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Sacramento, California USENET FAQ Part 6 of 6

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Archive-name: sac/faq/part6
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Last-modified: Jun. 26, 1996
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               The Sacramento, California USENET FAQ Part 6 of 6
            Frequently Asked Questions about Sacramento, California
                           (c) Copyright 1995 & 1996


                             David F. Prenatt, Jr.
                              Internet Esquire(sm)
                                 P.O. Box 74632
                              Davis, CA 95617-5632

                     < >

                        < >

The Sacramento, California USENET FAQ (Sacramento USENET FAQ) may be
comprised of more than one part.  If it is, please see the TABLE OF
CONTENTS in Part One for a complete list of the questions that I have
attempted to answer and for other important legal information.  Caveat
emptor:  I assume no obligation for anyone through the publication of the
Sacramento USENET FAQ.  Furthermore, all versions of the Sacramento USENET
FAQ are my personal property and are protected by applicable copyright
laws.  All rights are reserved except as follows:  I hereby give my
permission to anyone who has access to this version of the Sacramento
USENET FAQ to reproduce the information contained herein for non-profit
purposes, provided that proper credit is given to me as the author of this
FAQ and that I am notified of any use other than personal use.  Permission
to reproduce any version of this FAQ may be revoked by me at any time.

- - - - -
               The Sacramento, California USENET FAQ Part 6 of 6
            Frequently Asked Questions about Sacramento, California
               (c) Copyright 1995 & 1996 by David F. Prenatt, Jr.

10.2)  What is the Internet?

     The Internet is the product of a worldwide computer network developed
     by the military in the late 1960s (ARPANET), nurtured by academicians
     over the last 20 years or so, and currently used primarily as a medium
     for the communication and free exchange of information and ideas for
     anyone who knows how to obtain Internet access.

10.2.1)  How can I obtain access to the Internet? [Rev]

     You can use any computer system that has "telnet" capabilities or you
     can use your home computer to telnet via modem to various Internet
     Service Providers (ISPs).  In the Sacramento area, compare the ISPs
     listed below and choose the one that best fits [with humble
     acknowledgement to Bob Ney who posted a list of Sacramento area based
     ISPs on sac.general (<news:sac.general >) on July 6, 1995 (Message-ID:
     <3tfaok$>) and--if not for this acknowledgment
     --my apology for plagarizing his choice of words in the above

          *    Cal Web Communications
               < >

          *    Coastal Web Online
               < >

          *    CRL Network Services
               < >; < >

               < >

          *    Netcom Online Communication Services
               < >; < >

          *    NSnet
               < >; < >

          *    Promedia Services
               < >; < >

          *    Psyberware Internet Access -- Community Internet Access
               Dialups in Lincoln, Auburn, Roseville, and Grass Valley.
               < >; < >

          *    Quiknet
               < >; <>

          *    Sacramento Network Access
               < >; < >

     For more information, see Mike Ward's Sacramento Access Internet List
     on the World Wide Web (< >).
          In addition to Sacramento based ISPs, there are a number of free
     or low cost ISPs that are based elsewhere.  "The List" on the World
     Wide Web has search capabilities to help you locate an ISP in any area
     (< >).  Whatever ISP you choose, you will have
     to provide your own computer with a modem.  How do I telnet from a computer system that has telnet

     At the Unix prompt, simply type in "telnet" (without the quotes) and
     the name (or IP address) of the computer system which you wish to
     access.  For example:

          telnet computer.system

     where computer.system is the name of a hypothetical computer system
     that you wish to access by telnet.  You will then be asked for your
     account name and password, which is assigned to you by your ISP.  How do I obtain access to the Internet from my home computer?

     You will need a modem and some sort of communications software.  Check
     with your ISP for further information.

10.2.2)  How do I communicate with other people on the Internet?

     Communication between individuals on the Internet usually takes place
     through the institutions of e-mail and the USENET newsgroups.  These
     are the most straightforward and easy to use Internet applications.
     Live time conversations also take place with the Internet Relay Chat
     (IRC); the World Wide Web provides access to multimedia communication.
     I hesitate to mention the highly intrusive Internet communication
     software "talk/ytalk," but for those of you who want more information
     on how to interrupt people with a talk request, contact David T.
     Witkowski (< >; readers with a web
     browser may visit David T. Witkowski's Ytalk Primer on the World Wide
     Web (< >).  Are there any rules for using e-mail and the USENET newsgroups.

