Q In order for me to use Microsoft's Internet Explorer I have to enter the DNS of my service provider's server, in this case AOL. They refuse to give out this information. How come, and is there any other way I can still use the Internet Explorer Web browser with AOL? If that can't be done, what about changing the AOL internal browser, which is fairly poor in comparison to Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer?
A AOL won't, indeed can't, give you DNS (domain name server) information for the simple reason that it doesn't operate a TCP/IP network. When you connect to it, you don't connect to the Internet per se but to a proprietary dialup service that just happens to allow you direct, seamless access to the Internet. You have to use the AOL dialler program to make a connection and you can't use any other dialler, such as Trumpet Winsock or Windows 95 Dial-Up Networking, in its place. But thanks to clever programming you can still treat a connection to AOL just as though you had a full-blown Internet connection so you can still perform normal Internet tasks such as browsing Web sites, FTP transfers and suchlike.
However, because it's not a kosher TCP/IP connection you can't use alternative Web browsers easily, which is a pity as they're all superior to the rather naff browser that comes with the AOL client. These browsers, of course, require the TCP/IP network protocol to be running. AOL is aware of the deficiencies of its own browser and so it's now possible to use Netscape Navigator with AOL. To do this you have to download a special copy of WINSOCK.DLL from AOL (search for Keyword: WINSOCK). This "spoofs" Navigator into thinking it's on a TCP/IP network by translating all its TCP/IP calls into a form which AOL can understand. Be careful, though, if you're using a genuine WINSOCK.DLL to access another Internet service provider - the bogus AOL WINSOCK won't work with real TCP/IP connections and you'll have to use some utility such as Winsock Swapper to cope with multiple Winsocks. Finally, don't forget you can access AOL's Web pages (www.aol.com) using any Web browser via any "normal" Internet connection.
Q I want to connect everyone in our company (50 employees) to the Internet.
What's the most cost-effective way of doing this?
A By far the simplest and cheapest way is to install ISDN (about u400 at the moment) and add an ISDN router to your network such as the Ascend Pipeline 50, which costs #1,395 plus VAT. If you're running Windows 3.1x or Windows 95 it's a simple matter to add TCP/IP as a network protocol. Workstations can then transparently access the Internet and the router will automatically (and rapidly) connect to the Internet service provider every time an IP address is requested that isn't located on the local network.
You'll need to speak to your ISP about the Internet services it provides for companies, such as mail forwarding and domain names. You'll need these if you want a distinctive email address. ISDN is a good choice provided daily use is not excessive - for more than five hours per day a 64Kbps leased line can work out cheaper.
Q I want to publicise my Web site on the Internet. How do I include my information in the search engines?
A The hard way is to visit each search engine site, look for the Add Your Site button and physically add your URL address, but this is a slow, painful task. There are, however, a number of ways to automate this task. Pay a visit to www.exploit.com and download the 1.5Mb Submission Wizard. This Windows 95 utility will automatically hit no less than 81 search engines with your details once you enter them. This costs nothing but for u12.50 (for a month's registration), its coverage can be extended to cover 300 search engines.
The registration process is relatively painless if a trifle slow, and if a particular search engine requires extra details you'll be prompted for them. Another free service is provided at www.submit-it.com which automatically registers you with 15 search engines.
Q Is there any way of finding out someone's Internet email address?
A Not easily, is the short answer. However, a number of directories have been set up and if that person has taken the trouble to register with them then these are the best places to look. Check out www.lookup.com, www.four11.com and www.iaf.com. If that person has posted to a newsgroup, a good search engine such as Alta Vista ought to throw them up. Yahoo has set up a search facility at www.yahoo.com/search/people/ which links to the www.four11.com site. Another site worth visiting is home.microsoft.com/access/allinone.asp which conveniently groups together a number of search facilities.
Q I use Windows 95 Dial-Up Networking to access my ISP. I can make a good connection every time but my Web browser, Internet Explorer 3.0, can never find sites other than its own home page. What have I done wrong?
A This sounds like a DNS (domain name server) problem. It's this server, located at your ISP, that's responsible for translating Internet URL "names", such as www.vnu.co.uk, into IP addresses, the lingua franca of the Internet. In this case, a DNS would translate this URL into 184.108.40.206.
When you try to visit a Web page, the URL address is converted into an IP address by the DNS. So, it seems that your ISP's DNS details haven't been entered. You can check this by opening a DOS window and entering:
If DNS is working, you should be rewarded with several chunks of 32 bytes of data bouncing back at you from the remote site. If not, you'll be greeted by a "timed out" error message. Check your DNS details with your ISP and open Dial-Up Networking in the My Computer folder. Right-click your connection and select Properties from the pop-up context menu.
Click on the Server Type button and then the TCP/IP button. Click the Specify Name Server Addresses button and enter the DNS addresses. Click OK three times to back out of this dialog. The reason you could still access your home page despite lacking DNS is that it's most likely this page was cached and is simply loaded from disk than across the Net because that's the quickest way.
Insecticides based on sulfoxaflor might be as bad for bees as neonicotinoids
Intel teases forthcoming new graphics card accompanied by the text "We will set our graphics free"
Think your password manager is completely secure? Think again...
ARM plans 7nm 'Deimos' for 2019 and 5nm and 7nm 'Hercules' for 2020