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Ask Dr. Internet (Forwarded message...)

das Folgende ergibt ausgedruckt 6 Seiten.
Sicher sind einige selbst bei "Gutenberg" abonniert, und andere wissen 
schon alles (besser), :-).
Ich finde den Ueberblick ganz gut.
Gruss aus Duesseldorf,
Thomas Hilberer

----- Forwarded message begins here -----
From: Michael S. Hart  <HART _at__ vmd.cso.uiuc.edu>
Sat, 13 May 1995 07:54:35 CDT
To: Multiple recipients of list GUTNBERG <GUTNBERG%UIUCVMD.BITNET _at__ vm.gmd.de>
Subject: Ask Dr. Internet

"Ask Dr. Internet"

May, 1995

The major questions of the first session of "Ask Dr. Internet are:

1.  How big is the Internet?  When did it start?  How did it grow?

2.  Who owns the Internet?

3.  What do the Internet addresses mean?

4.  Tell me how to get on and off various lists and discussion groups.

5.  What is "Netiquette?"

6.  What is "Flaming?"

7.  What is "Bandwidth?"

8.  Why can't I FTP to some places?

9.  What is the World Wide Web, Gopherspace, etc?

10. Why can't I get some WWW stuff via FTP?

1.  How big is the Internet?  When did it start?  How did it grow?

The Internet should arrive at about 50 million users on 5 million
different computers sometime in 1995.  Today these figures are an
estimation, the older figures listed below are more exact because
they were smaller and easier to deal with.  Today computers go on
and off the Internet every day, in the beginning changes were the

Several rules of thumb apply to the figures given below:

1.  At any given time, perhaps 1% of all computers are on the Internet.
    Thus there will probably be 500 million computers in 1995.  This is
    certainly likely to change when there are billions of computers.

2.  At any given time, perhaps 10 people have accounts on any node. . .
    thus with 5 million nodes in 1995 there should be 50 million users.
    This becomes more and more of an inflated estimate as more and more
    people have multiple accounts.  _I_ have NOT accounted for this, at
    least in my own personal estimates, and many of the figures I would
    present do NOT tell if they account for anything like this.

3.  The later figures are only estimates:

    For instance,    10/93    2,056,000

    Other listing:   11/93    1,977,210
    Broken down to   US       1,436,750
                     Europe     496,763
                     Japan       43,697

So please take all these with at least 1 grain of salt. . .  ;-)

People always ask when the Internet really took off, and by this
chart as well as by my personal experience, it was 1987-1988.

   Date       Hosts
   -----    ---------
   05/69            4
   10/69            5
   04/71           23
   06/74           62
   03/77          111
   08/81          213
   05/82          235
   08/83          562
   10/84        1,024
   10/85        1,961
   02/86        2,308
   11/86        5,089
   12/87       28,174
   07/88       33,000
   10/88       56,000
   01/89       80,000
   07/89      130,000
   10/89      159,000
   10/90      313,000
   01/91      376,000
   07/91      535,000
   10/91      617,000
   01/92      727,000
   04/92      890,000
   07/92      992,000
   10/92    1,136,000
   01/93    1,313,000
   04/93    1,486,000
   07/93    1,776,000
   10/93    2,056,000
   01/94    2,217,000
   1995     5,000,000 est

2.  Who owns the Internet?

The US Government started the Internet, and therefore could have
been said to own it.  However, we don't own the phone companies,
any more than we own the Internet. . .we own our phones, and our
computers, but we don't own the actual network.  As I understand
it, in the US the network now belongs to the phone companies.

3.  What do the Internet addresses mean?

There are two kinds of Internet address, one is a "name" and the
other is an Internet Protocol Number [IP#]:

In this case, this message will originate from vmd.cso.uiuc.edu

The sections are reversed in name and number [in the US where we
also drive on the other side of the road from some of you].

vmd and 12 are the name and number of the computer I am using.
cso and 201 are the name and number of the local subdomain
uiuc and 174 are the name and number of the U of Illinois at
edu and 128 are the name and number of the educational network

Other networks endings are:

.com = commercial
.org = organizations
.gov = government
.net = network
.mil = military

You can now get a single permanent email address that will do
forwarding to you for your whole life for about $15 per year.
Just ask if you want details on this.

