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L a y
of the "n e t s
c a p e"
Connecting to the Internet & Picking
Up your e-mail are Not the same thing
Accessing the Internet:
|Some companies maintain a network that is linked
to the Internet via dedicated communication lines. Those with less resources,
including most individuals, access the Internet through an Internet
Service Provider, a company that offers use of its dedicated communication
If you have a modem, you can dial up a service
provider whose computers will connect you to the Internet. Dial-up access
means that the modem on your computer can log in to another computer that
is hooked up to the Internet. The most popular dial-up access alternatives
are shell accounts and SLIP/PPP accounts. When using a shell account, you
dial into a service provider's computer and use the Unix operating system
to indirectly connect to the Internet. With an indirect connection, your
computer does not interact with Internet computers. In many cases, when
you download a file from an Internet site, the file is saved on the service
provider's computer rather than on your computer. You then have to transfer
the file from the service provider's computer to your home system. Shell
accounts, while limited in features, have historically been less expensive
than direct access accounts.
When using a SLIP or PPP account, you dial into
a service provider's computer and run applications that directly connect
to the Internet. With a direct connection, your computer can use browsers
with user-friendly graphical interfaces to interact with Internet computers.
A direct connection lets you download files directly to your system from
remote sites. SLIP or PPP access to the Internet offers more performance
and convenience than a shell account.
About SLIP and PPP
SLIP, short for Serial Line Internet Protocol,
and PPP, short for Point-to-Point Protocol, are Internet standards for
transmitting Internet Protocol (IP) packets over serial lines (phone lines).
Internet information is packaged into IP packets, a method for enclosing
data into small, transmittable units (wrapped up on one end, unbundled
on the other).
An Internet Service Provider might offer SLIP,
PPP, or both. Your computer needs to use connection
software (usually provided by the service provider) that matches the protocol
of the server's connection software. PPP is a more recent and robust protocol
Compressed Serial Line Internet Protocol, is
a version of SLIP that supports compression.
Dynamic SLIP & Static SLIP
When you use a SLIP or PPP connection to the
Internet, your service provider's server identifies
your computer by providing you with an IP address (e.g., 18.104.22.168).
Using dynamic SLIP, your computer is dynamically allocated a temporary
IP address (just for the immediate session)
from a set of IP addresses maintained by the server. Using static SLIP,
your computer is allocated a one-time, permanent IP address (when your
account is set up) for use across sessions. Static SLIP means you have
a static IP address.
File Transport ProtocolBy accessing a page whose
URL begins with ftp, you can navigate folders/directories, view files (including
HTML and image files), download software, and upload software.
Note that you need "write" privileges to the FTP server (permission granted
from the site) to upload files.
Your PC, MAC, Workstation, etc.
Modem to Modem over a "switched connection," i.e., Dial up telephone
Internet Service Provider, e.g., Bell, MCI, AOL, mindspring, etc.
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol.
This is the standard communications protocol required for Internet
computers. To communicate using TCP/IP, A PC needs a set of software components
called a TCP/IP stack (a stack is built into Windows 95). The Mac OS typically
uses a proprietary software called MacTCP. Most Unix systems are built
with TCP/IP capabilities.
Only the PC platform requires a TCP/IP stack. To make a successful
connection to the Internet, your PC needs application software such as
Communicator plus a TCP/IP stack consisting of TCP/IP software, sockets
software (Winsock.DLL), and hardware driver software (packet drivers).
Several popular TCP/IP stacks are available for Windows, including shareware
This stands for Windows Sockets. Winsocks is a set of specifications
or standards for programmers creating TCP/IP applications (communicating
applications such as Communicator) for Windows.
DNS (Domain Name Service)
Sometimes referred to as the BIND service in BSD UNIX; a static, hierarchical
name service for TCP/IP hosts. A DNS server maintains a database for resolving
host names and IP addresses, allowing users of computers configured to
query the DNS to specify remote computers by host names rather than IP
addresses. DNS domains should not be confused with Windows NT networking
domains. For example, issuing the "ping ftp.microsoft.com" command goes
to the DNS server you specified, looks up the IP address for the site,
and then pings that IP address.
PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol)
An industry standard that is part of Windows 95 Dial-Up Networking
to ensure interoperability with remote access software from other vendors.
It allows you to use the IPX, TCP/IP, and NetBEUI protocols over a standard
telephone line connection.
SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol)
Another industry standard that is part of Windows 95 Dial-Up Networking
to ensure interoperability with remote access software from other vendors.
Unlike PPP, SLIP works with only one protocol. Windows 95 works with TCP/IP
over a standard telephone line connection.
PAP (Password Authentication Protocol)
This is an authentication method that can be used when connecting
to an Internet service provider. It allows you to log in without having
to use a terminal window. Using PAP, passwords are sent over the circuit
in text format, which offers no protection from playback.
CHAP (Challenge-Handshake Authentication Protocol)
This is another authentication method that can be used when connecting
to an Internet service provider. It also allows you to log in without having
to use a terminal window. However, it does not send passwords in text format
and is more
secure than PAP.
does this Stuff Work?
|When you dial-in to your service provider--MCI, Bell_South, Mo's Grocery,
Storm Door Repair & Internet Provider, etc., your MODEM connects with
one of dozens/hundreds of MODEMs at the service provider's location (local
After the two MODEMs agree on a baud rate that gives the best speed
with the least errors, the DATA from your computer and their computer--called
a "Server" (it serves) are exchanged for username & password verification.
Once your computer in logged on (login, connected, logged on), you can
now do one of two things (three if you count "news groups").
|You can either check and/or send your e-mail
or you can go straight to the Internet/WWW.
|If you want to check your e-mail:
You would login a second time, this time to your service provider's
Server. A Mail Server is a computer
that acts like a mail box, it holds messages sent to you.
Likewise, when you compose a letter, and then "mail" it, your Mail
Server receives your letter, looks up the addressee's Mail
Server, checks out the route(s) to that server, and then sends it
on its way.
And, of course, when it arrives at the destination's Mail
Server, it is stored as a file waiting to be "downloaded" by the
There are variations to the above, but to avoid confusion, and making
this stop being fun--we'll move on.
|To go to the internet:
You send the address of the Internet/World
Wide Web location you desire, to the service provider's Internet
Server in the form of an Internet address called a URL
As you can see there are basically three parts to the URL.
1) The first part which is common to most: http://www.
2) The second or middle part which is the uniquely individual
3) And the last part made up of a finite set, indicating the
kind of entity being addressed: .com/
Some of the forms URLs can take:
http://www.netscape.com/ (a company)
http://www.nasa.gov/ (the government)
http://www.ncsu.edu/ (educational institution)
http://www.net.net/ (service provider)
http://www.sempte.org/ (an organization)
ftp://ftp.ncsu.edu/ (file transfer location)
The Home Page:
The URL usually sends you to a WEB page
called the Home Page
(index.html) from which you can make selections to other related pages.
These selections are called "links" and links can be different parts of
the page you are presently viewing, or a separate page at the site you
are visiting, or it can be a page at a different site completely--one on
the other side of the world!
Test these LINKS: (
Remember, to Return, point & Click on the Browser's BACK
The World Wide Web uses pages that have the designations
of .html, .htm,
cgi, etc. (.html is the UNIX notation; .htm is the PC notation--both mean
HTML stands for Hyper-Text Markup Language. Hypertext is a very intuitive
approach to reading a document or book; it allows you to go directly to
referenced information in the text body--read it and--then return to the
original text without getting lost, and with a minimum of confusion. This
is something a book cannot do!
