By now, you've probably noticed that I tend to avoid giving detailed, blow-by-blow directions for using Internet programs. You may be wondering why, since such specifics are so common in technical books. Don't worry, there is a method to my madness.
On the Internet, things change rapidly. Something that is available one day may disappear the next. Or, in some cases, something may be available at random times during the day, but not at others. Herein lies my concern with rigid instructions that people will attempt to follow closely. What if I give instructions for performing some task, and it simply doesn't work? The fault may lie not with my instructions, but with the Internet resource I explain -- but that makes no difference to the person following the directions.
So, my strategy in the previous chapters was to provide the basic information necessary to use the WinSock programs in a variety of situations, thus giving you the background you need to work around any difficulties you may encounter. However, several of the responses I received to the first edition of the book indicated that some step-by-step instructions would be welcome, and far be it from me to ignore such suggestions from readers. After all, I'm writing the book for you, not for me.
NOTE: You must have a PPP or SLIP account set up to be able to work through the following instructions, although you're welcome to read this even before you have the account.
Unlike other books, I cover most all the Internet software for Windows that I know about, so providing step-by-step instructions for every program in this book would fill thousands of pages and be as boring as all get out. Instead, then, I provide the steps necessary to perform several basic tasks in the applications I consider to be the most important. All of these applications require a WinSock TCP/IP protocol stack and either a network or a SLIP or PPP connection. I start by covering NetManage's Chameleon WebSurfer Sampler, and then follow with the essential applications. All of the specific settings I use here are for Northwest Nexus -- your settings will vary if you use a different provider.
NOTE: In each case, I assume that you have the program available on your hard disk. You may need to copy it from a floppy disk or download it from the Internet, unzip, or expand the file. In the case of many of these programs, you may be able to install them from the disks that come with this book. So, some of these instructions may be redundant. Nonetheless, I want to be complete, and without instructions that start from a clean copy, you would never be able to duplicate these configurations on your own.
The heart of the Internet Starter Kit for Windows is the NetManage Chameleon WebSurfer Sampler. Actually, the WebSurfer Sampler is really two pieces: the WinSock TCP/IP protocol stack and an Internet Web browser. The more important part is WinSock, since it enables your PC to speak IP -- the language of the Internet. However, before you even think about installing this software, you'll need to get some crucial information from your Internet provider. Otherwise, your software will not only fail to work, it may crash your machine (not permanently, however).
Don't be intimidated by the number of items that you must ask for. Your Internet provider is very familiar with all the items and should have no trouble giving you everything you need to get your software set up (and probably more).
If you are lucky, your Internet provider will have a .cfg file specifically meant for dialup customers using NetManage. Then you merely need to ask for your userid and password. Enter your port and modem values and you're off and running.
Of course, to ensure that you are lucky, all you have to do is use one of the Internet providers listed in appendix B. We've provided a .cfg file for each on the Chameleon Web Sampler disk.
To distinguish you from the average Joe, you need to get from your Internet provider a userid and a password. The userid should be something that is easily identifiable as yours (e.g., ace for Adam C. Engst; cory for Corwin S. Low; or simon for Michael A. Simon). Your provider may even assign you a userid rather than let you pick one. It may be your first initial followed by your last name (e.g., aengst) or something similar. The more unsavory providers will assign you an arcane userid like 34kdfu32.
Your password should be from six to twelve characters in length and ideally should contain at least one number or punctuation character. It should never be your name or names of your friends. This minimizes the chances that others will be able to break into your account. Again, your provider may assign you a temporary password that you will probably have to change to a permanent one at a later date.
Domain is the name of your Internet provider's network. It also defines how others send you electronic mail. It looks like domain.com (halcyon.com, for example). Therefore your Internet mail address will become something like email@example.com.
There are more than four billion possible Internet IP addresses that are represented in dotted notation -- four numbers separated by periods, such as 18.104.22.168. And every machine on the Internet must have a unique number. You need to make sure that yours is not the same as someone else's. Ask your Internet provider how to assign an Internet address to your computer. He'll probably tell you one of two ways: dynamic or static.
Dynamic addressing is by far the most common mechanism for dialup users. If an Internet provider were to assign permanent (or static) IP addresses to everyone, he'd probably run out of them very quickly. So each time you dial up, the host computer will assign you an IP address. You'll probably never get the same IP address twice in a row.
Mention that you are using NetManage Chameleon for either PPP, SLIP, or CSLIP and ask if they have prebuilt scripts for automatically reading the assigned IP address. NetManage is the leading distributor of TCP/IP protocol stacks under Windows, so chances are very good that your provider has one.
In less common circumstances, your Internet Provider will assign you a static IP address. You'll always have the same IP address each time you connect.
