You may obtain technical support from John Tysko by telephone at (740) 593-1137. If you call goes to voice mail, please leave a message describing your problem and someone will return your call as soon as possible. Be sure to leave a phone number where you can be reached. SEORF is only able to return phone calls during normal business hours, so you should leave a number where you can be reached during the day.

E-mail help is also available. Send your help request to

Be sure to read SEORFing for Beginners. This tutorial is designed specifically for SEORF users and it will provide answers to the most common problems that SEORF users encounter.

SEORFing for Beginners

Getting Started

You finally got your login i.d. and password, now what do you do?

First, you have to set up your computer and communications program. Nearly all personal computers of the IBM PC age or later, including the Macintosh, will work. You have to have a modem connected to your computer. The modem must be 2400 bps (bits per second) or higher in speed. And you need a communications program on your computer.

Not all communications programs are created equal. Some will work (a lot) better than others. In Windows 3.1, look in the Accessories menu for the Terminal program. Terminal will work with SEORF, but it has limited capabilities for downloading and uploading which we'll cover later.

For Windows 95 users, you can use HyperTerminal in the Accessories menu. In Windows 98, HyperTerminal is located in the Accessories/Communications menu. HyperTerminal has several useful features not found in Terminal. For the Macintosh and DOS PCs, look around for another communications program that may have come with your computer or with other software. Procomm and Telix are popular shareware communications programs.

Hint:The Internet wizard and Dial-Up Networking in Windows 95/98 will not work for accessing SEORF through our modem pool or the Ohio University modem pool. These programs require a graphic Web browser, such as Netscape, Explorer, or Mosaic. You must subscribe to a commercial Internet service provider (ISP) for this type of Internet access. Look in the Yellow Pages for an ISP near you or ask a friend since they may be so new they're not in the phone book yet.

Setting Up Your Communications Program

SEORF currently has three phone numbers, each with one line: (740) 593-1438, 593-1439, and 593-1136. If one is busy, try another number. SEORF also has a phone number with five lines: 740-597-3073. You are least likely to get a busy signal with the 597-3073 number.

You must have your communications program (comm program) set to 7 data bits, 1 stop bit, odd parity for these phone numbers. Your terminal emulation must be VT-100. That's probably all you have to do. SEORF communicates full duplex, but that's most likely already set in your comm program.

Hint: In Windows 3.1 and 95, make sure that the choice for "function, arrow and ctrl keys" is set for "terminal keys" and not "Windows keys."

Hint: If you have access to the Ohio University modem pool, you must set your comm program to 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, no parity, and VT-100 terminal emulation. You may use modem speeds up to 28.8 kbs.

Hint: Many comm programs use a 4:1 data compression ratio to speed up communication under ideal conditions. So, a 14.4 kbs modem may be set as high as 57.6 kbs and a 28.8 modem may be set as high as 115 kbs. Often this isn't explained very well in the setup instructions. There is, however, a tradeoff between speed and reliability. If you consistently have errors in communication, lowering the speed may help.

Using Telnet or SSH to Reach SEORF

Telnet is an obsolete protocol that has been around a long time by Internet standards and is still used occasionally, most often to login to remote computers. You may use telnet to reach SEORF if you are already on the Internet at another location and service. SEORF's telnet address is and you may have to enter this as telnet:// depending on the program you are using.

HOWEVER, we suggest that you use a communications program that uses an encryption such as ssh. If you do not already have a program that will do so (MacOS has ssh built into the command line), one free program for Microsoft Windows is which has the advantages of working well and being free. From the download page get the PuTTY program "putty.exe". You would use the same address for SEORF of

Hint: Telnet is also used within SEORF, notably to login to important databases like library catalogs. If you are dialing into SEORF directly, this will not be a problem. If you are accessing SEORF's Web site with a graphical browser like Netscape, you will have to configure your browser to use telnet. Windows has a telnet application and the path is c:\windows\telnet (note the back slashes of DOS). You would type this path in Netscape under Preferences or General Preferences / Apps / Telnet Application.

Hint: SEORF users do not have unlimited telnet. That is to prevent SEORF from being used as merely a jumping off point for someone to manage a remote computer. Commercial ISPs offer these services at very low rates if you need unlimited telnet.

Hint: Not all telnet applications are created equal, either. Some will not support printing, for example. So, if you can't print when using telnet to access SEORF, you may have to dial in or use another telnet program.

Making the Call and Logging On

Although your comm program may allow you to turn off the volume of your communications, it's a good idea to keep the volume on until you learn the process of connection.

After everything is set up properly and you dial SEORF (or use telnet) you will get a prompt that says "login." It is here that you type your login i.d. of two letters and three numbers (e.g. ax999).

