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July 21st 03, 02:44 AM
A friend of mine has fallen on hard times, and needs e-mail service on the
cheap. I can lend her my Compaq 486 laptop with small hard drive (30 mb?)
56k modem running Windows 3.1. Are all the dial-up bbs gone? I used to
get e-mail from a bbs company that had phone number access numbers all over
the US, can't remember their name, though. Charged 50 cents an hour for
service . . .
Or is there a web browser and e-mail that will run tolerably well on a
486-20?
10,000 Texas-sized thanks,
--Tock

Bob Ward
July 21st 03, 03:38 AM
On Mon, 21 Jul 2003 00:44:28 GMT, > wrote:

>A friend of mine has fallen on hard times, and needs e-mail service on the
>cheap. I can lend her my Compaq 486 laptop with small hard drive (30 mb?)
>56k modem running Windows 3.1. Are all the dial-up bbs gone? I used to
>get e-mail from a bbs company that had phone number access numbers all over
>the US, can't remember their name, though. Charged 50 cents an hour for
>service . . .
>Or is there a web browser and e-mail that will run tolerably well on a
>486-20?
>10,000 Texas-sized thanks,
>--Tock
>

If all she needs is email, there is the email appliance they sell at
CompUSA for about $100, with a $100 rebate... It's been taken over by
Earthlink, and the service runs around $10 - $12 per month.

July 21st 03, 03:57 AM
What about one of the free or super-cheap ISPs and a free Hotmail
account?

Diva

Gary Heston
July 21st 03, 03:59 AM
In article >,
> wrote:
>A friend of mine has fallen on hard times, and needs e-mail service on the
>cheap. I can lend her my Compaq 486 laptop with small hard drive (30 mb?)
>56k modem running Windows 3.1. Are all the dial-up bbs gone? I used to
>get e-mail from a bbs company that had phone number access numbers all over
>the US, can't remember their name, though. Charged 50 cents an hour for
>service . . .
>Or is there a web browser and e-mail that will run tolerably well on a
>486-20?
>10,000 Texas-sized thanks,

I think Opera would run on that system. With that size hard drive, your
friend will need an ISP account that allows some storage on their server
to keep their mailboxes.

Also, it's possible to do email with something as simple as telnet, if
your friend isn't afraid of a shell account. That cuts down the requirement
for resources a great deal.

The catch is finding access at a reasonable price wherever your friend is.


Gary

--
Gary Heston
PHB: "That's the sort of leadership that will turn this company around."
Wally: "Were we doing well?"
Dilbert, 5/23/3

Michael Black
July 21st 03, 04:36 AM
Gary Heston ) writes:
> In article >,
> > wrote:
>>A friend of mine has fallen on hard times, and needs e-mail service on the
>>cheap. I can lend her my Compaq 486 laptop with small hard drive (30 mb?)
>>56k modem running Windows 3.1. Are all the dial-up bbs gone? I used to
>>get e-mail from a bbs company that had phone number access numbers all over
>>the US, can't remember their name, though. Charged 50 cents an hour for
>>service . . .
>>Or is there a web browser and e-mail that will run tolerably well on a
>>486-20?
>>10,000 Texas-sized thanks,
>
> I think Opera would run on that system. With that size hard drive, your
> friend will need an ISP account that allows some storage on their server
> to keep their mailboxes.
>
> Also, it's possible to do email with something as simple as telnet, if
> your friend isn't afraid of a shell account. That cuts down the requirement
> for resources a great deal.
>
> The catch is finding access at a reasonable price wherever your friend is.
>
>
> Gary
>
I don't think the computer's the problem (and I'm still puzzling over
why someone who has fallen on hard times suddenly needs email but doesn't
already have a computer). I've found three Pentiums in the garbage
in the past year (admittedly two lacked hard drives), so even if a 486
wasn't good enough (but it was good enough when such computers were
current, so I doubt things have changed), one can find better computers
for virtually nothing.

It's the access that is the problem, and since it's an ongoing cost,
it will likely dwarf the cost of a computer. SOmeone suggested an
email terminal, but I suspect it might be like Webtv which needs
access to specific points, which limits one's access options.

One of the key things would be where the person is. Some
"freenet"/community nets still exist, and if someone is lucky enough
to live in such locations, that is probably the best choice (in
terms of cost and in terms of supporting an important concept).

