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Shell FAQ

Some useful Unix commands:

man 'command' this is the Unix manual...try: man ls or man mkdir
w        shows you who's online
ls       lists the files in your home directory
ls -al   lists Everything in your directory, includes size and creation date
cd	 'change directory' type cd public_html to get to your www files
sz       for downloading via Zmodem...type sz followed by the filename
sx       for Xmodem downloading
rm       the rm command is to remove a file....type rm 'filename'
du       shows disk usage for your home directory...if total is over 5000,
         it's time to remove unneeded files
telnet   to telnet to another site, just type telnet 'site'
ftp      like telnet, you need to have a site to ftp to.  Type ftp 'site'
ncftp    user friendly anonymous FTP program...if the default scrambles 
         your screen, type ncftp -L
lynx     The text-based World Wide Web browser...just type 'lynx'. 
         (Remember to use the tab key!)
talk     type 'talk username@site' to initiate or respond to a talk 
         request for someone on WCO, you only need: talk 'username'
exit     to log off

I have a West Coast Online PPP account. Do I get a shell account with that?

Yes. Check the next two questions for instructions on logging into the shell server.

How do I telnet into the West Coast Online shell server?

First you will need a telnet program. Once you have one, you should use the server shell.wco.com. You can login with you regular WCO login name and password.
If you don't have a telnet program and you'd like to try one, the sites listed in the following question have several to choose from.

Where do I get a telnet program?

There are quite a few, but two of the more popular places that you can download Internet software are:

Can I login to the shell server using my text based modem program?

Yes. Simply configure your program to dial your local West Coast Online number. When you dial into our terminal servers, you should see our login screen. If you immediately type in your login name and password, you will see garbage -- as our terminal servers will think you want a PPP session. (PPP software handles this automatically, so the garbage will not affect a PPP session, and will usually be invisible.) If you follow the instructions shown when you log in, and type a number (e.g., 1) first, then your login name followed by your password, you will be logged into a UNIX shell server to use the shell in the "old fashioned" way.

How do I read my mail on the shell?

To read or send Email, type pine. The Pine mail-reader sets itself up in your home directory the first time you enter it. There is a main menu of selections to choose from, and a set of commands in each screen. You'll have to look around and play with the various commands to learn everything you can do. To send mail to anyone with an account on WCO, you only need to type the username portion of their address.

How can I learn about FTP, telnet, IRC, and Usenet on the shell?

From the UNIX shell, you can use the built-in help system of man pages. Type: man ftp, man irc, man telnet, etc.
For long-term success, get a good book on Internet/Unix basics. Thumb through one to see if it shows you exactly what to do and also makes it easy to find what you are looking for.

I notice that every time I download a file from a web page, it's always slower than it should be. When I use my 28.8 modem to download a .ZIP file from a BBS, I always get at least 3000 characters per second. From web pages, I never get transfers faster than 2800, and sometimes as slow as 200! Why is your system so slow?

There are many reasons why downloading from a web page is not as fast as downloading from a BBS, including:
Our end (your modem to our terminal server/router-connected to the Net) only controls 1/3 of the potential sources for slowdowns. The place you are downloading from might be slow - some web sites are severely overloaded. Also, the major communication backbones your file transfer flows through can become temporarily congested . Your files often have to pass through 5 to 12 different machines to get to your computer. Generally, the greater the number, the slower the transfer.
For experienced PPPers, slow file transfers are not a problem. While your file downloads, you can open up a new browser window and travel somewhere else. You can open a telnet window and go somewhere else, you can check or send email. Unlike a BBS call, a PPP session lets you multitask.

Can I change my password and if I can, how?

On the UNIX shell, it's easy, just type passwd at the prompt. You'll be prompted to change your password. For more info, type man passwd at the prompt to see the long explanation.

If your account was created after April 1997, then this will also change your PPP dialup password. If your account was created before April 1997, either send mail to support@wco.com or call 1-800-926-4683 to change your PPP password.

While compiling a program, I ran into a problem, it's looking for 'ranlib', or crttab, or fxtbl_tab_io, can you help?

No, sorry, we can't help you write, find files for, or debug your scripts or programs. We have found that both Usenet news and the web are great resources for programming.

I can't find the (compiled Unix program I used before) on your Server. Want me to compile it for you so that everyone can use it?

For security (and other) reasons, we can't make programs you compile available for everyone to use. However, if you find an interesting or useful program that others on our system would enjoy, email support@wco .com with the address where we can find the source code. Then, we can compile a copy for all to use. Any assistance you can provide is always welcomed! If you get a useful program running in your home directory, let us know.

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