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   The UltraViolet Cafe's Guide to better modeming Cuisine.
		        Tony  Frey

o The Beginning:

So you've finally got a modem, huh?  You've spent a good amount

of time and effort setting it up and getting the damn computer to realize that it's there. Now your ready. You're ready to take your first step into the wonderful world of modeming. Or are you?

Think of modeming as a ultra-modern telephone that is completely

automated, all you do is tell the computer what to dial and it'll do the rest for you, right? Well, sorta. First off, the computer is only as smart as the person in front of it. Granted that you may have spent a good $2000-$3000 dollars to get the grooviest machine on the block, it ain't going to do the windows for you. To get the most out of your modem and your computer you first need to understand the basics behind how computer operators and sysops (Sys[tem]op[erators]) work. In this guide I hope to present to you meaningful and useful information and to More? [Y/n/c] present it in a understandable real life way.

o Definitions:

The first thing you did when you learned how to drive was to

know what everything was. What good would it have been for your instructor to tell you to apply the brake if you didn't know that the brake was? The same logic applies to modeming, and here are the things that I think will benefit you most:

BBS- BBS stands for Bulletin Board SYSTEM. Now please DO NOT
     get SYSTEM and SERVICE confused.  Although some BBS's do
     charge money to become a member by far the majority of
     local BBS's are FREE!
    SYSOP- The sysop or System Operator is the owner of the particular
     BBS that you are a member of.  The sysop is usually a 
     computer buff that enjoys using his/her computer for the
     benefit of other computer buffs.  PLEASE remember that
     a sysop is giving you a benefit, most sysops have $1000's
     of dollars invested into their system and they don't need
     you calling and giving them flack about how you just got
     your new 19,200 baud modem and you want him/her to get one
TERM,COMM- When you hear the word Term or Comm this is merely a
     reference to the particular "TERM"inal program that you are
     using to call the boards with.  (Note: Board and BBS are
     synonymous in most cases)
     USER- A user is anyone that calls or uses a board (BBS). A user
     usually has the benefits of posting messages and/or downloading
     files. (More elaborate explainations about downloading and
     uploading will be explained later in the guide.)
     BAUD- Baud is basically just a reference to the speed of your modem.
     Anymore the common modem speed is around 1200 to 2400.  On
     occasion however you will find a 300 or even a lingering 110
     baud modem.  Baud can be associated with cylinders of a car,
     with a V-8 being a 2400, a V-6 being a 1200 and a 4 cylinder
     being a 300. (General Note:  I've seen several Japanese cars
     that have a 4-cylinder that can haul some major ass, this
     however is not the same with modems.  <grin> )
   E-MAIL- E-Mail stands for Electronic Mail, and while almost all BBS's
     have E-Mail the concept is hard for a lot of people to grasp.
     E-mail is just what it sounds like, you send a message to
     someone and only they can read it.  The only difference is
     that you don't pay postage.  More on E-Mail later.
     CHAT- To chat is as it implies, you talk to someone.  The only
     difference is that you chat with someone via the computer
     instead of the traditional voice.  Chat usually occurs
     between the user and the sysop, most BBS's will have a
     menu command that will page (call) the sysop and ask him
     to chat with you.  Please don't abuse this priviledge as
     sysops love to chat but get very annoyed when you repeatedly
     hit the chat command.  And please don't just chat to find
     out what the local time is.
   HACKER- Oh no, there's that word again.  Someones going to break into
     NORAD and start world war III.  Give me a break guys!  The
     movie "War Games" was the biggest set back to modeming then 
     the FCC.  Let's face it, as soon as you say that you modem and
     that you call other computers the first reaction on that
     person's face is going to be shock.  And the first question is
     going to be "Did you break into it?  Can you break into CIA
     headquarters?"  Come on folks.  There have been plenty of
     articles on Hackers and their like, we all know their out
     there and we all know what they do, but the chances of you
     finding a TRUE hacker on a public BBS is like me getting this
     guide published!.  Nuff said.
       PD- PD stands for Public Domain.  In your many explorations into
     the modeming world you will be all means come into contact
     with the oppurtunity to add many many great files to your
     computers working enviroment.  I can't really go into detail
     about Public Domain without first giving you some insight on
     downloading and uploading.  More discussion on this later.
     Also, PD is synonymous with FREE!
SHAREWARE- Sharware is just like PD except that if you use the program
     the author of the program asks you to send a small monitary
     contribution.  It's kind of like buying a commercial program
     with a try before you buy clause.
   ONLINE- When you are connected with another computer you are "online"
     with that computer as opposed to "offline" (HUH?)
   LOG-ON- I'm not sure what the real meaning of this word is but the
     best defintion of it that I can offer is when you call a
     computer and that computer answers your computer you have
     logged on.  Basically it's like calling your friend.  When
     they've picked up the phone and said "hello?" you've logged
     on to them.
     MENU- A menu is just like it's real life counterpart except that
     you don't order food from a menu.  A menu is just a screen
     that has all the commands that the system will allow you
     to do, such as Post messages, files, chat and the like.
  LOG-OFF- Log-off is of course the opposite of Logging on with someone
     when you say "Bye Jane" and hang up you've logged off with
     that person.  The same goes with the host BBS.  When you
     log off you are disconnecting you connection with the host
Ok, enough with the definitions.  This should hopefully get you