     In most instances, yes.  Most ISPs impose regulations for e-mail and
     the USENET.  There are also informal rules of conduct that are
     enforced by the Internet community (fondly referred to as
     "netiquette").  For further information on official regulations on e-
     mail and the USENET, contact your ISP.  As for netiquette, use your
     own good judgment.  What is the difference between e-mail and the USENET newsgroups?

     The primary difference between e-mail and the USENET is privacy.
     However, neither e-mail or the USENET are confidential.  An e-mail
     message is directed to a particular individual or group of
     individuals; a USENET article is directed to anyone who has access to
     the newsgroup where the article is posted.  If you want to conduct
     confidential communications over the Internet, check out an encryption
     program such as PGP ("Pretty Good Privacy").
           PGP has a public domain version that is available free of charge
     to anyone who is using it for non-commercial purposes.  It has
     thwarted virtually every attempt that people have made to crack it.
     What makes PGP unique is that the key that encrypts your mail (i.e.,
     your "public key") is distinct and separate from the key that
     unscrambles it (i.e., your "private key").  Unless you tell someone
     your private PGP key or someone guesses it (which could take thousands
     of years of computer time) or discovers it by eavesdropping, no one
     can read your PGP encrypted mail.  How do I use e-mail?

     The most straightforward and easy way to use e-mail is by using a
     program called "pine" (pine is an acronym for "pine is nearly elm"--
     elm was an e-mail program that preceded pine).  To use pine, type in
     "pine" (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt.  The pine application
     is menu-driven, so just follow the instructions that you see on the
     screen.  [Note:  Not all ISPs support the pine application.]  How do I use the USENET newsgroups?

     The most straightforward and easy way to use the USENET newsgroups is
     by using a program called "tin."  To use tin, type in "tin" (without
     the quotes) at the Unix prompt.  The tin program is menu-driven, so
     just follow the instructions.  [Note:  Not all ISPs support the tin
     application.]  How many USENET newsgroups are there?

     There are several thousand USENET newsgroups (more than anyone could
     ever hope to read), and there are more being created every day.  Thus,
     you should decide which newsgroups you want to read.  How do I figure out which newsgroups I want to read?

     The USENET newsgroups are organized into a heirarchy that includes
     regional and other domains.  You can use this hierarchy to select-out
     thousands of newsgroups that do not interest you.  With tin, use the
     "yank" command (with the "y" key), the "search" command (with the "/"
     key), and the "subscribe" command (with the "s" key).  After you've
     subscribed to the named groups that you want, simply yank out the
     rest.  The "unsubscribe" command (the "u" key) will eliminate unwanted
     groups.  For more information, use the online help in tin (^g).  What regional domains are available from the Sacramento

     The Sacramento USENET has a peculiar constellation of newsgroups in
     two regional domains:  The sac.* domain and the sacramento.* domain.
     These regional domains are not generally accessed by residents of the
     nearby San Francisco Bay Area (the major population center of Northern
     California approximately 100 miles to the southwest), much less the
     rest of the world.  The sac.* domain, which is by far the most
     frequented, is a peculiar abbreviation that few people would know to
     look for when seeking information about Sacramento -- perhaps this FAQ
     will change that.
          My exposure to the Sacramento USENET is peculiarly limited to the
     sac.* domain for all practical purposes, but it is augmented by access
     to the ba.* domain (serving the San Francisco Bay Area USENET), the
     ucd.* domain (serving the U.C. Davis USENET), the davis.* domain
     (serving the Davis, California USENET), and the yolo.* domain (serving
     the Yolo County, California USENET).  Many discussions that properly
     belong on the Sacramento USENET end up on these other USENET domains.
          For historical reasons, the U.C. Davis, Davis, and Yolo USENETS
     are routed through the same information hubs that serve the ucb.*
     domain (serving the U.C. Berkeley system).  The sac.* domain was added
     to the U.C. Davis USENET when the sac.* domain was first created, but
     the sacramento.* domain is still inaccessible to the U.C. Davis family
     of USENETS except through obscure newsservers.  For all of these
     reasons, the sacramento.* domain and the sac.* domain have remained
     discrete from each other and relatively obscure, even among the
     denizens of Sacramento.  What newsgroups are available in the sac.* and
                 sacramento.* USENET domain?

