1.3 Public Access Internet Providers
Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet

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     When you have your communications program dial one of these host
systems, one of two things will happen when you connect.  You'll
either see a lot of gibberish on your screen, or you'll be asked to
log in.  If you see gibberish, chances are you have to change your
software's parameters (to 7-1-E or 8-1-N as the case may be).  Hang
up, make the change and then dial in again.
     When you've connected, chances are you'll see something like
               Welcome to THE WORLD
               Public Access UNIX for the '90s
               Login as 'new' if you do not have an account
     That last line is a prompt asking you to do something.  Since
this is your first call, type
and hit enter.  Often, when you're asked to type something by a host
system, you'll be told what to type in quotation marks (for example,
'new').  Don't include the quotation marks.  Repeat: Don't
include the quotation marks.
     What you see next depends on the system, but will generally
consist of information about its costs and services (you might want to
turn on your communication software's logging function, to save this
information).  You'll likely be asked if you want to establish an
account now or just look around the system. 
     You'll also likely be asked for your "user name."  This is not
your full name, but a one-word name you want to use while online.  It
can be any combination of letters or numbers, all in lower case.  Many
people use their first initial and last name (for example,
"jdoe"); their first name and the first letter of their last name
(for example, "johnd"); or their initials ("jxd").  Others use a
nickname.  You might want to think about this for a second, because this
user name will become part of your electronic-mail address (see chapter
2 for more on that).  The one exception are the various Free-Net
systems, all of which assign you a user name consisting of an arbitrary
sequence of letters and numbers.
     You are now on the Net.  Look around the system.  See if there
are any help files for you to read.  If it's a menu-based host system,
choose different options just to see what happens.  Remember: You can't
break anything.  The more you play, the more comfortable you'll be.
     What follows is a list of public-access Internet sites, which are
computer systems that offer access to the Net.  All offer international
e-mail and Usenet (international conferences).  In addition, they offer:
     FTP: File-transfer protocol -- access to hundreds of file
     libraries (everything from computer software to historical
     documents to song lyrics).  You'll be able to transfer
     these files from the Net to your own computer.
     Telnet: Access to databases, computerized library card
     catalogs, weather reports and other information services,
     as well as live, online games that let you compete with
     players from around the world.
        Additional services that may be offered include:
     WAIS:  Wide-area Information Server; a program that
     can search dozens of databases in one search.
     Gopher:  A program that gives you easy access to dozens
     of other online databases and services by making
     selections on a menu. You'll also be able to use these
     to copy text files and some programs to your mailbox.
     IRC:  Internet Relay Chat, a CB simulator that lets
     you have live keyboard chats with people around the
     However, even on systems that do not provide these services
directly, you will be able to use a number of them through telnet (see
Chapter 6).   In the list that follows,
systems that let you access services through menus are noted; otherwise
assume that when you connect, you'll be dumped right into Unix (a.k.a.
MS-DOS with a college degree). Several of these sites are available
nationwide through national data networks such as the CompuServe Packet
Network and SprintNet.
     Please note that all listed charges are subject to change.  Many
sites require new or prospective users to log on a particular way on
their first call; this list provides the name you'll use in such cases.


     Huntsville.  Nuance.  Call voice number for modem number. $35 setup;
$25 a month.  Voice: (205) 533-4296.

     Anchorage.  University of Alaska Southeast, Tundra Services, (907)
789-1314; has local dial-in service in several other cities. $20 a month.
Voice: (907) 465-6453.

     Edmonton.  PUCNet Computer Connections, (403) 484-5640. Log
on as: guest. $10 setup fee; $25 for 20 hours a month plus $6.25 an hour
for access to ftp and telnet.  Voice: (403) 448-1901.

     Tucson.  Data Basics, (602) 721-5887. $25 a month or $180 a year.
Voice: (602) 721-1988.

     Phoenix/Tucson.  Internet Direct, (602) 274-9600 (Phoenix); (602)
321-9600 (Tucson).  Log on as: guest. $20 a month.  Voice: (602) 274-0100
(Phoenix); (602) 324-0100 (Tucson).


     Victoria  Victoria Free-Net, (604) 595-2300.  Menus.  Access to all
features requires completion of a written form.  Users can "link" to
other Free-Net systems in Canada and the United States. Free. Log on as:
guest   Voice: (604) 389-6026.