As you say, a fairly limited computer can still telnet to
another computer, so even if there is no "freenet" for getting
internet access, one could find the cheapest ISP and then telnet
to a "freenet". Such budget ISPs might be lacking in what they
offer, and this would give them cheap access but good capability.
For a year, I've been telnetting to the Ottawa Freenet, because
my ISP (which is not a low cost ISP) turned off the newsgroups.

As for BBS's they have faded quite a bit over the past few years,
as internet access has become pretty available. The FidoNet
website is at http://www.fidonet.org and when I checked about a
month ago, there seemed to be a way of finding a local BBS over
there. Nowadays, many BBSs can be telnetted to, and once one is
found, accessing it might help to find a local BBS. One of the longest
running BBSs here has made plans to terminate operations some years
in the future (to mark it's 20th anniversary), but for the moment it's
added things like FTP and the ability to telnet elsewhere (allowing
one to connect to a public access browser for the Web).

Another option, of course, is a public terminal. Not totally convenient,
but if this is just for email (and maybe limited email) it might
be the cheapest option. One can get a hotmail account, or sign up
for one of the "freenets", and use a public terminal for internet access.
Many libraries have them at this point, at little or no cost, and there
are still "internet cafes". Here in Canada, the phone company even has
public terminals that are coin operated. I wouldn't want to rely
on this (not convenient if you want access after hours, and it might
be distracting doing internet in a public place), but for someone only
needing email, I can't imagine someone spending much time at it, and
thus it might be fine, and certainly the cheapest solution.

Michael

Ray
July 21st 03, 06:25 AM
Tock,

Try this page out for size. It is a regular dial up service for the "traveler". However, a local dial-up plan starting at $0.59 a hour, this might be something your friend might be interested in: http://ld.net/products/?product=pipes&cogid=obtech&refid=&page=home

If not, try the regular dialup services at :
http://ld.net/isp/?obtech

--
Ray

Need a cell phone, fast internet service, computers, or to register a domain name?
Visit:
http://LD.net/?obtech

Create your own biz and have it up and running in less than two hours:
http://www.virtualheavenwebcenter.com


> wrote in message .com...
> A friend of mine has fallen on hard times, and needs e-mail service on the
> cheap. I can lend her my Compaq 486 laptop with small hard drive (30 mb?)
> 56k modem running Windows 3.1. Are all the dial-up bbs gone? I used to
> get e-mail from a bbs company that had phone number access numbers all over
> the US, can't remember their name, though. Charged 50 cents an hour for
> service . . .
> Or is there a web browser and e-mail that will run tolerably well on a
> 486-20?
> 10,000 Texas-sized thanks,
> --Tock
>
>
>

Ben
July 21st 03, 03:31 PM
Pat Meadows wrote:
> Agent used to run under Windows 3.1 - I don't know if
> earlier versions are still available.

My only concern about using Win 3.1 and compatible products is in the
support area with regards to security holes that have come up with them
that were never fixed.

regards,
Ben


--
BTW. I can be contacted at Username:newsgroup4.replies.benaltw
Domain:xoxy.net

July 21st 03, 03:40 PM
In article >,
(Michael Black) wrote:

> Some "freenet"/community nets still exist, and if someone is lucky
> enough to live in such locations, that is probably the best choice
> (in terms of cost and in terms of supporting an important concept).

Once upon a time, 'Net users could even get a free domain name from the
US gov, IIRC (mine would be something like >). Is
this still the case?

July 21st 03, 03:43 PM
In article >,
(Michael Black) wrote:

> Nowadays, many BBSs can be telnetted to, and once one is
> found, accessing it might help to find a local BBS.

The other problem with using a bbs for reliable email is that bbs's are
run out of people's homes usually, as a hobby. That means that one day
they are there, and the next day they're gone. Yet another reason to
obtain an email domain name, esp. if you can do it for free.

j647
July 21st 03, 04:21 PM
I had localnet for a few years before roadrunner came in, They are 10/month
and did fine.


