Introduction: how can I access the web?

You have two basic options: use a browser on your own machine (the best option) or use a browser that can be telnetted to (not nearly as good, but possible). Web access by email is not available at this time. Note, however, that the traditional online services such as AOL, Prodigy, and Compuserve now offer web access of one degree or another as a standard feature.

It is always best to run a browser on your own machine, unless you absolutely cannot do so; but feel free to telnet to a browser for your first look at the web, or use email if the telnet command does not work on your system (try it first!). Note that "your machine" can be defined as a system you dial into from home, such as netcom or another account provider. Running a text-based browser on such a system is still preferable to telnetting to a faraway site.

Access to the web by email has been possible at various points in time, but the volume of incoming requests simply cannot be handled by any one central site. Obtaining a better grade of Internet access that allows you to run a web browser is strongly encouraged.

There is one low-tech solution: web by FAX! Consider the following information, submitted by Bill Stearns:

If you have access to a fax machine, do the following:

1) Call 805-730-7777 from your fax machine.

2) Select number 2 (I have the document ID already)

3) Type in the document ID; for the above page, it's 17571, then press # (the pound symbol)

4) Press pound at the next prompt if you're calling from your fax machine, or enter the phone number of your fax machine and then press pound.

5) Wait for that page to come over, and then repeat the process with the 5 or 6 digit number in brackets next to the link you'd like to follow.

A few other useful pages:

17581 800 number (toll-free) service providers

17582 The list of area codes - a good place to start as well if you're in the U.S.

By the way, this free service is provided by Universal Access (, document number 16968) and is not limited to just this directory. If you know the name of the machine hosting the web page you want to view, you can probably reach it through this service. You simply type in the name of the machine (, for example) at menu option 3. When you've received the home page for the site, keep following the trail to the page you'd like. It takes a while and some long distance calls, but the service is otherwise free.

My sincere thanks both to Universal Access and the Celestin company for providing these services.

World Wide Web FAQ