familiar with what will be happening before we start, and now, on with our show.

o The First Call:

Ok, we've done it, we've hooked up the modem, loaded up our favorite

term and we're ready to call a real live computer. Since I am am not sure who will be reading the guide I will offer a very brief explaination of the Hayes command set.

The Hayes command set is a set of commands developed by Hayes for

their Smart-modem series. What Hayes did was to standardize a bunch of usefull things that would allow all modems, even non-hayes modems to use the same commands, thus setting a standard that is still used today. This is a basic run down of the important commands that you need to know.

ATDT<NUMBER> - ATDT tells your modem to actually call a number,

  	       example would be ATDT6814369.  Notice that I didn't
	       use a hyphin between the numbers, although the Hayes
	       command set will accept the hyphin (e.g. ATDT681-4369)
 	       it is not needed and is therefore a waste of a good
ATDT*70,<NUMBER> - Ok, now what's the "*70"?  If you are like most
	       people you have call waiting right?  And what happens
	       when you get a second call when you are using the
	       modem?  You just switch over and answer it right?
	       WRONG, computers just can't handle having your phone
	       ring when they are in the middle of a call with
	       another computer.  If you do get another call while
	       you are online your modem will disconnect you.
	       Sysops hate call waiting, so please.  If you don't
	       mind tying up the line for a while turn it off.

ATDT[*70,]1,<AREA CODE>,<NUMBER> - Sometime in your life your going to

	       make a long distance call with your modem and now
               is just as good a time as any to explain it. We
	       already discussed the "*70" so that should be clear
               and this should be pretty much self-explainitory. You
	       dial "ATDT" a "1" for long distance followed by a 
	       comma, the area code, comma, and the number to dial.
	       Example: ATDT*70,1,512,6814369.  Note: that the
	       "*70" is not needed in this dail sequence but think
 	       of it this way.  Would you want to call 200 miles
	       and then be hung up by a wrong number?
Ok, we've gone through all the explainations that we're going to

need to go through. Let's do it.


ATDT6814369 (* We are dialing a computer at 681-4369 *)

it answers, connect flashes on the screen.
Ok, from now on we are going to pretend that we are logged onto

a real computer, and that you are a real user. The first thing that the BBS will ask for is

First and Last name?:

At this point you will type in your name.

First and Last name?: John Doe

After this point things can get kind of hairy.  Depending on what

type of computer you have called things will be entirely different. For simplicity sake let us assume that you have already gotten a password from this BBS and that you are already a user. If you are not a user of this BBS it will go ahead and prompt you and ask you if you would like to join that BBS as a user or not. From there on there should be plenty of help screens to aide you on your journey.

