Internet Information Handbook

The basics of working with the Internet at FCCJ

This handbook is designed to provide users with the very basic understanding needed to begin exploring the Internet. It includes an introduction to the tools and resources available to users of the Internet at FCCJ as well as some common usage guidelines. Please study this manual carefully and keep it near your terminal for future reference. When you have completed reviewing this manual you will be prepared to take the FCCJ Internet awareness on-line quiz. After successful completion of the on-line quiz, you will be qualified to access the tools of the Internet through your PROFS logon.

The handbook consists of the following parts:

  1. Internet electronic mail using PROFS
  2. Listservers and mailing lists
  3. Usenet news
  4. Gophering
  5. The Web
  6. FTP and Telnet
  7. Netiquette
  8. Security awareness
  9. Other Issues
  10. Obtaining Access at FCCJ


Using Internet mail from PROFS

FCCJ has access to send and receive mail to and from anyone on the Internet. These instructions are intended to be a guide for using the Internet mail function from PROFS.

The biggest difference between sending mail to someone at FCCJ and sending mail to someone on the Internet is that the person on the Internet has a longer electronic address than the FCCJ person. The "To:" field in PROFS is too short for some Internet addresses, so a nickname for the person must be created before you can send mail to them. A nickname is a brief name for the person which is associated with the full Internet address. To create a nickname for someone you wish to send mail to enter the command "LNAME" on the PROFS command line. This stands for "Long Name", it is used to give a short nickname to someone with a long electronic address.

LNAME brings up a form which is relatively self-explanatory. There is a "Nickname" field for you to enter the name you want to use when you send them mail (let's use "Joe" from the example above). There is another field used to identify their USERID at the remote location. (this would be "JoeM") Then there is another field meant to hold the node which they live sometimes called the sitename or domain. ("nervm.nerdc.ufl.edu"). The rest of the fields (Name, Address, etc.) are optional, you may want to use them to record more information about this person. The important parts of the form look something like this:

LNAME --------Florida Community College at Jacksonville -----

Internet Nickname Maintenance

Nickname_JOE______ Userid: _JOEM_______________

Node: NERVM.NERDC.UFL.EDU

Name: ____________________

Address: ____________________

Phone: ____________________

As soon as you have completed the LNAME step for someone you can send them mail by addressing it in PROFS to the nickname you created on the LNAME screen. In our example we could just address the note to "Joe" and it would go out on the Internet and show up in Joe's mailbox.

An alternative for setting up a nickname is to use another mail program called "netmail". Netmail may be used to send a quick note to an Internet mail address without creating a nickname. You may choose to use this facility for quick notes to users that you may not have continued correspondence. To use netmail enter the command on the PROFS command line: "netmail userid at sitename" The example of sending a note to Joe would be in this format on the PROFS command line (don't enter the "===>", that is the indicator for the PROFS command line):

===> netmail joem at nervm.nerdc.ufl.edu

Notice that the name is written with the word "at", not the "@" sign. This command will then open a blank to enter the real name of the person you are mailing to and a place to enter the subject line. After entering this information you are placed in a basic note editor, this editor does not have all the fancy features of PROFS and is intended just to whip out a quick note. To send the note, hit the PF5 key, this and other keys are defined at the bottom of the screen.

One big difference to be aware of is that your personal electronic mail address is different when using Internet mail. The address of the PROFS system at FCCJ is "FCCJVM.FCCJ.CC.FL.US", so the whole address for Dr. Spence would be "CSPENCE@FCCJVM.FCCJ.CC.FL.US". Just substitute your PROFS id for Dr. Spence's to find your eMail address. Anyone on the Internet may send you mail at your electronic address.

Another factor to consider now that the College has connected to the Internet is that there will be College employees who use an electronic mail system that is NOT PROFS. It is possible that some people may choose to move their primary eMail address to a LAN based mail system instead of the mainframe. An example of such a system is the College BBS system. You may still communicate with these people electronically by using the Internet style address of the LAN mail site. Persons at the LAN site can communicate with PROFS users in the same manner. The eMail address of the BBS is "FC.FCCJ.CC.FL.US".

LISTSERV and Mailing lists

A Listserver is a facility which manages a set of "mailing lists". Each list is generally defined to be a discussion about a particular subject. One may choose to "subscribe" to a mailing list to become a member of the list. After subscribing, any electronic mail sent to the list will be received by the subscriber, as well as all the other members of the list.

