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.
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 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:-
|alt.||Unregulated, TV, music (not available at all sites)|
|bit.||Duplicates of mailing lists|
|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|
|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:-
|biz.marketplace.computers.mac||Buying and selling|
|uk.comp.sys.mac||UK version of above|
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:-
With many applications you can enter most of this information in the form of a URL such as:-
user_name is your full login name, complete with spaces, whilst
ftp_address should be replaced by the appropriate text. If you enter an address without a password, as in:-
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:-
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
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.
.gz), Unix compression (
.z) or UUEncode (
.uu). In the Classic Mac OS you should check that the File Mappings section of the Advanced window of the Internet control panel (or the matching area in your FTP application) is set up correctly to handle such files.
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:-
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
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:-
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.
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.
Having done this, you can enter the address of your website and check its appearance.
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 Site||Description||Log-on Name|
|library.wustl.edu||Washington University Library||-|
|marvel.loc.gov||US Library of Congress||marvel|
|echo.lu||European Commission Host Organisation||echo|
©Ray White 2004.