D. J. Bernstein
LAS 100, Fall 1998

Internet services

Internet mail

The UIC Computer Center has set aside a few megabytes of disk space for you on a big computer named Icarus. Part of that space is your Internet mailbox. Anyone on the Internet can send you mail, i.e., save a new file in your mailbox.

Here's one way to read your mail from a Windows machine. Run the Telnet Icarus program. Then, inside Telnet, log in and run Pine:

     login: elduque   (type your NetID, then press Enter)
     Password:        (type your password, then press Enter)
     ...              (many incomprehensible messages)
     $ pine
Pine is reasonably self-explanatory.

Someone who wants to send you mail needs to know your Internet mail address:


Of course, you're not the only person with an Internet mailbox. You can use Pine to send mail to other people, if you know their addresses.

Another way to read and send mail is to run the Eudora program (or any other Windows program that says it supports ``POP''). Then you don't have to bother with Telnet or Pine. Unfortunately, the Computer Center hasn't set up Eudora on its Windows machines.

Talk and Finger

Icarus automatically sets up free phone service for you whenever you log in through Telnet. This means that other people around the Internet can type
     $ talk elduque@icarus.uic.edu
Icarus will immediately put a notice in your Telnet window that somebody is calling. To answer the phone, follow the instructions in the notice. Then anything that the caller types will instantly appear on your screen; and anything that you type will instantly appear on the caller's screen. To get out of the Talk program, type ^C; i.e., hold down the Control key, press C, and release the Control key.

You can call other people who are logged in. One way to find out who is logged in is through Finger. Try finger://icarus.uic.edu/ inside Netscape, or

     $ finger @icarus.uic.edu | sort | more
inside Telnet.

Multiperson chat: IRC

Internet Relay Chat is a worldwide collection of public channels. In each channel there are a bunch of people chatting. You can join a channel and listen to what people are saying. You can also contribute to the discussion; each line that you type shows up on everybody else's screen. There are thousands of channels dedicated to a variety of topics.

To use IRC you have to run a special IRC program. You can set up an IRC program on any Windows machine connected to the Internet. (Icarus has an IRC program, but the Computer Center screwed up the configuration.)

See the new2irc page for further information on IRC.


You can play traditional board games against people around the world, with a computer in the middle handling the rules. FICS offers chess, for example, and FIBS offers backgammon.

MUDs are multiplayer role-playing games. See www.mudconnect.com for more information.

The Computer Center would probably be annoyed at me if I listed modern games like Quake here, so I won't.


USENET is a worldwide collection of public newsgroups. Each newsgroup contains articles written by various people. You can see a list of newsgroups from Netscape by typing news:*. Or you can jump directly to a newsgroup, such as news:news.announce.newusers, if you know the group's name. You can also post new articles. There are thousands of newsgroups dedicated to a variety of topics.

The big difference between IRC and USENET is that IRC messages disappear in seconds, whereas USENET articles are saved for many days. USENET discussions often last for weeks and sometimes cover topics in great depth.

The World Wide Web

Some of your space on Icarus is set aside for your web pages. Anyone on the Internet can read your web pages.

One of your web pages is your home page. Here's how to edit your home page inside Telnet, after you log in:

     $ pico public_html/index.html
Someone who wants to see that page needs to know your home page URL:
You can set up web pages under other names:
     $ pico public_html/pitching.html
Each page has a corresponding URL:

To see what your page looks like, or to look at other pages of information around the Internet, run Netscape and type in the URL. If Netscape says that it doesn't have permission to read (say) pitching.html, try the following magic incantation inside Telnet:

     $ chmod 644 public_html/pitching.html

What exactly can you put into your web pages? See Professor Hanson's guide to web page design for pointers to more information. The Computer Center also recommends the WWWFaq.