A Day In the Life of Dairenn Lombard as a Tech. Support Representative
Where am I on the internet? Well, since I began using the international network of networks, I have engaged in any number of well known services of the 30 year old net (as of 1999). Some more well known before the G.U.I. Web Explosion of 1995 than others. However, this list attempts to completely list not only how to contact me or where my material is on the internet, but names some of my favorite FTP, Gopher and World Wide Web sites as well as IRC channels on a network called AustNet. Confused? If you follow the hyperlinks to non-world wide web sites, you might obtain a better understanding. If you'd like to skip to all of the places where I might be on the list, click here.
However, should that fail, the following also includes hyperlinks to Yahoo! and various other resources on the web defining internet technologies invented as recently as 1998 and as early as the mid-1970s. It should interest you to know that the internet's original name was the APRANet (which is why, on occasion, you will somehow see something say in-arpa.addr in addresses). It was invented by the United States of America's Department of Defense as a means of reliable communications during a nuclear war. Well, by now, most of us are laughing because the internet hardly works during peace time and it's had thirty years to be improved on. Eventually, however, many of its protocols and services were developed by university institutions such as the University of Southern California's ISI facilities in Marina Del Ray next to Los Angeles, California. So, in a manner of speaking, I was born in the same city the Internet was born in, approximately 11 years later. :)
One myth I would like to expose is that the USENET is NOT the Internet. The USENET was, at some point, an independant network similar to the internet by how it eventually emplimented TCP/IP communication. However, it was more or less originally a UUCP (Unix-to-Unix CoPy)-based network with computers calling each other world wide and trading files that contained e-mail and "news" messages. This network most known for its near 20,000 newsgroups was invented around 1981-82 with most contributions being made by University of California at Berkeley. Now, second to IRC servers, USENET news servers with a full feed now consume more bandwidth on the Internet than any other service. The alt.* hierarchy receives more than 50% the total traffic of all other newsgroups.
Locations on the Internet where I may be found.I used to be on a wide variety of e-mail mailing lists. E-Lists were introduced by the program LISTSERV; a user-unfriendly, "back-to-UNIX-basics" vi editor-like system. Its function was to allow a user with access to sending and receiving electronic mail on the internet to add his or her address on the Internet to a list of addresses. This way, when one of the other people who have put their address on the list sends a message to a unique e-mail address (such as [email protected]), everyone who is on the 'topic-l' mailing list will get a message. The pro's and con's of such lists are as follows:
- The lack of USENET rif-raf. (Spam, cross-posts, ill-mannered trollers, un-stoppable flames and 'velveeta' threads--subject matter that merely refuses to ever die.)
- "Digest" mode--a single e-mail that contains what maybe a week's worth of messages all at once, as opposed to reading many.
- Quality control. Every mailing list as a list administrator. And the job of the list admin is to ensure order on the list; not to act as a censor--persay. Just merely the one who gets rid of anyone who doesn't know when to quit being immature.
- Thorough distribution. Some USENET Newsgroups suffer from some odd phenomenon in which a newsgroup will get 'newgrouped' but due to improper newgrouping (either because it was newgrouped before without authorization or it was done from a site with pathetic bandwidth), it will appear for some internet providers but not for others. Or it will appear on all internet providers, but the newsgroup with the same name will apparently be two different groups for two different sets of internet providers on the internet. Dejanews fixes this and the spam problem for the most part. However, with a mailing list. This is avoided almost immediately.
However, given these pro's and con's, mailing lists are a great way for users on any computer network to communicate world-wide asychronously and inexpensively. Unlike before, where complicated gateways were required in order to route internet e-mail off onto other networks such as FidoNet or any assorted BBS network; most all computer networks are now capable of exchanging (at the very least) internet mail and USENET news. However, most users have chosen to obtain real internet access (meaning; a live TCP/IP, PPP dial-up account) which allows them to take advantage of real-time internet systems such as gopher, WAIS, IRC and even most recently, the WWW and ICQ. Still, however, there are still countries in the world where internet access is limited to e-mail only. Making it the single most valuable communications tool available in the modern world.
