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Subject: Sacramento, California USENET FAQ Part 6 of 6

This article was archived around: 19 Jul 2005 04:31:37 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: sac/faq
All FAQs posted in: sac.general
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Archive-name: sac/faq/part6 Posting-Frequency: monthly Last-modified: Jun. 26, 1996 Version: 21Jun96 [ASCII/Multipart] URL: > Ebb: <http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/~netesq/USENET-FAQs/sac/part5.html >
The Sacramento, California USENET FAQ Part 6 of 6 Frequently Asked Questions about Sacramento, California (c) Copyright 1995 & 1996 by David F. Prenatt, Jr. Internet Esquire(sm) P.O. Box 74632 Davis, CA 95617-5632 <http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/~netesq/ > <mailto:NetEsq@dcn.davis.ca.us > The Sacramento, California USENET FAQ (Sacramento USENET FAQ) may be comprised of more than one part. If it is, please see the TABLE OF CONTENTS in Part One for a complete list of the questions that I have attempted to answer and for other important legal information. Caveat emptor: I assume no obligation for anyone through the publication of the Sacramento USENET FAQ. Furthermore, all versions of the Sacramento USENET FAQ are my personal property and are protected by applicable copyright laws. All rights are reserved except as follows: I hereby give my permission to anyone who has access to this version of the Sacramento USENET FAQ to reproduce the information contained herein for non-profit purposes, provided that proper credit is given to me as the author of this FAQ and that I am notified of any use other than personal use. Permission to reproduce any version of this FAQ may be revoked by me at any time. - - - - - The Sacramento, California USENET FAQ Part 6 of 6 Frequently Asked Questions about Sacramento, California (c) Copyright 1995 & 1996 by David F. Prenatt, Jr. 10.2) 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. 10.2.1) How can I obtain access to the Internet? [Rev] You can use any computer system that has "telnet" capabilities or you can use your home computer to telnet via modem to various Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In the Sacramento area, compare the ISPs listed below and choose the one that best fits [with humble acknowledgement to Bob Ney who posted a list of Sacramento area based ISPs on sac.general (<news:sac.general >) on July 6, 1995 (Message-ID: <3tfaok$agh@quiknet3.quiknet.com>) and--if not for this acknowledgment --my apology for plagarizing his choice of words in the above paragraph]: * Cal Web Communications <http://www.calweb.com/ > * Coastal Web Online <http://www.cwo.com/ > * CRL Network Services <http://www.crl.com/ >; <mailto:sales@crl.com > * mother.com <http://www.mother.com/ > * Netcom Online Communication Services <http://www.netcom.com/ >; <mailto:info@netcom.com > * NSnet <http://www.ns.net/ >; <mailto:info@ns.net > * Promedia Services <http://www.promedia.net/ >; <mailto:info@promedia.net > * Psyberware Internet Access -- Community Internet Access Dialups in Lincoln, Auburn, Roseville, and Grass Valley. <http://www.psyber.com >; <mailto:info@psyber.com > * Quiknet <http://quiknet.com/ >; <mailto:sales@quiknet.com> * Sacramento Network Access <http://www.sna.com/ >; <mailto:info@sna.com > For more information, see Mike Ward's Sacramento Access Internet List on the World Wide Web (<http://www.crl.com/~mward/sail.html >). In addition to Sacramento based ISPs, there are a number of free or low cost ISPs that are based elsewhere. "The List" on the World Wide Web has search capabilities to help you locate an ISP in any area (<http://www.thelist.com/ >). Whatever ISP you choose, you will have to provide your own computer with a modem. 10.2.1.1) 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. 10.2.1.2) 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. 10.2.2) How do I communicate with other people on the Internet? Communication between individuals on the Internet usually takes place through the institutions of e-mail and the USENET newsgroups. These are the most straightforward and easy to use Internet applications. Live time conversations also take place with the Internet Relay Chat (IRC); the World Wide Web provides access to multimedia communication. I hesitate to mention the highly intrusive Internet communication software "talk/ytalk," but for those of you who want more information on how to interrupt people with a talk request, contact David T. Witkowski (<mailto:dtwitkowski@ucdavis.edu >; readers with a web browser may visit David T. Witkowski's Ytalk Primer on the World Wide Web (<http://www.ece.ucdavis.edu/~witkowsk/ytalk.html >). 10.2.2.1) Are there any rules for using e-mail and the USENET newsgroups. In most instances, yes. Most ISPs impose regulations for e-mail and the USENET. There are also informal rules of conduct that are enforced by the Internet community (fondly referred to as "netiquette"). For further information on official regulations on e- mail and the USENET, contact your ISP. As for netiquette, use your own good judgment. 