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Network Working Group G. Malkin Request for Comments: 1325 Xylogics FYI: 4 A. Marine Obsoletes: RFC 1206 SRI

                                                              May 1992
                    FYI on Questions and Answers
      Answers to Commonly asked "New Internet User" Questions

Status of this Memo

 This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
 not specify an Internet standard.  Distribution of this memo is


 This FYI RFC is one of two FYI's called, "Questions and Answers"
 (Q/A), produced by the User Services Working Group of the Internet
 Engineering Task Force (IETF).  The goal is to document the most
 commonly asked questions and answers in the Internet.

New Questions and Answers

 In addition to updating information contained in the previous version
 of this FYI RFC, the following new questions have been added:
 Questions About the Internet:
   How do I get a list of all the hosts on the Internet?
 Questions About Internet Documentation:
   What is the RFC-INFO service?
   What is an FYI?
   What is an STD?
   What is the Internet Monthly Report?
 Questions About Internet Organizations:
   What is the Internet Society?
 Questions About Internet Services:
   What is "archie"?
   How do I Connect to archie?
 Mailing Lists and Sending Mail
   How Do I Send Mail to Other Networks?

User Services Working Group [Page 1] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

Table of Contents

 1. Introduction.................................................  2
 2. Acknowledgements.............................................  3
 3. Questions About the Internet.................................  3
 4. Questions About TCP/IP.......................................  5
 5. Questions About the Domain Name System.......................  6
 6. Questions About Internet Documentation.......................  6
 7. Questions about Internet Organizations and Contacts.......... 14
 8. Questions About Services..................................... 19
 9. Mailing Lists and Sending Mail............................... 23
 10. Miscellaneous "Internet lore" questions..................... 27
 11. Suggested Reading........................................... 28
 12. References.................................................. 29
 13. Condensed Glossary.......................................... 30
 14. Security Considerations..................................... 42
 15. Authors' Addresses.......................................... 42

1. Introduction

 New users joining the Internet community have the same questions as
 did everyone else who has ever joined.  Our quest is to provide the
 Internet community with up to date, basic Internet knowledge and
 experience, while moving the redundancies away from the electronic
 mailing lists so that the lists' subscribers do not have to read the
 same queries and answers over and over again.
 Future updates of this memo will be produced as User Services members
 become aware of additional questions that should be included, and of
 deficiencies or inaccuracies that should be amended in this document.
 Although the RFC number of this document will change with each
 update, it will always have the designation of FYI 4.  An additional
 FYI Q/A, FYI 7, is published that deals with intermediate and
 advanced Q/A topics [11].
 The Q/A mailing lists are maintained by Gary Malkin at Xylogics.COM.
 They are used by a subgroup of the User Services Working Group to
 discuss the Q/A FYIs.  They include:      This is a discussion mailing list.  Its
                         primary use is for pre-release review of
                         the Q/A FYIs.  It is not necessary to be
                         on this list to get the FYI documents.  This is how you join and leave the quail
                             mailing list.  This is a write-only list which serves as a

User Services Working Group [Page 2] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

                         repository for candidate questions and
                         answers.  It is not necessary to be on the
                         quail mailing list to forward to the
                         quail-box.  Please note that this is not a
                         place to ask questions to which you don't
                         know the answers.

2. Acknowledgements

 The following people deserve thanks for their help and contributions
 to this FYI Q/A: Corinne Carroll (BBN), Vint Cerf (CNRI), Peter
 Deutsch (McGill), John Klensin (MIT), Doug Mildram (Xylogics), Tracy
 LaQuey Parker (UTexas), Craig Partridge (BBN), Jon Postel (ISI), Matt
 Power (MIT), Joyce K.  Reynolds (ISI), Karen Roubicek (Faxon),
 Patricia Smith (Merit), Gene Spafford (Purdue), and Carol Ward (SRI).

3. Questions About the Internet

 What is the Internet?
    The Internet is a large collection of networks (all of which run
    the TCP/IP protocols) that are tied together so that users of any
    of the networks can use the network services provided by TCP/IP to
    reach users on any of the other networks.  The Internet started
    with the ARPANET, but now includes such networks as NSFNET,
    NYSERnet, and thousands of others.  There are other major wide
    area networks, such as BITNET and DECnet networks, that are not
    based on the TCP/IP protocols and are thus not part of the
    Internet.  However, it is possible to communicate between them and
    the Internet via electronic mail because of mail gateways that act
    as "translators" between the different network protocols involved.
    Note: You will often see "internet" with a small "i".  This could
    refer to any network built based on TCP/IP, or might refer to
    networks using other protocol families that are composites built
    of smaller networks.
 I just got on the Internet.  What can I do now?
    You now have access to all the resources you are authorized to use
    on your own Internet host, on any other Internet host on which you
    have an account, and on any other Internet host that offers
    publicly accessible information.  The Internet gives you the
    ability to move information between these hosts via file
    transfers.  Once you are logged into one host, you can use the
    Internet to open a connection to another, login, and use its
    services interactively (this is known as remote login or
    "TELNETing".  In addition, you can send electronic mail to users

User Services Working Group [Page 3] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

    at any Internet site and to users on many non-Internet sites that
    are accessible via electronic mail.
    There are various other services you can use.  For example, some
    hosts provide access to specialized databases or to archives of
    information.  The Internet Resource Guide provides information
    regarding some of these sites.  The Internet Resource Guide lists
    facilities on the Internet that are available to users.  Such
    facilities include supercomputer centers, library catalogs and
    specialized data collections.  The guide is published by the NSF
    Network Service Center (NNSC) and is continuously being updated.
    The Resource Guide is distributed free via e-mail (send a note to to join the e-mail
    distribution) and via anonymous FTP (in
    guide/*).  Hardcopy is available at a nominal fee (to cover
    reproduction costs) from the NNSC.  Call the NNSC at 617-873-3400
    for more information.
 How do I find out if a site has a computer on the Internet?
    Three good sources to consult are "!%@:: A Directory of Electronic
    Mail Addressing and Networks" by Donnalyn Frey and Rick Adams;
    "The User's Directory of Computer Networks", by Tracy LaQuey; and
    "The Matrix: Computer Networks and Conferencing Systems
    Worldwide", by John Quarterman.
    In addition, it is possible to find some information about
    Internet sites in the WHOIS database maintained at the DDN NIC at
    Network Solutions, Inc..  The DDN NIC (Defense Data Network,
    Network Information Center) provides an information retrieval
    interface to the database that is also called WHOIS.  To use this
    interface, TELNET to NIC.DDN.MIL and type "whois" (carriage
    return).  No login is necessary.  Type "help" at the whois prompt
    for more information on using the facility.  WHOIS will show many
    sites, but may not show every site registered with the DDN NIC
    (simply for reasons having to do with how the program is set up to
    search the database).
 How do I get a list of all the hosts on the Internet?
    You really don't want that.  The list includes almost 727,000
    hosts.  Almost all of them require that you have access permission
    to actually use them.  However, there are many machines which
    serve special functions and are available to the public.  There is
    not yet a definitive list, but below are some available machines.
    They are available via telnet.

User Services Working Group [Page 4] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

       A geographic information server which provides latitude,
       longitude and other statistics about a city.
          telnet 3000
       The Library of Congress maintains an online catalog.
       NASA SpaceLink offers latest NASA news including shuttle
       launches and satellite updates.

4. Questions About TCP/IP

 What is TCP/IP?
    TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) [4,5,6]
    is the common name for a family of over 100 data-communications
    protocols used to organize computers and data-communications
    equipment into computer networks.  TCP/IP was developed to
    interconnect hosts on ARPANET, PRNET (packet radio), and SATNET
    (packet satellite).  All three of these networks have since been
    retired; but TCP/IP lives on.  It is currently used on a large
    international network of networks called the Internet, whose
    members include universities, other research institutions,
    government facilities, and many corporations.  TCP/IP is also
    sometimes used for other networks, particularly local area
    networks that tie together numerous different kinds of computers
    or tie together engineering workstations.
 What are the other well-known standard protocols
 in the TCP/IP family?
    Other than TCP and IP, the three main protocols in the TCP/IP
    suite are the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) [8], the File
    Transfer Protocol (FTP) [3], and the TELNET Protocol [9].  There
    are many other protocols in use on the Internet.  The Internet
    Activities Board (IAB) regularly publishes an RFC [2] that
    describes the state of standardization of the various Internet
    protocols.  This document is the best guide to the current status
    of Internet protocols and their recommended usage.

