Google Groups no longer supports new Usenet posts or subscriptions. Historical content remains viewable.

Internet-on-a-Disk #7, November/December 1994

Skip to first unread message

B+R Samizdat Express

Dec 3, 1994, 11:54:21 AM12/3/94
INTERNET-ON-A-DISK #7, November/December 1994
Newsletter of public domain and freely available electronic texts
Circulation: direct = 3900, indirect (estimated) = 100,000+

This newsletter is free for the asking. To be added to the distribution
list, please send requests to ( If you don't
have an email address, we can send it to you by snail-mail on IBM or
Mac diskette -- $30 for ten diskettes -- one with all the back issues,
followed by the next nine issues. B&R Samizdat Express, PO Box 161,
West Roxbury, MA 02132.

Permission is granted to freely distribute this newsletter in electronic form.
All other rights reserved. (Someday this might become part of a book.)

We plan to produce new issues about once a month (with time off for
vacation). We welcome submissions of articles and information
relating to availability of electronic texts on the Internet and their use in


(texts recently made available by ftp, gopher, www, and LISTSERV)

from the Gutenberg Project --
ftp /pub/etext/etext94
The Europeans by Henry James (europ10.txt)
Confidence by Henry James (confi10.txt)
The American by Henry James (theam10.txt)
Roderick Hudson by Henry James (rhuds10.txt)
Coming soon -- a complete encyclopedia.

Live from Antarctica
gopher and select NASA K-12 Interactive Projects
On-line info supplements an educational project intended to engage
students in the real-life, scientific research. This "electronic field trip"
includes a mini-series of four forty-minute LIVE educational television
programs to be distributed over PBS on December 13 and 15th, 1994 at
2:00 EST and January 10th, 1995 at 5:30PM EST and January 19th at
1:00PM EST. Related on-line resources include electronic mail access
to scientists and researchers, a teacher discussion list, and Antarctica text
and image resources. For more information on the project call
1-800-626-LIVE. If you cannot access the gopher site, the on-line
materials (including .gif images) are also available on IBM/Macintosh
diskette for $10 from the PLEASE COPY THIS DISK Project (to order,
send email to

from the CIA
1994 CIA World Factbook

from Joel Jaeggli
This "Classics" site includes the complete text of translations of The Iliad,
The Odyssey, and The Aeneid.

from Proyecto Cervantes at Cetys Universidad, Campus Ensenada, in Mexico
The beginnings of an archive of Cervantes texts in Spanish. Now includes
Entremeses Cervantinos: El Hospital de los Podrida, El Juez del los
Divorcios, Los Mirones.

from Patrick Crispen
Roadmap is an on-line Internet training workshop. The free lessons are sent by
email, one a day for about a month. Patrick Crispen recently finished his
second session which reached tens of thousands of Internet newcomers. To subscribe
for a future session, send email to:
Your message should read:
SUB ROADMAP yourfirstname yourlastname
The complete set of lessons is also available on IBM/Macintosh diskette from
PLEASE COPY THIS DISK (Internet Reference #3 for $10).

While very few K-12 schools have good Internet connections, nearly all
have PCs or Macintoshes. And one of the best ways to introduce them
to the treasures of the Internet is by providing them with electronic texts
on disks. (That's a lot easier and cheaper than giving them printouts.)

For those who do not have the capability or the time to retrieve
electronic texts from the Internet, many are available at a nominal price
from PLEASE COPY THIS DISK, a project of The B&R Samizdat
Express. For further information, send email to



Yahoo (, the work of two students
at Stanford, has become the best and easiest to use starting point on
the web. With their amazing free service they have out-done all
commercial services (like Global Network Navigator). Their database
now includes over 21,000 URLs and grows at an average rate of 100-200
per day. Since they started in August of this year, the usage has soared.
On December 1, visitors used Yahoo to get to over 400,000 files on the Web;
and the previous week the site was accessed over 1.6 million times. The
cascade of menus for browsing and the search engine make a terrific
combination. If you want to add you own Web pages to their list, you can
do so by selecting "Add". This is the best place to go fishing for new Internet

If Yahoo doesn't quench your thirst for tens of thousands of new Web
pages, try the new searchable database at Carnegie Mellon University -- Lycos
Search ( Their "short catalog" includes nearly
half a million URLs, and their long one has over a million. But while Yahoo
adds new sites when people submit the information, this database grows
through automatic searches over the Internet. As a result many of the
sites pointed to from here may have changed addresses or gone away, and
others may not yet be ready for public viewing.