10.2.2.2) What is the difference between e-mail and the USENET newsgroups? The primary difference between e-mail and the USENET is privacy. However, neither e-mail or the USENET are confidential. An e-mail message is directed to a particular individual or group of individuals; a USENET article is directed to anyone who has access to the newsgroup where the article is posted. If you want to conduct confidential communications over the Internet, check out an encryption program such as PGP ("Pretty Good Privacy"). PGP has a public domain version that is available free of charge to anyone who is using it for non-commercial purposes. It has thwarted virtually every attempt that people have made to crack it. What makes PGP unique is that the key that encrypts your mail (i.e., your "public key") is distinct and separate from the key that unscrambles it (i.e., your "private key"). Unless you tell someone your private PGP key or someone guesses it (which could take thousands of years of computer time) or discovers it by eavesdropping, no one can read your PGP encrypted mail. 10.2.2.2.1) How do I use e-mail? The most straightforward and easy way to use e-mail is by using a program called "pine" (pine is an acronym for "pine is nearly elm"-- elm was an e-mail program that preceded pine). To use pine, type in "pine" (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt. The pine application is menu-driven, so just follow the instructions that you see on the screen. [Note: Not all ISPs support the pine application.] 10.2.2.2.2) How do I use the USENET newsgroups? The most straightforward and easy way to use the USENET newsgroups is by using a program called "tin." To use tin, type in "tin" (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt. The tin program is menu-driven, so just follow the instructions. [Note: Not all ISPs support the tin application.] 10.2.2.2.2.1) How many USENET newsgroups are there? There are several thousand USENET newsgroups (more than anyone could ever hope to read), and there are more being created every day. Thus, you should decide which newsgroups you want to read. 10.2.2.2.2.2) How do I figure out which newsgroups I want to read? The USENET newsgroups are organized into a heirarchy that includes regional and other domains. You can use this hierarchy to select-out thousands of newsgroups that do not interest you. With tin, use the "yank" command (with the "y" key), the "search" command (with the "/" key), and the "subscribe" command (with the "s" key). After you've subscribed to the named groups that you want, simply yank out the rest. The "unsubscribe" command (the "u" key) will eliminate unwanted groups. For more information, use the online help in tin (^g). 10.2.2.2.2.3) What regional domains are available from the Sacramento USENET? The Sacramento USENET has a peculiar constellation of newsgroups in two regional domains: The sac.* domain and the sacramento.* domain. These regional domains are not generally accessed by residents of the nearby San Francisco Bay Area (the major population center of Northern California approximately 100 miles to the southwest), much less the rest of the world. The sac.* domain, which is by far the most frequented, is a peculiar abbreviation that few people would know to look for when seeking information about Sacramento -- perhaps this FAQ will change that. My exposure to the Sacramento USENET is peculiarly limited to the sac.* domain for all practical purposes, but it is augmented by access to the ba.* domain (serving the San Francisco Bay Area USENET), the ucd.* domain (serving the U.C. Davis USENET), the davis.* domain (serving the Davis, California USENET), and the yolo.* domain (serving the Yolo County, California USENET). Many discussions that properly belong on the Sacramento USENET end up on these other USENET domains. For historical reasons, the U.C. Davis, Davis, and Yolo USENETS are routed through the same information hubs that serve the ucb.* domain (serving the U.C. Berkeley system). The sac.* domain was added to the U.C. Davis USENET when the sac.* domain was first created, but the sacramento.* domain is still inaccessible to the U.C. Davis family of USENETS except through obscure newsservers. For all of these reasons, the sacramento.* domain and the sac.* domain have remained discrete from each other and relatively obscure, even among the denizens of Sacramento. 10.2.2.2.2.3.1) What newsgroups are available in the sac.* and sacramento.* USENET domain? The fledgling sac.