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%%  About the Internet                           By:  David Tiberio      %%
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While many of our readers are in some way connected to the Internet, there
are still a large number of users who are not connected to the Internet for
one reason or another. There is a world out there that you are missing!

First, for most users, the Internet is free. People gain access through
school systems (at colleges and universities), through the workplace, or
from public access networks. Some systems have direct connections, while
others use a UNIX to UNIX communications protocol.

USENET has a public messaging service that is similar to a huge message base
connected throughout the world. While some topics may be local to the host
systems, there are thousands of topics to choose from. Some of these topics
include Amiga hardware, applications, programming, emulators, and reviews.
There are about 15-20 different worldwide news groups for Amiga users, with
an average readership of about 50,000 people per news topic. These messages
are read by students, government employees (once a NASA employee was spotted
reading USENET news during a shuttle launch last year), and even Amiga
developers such as Scala, DKB, Commodore, and ASDG. Another nice thing about
USENET is that there is often at least one person who has the solution to
your problem, and usually there are hundreds of people with the same
problems and solutions.

AMINET is a rather large file base, containing thousands of programs and
other files specifically for the Amiga. This is done via FTP sites, which
are common throughout the Internet. While the list of files on Amiga is
about 750k in size, there is at least one site whose file listing is over
9 megabytes in size! That is a large file to download just to see what files
are available! Some sites contain all the Fred Fish disks, while others
contain hundreds of pictures, 3D objects, or audio samples. Many companies
as place software updates or demos on FTP sites. For example, orion.etsu.edu
has a site dedicated for EGS graphics boards, while the tricity site has
every version of the EMPLANT Macintosh emulation software ever released!

ARCHIE will search file sites to find matching filenames from a search
pattern. Unfortunately, there may be thousands of matches, and they may
search files that are on weird FTP sites. It is a powerful system, although
the AMINET system itself is very organized.

GOPHER is kind of like a BBS system with different informational sources
online. For example, one site has hundreds of prophecies translated from
Nostradamus into English.

IRC is a realtime chat line, also including people from all over the world.
The strange part is that some of the people on the Amiga channel are there
almost all the time! The Amiga channel usually has between 20 and 50
people on it at once. Once 50 people are online, the conversations move
along very quickly. Here you can meet various developers, such as former
Commodore engineers, the author of ImageFX, XPK, Term, and even the Prevue
Guide (used by cable companies to show TV listings on an Amiga based
system). Robots such as Mama and Merbot are always online to talk to, send
messages to people not online, or to get files from FTP sites.

MUDS are online games, similar in concept to Dungeons and Dragons, in
realtime. This allows you to play text and sometimes graphics adventures
with people sitting at home thousands of miles away, all unknown to you.
Other games include war games such as Risk, where players fight for land
and armies.

EMAIL is one of the most basic resources available. Here users can send
messages around the world in under 10 minutes, passing from system to
system until they arrive at their destinations. Users can also UUENCODE
files and mail them to each other, or download files from FTP sites to
email addresses. Users can also communicate with pay services such as
GEnie, Portal, and CompuServe. Last of all, users can subscribe to email
discussion lists with topics such as Lightwave 3D, AMOS, and EGS.


- AMINET REFERENCES -

bdgtti-2.2-guide.lha docs/misc  296K+Internet guide, version 2.2


As Edward Cayce might say, that is all for the present...