Re: How did you get connected to the net?

Subject: Re: How did you get connected to the net?
From: Laura Lemay <lemay -at- KALEIDA -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 1994 11:43:51 -0800

>For those of you who dial-in to a network or have purchased the services of a
>commercial network providers, I would appreciate some help with the following

>1. What provider do you use? What is the cost for subscription?

I'm a compulsive net-hack; I have three net accounts.

The first, the one which I'm sending you this message from, is at work.
We have full email, usenet, and internet access, which is all "free" as
an employee of Kaleida. I sort of try to keep work-related email and
net hacking at work, hence my subscription to TECHWR-L is sent here.

My secondary account is at Netcom, a public access UNIX provider based
in the bay area but with dialups all over the country. Netcom is $17.50
a month, flat-rate, which may be too much for people who spend only a little
time on the net but very cheap for people who are severely addicted. I
use netcom mostly for usenet news and for FTP.

My third account is at San Francisco's WELL system. I joined there because
I had heard a lot about the "community" aspects of being a member of the
WELL and was curious about what that meant. The WELL has its own set of
bulletin boards, called conferences, which only WELL subscribers have access
to. The WELL costs $12.50 a month, plus $2/hr connect charges, which is quite
expensive at times (I have regularly spent $75-80 a month).

Netcom and the WELL are quite different in thier approach to net access;
whereas the WELL has a very homey, comfortable, feel-free-to-ask-questions
feel to it, Netcom is more of a utility -- you get UNIX, you get Usenet,
you get set off into the wild world of the net with nary a kick in the
butt to send you on your way. For someone who knows and is comfortable
with UNIX and the tools out there, Netcom is cheap and fast and avaiable
just about everywhere. The WELL is much more beginning-user friendly, much
less nerdly, but more expensive.

The WELL is also regional -- they only have local access numbers in San
Francisco, although you can telnet into it from the internet (I dial up
to netcom, which has a local phone # where I live, and then telnet to the

I also signed up for an account on America On-line (AOL), but I haven't
logged into it yet.

>2. What is the configuration of your system?
>3. What hardware and communications software do you use? Do you like the
>communications software?

I dial up to the net on a Mac IIsi, using the shareware communications
program Zterm, and before that I used a Mac Plus and the free program
Kermit. I've had 300, 1200, 2400, and now a Telebit Qblazer 9600 baud
modems, which have all run just fine (although I seem to get used to the
incremental speed of each all too I want a 14.4. :)

HOWEVER note that I dial up and communicate with the net using only a
text-only window; I have never used so-called front-end GUIs.
I know UNIX and the internet tools and am comfortable with them; someone who
is more new to the net night be put off by its text-only, command-line


lemay -at- kaleida -dot- com
lemay -at- netcom -dot- com
mtrbike -at- well -dot- com

Laura Lemay lemay -at- kaleida -dot- com
He reached for her hand and he gave her the keys
He said "I don't have any further use for these.
I see angels on Ariels in leather and chrome
Swooping down from Heaven to carry me home."
He gave her one last kiss and died
And he gave her his Vincent Black Lightning to ride.

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