Digital Equipment's "Reading Rooms" are particularly useful starting
points for teachers, librarians and researchers. While Yahoo is all-inclusive
and massive, these Reading Rooms consist of pointers to hand-picked
selections of the best and most-useful sites for these audiences -- places
you'll want to go back to time after time.
Education Reading Room
Research Reading Room
Museums & Libraries Reading Room

Want to check out what other schools are doing on the Web? Gleason
Sackman keeps a list of K-12 schools on the Web, organized by state

Canada's Schoolnet, "a cooperative initiative of Canada's provincial,
territorial, and federal governments, educators, universities and colleges,
and industry," now has its own Web page and information and pointers
that would be useful to teachers wherever they may reside
( Their goal is "to link all of
Canada's 16,000 plus schools to the electronic highway as quickly as possible."

The IRS has landed ( Not
exactly classic texts, but very useful -- here you get all of your U.S. tax forms
on-line, easily and immediately.

H.M Treasury (U.K.) just came on line too (

The Wall St. Journal, New York Times, Dow Jones News Service, etc.
are all on-line now as part of DowVision ( For
a limited time, during their startup test period, they are letting people register
for free. Then you are going to have to pay for this service. Check it out.
It's well done. And fill out their survey form, and let them loudly know that
regardless of what they charge to commercial customers, a resource such as
this should be free to the .edu community.

Taylor Road Middle School in Alpharetta, Georgia, just put its pages on the
Web (, and announced that it is going to provide
local insight into preparations for the 1996 Olympics.

The Internet Mall, with pointers to electronic book sources on the "First
Floor", has moved to

SkiWeb plans to provide ski condition reports for major resorts in the U.S.

California Virtual has pointers to lots of good stuff in California.
Tourist (

There are three good Web sites for lovers of chess -- Chess Archives
( , the Internet Chess Library, and Chess Server


If you use a PC and have a text-only dial-in account to the Internet hosted on
a UNIX machine, you may be able to see and hear the wonders of the
Worldwide Web with a piece of software called SLIPKNOT. The access
is slow, and the present version doesn't support forms yet; but for those
trapped with terminal-emulation access to the Internet and salivating at
the new stuff they hear is on the Web, this product is simply miraculous.
I've tried it out on, and it works great. You can download
the software and instructions from or
For general info check their Web site
or send a blank e-mail message to

I just stumbled across another interesting technological twist. Universal
Access Inc., offers Web Fax, which purportedly can retrieve World Wide
Web documents from any FAX machine with a touch-tone phone. I don't
have the equipment to check this out personally, but it sounds intriguing.

(Several readers have asked if they could "subscribe" to our home page --
a document listing hundreds of URLs in html format. We're willing to do
that with updates four times a year for $10. Send mail to if you are interested.)


by Richard Seltzer
B&R Samizdat Express

People often ask: What are the demographics of the Internet? Where do these
people live? What do they do for a living? What kinds of things do they buy?

That's a traditional set of questions. Many successful retail businesses have
been based on good answers to such questions -- enabling them to decide
exactly where they should set up shop or who they should send direct mail
advertising to.

From that point of view, the Internet is very difficult to understand because of
the enormous rate of growth, and especially the shift from its education and
research origins.

With increasing commercialization, the demographics of the Internet are
changing -- not just the numbers but the kinds of people who are out there as a
potential audience and marketplace. An audience that is willing and able to
buy attracts businesses, and competing businesses creatively do their best to
attract audiences; so both business and audience keep growing in an ever-
widening spiral.

