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COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET  May 1994, Week 1

COMMUNET May 1994, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Using the World Wide Web

From:

Pat McClanahan <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Communet: Community and Civic Network Discussion List

Date:

Thu, 5 May 1994 11:53:43 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (79 lines)

Max Lent asked:
 
>If a person is using a modem to dial into a university VAX or UNIX
>system what kind of connection will they be using?
 
Normally if one is using a modem they are using what is known as a
"serial" connection. These type of connections work great for simple
text interfaces - usually if you are using a modem with some of the
various communication packages you are acting as a simple text
terminal for the remote computer you are connecting to. A text
terminal only allows text to be displayed - no graphics or windows. As
a terminal you see the same thing that you would see using the DOS
(not Windows) prompt on a PC - you type in the text on the keyboard,
it appears on your screen (usually on the bottom line), and whatever
results come back from the remote system are scrolled onto your screen
from the bottom. I guess on a Mac (I don't use Mac :) a text window
would be analogous to a PC screen. Some communication packages that
are written specifially for Macs or PC do make use of some hidden
codes that allow for a more 'windows like" interface - yet you are not
really in a windowing environment. As communications have gotten more
complicated - especially as more individual users are attempting to
access the Internet some of the software - SLIP and PPP - have been
developed to allow modem users to talk with Internet machines. The
Internet uses TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
which was developed to allow different types of computers to
communicate with each other without having to worry about various
internal differences between the systems.
 
>Is that kind of connection compatible with Mosaic?
 
You CANNOT run Mosaic over a simple serial connection. You CAN however
run similar hyperized software such as Lynx (from the U of Kansas) or
Cello (from ??? - help:) ). These allow you to have the same
functionality as Mosaic without the fancy windowing interface and
graphics. These are text mode software that were written for those
people that didn't have windowing capabilities. (Someone else needs to
tell me - does Lynx or Cello still require TCP/IP or will it run over
straight serial lines???)
 
>Are there software packages that an end user can use to overcome the
>complex and unfriendly VAX and UNIX interfaces when calling from home
>into a University computer?
 
Sure - Mosaic :)) I'm sorry to say that when you are connecting to VAX
or Unix systems you usaully are stuck with ugly and unfriendly
interfaces. Someone else may know of some nicer serial type of
interfaces - I don't as I have never had to deal with it (besides I've
been hacking Unix for 14 years and it doesn't bother me). I urge you
to contiue to pursue the Mosaic side of things - not only for a nicer
interface but for the fuller capabilities it provides.
 
Do you have any ability to ftp files? Thats the starting point - if
you can do that then we can get everything you need to run Mosaic over
a serial connection (actually talking TCP/IP over a serial line).
 
>ignorant questions
 
NOT!!! The entire domain of the Interet is not something that is
easliy understood - if one is not familiar with the terminology and
concepts it can be extremely confusing. Keep asking questions - and
just remember to pass it on to someone else sometime when they are
seeking to learn more. I had to learn all of this at one time - and so
now I am repaying all those people that answered my curious and
unlearned questions. Knowledge should not be kept to ourselves - we
need to pass it on or its no good. SOOOO... don't think of them as
ignorant - just curious and needing to learn more.
 
Let me know if this helps - if not we'll get a bigger
stick and beat on it some more. Keep 'talking' :)
 
Pat McClanahan          Internet:[log in to unmask]
EROS Data Center                 [log in to unmask]
Sioux Falls, SD
605-361-4607
 
P.S. Is this of interest to the list - if not I'll take it off list
and correspond privately with those interested parties. Let me know if
you all feel its a waste of bandwidth - hate to waste those electrons :)

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