     The fledgling sac.* USENET domain is comprised of the following

          *    sac.general (<news:sac.general >).

          *    sac.swap (<news:sac.swap >).

          * (< >).

          * (< >).

          *    sac.sports (<news:sac.sports >).

          *    sac.announce (<news:sac.announce >).

          * (< >).

          *    sac.politics (<news:sac.politics >).

          *    sac.csus (<news:sac.csus >).

          *    sac.motss (<news:sac.motss >).

          *    sac.internet (<news:sac.internet >).

     The sacramento.* USENET domain is essentially defunct.  Many argue
     that it never should have been created.  I personally "newgrouped"
     duplicates of all newsgroup from the sacramento.* domain that were not
     already in existence, hoping that someone would delete the various
     newsgroups from the sacramento.* domain, and received nothing but
     grief for my troubles.  The last time that I checked, the sacramento.*
     domain was still comprised of the following limited traffic

          * (< >).

          * (< >).

          *    sacramento.sports (<news:sacramento.sports >).

          *    sacramento.announce (<news:sacramento.announce >).

          * (< >).

          *    sacramento.politics (<news:sacramento.politics >).

          *    sacramento.csus (<news:sacramento.csus >).

          *    sacramento.motss (<news:sacramento.motss >).

          *    sacramento.internet (<news:sacramento.internet >).

     The sac.* domain has several inherent advantages over the sacramento.*
     domain, most notably that the sac.* domain is already propogated
     worldwide.  Unfortunately, there has been tremendous apathy about
     cleaning up these overlapping domains, as the ba.* domain carries so
     much of the traffic that should be on the sac.* domain.
          Having watched this situation remain relatively stable for the
     last few years, I am ambivalent about even bringing up the subject of
     extending the sac.* domain and eliminating the sacramento.* domain.
     When I do bring it up, I usually get one or two responses, and that's
     that.  If you are interested in receiving the sac.* newsgroups listed
     above, please contact John Sandhoff at California State University,
     Sacramento (< >).  Perhaps your voice will be
     the one that makes a difference.  What regional USENET domains are available for communities
                 near Sacramento?

     Many Northern California communities have their own regional USENET
     domains.  Some of these are available to the general public and others
     are only available by subscription to a particular ISP.

          *    The San Francisco Bay Area:  The ba.* newsgroups (available
               through virtually any newsserver).  For more information on
               the ba.* newsgroups, see the Bay Area USENET FAQ (see
               Section 1.5 for information on how to obtain the Bay Area
               USENET FAQ).

          *    The City of Davis:  While there has been some discussion
               about making the davis.* newsgroups available to the general
               public, they are currently available only through the Davis
               Community Network (DCN),, or the U.C. Davis
               Internet.  [Note:  The ucd.* newsgroups are available to a
               number of ISPs].  For more information on the davis.*
               newsgroups, see the Davis USENET FAQ (see Section 1.5 for
               information on how to obtain the Davis USENET FAQ).

          *    Yolo County:  The yolo.* newsgroups are available to the
               general public courtesy of computer services
               through its newsreader (<newsrc:// >).  For
               more information on the yolo.* newsgroups, see the Yolo
               County USENET FAQ (see Section 1.5 for information on how to
               obtain the Yolo County USENET FAQ).

          *    El Dorado Hills:  The eldorado.* USENET domain (availability

          *    Grass Valley/Nevada City:  The gvnc.* USENET domain
               (availability undetermined).

          *    Yuba/Sutter County:  The yuba.* USENET domain (availability
               undetermined) and the yuba-sutter.* USENET domain
               (availability undetermined).

          *    Oroville:  The oro.* USENET domain (availability

          *    Chico:  The chico.* USENET domain (availability
               undetermined).  For more information, visit the Chico State
               Home Page (< >).

          *    Roseville:  For more information, visit the Roseville Home
               Page (< >)

          *    Solano:  For more information, visit the Solano Home Page
               (< >)

          *    Vacaville:  For more information, visit the Vacaville Home
               Page (< >).

          For information on other communities that are not listed above,
     see the following URL:  < >.  How do I use the IRC?

     To use the IRC, type in "irc" (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt.
     There is online help available for the IRC and many of the people whom
     you meet on the IRC will be willing to answer many of your questions.
     You will also find a FAQ on the IRC in the news.answers USENET
     newsgroup (among other places).  [Note:  Many ISPs do not support the
     IRC.  It is a resource hog.]  How do I access the World Wide Web?

