:—) internet guide

getting started

Hook. line 8 sinker

It's easy to think you need a great big shiny. super- fast. future-loving. state-of-the-art computer to hook up to the lntemet. but in fact almost any system from a mere Amiga 500 to a mighty Pentium-fired PC will do. The thing to remember is that the faster your machine. the less time you'll spend on the phone lines. So if you can get hold of faster equipment it will save you money in the long run.

For basic lntemet access. a computer. phone line and modem are all you need. lf. however. you wish to partake of a little WWW browsing (and ifyou're interested in the Net you will). you‘ll need to get a bit of power in your hardware. Minimum requirements at this level are a 486 PC with at least 4MB of memory. colour support (256 colours if possible). sound (built-

service providers

Area code

You won't get very far on the lntemet without a service provider. and you'll end up paying through the nose if your provider doesn't have a POP (point of presence) in your area to ensure every call you make on the lntemet is at local rate. We‘ve drawn up a hotlist of providers with l’OPs in the Glasgow/Edinburgh area. Choose one that‘s close to home and you'll be Netsurfing to the States for the price of a local call. When sussing out a provider always ask the following questions.

1 ) Are subscriptions based on

a fixed charge each

month/year or for usage based

on time spent online“?

2) Do they offer the services

you're looking for ie full

Internet access; e-mail;

newsgroups/813$ etc?

3) Do prices include VAT?

4) Will they provide you with

all the software you need for

happy surfing?

5) Can they provide

emergency technical support?

I Abel Internet 0131 445 5554 Local POPS Edinburgh/Glasgow E-mall intemet@abe1.co.uk Subscription costs Start-up £15; monthly £12.50; annual £150

Customer support lOam-l 1 pm Mon—Sat

I Dyson Computers 01635 869480

Local POPS Edinburgh/Glasgow E-mail Ian@Byson.demon.co.uk Web http://www.hiway.co.uk/~byson/ Subscription costs Start-up £15; monthly £15; annual £150 Customer support

7.30am—1 1pm Mon—Sun

I Cityscape lntemet Services Ltd 01223 566950

Local POPS Edinburgh

E-mall sales@cityscape.co.uk Web http://www.cityscape.co.uk Subscription costs Start-up £50; monthly £15; annual £180 Customer support 9.30am—6pm Mon—Fri

I Colloquium 0141 849 0849 Local POPS Glasgow

E-mail smithJ@cqrn.co.uk

{O The List 12-25 Jan 1996

Web http://colloquium.co.uk/www/in dex/html

Subscription costs Start-up £15; monthly £12; annual £144 Customer support 24 hours Mon—Sun

I County Internet Services Ltd 01245 348000

local POPS Edinburgh/Glasgow E-mall sales@county.net

Web http://www.county.net/ Subscription Stan-up £10; monthly £15; annual £150

I Demon lntemet Limited 0181 371 1234

Local POPS Edinburgh

E-mail sales@demon.net

Web http://www.demon.co.uk Subscription Stan-up £12.50; monthly £10; annual £120 Customer support 9am-9pm Mon-Thurs; 6.30pm Fri; 10am—5pm Sat

I Direct Connection 0181 297 2200

Local POPS Edinburgh/Glasgow E-mall helpdesk@dircon.co.uk Web http://www.dircon.co.uk/index.h tinl

Subscription Start-up £7.50: monthly £10; annual £120 Customer support 9am—5.3()pm Mon—Fri .

I Easynet 0171 209 0990

consumer tips

Modem better blues

Now that you’ve get yourself the computing power required for travels by lntemet, it’s time to purchase a modem. But which one? The choice is vast, but as modem don’t really do anything else apart from allow computers to talk to telephones, you don’t have as many variables to contend wine you so when buying a Basically you” the fastest

for your other

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in or via add-on card) and a reasonably fast modem (say 14.4bps as opposed to 9.6bps). if you can afford a 28.8bps modem you're laughing.

Your access or service provider the company who gives you your connection to the lntemet should issue you with all the software you need to breathe online life into your computer. After that you can upgrade constantly from the biggest free software cache in the world the Net itself. Just make sure you're working your connection to the max with the best Net software - Netscape Navigator for Web browsing. Eudora for e-mail and so on.

