Internet Access White Paper
2 February, 1993
This is a white paper my boss of the time, Bob Alum (JetForm Corp.), asked me to write for distribution at an Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI) sponsored executive breakfast meeting. My recollection is that I didn't attend the event; also, I have no knowledge of Bob distributed the paper nor how it was received at the time.
When I first came upon an old printed copy of this white paper, I hesitated to read it; fearing that it would contain bad advice that I would not want to revisit. To my surprise I find that I can still stand by what I wrote in 1993. While the specific advice is no longer needed, it was valid for the situation and so without hesitation I am posting it here as a period piece.
The white paper and its original format are presented below; but, before we jump to the paper... a little background.
The catalyst for this white paper was Rory Ward (another JetForm employee) and I setting up JetForm's first Internet email connection (over the course of 1992). As I recall, Rory was really the one who knew what to do. For me, the entire operation was a learning experience. Here's the uumap entry for the JetForm Internet email connection; specifically, a clipping from u.can.on.3.
#N jetform, jetform.com #F uunet.ca #S IBM RS6000/320; AIX 3.1.5 #O Jetform Corp. #C Rory Ward, Rob McDougall, Christopher Rath, Allan Phillips #E jetform!root #T +1 613 594 3026 #P 560 Rochester St., Suite 400 Ottawa, ON, K1S 5K2 #L 45 20 52 N / 75 40 44 W #R #U uunet.ca #W email@example.com (The Postmaster); Mon Feb 10 15:29:37 EST 1992 # jetform = jetform.com jetform jetform.com(LOCAL), .jetform.com(LOCAL) jetform uunet.ca(DIRECT)
JetForm had started out life as Indigo Software, and one of Indigo's ongoing contracts was with IBM for development and maintenance of CAD software that ran on the RS6000. The RS6000 referenced in the above uumap entry was an aging workstation that was no longer useful for software development but had sufficient horsepower to fetch our email and Netnews.
Finally, here's the paper.
Technology Executive Breakfast
an OCRI Initiative
Christopher Rath (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Senior Developer, JetForm Corporation, Ottawa
2 Feb., 1993
This paper discusses some of the many options for sending Internet electronic mail (email), and relates the specific requirements for one of the options. It does not attempt to step you through configuration of an Internet email connection—each connection is somewhat unique—but it gives enough hints for a flying start.
Many people already have access to the Internet, for email use, and don't realize it. This is because most major email service providers offer an Internet Gateway for email. There is normally an Internet Gateway charge over and above their usual service charge.
Examples of Internet Gateway providers are: MCI Mail, CompuServe, GENIE, ITNET, BIX, FidoNet, GNS Gold 400, OMNET, SprintMail, and Envoy-100. This list not complete, there are many others. If you already subscribe to an email service and you're not sure if there is a gateway, or how to access the gateway, phone and ask them.
If your organization subscribes to one of these commercial services and you're considering a direct Internet connection, do not assume that you will be canceling all your accounts with that service provider. For many individuals (like a traveling salesman), an MCI Mail account (for example) is a far better and cheaper solution than a direct Internet connection.
A direct Internet connection has some potential benefits, the main two being speed of delivery and cost. Delivery time is dependent upon your dial-in schedule to your Internet provider. The cost is often lower because an Internet provider's rates are lower than a commercial email provider's rates. This cost difference is directly attributable to the services the provider delivers. Internet providers typically provide one service: Internet access. Commercial email providers offer many services, and their rates reflect this.
The remainder of this paper will summarize the requirements for direct Internet connection.
A UNIX based system, a minicomputer (like a VAX), a mainframe, or a PC are all capable of accessing the Internet. Whatever machine you use, it must be capable of reliable serial port communication, ideally at 19,200 baud; this rules out some PCs.
A fast modem. The key phrase to look for is "V.32bis/V.42bis". The next step down in modem speed is indicated by modems which are called "V.32" (and may or may not be V.42 as well). The specific model recommended is a Telebit T3000. The faster your modem, the lower your Internet charges will be later.
Serial cable to connect the modem to the machine. The cable must properly connect all of the standard serial signals, since the modem and PC will use hardware flow-control (that is, NOT xon-xoff, etc.).
An implementation of the UUCP protocol, and a mail-reader. UNIX systems come with the necessary software. You will have to purchase software on any other platform. Note that a version of UNIX called Concurrent is available for PC's; it costs US$99 and comes with UUCP.
One of the Internet providers listed below offers PC software that works with their service.
The MKS Toolkit offers UUCP running as a TSR, on your PC. This reportedly works very well. You can reach MKS at 519-884-2251.
If you are already using email on an in-house network, then you can use an Internet gateway provided by the email vendor. ccMail, DaVinci, and others offer add-on packages (often quite expensive) to allow your in-house network to send and receive email over the Internet. It is worth noting that some of the packages offer gateways to other commercial service providers, like MCI Mail, which in turn would allow you to route email to the Internet. There are lots of combinations which can be combined to have the same net effect.
In Ottawa, there are only two of which I am aware: UUNET Canada and UUPSI.
UUNET Canada: Based in Toronto, but they have a local Ottawa port. They can be reached at 416-368-6621. They charge a $20/month administration fee, plus $6/hour connect.
PSI: Based in the US, they also claim to have a local Ottawa port. They can be reached at 703-620-6651. Their services start at US25$/month.