     You can access the World Wide Web by using a text-based program, such
     as "lynx," or by using a "web browser," such as "Netscape."   Access
     to the multi-media features of various web sites (i.e., pictures and
     sound) is the biggest advantage of using Netscape.  How do I use lynx?

     Simply type in "lynx" (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt and
     follow the instructions that you find on the screen.  How do I use Netscape?

     Netscape is easy to use and has many exciting and revolutionary multi-
     media/multi-protocol features, but you will probably need help from
     someone who knows what he or she is doing to learn how to use
     Netscape.  Visit the Netscape Home Page on the World Wide Web for more
     information (< >).

10.2.3)  What resources are available over the Internet?

     In addition to the communication and exchange of information that
     people can accomplish over the Internet using e-mail, USENET, and IRC,
     people can download archived information from computers on the
     Internet using "file transfer protocol" (ftp).  What is ftp and how does it work?

     The ftp function resembles the telnet function (the basic method of
     gaining access to the Internet for e-mail and the USENET), but ftp is
     typically used for downloading or uploading information.  There are
     generally two ways to access a computer via ftp, anonymous and
     privileged.  How do I use anonymous ftp?

     When you know which anonymous ftp site has the information that you
     want, log onto it using the ftp program:

          *    Type in "ftp" (without the quotes) at the Unix prompt,
               followed by the name of the ftp site that you wish to
               access.  For example:


               where is the name of a hypothetical ftp site that
               you want to access.

          *    You will be asked to provide your username, type in:


          *    You will then be asked to provide your password.

               TO BE *ANONYMOUS*.  If you wish, you may type in your
               Internet address as a return address, but you do not need to
               do so.  Virtually any response to the password request will
               give you access to an anonymous ftp site.

          *    Type in the GET command, followed by the exact name of the
               file that you want.  For example:

                    get ftp-document

               where ftp-document is the name of a hypothetical ftp
               document that you want to obtain via ftp.  This procedure
               will retrieve any ASCII document.

          *    If for some reason, there is something wrong with the
               document you obtain, it is probably not an ASCII document,
               so start over at the beginning and set the code to binary by
               typing in "binary" (without the quotes) after you have
               opened the anonymous ftp site.  For example:


               This should fix the problem so that you can GET the document
               that you want.  If it doesn't, then the file you have is
               probably compressed or encrypted, so you will need to find
               out what program you should use to decompress or decrypt the

     [Note:  Check with your ISP for more information on the quirks of its
     ftp programs.]  How do I use privileged ftp?

     A privileged ftp site requires an actual username and an actual
     password (as opposed to an anonymous ftp site).  Privileged ftp sites
     have all of the features of an anonyomus ftp site; you can also use
     the PUT command with privileged ftp.  For example:

          put ftp-document

     where ftp-document is the name of a hypothetical document that you
     want to load to your privileged ftp site.  How do I obtain ftp files by e-mail request?

     For information on ftp by e-mail service, send an e-mail message to (< >) with the
     text "help" somewhere in the body of the message.  Many ftp sites have
     mail-server software that will send ftp files by e-mail request.  For
     example, to obtain this faq by e-mail send the following message to

          send usenet/news.answers/sac/faq/part*
          . . .

     Where * is replaced by the numbers 1 and 6 in successive lines of
     text.  Other FAQs that I have written are archived at in
     the usenet/news.answers directory under the appropriate archive name.
     See Section 1.5 for more information about these other FAQs.  To
     obtain one of these other FAQs, change the text of the line in your e-
     mail message that begins with send so that the archive name
     sac/faq/part* is replaced with the archive name of the other FAQ.  How can I find out what information is available via ftp?

     You can use various "search engines" on the Internet, such as
     "gopher."  My favorite search engine for the World Wide Web is Yahoo
     (< >).  How do I transfer files to and from my personal computer and my
           Internet account? [New]

     You can put your files on a diskette and use one of the workstations
     on campus to ftp your files to and from your Internet account.
     Alternatively, there are several file transfer programs available to
     accomplish such tasks.  Your best option among those that are
     currently available is a kermit file transfer.  Kermit is public
     domain software that is available from IT-CAP; instructions for kermit
     file transfers are available on the World Wide Web at the U.C. Davis
     Network Administrators FAQ:

          < >


     Nominations for this category are always open.  I will make the final
     decision as to who qualifies.