User Services Working Group [Page 5] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

5. Questions About the Domain Name System

 What is the Domain Name System?
    The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical, distributed method
    of organizing the name space of the Internet.  The DNS
    administratively groups hosts into a hierarchy of authority that
    allows addressing and other information to be widely distributed
    and maintained.  A big advantage to the DNS is that using it
    eliminates dependence on a centrally-maintained file that maps
    host names to addresses.
 What is a Fully Qualified Domain Name?
    A Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) is a domain name that
    includes all higher level domains relevant to the entity named.
    If you think of the DNS as a tree-structure with each node having
    its own label, a Fully Qualified Domain Name for a specific node
    would be its label followed by the labels of all the other nodes
    between it and the root of the tree.  For example, for a host, a
    FQDN would include the string that identifies the particular host,
    plus all domains of which the host is a part up to and including
    the top-level domain (the root domain is always null).  For
    example, PARIS.NISC.SRI.COM is a Fully Qualified Domain Name for
    the host at  In addition, NISC.SRI.COM is the FQDN
    for the NISC domain.

6. Questions About Internet Documentation

 What is an RFC?
    The Request for Comments documents (RFCs) are working notes of the
    Internet research and development community.  A document in this
    series may be on essentially any topic related to computer
    communication, and may be anything from a meeting report to the
    specification of a standard.  Submissions for Requests for
    Comments may be sent to the RFC Editor (RFC-EDITOR@ISI.EDU).  The
    RFC Editor is Jon Postel.
    Most RFCs are the descriptions of network protocols or services,
    often giving detailed procedures and formats for their
    implementation.  Other RFCs report on the results of policy
    studies or summarize the work of technical committees or
    workshops.  All RFCs are considered public domain unless
    explicitly marked otherwise.
    While RFCs are not refereed publications, they do receive
    technical review from either the task forces, individual technical

User Services Working Group [Page 6] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

    experts, or the RFC Editor, as appropriate.  Currently, most
    standards are published as RFCs, but not all RFCs specify
    Anyone can submit a document for publication as an RFC.
    Submissions must be made via electronic mail to the RFC Editor.
    Please consult RFC 1111, "Instructions to RFC Authors" [10], for
    further information.  RFCs are accessible online in public access
    files, and a short message is sent to a notification distribution
    list indicating the availability of the memo.  Requests to be
    added to this distribution list should be sent to RFC-
    The online files are copied by interested people and printed or
    displayed at their sites on their equipment.  (An RFC may also be
    returned via electronic mail in response to an electronic mail
    query.) This means that the format of the online files must meet
    the constraints of a wide variety of printing and display
    Once a document is assigned an RFC number and published, that RFC
    is never revised or re-issued with the same number.  There is
    never a question of having the most recent version of a particular
    RFC.  However, a protocol (such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP))
    may be improved and re-documented many times in several different
    RFCs.  It is important to verify that you have the most recent RFC
    on a particular protocol.  The "IAB Official Protocol Standards"
    [2] memo is the reference for determining the correct RFC to refer
    to for the current specification of each protocol.
 How do I obtain RFCs?
    RFCs are available online at several repositories around the
    world.  For a list of repositories and instructions about how to
    obtain RFCs from each of the major US ones, FTP the file in-
    notes/rfc-retrieval.txt from the host ISI.EDU.  That host supports
    anonymous login.  You can also get information about RFC
    repositories via electronic mail.  Send a message to rfc-  In the body of the message, type
    "help: ways_to_get_rfcs" (without the quotes).
    Two examples of obtaining RFCs online follow.
    RFCs can be obtained via FTP from NIC.DDN.MIL, with the pathname
    rfc/rfcNNNN.txt (where "NNNN" refers to the number of the RFC).
    Login using FTP, username "anonymous" and password "guest".
    RFCs can also be obtained via FTP from NIS.NSF.NET.  Using FTP,

User Services Working Group [Page 7] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

    login with username "anonymous" and password "guest"; then connect
    to the RFC directory ("cd RFC").  The file name is of the form
    RFCnnnn.TXT-1 (where "nnnn" refers to the number of the RFC).  The
    NIS also provides an automatic mail service for those sites which
    cannot use FTP.  Address the request to NIS-INFO@NIS.NSF.NET and
    leave the subject field of the message blank.  The first line of
    the text of the message must be "SEND RFCnnnn.TXT-1", where nnnn
    is replaced by the RFC number.
    Requests for special distribution should be addressed to either
    the author of the RFC in question, to NIC@NIC.DDN.MIL, or to
    NISC@NISC.SRI.COM.  SRI International operates the
    FTP.NISC.SRI.COM online repository of RFCs and other files, and
    makes the RFCs available in hardcopy for those people who have
    neither FTP nor e-mail access to the Internet.  Hardcopy RFCs are
    sold by SRI on a cost-recovery basis.  In addition, SRI has a
    hardcopy subscription service for RFCs, as well as several
    publications that incorporate selections of RFCs.  Unless
    specifically noted otherwise on the RFC itself, all RFCs are for
    unlimited distribution.
 How do I obtain a list of RFCs?
    SRI maintains a file that is an index of the RFCs.  It lists each
    RFC, starting with the most recent, and for each RFC provides the
    number, title, author(s), issue date, and number of hardcopy
    pages.  In addition, it lists the online formats (PostScript or
    ASCII text) for each RFC and the number of bytes each such version
    is online.  If an RFC is also an FYI, that fact is noted, with the
    corresponding FYI number.  (There is a parallel FYI Index
    available).  Finally, the Index notes whether or not an RFC is
    obsoleted or updated by another RFC, and gives the number of that
    RFC, or if an RFC itself obsoletes or updates another RFC, and
    gives that RFC number.  The index is updated online each time an
    RFC is issued.
    This RFC Index is available online for anonymous FTP from the
    FTP.NISC.SRI.COM host as rfc/rfc-index.txt.  The FYI Index is
    online as fyi/fyi-index.txt.  They are also available via
    electronic mail by sending a message to
    In the body of the message, say "send rfc-index" or "send fyi-
    index" (don't use quotes, but do use lowercase).  The RFC Index is
    also available from the SRI in hardcopy for $12, as are individual
    RFCs.  Call SRI at 1-415-859-3695 for help in obtaining the Index.

User Services Working Group [Page 8] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 What is the RFC-INFO service?
    The Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern
    California (ISI) has announced a service called RFC-Info.  Even
    though this is a service, rather than a document, we'll discuss it
    in this section because it is so closely tied to RFC information.
    RFC-Info is an e-mail based service to help in locating and
    retrival of RFCs and FYIs.  Users can ask for "lists" of all RFCs
    and FYIs having certain attributes ("filters") such as their ID,
    keywords, title, author, issuing organization, and date.  Once an
    RFC is uniquely identified (e.g., by its RFC number) it may also
    be retrieved.
    To use the service send e-mail to RFC-INFO@ISI.EDU with your
    requests in the body of the message.  Feel free to put anything in
    the SUBJECT, the system ignores it.  All input is case
    independent.  Report problems to RFC-MANAGER@ISI.EDU.
    To get started, you may send a message to RFC-INFO@ISI.EDU with
    requests such as in the following examples (without the
    explanations between brackets):

Help: Help [to get this information]

List: FYI [list the FYI notes] List: RFC [list RFCs with window as keyword or in title]

keywords: window

List: FYI [list FYIs about windows]

Keywords: window

List: * [list both RFCs and FYIs about windows]

Keywords: window

List: RFC [list RFCs about ARPANET, ARPA NETWORK, etc.]

title: ARPA*NET

List: RFC [list RFCs issued by MITRE, dated 1989-1991]

Organization: MITRE
Dated-after:  Jan-01-1989
Dated-before: Dec-31-1991

List: RFC [list RFCs obsoleting a given RFC]

Obsoletes: RFC0010

List: RFC [list RFCs by authors starting with "Bracken"]

Author: Bracken*      [* is a wild card matches everything]

List: RFC [list RFCs by both Postel and Gillman]