Windows Machines: Operating Systems
|MS-DOS 5.0 -- 6.xx
||MS-DOS ( 7 )
||MS-DOS ( 7 )
| Windows 3.1
(Windows 3.11 for Work Groups)
| Windows 95
|| Windows NT
* 56,600 baud
4,800; 9,600; 19,200; 38,400; 57,600; 115,200
UART Device Number: xx16450xx
UART Device Number: xx16550xx
RAM Cache Size = 2,000 kbyte
Disk Cache Size = 5,000 kbyte
COM1 IRQ = 4 Mouse(typical)
IOAddress = 03F8
COM2 IRQ = 3 MODEM(typical)
IOAddress = 02F8
COM3 IRQ = 4
IOAddress = 03E8
COM4 IRQ = 3
IOAddress = 02E8
of Connections = 1 - 4
Buffer Size: 4 to 32 kbytes
D e f i n i t
i o n s [?]
The MODEM Speed is the speed that both MODEMs agree
upon to communicate between the Computer and the Network server.
If telephone line conditions are not ideal: both
MODEMs will "drop-back" to progressively slower and slower speeds until
the number of errors is acceptable.
The speed will be indicated in the "Connection
The PORT Speed is a measure how fast the Computer
can accept DATA from the MODEM.
Port speed should not be slower than the MODEM
In the Ideal situation: the Port Speed will be
set to Maximum (e.g., 115-kbps).
The Maximum speed will be limited to the Serial UARTChip
used in the Serial I/O card. If your UART is the slower, xx16450x,
it would be a good idea to upgread your Serial I/O to a card that uses
the faster xx16550xx UART.
(ones that plug into the Computer) The Maximum speed is usually limited
by the MODEM Card itself. (the exception might be a slow 386 machine, etc.)
considering the purchase of a new MODEM, look for a MODEM that can be Up-Graded
via software, i.e., 28.8-kbps to 33.3-kbps to 56,6-kbps (the latest, "X2,"
standard: 28.8-kbps out to the server, and 56.6-kbps from the server).
(2) U A R T
stands for Universal Asynchronous
(3) M O D E M
stands for MOdulation-DEModulation
There are Three Things to Remember about COM
PORT Addressing--"And Nobody Knows
What They Are!"
Generally the Following are True:
(1) There are Four Serial Ports on the PC.
(2) These are designated COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4.
(3) These COM PORTS are "enabled" by signals called IRQ (Interrupt
(4) There are many IRQ lines that are used to control various
functions in the PC (floppy drive, hard drive, printer port, mouse, etc.),
but typically only two are used to enable COM1, COM2, COM3, Com4
(5) If you are still with me:
COM1 & COM3 use IRQ4; COM2 & COM4 use IRQ3.
|OK, we're closing in on it!
The computer needs to address it's PORTS, (Serial,
Parallel, IDE, SCSI, etc.). Since it already has to addresses Memory, it
treats the ports as small sections of Computer Memory. This is called Memory
Mapped I/O, (MMIO). It turns out that the serial ports COM1- 4 have unique
MMIO addresses. Though they can be set to a range of addresses: Typically
they are set to the following:
COM1 = 03F8(hex)
COM2 = 02F8(hex)
COM3 = 03E8(hex)
COM4 = 02E8(hex)
|Examples of I/O Settings
COM1 = IRQ4 = 03F8
COM2 = IRQ3 = 02F8
COM3 = IRQ4 = 03E8
COM4 = IRQ3 = 02E8
Serial Port (RS-232) DB-25,
DB-25-M ]---> >---[ DB-25-F Cable DB-25-M
] ---> >---[ DB-25-F MODEM ]
DB-9-M ] ----> >----[ DB-9-F Cable DB-25-M
] ---> >----[ DB-25-F MODEM ]
|The Number of Connections your Browser
can handle simultaneously: 1 - 4
The larger the Buffer the Faster your system can run--all else
being equal. However, if the Buffer is too large for your machine's Bus
speed, it will end up Slowing your system. If in doubt, make incremental
changes: log the connection speed over several sessions or days, and change
the Buffer size and repeat.
|Problems Making ?
If you are experiencing
problems making a reliable connection: Netscape
2 & 3, go to Network
Options (in Preferences), set the number of
connections to 1
and the buffer size to 8k.