Hint: Turn off your "Caps Lock" key and use all lower case, unless a specific address is written in upper case (capital letters). Your SEORF i.d. is lower case. Also, be careful with 1 (one) and l (lower case letter "L") and be careful with 0 (zero) and O (upper case letter "O").

After you enter your login i.d. press enter. Then you will get the password prompt. You must enter your password exactly as you received it, with lower case letters and including the punctuation marks. Then press enter again and you will, hopefully, enter SEORF.

Hint: If you don't hear a dial tone (and you don't have the sound turned off) then your comm program is not finding your modem. Most PCs have the modem set to COM2 (communications port 2) by default, but if this doesn't work, try changing the setting to COM1, COM3, or COM4.

Hint: If you have pulse dialing on your telephone (also called rotary), you may have to change an AT setting in your comm program. The default setting will be ATDT (AT dial tone) and you will need to change this to ATDP (AT dial pulse).

Hint: If you have "call waiting" on your phone line, this can cause you to lose your Internet connection when you get another call. To avoid this, you must first sign up for "cancel call waiting" with your phone company. Cancel call waiting is not an automatic feature of call waiting. For GTE customers, you must then include 70# before the SEORF phone number (1170 for rotary/pulse phones). This may be 70* for other phone companies. Consult your phone book for details.

When you make a successful connection to SEORF, you will see a series of messages that will change from time to time. Press enter (return) several times until you get to the "Welcome to the Southeastern Ohio Regional Freenet" page.

You now have access to the Internet (text-only) and also e-mail which you can use to correspond with anyone in the world, assuming you know their e-mail address. If your login i.d. is ax999 then your e-mail address is Ignore the period after "edu" to be correct.

SEORF is also a World Wide Web (WWW) site and its URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is and you may reach SEORF this way also if you have another Internet connection with WWW capabilities.

Review of Connection Options:
Connect by phone (593-1438, 593-1439, 593-1136)
Connect by telnet (telnet://
Connect by WWW (

Changing Your Password

After you have successfully logged on to SEORF, you should change your password to something only you know. From the SEORF home page choose Personal Services and then choose Change your password. You will then be prompted to enter your old password and then prompted to enter your new password twice. Be sure to write down your new password and keep it in a safe place (where you can find it later!).

Hint: Your password may be 6-10 characters and can include numbers, punctuation and upper case letters. You should choose a word that's not in the dictionary since hackers can use programs that run through every word in the dictionary to try to break into your account.

If you forget your password, you may have it reset by sending a signed request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to SEORF, c/o David Kurz, Radio-TV Bldg., Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701.

Using E-mail

SEORF uses the e-mail program Elm which works together with Lynx, the text-only Web browser on SEORF. To access Elm, go first to Personal Services, then choose Read and Send Mail.

The first time you use Elm, you will have to set up your mail folder. Simply answer "yes" by pressing the y key when asked. You will need to answer "yes" twice.

Once you are in Elm, you may compose an e-mail message by pressing the m key for "mail." This takes you to the Pico editor of Elm where you compose and send messages. The Pico editor is also used in the "Manage the files in your home directory" part of your Personal Services area.

After you press m to begin a mail message, you will be prompted "Send the message to:" Here you type the e-mail address of the recipient.

Hint: An e-mail address always has a part before the @ and a part after the @ (at). or are two examples.

You may send multiple copies of the same message by separating each address with a comma. If you are sending mail to another SEORF user, you only need to type the first part of the e-mail address, e.g. ax999 or aa726.

After you enter the e-mail address, you will be prompted to enter "Subject of message:" You should enter a brief description of your message here. Next you will be prompted to send "Copies to:" You may leave this blank if you wish or enter additional e-mail addresses.

It is at this point that you are actually in the Pico editor which uses commands that employ the use of the Ctrl (control) key. ^X means to hold down the Ctrl key and press the X key once. ^G is the command for help in Pico and ^T is a spell checker.

Hint: A confusing aspect to Elm is how to send the e-mail message you have created. You need to use the Exit command, ^X, and then you will be asked if you want to send your mail.

Saving and Printing Mail

If you want to keep a copy of the e-mail you send, then you must send a copy to yourself. Elm does not automatically keep a copy.

To save mail that you have received, just type s for save when you have the message highlighted in the listing or when you have it open for reading. You will then be given the option of accepting the default name which is the first part of the sender's e-mail address

If you accept the default name, then the saved message will go into your "Mail" directory. If you give the message a new name, then the saved message will go into a new directory. You may put many messages in a directory or you may give each saved message a new name and then each will go into its own directory.