Authors: J. Postel    [note, the "filters" are ANDed]
Authors: R. Gillman

List: RFC [list RFCs by any Crocker]

Authors: Crocker

List: RFC [list only RFCs by S.D. Crocker]

User Services Working Group [Page 9] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

Authors: S.D. Crocker

List: RFC [list only RFCs by D. Crocker]

Authors: D. Crocker

Retrieve: RFC [retrieve RFC-822]

Doc-ID: RFC0822       [note, always 4 digits in RFC#]

Help: Manual [to retrieve the long user manual, 30+ pages] Help: List [how to use the LIST request] Help: Retrieve [how to use the RETRIEVE request] Help: Topics [list topics for which help is available] Help: Dates ["Dates" is such a topic] List: keywords [list the keywords in use] List: organizations [list the organizations known to the system]

 Which RFCs are Standards?
    See "IAB Official Protocol Standards" (currently, RFC 1280) [2].
 What is an FYI?
    FYI stands for For Your Information.  FYIs are a subset of the RFC
    series of online documents.
    FYI 1 states, "The FYI series of notes is designed to provide
    Internet users with a central repository of information about any
    topics which relate to the Internet.  FYI topics may range from
    historical memos on operational questions.  The FYIs are intended
    for a wide audience.  Some FYIs will cater to beginners, while
    others will discuss more advanced topics."
    In general, then, FYI documents tend to be more information
    oriented, while RFCs are usually (but not always) more technically
    FYI documents are assigned both an FYI number and an RFC number.
    As RFCs, if an FYI is ever updated, it is issued again with a new
    RFC number; however, its FYI number remains unchanged.  This can
    be a little confusing at first, but the aim is to help users
    identify which FYIs are about which topics.  For example, FYI 4
    will always be FYI 4, even though it may be updated several times
    and during that process receive different RFC numbers.  Thus, you
    need only to remember the FYI number to find the proper document.
    Of course, remembering titles often works as well.
    FYIs can be obtained in the same way RFCs can and from the same
    repositories.  In general, their pathnames are fyi/fyiNN.txt or
    fyi/, where NN is the number of the FYI without leading

User Services Working Group [Page 10] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 What is an STD?
    The newest subseries of RFCs are the STDs (Standards).  RFC 1311
    [12], which introduces this subseries, states that the intent of
    STDs is to identify clearly those RFCs that document Internet
    standards.  An STD number will be assigned only to those
    specifications that have completed the full process of
    standardization in the Internet.  Existing Internet standards have
    been assigned STD numbers; a list of them can be found both in RFC
    1311 and in the IAB Official Protocol Standards RFC.
    Like FYIs, once a standard has been assigned an STD number, that
    number will not change, even if the standard is reworked and re-
    specified and later issued with a new RFC number.
    It is important to differentiate between a "standard" and
    "document." Different RFC documents will always have different RFC
    numbers.  However, sometimes the complete specification for a
    standard will be contained in more than one RFC document.  When
    this happens, each of the RFC documents that is part of the
    specification for that standard will carry the same STD number.
    For example, the Domain Name System (DNS) is specified by the
    combination of RFC 1034 and RFC 1035; therefore, both of those
    RFCs are labeled STD 13.
 What is the Internet Monthly Report?
    The Internet Monthly Report communicates online to the Internet
    Research Group the accomplishments, milestones reached, or
    problems discovered by the participating organizations.  Many
    organizations involved in the Internet provide monthly updates of
    their activities for inclusion in this report.
    The Internet Monthly Report is for Internet information purposes
    You can receive the report online by joining the mailing list that
    distributes the rerpot.  Requests to be added or deleted from the
    Internet Monthly report list should be sent to "".
    In addition, back issues of the Report are available for anonymous
    FTP from the host NIS.NSF.NET in the 'imr' directory with the file
    names in the form IMRYY-MM.TXT, where YY is the last two digits of
    the year and MM two digits for the month.  For example, the June
    1991 Report is in the file IMR91-06.TXT.

User Services Working Group [Page 11] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 What is an Internet Draft?  Are there any guidelines available for
 writing one?
    Internet Drafts (I-Ds) are the current working documents of the
    IETF.  Internet Drafts are generally in the format of an RFC with
    some key differences:
  1. The Internet Drafts are not RFCs and are not a numbered

document series.

  1. The words INTERNET-DRAFT appear in place of RFC XXXX

in the upper left-hand corner.

  1. The document does not refer to itself as an RFC or as a

Draft RFC.

  1. An Internet Draft does not state nor imply that it is a

proposed standard. To do so conflicts with the role of

          the IAB, the RFC Editor, and the Internet Engineering
          Steering Group (IESG).
    An Internet Drafts Directory has been installed to make available,
    for review and comment by the IETF members, draft documents that
    will be submitted ultimately to the IAB and the RFC Editor to be
    considered for publishing as an RFC.  The Internet Drafts
    Directories are maintained primarily at the NSFNET Network Service
    Center (NNSC).  There are several "shadow" machines which contain
    the IETF and Internet Drafts Directories.  They are:
       NSF Network Service Center:
       DDN NIC:
       SRI International:
       Pacific Rim:
       Europe: (
    To access these directories, use anonymous FTP.  Login with
    username, "anonymous", password, "guest".  Once logged in, change
    to the directory, "cd internet-drafts".  Internet Draft files can
    then be retrieved.
    For further information on the Internet Drafts of the IETF, or if
    you have problems with retrieving Internet Draft documents,
    contact Megan Davies ( or Greg Vaudreuil
    ( for assistance.

User Services Working Group [Page 12] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 How do I obtain OSI Standards documents?
    OSI Standards documents are NOT available from the Internet via
    anonymous FTP due to copyright restrictions.  These are available
       Omnicom Information Service
       501 Church Street NE
       Suite 304
       Vienna, VA  22180  USA
       Telephone: (800) 666-4266 or (703) 281-1135
       Fax: (703) 281-1505
       American National Standards Institute
       11 West 42nd Street
       New York, NY  10036  USA
       Telephone: (212) 642-4900
    However, the GOSIP specification which covers the use of OSI
    protocols within the U.S. Government is available from SRI and
    from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
    The final text of GOSIP Version 2 is now available from both
    Online sources:
       Available through anonymous ftp from
       ( as:
          ./pub/gosip/gosip_v2.txt        -- ascii
          ./pub/gosip/gosip_v2.txt.Z      -- ascii compressed
          ./pub/gosip/         -- PostScript
          ./pub/gosip/       -- PostScript compressed
       Available through anonymous ftp from
       ( as:
          netinfo/gosip-v2.txt        -- ascii
          netinfo/         -- PostScript
       Hardcopy sources:
          Standards Processing Coordinator (ADP)
          National Institute of Standards and Technology
          Technology Building, Room B-64
          Gaithersburg, MD  20899
          (301) 975-2816

User Services Working Group [Page 13] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

          Network Information Systems Center
          SRI International, Room EJ291
          333 Ravenswood Ave.
          Menlo Park, CA  94025

7. Questions about Internet Organizations and Contacts

 What is the IAB?
    The Internet Activities Board (IAB) is the coordinating committee
    for Internet design, engineering and management [7].  IAB members
    are deeply committed to making the Internet function effectively
    and evolve to meet a large scale, high speed future.  The chairman
    serves a term of two years and is elected by the members of the
    IAB.  The current Chair of the IAB is Lyman Chapin.  The IAB
    focuses on the TCP/IP protocol suite, and extensions to the
    Internet system to support multiple protocol suites.
    The IAB performs the following functions:
       1)   Sets Internet Standards,
       2)   Manages the RFC publication process,
       3)   Reviews the operation of the IETF and IRTF,
       4)   Performs strategic planning for the Internet, identifying
            long-range problems and opportunities,
       5)   Acts as an international technical policy liaison and
            representative for the Internet community, and
       6)   Resolves technical issues which cannot be treated within
            the IETF or IRTF frameworks.
    The IAB has two principal subsidiary task forces:
       1)  Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
       2)  Internet Research Task Force (IRTF)
    Each of these Task Forces is led by a chairman and guided by a
    Steering Group which reports to the IAB through its chairman.  For
    the most part, a collection of Research or Working Groups carries
    out the work program of each Task Force.