In the swirl of today's activity, we can see societal, economic, and
technological forces leading to the growth and change of the Internet. But if
we step back and try to visualize where all this activity is leading, we can begin
to see the Internet as a cause rather than just an effect -- the Internet as a force
with the potential to change society and economics. And what might be the
direction of that change?

I believe that commercial use of the Internet has the capacity to transform the
world -- giving people new and broader choices of where and how to live and
work. Putting it simply: once the audience and business on the Internet
reaches critical mass, we won't need cities anymore.

In other words, the growth of commerce on the Internet could have the kind of
impact that the great advances in transportation brought. History lessons
hammer home how transportation technology led to the growth of cities and
determined where they would lie, and then led to the growth of suburbs. It
sounds so deterministic -- here's the confluence of major rivers, here's where
the caravan routes or the major highways cross, etc.

Use of the "information super highway" metaphor implies that the same kind of
determinism might apply in the future. The implication is -- invest heavily to
get the fastest possible communication lines, and you will bring the world's
business to your territory. Singapore seems to have that model in mind as it
invests to develop the world's best telecommunications infrastructure.

Yes, some companies will go out of their way to locate offices where the
telecommunications are best. But that is a very short-term advantage. Out of
necessity, the rest of the world will come up to speed very quickly, and
meanwhile compression and other technology advances will produce effects
similar to those brought by greater speed, but making it possible to do much
more with ordinary telephone lines.

More importantly, the Internet is not a highway. It takes you nowhere. Rather
it brings the world to your
desktop. It enables you to get information from anywhere and to do business
with people anywhere, without concerning yourself with where they are.

As the audience available on the Internet grows, we see the beginnings of a
global distributed marketplace. It doesn't matter where people live -- all that
matters for companies with goods for sale is that the people are connected.
And vice versa, it doesn't matter where the companies are located -- all that
matters is that the companies are connected. So people don't have to move
where the stores are if they want to buy. And companies don't have to move
to where the people are if they want to sell. And in some businesses which
have heavy information or software content, people can use the Internet to
work at a distance. This means that people don't have to move to go to where
the jobs are; and companies don't have to move to go where they can find a
skilled work force.

The combined effect of these changes could be that companies and individuals
have a greater degree of choice about where they locate and how they operate.
Talented young people need not gravitate to cities or emigrate to
"industrialized" countries.

Students at colleges in rural Mexico who today have access to the Internet and
are creating their own Web servers are developing the skills and knowledge to
create businesses on the Internet that can compete in a global electronic
marketplace from wherever they choose to set up shop. They will not feel
compelled to move to Mexico City.

Similarly, scientists can now choose to stay in Russia, rather than emigrate to
the West. A few years ago, science students, professors, and researchers in
Russia saw a bleak future ahead of them. Runaway inflation, salary scales out
of line with the world market, the difficulty of obtaining foreign currency, and
the high cost of technical journals and of international travel made it virtually
impossible for them to get the latest information about scientific developments
in the rest of the world. This meant a choice of staying in their native land as
second-class members of the scientific community, or emigrating to the West.
Thanks to the Internet, those who stayed can now participate much more fully
in the global community -- obtaining much valuable information for very low
cost and being able to take part in global discussions. And in an increasing
number of instances it is possible for them to get work assignments from
companies elsewhere in the world, which involve doing work or submitting it
over the Internet, which means they can live where they want to live and get
paid at salary levels that previously would have been impossible.

Up until now, this has only happened on a small scale. But the potential is

Giving people a real choice of where and how they live could transform the
world. No longer will a handful of "industrialized" countries act as a magnate
attracting talent and capital from all over the world. No longer will cities grow
out of control.

I see the knowledge worker of the future as Thoreau with an Internet
connection. He sits on a mountain top, leaning against a tree, and with a
mobile computer in his lap. The Internet is a social tool putting him in touch
with people of like mind around the world; it's a global library that gives him
access to the works of the great thinkers of all time; and it's also a business
tool, providing him with the livelihood he needs to enjoy his mountain retreat.