The words "directory" and "folder" mean the same thing, that is, a place to keep more than one file. You can also just keep one file in a directory, then the terms "file," "folder," and "directory" are all used interchangeably.

Hint: Try saving the same message two different ways: first by accepting the default name and then by giving it a new name. Then go to your personal file area and find them. You'll see how they are filed in different ways.

Elm will automatically ask you if you would like to store mail that you have received in your "Received" directory. If you answer "yes" to this question, your mail will go from your mailbox to the Received directory which is actually a subdirectory of the Mail directory. This just means to look in the Mail directory and you'll find your Received directory.

To see the files that you have stored in your Received directory in a numbered list, you must use the "Change Folder" command while you are in Elm. Just press "c" and you will be asked what folder you want to go to. If you want to go to a folder that is in your Mail folder, for example the Received folder, then you must put an equals sign, = , in front of the directory name, e.g. =received.

You can use the Change Folder command as a shortcut to any file that you have stored in your personal area. If the file is in your Mail directory, just put an equals sign in front of the file name. If you saved the file under a unique name, just type the name of the file, you won't need the equals sign.

Hint: Lynx will permit you to create files and directories in your personal area and you can create levels of directories, or folders inside of folders, just like the Received folder is inside the Mail folder. Since SEORF uses the operating system UNIX, the directories or folders are separated with a forward slash, / , and be sure to not confuse this with the back slash, \ , used in DOS and Windows.

Printing can be tricky, but if you keep trying, I'm sure you'll find a way. Not all telnet programs are capable of printing (the one included in Windows does not support printing), so that may be a problem. If you are dialing directly into SEORF, then you should be able to print.

Try printing mail that you have received. Press "p" for print and then choose "print to a printer attached to your computer" and the document should print. If you are not successful in printing your mail while using Elm, try saving the mail, then go to your personal file area and find the file. Then try printing as you did before, press "p" for print and then choose "print to a printer attached to your computer."

Here are a few sites on the Internet to get free or low-cost telnet programs: and

Making an Alias (aka nickname)

In Elm, you can make an alias (also called "nickname") for an e-mail address. For example, you could make an alias, bob, for the e-mail address, (not a real address).

To do this, press "a" for alias while in Elm. This will put you in "alias mode." If you have current mail in your Elm e-mail program, you will receive the usual questions about your mail before you go to alias mode.

If you have already created aliases in your SEORF account then you will see them in a numbered and alphabetic list in alias mode. If you are creating your first one, there will be no list! To create a new alias, press "n" for new.

After typing "n" you will be asked to enter an alias name. For this example, we will type "bob" and press enter (always omit the quotation marks, unless instructed otherwise). Next you will be asked to "Enter last name for bob." Type "Smith" then enter. Next you will be prompted to enter a first name.

Hint: If you are creating an alias for an organization, e.g. ABC Tool Co., then enter "ABC" as first name and "Tool Co." as last name, then the name will be displayed properly in e-mail. Note that it will be alphabetized under "last name" or "Tool Co." in this case.

After you enter first name and last name for an alias, you may enter an optional comment. This comment will not appear on e-mail that you send, but may be helpful as a reminder who the person really is!

Finally, you enter the e-mail address of the alias. In the case of "bob" you would enter (remember e-mail addresses never end with a period).

When you are done, press "r" to return to Lynx. Note that your new alias will not be added to your list until you exit. So you must exit and re-enter to see the new alias.

Accessing the Internet with Lynx

SEORF uses the text-only Web brower, Lynx, for access to the Internet. A common question is "can I use Netscape with SEORF?" The answer is yes and no! What you get for free from SEORF is Lynx, a text-only browser.

If you sign up with a private Internet Service Provider (ISP) then you will probably get either a PPP account or SLIP account and a copy of Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer. Then you will be able to see the graphics and other multimedia of the World Wide Web. SEORF has no plans to offer these services at this time.

However, the personal home pages that SEORF users can make and the local government and nonprofit organizations with home pages on SEORF can include graphics in their pages. SEORF is a full-fledged World Wide Web site in this respect. You can use a copy of Netscape or Explorer to see what the graphics of your page would look like on the Web, even if you don't have a live graphical connection to the Internet.

The most important command in Lynx is the "go" command. Press "g" while in Lynx and look at the bottom of your screen for the prompt, "URL to open." You would then type the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of a World Wide Web (WWW) site or gopher site or ftp site or news site.

To go to a WWW site, the Library of Congress for example, type "" (omit the quotes) at the "URL to open" prompt. Press enter and you will go to the Library or Congress WWW site.


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