Unless you enjoy memorizing IP addresses, ask your Internet provider for the IP addresses of some Domain Name Servers (DNS). DNS servers can translate names into numbers and sometimes numbers into names. Then you can enter things like gatekeeper.dec.com instead of 22.214.171.124. Ask for backup servers as well -- in case the primary DNS server is down. I recommend having two backup DNS servers.
You can't connect to your Internet provider unless the people there provide you with a phone number for your modem. Most will have hunt groups, which means that there will be a single phone number for many modems. Your call to the top of the hunt group will simply roll over to an unused line.
Keep in mind that your provider may have several different hunt groups for different speed modems. Ask for the phone number of the phone line that matches the speed of your own personal modem. There isn't anything worse than tying up a 14.4 Kbps host modem using a 2,400 bps client modem (but then again, you wouldn't use a 2,400 bps modem, would you?). Be sure to ask your provider if there is a number for faster speeds should you upgrade modems down the line.
You should ask your provider for the name of your POP and SMTP servers (you use POP to receive mail and SMTP to send it). Also, if your Internet provider offers Usenet news (which almost all do), then you'll need the name or address of the news server, also called the NNTP server.
You need to know some specific information about your modem so that you can connect to your Internet provider. If you don't know these settings, ask your PC or modem vendor. They may be able to help.
These settings are associated with the serial port on your computer. The serial port is responsible for sending data from your computer to another device. In this case, it is a modem (whether it is an internal or an external modem). Your computer documentation may refer to the serial ports individually as COM1, COM2, COM3, or COM4.
It is probably safe to set the baud rate to 19,200. This is the speed that your computer talks to your modem, not the speed of your modem. The two speeds need not match, and you generally set the computer-modem speed higher than the modem speed to take advantage of any compression the modem can do.
You usually use eight data bits. Ask your Internet provider if it should be different.
Again, the standard setting is one stop bit. Ask your Internet provider if it should be different.
This Parity setting should usually be set to None. Ask your Internet provider if it should be different.
Finally, set Flow Control to Hardware. Ask your Internet provider if it should be different.
Which COM port you use may vary from machine to machine. Typically, it is COM1 or COM2. Check the label on your computer where you plugged in your modem. If your modem is internal, check the dip switches and your modem manual.
These settings are associated with the modem that you have attached to your computer. Because there are so many different modems from different manufacturers, you may need to tweak these settings (or have someone else do so for you). However, 95 percent of all modems act and behave similarly to a Hayes or Telebit modem, so you probably won't have to change these settings.
If you are having difficulty connecting, your Internet provider may have information specific to your modem that can help, and of course, you can always call the modem vendor (last resort).
The Hayes command set uses ATDT for a touch-tone telephone dialing phone line and ATDP for a pulse-code telephone dialing line.
All modems support some sub- or super-set of the Hayes command set and should be initialized for specific features. In many cases, you can get by with ATQ0V1E1S0=0 or by using factory defaults with something like AT&F. but if that doesn't work, read your modem manual, ask your Internet provider, or call your modem vendor.
Now that you're armed with all that information, let's put it to use. Start by installing the TCP/IP protocol stack -- Chameleon WebSurfer Sampler.
Place the Chameleon WebSurfer Sampler disk from the back of the Internet Starter Kit book into your disk drive. In Windows 3.1, Choose Run from the File menu of the Program Manager. Type a:\setup to launch NetManage's setup program (substitute your floppy drive letter for a if it is different). You can accept all the suggested settings during this installation. When you've successfully installed Chameleon, you'll have a new Program Manager Group called Chameleon WebSurfer Sampler.
Before you launch any applications, run Custom by double-clicking on the Custom-Connect Here icon in the WebSurfer Sampler group.
If you are using an Internet provider with a .cfg file (such as Northwest Nexus or any others listed in appendix B), then you can simply open that file and enter the Port, Modem, Dial, and Login settings and then move on. However, if you don't have a .cfg file, you must enter a lot of information -- which you must get from your provider as discussed above -- into Custom's various dialog boxes.
First, you must add a physical interface for accessing the Internet. All physical interfaces use the modem, but differ in the protocols used for communicating with your Internet provider. Select SLIP, CSLIP, or PPP and then give the interface a name. I typically use the Internet provider's name, such as "NW Nexus."
At this point, you must obtain a script file so that your machine can be authenticated on your Internet provider's machine. This script varies from host to host. We've provided over 50 different scripts as part of the configurations for providers as listed in appendix B (including those that NetManage already supports), so hopefully one will match yours. If your particular provider isn't on the list, then it will have to come up with the script for you. Scripting is way beyond the scope of this book.
Check out the slip.ini file on the disk for a list of names and scripts. You may even be able to figure out the scripting on your own (kind of a computer Rosetta Stone).
The Setup menu is meant for configuring your machine to communicate with the Internet. All the values embedded in the various dialog boxes must be accurately entered. Otherwise, your connection won't work properly or at all.