     Berkeley.  Holonet. Menus. For free trial, modem number is (510)
704-1058. For information or local numbers, call the voice number.  $60 a
year for local access, $2 an hour during offpeak hours. Voice:  (510)
     Cupertino.  Portal.  Both Unix and menus.  (408) 725-0561 (2400
bps); (408) 973-8091 (9600/14,400 bps). $19.95 setup fee, $19.95 a month.
Voice: (408) 973-9111.
     Irvine. Dial N' CERF.  See under San Diego.
     Los Angeles/Orange County.  Kaiwan Public Access Internet, (714)
539-5726; (310) 527-7358.  $15 signup; $11 a month (credit card). Voice:
(714) 638-2139.

     Los Angeles. Dial N' CERF.  See under San Diego.
     Oakland. Dial N' CERF.  See under San Diego.

     Pasadena. Dial N' CERF  See under San Diego.

     Palo Alto.  Institute for Global Communications., (415) 322-0284. 
Unix.  Local conferences on environmental/peace issues. Log on as: new.
$10 a month and $3 an hour after first hour.  Voice: (415) 442-0220.

     San Diego. Dial N' CERF USA, run by the California Education and
Research Federation. Provides local dial-up numbers in San Diego, Los
Angeles, Oakland, Pasadena  and Irvine.  For more information, call voice
(800) 876-CERF or (619) 534-5087.  $50 setup fee; $20 a month plus $5 an
hour ($3 on weekends). Voice: (800) 876-2373.

     San Diego.  CTS Network Services, (619) 637-3660. Log on as:
help. $15 set-up fee, monthly fee of $10 to $23 depending on services
used. Voice: (619) 637-3637.
     San Diego.  Cyberspace Station, (619) 634-1376.  Unix.  Log on as:
guest. Charges: $10 sign-up fee; $15 a month or $60 for six months.

     San Francisco.  Pathways, call voice number for number. Menus. $25
setup fee; $8 a month and $3 an hour. Voice: (415) 346-4188.

     San Jose. Netcom, (510) 865-9004 or 426-6610; (408) 241-9760;
(415) 424-0131, up to 9600 bps. Unix.  Maintains archives of Usenet
postings.  Log on as: guest. $15 startup fee and then $17.50 a month for
unlimited use if you agree to automatic billing of your credit-card
account (otherwise $19.50 a month for a monthly invoice).  Voice: (408)
     San Jose.  A2i, (408) 293-9010. Log on as: guest. $20 a month; $45
for three months; $72 for six months.
     Sausalito.  The Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link (WELL), (415) 332-
6106. Uses moderately difficult Picospan software, which is sort of a
cross between Unix and a menu system.  New users get a written manual. 
More than 200 WELL-only conferences.  Log on as: newuser. $15 a month
plus $2 an hour.  Access through the nationwide CompuServe Packet Network
available for another $4.50 an hour.  Voice: (415) 332-4335.  Recorded
message about the system's current status: (800) 326-8354 (continental U.S.
     Colorado Springs/Denver. CNS, (719) 570-1700 (Colorado Springs);
(303) 758-2656 (Denver).  Local calendar listings and ski and stock
reports. Users can choose between menus or Unix. Log on as: new.  $35
setup fee; $2.75 an hour (minimum fee of $10 a month).  Voice: (719) 592-

     Colorado Springs.  Old Colorado City Communications, (719) 632-
4111.  Log on as: newuser. $25 a month. Voice: (719) 632-4848.

     Denver.  Denver Free-Net, (303) 270-4865.  Menus.  Access to all
services requires completion of a written form.  Users can "link" to
other Free-Net systems across the country.  Free.  Log on as: guest.

     Golden.  Colorado SuperNet.  E-mail to fax service. Available only
to Colorado residents. Local dial-in numbers available in several
Colorado cities. For dial-in numbers, call the number below. $3 an hour
($1 an hour between midnight and 6 a.m.); one-time $20 sign-up fee.
Voice: (303) 273-3471.


     Middletown.  Systems Solutions, (302) 378-1881. $20 setup fee; $25 a
month for full Internet access.  Voice: (800) 331-1386


     Talahassee.  Talahassee Free-Net, (904) 488-5056. Menus. Full access
requires completion of a registration form.  Can "link" to other Free-Net
systems around the country. Voice: (904) 488-5056.


     Atlanta.  Netcom, (303) 758-0101.  See under Los Angeles,
California, for information on rates.