This creates a group of people who are joined together electronically in a discussion taking place using electronic mail. Listservers exist throughout the world with discussions on over 5,000 different subjects. FCCJ has access to all of these thousands of lists in addition to "FCCJ only" lists, or "local" lists.

The lists which are maintained by FCCJ's Listserver are LABS-L, FCCJTALK, TECHPLAN. These are all FCCJ only lists. The College also runs another world-wide list called MACMULTI. This contains discussions related to creating multimedia using Macintosh computers. There are more that 500 people subscribed to the list from around the world.

To subscribe to one of these lists you must communicate directly to the LISTSERV userid, not the list. You can either send the LISTSERV a message using the "tell" command (if the list is at FCCJ) or you can mail LISTSERV a PROFS note containing your request to subscribe. To subscribe to the FCCJTALK local list type the following at the PROFS command line (Fullname is your real Firstname followed by your real Lastname):

TELL LISTSERV SUBSCRIBE FCCJTALK Fullname

To use electronic mail to subscribe to the list instead of sending a message, create a note using PROFS addressed to "LISTSERV". You may leave the subject blank. The body of the note should contain one line:

SUBSCRIBE FCCJTALK Fullname

You will receive a reply that confirms your subscription to the FCCJTALK list. Read the reply to be sure you are successfully subscribed. The note that you receive confirming your subscription also contains information about how to unsubscribe to the list. It is a good idea to file this note for future reference. Any discussions on the FCCJTALK will now show up as notes in your PROFS mailbox and you can read them just like any other PROFS notes. To send something for all of the members of the list to read, send a PROFS note to "FCCJTALK". Everyone that has subscribed to the list will then get the PROFS note.

Just as one may subscribe to a list, there is also a way to remove your name from the list. You may want to unsubscribe because the discussions are no longer of interest to you or the volume of mail is too much to read every day. Whatever the reason, you want to "signoff" the list or "unsubscribe" from the list.

The process of unsubscribing is very similar to subscribing. You either send a message or a note to the LISTSERV userid. Do not send the note to the list name. Do not reply to a note sent from the list to unsubscribe, this sends the request to all the members of the list and they will all know that you did not read or follow these instructions. If the list is worldwide, people all over the world will get the message and they will know we did not train our people well on the use of Listservers. You will probably be forgiven for one such mistake but continued errors will result in getting "flamed". Flaming is a sometimes rude method of letting an Internet user know that they made a mistake or expressed an unpopular opinion. You may issue the following format command to unsubscribe from an FCCJ operated list:

TELL LISTSERV UNSUBSCRIBE FCCJTALK

To remove your name from a LISTSERV at a remote site, you must send a note to the LISTSERV machine at that site. Include in the note one line of text (the exact format will be stated in the confirmation note you received when you signed up). It will look something like this:

UNSUBSCRIBE listname

As mentioned earlier, LISTSERV servers are worldwide. We have access to these lists using Internet. Most LISTSERVers live at other schools or universities. Each school is given an electronic address that identifies it to everyone on the network. This is the sitename or domain. Anyone at another school may subscribe to FCCJ's MACMULTI list (the only non-local list) by sending a note to "LISTSERV@FCCJVM.FCCJ.CC.FL.US" containing one line:

SUBSCRIBE MACMULTI Fullname

This eMail message travels across the Internet to FCCJ's mainframe and adds that persons' name to the list. Now, any message that is sent to "MacMulti@FCCJVM.FCCJ.CC.FL.US" is distributed to that person. Let's say that you are interested in Total Quality Management in Higher Education. There is a list on this subject, maintained by a Listserv at UKANVM.BITNET. The name of the list is "TQM-L", you may subscribe to it by sending an eMail message to "LISTSERV@UKANVM.BITNET" containing the following single line:

SUBSCRIBE TQM-L Fullname

You will then begin to receive worldwide discussions about TQM in Higher Education. You will be able to send statements or questions to everyone else in the world who is subscribed to this list by sending a PROFS note to: "TQM-L@UKANVM.BITNET". Unsubscribe to this list by sending a note to the LISTSERV userid at UKANVM, not to the listname (TQM-L). The note should contain one line:

UNSUBSCRIBE TQM-L

There are thousand of LISTSERV discussion lists in the world, a list of them can be found on PROFS on main menu number 2 (PF11), Information systems and services (PF1). Then go into "Bitnet Network Information" by putting your cursor by it and hitting return. From there, hit the PF6 key to get a List of Servers, from that screen, hit the PF7 key to get a List of Lists.