Ok, you've entered your password, it's accepted it and your at the

main menu. BBS's can be divided into three main categories: Messages, Files, and other. Other is sroad that the only help I can offer for it is for you to help yourself, sometimes the best knowledge is what you get yourself. For right now though we will go ahead and look at the other two categories.

o Message Bases:

The message bases are where you and other users are able to post

messages of various interest. Think of the message base as a very large cork board. Each user writes down a message on a piece of paper and then tacks it onto the cork board. A BBS's message base works in the same way, you construct a message and save it, after that anyone who wants to can read it. (Note: If you wish for only certain people to see a message or you want a private message to someone you would use E-Mail and not the public message base.)

Ok, now that we've cleared the air about message bases let's set

down some guidelines:

1)  Don't post a message saying "Hey guys, I'm new here.  Someone
    send me a message."  That has got to be the biggest tip off
    that you are a new user.  People really don't care if you are
    new, they were there a long time before you showed up and most
    likely your message is just taking up disk space.
2)  Never post in all caps.  Typing a message in all caps is the
    equivilent to yelling over the phone.  Besides, caps is very
    hard on the eyes.
3)  Although it should be your main concern to keep a good post
    per call ratio don't maintain this by useless clutter.  A good
    example of this would be someone leaving a message on your
    answering machine that said "boo", all it does is waste your
    time and everyone elses.
4)  Don't use the message bases for wars.  Many times users get
    out of hand and start their own wars in the public base.  Not
    only does this upset the other users it usually upsets the 
    sysop.  Please keep all wars in E-Mail where only you and that
    person can read it.
Following these guidelines should make your entrance into the

modeming community swift and painless, if you ever do slip though, don't worry, real modemers don't get angry, they'll usually tell you what you have done wrong and tell you how to correct it.

Ok, it's time for a sample message.  One of the first things that

you should do if your new to a board is to get a good look at the menus. Since every board is run by a different sysop the commands will usually be different for each board. After you've become familiar with the commands you will be able to effortlessly glide through the message posting routine. For now let us assume that posting a message is command 'P'. At the command prompt you would type 'P'.


To: (* This is asking who is the message to? If it is to

                   no one particular just type in All *)

Subject: (* What will the message be about? *)

After you have entered a response to the "To:" and the "Subject:"

prompt the host system will usually put you into a message editor of some kind. Since this guide is meant for no specific computer system I can't really simulate all BBS message editors. You will usually be able to refer to a help file about how to use a particular message editor on that particular system, if you are unable to find a help file ask the sysop.

(* Ok, let's try a sample message *)

To: All Subject: Test Message

1: This is a sample message from the UVC's Guide to Modeming Cuisine. 2: 3: by 4: Tony Frey 5:


After entering your message there are numerous different methods of

saving the message, I know of at least 12 different systems that all save messages a different way. Once again my best advice is to look for some type of help file for entering messages for that system.

o Files

Indeed, one of the greatest advantages to modeming is the literal

thousands of programs that one can aquire for free. In stating that last sentence please keep in mind that sysops provide files for the benefit of their users but this by no means that you have the right to leech off of a system for your personal gain only. Most sytems incorporate a upload download ratio for their users. What this means in that you must upload one file for a certain amount that you download. What's uploading and downloading you say to yourself? Uploading is when you, the user send the host computer (BBS) a file and downloading is when you the user receive a file from the BBS. Now I could get into a real long technical discussion about uploading and downloading but again I must point out that since this guide is meant to help all modemers with all different types of computers I can't really get to specific. What I will do here is to once again give you an example of downloading and uploading but please bear in mind that a majority of the systems that you will call will look nothing like the examples I give you. For more help on file transfers please consult your terminal programs documentation or a help file that the particular BBS you are calling should have.