* USENET domain is comprised of the following newsgroups: * sac.general (<news:sac.general >). * sac.swap (<news:sac.swap >). * sac.music (<news:sac.music >). * sac.singles (<news:sac.singles >). * sac.sports (<news:sac.sports >). * sac.announce (<news:sac.announce >). * sac.jobs (<news:sac.jobs >). * sac.politics (<news:sac.politics >). * sac.csus (<news:sac.csus >). * sac.motss (<news:sac.motss >). * sac.internet (<news:sac.internet >). The sacramento.* USENET domain is essentially defunct. Many argue that it never should have been created. I personally "newgrouped" duplicates of all newsgroup from the sacramento.* domain that were not already in existence, hoping that someone would delete the various newsgroups from the sacramento.* domain, and received nothing but grief for my troubles. The last time that I checked, the sacramento.* domain was still comprised of the following limited traffic newsgroups: * sacramento.music (<news:sacramento.music >). * sacramento.singles (<news:sacramento.singles >). * sacramento.sports (<news:sacramento.sports >). * sacramento.announce (<news:sacramento.announce >). * sacramento.jobs (<news:sacramento.jobs >). * sacramento.politics (<news:sacramento.politics >). * sacramento.csus (<news:sacramento.csus >). * sacramento.motss (<news:sacramento.motss >). * sacramento.internet (<news:sacramento.internet >). The sac.* domain has several inherent advantages over the sacramento.* domain, most notably that the sac.* domain is already propogated worldwide. Unfortunately, there has been tremendous apathy about cleaning up these overlapping domains, as the ba.* domain carries so much of the traffic that should be on the sac.* domain. Having watched this situation remain relatively stable for the last few years, I am ambivalent about even bringing up the subject of extending the sac.* domain and eliminating the sacramento.* domain. When I do bring it up, I usually get one or two responses, and that's that. If you are interested in receiving the sac.* newsgroups listed above, please contact John Sandhoff at California State University, Sacramento (<mailto:sandhoff@csus.edu >). Perhaps your voice will be the one that makes a difference. 10.2.2.2.2.3.2) What regional USENET domains are available for communities near Sacramento? Many Northern California communities have their own regional USENET domains. Some of these are available to the general public and others are only available by subscription to a particular ISP. * The San Francisco Bay Area: The ba.* newsgroups (available through virtually any newsserver). For more information on the ba.* newsgroups, see the Bay Area USENET FAQ (see Section 1.5 for information on how to obtain the Bay Area USENET FAQ). * The City of Davis: While there has been some discussion about making the davis.* newsgroups available to the general public, they are currently available only through the Davis Community Network (DCN), mother.com, or the U.C. Davis Internet. [Note: The ucd.* newsgroups are available to a number of ISPs]. For more information on the davis.* newsgroups, see the Davis USENET FAQ (see Section 1.5 for information on how to obtain the Davis USENET FAQ). * Yolo County: The yolo.* newsgroups are available to the general public courtesy of mother.com computer services through its newsreader (<newsrc://news.mother.com >). For more information on the yolo.* newsgroups, see the Yolo County USENET FAQ (see Section 1.5 for information on how to obtain the Yolo County USENET FAQ). * El Dorado Hills: The eldorado.* USENET domain (availability undetermined). * Grass Valley/Nevada City: The gvnc.* USENET domain (availability undetermined). * Yuba/Sutter County: The yuba.* USENET domain (availability undetermined) and the yuba-sutter.* USENET domain (availability undetermined). * Oroville: The oro.* USENET domain (availability undetermined). * Chico: The chico.* USENET domain (availability undetermined). For more information, visit the Chico State Home Page (<http://www.csuchico.edu/ >). * Roseville: For more information, visit the Roseville Home Page (<http://quiknet.com/rosevlle.html >) * Solano: For more information, visit the Solano Home Page (<http://solano.community.net/community/solano/index.html >) * Vacaville: For more information, visit the Vacaville Home Page (<http://www.community.net/~rsanford/ >). For information on other communities that are not listed above, see the following URL: <http://community.ne/community/index.html >. 10.2.2.2.3) How do I use the IRC? To use the IRC, type in "irc" (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt. There is online help available for the IRC and many of the people whom you meet on the IRC will be willing to answer many of your questions. You will also find a FAQ on the IRC in the news.answers USENET newsgroup (among other places). [Note: Many ISPs do not support the IRC. It is a resource hog.] 10.2.2.3) How do I access the World Wide Web? You can access the World Wide Web by using a text-based program, such as "lynx," or by using a "web browser," such as "Netscape." Access to the multi-media features of various web sites (i.e., pictures and sound) is the biggest advantage of using Netscape. 