Coming from AOL
This file was originally written by SFF Net member Jim Bailey.
If you're coming from AOL and having trouble accessing some features of SFF Net,
this page may have some helpful hints. Updated 15 Feb 2002 by Tech Support.
- AOL versions and requirements
- SFF Net Newsgroups
- SFF Net Mail
- SFF Net FTP
- SFF Net Chat
AOL Versions and Requirements
Minimum requirements are AOL 2.7 for Mac or AOL 3.0 for Windows. If you're
still using Windows 3.1, you're used to most everything not working, so don't
be surprised if AOL for Win31 is goofy here, too.
You can download upgrades for free at keyword Upgrade. Go to keyword
Winsock for technical information on how AOL can screw up the perfectly
good TCP/IP software that comes with your operating system. Ignore the bits
where the technical information says you can't access outside mail and newsreader
Start up AOL as usual and sign on. This connects you to AOL and the rest of
the world (the Internet) at the same time. Use the AOL program to access stuff
on AOL, and use other programs to access stuff elsewhere.
After logging on, minimize the AOL window if it's in your way, then launch the
Internet application you want to use. If you find that AOL's inactivity timer
causes you problems, download one of the timer-defeater programs or just remember
to click on something every now and then.
SFF Net Newsgroups
NewsXpress works with AOL for Win31, and just about any program works for modern
versions of AOL. See Recommended Software
for recommendations and configuration help. Remember that early versions of the AOL
software (before 6.0, mostly) often hang, garble things, disconnect without warning,
and otherwise make your online life frustrating. Newer versions do the same things, but
SFF Net Email
The standard SFF Net email instructions apply.
If you have an SFF Net email box and don't want to configure separate software or
worry about checking multiple places, then the simplest thing is to forward your
SFF Net email to your AOL mailbox. Use WebMail
to configure your SFF Net mailbox. If the options aren't obvious, then you'll find
detailed instructions online.
SFF Net FTP
You can FTP files to your SFF Net webpage using
just about any FTP program, including AOL itself. To FTP from within AOL:
- Go to the AOL ftp area in the Internet Connection (keyword Internet
--> FTP Icon --> Go To FTP button --> Other Site
- Enter ftp://people.sff.net into the box, check the Ask for login name
and password box, then hit the Connect button.
- Enter your SFF Net username and password, then click the
Continue button. You'll get a message saying you're connected to SFF Net;
click OK, and you are in your own webpage directory.
- If you get lost, remember that /www/people/yourusername is your webpage
- To download a file, highlight the filename and click the Download Now
button. Select a directory on your computer where you want the file to go, then click OK.
- To upload a file, reverse the process.
AOL has a free webpage creation program called AOLPress (keyword aolpress) that's pretty
easy to figure out. It has basic HTML editing in a word-processor-like environment.
SFF Net Chat & IRC
There are 2 different Chat Servers available on SFF-Net: Telnet Chat (usually
refered throughout SFF-Net as just "Chat"), and Internet Relay Chat (IRC).
The standard instructions cover everything you need to know.
You can download the CommNet program (keyword telnet) from AOL if you're looking
for a simple telnet client.
If you have a java-capable browser, you can just go to http://irc.sff.net
and use IRC without installing any software. The IRC denizens will be more than eager to tell you,
in great detail and in contradictory terms, what other software you should use and how to obtain and