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Using the Internet for Research

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Telnet is an application used to log on to other computers on the Internet. It may be used to access the servers of institutions which offer scholarly information. Servers at the various network headquarters (like universities, libraries, private companies, etc.) often allow public access to their stored information, at least at a general level. If a system has public access, the information on how to complete the login and password procedure will be given at the opening screen. Once inside the system, the user will be able to navigate through a multitude of menu options available to that system. Much of the stored information can be obtained for free; other times you will be required to pay a small fee in order to receive an article in full text.


Following are the basic Telnet commands you will need to know in order to acceess a telnet site, and navigate through the system of menus to find the information you need. You will "enter" after each typed command:

telnet hostname = Start a Telnet session

open hostname = Connect to a Telnet site while at the Telnet prompt

ctrl-d = Get back to the Telnet prompt without ending the session

quit exit done = Quits the Telnet session

close = Closes connection to the Telnet site

ctrl-] = Return to Telnet prompt

z = Temporarily suspend session

fg = To return

Ready to enter Telnet?

One drawback to the Telnet system is that it does not have a search function of its own. In order to search for specific types of information across the wide area of information sites available, the use of a browser (such as Gopher) is necessary.

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