If this helps, read the paragraph
on Buffer Size.
Else Fails and you have read all the Directions:
It really is Faster and Less Painful, than
the Alternative(s). Sharp Sticks Included!
1) Re-install MS-DOS (if you have it; 6.2x is preferable).
2) Next Re-install Windows 3.1
3) Finally, Re-install your WEB Browser (Netscape 2 of greater).
1) Do Not re-install MS-DOS, WIN95 already has MS-DOS 7.xx
2) Reinstall Windows 95
3) Next Re-install your WEB Browser (Netscape 3 of greater).
16 bits verses 32 bits
Windows 3.1 is normally a 16 bit Operating System, it can be upgraded
to a 32 bit system with WIN 32. Otherwise, make sure your WEB Browser and
your Dialer (PPP) is 16 bits. Likewise, when you move up to a 32
bit Operating System (Windows 3.1 + WIN 32; or Windows 95), your WEB Browser
and your Dialer will need to be upgraded to their 32 bits versions.
There are several things that you can do, ahead of time, to
head off Problems.
Look in: [START]Programs
/ Accessories / System Tools / ScanDisk
1) Run a utility called "ScanDisk," when
Windows is first booting up. This utility will check the Health of your
Hard Drive and its partitions. If it finds corrupt files or folders (directories)
it can repair them before valuable information is lost or your system gets
corrupted and crashes. "ScanDisk," can be
made a part of your Windows Start Up sequence.
|Look in: [START]Programs
/ Accessories / System Tools / Disk Defragmenter
2) A second useful utility is "Disk Defragmenter."
Disk fragmentation slows down your computer's performance, and a
badly fragmented partition can slow it down severely.
A fragmented disk partition means that parts of the file or program
you are loading, are spread over many locations on your hard drive--increasing
the time it takes to load these files.
Remember, a hard drive is mechanical and is relativity slow, compared
to the other parts of your computer. If the file is contiguous, i.e., all
at one physical location (same track, etc.) on the disk it will load much
When running Disk Defragmenter, you
will get a message indicating the amount of fragmentation found, and it
will suggest a course of action.
The term partition , as in "disk partition" means:
1) Your computer can have one or more Hard Disk Drives (A.K.A.,
fixed disk, hard file, Winchester disk, etc.).
2) PC drives are designated in sequence: A:, B: (floppy drives),
C:, D:, E:, F:, etc., referred to as Logical Drives.
3) If you have only One Hard Drive, it can have one or more partitions:
If you have, say, a single hard drive with 3 partitions, each partition
will have the same designation as if you had 3 separate Hard Drivers (virtual
drives) C:, D:, & E:.
Consider purchasing and installing Norton
Utilities for Windows (Windows 3.1x, version 2.0 for Win95).
More on this later...
(1) Always Back Up
your files Before you make any changes!
(2) When Changing--one or more--Settings: Write
Settings before changing anything!
(3) Make ONE (1) Change at a time!
(4) --Test it--reboot and
(5) Then proceed to the next...
(1) This first one is an absolute necessity:
Several tips to make older Wintel (Windows Intel)
Computers Run Faster, originally published in the
May 1997 issue of IMAGING Magazine --page-8.
All of these tips are done by going to the TASK BAR (Start button):
TASK BAR-- Programs*Accessories*
Tools: Run Scandisk & Run Defragmenter.(Having
run at startup is a good idea, it will catch disk errors before they can
cause a progrom/system crash!)
(2) Change your machine from Desktop Computer to a Network Server:
TASK BAR-- Settings: Control
(3) TASK BAR-- Settings: Control
Panel * Network*
address TAB: (
)"Obtain an IP address automatically"
"Specify an IP address"
--and put in this address: [ 192.168.
0 . 1 ]
|This one I am not recommending: It is passed
on as published--However, I have not been able to verify it!
(4) If you use Dialup (your telephone line) and not
a LAN (local area network):
TASK BAR-- Settings:Control
Panel * Network*
Ethernet Adaptor (XPS Driver) and remove this driver.
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