     Champaign.  Prarienet Free-Net, (217) 255-9000.  Menus.  Log on as:
visitor. Free for Illinois residents; $25 a year for others. Voice: (217)

     Chicago. MCSNet, (312) 248-0900.  $25/month or $65 for three months
of unlimited access; $30 for three months of access at 15 hours a month.
Voice: (312) 248-UNIX.
     Peoria.  Peoria Free-Net, (309) 674-1100.  Similar to Cleveland
Free-Net (see Ohio, below).  Users can "link" to the larger Cleveland
system for access to Usenet and other services.  There are also Peoria
Free-Net public-access terminals in numerous area libraries,
other government buildings and senior-citizen centers.  Contact the
number below for specific locations.  Full access (including access to
e-mail) requires completion of a written application. Free.  Voice: (309)
     Baltimore.  Express Access, (410) 766-1855; (301) 220-0462; (714)
377-9784.  Log on as: new. $20 setup fee; $25 a month or $250 a year.
Voice: (800 969-9090.

     Baltimore.  Clarknet, (410) 730-9786; (410) 995-0271; (301) 596-
1626; (301) 854-0446.  Log on as: guest. $23 a month, $126 for six months
or $228 a year. Voice: (410) 730-9765.
     Bedford.  The Internet Access Company, (617) 275-0331.  To log on,
follow on-line prompts.  $20 setup fee; $19.50 a month.  Voice: (617)

     Brookline.  The World, (617) 739-9753. "Online Book Initiative"
collection of electronic books, poetry and other text files. Log on as:
new. $5 a month plus $2 an hour or $20 for 20 hours a month. Available
nationwide through the CompuServe Packet Network for another $5.60 an hour.
Voice: (617) 739-0202.
     Lynn.  North Shore Access, (617) 593-4557.  Log on as: new. $10 for
10 hours a month; $1 an hour after that. Voice: (617) 593-3110.
     Worcester.  NovaLink, (508) 754-4009.  Log on as: info. $12.95 sign-up
(includes first two hours); $9.95 a month (includes five daytime hours),
$1.80 an hour after that.  Voice: (800) 274-2814.
     Ann Arbor.  MSEN.  Call voice number for dial-in number.  Unix. 
Charges: $20 setup; $20 a month. Voice: (313) 998-4562.
     Ann Arbor. Michnet. Has local dial-in numbers in several Michigan
numbers.  For local numbers, call voice number below. $35 a month plus
one-time $40 sign-up fee.  Additional network fees for access through
non-Michnet numbers. Voice: (313) 764-9430.
     Manchester.  MV Communications, Inc.  For local dial-up numbers call
voice line below.  $5 a month mininum plus variable hourly rates
depending on services used. Voice: (603) 429-2223.


     New Brunswick.  Digital Express, (908) 937-9481.  Log on as: new.
$20 setup fee; $25 a month or $250 a year.  Voice: (800) 969-9090.

     New York. Panix, (212) 787-3100.  Unix or menus.  Log on as:
newuser. $40 setup fee; $19 a month or $208 a year.  Voice:  (212) 877-
      New York.  Echo, (212) 989-8411.  Unix, but with local
conferencing software. Log on as: newuser.  $19.95 ($13.75 students and
seniors) a month.  Voice:  (212) 255-3839.
     New York.  MindVox, (212) 989-4141.  Local conferences. Log on as:
guest.  $10 setup fee for non-credit-card accounts; $15 a month. Voice:
(212) 989-2418.
     New York.  Pipeline, (212) 267-8606 (9600 bps and higher); (212)
267-7341 (2400 bps). Offers graphical interface for Windows for $90.  Log
on as: guest. $20 a month and $2 an hour after first 20 hours or $35 a
month unlimited hours.  Voice: (212) 267-3636.
     New York.  Maestro, (212) 240-9700. Log on as: newuser. $12 a month
or $140 a year. Voice: (212) 240-9600.

     Charlotte.  Vnet Internet Access, (704) 347-8839; (919) 406-1544. 
Log on as: new. $25 a month. Voice: (704) 374-0779.
     Triangle Research Park.  Rock Concert Net.  Call number below for
local modem numbers in various North Carolina cities.  $30 a month; one-
time $50 sign-up fee. Voice: (919) 248-1999.
     Cleveland.  Cleveland Free-Net, (216) 368-3888.  Ohio and US Supreme
Court decisions, historical documents, many local conferences.  Full
access (including access to e-mail) requires completion of a written
application. Free. Voice:  (216) 368-8737.