> wrote in message
.com...
> A friend of mine has fallen on hard times, and needs e-mail service on the
> cheap. I can lend her my Compaq 486 laptop with small hard drive (30 mb?)
> 56k modem running Windows 3.1. Are all the dial-up bbs gone? I used to
> get e-mail from a bbs company that had phone number access numbers all
over
> the US, can't remember their name, though. Charged 50 cents an hour for
> service . . .
> Or is there a web browser and e-mail that will run tolerably well on a
> 486-20?
> 10,000 Texas-sized thanks,
> --Tock
>
>


---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.500 / Virus Database: 298 - Release Date: 7/10/03

David
July 21st 03, 05:19 PM
"Ray" > wrote in message nk.net>...
> Tock,
>
> Try this page out for size. It is a regular dial up service for the
> "traveler". However, a local dial-up plan starting at $0.59 a hour, this
> might be something your friend might be interested in:
> http://ld.net/products/?product=pipes&cogid=obtech&refid=&page=ho
> me
>
> If not, try the regular dialup services at :
> http://ld.net/isp/?obtech
>
> --
> Ray
>
> Need a cell phone, fast internet service, computers, or to register a
> domain name?
> Visit:
> http://LD.net/?obtech
>
> Create your own biz and have it up and running in less than two hours:
> http://www.virtualheavenwebcenter.com
>
>
> > wrote in message
> .com...
> > A friend of mine has fallen on hard times, and needs e-mail service on
> the
> > cheap. I can lend her my Compaq 486 laptop with small hard drive (30
> mb?)
> > 56k modem running Windows 3.1. Are all the dial-up bbs gone? I
> used to
> > get e-mail from a bbs company that had phone number access numbers all
> over
> > the US, can't remember their name, though. Charged 50 cents an hour
> for
> > service . . .
> > Or is there a web browser and e-mail that will run tolerably well on a
> > 486-20?
> > 10,000 Texas-sized thanks,
> > --Tock
> >
> >
> >
> --
Juno (juno.com) has free accounts. They don't work
so well for web surfing (the 10.00 a month one does though)
but work great for email.
Just get a free trial cd from AOL etc. and then
sign up for the juno account and download the software (for free)
and then cancel the AOL (don't forget to cancel the AOL or
they will charge you). My only concern is the Windows 3.1
but doesn't cost to try. You will need a credit card or
check card or checking account to get the initial free service
from AOL BUT just cancel and it won't cost you a penny.
Hope this helps.
Dave

Ben Hutchings
July 21st 03, 11:59 PM
In article >,
Derald Martin wrote:
<snip>
> 16-bit client platforms may still be useable for email and "usenet"
> but 16-bit browser applications are hopelessly obsolete and very nearly
> unuseable nowadays. That's depressing experience speaking, not
> supposition. As I type this, I'm sitting beside two 16-bit Wintel
> clunkers that still are used for real work, including off-Internet
> datacomm (does anybody under 30 still say, "terminal emulator"?) but
> that don't even have browsers on their HDD's. Last check, 16-bit
> Netscape was still available at Nscape's archive site. It stops at
> v4.08. 4.08 is also the last Netscape available as a browser-only
> product; look for "Navigator", not "Communicator". I tried 16-bit Opera,
> which stopped at v3.82 (I think) and judged it a hopeless clunker that
> never should have been released; but then, I am a heartless ******* and
> YMMV. FWIW, 16-bit browsers are hopelessly obsolete and do not support
> current WWW standards and conventions.
<snip>

IE 5.0 was released for Windows 3.1, but even that is getting old -
and I suspect it would not be usable on a 486. Netscape 4.x was
designed for machines with at least 64 MB RAM which put it out of
the range of most Pentium-based machines let alone 486s.

--
Ben Hutchings
Logic doesn't apply to the real world. - Marvin Minsky

Ben Hutchings
July 22nd 03, 12:24 AM
In article >, Peale wrote:
> scribbled furiously in
> .com:
>
>> Or is there a web browser and e-mail that will run tolerably well on a
>> 486-20?
>
> Sure! Running Linux, you can run a text based browser and email client
> quite well. Lynx for web, and Pine for email.

Lynx development seems moribund. It never supported tables or frames
well. There is another text-based browser called Links which does a
good job of both. Either of them can be configured to display
selected images full-screen using a separate program such as zgv.
Neither supports Javascript officially but there's another version of
Links <http://atrey.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~clock/twibright/links/> that
claims to do Javascript (and also images, without needing a window
system).

As for unbuffered serial ports, as I mentioned in connection with
Windows, the highest rate that worked for me on a 486 running Linux
was 38,400 bps if I remember correctly, but it might have been a
little lower.

--
Ben Hutchings
Logic doesn't apply to the real world. - Marvin Minsky

Peale
July 22nd 03, 12:45 AM
Ben Hutchings > scribbled
furiously in
:

> Lynx development seems moribund. It never supported tables or frames
> well. There is another text-based browser called Links which does a
> good job of both. Either of them can be configured to display
> selected images full-screen using a separate program such as zgv.
> Neither supports Javascript officially but there's another version of
> Links <http://atrey.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~clock/twibright/links/> that
> claims to do Javascript (and also images, without needing a window
> system).

