Other Internet Services

Apart from the Web and e-mail, the Internet provides many other services, the most common of which are described in the following sections. If you have any problems, you’ll need to contact your Internet service provider (ISP), who should confirm which services they can support.

  Newsgroups

Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP), also known as Usenet, provides Internet access to numerous newsgroups, each known as a bulletin board services (BBS). A news contributor, also known as a poster, can upload data, allowing you to read it or download it as required.

Access to Usenet, which originated as a separate network prior to the Internet, is provided via your ISP’s news server. Depending on your ISP, you may not have access to every kind of newsgroup.

The most common newsgroups application is Outlook Express, which is handy as it’s also an e-mail application, although other programs such as NewsWatcher or Nuntius can also be used. When you run such an application it creates a list all available newsgroups, also known as BBS topics, a process that can take ten minutes or more.

Each newsgroup has a name, such as:-

comp.sys.mac.hypercard

in which comp can be considered as a filing cabinet and hypercard as a single sheet of paper. The first part of the name separates the newsgroups into general categories such as:-

PrefixSubject
alt. Unregulated, TV, music (not available at all sites)
bit.Duplicates of mailing lists
biz.Business
clari. News items
comp.Computer-related topics (not all available at all sites)
k12.Education for children of up to 12 years of age
misc. Miscellaneous topics that don’t fit into other categories
news.News about newsgroups
rec.Recreational activities
sci. Scientific matters
soc.Social issues (not all available at all sites)
talk.Conversation and politics (not all available at all sites)
uk. UK-specific topics (prefix used before other prefixes)

Before looking at any of the topics you should open news.announce.newusers to ensure that you understand Usenet’s rules of etiquette, sometimes known as netiquette.

Having looked through the list of topics you can open an interesting subject. This reveals a list of threads, each line showing the number of articles in the thread and the name of the thread to the right hand side. Once you’ve worked out the rules of newsgroups you can create your own thread from scratch, a process known as initiating a thread.

The following newsgroups are of particular interest to users of the Mac OS:-

NewsgroupContent
alt.sys.mac.newuserHelp
biz.marketplace.computers.macBuying and selling
comp.binaries.macDevelopment software
comp.infosystems.www.browsers.macWeb browsers
comp.sys.mac.Mac OS
uk.comp.sys.macUK version of above

  File Transfer Protocol

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) originates from the Unix computer platform, although it’s now supported by numerous applications, including Internet Explorer, Fetch and FTP Client Pro. The protocol lets you upload (send) and download (receive) files to and from an FTP site.

To run an FTP application the following information should be available:-

  1. FTP Host: as set in the Advanced part of the Internet control panel in the Classic Mac OS
  2. User Name: if unknown, try entering anonymous
  3. Password: if unknown try leaving this blank or enter your e-mail address
  4. Starting Directory: this is optional.

With many applications you can enter most of this information in the form of a URL such as:-

ftp://user_name:password@ftp_address

where user_name is your full login name, complete with spaces, whilst password and ftp_address should be replaced by the appropriate text. If you enter an address without a password, as in:-

ftp://user_name@ftp_address

you’ll be prompted to enter your password manually. Many sites, known as anonymous FTP sites, don’t require a user name or password, as in:-

ftp://ftp.microsoft.com

To get to all of the information at a site you may have to browse through layers of directories, the equivalent of folders, some of which are public folders, with names such as pub or mac. Note that applications such as Internet Explorer and FTP Client Pro let you upload files by simply dragging the documents into the application’s window.

Mirror Sites

FTP sites are often very busy, requiring the use of alternative sites, known as mirror sites, that take away some of the traffic. These sites contain exactly the same information as the main site but have a different FTP address. The main and mirror addresses for common FTP sites include:-

Info-Mac

ftp://src.document.ic.ac.uk/packages/info-mac/

ftp://mirror.apple.com/mirrors/Info-Mac.Archive/

ftp://sumex.aim.standford.edu

UMich

ftp://src.document.ic.ac.uk/computing/systems/mac/umich

ftp://mirror.apple.com/mirrors/mac.archive.umich.edu/

ftp://mac.archive.umich.edu/mac

Dartmouth

ftp://ftp.dartmouth.edu/pub/mac

Preparing Files for Uploading

Ideally, files should be compressed prior to uploading, assuming this is appropriate at the destination. Documents created in Mac OS X, Windows or other non-Mac operating systems can be compressed in standard formats, whilst Classic Mac OS users can make a self-extracting archive (SEA) file, which is then binhexed to produce a file with a ‘double’ filename extension of .sea.hqx. In addition, modern versions of StuffIt produce .sit files suitable for uploading without further processing. Uncompressed Classic Mac OS files can be simply binhexed, resulting in a filename extension of .hqx.

Uploading Web Site Files

Most applications that let you create a Web site also contain the necessary software to upload the files to the site using FTP. Under these circumstances you can enter the site as follows:-

ftp://user_name:password@ftp_host_name.your_domain

where your chosen password prevents others from modifying your site. The first part following the @ is the FTP host name and is sometimes inserted automatically by your FTP application.

Uploading with Internet Explorer

The following procedure can be used to upload a Web site using Internet Explorer. Note that these instructions refer specifically to Internet Explorer 5 in the Windows operating system.

  1. Start Internet Explorer 5 and connect to the Internet.
  2. Type ftp://user_name@ftp_host_name.your_domain in the Address box.
  3. Enter your password when prompted and click on OK.
  4. Your Web pages should appear in the window in the same way as on your computer.
  5. To copy (upload) a file or folder to your Web space, drag it into the window.
  6. To create a new folder, right-click in the IE5 window and select New ➡ Folder.
  7. To delete a file from your Web space, right-click on it and select Delete.
  8. To copy (download) an item from the Web space to your computer, right-click on it and select Copy to folder.

Having done this, you can enter the address of your website and check its appearance.

  Telnet

Telnet lets you to log onto a remote computer, in most instances by emulating a VT100 terminal or VT102 terminal. The term ‘Telnet’ is derived from the Unix utility used for dialling-up Internet hosts. Other Internet services, including CompuServe and the Well can be reached via FTP.

Here are some example sites:-

Telnet SiteDescriptionLog-on Name
library.wustl.eduWashington University Library-
marvel.loc.govUS Library of Congressmarvel
echo.luEuropean Commission Host Organisationecho

©Ray White 2004.