Ok.  File transfers work with what is called a protocol, or simply

stated, the method by which they are transfered. The most common protocols are XMODEM, YMODEM and ZMODEM, but granted I must once again emphasize that depending on what computer you have there will be many many different types of protocols which you can use. The way in which a protocol works is that the host computer sends the particular file that you want to download in what are called blocks. Blocks are small chunks of the original file that are broken down small enough that the two computers can transfer them over the phone without much worry about messing up the file. If the host computer or your computer recognizes that one of the blocks was not sent correctly it requests that the host computer resend that particular block, thus making for a very efficient means for transfering information and/or programs.

Before we give examples on how to download and upload files I think

that it would be in good flavor to talk a little about different types of file compressions. Many different types of computers use file compression so as not to take up as much space. (It's sure a lot easier to download a 40k file then a 120k file). Files are compressed using a variety of different techniques, the most common of these is ARC. You will recognize a ARCed (ARChived) file by the extension ".ARC" (e.g. File.arc). To unarc a file you must of course have a unarcer, and where do you get an unarcer? From a BBS of course. Just ask the Sysop or a friend and most likely they will set you up with the latest version of ARC. (NOTE: As with protocols and computers and cars, there are many many different types of compressions. There's ZOO, PAK and many others that I've probably never heard of. So remember always look for a help file to ease your life).

Downloading and uploading examples:


Command:D (* D is just used for Download, it could actually be any letter

            that the sysop wanted it to be.  Look at the menu to find out
      what letter your download command will be *)

Download File Name: FILE.ARC (* This is where the host will ask you for the

		        file name of the file that you are going to
  			be downloading, the .arc is just used as a
			example *)

Starting to Send File "FILE.ARC" Start [PROTOCOL] Receive (* Ok, this is where you will tell your term

			   to start downloading using the desired
			   Protocol.  Consult your manual for help.*)


Command: U (* U is for upload, could be any letter again *)

Upload File Name: FILE.ARC (* The name of the file you are uploading *)

Upload File Description: (* Give a description of the file. *) This file is used to help beginning uploaders.

Ready to Receive "FILE.ARC" Start [PROTOCOL] Send (* Tell your term to upload using the desired

		      protocol.  Consult manual for help *)
Well folks, that's about as elaborate as I can get on helping with

the file transfers, as I said before I"m not an expert on every computer so I can't make this guide specific for everyone. If you can't find help leave a message asking for help. This will give you more experience and help than this guide will be able to.

o Style Hints:

Before I finish this guide I want to talk about style.  Style is the

one thing that I think every modemer should have to learn. Style is what makes a good board good. Anybody can set-up a board but only those with style have a successful one. When online don't think of yourself as just using a computer, think of yourself as actually there. Show expression, be creative. Listed below are some good style showers. Not only will it get you recognized but it will get you respect by others (if not abused)

*smirk*, <grin>, <EVIL GRIN>,hehehe, HAHAHAHA

- All those show emotion, you can see how playing with these will give you the desired effect.

B'), 8'),:-), :-( ←– sideways smiley faces…

CIA0, |<ooL, \/\/o\/\/, c00l… ← hIp ways to say something.

As you can see there are many many ways to show a particular style

and while style is a hard thing to come by it adds life to modeming and makes it fun. So if you ever see someone that has a really neat style then say something to them.

o Conclusion:

Well, I've tried my best to make what I can out of my experiences

in modeming. All I ask is that you take all this with a grain of salt, as far as I know all of the above information is correct but who knows, I could be wrong…:-)

©opyright 1989 by Tony Frey/ The UltraViolet Cafe.

		    The UltraViolet Cafe
		      300- 1200- 2400
                               80 Megs
   Serving all of South Texas with quality telecommunications cuisine.

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X-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-X Another file downloaded from: NIRVANAnet™

& the Temple of the Screaming Electron Jeff Hunter 510-935-5845 Burn This Flag Zardoz 408-363-9766 realitycheck Poindexter Fortran 510-527-1662 My Dog Bit Jesus Suzanne d'Fault 510-658-8078 New Dork Sublime Demented Pimiento 415-864-DORK The Shrine Tom Joseph 408-747-0778

                        "Raw Data for Raw Nerves"


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