Yeah, Links is a great program. Should have mentioned that one too.

> As for unbuffered serial ports, as I mentioned in connection with
> Windows, the highest rate that worked for me on a 486 running Linux
> was 38,400 bps if I remember correctly, but it might have been a
> little lower.

Well, on a text based browser, does it really matter? You're not going
to have the image overhead. Unless, of course, you do use Links.

--
MAME - It's what's for dinner!
http://www.tombstones.org.uk - meet the alt.games.mame regulars!
http://www.pealefamily.net/tech/mame/ - My Own MAME site.

Jim
July 22nd 03, 01:40 AM
You're in luck. Broadband has taken off so if you shop around, you can
find lots of ISP's that will give you a free trial to try out their
service. You need to stay on top of things though or they will charge
you if you go just one day over. A little while back some stores were
even giving you two or three months access and FREE stuff to boot just
for signing up. I got a free USB port and a couple shareware games for
trying AOL once. Not that I recommend their service...but it's cheap.
;)

> wrote in message
.com...
> A friend of mine has fallen on hard times, and needs e-mail service on
the
> cheap. I can lend her my Compaq 486 laptop with small hard drive (30
mb?)
> 56k modem running Windows 3.1. Are all the dial-up bbs gone? I
used to
> get e-mail from a bbs company that had phone number access numbers all
over
> the US, can't remember their name, though. Charged 50 cents an hour
for
> service . . .
> Or is there a web browser and e-mail that will run tolerably well on a
> 486-20?
> 10,000 Texas-sized thanks,
> --Tock
>
>

July 22nd 03, 01:52 AM
Thanks for the tip . . . I checked their website, and they don't do Win 3.1
(from their website):

"Juno offers several different products for various operating systems,
including Windows 95/98/ME/2000, Windows NT4, Windows XP, and Mac OS X.
Choose the product below to view its minimum system requirements."

C'est la vie . ..

July 22nd 03, 01:53 AM
"Bob Ward" > wrote in message
...
> On Mon, 21 Jul 2003 00:44:28 GMT, > wrote:
>
> >A friend of mine has fallen on hard times, and needs e-mail service on
the
> >cheap. I can lend her my Compaq 486 laptop with small hard drive (30
mb?)
> >56k modem running Windows 3.1. Are all the dial-up bbs gone? I used
to
> >get e-mail from a bbs company that had phone number access numbers all
over
> >the US, can't remember their name, though. Charged 50 cents an hour for
> >service . . .
> >Or is there a web browser and e-mail that will run tolerably well on a
> >486-20?
> >10,000 Texas-sized thanks,
> >--Tock
> >
>
> If all she needs is email, there is the email appliance they sell at
> CompUSA for about $100, with a $100 rebate... It's been taken over by
> Earthlink, and the service runs around $10 - $12 per month.
>
>
Thanks, I'll take her to look at one . . .
--Tock

July 22nd 03, 01:54 AM
> wrote in message
...
> What about one of the free or super-cheap ISPs and a free Hotmail
> account?
>
> Diva


Problem is we're working with a 486 laptop; won't run a web browser at a
tolerable speed, and won't do Windows 95 or later at all . . .
Thanks anyway,
--Tock

July 22nd 03, 01:58 AM
"Gary Heston" > wrote
. . . s n i p . . .
> Also, it's possible to do email with something as simple as telnet, if
> your friend isn't afraid of a shell account. That cuts down the
requirement
> for resources a great deal.
>
> The catch is finding access at a reasonable price wherever your friend is.


As the fisherman proudly quipped, "It's the catch of the day!"
Yah, I've got a copy of Procomm+ around here somewhere, used it with great
success with the old 386sx-20. Problem is finding a local bbs (Cleburne,
Texas) with e-mail. Still digging, no telling what I'll find . . .
Thanks,
--Tock

David
July 22nd 03, 02:49 AM
Peale > wrote in message >...
> > scribbled furiously in
> .com:
>
> > Or is there a web browser and e-mail that will run tolerably well on a
> > 486-20?
>
> Sure! Running Linux, you can run a text based browser and email client
> quite well. Lynx for web, and Pine for email.

