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                               Reader Mail

From: "Robert A. Knop" <>
Subject: AR Reader Mail


This is a response to Nick Christie's response to my enumeration of the
Ubenefits of a Unix shell account.  First off, most of Christie's points I
actually agree with.  I did not mean to say that the Unix shell account is
the be-all and end-all of internet access.  I merely meant to point out
that the shell account does have its uses and advantages, and that it
should not a priori be neglected when considering an internet account.

Indeed, one of my points, that a shell account is infinitely easier to get
going than a PPP account, is probably obselete now with Miami out there.  I
haven't tried Miami myself, but everything I've heard about it suggests
that setting up a PPP account with it is really not a whole lot harder than
running a normal terminal program.

I stand by my other points, however, with the understanding that a Unix
shell account cannot do the multithreading or graphics than a PPP account
can do.  There is one point I need to address specifically, though, for
Christie's response indicated a lack of understanding of my original point.

Christie wrote:

 > As for the behaviour of Lynx, I do not believe it retrieves only one
 > screen- full of text at a time.

This is correct -- Lynx retrieves the whole document at once.  But that
wasn't my point.  My point was, if you are on a shell account, the whole
document doesn't have to go over the modem to your computer.  Consider:

  ---------              ---------
  | Your  |              | Unix  |                              | Rest
  | Amiga |--modem link--| Shell |---fast ethernet connection---| of
  |       |              | Host  |                              | Internet
  ---------              ---------

If you are cruising the web with Lynx on a Unix shell account, when you get
to a page the whole thing is transferred to the host on which you have your
shell account.  Only the screen you are looking at is transferred over the
modem down to your Amiga -- not because that's all that Lynx transfers, but
because Lynx is running on the Unix host.  The Unix host thinks your Amiga
is just a terminal, and sends it only what the terminal should see -- i.e.
whatever is displayed on the screen.  And that's all that has to go over
the modem.

On the other hand, if you have a PPP account, the whole document is
transferred over the modem to your Amiga.  Your web browser, whatever it
is, is running on the Amiga, so that's where the document goes.  Because
the modem link will tend to be slower than the host's link to the rest of
the internet, the less you send over the modem the faster and more
responsive things will be. 

It's not a big deal, really, I just wanted to make sure that this point was
clear.  All I was trying to say with the original letter was that if you
are shopping for internet access, ask yourself what you really want.  If
what you really want is an E-mail account, and perhaps the ability to
cruise the web to get textual information off of it, then a shell account
may actually serve you better than a PPP account.  Of course there are
things a PPP account can do which a shell account cannot.  That's all.


                            --- --- --- --- ---

From: (Steven M. Solie)
Subject: Fourth Level Developments Law Suite

I'm sorry to bother you but please hear me out.  I wasn't sure who to 
tell this to so I thought I'd tell a "reporter".

Over the last couple of months or so, many messages have been passed to 
FLD about Ami File-safe V3.0 availability.  Apparently, a lot of people 
have sunk money into AFS V3.0 since their valentines special.  Many of 
those people have seeked legal aid and have found dead ends because FLD 
is overseas.

I have written a couple of E-mail messages to FLD about the situation and 
have heard nothing in response.

What I think we all want to know is, "Is FLD bankrupt or not?"  Why would 
a company which advertises excellent support be treating its customers 
like this?  Have certain hostile users, including myself apparently, been 
singled out and are on the bad list at FLD?

Could you please look into the situation and write a short report for the
next "Amiga Report"?  Many loyal Amigans would be grateful to at least hear
a peep.  I think they might write back to you considering your place in the
Amiga community (great work by the way).

Very concerned,
--Steven Solie

     We'll look into this and report in an upcoming issue.  Meanwhile, if
     other readers have stories, good or bad, to share about FLD, we'd like
     to hear about it.   -Jason