4.  Tell me how to get on and off various lists and discussion groups.

When you first get on a discussion group run on a listserver, you will
receive a note telling you that you have been subscribed to that list.
This note should also contain the addresses to send comments for other
reasons than posting to that list, including "sub" and "unsub" and the
other commands for that listserver.

Save these notes.  A good way to save them is just to put them in file
names such as gutnberg.doc for the notes from the gutnberg server.

These notes will describe several addresses for different purposes.  A
note meant for the listowner will go to the whole list if you email to
the wrong address, so you might want to be careful.

If all else has failed, write to postmaster _at__  the listserv site or root
at the same site, and ask for help.

Remember all your commands to these listserv programs MUST BE FROM THE

Some listservers send out their first time subscription messages over,
and over, and over again, like the Energizer Bunny. . .usually only an
infinitesimal portion, if any is changed.  They probably expect you to
find your old copy, delete it, and download the new one.  Sometimes it
is sent out to post new rules for the discussion, which most ignore.

Other viewpoints are welcome, of course.

5.  What is "Netiquette?"

Netiquette is an effort to encourage all the people on the Nets to act
in the same or similar manners.  It is basically a peer group pressure
type of thing at present, and if it gets powerful enough, it may be in
actual written rules of the Internet someday.

Now it is mostly people who are trying to make everyone act like them.

The major trouble with Netiquette is that it is made up by people with
little or no understanding of how their computers or networks actually
work. . .and thus sometimes makes problems worse rather than solving.


1.  Netiquette encourages SHORT messages.  However, it takes twice the
bandwidth to send three short messages rather than one long one, which
contains all the information of the three short ones.  Those listservs
which have lots of traffic and are run by computer experts are DIGESTS
which combine many messages into one, which contains all the messages:
for a day, a week, or even a month; these are much more efficient than
sending a half dozen separate messages with separate headers each day.
Each header is likely to "waste" 2 or 3 packets of 512 characters.  If
you don't see the headers, it is just because your mailer doesn't show
them to you. . .they have to be there to route your email.

2.  Netiquette encourages LURKING.  They want you to be a wallflower a
long enough time so that when/if you DO say anything it will be just a
similar reflection on things to what you have already seen.  A recent,
I will not name it, television show on the Internet proclaimed LURKING
IS GOOD.  I suppose for those who are in tight control over listservs,
this might be the case, if they want to maintain their dictatorships--
however, if you look closely, most of the listserver systems were made
in retaliation to this kind of control over a previous listserver.

More about Netiquette later if you want it.  Other viewpoints welcome.

The true defense against a note YOU don't want to see is just "HIT THE
DELETE KEY". . .but those who want to make sure no one else see a note
you have written will try to get the listserv moderator to delete your
message for everyone.  People who do this usually are called "listserv
owners" rather than "listserv moderators" because they feel they truly
OWN the part of the Internet you are using there.

6.  What is "Flaming?"

Flaming is the process of fighting over the Internet, especially if it
degenerates into name calling.  However, watch out for list OWNERS who
use the term "flaming" to disguise their attempts to control things.

I may not agree with what some people say on the Internet but I defend
their right to say it in the manner they want to.  HIT THE DELETE KEY!
if you don't like what they say but don't let the listowners do it for
the whole group. . .if the group WANTS to talk about it, LET THEM. . .
if they didn't want to talk about, it wouldn't be happening.

Different people have different ideas of what flaming is, and you will
will learn after a while not to pay attention to certain of them as we
all have learned, including some who pay no attention to me.

7.  What is "Bandwidth?"

Bandwidth is the capacity of the network, usually expressed in storage
divided by time. . .i.e. megabytes per second.

If they talk about megabits per second, they are usually trying for an
impressive figure which should be divided by 10, as it usually takes a
whole ten bits to send one byte [8 bits] due to start and stop bits.

If you include all the packet headers, and the whole message header, a
much lower figure comes out as per the mention of short message above.
The truth is that about half the bandwidth is not what you actually do
. . .but rather what they computers and networks are doing to get your
message or file where it is going.