I'm just curious. Does what you are saying give you
free email. I think the poster needs detailed
information. I have extensive (not Linux) unix experience
and do not understand the details of what so far is proposed.
How do you get Linux without purchasing or downloading it.
The requester is requesting cheap/free email. My suggestion of
using a FREE AOL account and then getting FREE juno email
is totally FREE!! and pretty easy. Seems like we are complicating
a very simple request. I don't want to be to critical. I am TOTALLY
interested in information that will give me FREE internet
access or email if I use Linux, Pine, etc. I just do not
understand the details. Again...I am not doubting your
knowledge but I would need details of web sites to
download Linux and how to access them for free.
Actually...you may be only replying to the 486 thing BUT
I am totally curious about the replies to this thread
(most of which I don't understand). I would LOVE to
get away from MS Windows but want it to NOT be to
much trouble.

Dave

Peale
July 22nd 03, 05:09 AM
(David) scribbled furiously in
m:

> Actually...you may be only replying to the 486 thing BUT
> I am totally curious about the replies to this thread
> (most of which I don't understand). I would LOVE to
> get away from MS Windows but want it to NOT be to
> much trouble.

I was indeed only replying to the 486 portion of the thread.

However, in terms of free Internet service, many areas have free Internet
dial up access. It's not much, mind you, like 10 hours a week (or less)
but it's free.

I live in Vermont, and the library here has Internet access available for
free in 1/2 hour blocks.
--
MAME - It's what's for dinner!
http://www.tombstones.org.uk - meet the alt.games.mame regulars!
http://www.pealefamily.net/tech/mame/ - My Own MAME site.

Gordon Reeder
July 22nd 03, 07:30 AM
wrote in <h3%Sa.310$Us4.140132494
@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com>:

>
> wrote in message
...
>> What about one of the free or super-cheap ISPs and a free Hotmail
>> account?
>>
>> Diva
>
>
>Problem is we're working with a 486 laptop; won't run a web browser at a
>tolerable speed, and won't do Windows 95 or later at all . . .
>Thanks anyway,
>--Tock
>
>

Install Linux?? It will run well on a 486 as long as
you don't install the KDE or GNOME desktops.
Opera is a good web browser that will run on Linux.



--
Just my $0.02 worth. Hope it helps
Gordon Reeder
greeder
at: myself.com

Ben Hutchings
July 23rd 03, 01:28 AM
In article >, Peale wrote:
> Ben Hutchings > scribbled
> furiously in
> :
<snip>
>> As for unbuffered serial ports, as I mentioned in connection with
>> Windows, the highest rate that worked for me on a 486 running Linux
>> was 38,400 bps if I remember correctly, but it might have been a
>> little lower.
>
> Well, on a text based browser, does it really matter? You're not going
> to have the image overhead. Unless, of course, you do use Links.

Have you seen the amount of pointless markup that goes into some
pages? Sometimes when I find some site that's pessimised for
everything but Internet Exploder I try to work out where the broken
links are supposed to take me, and I select View Source. Then I often
find a *huge* mass of Javascript and redundant markup for a page with
not a lot of content. This junk gets repeated on every page, and
can't be cached (only whole files are cached). So images are only
half the story.

--
Ben Hutchings
Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.

Ben Hutchings
July 23rd 03, 01:44 AM
In article >, David wrote:
> Peale > wrote in message
> >...
>> > scribbled furiously in
>> .com:
>>
>> > Or is there a web browser and e-mail that will run tolerably well on a
>> > 486-20?
>>
>> Sure! Running Linux, you can run a text based browser and email client
>> quite well. Lynx for web, and Pine for email.
>
> I'm just curious. Does what you are saying give you
> free email.

No, but it would work with any standard Internet mail service, and
there are free ones available.

> I think the poster needs detailed
> information. I have extensive (not Linux) unix experience
> and do not understand the details of what so far is proposed.
> How do you get Linux without purchasing or downloading it.

You get a copy from a friend. It's easiest to install from a CD-ROM
but that's not essential.

> The requester is requesting cheap/free email. My suggestion of
> using a FREE AOL account and then getting FREE juno email
> is totally FREE!! and pretty easy.

Does AOL still distribute their Windows 3.1 client? I thought
they only distributed the newest version. The old clients are
downloadable, but first you need net access...

<snip>
> Again...I am not doubting your
> knowledge but I would need details of web sites to
> download Linux and how to access them for free.
<snip>

The Debian <http://www.debian.org> distribution of Linux still
supports the 486 and can be installed from floppy disks plus
network. It's not the easiest to install but it does support
older hardware that the commercial distributions are unlikely
to.

As for free dial-up, I really don't know. Here in the UK we
have to pay by the month or by the minute.

--
Ben Hutchings
Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.

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