Copyleft 2000 Richard Cheshire. A "copyleft" means that if anyone asks you for a copy of this information, you are obligated to give one to them - as is, including this Copyleft notice. You may not charge more than the cost of your copying materials without the express permission of the copyleft holder, Richard Cheshire.

Any trademarks used are the property of the respective trademark holder (though I personally don't respect any trademark holder that holds me to putting in a disclaimer this ridiculous).

This doc: http://CheshireCatalyst.Com/internet.html
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last update: 00-01-01 20:42:23 UTC

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