Yet, if you poll users that have Internet access in their homes
(using modems) you'll find that most users end up getting frustrated
by the long delays endemic in bringing down these graphics-rich
pages, even if they have the latest three-letter computer. Most users
I've worked with quickly end up disabling graphics most of the time
to keep performance up as they access the World Wide Web.
Other than the Web, most other
Internet services are text based, and as mentioned above, even the
Web seems to be most useful with graphics turned off, at least when
using slower modem connections! So, what's all the hoopla? Apple
///'s do a terrific job with text-based applications.
Who needs Mosaic?!
3) What Host Should I
Even though we've dismissed Mosaic
and graphics, the Apple /// still is missing a few pieces of critical
software. The most important is the lack of a TCP/IP (Transmission
Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) suite for SOS. TCP/IP is the
underlying set of protocols that Internet services, including
electronic mail, the World Wide Web, and other services are based on.
Internet hosts (and alas, those three-letter computers) speak TCP/IP
to each other.
Yet, if you use the Apple /// as an
intelligent terminal and dial up an Internet host, the lack of TCP/IP
no longer is a problem. The /// has full access to the Internet using
the host as an intermediary.
The world's most popular Internet
hosts are still Unix computer systems. Unix systems have
traditionally integrated well into the Internet, and plenty of
text-based Internet software is available on these hosts to enable
your Apple /// to become a powerful Internet surfer. Other types of
hosts running other operating systems may have similar capabilities,
if you use a non-Unix system to gain access to the Internet it's best
to check with the system management staff to find out which
text-based Internet applications are supported.
4) What Kinds of Internet
Services Can I Access through a Unix Host on my ///?
On a typical Unix Internet host,
you'll find the following tools:
A) Electronic mail. The elm and pine
programs are very popular. They are text-based programs and work well
with Apple Access /// in ANSI emulation (see below.)
B) File transfer. For transferring
files from other Internet hosts (including the popular names.wvu.edu
Apple /// site) the ftp program is a staple. It has a cousin that is
a bit more friendly to use, nc ftp. Both are text-based and work
under any Apple /// communications program.