There are other functions and enhancements available on the listservers such as receiving your mail in a condensed or digest format. To find out more about listservers enter:

"TELL LISTSERV HELP"

Mailing Lists

A mailing list is similar to a Listserv except that rather than having everyone on the list participate in discussions, everyone receives information sent by one person or group that manages the list. Think of subscribing to a mailing list like subscribing to a magazine electronically. There are thousands of electronically produced and distributed journals, newsletters, Zines and books available on the Internet. The process of subscribing is usually the same as adding your name to a listserv list. More information and lists of lists may be found at various locations on the Internet.

Usenet News

Usenet is a collection of discussion groups on various subjects, it is similar to listserv lists except the news does not come to your electronic mailbox, you have to use another program to read the news. This program is called a network news reader, on PROFS the command to use is "NNR". You can also issue "NNR newsgroupname" to go straight to a particular newsgroup.

There are literally thousands of different newsgroups on any subject you can imagine. Newsgroups are organized in a hierarchical manner. The high level groups include things like "comp. rec. alt. fl.". These stand for "Computers, Recreational, Alternative, Florida". Organized under these high level groups are discussions using eMail as the method of communication. When you want to communicate to the readers of a usenet group, you send eMail to the group, using the newsreader program. This is known as "posting" to a newsgroup.

Usenet is not managed, controlled or censored by any one central authority, in fact, any site can create their own newsgroup if one does not exist for the subject they wish to discuss. Usenet has developed into a self-policing entity, whereby if one makes serious social errors, such as posting questions in the wrong area or posting a question which is discussed in a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) the old-time members of usenet are quick to correct the offender in a manner known as "flaming". Flaming is a tradition which can be perceived as being quite offensive to new users of the Internet. There is no fire involved, just an electronic mail message that is a little "hot" :*)

General rules to follow for posting to usenet are:

1. Always read the newsgroup for a while before posting a question. This is known as "lurking" (lurking is good in usenet). Get familiar with the discussion and the subjects being discussed to avoid making a social faux pas. Be sure you have identified the correct audience for your question. Never send the same message to numerous groups of non-related subjects. This is frowned upon on the Internet, it is know as "spamming".

2. Always read the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) before posting. Almost all newsgroup regularly post a FAQ and to post a question which is addressed in the FAQ is to invite a major Flaming! The FAQs are archived at various sites on the Internet and may retrieved by numerous methods. FTP to "rtfm.mit.edu" for archived FAQs.

Gopher

Gopher is a program that you can use to connect to "Gopher Servers". A Gopher server creates a text menu which is displayed when you contact it. By opening an item on the menu, you will be linked to another Gopher menu or a document. That second menu or document may reside on the first Gopher, but it also could be on another Gopher server in another part of the world. This collection of linked Gopher servers (known as "GopherSpace") creates an environment in which text information can be easily presented, organized, searched and traversed. Information found on Gopher spans all subject areas and is an excellent research tool. Gopher is used primarily to search for information on servers from around the world.

To use Gopher from PROFS at FCCJ the command is "Gopher". This will automatically open the FCCJ Gopher. From the menu here, you may use "Other Gopher and Information servers" to go to Gophers in other parts of the Internet. You may find that you have a few favorite Gophers after using it for a while, use the bookmark feature of Gopher to save these locations that you like so it will be easy to get back to it. Read the PF keys at the bottom of the screen for more information. You can also type "Gopher sitename" to skip the FCCJ Gopher and go straight to another Gopher server.

The Web

The Web, or World Wide Web is a collection of interconnected servers, similar in concept to Gopher. The difference is that instead of the links between Web servers being menus items as in Gophers, the links are followed by clicking on words or pictures within the documents themselves. Of course, on the mainframe "clicking" is more difficult, the equivalent is to position your cursor over the link item (with the tab key) and then hit return. You may then navigate around the world by following various links. This creates a "web" of information which can be navigated simply by clicking on hotlink words, sentences or pictures. The mainframe has no mechanism for displaying pictures or playing sounds and movies. In order to experience these components of the Web, you must be on a networked workstation, using a graphical Web browser such as Mosaic or Netscape.

These hotlinked documents are called "pages". Pages are written in a language known as HTML or Hyper Text Markup Language. HTML is a relatively easy way to describe how pages of information will look when viewed by a browser. What makes the Web unique is that once a page is created and made available on a Web server, any kind of browser on any computing platform can view the page. If the browser is running on a graphical based workstation, it will display the page graphically, if the browser is on a text based system (like the mainframe) the same page will be displayed in a text format. The mainframe web browser will still have access to all the text information and you will still navigate in the same way as the graphical workstations.

