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May 9th, 1995
Connecting to the Internet

05/09/95 RMIUG Meeting Minutes - Connecting to the Internet

The sixteenth meeting of the Rocky Mountain Internet Users Group (RMIUG) was May 9th, 1995. It featured Art Smoot who presented a talk about "Connecting to the Internet". Alek Komarnitsky (alek@rmiug.org) MC'd the meeting and there were ~165 people in attendance. Minuteman was Bryan Buus (buus@rmiug.org).

Please note that our next meeting will be held at the NIST auditorium on June 20th - please see details below.

Some miscellaneous administrativia/announcements:

  • This was RMIUG's first meeting in the NIST auditorium. The new meeting space worked out great. Many thanks to Indra's Net, the sponsor for the May meeting.

  • Please note that we are not able to reserve the room a year in advance like we did at NCAR. Read the minutes/announcements carefully for any changes ... like in this one! ;-)

  • RMIUG is actively looking for sponsors for the meetings at NIST. The cost to sponsor is $225 per meeting; the room rental alone is now $185! For this, the sponsor gets a full page advertisement which is placed on the back of the meeting agenda. Please email rmiug-comm@rmiug.org if your company is interested in becoming a sponsor!

  • John Weeks announced a new Internet service provider in Denver called Qadas. For more information, call 973-4630 or email info@qadas.com

  • Eric Richards is job hunting. He is also a system administrator and specializes in network-type programming. His home page is at http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~efricha

Our speaker was Art Smoot (aesmoot@aescon.com) of AES Consulting. Art gave a very informative and entertaining talk about the different ways for people to connect to the Internet. The most interesting aspect of the talk was the use of styrofoam shapes to represent computers and pipe cleaners for connections -- it was very visual and made it easy for novices to understand some of the complexities of connecting to the Internet. Also interesting was that the slides were shown in hypertext via a Web browser. Some highlights included:

Providers
We in Colorado have a wealth of providers (look at http://www.rmiug.org/rmiug/providers/). They all vary by size, quality of service and price. Shop around to find one that fits your needs, and be sure to ask lots of questions about things like modem speeds, hours of service, and availability of free software.

Connection Types
There are several that each have their advantages and disadvantages:

Shell Account: A login to a provider's UNIX machine on the Internet. No additional software is necessary, but you have to use Unix, and everything is text based.

UUCP: Really only usable for Bulletin Board Systems that only provide email and news. UUCP does not provide interactive services.

SLIP: The ability to be a "direct" Internet node. You need special software, but it opens up the full spectrum of Internet services. The software may be painful to get working at first, but it's generally worth it. The software is graphical. However, you may need to pay $$ for some of it if you want technical support. One way to get SLIP access using only a shell account is by using TIA (The Internet Adapter), a program which converts your normal shell account into a SLIP account.

Dedicated: Direct, 24 hour/day connections that are normally used only by companies. In general, costs are prohibitive for individuals, unless you use your Internet connection a LOT.

Other: There are a few other options for connectivity that give the same type of services as SLIP, but are "plug and play". These include the major service providers (America Online, Prodigy, and Compuserve), as well as Netcom's Netcruiser and Pipeline.

The next RMIUG meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 20th at 7pm. NOTE THAT THIS IS ON THE THIRD TUESDAY, and not on the second Tuesday. Our meeting space was already booked for the second Tuesday.

This meeting will be held at the main conference room at National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST, formally called NBS). This is located at 325 South Broadway - one block South of Baseline on the West side of Broadway (big building - you can't miss it! ;-) Entrance in on the East side of the building, and free parking is available to the North and around back.

Our speaker will be Cricket Liu (cricket@denver.nsr.hp.com), one of Hewlett Packard's Internet experts, and he recently coauthored the book "Managing Internet Information Systems". Cricket will discuss the future of the Internet -- including where the Internet is today, what problems it is facing, and possible scenarios for the growth and development of the Internet.

RMIUG wishes to thank Internet One of Boulder for sponsoring the refreshments, and XOR Network Engineering for electronic "stuff."

Suggestions/comments/feedback are always welcome - please email these to rmiug-comm@rmiug.org or call Dan Murray at 447-3475.

Contact Information:

RMIUG "Executive" Committee: rmiug-comm@rmiug.org RMIUG Librarians (Joe Betts & Bo the Bohemian): rmiug-books@rmiug.org RMIUG has email lists for its members. Send an email to rmiug@rmiug.org for more info

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