Now that you're all hooked up. you want to get on your virtual rucksack and explore. The Net learning curve can be steep at first. so patience may be required. but grab some decent Web search engines (Lyons. Yaliaa) off the Web. arm yourself with Net mags (see our review section) and supplies of choccy biccies. and believe us. the digital world will be your oyster. (Ellie Carr)

Local POPS Edinburgh/Glasgow E-mail admin@easynet.co.uk Web http://www.easynet.co.uk Subscription Start-up £25; monthly £9.90; annual £118.80 Customer support 10am—9pm Mon—Sun

I Foremost Training 0141 248 6377

Local POPS Glasgow

E-maII donald®scotnet.co.uk Subscription Monthly £25; annual £300

Customer support 9ani-5 pm Mon—Fri

I Frontier Internet Services 0171 242 3383

Local POPS Edinburgh/Glasgow E-mall info@ftech.net

Web http://www.ftech.co.uk Subscription Start-up £25; monthly £13.50; annual £162 Customer support 9am—10pm Mon—Fri; noon—7pm Sat; 2pm—6pni Sun

I Iiivvay 01635 550660

Local POPS Edinburgh

E-maIl omfp@infonnhiwaycouk Web http://www.hiway.<‘o.uk Subscription Start-up £15; monthly £15; annual £150 Customer support 8am—7pm Mon—Fri

I IBM 0800 973000

Local POPS Edinburgh

for speedy machines are falling all the time, but it still pays to shop around and see who’s offering the best deal on the top«name modems.

At PC World, the UK’s largest computer superstore, there are three main contenders for most popular modern:

Hayes Accura 14.4bps £119 US Robotics l4.4bps £99 Motorola Internet Soiutlm 28.8bps £159.

Like many computer outlets. PC World concentrate on the two main speeds of modern with prices starting at £99 for 14.4bps and £149 for 28.8bps, and of their top ten bestsellers, seven are 28.8bps.

Some other top-notch modem brands to watch out for:

I Pace ' '

I Electronic Frontier


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E-mail internet_europe@vnet.ibm.com Web http://www01.ny.us.ibm.net/ Subscription Monthly £ 10; annual £ 120

Customer support 24 hours Mon—Sun

I Internet Discovery ltd 0181 694 2240

Local POPS Edinburgh

E-mall: sales@idiscover.co.uk Web http://idiscover.co.uk Subscription Start-up £5; monthly £10; annual £120 Customer support 24 hours Mon—Sun

I [eat Distribution 01256 707777

Local POPS Edinburgh

E-mail sales@leaf.co.uk Subscription Stan-up £15; monthly £12.50; annual £150 Customer support 9am—5.30pm Mon—Fri

I Pavilion Internet 01273 607072

Local PDPs Edinburgh

E-mall: info@pavi1ion.co.uk Web http://www.pavilion.co.uk Subscription Start-up £17.75; monthly £14.75; annual £177 Customer Support 9am—6pm Mon-Fri

I PIpex 01223 250120

Local POPS Edinburgh

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I Dataflex Design


I Gasteiner Technologies I Lasat

I Modular Technologies I Express Technologies (Ellie Carr)

Recommended modem brands available firm: all good computer outlets. RC “arid is at Powhatan Sat




E-maii sales@pipex.net

Web http://www.ws.pipex.com Subscription Start-up £50; monthly £15; annual £165. Customer support 9am—5.30pm. I BedIIet 01494 513333

Local POPS Edinburgh

E-mall info@rednet.co.uk

Web http://www.rednet.co.uk Subscription Start-up £25; monthly £15; annual £221. Customer support 9am—-5.30pm Mon—Fri.

I The lntemet Group 01295 720 843

Local POPS Edinburgh/Glasgow E-mall: sales@worldwlndovmeteoait Web http://www.worldwindownew.co .uk

Subscription Stan-up £15; monthly £50; annual £165. Customer support 9am—5pm Mon—Fri.

Online services

Online subscriber services are a slightly different beast from your average service provider. Most offer the usual lntemet access. e-mail and newsgroups. but their big selling point is the specially organised. user- friendly sites and discussion forums that only their subscribers have access to. Subscription can be fairly cheap. but watch out for surcharges levied for particular sites and pricing structures increasing with time spent online.

I CompuServe 0800 289458 Local POPS Edinburgh/Glasgow E-mail

7006.101 @compuservecom Web http://www.compuserve.com Subscription costs Stan-up NA; monthly £6.50; annual £78 Customer support 9am-9pm Mon—Fri

I UK Online 01749 3333333 Local POPS Edinburgh/Glasgow E-mail sales@ukonline.co.uk Web http://www.ukonline.co.uk Subscription Monthly £9.99. Customer support 9am—9pm Mon—Fri; 9am—6pm Sat.

I Stop press See page 25 for details on the latest addition to the online service market. the UK version of top US service AOL. (Ellie Carr)