The Web encompasses all other major Internet tools. What this means is that from within a Web page, one might click on a phrase which links to a Gopher server, then you can use the Gopher from within the Web browser. Another link may FTP a file to your computer with just a click. Another link might Telnet you into another Internet service. By using a Web browser you may access all the facilities discussed in this document. As you gather favorite sites to telnet, gopher and FTP to, you may want to throw together your own HTML "page of favorites" to make getting back to your sites easier and faster.

A Web browser is the piece of software used to navigate the Web. Web browsers exist for almost all computer platforms. Some example of popular Web browsers are Mosaic and Netscape. On the FCCJ mainframe, the command "WWW" starts up the mainframe based browser. You can also issue "WWW siteURL" to go directly to a Web site. A siteURL is a Universal Resource Locator, URLs may look like this: "http://www.rice.edu/" or "ftp://ftp.uu.net/". Keep in mind that you will not be able to see the pictures or movies on the Web when using the browser on the mainframe.

FTP and Telnet

Some other tools are available on the mainframe to access resources on the Internet. These include FTP and Telnet. FTP allows one to retrieve files from remote sites called anonymous FTP servers. You do not have to have an account at many of these sites to log on and get files from them. You log onto these sites with a userid of "anonymous" and the password is always your electronic mail address. Once you are logged on to a remote site, the commands used to navigate around are very similar to DOS or unix commands, the basic working commands are: ls, cd, get, quit and help. The command ls is like the DOS dir command, cd is the change directory command and get command is used to send the remote files to your mainframe account. Use quit to exit the FTP site. A detailed explanation of how to use FTP is beyond the scope of this handbook. I suggest finding and reading the FAQs about FTP and don't forget you can always issue the "help" command for more information. Most FAQs are archived at a site called "rtfm.mit.edu" and are mirrored at many other sites.

Telnet is used to actually log onto other computers on the Internet. These computers can house databases, special function programs or they may be another mainframe or minicomputer. To do an Archie search from the host you will use the telnet command to telnet to an Archie server. (Archie searchs the names of the files in FTP archives) To use a MUD (Multi-User Dimensions) from the host you will use the telnet command. To search databases at the library of Congress, you will use the telnet command. Again, a detailed examination of all the possible uses of telnet is beyond the scope of this paper and I suggest researching FAQs and books for further information.

Internet Etiquette

The following general guidelines have been copied from a document found on the Internet. It is also posted in it's entirety on the FCCJ Gopher:

It is essential for each user on the network to recognize his/her

responsibility in having access to vast services, sites, systems and

people. The user is ultimately responsible for his/her actions in

accessing network services.

The "Internet" or "The Net", is not a single network; rather, it is a

group of thousands of individual networks which have chosen to allow traffic to pass among them. The traffic sent out to the Internet may actually traverse several different networks before it reaches its destination. Therefore, users involved in this internetworking must be aware of the load placed on other participating networks.

As a user of the network, you may be allowed to access other networks (and/or the computer systems attached to those networks). Each network or system has its own set of policies and procedures. Actions which are routinely allowed on one network/system may be controlled, or even forbidden, on other networks. It is the users responsibility to abide by the policies and procedures of these other networks/systems. Remember, the fact that a user *can* perform a particular action does not imply that they *should* take that action.

The use of the network is a privilege, not a right, which may temporarily be revoked at any time for abusive conduct. Such conduct would include, the placing of unlawful information on a system, the use of abusive or otherwise objectionable language in either public or private messages, the sending of messages that are likely to result in the loss of recipients' work or systems, the sending of "Chain letters," or "broadcast" messages to lists or individuals, and any other types of use which would cause congestion of the networks or otherwise interfere with the work of others..

Permanent revocations can result from disciplinary actions taken by a panel judiciary board called upon to investigate network abuses.

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS

(E-mail, LISTSERV groups, Mailing lists, and Usenet)

LISTSERV AND MAILING LIST DISCUSSION GROUPS

Some mailing lists have low rates of traffic, others can flood your mailbox with several hundred mail messages per day. Numerous incoming messages from various listservers or mailing lists by multiple users, requires extensive system processing which can tie up valuable resources. Subscription to Interest Groups or Discussion Lists should be kept to a minimum and should not exceed what your disk quota can handle, or you for that matter.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR COMPUTER ETHICS

from the Computer Ethics Institute

  1. Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people.
  2. Thou shalt not interfere with other people's computer work.
  3. Thou shalt not snoop around in other people's files.
  4. Thou shalt not use a computer to steal.
  5. Thou shalt not use a computer to bear false witness.
  6. Thou shalt not use or copy software for which you have not paid.
  7. Thou shalt not use other people's computer resources without authorization.
  8. Thou shalt not appropriate other people's intellectual output.
  9. Thou shalt think about the social consequences of the program you write.
  10. Thou shalt use a computer in ways that show consideration and respect.

