The Internet is a tremendous and constantly growing wealth of
information. Since you are reading this E-zine, you either have Internet access yourself or know someone who does. For many of you, it is through a major On-line service, such as America Online, CompuServe, etc. Some may have gone with the direct Internet connection, like a PPP or slip account. Some have both. I have a Power Mac 6100/66 hooked up to the Internet directly using a dial up PPP account and I log on to AOL for a few hours a month right over the Internet using AOL’s TCP/IP access method, but more on that later.
What I will try to do in this column is provide some interesting and diverse areas for you to explore as well as discussing and answering your questions about all aspects of the Internet. Are your on-line charges too high? Do you have to sign off just when you find what your looking for because the meter is getting too high? Well, there may be an Internet solution for you that will lower your costs. Have you found some exciting Web sites? Let me know and I will share some of your favorites with the rest of the Mac community. Everyone has different tastes so hopefully I can
generate some excellent feedback. So write in and let us know what you have discovered out there.
The first thing I want to discuss is how you are accessing the Internet. If you are a serious Internet fanatic and your not hooked directly to the Internet, as in a PPP, or SLIP account, then perhaps you should be. Does your AOL bill exceed the national debt? If your paying more than $30.00 per month you could probably save some money and stay on-line longer by accessing the Internet using an Internet Provider. These providers usually charge about 25 to 30 bucks a month, which includes unlimited access and all the software you need to connect. If there isn’t a provider in your local calling area, there will be soon. They are springing up all over the place quickly, and the competition is great so the prices are all coming in line. The major On-line services do provide a nice user friendly
interface that you just can’t find on the raw Internet, but once you get familiar with browsing the World Wide Web you won’t miss it. Some folks (myself included) need the best of both worlds. You can access AOL from the Internet by going through the back door. You stay connected to the Internet and fire up your AOL software. Just select TCP-IP from the main pop-up menu and click sign on as you normally would, and your off and running. You still have to pay the monthly fee, and you are still limited to 5 free hours, but since you have unlimited Internet access you probably only need to log on to AOL for a few hours a month. I log on to AOL for the latest news, surf
their monthly software section, then sign off and go browsing the Web with Netscape. It’s a real nice combination, and the total monthly cost is less than 35 bucks.
If you sign on for just a few hours a month, than a On-line service is probably just right for you. You can still get access to the World Wide Web from AOL, although somewhat slower and less impressive than some of the other commercial browsers out there, like Netscape Mosaic, and many others. The major on-line services have local access numbers all over the country, but what if you don’t live near one? If you have to call long distance to log on with AOL then there may be an alternative. America Online offers an 800 number you can use to log on with. There is a catch, though: They charge you $4.95 /hour just for the phone call. Add the monthly fee and you have about 35 bucks for 5 Hrs. So if there is an Internet Provider in your local calling area., for the same 35 bucks you might be able to get unlimited web access plus your five hours with AOL.
Now for a few Internet Sites! One of the most important sites for us Mac folks is of course Apple’s Home page. You have probably already visited them, but in case you haven’t you should point your browser over to http://www.apple.com/ for all the latest Apple news. What do you use for a surfboard while your surfing? Search engines provide us with an excellent way to search the Web. Yahoo has an easy to use search engine that you can find at http://www.yahoo.com/ This search engine has many extra features that will point you to what’s new, or what’s cool, and many others. The Webcrawler is another nice search engine. Those of you who use AOL will recognize it. You can access it with almost any browser at http://webcrawler.com/ Bob LeVitus has a Web page concerning his new book called Webmaster Macintosh home page. Anyone interested in Web publishing and Mac’s should head over to http://www.versa.com/webmastermac/ for some great information and software!
That’s it for this month’s Internet Connection, I hope you enjoyed it. Next month I’ll have room for more Web sites. As I mentioned before the beauty of the Internet is it’s size and scope. Write me with your favorite sites and I will share some of them in this column. Is there something you can’t find, let me know and Tim and I will see what we can come up with. You can E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Evz1@aol.com, I’ll be looking forward to hearing some feedback.
In next month’s issue of the Internet Connection I’ll answer some of the letters, give some helpful tips, and share some new Web sites sent in by My Mac readers.