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5.2) What is the Internet?




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This article is from the Yolo County FAQ, by David F. Prenatt, Jr. with numerous contributions by others.

5.2) What is the Internet?

The Internet is the product of a worldwide computer network developed
by the military in the late 1960s (ARPANET), nurtured by academicians
over the last 20 years or so, and currently used primarily as a medium
for the communication and free exchange of information and ideas for
anyone who knows how to obtain Internet access. There are more
breathtaking Internet applications, but they are not for "newbies" and
they are well beyond the scope of this FAQ.

5.2.1) How can I obtain access to the Internet?

You can use any computer system that has "telnet" capabilities or you
can use your home computer to telnet via modem to an Internet Service
Provider (ISP). An ISP is an entity that provides a "gateway" to the
Internet for "end users." An ISP typically has a "Unix based"
computer system that is linked to every other computer on the Internet
around the world. Computers that are part of the Internet are in
constant communication with each other via underground cables,
telephone lines, satellite feeds, etc. End users access the Internet
by using their computer accounts to telnet to the gateway services
provided by an ISP. A gateway to the Internet is any service that
allows an end user to communicate with a computer that is part of the
Internet.
Many Bulletin Board Services (BBSs) provide gateways to the
Internet. To provide Internet access for their customers, these
gateway services must telnet to an ISP themselves. Some of the more
popular commercial gateway services that are not part of the Internet
are losing their appeal as ISPs now offer direct access to the
Internet at a reduced rate by eliminating the middleman.
In Yolo County, mother.com is the primary ISP for commercial
users. For more information on mother.com's services, contact "mom"
at (916)757-8070; (800)557-8070. Readers with a web browser may visit
mother.com's Home Page on the World Wide Web (<http://www.mother.com/
>). Due in no small part to the spectacular growth of the Internet
that occurred late in 1995, a number of ISPs, based in Yolo County,
are now forming, and a number of low cost ISPs that are not based in
Yolo County are beginning to maintain a Yolo County presence.
We are living in interesting times, and it's too soon to tell
what the long term effects of this current market shakeup will be.
Taking harbor with an established ISP will give you no long-term
guarantees. as some of the most viable ISPs were formed very recently.
In any event, whatever ISP you choose, you will have to provide your
own computer and your own modem.

5.2.1.1) How do I telnet from a computer system that has telnet
capabilities?

At the Unix prompt, simply type in "telnet" (without the quotes) and
the name (or IP address) of the computer system which you wish to
access. For example:

telnet computer.system

where computer.system is the name of a hypothetical computer system
that you wish to access by telnet. You will then be asked for your
account name and password, which is assigned to you by your ISP.

5.2.1.2) How do I obtain access to the Internet from my home computer?

You will need a modem and some sort of communications software. Check
with your ISP for further information.

 

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