     Cincinnati.  Tri-State Free-Net, (513) 579-1990.  Similar to
Cleveland Free-Net. Full access (including access to e-mail) requires
completion of a written application. Free.                      
     Cleveland.  Wariat, (216) 481-9436. Unix or menus. $20 setup fee;
$35 a month.  Voice: (216) 481-9428.

     Dayton.  Freelance Systems Programming, (513) 258-7745. $20 setup
fee; $1 an hour. Voice: (513) 254-7246.

     Lorain.  Lorain County Free-Net, (216) 277-2359 or 366-9753. 
     Similar to Cleveland Free-Net.  Users can "link" to the larger
Cleveland system for additional services.  Full access (including
access to e-mail) requires completion of a written application. Free.
Voice: (216) 366-4200.
     Medina.  Medina Free-Net, (216) 723-6732, 225-6732 or 335-6732. 
Users can "link" to the larger Cleveland Free-Net for additional
services.  Full access (including access to e-mail) requires
completion of a written application. Free.                      
     Youngstown.  Youngstown Free-Net, (216) 742-3072.  Users can
"link" to the Cleveland system for services not found locally.  Full
access (including access to e-mail) requires completion of a written
application. Free.
     Ottawa.  National Capital FreeNet, (613) 780-3733 or (613) 564-3600. 
Free, but requires completion of a written form for access to all

     Toronto.  UUNorth.  Call voice number below for local dial-in
numbers. $20 startup fee; $25 for 20 hours a month of offpeak use. Voice:
(416) 225-8649.
     Toronto.  Internex Online, (416) 363-3783.  Both Unix and menus. $40
a year for one hour a day. Voice: (416) 363-8676.

     Portland.  Agora, (503) 293-1772 (2400 bps), (503) 293-2059 (9600
bps or higher). Log on as: apply. $6 a month for one hour per day.
     Portland.  Teleport, (503) 220-0636 (2400 bps); (503) 220-1016
(9600 and higher).  Log on as: new.  $10 a month for one hour per day.
Voice: (503) 223-4245.

     Pittsburgh.  Telerama, (412) 481-5302. $6 for 10 hours a month, 60
cents for each additional hour. Voice: (412) 481-3505.

     Montreal.  Communications Accessibles Montreal, (514) 931-7178 (9600
bps); (514) 931-2333 (2400 bps). $25 a month. Voice: (514) 931-0749.
     East Greenwich.  IDS World Network, (401) 884-9002.  In addition
to Usenet, has conferences from the Fidonet and RIME networks.  $10 a
month; $50 for six months; $100 for a year.

     Providence/Seekonk.  Anomaly, (401) 331-3706.  $125 for six months 
or $200 a year. Educational rate of $75 for six months or $125 a year.
Voice: (401) 273-4669.


     Austin.  RealTime Communications, (512) 459-4391.  Log on as: new.
$75 a year. Voice: (512) 451-0046.

     Dallas.  Texas Metronet, (214) 705-2901; (817) 261-1127.  Log on as:
info or signup. $10 to $35 setup fee, depending on service; $10 to $45 a
month, depending on service. Voice: (214) 705-2900 or (817) 543-8756.

     Houston.  The Black Box, (713) 480-2686.  $21.65 a month. Voice: (713)

     Norfolk/Peninsula.  Wyvern Technologies, (804) 627-1828 (Norfolk);
(804) 886-0662 (Peninsula).  $10 startup fee; $15 a month or $144 a year.
Voice: (804) 622-4289.
     The Meta Network.  Call voice number below for local dial-in
numbers.  Caucus conferencing, menus. $15 setup fee; $20 a month. Voice:
(703) 243-6622.

     CapAccess, (202), 784-1523.  Log on as guest with a password of
visitor.  A Free-Net system (see under Cleveland, Ohio, for information). 
Free. Voice: (202) 994-4245.
     See also: listing under Baltimore, MD for Express Access and
     Seattle. Halcyon, (206) 382-6245.  Users can choose between menus
and Unix.  Log on as: new.  $10 setup fee; $60 a quarter or $200 a year.
Voice: (206) 955-1050.
     Seattle.  Eskimo North, (206) 367-3837 (all speeds), (206) 362-6731
(9600/14.4K bps).  $10 a month or $96 a year. Voice: (206) 367-7457.


     London.  Demon Internet Systems, 44 (0)81 343 4848.  12.50 setup
fee;  10 a month or  132.50 a year.  Voice: 44 (0)81 349 0063