10.2.2.3.1) How do I use lynx? Simply type in "lynx" (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt and follow the instructions that you find on the screen. 10.2.2.3.2) How do I use Netscape? Netscape is easy to use and has many exciting and revolutionary multi- media/multi-protocol features, but you will probably need help from someone who knows what he or she is doing to learn how to use Netscape. Visit the Netscape Home Page on the World Wide Web for more information (<http://home.netscape.com/ >). 10.2.3) What resources are available over the Internet? In addition to the communication and exchange of information that people can accomplish over the Internet using e-mail, USENET, and IRC, people can download archived information from computers on the Internet using "file transfer protocol" (ftp). 10.2.3.1) What is ftp and how does it work? The ftp function resembles the telnet function (the basic method of gaining access to the Internet for e-mail and the USENET), but ftp is typically used for downloading or uploading information. There are generally two ways to access a computer via ftp, anonymous and privileged. 10.2.3.1.1) How do I use anonymous ftp? When you know which anonymous ftp site has the information that you want, log onto it using the ftp program: * Type in "ftp" (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt, followed by the name of the ftp site that you wish to access. For example: ftp ftp.site where ftp.site is the name of a hypothetical ftp site that you want to access. * You will be asked to provide your username, type in: anonymous * You will then be asked to provide your password. DO NOT TYPE IN YOUR PASSWORD! *ANONYMOUS* FTP IS SUPPOSED TO BE *ANONYMOUS*. If you wish, you may type in your Internet address as a return address, but you do not need to do so. Virtually any response to the password request will give you access to an anonymous ftp site. * Type in the GET command, followed by the exact name of the file that you want. For example: get ftp-document where ftp-document is the name of a hypothetical ftp document that you want to obtain via ftp. This procedure will retrieve any ASCII document. * If for some reason, there is something wrong with the document you obtain, it is probably not an ASCII document, so start over at the beginning and set the code to binary by typing in "binary" (without the quotes) after you have opened the anonymous ftp site. For example: binary This should fix the problem so that you can GET the document that you want. If it doesn't, then the file you have is probably compressed or encrypted, so you will need to find out what program you should use to decompress or decrypt the file. [Note: Check with your ISP for more information on the quirks of its ftp programs.] 10.2.3.1.2) How do I use privileged ftp? A privileged ftp site requires an actual username and an actual password (as opposed to an anonymous ftp site). Privileged ftp sites have all of the features of an anonyomus ftp site; you can also use the PUT command with privileged ftp. For example: put ftp-document where ftp-document is the name of a hypothetical document that you want to load to your privileged ftp site. 10.2.3.1.3) How do I obtain ftp files by e-mail request? For information on ftp by e-mail service, send an e-mail message to ftpmail@decwrl.dec.com (<mailto:ftpmail@decwrl.dec.com >) with the text "help" somewhere in the body of the message. Many ftp sites have mail-server software that will send ftp files by e-mail request. For example, to obtain this faq by e-mail send the following message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu: send usenet/news.answers/sac/faq/part* . . . quit Where * is replaced by the numbers 1 and 6 in successive lines of text. Other FAQs that I have written are archived at rtfm.mit.edu in the usenet/news.answers directory under the appropriate archive name. See Section 1.5 for more information about these other FAQs. To obtain one of these other FAQs, change the text of the line in your e- mail message that begins with send so that the archive name sac/faq/part* is replaced with the archive name of the other FAQ. 10.2.3.2) How can I find out what information is available via ftp? You can use various "search engines" on the Internet, such as "gopher." My favorite search engine for the World Wide Web is Yahoo (<http://www.yahoo.com/ >). 