To check out the latest commercial sites on the World Wide Web, see
Open Market's Commercial Sites Index --
For a listing of books on business use of the Internet and reviews of them


by Richard Seltzer
B&R Samizdat Express

The combination of "adaptive technology" and the Internet opened the world
to many visually impaired people.

Before, they were limited to audio tapes and Braille books, and books with
extra large type, all of which are difficult and expensive to produce. That
meant that only a small portion of the literature and information available to
everyone else was open to them.

Then computer technology led to development of a variety of devices that can
turn plain ASCII text into voice or show it as extra large letters or even
provide Braille output. And the Internet, through applications such as mail,
newsgroups, ftp and gopher, provided an almost inexhaustible supply of
information in plain text form.

Many blind people became Internet gurus. The Internet was the ultimate equal
opportunity global environment -- no one knows if you are blind or have three
feet tall or your skin is purple. All that matters is your ideas and your ability to
express them and the respect and care that you show for others in your
dealings in this public arena.

For the sighted, the coming of the World Wide Web and graphics browsers
like Mosaic and Netscape was a glorious revolution. Suddenly, they
could point and click their way with ease from one end of the world to
the other, without bothering about complex addresses. The world of the
Internet became like a CD-ROM (only slower), with information easily
viewed and manipulated in a Windows environment, and with the
welcome addition of great color graphics, the beginnings of video, and
even audio. Over the last year, it seems that everyone has been scrambling to
put up a Web server. Great work is being done. But if the only way to get to
it were with a graphics interface, the blind would be locked out and consigned
once again to the role of second-class citizens.

Fortunately, a handful of people at the University of Kansas in Lawrence,
Kansas, (Lou Montilli, Charles Rezac, and Michael Grobe) developed a
character-cell browser named Lynx, and made the code freely available
over the Internet. According to Lynx Users Guide Version 2.3
"Lynx is a fully-featured World Wide Web (WWW) client for users
running cursor-addressable, character-cell display devices (e.g. vt100
terminals, vt100 emulators running on PCs or Macs, or any other
"curses-oriented" display). It will display hypertext markup language
(HTML) hypertext documents containing links to files residing on the
local system, as well as files residing on remote systems running
Gopher, HTTP, FTP, WAIS, and NNTP servers. Current versions of
Lynx run on UNIX and VMS. A DOS version is in development."

Simply put, Lynx delivers documents from the World Wide Web
as plain ASCII text characters. This means that they can be "read" by
the blind, as well as people who are limited to character-cell (no graphics)
access to the Internet.

So there is a solution available for the blind, but lack of awareness limits
its usefulness. Many blind people who could use this capability still do not
know that it is available. And many people who now run or are building
Web sites seem to be unaware of the importance of Lynx, and are designing
their pages without taking into account that means of access. In other
words, many exciting and interesting Web sites (such as HotWired -- produced
by Wired Magazine, and located at are so heavily
dependent on graphics that it's impossible to use Lynx there.

If you know an Internet user who is blind, let them know about Lynx.

If you know someone who is building a Web server, remind them that
they should design their pages with text-only alternatives for maneuvering
from one place to the next and not depend on the user seeing icons and
fancy graphics.

If you know someone who designs, or builds or sells Internet-related
computer products or on-line information services, remind them that if
they or their customers do business with the U.S. government they may
at some time be required to make their information accessible to the blind,
and Lynx can help them accomplish this.

If you know someone who is involved in the further development of Web
server software and html authoring tools, encourage them to make it easy
for the creators of Web pages to see how their work will appear with a
Lynx browser as well as with the full graphics.

And if you know someone who is involved in the further development of
Lynx, remind them how important that tool is for the blind and that they
should consult with blind users for advice on features they should include
in future versions.

(Lynx is currently available via anonymous FTP from
LYNX Letters

Attached is a query letter we sent to a handful of people who are concerned
about access for the blind to Internet resources. Their responses follow.