Security Issues

FCCJ is now connected to a much larger, world-wide network. Issues which were important earlier about securing passwords and access to machine become a much more important issues. Now the worlds' best hackers and crackers have a chance to try to break into our systems. It is more important than ever to implement and follow some basic security precautions.

The first line of defense against an attack on your personal mail account is your password. Following these simple rules will help decrease the chances of unauthorized use of your account:

You can consider any and all transmission of data or mail on the Internet as unsecured. Never send a credit card number or any personal or College financial data over the Internet. Never put anything into an eMail message that you would not want to show up on the evening news. Filling out forms on a Web page is not a secured form of electronic transmission, keep this in mind when you see the blank field for your credit card number. Although tempting for the ease of ordering, that purchase may end up costing you more than you expect.

A reminder about viruses: Always virus check any software you download from the Internet before execution. There are terabytes of data available for download from FTP sites and it is highly unlikely that it has all be checked for viruses. It is your responsibility to take action to protect yourself from viruses.

Other Issues

The Internet is a collection of interconnected networks that is not owned by any single entity. It works because of the cooperation and sharing of resources at each of the sites. If everyone just used the resources of the Internet without contributing their fair share the system would fail.FCCJ is a great school and we have a number of ideas and unique programs. Remember to share your ideas with others. I encourage you to be contributors as well as effective users.

The nature of the Internet is such that any attempts at censorship are not only frowned upon by the users of the Internet, it is also technically impossible. Any gathering of millions of people is bound to have a few "bad apples". The Internet has it's share of troublemakers and they insist on pushing the limits of decency. Everyone who spends much time surfing the Internet will come across material they find offensive. The best advise to give is "If you don't like what you see, don't look at it".

Resources come and resources go.... Just because you find a server that you like to visit one day does not mean you will be able to get to it on another. The institutions providing services for the Internet may have to re-allocate resources and remove servers, the individual maintaining the server may graduate or move on. Sometimes the traffic on the Internet gets so heavy that attempts to contact a server may time out. It may look like the resource is gone, but it might just be busy when you tried: try again later to be sure. Trying at another time of day may help as well.

Doing research on the Internet requires a shift in thinking. When you research in a traditional library, you can search card catalogs and journals for you subject and usually come up with a good set of materials. Research on the Internet is somewhat different, think of it as hitting a series of dead ends until you happen to stumble across the desired resource. The trick to becoming an effective user of the Net is learning how to hit a dead end and thinking of another way to search for the information. Try to imagine another way that someone may have indexed the data you are looking for. In other words, if you get stuck, try something else and if that doesn't work, try another angle on it. Keep trying and looking around and you will soon learn to effectively use this very powerful resource.

Access to the Internet at FCCJ

After studying this document you will be prepared to take the on-line Internet awareness quiz. It is an "open-document" quiz, feel free to use any resource available to you to complete all of the answers correctly. After successful completion, your PROFS account will be given access to the tools discussed in this document. There are many more resources and tools available for your use. Please continue to study the tools and new resources. On-line is the best place to learn about new on-line resources. There is a collection on the FCCJ Gopher of helpful Internet usage documents, please check here for guidance in new areas. Remember, this quiz will only give your PROFS account access to these tools, it will not connect a networked workstation to the Internet.

To take the on-line Internet awareness quiz, on the PROFS command line type "ETS Internet 000". This is your entry point into the "Electronic Testing System" which will begin the quiz for you. You must complete the test with a grade of 100% in order to gain access. You can re-take the quiz as many times as you need.

You are encouraged to spend time on-line, looking around, reading newsgroups and finding your own favorite sources of information. The Internet can become a great resource if you invest the time to learn how to be an effective user. Many valuable tools are not even mentioned in this document and you will benefit by learning other tools such as Archie, Veronica, WAIS, CUseeMe, etc. The Internet is very dynamic and it takes constant exposure to keep abreast of new resources. You will become both a student and your own teacher.

Happy Surfing!

written by the

Technical Support staff at Florida Community College at Jacksonville