Med TechNet's Telnet FAQ Page

This document is a work in progress. It was prompted by many questions from users about the Med TechNet BBS.

Questions that we answer will be posted here. If you have a question about using telnet or the Med TechNet BBS, please send it by E-Mail to: [email protected]

Q. What's the difference between the Med TechNet website and the BBS?

A. The web site (where you are now) is like most web sites: it is reachable via the Internet, using one of the popular browsers (Netscape, Internet Explorer, etc.). The BBS (which stands for Bulletin Board System) is a separate, complementary service that offers many conferences and downloadable files to subscribers.   The BBS is also where Med TechNet first began back in 1985 ... well before the Internet and the World Wide Web became so popular.

Q. What exactly IS a BBS?

A. The term, BBS, has become muddled in the last few years.   People use it to refer to many services on the Internet.  It had its beginnings in the early 1980's when hobbyists started networking their PC's via modems.   BBS' generally have two main features: messaging and file sharing.  BBS networks developed parallel to the ARPAnet (now, the Internet), and many of the innovations of the BBS world are used today on the Internet (ZIP files & message boards to name just two).

Q. Do I have to access the BBS to earn CEU's on Med TechNet?

A. No!  The Med TechNet BBS is just an auxillary service for subscribers.  All registration and quiz activities are administered via the web.

Q. Aren't BBS' "old technology" that has been replaced by the Internet?

A. No!  From the start, they were designed to be user friendly and offer a simple user interface to a number of information services.   Think of BBS' as a comfortable complement to the WWW and Internet.

Q. Why would I want to use the Med TechNet BBS?

A. Lot's of reasons, but here's just a few:  1. Downloadable files are categorized and listed with descriptions.  2.   The downloadable files library is searchable by name or description keyword.   3.  Some of the popular Internet lists are viewable and searchable as individual message areas (such as MEDLAB-L, CLSEDUC and CLSWEB).  4.  Message areas are similar to Usenet newsgroups, but with much less SPAM and misuse and more information (higher S/N, for you engineers out there).

Q. When I telnet to bbs.medtechnet.com, what happens?

A. Your telnet client window will display a connection notice.   As noted, you can either wait a few moments for the bbs to load, or press your <esc> key to speed the process along.  Next is the login screen.  Here you identify yourself to the bbs by entering your first and last names.  (Simply a first name and a last name are sufficient; there is no benefit to entering titles, degrees, etc.).  After confirming your entered name, you will select a password to use when entering the BBS on subsequent visits.  Be sure to remember it!  Since this is your first visit, you will be asked a series of setup questions.  If you're not sure what to answer, help is available with further explanations.  In most cases, selecting the default setting (by pressing the <return> key) will provide satisfactory results.  These settings may be changed later as required.   Finally, after the initial questions and introductory information, the Main Menu is displayed.  From here, you navigate the system by selecting from various menus -- usually the first letter of the desired command.   Online help is available, but feel free to "play"; it's the best way to explore the BBS!

 

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