User Services Working Group [Page 14] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

    All decisions of the IAB are made public.  The principal vehicle
    by which IAB decisions are propagated to the parties interested in
    the Internet and its TCP/IP protocol suite is the Request for
    Comments (RFC) note series and the Internet Monthly Report.
 What is the IETF?
    The Internet has grown to encompass a large number of widely
    geographically dispersed networks in academic and research
    communities.  It now provides an infrastructure for a broad
    community with various interests.  Moreover, the family of
    Internet protocols and system components has moved from
    experimental to commercial development.  To help coordinate the
    operation, management and evolution of the Internet, the IAB
    established the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
    The IETF is chaired by Phill Gross and managed by its Internet
    Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  The IETF is a large open
    community of network designers, operators, vendors, and
    researchers concerned with the Internet and the Internet protocol
    suite.  It is organized around a set of several technical areas,
    each managed by a technical area director.  In addition to the
    IETF Chairman, the area directors make up the IESG membership.
    The IAB has delegated to the IESG the general responsibility for
    making the Internet work and for the resolution of all short- and
    mid-range protocol and architectural issues required to make the
    Internet function effectively.
 What is the IRTF?
    To promote research in networking and the development of new
    technology, the IAB established the Internet Research Task Force
    In the area of network protocols, the distinction between research
    and engineering is not always clear, so there will sometimes be
    overlap between activities of the IETF and the IRTF.  There is, in
    fact, considerable overlap in membership between the two groups.
    This overlap is regarded as vital for cross-fertilization and
    technology transfer.
    The IRTF is a community of network researchers, generally with an
    Internet focus.  The work of the IRTF is governed by its Internet
    Research Steering Group (IRSG).  The chairman of the IRTF and IRSG
    is Jon Postel.

User Services Working Group [Page 15] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 What is the Internet Society?
    The Internet Society is a relatively new, professional, non-profit
    organization with the general goal of fostering the well-being and
    continued interest in, and evolution and use of the Internet.  The
    Society (often abbreviated ISOC) anticipates that it will
    integrate the IAB, IETF, and IRTF functions into its operation.
    The following goals of the Society are taken from its charter:
           A.  To facilitate and support the technical evolution of
       the Internet as a research and education infrastructure, and to
       stimulate the involvement of the scientific community,
       industry, government and others in the evolution of the
           B.  To educate the scientific community, industry and the
       public at large concerning the technology, use and application
       of the Internet;
           C.  To promote educational applications of Internet
       technology for the benefit of government, colleges and
       universities, industry, and the public at large;
           D.  To provide a forum for exploration of new Internet
       applications, and to stimulate collaboration among
       organizations in their operational use of the global Internet.
    More information about the Internet Society is available for
    anonymous FTP from the host NNSC.NSF.NET in the directory isoc.
    Here is a list of the files available:
    Filename (Topic)          Description
    index-isoc                An index of the isoc directory
    announcement              Internet Society Announcement
    charter                   Internet Society Charter
    inet-conference           INET 92 Internet Society Annual Meeting
                              Announcement and Call for Participation
    isoc-advisory-council     The Internet Society advisory council
    isoc-founding-members     List of the Internet Society founding

User Services Working Group [Page 16] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

    isoc-secretariat          Information about the Internet Society
    isoc-trustees             List of the Internet Society trustees
    questions-and-answers     Internet Society Questions & Answers
                              by Vint Cerf
    membership-organizations  Internet Society Organizational
                              Membership Form
    membership-individuals    Internet Society Individual Membership
    This information is also available via electronic mail via the
    NNSC Info-Server.  The Info-Server is an automated program that
    retrieves information through electronic mail.  To receive these
    files via the Info-Server, send a mail message to: info- In the body of the message, type "Request:
    isoc" followed by the topic names of any files you'd like.  For
       Request: isoc
       Topic:   inet-conference
       Topic:   questions-and-answers
       Topic:   charter
       Topic:   announcement
       Request: end
    Notice that the "Topics" for the Info-Server correspond to the
    file names used when FTPing.
 What is the IANA?
    The task of coordinating the assignment of values to the
    parameters of protocols is delegated by the Internet Activities
    Board (IAB) to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).
    These protocol parameters include op-codes, type fields, terminal
    types, system names, object identifiers, and so on.  The "Assigned
    Numbers" Request for Comments (RFC) [1] documents the currently
    assigned values from several series of numbers used in network
    protocol implementations.  Internet addresses and Autonomous
    System numbers are assigned by the Network Information Center at
    Network Solutions, Inc.  This responsibility has been delegated by
    the IANA to the DDN NIC which serves as the Internet Registry.
    The IANA is located at USC/Information Sciences Institute.
    Current types of assignments listed in Assigned Numbers and

User Services Working Group [Page 17] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

    maintained by the IANA are:
       Address Resolution Protocol Parameters
       ARPANET and MILNET X.25 Address Mappings
       ARPANET and MILNET Logical Addresses
       ARPANET and MILNET Link Numbers
       BOOTP Parameters and BOOTP Extension Codes
       Domain System Parameters
       IANA Ethernet Address Blocks
       Ethernet Numbers of Interest
       IEEE 802 Numbers of Interest
       Internet Protocol Numbers
       Internet Version Numbers
       IP Time to Live Parameter
       IP TOS Parameters
       Machine Names
       Mainl Encryption Types
       Multicast Addresses
       Network Management Parameters
       Point-to-Point Protocol Field Assignments
       PRONET 80 Type Numbers
       Port Assignments
       Protocol and Service Names
       Protocol/Type Field Assignments
       Public Data Network Numbers
       Reverse Address Resolution Protocol Operation Codes
       TELNET Options
       Terminal Type Names
       Unix Ports
       X.25 Type Numbers
    For more information on number assignments, contact IANA@ISI.EDU.
 What is a NIC?  What is a NOC?
    "NIC" stands for Network Information Center.  It is an
    organization which provides network users with information about
    services provided by the network.
    "NOC" stands Network Operations Center.  It is an organization
    that is responsible for maintaining a network.
    For many networks, especially smaller, local networks, the
    functions of the NIC and NOC are combined.  For larger networks,
    such as mid-level and backbone networks, the NIC and NOC
    organizations are separate, yet they do need to interact to fully
    perform their functions.

User Services Working Group [Page 18] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 What is "The NIC"?
    "The NIC" usually refers to the Defense Data Network, Network
    Information Center (DDN NIC), which is now at Network Solutions,
    Inc.  The DDN NIC is a network information center that maintains a
    repository for RFCs and Internet Drafts.  The host name is
    NIC.DDN.MIL.  Shadow copies of the RFCs and the Internet Drafts
    are maintained on several other hosts as well, including
    The DDN NIC also provides various user assistance services for DDN
    users; contact NIC@NIC.DDN.MIL or call 1-800-365-3642 for more
    information.  In addition, the DDN NIC is the Internet
    registration authority for the root domain and several top and
    second level domains; maintains the official DoD Internet Host
    Table; is the site of the Internet Registry (IR); and maintains
    the WHOIS database of network users, hosts, domains, networks, and
    Points of Contact.
    This NIC was located for many years at SRI International, so you
    may also hear the term "SRI NIC".  SRI also maintains an online
    information repository and provides general Internet information
    services.  For example, the SRI Network Information Systems Center
    is currently the only site that provides paper copies of the RFCs,
    which are made available on a cost recovery basis.  Call 415-859-
    3695 for more information on this service.
 What is the IR?
    The Internet Registry (IR) is the organization that is responsible
    for assigning identifiers, such as IP network numbers and
    autonomous system numbers, to networks.  The IR also gathers and
    registers such assigned information.  The IR may, in the future,
    allocate the authority to assign network identifiers to other
    organizations; however, it will continue to gather data regarding
    such assignments.  At present, the DDN NIC at Network Solutions,
    Inc., serves as the IR.

8. Questions About Services

 How do I find someone's electronic mail address?
    There are a number of directories on the Internet; however, all of
    them are far from complete.  The largest directories are the WHOIS
    database at the DDN NIC, the PSInet White Pages, and KNOWBOT.
    Generally, it is still necessary to ask the person for his or her
    email address.