We would welcome further such messages for inclusion in future issues.
Please send you mail to

(Thanks to Diane Croft at National Braille Press for pointing us to some
of the key people.)

Date: Wed, 2 Nov 1994 17:48:21 +0001 (EST)
From: B+R Samizdat Express <>

We'd like to include an article about LYNX in our next issue of the
Internet-on-a-Disk newsletter. There's been a lot of hype about the
World Wide Web and the various graphical browsers like Mosaic and
Netscape. I'd like to alert people -- particularly the blind -- that
there is a character cell alternative, that as long as the information
provider keeps LYNX in mind when designing pages, the blind should be able
to access their information.

I'm looking for brief first-hand accounts of what it is like to use LYNX
-- especially what it is like for a blind person. What works well and
what doesn't? Are there problems/barriers? Are there sites which you
find particularly easy or difficult to use (because of the page design)?
Do you have any way to create your own home page? Would it be useful to
you if someone maintained a home page of sites particularly useful to the
blind -- so you only had to type in one address, to get to that, and
then could just select from the menu of choices?

Do you have a wish-list of features you would like developers to include
in future versions?

Also any tips on usage would be very helpful.

Richard Seltzer
B&R Samizdat Express
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 1994 18:01:41 -0500 (EST)
From: "Judith M. Dixon" <>

I am a user of both Lynx and Doslynx. I find them both very easy to
use. I use a braille display to access the computer. My only wish would
be to be able to play audio clips within the program rather than having
to download them for later playing. Just because I don't want graphical
images, I still want audio.

* Judith M. Dixon *
* Consumer Relations Officer (202) 707-0722 *
* National Library Service (202) 707-0712 fax *
* for the Blind and *
* Physically Handicapped *
* Library of Congress *
* Washington, DC 20542 *

On Wed, 2 Nov 1994, B+R Samizdat Express wrote:

> By the way, I'm not familiar with DOSLYNX. Where can you get that and
> what is different about it?

Doslynx is also available from the University of Kansas. It is the
version of Lynx that runs on a DOS machine. At work, I am connected to a
token Ring and run DOSlynx on my PC. However, from home, I can only dial
into the Unix shell so I think use the Lynx that is available on our Unix

* Judith M. Dixon *

Date: Wed, 02 Nov 1994 19:46:01 -0500 (EST)

Lynx is a good system at present. I have been just too busy to learn or
explore it very much. There is a special lynx command that is most useful for
a blind user

lynx -show_cursor
that will put my cursor on the highlighted line. With one keystroke I can ask
what is on the cursor line. Then, when I downarrow, the system speaks what
is on the line I move to. I don't have to go read the screen to see what is
highlighted. This feature is MOST important.

Second, Mosaic is being modified for blind access. In fact its producers claim
they want to set the national standard and model for access for blind persons.
They have $100,000 from NSF to help them.

If you want to know more about it, write to Larry Scadden,

Norman Coombs

Date: Fri, 04 Nov 94 08:15:20 EST

Thank you for the info. Norm Coombs' information is not
totally accurate, however. NSF is one of the key funders
for Mosaic development at the National Center for
Supercomputing Applications as the lead in a very large
inter-agency cooperative agreement. I put in $100,000 this
past year to put accessibility on the development agenda for
NCSA. chief of software development at NCSA for Mosaic,
Joseph Hardin, has now made accessibility one of the high
priorities for Mosaic, but it is going to take a long time;
I have no idea how long, and it will still need to work
within a Windows environment, and we don't yet have an
exemplary screen reader for Windows.

Joseph Hardin is working with the Lynx people on this topic,
so I have to assume that he is drawing from their experience
to make Mosaic accessible. I use Lynx here at NSF to access
the Mosaic home pages. Still, I find Lynx difficult on the
WWW, but it may be the operator rather than the program.

