Making a simple terminal connection to WCNet with an
IBM Compatible computer (This is the simplest connection, but it is a text-only interface)
What you need:
- An IBM-compatible computer running MS-DOS, PC-DOS, or Windows
- A communications program
- A modem
- An available telephone line
There are many communication software packages available. Often communication
software is included with a modem when it is purchased. The "Terminal" package
included with Windows will also work. Modems are available from any computer
retailer. Good-quality modems can be bought for less than $100. You can use your
current telephone line to connect to WCNet.
If you're in a hurry...
If you already know how to use your modem and communications software, here
are the communications settings for connecting to WCNet. For more detailed
instructions, keep reading.
- Speed: 2400 to 56kbps, depending on the speed of your modem
- Data bits: 8
- Stop bits: 1
- Parity: none
- Terminal emulation: VT 100
- Phone number: pick one from the information packet that is sent to you
To log on, follow the steps listed under the heading, "Once you are connected."
Step-by-step connection guide
If you have not already done so, install your modem, following the
instructions that came with it. Installing an internal modem requires opening up
your computer. You may want to have your computer dealer, or a knowledgeable
friend do this. If you are using an external modem, you will need to perform the
- Connect the telephone cord that came with your modem to a telephone wall jack.
- Plug the other end into the modem.
- Connect the serial cable to the proper COM port (a connector on your computer). Your
modem's instructions show how.
- Now plug the other end of the cable into your modem.
- Plug the modem's power cord into a power outlet, and turn the modem on.
- Now, start your computer.
Installing your software
You can use any communications software, including the communications modules
in multifunction software such as Microsoft Works, or the Terminal program
included in Microsoft Windows. Follow the program's instructions to install the
software on your computer's hard disk drive. If you are using a system with only
floppy drives, make a backup copy of the communications software disk. Put the
original in a safe place, and use the copy..
If you have difficulty copying files or installing the software, consult the
manuals that came with your software.
How to connect
You will need to enter some information in your communications program so
that you can connect to WCNet. Your communications software may refer to this
information as Communications Settings or Terminal Settings.
- Set the Speed to that which matches your modem (2400 bps to 56kbps).
- Set Data bits to 8, Stop bits to 1 and Parity to none.
- For Terminal Emulation, choose VT 100.
- Make sure your arrow keys are set to terminal not windows.
- The phone number for your modem to dial is found on the information sheet
sent to you.
Almost all communications programs allow you to save this information so
you do not have to enter it again. Now give your software the command to dial,
using the settings you saved in the previous step.
If you get a busy signal, try again in a few minutes.
If you do not get a "Connect" message or a busy signal, there is a
problem with your modem or with the communications settings in your software.
Check your connections, make sure that the settings match those listed above,
and try again.
Once you are connected
The following messages will appear on your screen, prompting your to enter
-Items in bold type signify information on your screen.
-Items in italics signify data you are to enter.
You may now explore WCNet. Using your cursor keys and the menus, you can
try out the various services and information sources available.
You find your way around WCNet by using the arrow keys on your keyboard
to move your cursor around. The items on your screen in bold type are called
links. The link your cursor is on will appear in reverse video.
Positioning your cursor on a link and hitting the return key.
Move your cursor to the Electronic Mail link and press the Return key. This
will bring you to the Pine electronic mail package where you can send and read
electronic mail. The rest of WCNet works the same way. Links, in bold
type, lead to other documents; the links in these documents in turn lead to
others. If you ever get lost, type M to return to the main menu. The best way to
learn how to use WCNet is to explore it, discovering where links lead, and
by reading the help documents available on the system.
If you have problems:
If your screen appears jumbled, press the R key to redraw your screen.
If you cannot connect, check that you have performed all the steps listed
under "How to connect." Most problems are related to the communication settings
you enter in your communications program; check the program's manual for