User Services Working Group [Page 19] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 How do I use the WHOIS program at the DDN NIC?
    To use the WHOIS program to search the WHOIS database at the DDN
    NIC, TELNET to the NIC host, NIC.DDN.MIL.  There is no need to
    login.  Type "whois" to call up the information retrieval program.
    Next, type the name of the person, host, domain, network, or
    mailbox for which you need information.  If you are only typing
    part of the name, end your search string with a period.  Type
    "help" for a more in-depth explanation of what you can search for
    and how you can search.  If you have trouble, send a message to
    NIC@NIC.DDN.MIL or call 1-800-365-3642.
 How do I become registered in the DDN NIC's WHOIS database?
    If you would like to be listed in the WHOIS database, you must
    have an electronic mailbox accessible from the Internet.  First
    obtain the file netinfo/user-template.txt.  You can retrieve this
    file via anonymous FTP from NIC.DDN.MIL.
    Fill out the name and address information requested in the file
    and return it to REGISTRAR@NIC.DDN.MIL.  Your application will be
    processed and you will be added to the database.  Unless you are
    an official Point of Contact for a network entity registered at
    the DDN NIC, the DDN NIC will not regularly poll you for updates,
    so you should remember to send corrections to your information as
    your contact data changes.
 How do I use the White Pages at PSI?
    Performance Systems International, Inc. (PSI), sponsors a White
    Pages Pilot Project that collects personnel information from
    member organizations into a database and provides online access to
    that data.  This effort is based on the OSI X.500 Directory
    To access the data, TELNET to WP.PSI.COM and login as "fred" (no
    password is necessary).  You may now look up information on
    participating organizations.  The program provides help on usage.
    For example, typing "help" will show you a list of commands,
    "manual" will give detailed documentation, and "whois" will
    provide information regarding how to find references to people.
    For a list of the organizations that are participating in the
    pilot project by providing information regarding their members,
    type "whois -org *".
    For more information, send a message to WP-INFO@PSI.COM.

User Services Working Group [Page 20] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 How do I use the Knowbot Information Service?
    The Knowbot Information Service is a white pages "meta-service"
    that provides a uniform interface to heterogeneous white pages
    services in the Internet.  Using the Knowbot Information Service,
    you can form a single query that can search for white pages
    information from the NIC WHOIS service, the PSI White Pages Pilot
    Project, and MCI Mail, among others, and have the responses
    displayed in a single, uniform format.
    Currently, the Knowbot Information Service can be accessed through
    TELNET to port 185 on hosts and
    From a UNIX host, use "telnet 185".  There is
    also an electronic mail interface avaliable by sending mail to
    netaddress at either or
    The commands "help" and "man" summarize the command interface.
    Simply entering a user name at the prompt searches a default list
    of Internet directory services for the requested information.
    Organization and country information can be included thorgh the
    syntax: "".  For example, the queries
    "droms@bucknell" and "" are both valid.  Note that
    these are not Domain Names, but rather a syntax to specify an
    organization and a country for the search.
    The default list of directory services currently includes the
    whois services at the DDN NIC and the white pages service for
    MCIMail.  If an organization is specified, the PSI X.500 service
    is also searched.  Other services can be requested explicitly.
 What is USENET?  What is Netnews?
    USENET is the formal name, and Netnews a common informal name, for
    a distributed computer information service that some hosts on the
    Internet use.  USENET handles only news and not mail.  USENET uses
    a variety of underlying networks for transport, including parts of
    the Internet, UUCP, BITNET, and others.  USENET is not part of the
    Internet proper.  Netnews can be a valuable tool to economically
    transport traffic that would otherwise be sent via mail.  USENET
    has no central administration.
 How do I get on USENET?
    To get on USENET, you must acquire the software, which is
    available for some computers at no cost from some anonymous FTP
    sites across the Internet, and you must find an existing USENET
    site that is willing to support a connection to your computer.  In
    many cases, this "connection" merely represents additional traffic

User Services Working Group [Page 21] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

    over existing Internet access channels.
    One well-known anonymous FTP archive site for software and
    information regarding USENET is  There is a "news"
    directory which contains many software distribution and
    information sub-directories.
    It is recommended that new users subscribe to and read
    news.announce.newusers since it will help to become oriented to
    USENET and the Internet.
 What is anonymous FTP?
    Anonymous FTP is a conventional way of allowing you to sign on to
    a computer on the Internet and copy specified public files from it
    [3].  Some sites offer anonymous FTP to distribute software and
    various kinds of information.  You use it like any FTP, but the
    username is "anonymous".  Many systems will allow any password and
    request that the password you choose is your userid.  If this
    fails, the generic password is usually "guest".
 What is "archie"?
    The archie system was created by a group at McGill University in
    Montreal to automatically track anonymous FTP archive sites, and
    this is still its primary function.  The system curently makes
    available the names and locations of some 1,500,000 files at some
    900 archive sites.
    Archie's User Access component allows you to search the "files"
    database for these filenames.  When matches are found, you are
    presented with the appropriate archive site name, IP address, the
    location within the archive, and other useful information.
    You can also use archie to "browse" through a site's complete
    listing in search of information of interest, or obtain a complete
    list of the archive sites known to that server.
    The archie server also offers a "package descriptions" (or
    "whatis") database. This is a collection of names and descriptions
    gathered from a variety of sources and can be used to identify
    files located throughout the Internet, as well as other useful
    information.  Files identified in the whatis database can then be
    found by searching the files database as described above.
    Additional databases are planned for the coming months.

User Services Working Group [Page 22] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 How do I connect to archie?
    You can connect to archie in a variety of ways. There is a
    conventional TELNET interface, an electronic mail interface, and a
    variety of client programs available.  There are currently nine
    archie servers located throughout the world.
    To try the TELNET interface to archie you can TELNET to the host
    ARCHIE.MCGILL.CA and login as user "archie" (there is no password
    required).  Type "help" to get you started.  The "servers" command
    can be used to locate an archie server closer to your site.  Using
    an archie server closer to you relieves some of the load on the
    McGill host.
    You can obtain details on using the electronic mail interface by
    sending mail to "" with the word "help" in
    either the subject or body of the message.
    Documentation on archie is available for anonymous ftp from
    ARCHIE.MCGILL.CA in the subdirectory "archie/doc".  A variety of
    archie client programs are available in the subdirectory
    "archie/clients".  Questions, comments, and suggestions can be
    sent to the archie development group by sending mail to "archie-".
 What is "TELNET"?
    The term "TELNET" refers to the remote login that's possible on
    the Internet because of the TELNET Protocol [9].  The use of this
    term as a verb, as in "telnet to a host" means to establish a
    connection across the Internet from one host to another.  Usually,
    you must have an account on the remote host to be able to login to
    it once you've made a connection.  However, some hosts, such as
    those offering white pages directories, provide public services
    that do not require a personal account.

9. Mailing Lists and Sending Mail

 What is a mailing list?
    A mailing list is really nothing more than an alias that has
    multiple destinations.  Mailing lists are usually created to
    discuss specific topics.  Anybody interested in that topic, may
    (usually) join that list.  Some mailing lists have membership
    restrictions, others have message content restrictions, and still
    others are moderated.  Most large, "public" mailing lists, such as
    IETF and TCP-IP, have an additional mail address to which requests
    to be added or deleted may be sent.  Usually, these are of the

User Services Working Group [Page 23] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

    form listname-request.
    There is a "list-of-lists" file available on the host that lists most of the major mailing lists,
    describes their primary topics, and explains how to subscribe to
    them.  The file is available for anonymous ftp in the netinfo
    directory as interest-groups (that is, the path is:
    netinfo/interest-groups).  It can also be obtained via electronic
    mail.  Send a message to with the body of
    the message reading, "Send netinfo/interest-groups" and the file
    will be returned in moderate size pieces via electronic mail.
 How do I contact the administrator of a mailing list rather than
    posting to the entire list?
    For every mailing list mentioned in the "interest-groups" file,
    there is a description of how to join the list or send other such
    administrative messages to the person in charge of the list.  In
    general, however, it is usually safe to assume that you can send a
    message to an address in the format of ListName-request@domain.
    The convention of having a parallel mailbox conforming to the "-
    request" format is very widely followed.  All administrative
    messages regarding using, joining, or quitting the list should be
    sent to that mailbox instead of to the whole list so that the
    readers of the list don't have to read them.
 What are some good mailing lists?
    The TCP-IP, IETF, and RFC Distribution lists are primary lists for
    new Internet users who desire further information about current
    and emerging developments in the Internet.  The first two lists
    are unmoderated discussion lists, and the latter is an
    announcement service used by the RFC Editor.
 How do I subscribe to the TCP-IP mailing list?
    To be added to the TCP-IP mailing list, send a message to:
 How do I subscribe to the IETF mailing list?
    To be added to the IETF mailing list, send a message to:

User Services Working Group [Page 24] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 How do I subscribe to the RFC Distribution list?
    To be added to the RFC Distribution list, send a message to:
    Note that all announcements to this list are also sent to the IETF
    list.  So, if you are on the IETF list, you don't need to be on
    this list, too.
 How do I send mail to other networks?
    Mail to the Internet is addressed in the form user@domain.
    Remember that a domain name can have several components and the
    name of each host is a node on the domain tree.  So, an example of
    an Internet mail address is
    There are several networks accessible via e-mail from the
    Internet, but many of these networks do not use the same
    addressing conventions the Internet does.  Often you must route
    mail to these networks through specific gateways as well, thus
    further complicating the address.
    Here are a few conventions you can use for sending mail from the
    Internet to three networks with which Internet users often
      Internet user to Internet user:
        username@hostname.subdomain.toplevel domain
        e.g. gsmith@nisc.sri.COM
      Internet user to BITNET user:
      Internet user to UUCP user:

User Services Working Group [Page 25] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

      Internet user to SprintMail user:
        (Case is significant.)
      Internet user to CompuServe user:
              Replace the comma in the CompuServe userid (represented
              with x's) with a period, and add the
      domain         name.
      CompuServe user to Internet user:
              >Internet:user@host         Insert >internet: before an
      Internet address.
      Internet user to MCIMail user:
 What is a newsgroup?
    A newsgroup is a bulletin board which readers, interested in that
    newsgroup's particular topic, can read and respond to messages
    posted by other readers.  Generally, there will be a few "threads"
    of discussion going on at the same time, but they all share some
    common theme.  There are approximately 900 newsgroups, and there
    are more being added all the time.
    There are two types of newsgroups: moderated and unmoderated.  A
    moderated newsgroup does not allow individuals to post directly to
    the newsgroup.  Rather, the postings go to the newsgroup's
    moderator who determines whether or not to pass the posting to the
    entire group.  An unmoderated newsgroup allows a reader to post
    directly to the other readers.
 How do I subscribe to a newsgroup?
    You don't subscribe to a newsgroup.  Either you get it on your
    machine or you don't.  If there's one you want, all you can do is
    ask the systems administrator to try to get it for you.  The same
    is true for creating newsgroups.

User Services Working Group [Page 26] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

10. Miscellaneous "Internet lore" questions

 What does :-) mean?
    In many electronic mail messages, it is sometimes useful to
    indicate that part of a message is meant in jest.  It is also
    sometimes useful to communicate emotion which simple words do not
    readily convey.  To provide these nuances, a collection of "smiley
    faces" has evolved.  If you turn your head sideways to the left,
    :-) appears as a smiling face.  Some of the more common faces are:
       :-)  smile                    :-(  frown
       :)   also a smile             ;-)  wink
       :-D  laughing                 8-)  wide-eyed
       :-}  grin                     :-X  close mouthed
       :-]  smirk                    :-o  oh, no!
 What do "btw", "fyi", "imho", "wrt", and "rtfm" mean?
    Often commmon expressions are abbreviated in informal network
    postings.  These abbreviations stand for "by the way", "for your
    information", "in my humble [or honest] opinion", "with respect
    to", and "read the f*ing manual" (with the "f" word varying
    according to the vehemence of the reader).
 What is the "FAQ" list?
    This list provides answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" that
    often appear on various USENET newsgroups.  The list is posted
    every four to six weeks to the news.announce.newusers group.  It
    is intended to provide a background for new users learning how to
    use the news.  As the FAQ list provide new users with the answers
    to such questions, it helps keep the newsgroups themselves
    comparatively free of repetition.  Often specific newsgroups will
    have and frequently post versions of a FAQ list that are specific
    to their topics.
    Other information is also routinely posted.  Here are the subject
    lines of several general information postings provided on USENET:
       Answers to Frequently Asked Questions  (the "FAQ" list)
       Introduction to news.announce
       What is Usenet?
       Rules for posting to Usenet

User Services Working Group [Page 27] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

       How to Create a New Newsgroup
       How to Create a New Trial Newsgroup
       A Primer on How to Work With the Usenet Community
       Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
       Hints on writing style for Usenet
       USENET Software: History and Sources
       List of Active Newsgroups
       Alternative Newsgroup Hierarchies, Part I
       Alternative Newsgroup Hierarchies, Part II
       How to Construct the Mailpaths File
       Regional Newsgroup Hierarchies, Part I
       Regional Newsgroup Hierarchies, Part II
       Regional Newsgroup Hierarchies, Part III
       List of Moderators
       Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists, Part I
       Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists, Part II
       Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists, Part III
       List of Periodic Informational Postings
       How to Get Information about Networks
       A Guide to Social Newsgroups and Mailing Lists
    All of these articles are normally archived for FTP access on in /pub/usenet/news.announce.newusers.

11. Suggested Reading

 For further information about the Internet and its protocols in
 general, you may choose to obtain copies of the following works:
    Bowers, K., T. LaQuey, J. Reynolds, K. Roubicek, M. Stahl, and A.
    Yuan, "Where to Start - A Bibliography of General Internetworking
    Information", RFC 1175, FYI 3, CNRI, U Texas, ISI, BBN, SRI,
    Mitre, August 1990.
    Comer, D., "Internetworking with TCP/IP: Principles, Protocols,
    and Architecture", Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 1989.
    Krol, E., "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Internet", RFC 1118,
    University of Illinois Urbana, September 1989.

User Services Working Group [Page 28] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

12. References

 [1] Reynolds, J., and J. Postel, "Assigned Numbers", RFC 1060,
     USC/Information Sciences Institute, March 1990.
 [2] Postel, J., Editor, "IAB Official Protocol Standards", RFC 1280,
     Internet Activities Board, March 1992.
 [3] Postel, J., and J. Reynolds, "File Transfer Protocol (FTP), RFC
     959, USC/Information Sciences Institute, October 1985.
 [4] Postel, J., "Internet Protocol - DARPA Internet Program Protocol
     Specification", RFC 791, DARPA, September 1981.
 [5] Postel, J., "Transmission Control Protocol - DARPA Internet
     Program Protocol Specification", RFC 793, DARPA, September 1981.
 [6] Leiner, B., R. Cole, J. Postel, and D. Mills, "The DARPA Internet
     Protocol Suite", IEEE INFOCOM85, Washington D.C., March 1985.
     Also in IEEE Communications Magazine, March 1985.  Also as
 [7] Cerf, V., "The Internet Activities Board" RFC 1160, CNRI, May
 [8] Postel, J., "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol", RFC 821,
     USC/Information Sciences Institute, August 1982.
 [9] Postel, J., and J. Reynolds, "TELNET Protocol Specification", RFC
     854, USC/Information Sciences Institute, May 1983.
[10] Postel, J., "Request for Comments on Request for Comments -
     Instructions to RFC Authors", RFC 1111, USC/Information Sciences
     Institute, August 1989.
[11] Malkin, G., A. Marine, and J. Reynolds, "FYI on Questions and
     Answers: Answers to Commonly Asked 'Experienced Internet User'
     Questions", FYI 7, RFC 1207, FTP Software, SRI, USC/Information
     Sciences Institute, February 1991.
[12] Postel, J., "Introduction to the STD Notes", RFC 1311,
     USC/Information Sciences Institute, March 1992.