Many people believe that the current wires and optical cables can send
gigabytes per second.  Actually, not counting headers, etc., they will
be hard pressed to send much more than a megabyte per second real time
execution, even if no one else is sending something at that moment.

Of course, in private laboratory experiments you can get more, but the
highest speed I have been able to get, when no one else was logged in,
on any machine in the whole building, was less than a meg per second--
and we are supposedly on the largest Internet node in the world.

K = kilobyte = 1 thousand characters = the average screen of email
M = megabyte = 1 million characters = the average 300 page book
G = gigabyte = 1 billion characters = 1 thousand books
T = terabyte = 1 trillion characters = 1 million books
P = petabyte = 1 quadrillion characters = 1 billion books
E = exabyte = 1 quintillion characters = 1 trillion books

Compressed CDROMs can hold 1 gigabyte--
1,000 of these can hold 1 million books
and will fit in a medium sized suitcase
Stack up 100 of these suitcases. . .and
you can hold every word of the "Library
of Congress."

8.  Why can't I FTP or email to some places?

Some places that are advertised as open or "anonymous" FTP sites still
require that the computer you are calling from be a registered portion
of the Internet, and some require that your computer identify itself--
in computerese--if the FTP site asks.

If your computer is unregistered, or won't answer the questions from a
particular FTP site, that FTP site might be programmed to "hang up" on
you to protect itself from criminal activity.

Email can be turned off or on, as the user wishes.  If you deal with a
large number of people, you will eventually receive a message you want
to answer, but the reply will either vanish or bounce back to you, due
to the fact that the person at the other end has used a login that you
cannot email to.

You can sometimes find a different email address in other parts of the
message, or in the header, or by asking a postmaster at the other end.

Sometimes it is just corporate policy. . .kind of like answering junk-
mail items from your paper mail. . .you are likely to get no response,
or another junkmail response.

9.  What is the World Wide Web [WWW], Gopherspace, etc?

Actually, these are merely cute applications of FTP, which send you to
many different computers to get various pieces of what you see on your
screen.  If you use these enough, and follow the links, you will often
find you have linked from somewhere close to somewhere distant to some
close location again, etc., etc., etc.  If you are at a large Internet
node like the UIUC, supposedly the largest, you will find the computer
you are talking to in Minnesota or Michigan will often send a computer
at UIUC the question you asked in Minnesota or Michigan [or vs versa].

10. Why can't I get WWW or Gopher stuff via FTP?

Actually you can, if the person setting up the Web and Gopher sites is
consistent with the naming of files, directories, etc. and keeps sites
open for anonymous FTP.

However, most WWW and Gopher sites use such esoteric links that you or
I could never follow them via FTP, even though the computers could.  A
serious result is that if certain links are down the programs wouldn't
be able to pick up the trail, while a person might, if they had enough
of the proper filenames.  However, many of the filenames used in sites
for WWW and Gopher files are filenames like 101145.www instead of like

If they give you the right filename, even if it is /dir/subdir/oddball
you should still be able to find the files.

Some people think FTP is the greatest thing in the world, some persons
think of it as like driving a 21 speed semi-trailer-truck.  If you are
a point and click person, you may not like FTP. . .if you are a stick-
shift person who likes getting under the hood, you will love it.  Most
of course are somewhere in between, as with most opinions.


If you have suggestions or questions, or differing opinions, we should
be happy to try to fit them into future issues of "Ask Dr. Internet."

email to internet _at__ jg.cso.uiuc.edu

Dr. Internet is a consortium of Internet veterans who volunteer effort
and time to help others understand and use the Internet better, and is
sponsored by Sol-Tec, New Media Publishing, and Project Gutenberg.

If you would like professional assistance in setting up your Web Page,
please email xheal _at__ soltec.com

Thank you,


Michael S. Hart, Professor of Electronic Text
Executive Director of Project Gutenberg Etext
Illinois Benedictine College, Lisle, IL 60532
No official connection to U of Illinois--UIUC
hart _at__ uiucvmd.bitnet and hart _at__ vmd.cso.uiuc.edu

Internet User Number 100 [approximately] [TM]
One of the several "Ask Dr Internet" Sponsors

Break Down the Bars of Ignorance & Illiteracy
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------ Forwarded message ends here ------

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