Contents | < Browse | Browse >
Going On The INet
Robert Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
Amiga users generally regard the software they use as superior to that
which performs similar tasks but runs on clone type computers. But most
every Amiga owner will agree that getting a clone computer attached to the
Internet through a local Internet Service Provider (ISP) is much easier
than getting an Amiga attached to the INet.
One consideration: Each ISP has a somewhat different connection
procedure. But each ISP can provide a custom installation for Windows
software simply because the vast majority of their customers will use clone
computers and Windows.
Amiga owners, who use many different ISPs, will have to do nearly all
the work to configure their systems to work with one of the more than 2000
ISPs operating in North America as of mid 1996. The purpose of this
article is to show Amiga owners a fairly easy way to get their favorite
computers "onto the Internet."
Defining just what it means to be "on the Internet" is rather important.
For years, my Internet access was just like calling a Bulletin Board
System. My Amiga would call a system which was itself part of the
Internet, but offered a dial-up interface for users simply calling from
their home computers. The only software I needed for that connection was a
terminal program, such as Terminus or VLT. Using such a terminal program
to a remote system, I could only perform one task at a time. Also, the
terminal program did not permit use of programs with slick graphic
interfaces to do the various neat things one can do when on the Internet.
Being "on the internet" means that your computer actually has an IP
address. Such an address might be 220.127.116.11, which is the decimal
representation of four eight-bit numbers separated by periods. Once my
Amiga is on the internet, I use client programs to do things like transfer
files, send and receive E-Mail, and of course browse the World Wide Web.
Since I have an Amiga, I can do all those things simultaneously.
Connecting to the Internet requires a lot more software than just a
terminal program. A PPP device driver is necessary, unless you have a
direct network connection, or you use a Serial Line Interface Protocol
(SLIP) connection. For some really important technical reasons, PPP is
better than SLIP. In addition to PPP, you need TCP/IP software. Assuming
you are not an expert at network software installation, an installer
program makes things go so much more smoothly. Then a few client programs
allow you to do real work with your Internet connection. I'll list some
which I think are most useful after we look at basic installation.
The installation procedure requires you to type shell commands from your
keyboard, and you must know four things about your Internet account and
your Internet provider.
Those four things are ..... sample entries (but you must use your own)
My chosen login name ...... robertd
My secret password ........ PassWord
My provider's domain name . smartnet.net
My provider's IP address .. 18.104.22.168
I recommend you get the following three programs first. They are all
available from the Aminet archives on the Internet, or from other sources.
The PPP program ........... PPP1_45.lha (105K)
The TCP/IP program ........ AmiTCP-demo-40.lha (738K)
The installer program ..... iiNST_151.lha (26K)
By the time this article appears, there may be newer versions of some of
these programs. You will have to look for yourself.
Extract the iiNST151 archive to your hard drive. Copy both the PPP
archive and the AmiTCP archive into the iNTERiNSTALL directory created when
you extracted iiNST151.lha. From the shell, change to that directory and
extract both the PPP1_45.lha and AmiTCP archives.
Now comes the hard part. If you are not going to connect to one of the
four service providers for which dialer scripts are included with the
iNTERiNSTALL software, you must modify one of those iiMOD files to work
with your provider. Here is where things may become confusing. What you
must do is call your ISP with a normal terminal program and see just what
their computer sends to and expects from your system. You must pay close
attention to the exact procedure your ISP uses for the logon sequence.