I used to be on several; DALnet IRC Network related mailing lists, the Rainbow mailing list (for long distance relationships), the Arielholic's Mailing List (for people 'addicted' to Disney's "The Little Mermaid" star Ariel), The Roland VS-880 User's Group Mailing List (for users of the hard disk multi-track digital audio recording workstation), the #AFD (alt.fan.dragons) mailing list (for the channel that had visitors from the aforementioned newsgroup), a MMPR (mighty morphin power rangers) mailing list (featuring such guests as co-producer Scott Page-Pagtor, music producer Ron Wasserman, voice actor Robert Manahan and stunt director Jeff Pruitt from The WB's "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer"). Now I'm on AustNet administrative mailing lists and tokusatsu-l, a mailing list that discussess tokusatsu. A genre from Japan that has existed for almost fifty years encompassing all special effects related productions from Godzilla to the 20+ super-sentai programs that ended up seen in prime-time Children's afternoon television as Power Rangers.
- On a high-traffic mailing list, you could receive hundreds of electronic miessages per day. Prepare to set up a .procmailrc file with a recipe for piping mail sent to the address of a mailing list to a file instead of your INBOX. PINE is set up to support additional incoming mail folders (see their documentation for additional information). Eudora Pro may be configured with filters to route mailing list messages to another mailbox. However, should you be the type who seldom checks their e-mail, subscribing to high-traffic mailing lists is not recommended.
- Tyrannical operation. In the unfavorable event you should subscribe to a mailing list ran by an egomaniacal banshee, you may be subject to equally superfluous rules. You could find yourself kicked off of a great mailing list, or one that talks about subject matter you're highly interested in because you did not agree with the list owner. The only advantage that still remains is that there are no rules against setting up a mailing list yourself. The only disadvantage is that most providers now charge for administrative access to majordomo.
IRC (Internet Relay Chat) was invented in 1988 by the Finnish as a replacement to the two-way split screen chat system known as talk. Talk (and all of its versions such as ntalk and ytalk) was a real-time, text-based feature of the internet that utilized the UDP protocol, oddly enough (typically, only internet data and information would be sent via datagrams via that protocol system). The TCP based IRC system is not exactly real-time but comes close to it.
Despite ConferenceRoom, JavaChat, ICQ or WebChat systems you will find, IRC remains to be the standard for chatting live on the internet. It is a simple-to-use, multi-user based environment with individual forums for discussion known as channels. IRC functions similarly to CB or Citizen Band radio (popular in the 1970s). The only difference is, you can be in more than one channel at a time (ten is the maximum, usually), there is no limit to the amount of users that can be in a channel (unless the channel operator sets a limit), modes can be set to a channel to configure how it is operated and who gets access and there is a channel operator. The person(s) who configure these settings. And, on IRC networks after 1992 (starting with Undernet, founded that year), a feature known as 'services' or Channel Services were invented. This allows a channel operator to reserve a channel even after he has logged on and off and add other users to the services database so they can receive channel operator status (ops) as well. Other networks have refined these services over the years (such as DALnet and the OP bots: ChanServ, NickServ and MemoServ; and AustNet and OPAS [Open Public Access System] featuring its team: ChanOP, NickOP, NoteOP, LoveOP).
Channels I frequent include the following:
USENETI have a love-hate relationship with newsgroups. The spam of ads and cross-posted irrelevant discussion, velveeta of subject matter that refuses to die and hundreds of posts per day are enough to drive anyone away from the newsgroup. Even a hard-core USENET user would experience burn out going through so many hundreds, if not thousands of posts daily. Most people usually don't even have the time but despite that and the popularity of the web, the USENET remains to be one of the most bandwidth using, hard disk depleting but most interesting facet of world-wide group discussion available.
Unlike any bulletin board or BBS network, the subject matter goes beyond a demographical sect such as Star Trek/X-Files fans who are into rock music and run Linux on their home computers. There are lots of women, and men who lead a wider variety of lifestyles on the USENET that contribute a more diverse and, thusly, more interesting brand of input on topics. This geographical, background, age and culture diversity allows for the some 20,000 newsgroups currently in existance to provide a range of conversation unavailable before its creation.
Newsgroups I lurk on and occassionally post to:
Sites on the World Wide WebI like browsing the web with Lynx to determine content-free web sites. Because of this, most corporate sites aren't going to end up here (they get plenty of coverage on their own). On the other hand, poorly designed or barely maintained web sites by users will seldom show up here either. These are the web sites that I visit most often:
Last Updated: August 31, 1998
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