User Services Working Group [Page 29] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

13. Condensed Glossary

 As with any profession, computers have a particular terminology all
 their own.  Below is a condensed glossary to assist in making some
 sense of the Internet world.
 ACM     Association for Computing Machinery
         A group established in 1947 to promote professional
         development and research on computers.
 address There are two separate uses of this term in internet
         networking: "electronic mail address" and "internet
         address".   An electronic mail address is the string
         of characters that you must give an electronic mail
         program to direct a message to a particular person.
         See "internet address" for its definition.
 AI      Artificial Intelligence
         The branch of computer science which deals with the
         simulation of human intelligence by computer systems.
 AIX     Advanced Interactive Executive
         IBM's version of Unix.
 ANSI    American National Standards Institute
         A group that certifies organizations which develop U.S.
         standards for the information processing industry.  ANSI
         accredited groups participate in defining network protocol
 ARP     Address Resolution Protocol
         An Internet protocol which runs on Ethernet and all IEEE
         802.X LANs which maps internet addresses to MAC addresses.
 ARPA    Advanced Research Projects Agency
         The former name of what is now called DARPA.
 ARPANET Advanced Research Projects Agency Network
         A pioneering long haul network funded by ARPA.  It
         served as the basis for early networking research as
         well as a central backbone during the development of
         the Internet.  The ARPANET consisted of individual
         packet  switching computers interconnected by leased lines.
 AS      Autonomous System
         A collection of gateways (routers) under a single
         administrative authority using a common Interior Gateway
         Protocol for routing packets.

User Services Working Group [Page 30] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 ASCII   American (National) Standard Code for Information Interchange
 B       Byte
         One character of information, usually eight bits wide.
 b       bit - binary digit
         The smallest amount of information which may be stored
         in a computer.
 BBN     Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc.
         The Cambridge, MA company responsible for development,
         operation and monitoring of the ARPANET, and later,
         the Internet core gateway system, the CSNET Coordination
         and Information Center (CIC), and NSFNET Network
         Service Center (NNSC).
 BITNET  Because It's Time Network
         BITNET has about 2,500 host computers, primarily at
         universities, in many countries.  It is managed by
         EDUCOM, which provides administrative support and
         information services.  There are three
         main constituents of the network: BITNET in the United
         States and Mexico, NETNORTH in Canada, and EARN in
         Europe.  There are also AsiaNet, in Japan, and
         connections in South America.  See CREN.
 bps     bits per second
         A measure of data transmission speed.
 BSD     Berkeley Software Distribution
         Term used when describing different versions
         of the Berkeley UNIX software, as in "4.3BSD
 catenet A network in which hosts are connected to networks
         with varying characteristics, and the networks
         are interconnected by gateways (routers).  The
         Internet is an example of a catenet.
 CCITT   International Telegraph and Telephone
         Consultative Committee
 core gateway
         Historically, one of a set of gateways (routers)
         operated by the Internet Network Operations Center
         at BBN.  The core gateway system forms a central part

User Services Working Group [Page 31] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

         of Internet routing in that all groups had to advertise
         paths to their networks from a core gateway.
 CREN    The Corporation for Research and Educational Networking
         BITNET and CSNET have recently merged to form CREN.
 CSNET   Computer + Science Network
         A large data communications network for institutions doing
         research in computer science.   It uses several different
         protocols including some of its own.  CSNET sites include
         universities, research laboratories, and commercial
         companies.  See CREN.
 DARPA   U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
         The government agency that funded the ARPANET and later
         started the Internet.
         A self-contained, independent entity of data carrying
         sufficient information to be routed from the source
         to the destination data terminal equipment without
         reliance on earlier exchanges between this source
         and destination data terminal equipment and the
         transporting network.
 DCA     Defense Communications Agency
         Former name of the Defense Information Systems Agency
         (DISA).  See DISA.
 DDN     Defense Data Network
         Comprises the MILNET and several other DoD networks.
 DDN NIC The network information center at Network Solutions, Inc.
         It is the primary repository for RFCs and Internet Drafts,
         as well as providing other services.
 DEC     Digital Equipment Corporation
 DECnet  Digital Equipment Corporation network
         A networking protocol for DEC computers and network devices.
 default route
         A routing table entry which is used to direct any data
         addressed to any network numbers not explicitly listed
         in the routing table.

User Services Working Group [Page 32] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 DISA    Defense Information Systems Agency
         Formerly called DCA, this is the government agency
         responsible for installing the Defense Data Network
         (DDN) portion of the Internet, including the MILNET
         lines and nodes.  Currently, DISA administers the
         DDN, and supports the user assistance services of the
         DDN NIC.
 DNS     The Domain Name System is a mechanism used in
         the Internet for translating names of host computers
         into addresses.  The DNS also allows host computers
         not directly on the Internet to have registered
         names in the same style, but returns the electronic
         mail gateway which accesses the non-Internet network
         instead of an IP address.
 DOD     U.S. Department of Defense
 DOE     U.S. Department of Energy
 dot address (dotted address notation)
         Dot address refers to the common notation for Internet
         addresses of the form A.B.C.D; where each letter represents,
         in decimal, one byte of the four byte IP address.
 Dynamic Adaptive Routing
         Automatic rerouting of traffic based on a sensing and analysis
         of current actual network conditions.  NOTE: this does not
         include cases of routing decisions taken on predefined
 EARN    European Academic Research Network
 EBCDIC  Extended Binary-coded Decimal Interchange Code
 EGP     Exterior Gateway Protocol
         A protocol which distributes routing information to the
         gateways (routers) which connect autonomous systems.
         A network standard for the hardware and data link levels.
         There are two types of Ethernet: Digital/Intel/Xerox (DIX)
         and IEEE 802.3.
 FDDI    Fiber Distributed Data Interface
         FDDI is a high-speed (100Mb) token ring LAN.

User Services Working Group [Page 33] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 FIPS    Federal Information Processing Standard
 FTP     File Transfer Protocol
         The Internet standard high-level protocol for
         transferring files from one computer to another.
 gateway See router
 GB      Gigabyte
         A unit of data storage size which represents 10^9 (one
         billion) characters of information.
 Gb      Gigabit
         10^9 bits of information (usually used to express a
         data transfer rate; as in, 1 gigabit/second = 1Gbps).
 GNU     Gnu's Not UNIX
         A UNIX-compatible operating system developed by the
         Free Software Foundation.
 header  The portion of a packet, preceding the actual data,
         containing source and destination addresses and
         error-checking fields.
 host number
         The part of an internet address that designates which
         node on the (sub)network is being addressed.
 HP      Hewlett-Packard
 I/O     Input/Output
 IAB     Internet Activities Board
         The IAB is the coordinating committee for Internet
         design, engineering and management.
 IBM     International Business Machines Corporation
 ICMP    Internet Control Message Protocol
         ICMP is an extension to the Internet Protocol.  It
         allows for the generation of error messages,
         test packets and informational messages related to IP.
 IEEE    Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers

User Services Working Group [Page 34] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 IETF    Internet Engineering Task Force
         The IETF is a large open community of network designers,
         operators, vendors, and researchers whose purpose is to
         coordinate the operation, management and evolution of
         the Internet, and to resolve short- and mid-range
         protocol and architectural issues.  It is a major source
         of proposed protocol standards which are submitted to the
         Internet Activities Board for final approval.  The IETF
         meets three times a year and extensive minutes of the
         plenary proceedings are issued.
         Any connection of two or more local or wide-area networks.
         The global collection of interconnected local, mid-level and
         wide-area networks which use IP as the network layer
 internet address
         An assigned number which identifies a host in an internet.
         It has two or three parts: network number, optional subnet
         number, and host number.
 IP      Internet Protocol
         The network layer protocol for the Internet.  It is a packet
         switching, datagram protocol defined in RFC 791.
 IRTF    Internet Research Task Force
         The IRTF is a community of network researchers,
         generally with an Internet focus.  The work of the IRTF
         is governed by its Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG).
 ISO     International Organization for Standardization
 KB      Kilobyte
         A unit of data storage size which represents 10^3
         (one thousand) characters of information.
 Kb      Kilobit
         10^3 bits of information (usually used to express a
         data transfer rate; as in, 1 kilobit/second = 1Kbps = 1Kb).