If your Internet provider has assigned you an IP address (and chances are that they haven't), then enter the value here. Otherwise, you should enter a value of 126.96.36.199. Early versions of the NetManage WinSock wouldn't let you proceed with a default value of 0.0.0.0.
Unless you've obtained a static IP address from your Internet provider, you can put almost anything here. Try putting your first or last name. Otherwise, use whatever host name your Internet provider has given you.
Enter the value given to you by your Internet provider (e.g., halcyon.com).
Enter the values that match your hardware (use the modem's baud rate here).
Enter the phone number of the modem bank at your Internet provider. Prefix the phone number with any codes or digits required for an outside line -- 9, for example. Also enter any codes you use to disable call waiting. In many areas of the country it is *70 for touch-tone and 1170 for rotary. Call waiting, if left on, can disrupt your Internet connection if a call comes in while you're using your modem.
NOTE: You may want to set the "Timeout If Not Connected In" setting to 60 or even 120 seconds. Some modems take longer to connect, and the default of 30 seconds may not be sufficient.
Enter the userid and password that you obtained from your provider.
The dialog boxes under the Services menu are less crucial, but you should fill them in anyway.
Enter the default gateway obtained from your provider.
These are the DNS servers mentioned previously. Enter a maximum of three IP addresses. The first one is the primary server. The other two are secondary servers, if your provider has them available. Again, you get these from your provider.
Now you can simply save your configuration (in the File menu), exit the Custom program, and then restart it. The next time Custom launches, you see an additional menu called Connect. Click on this to establish a connection between your PC and your Internet provider's computers. To see how your computer interacts with the Internet provider's computer during the signon process, bring up the Log window from the Setup menu prior to clicking on the Connect menu.
Keep in mind that you must launch Custom and connect to your Internet provider before you launch any other WinSock or TCP/IP application. However with certain applications, such as email, you can do a lot of your work offline, which can save you money depending on how your account is set up -- it is also a good idea to work offline when you can to avoid tying up connections for no reason. Connecting with Custom ensures that you have a valid IP address and that you are truly on the Internet.
Quick Reminder: Eudora is an email client program. It requires access to a POP3 mail account on an Internet host.
Eudora presents you with the Configuration dialog box.
Figure 14.1: Eudora Configuration dialog.
Eudora brings up the Switches dialog (see figure 14.2). Turn off the Immediate Send checkbox in the Sending category of options. This ensures that you can compose mail and queue it for sending without being connected to the Internet the entire time.
Figure 14.2: Eudora Switches dialog.
You have now performed the minimum configuration to use Eudora. There are many other options in the Configuration and Switches dialogs that you may wish to explore further.
Eudora presents you with a new message window, with the From field already filled in with your email address and name.
Since this example sends email to an address that replies automatically, the body of the message isn't that important for the time being, although you can use this method to express your opinions to President Clinton. At minimum, type something like I strongly support the concept of a National Information Infrastructure. It's considered polite to sign your name at the bottom (see figure 14.3).
Figure 14.3: Sending email to the President.
Eudora immediately presents you with a dialog box asking for your password. Enter it, making sure to capitalize it as you did when you originally created it (or as it was when it was given to you). The characters will not be displayed.
Eudora then contacts your POP server and looks for new mail, transferring any that you've received back to your PC. After retrieving new mail, Eudora contacts the SMTP server and sends the mail that you just queued for delivery. After it finishes sending, Eudora displays a dialog telling you whether or not you have new mail.
Assuming everything was set up correctly on your PC and on your host machine, you've just sent an email message to the President of the United States via Eudora (of course, he probably won't personally answer).
Figure 14.4: Subscribing to WIN3-L.
If you received a reply from the White House when you sent the subscription message to the WIN3-L list, Eudora automatically opened your In Box for you.
If you have not yet received the reply from the White House or the confirmation of your subscription to the WIN3-L list, wait for a while (there's no way to know how long it could take, although when I wrote these instructions the responses came back within minutes).
Figure 14.5: Eudora In box.
Eudora opens the message and displays it, along with the first few lines of the header (see figure 14.6).
Figure 14.6: Email from the White House.
Eudora creates a new message window for you, entering the original sender's address in the To field and the subject of your original message prefixed with "Re:" in the Subject field. The entire body of the original message is quoted in the body of the message. You can edit this text or delete it entirely (see figure 14.7).
Figure 14.7: Replying to a message.
When replying to personal email, you would queue the message, perhaps along with others that you have queued and are ready to send out, and then choose either Check Mail or Send Queued Messages from the File menu after connecting to the net.
That's about all you need to know to get started reading and writing email with Eudora, although as I've said, there are many other options and shortcuts to make the process of using Eudora even easier.