I spend a lot of time researching the Internet: browsing the World Wide Web, lurking on Usenet, perusing FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and so on. As a result, I learn about an awfully large number of interesting facts and resources. I also get a fair amount of mail with suggestions from you, the readers, that I mention this, that or the other resource that you've discovered. Unfortunately, a lot of these resources, interesting as they may be, aren't quite interesting or complex enough by themselves to justify my spending an entire column on them. Over time, though, enough of them have accumulated to make devoting a column to the collection--before it becomes too outdated--a reasonable endeavor.
One such resource is the "Guide to Computer Vendors - Presented by SBA * Consulting" (http://www.ronin.com/SBA/), a set of hyperlinks to a very large list of computer hardware and software vendors' home pages and related Internet resources. Wayne Spivak, (firstname.lastname@example.org) who maintains this resource, has alphabetized the list of companies and put each letter of the alphabet on a separate page, so each page downloads fairly quickly, despite the fact that the total is a large number of companies.
Microsoft has a similar (although smaller) collection of links to computer hardware and software vendors' home pages on the (http://library.microsoft.com/compcos.htm) Microsoft Library. As of this writing, all those links are collected on a single, large Web page. That's good news and bad news. Bad news: it takes a while to download the page, even though it's almost entirely text. Good news: once you've downloaded it, you can save the page to a local disk drive (under Mosaic or Netscape, choose File/Save as' and accept the default filename extension of .htm) and access it in the future directly from your local or network drive (by doing a File/Open local' and choosing the saved .htm file). Of course, unless you go back to the Microsoft Library, you won't have access to any additions or changes that have been made to the list, but, you won't have to fight for bandwidth with all the Windows95 users, either. And you can always reconnect to the Microsoft Library every so often and save a new, updated copy of the page.
If you're interested in ISDN, you'll want to visit Dan Kegel's ISDN Page (URL http://alumni.caltech.edu/~dank/isdn/) at CalTech in Los Angeles. Dan (email@example.com) has archived the contents of a large number of ISDN-related Usenet and other discussion forums, provided links to ISDN user groups, ISDN hardware and software vendors, ISDN service providers and consultants, certification labs, standards documents and RFCs and generally done a comprehensive job of creating an ISDN central reference. There are mirrors of his creation in San Diego, (http://www.cerf.net/dank/isdn/) Florida (http://www.cs.miami.edu/~burt/isdn.html) and Poland, (http://www.tele.pw.edu.pl/isdn/dankisdn.html) although the Polish site isn't always reachable.
If you're looking for an ISP ,(Internet Service Provider), there's no better resource in the world than THE LIST (URL http://www.thelist.com/) from Chicago-based commercial Web hosting service Colossus, Inc. THE LIST consists of service descriptions, telephone numbers, surface and email addresses and hyperlinks to URLs of over 900 ISPs worldwide. For U.S.-based providers, THE LIST of local and regional providers is broken out by telephone area code, making it very convenient to determine what's available in your area. There are also separate pages cataloging ISPs offering nation-wide service for the U.S. and Canada, as well as for Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Caribbean Islands, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Zambia. Entries for additional ISPs are being added every day.
Mark Towfiq (towfiq@East.Sun.Com) maintains the LAN Drivers Page, (URL http://sunsite.unc.edu/~towfiq/lan-drivers.html) which contains links to Microsoft's NDIS and Novell's ODI driver archives, as well as to the ODIPKT shim files (all the versions) which allow running ODIPKT drivers concurrently with IPXODI.COM and NETX.EXE. There are also links to various LAN card vendor ftp sites, but the SBA * Consulting Guide to Computing Vendors is more complete (Since the Guide isn't indexed by product area, you'll have to know which vendor you're looking for.) It also has an out-of-date link to the Crnwyr packet driver collection, which has moved to its own server (URL ftp://www.crynwr.com/pub/crynwr/) from its original location on Msen Corporation's ftp server.
Brandon Long (firstname.lastname@example.org) of NCSA (the National Center for Supercomputing Applications) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (http://hoohoo.ncsa.uiuc.edu/ftp/) maintains the Monster FTP Sites List, an alphabetically-indexed set of Web pages filled with hyperlinks to anonymous ftp sites around the world. There are currently 20 such pages and each page is over 50 kilobytes in size. Note that this is the original NCSA, the home of Mosaic and the NCSA freeware Unix Web server, not the National Computer Security Association, (the CompuServe-based scare mongers who have been attempting to usurp the NCSA acronym by claiming a trademark on it.)
Matt Kruse, (email@example.com) a junior at St. Ambrose University, makes a set of Perl scripts available via the Web (http://web.sau.edu/~mkruse/www/scripts/) a few of which anyone who runs a Web server will find useful. I particularly like his scripts for generating page access statistics and adding a running count of accesses to a given Web page.
And, now it can be told--Lou Montulli (firstname.lastname@example.org) is responsible for the tag in Netscape's proprietary extensions to HTML (or, at least, so he claims on his own Netscape page (http://home.netscape.com/people/montulli/). Lou is also the programmer behind the popular Lynx text-mode browser that those of us with shell accounts came to know and..use..until we acquired copies of TIA or SlipKnot and got to be all GUI and WIMPy, like everyone else!
(Copyright© 1995 by Thom Stark--all rights reserved)