User Services Working Group [Page 35] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 LAN     Local Area Network
         A network that takes advantage of the proximity of computers
         to offer relatively efficient, higher speed communications
         than long-haul or wide-area networks.
 LISP    List Processing Language
         A high-level computer language invented by Professor John
         McCarthy in 1961 to support research into computer based
         logic, logical reasoning, and artificial intelligence.  It
         was the first symbolic (as opposed to numeric) computer
         processing language.
 MAC     Medium Access Control
         For broadcast networks, it is the method which devices use
         to determine which device has line access at any given
 Mac     Apple Macintosh computer.
 MAN     Metropolitan Area Network
 MB      Megabyte
         A unit of data storage size which represents
         10^6 (one million) characters of information.
 Mb      Megabit
         10^6 bits of information (usually used to express a
         data transfer rate; as in, 1 megabit/second = 1Mbps).
 MILNET  Military Network
         A network used for unclassified military production
         applications.  It is part of the DDN and the Internet.
 MIT     Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 MTTF    Mean Time to Failure
         The average time between hardware breakdown or loss of
         service.  This may be an empirical measurement or a
         calculation based on the MTTF of component parts.
 MTTR    Mean Time to Recovery (or Repair)
         The average time it takes to restore service after a
         breakdown or loss.  This is usually an empirical measurement.
 MVS     Multiple Virtual Storage
         An IBM operating system based on OS/1.

User Services Working Group [Page 36] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 NASA    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
 NBS     National Bureau of Standards
         Now called NIST.
 network number
         The part of an internet address which designates the
         network to which the addressed node belongs.
 NFS     Network File System
         A network service that lets a program running on one
         computer to use data stored on a different computer on
         the same internet as if it were on its own disk.
 NIC     Network Information Center
         An organization which provides network users with
         information about services provided by the network.
 NOC     Network Operations Center
         An organization that is responsible for maintaining
         a network.
 NIST    National Institute of Standards and Technology
         Formerly NBS.
 NSF     National Science Foundation
 NSFNET  National Science Foundation Network
         The NSFNET is a highspeed "network of networks" which is
         hierarchical in nature.  At the highest level is a
         backbone network currently comprising 16 nodes connected
         to a 45Mbps facility which spans the continental United
         States.  Attached to that are mid-level networks and
         attached to the mid-levels are campus and local
         networks.  NSFNET also has connections out of the U.S.
         to Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the Pacific Rim.  The
         NSFNET is part of the Internet.
 NSFNET  Mid-level Level Network
         A network connected to the highest level of the NSFNET that
         covers a region of the United States.  It is to mid-level
         networks that local sites connect.  The mid-level networks
         were once called "regionals".
 OSI     Open Systems Interconnection
         A set of protocols designed to be an international standard
         method for connecting unlike computers and networks.  Europe
         has done most of the work developing OSI and will probably

User Services Working Group [Page 37] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

         use it as soon as possible.
 OSI Reference Model
         An "outline" of OSI which defines its seven layers and
         their functions.  Sometimes used to help describe other
 OSPF    Open Shortest-Path First Interior Gateway Protocol
         A proposed replacement for RIP.  It addresses some
         problems of RIP and is based upon principles that have
         been well-tested in non-internet protocols.  Originally
         acronymed as OSPFIGP.
 packet  The unit of data sent across a packet switching network.
         The term is used loosely.  While some Internet
         literature uses it to refer specifically to data sent
         across a physical network, other literature views
         the Internet as a packet switching network
         and describes IP datagrams as packets.
 PC      Personal Computer
 PCNFS   Personal Computer Network File System
 PPP     Point-to-Point Protocol
         The Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) provides a method for
         transmitting datagrams over serial point-to-point links.
         A formal description of message formats and the rules
         two computers must follow to exchange those messages.
         Protocols can describe low-level details of
         machine-to-machine interfaces (e.g., the order in
         which bits and bytes are sent across a wire)
         or high-level exchanges between allocation
         programs (e.g., the way in which two programs
         transfer a file across the Internet).
 RFC     The Internet's Request for Comments documents series
         The RFCs are working notes of the Internet research and
         development community.  A document in this series may be on
         essentially any topic related to computer communication, and
         may be anything from a meeting report to the specification of
         a standard.

User Services Working Group [Page 38] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 RIP     Routing Information Protocol
         One protocol which may be used on internets simply to pass
         routing information between gateways.   It is used on many
         LANs and on some of the NSFNET intermediate level networks.
 RJE     Remote Job Entry
         The general protocol for submitting batch jobs and
         retrieving the results.
 router  A special-purpose dedicated computer that attaches to
         two or more networks and routes packets from one
         network to the other.  In particular, an Internet
         router forwards IP datagrams among the networks it
         connects.  Gateways route packets to other
         gateways until they can be delivered to the final
         destination directly across one physical network.
 RPC     Remote Procedure Call
         An easy and popular paradigm for implementing the
         client-server model of distributed computing.
 server  A computer that shares its resources, such as printers
         and files, with other computers on the network.  An
         example of this is a Network Files System (NFS)
         Server which shares its disk space with one or more
         workstations that may not have local disk drives of
         their own.
 SLIP    Serial Line Internet Protocol
         SLIP is currently a defacto standard, commonly used for
         point-to-point serial connections running TCP/IP.  It is
         not an Internet standard but is defined in RFC 1055.
 SMTP    Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
         The Internet standard protocol for transferring
         electronic mail messages from one computer to another.
         SMTP specifies how two mail systems interact and the
         format of control messages they exchange to transfer mail.
 SNA     System Network Architecture
         IBM's data communications protocol.
 SNMP    Simple Network Management Protocol
         The Simple Network Management Protocol (RFC 1157) is the
         Internet's standard for remote monitoring and management
         of hosts, routers and other nodes and devices on a network.

User Services Working Group [Page 39] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 subnet  A portion of a network, which may be a physically independent
         network, which shares a network address with other portions
         of the network and is distinguished by a subnet number.  A
         subnet is to a network what a network is to an internet.
 subnet number
         A part of the internet address which designates a subnet.
         It is ignored for the purposes internet routing, but is
         used for intranet routing.
 T1      A term for a digital carrier facility used to transmit a
         DS-1 formatted digital signal at 1.544 megabits per second.
 T3      A term for a digital carrier facility used to transmit a DS-3
         formatted digital signal at 44.746 megabits per second.
 TCP     Transmission Control Protocol
         A transport layer protocol for the Internet.  It is a
         connection oriented, stream protocol defined by RFC 793.
 TCP/IP  Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
         This is a common shorthand which refers to the suite
         of application and transport protocols which run over IP.
         These include FTP, TELNET, SMTP, and UDP (a transport
         layer protocol).
 Telenet A public packet-switching network operated by US Sprint.
         Also known as "SprintNet".
 TELNET  The Internet standard protocol for remote terminal
         connection service.  TELNET allows a user at one site
         to interact with a remote timesharing system at
         another site as if the user's terminal was connected
         directly to the remote computer.
 Token Ring
         A type of LAN.   Examples are IEEE 802.5, ProNET-10/80 and
         FDDI.  The term "token ring" is often used to denote 802.5
 Tymnet  A public character-switching/packet-switching network
         operated by British Telecom.
 UDP     User Datagram Protocol
         A transport layer protocol for the Internet.  It is a
         datagram protocol which adds a level of reliability and
         multiplexing to IP datagrams.  It is defined in RFC 768.

User Services Working Group [Page 40] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

 ULTRIX  UNIX-based operating system for Digital Equipment Corporation
 UNIX    An operating system developed by Bell Laboratories that
         supports multiuser and multitasking operations.
 UUCP    UNIX-to-UNIX Copy Program
         A protocol used for communication between consenting
         UNIX systems.
 VMS     Virtual Memory System
         A Digital Equipment Corporation operating system.
 WAN     Wide Area Network
 WHOIS   An Internet program which allows users to query a database of
         people and other Internet entities, such as domains,
         networks, and hosts, kept at the DDN NIC.  The information for
         people shows a person's company name, address, phone number
         and email address.
 XNS     Xerox Network System
         A data communications protocol suite developed by Xerox.  It
         uses Ethernet to move the data between computers.
 X.25    A data communications interface specification developed to
         describe how data passes into and out of public data
         communications networks.  The public networks such as
         Sprintnet and Tymnet use X.25 to interface to customer

User Services Working Group [Page 41] RFC 1325 FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users May 1992

14. Security Considerations

 Security issues are not discussed in this memo.

15. Authors' Addresses

 Gary Scott Malkin
 Xylogics, Inc.
 53 Third Avenue
 Burlington, MA  01803
 Phone:  (617) 272-8140
 EMail:  gmalkin@Xylogics.COM
 April N. Marine
 SRI International
 Network Information Systems Center
 333 Ravenswood Avenue, EJ294
 Menlo Park, CA  94025
 Phone:  (415) 859-5318

User Services Working Group [Page 42]

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