          * * * * * Chuckie! * * * * *

          There is no doubt that "Chuckie" is the most widely renowned
     figure that has sprung from the Sacramento USENET.  Chuckie is no less
     than a Net Legend, having earned a reputation for making outlandish
     claims (characterized by paranoid delusions of grandeur) on a wide
     variety of topics.  He makes wide use of anonymous remailers under
     pseudonyms that continually change, so it is very hard for a newbie to
     recognize a ChuckiePost.  Rather than reinvent the wheeel, let me
     simply recapitulate Mike Ward's "ChuckieAnalysis(tm)" of a USENET post
     on sac.general (<news:sac.general >) [edited for format]:

          In article <>
     (Weirdly Gruesome) wrote:

          > If anyone wants a good BBQ place in Sacramento, Boston Chicken
          > is the place to go to.

          Test #1:  A ChuckiePost(tm) must mention Sacramento.  No matter
     what far flung land he's claiming to be from, he's always mentioning
     Sacramento.  E.g. "I really love this town, but most TASMANIANS don't
     have any idea where Sacramento is!"

          > They are located on Fair Oaks Blvd, and have food that is quite
          > good. The prices are very reasonable, at about US$5 to eat, it
          > is a bargain indeed. I ate there when I was in Sacramento for
          > the State Fair

          Test #2: A ChuckiePost(tm) must mention the State Fair.  He's
     obsessed with our biggest summer event.

          > and may be there again when I come to Sacramento later on this
          > week on business. I will be taking 3 exams at CSUS this week
          > and into the early part of next week. I do have to travel to
          > Sacramento every now and then to take examinations.

          Test #3: A ChuckiePost(tm) must mention that he's taking exams or
     classes or whatever at Sac State, and he has to fly back.

          Test #4: A ChuckiePost(tm) must be crossposted to sac.general
     and/or ba.broadcast, and A) an* group usually misnamed for a
     female figure skater, or B) alt.california.state-fair, a group Chuckie
     created himself.  (How he ever figured out to newgroup is beyond

          Hey, Chuckie?  When are you flying into Sacramento this week?
     I'd like to do a story on you.  Please bring copies of your passports
     and visas, not to mention evidence of your airline flights.  I'll see
     you at Metro Airport.

          --Mike (Message-ID: <>).

     * * * * Susan Hattie Steinsapir ("Hattie help us!") * * * *

          The late Ms. Steinsapir made quite a name for herself as one of
     the most helpful members of the Sacramento USENET community.  She was
     quite dignified (unlike the flamboyant Chuckie), and she was a
     veritable wellspring of useful information about the Greater
     Sacramento Area.  But don't just take my word for it, visit Hattie's
     Home Page on the World Wide Web: < >.


     When I have time in the future, I intend to add information to this
     FAQ.  However, I have made every effort to make sure that the
     structure and organization of this FAQ will not require much change.
     If information is substantially changed or deleted, I will include
     specific notations bracketed in the section headings as follows:

          * [CORRECTIONS]--If information is revised because of substantial
            inaccuracy, I will mark the heading with this notation; I will
            *not* note minor corrections.

          * [New]--New section.

          * [Rev]--Revised section.

          * [Moved from . . .]/[Moved to . . .]--Section moved; information

          * [Replaces . . .]--Old Section deleted and replaced with new

          * [Deleted] -- Self explanatory.

          As the above notations are meant to accomodate regular readers of
     this FAQ, these notations will only appear for one revisions.


     I have added quite a bit of information to this FAQ since its last
     publication.  However, almost all of the information contained in the
     previous versions were included in this more recent version.  I have
     also modified hypertext navigational links to avoid computer snafus on
     web servers where the USENET FAQ Project is located.


     No changes are currently planned for the structure and/or organization
     of future versions of this FAQ.  I will simply add more information
     and complete the areas that are still under construction.

- - - - -

End Document:

               The Sacramento, California USENET FAQ Part 6 of 6
            Frequently Asked Questions about Sacramento, California
                           (c) Copyright 1995 & 1996


                             David F. Prenatt, Jr.
                              Internet Esquire(sm)
                                 P.O. Box 74632
                              Davis, CA 95617-5632

                     < >

                        < >

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