The expert on Lynx for Dos use by blind people is Doug
Wakefield of the General Services Administration. He uses
it, and he has worked with the White House to make their
Mosaic-driven information system accessible to blind people
using Lynx for Dos. Doug can be found at:

I hope I will be able to learn more about your work and
publication, and hopefully learn to Lynx better when I have
time to sit and work with it for an adequate period of time.

Larry Scadden

Lawrence A. Scadden, Ph.D.
Senior Program Director
Program for Persons with Disabilities
National Science Foundation
Phone: (703) 306-1636 ext. 6865
Date: Sat, 5 Nov 1994 11:16:24 -0500 (EST)
From: Jo Churcher <>

Hello Richard,

Thank you for the letter about LYNX, which gave me pause to stop and
consider what, exactly, my relationship is with that marvellous, often
frustrating, program.

I don't use LYNX a great deal, and tend not to use it if there is another
alternative. This is due mainly to the amount of unnecessary chatter it
gives me as I move from one link to another, since my speech program
faithfully reads me all the count of bytes received (at least I think
that's what it's reading me!), and if I suppress that, I then usually
miss the first screen of information. Also, most of my LYNX sessions
have ended with the computer getting locked up, though I suspect this is
not a fault of LYNX itself, but of something else, whether in our local
system or in Telix I have not been able to determine.

Now those are the negatives, and trivial, too, when set against the
positives. My big step--the step which made it possible for me to use
LYNX at all--was to discover that an option could be set to number the
links. As a blind user, I found that numbering extremely valuable, as
before that, I really couldn't determine what the links were. It has
made all the difference!

I think it is quite possible for a blind person to design his own home
page, and I've been toying with the idea of doing so, though it'll
probably take me a while to get around to it. In the meantime I rely on
bookmarks and other people's home pages--yours, for instance--to take me
where I want to go. I know I have barely skimmed the surface of what's
available to me, and the more I skim, the more I'm aware of what *isn't*
available. The Rossetti archive, for example, was one of my greatest
joys and frustrations in using LYNX. So many links leading to those
unattainable pictures! ... I've been a devotee of the PreRaphaelites
since studying them at university, but the written word, in their case,
goes hand in hand with their visual art, and this complicated my
wanderings through the Rossetti archive.

It will be unfortunate for the visually impaired if further development
of LYNX is abandoned. It could probably be a bit more stable, and I'm
sure that, if it remains as it is now, it will soon drop behind
developments in the Worldwide Web. In my wish list, I would place at the
top the need for ongoing development of LYNX, and also that knowledgeable
blind users (I doubt whether I'd fall into that category!) might offer
suggestions on how the program could be made more useful to them.

To respond to another of your queries, I think that a home page with
sites that might be of particular value to the visually impaired would be
most useful. Of course I have no need to tell you that individual tastes
amongst the blind vary as much as in any other segment of the population,
but popular, text-oriented sites that could be reached without the hours
and hours of search and experiment that many of us spend in their
location would be great! (I seem to have got lost in that last
convoluted sentence. Sorry! I'm writing this online.)

Good to hear from you again, and hope this rambling was of some use.

Back issues are available from us on request, and are also found at the
archives of the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
They are also available from a web server in London = catalog of disks
available from PLEASE COPY THIS DISK
" " /internet_disk1.html = issue #1
" " /internet_disk2.html = issue #2 etc.
(We're just starting our own tiny web server at For now, it's only available for a
few hours in the evening, Eastern Time).

They are also found at such sites as:
gopher /Disabilities & Rehabilitation Resources/
/EASI/EASI's list of available Internet etexts

And also at the GRIST On-Line BBS at (212)787-6562.

You are welcome to include this publication on your bbs or ftp or
gopher or webserver. Please let us know the address, and we'll add it to
this list.

NB -- Depending on time and place, Richard Seltzer could be available
for speaking engagements.

Published by PLEASE COPY THIS DISK, B&R Samizdat Express,
PO Box 161, West Roxbury, MA 02132.


May 30, 2011, 10:47:30 PM5/30/11
Yahoo! is a badass and Lycos is no longer in people's sight now~
0 new messages