After I made that call, I could see that the EMPIRENET.iiMOD file
provided with the iINTERiNSTALL program was closest to the script I needed
to connect my system. So I copied EMPIRENET.iiMOD to SMARTNET.iiMOD then I
changed the DOMAIN aand NAMESERVER lines in the script file SMARTNET.iiMOD
#MODULE FOR iNTERiNSTALL 1.51 - EmpireNet (empirenet.com)
# Submitted by Thomas Barker (email@example.com)
TIMEOUT 3600 ; Set maximum wait time (in ticks)
REDIAL "BUSY" ; Redial on busy signal
;INSTALL Enter the modem initialization command
SEND "$RESPONSE" ; Initialize the modem
WAIT "K" ; Wait for the OK
;INSTALL Enter the telephone number for EmpireNet
SEND "ATDT$RESPONSE" ; Dial
WAIT "CT" ; Wait for connect
SEND "" ; Send a CR-LF
WAIT "ogin:" ; Wait for Name:
;INSTALL Enter your user name (lower case)
SEND "$RESPONSE" ; Send your User ID
WAIT "d:" ; Wait for Password:
;INSTALL Enter your password
SEND "$RESPONSE" ; Send your password
; Domain names
DOMAIN smartnet.net <--- was empirenet.com
; Name servers
NAMESERVER 22.214.171.124 <--- was 126.96.36.199
After you save the changes, run the iNTERiNSTALL program. It takes just
a few seconds to complete the PPP and TCP/IP installation.
Reboot your Amiga, open a shell, and type internet to start the
procedure of connecting to your Internet Service Provider. You will see a
new shell window open showing progress and results of the dialing and
connection efforts. That window will close and an AmiTCP/IP window will
open with a ghosted 'OK' requester. When that ghosting clears, you may
click on it to finish starting AmiTCP/IP. If you get the commercial
AmiTCP/IP version 4.x, you won't have to click on OK. I also suggest that
you register the PPP device, using the registration form in the archive.
It is inexpensive, and the registered PPP 1.xx does work faster than the
Some of the programs you will find useful once your Amiga is 'on the
AmiFTP ... a client program with intuition interface to receive and
send files using the standard File Transfer Protocol. On the aminet
archive, look for /pub/aminet/comm/tcp/AmiFTP-1.264.lha (207K).
AmIRC ... a client program (requires MUI) to use Internet Relay Chat.
IRC is keyboard to keyboard talk in thousands of "chat rooms" on several
networks, of which Undernet and EFNet are the biggest. Look for
YAM ... Yet Another Mailer (uses MUI) a program to send and receive
Internet E-mail directly from and to your Amiga. Once you install it and
get it running, YAM registration costs nothing, you just send a mail to the
author of the program for a registration number. Look for
Telser ... a replacement for serial.device which allows your favorite
terminal program to act as a telnet client. Look for
If you want to wander the World Wide Web (WWW) with your Amiga, there
are several browsers available. To access the Web, you should have OS 3.0
or 3.1 running on your Amiga. You must have at least OS 2.04 ... and
Amiga OS 2 limits you to two browsers, either ALynx or the rather old
Mosaic 1.2. ALynx may be found in /pub/aminet/comm/net/ALynx.lha (277K),
and Amiga Mosaic requires the Magic User Interface, found in:
/pub/aminet/dev/gui/mui33usr.lha (797K). Once you have OS 3.x, you may use
AWeb, which does not use MUI, /pub/aminet/biz/demo/AWeb.lha and if you have
MUI installed, the newer versions of Mosaic (1.2.1 or 2.0r3) and the newer
browsers, Voyager, /pub/aminet/comm/www/Voyager.lha or IBrowse are useable
on your Amiga.
Getting IBrowse or the various versions of Mosaic requires an ftp
connection to ftp.omnipresence.com where you look in the directories
/pub/amiga/ibrowse or /pub/amiga/amosaic to get the programs.
Of course there are other programs available to do each of the tasks
described above. But I know that these programs work, so I can recommend
each of them. And I know that we have a circular problem here. You have
to be on the Internet to access the ftp sites, and you have to get the
software on the ftp sites to be able to access the Internet. If you need
more help, I will be happy to answer questions. If you send me paper mail,
please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your question.
Robert Davis Amateur Radio K0FPC
1107 Mary Apt. 4 Emporia, KS 38 24 43 3 N
Emporia, KS 66801 96 09 40 2 W
316 341 9115