10.2.3.3) How do I transfer files to and from my personal computer and my Internet account? [New] You can put your files on a diskette and use one of the workstations on campus to ftp your files to and from your Internet account. Alternatively, there are several file transfer programs available to accomplish such tasks. Your best option among those that are currently available is a kermit file transfer. Kermit is public domain software that is available from IT-CAP; instructions for kermit file transfers are available on the World Wide Web at the U.C. Davis Network Administrators FAQ: <http://tsp.ucdavis.edu/nar/FAQ-UNIX.html#Tag-MSKermit > 10.2.4) LOCAL LEGENDS ON THE SACRAMENTO USENET. Nominations for this category are always open. I will make the final decision as to who qualifies. * * * * * Chuckie! * * * * * There is no doubt that "Chuckie" is the most widely renowned figure that has sprung from the Sacramento USENET. Chuckie is no less than a Net Legend, having earned a reputation for making outlandish claims (characterized by paranoid delusions of grandeur) on a wide variety of topics. He makes wide use of anonymous remailers under pseudonyms that continually change, so it is very hard for a newbie to recognize a ChuckiePost. Rather than reinvent the wheeel, let me simply recapitulate Mike Ward's "ChuckieAnalysis(tm)" of a USENET post on sac.general (<news:sac.general >) [edited for format]: In article <191329Z17101995@anon.penet.fi> an219733@anon.penet.fi (Weirdly Gruesome) wrote: > If anyone wants a good BBQ place in Sacramento, Boston Chicken > is the place to go to. Test #1: A ChuckiePost(tm) must mention Sacramento. No matter what far flung land he's claiming to be from, he's always mentioning Sacramento. E.g. "I really love this town, but most TASMANIANS don't have any idea where Sacramento is!" > They are located on Fair Oaks Blvd, and have food that is quite > good. The prices are very reasonable, at about US$5 to eat, it > is a bargain indeed. I ate there when I was in Sacramento for > the State Fair Test #2: A ChuckiePost(tm) must mention the State Fair. He's obsessed with our biggest summer event. > and may be there again when I come to Sacramento later on this > week on business. I will be taking 3 exams at CSUS this week > and into the early part of next week. I do have to travel to > Sacramento every now and then to take examinations. Test #3: A ChuckiePost(tm) must mention that he's taking exams or classes or whatever at Sac State, and he has to fly back. Test #4: A ChuckiePost(tm) must be crossposted to sac.general and/or ba.broadcast, and A) an alt.fan.* group usually misnamed for a female figure skater, or B) alt.california.state-fair, a group Chuckie created himself. (How he ever figured out to newgroup is beyond me...) Hey, Chuckie? When are you flying into Sacramento this week? I'd like to do a story on you. Please bring copies of your passports and visas, not to mention evidence of your airline flights. I'll see you at Metro Airport. --Mike (Message-ID: <mward.1069.0045BB7B@crl.com>). * * * * Susan Hattie Steinsapir ("Hattie help us!") * * * * The late Ms. Steinsapir made quite a name for herself as one of the most helpful members of the Sacramento USENET community. She was quite dignified (unlike the flamboyant Chuckie), and she was a veritable wellspring of useful information about the Greater Sacramento Area. But don't just take my word for it, visit Hattie's Home Page on the World Wide Web: <http://www.andreas.com/susan.html >. 11) REVISIONS FOR FUTURE VERSIONS OF THE SACRAMENTO USENET FAQ. When I have time in the future, I intend to add information to this FAQ. However, I have made every effort to make sure that the structure and organization of this FAQ will not require much change. If information is substantially changed or deleted, I will include specific notations bracketed in the section headings as follows: * [CORRECTIONS]--If information is revised because of substantial inaccuracy, I will mark the heading with this notation; I will *not* note minor corrections. * [New]--New section. * [Rev]--Revised section. * [Moved from . . .]/[Moved to . . .]--Section moved; information unchanged. * [Replaces . . .]--Old Section deleted and replaced with new section. * [Deleted] -- Self explanatory. As the above notations are meant to accomodate regular readers of this FAQ, these notations will only appear for one revisions. 11.1) CHANGES IN THIS VERSION OF THE SACRAMENTO USENET FAQ FROM PREVIOUS VERSIONS. I have added quite a bit of information to this FAQ since its last publication. However, almost all of the information contained in the previous versions were included in this more recent version. I have also modified hypertext navigational links to avoid computer snafus on web servers where the USENET FAQ Project is located. 11.2) CHANGES THAT WILL TAKE PLACE IN FUTURE VERSIONS OF THIS FAQ. No changes are currently planned for the structure and/or organization of future versions of this FAQ. I will simply add more information and complete the areas that are still under construction. - - - - - End Document: The Sacramento, California USENET FAQ Part 6 of 6 Frequently Asked Questions about Sacramento, California (c) Copyright 1995 & 1996 by David F. Prenatt, Jr. Internet Esquire(sm) P.O. Box 74632 Davis, CA 95617-5632 <http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/~netesq/ > <mailto:NetEsq@dcn.davis.ca.us > Last document. - - - - -