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What is TELNET?

TELNET is a way for you to remotely log in to another computer. When you log in, your computer becomes a terminal whereby you can send instructions directly to the other computer.

About TELNET Applications

TELNET applications (software) allow you to communicate with systems such as VMS or UNIX over the internet. A popular use of TELNET on the internet is for accessing library catalogs and searching indexes. You need a separate TELNET application to access these sites through your web browser.

Where to get copies of TELNET applications

You can get a copy of a TELNET application at c|net's SHAREWARE.COM.

Before you download the application, you may want to create a temporary install directory for the file.

Locate a "TELNET Client" application you would like to download.

When you click on the file name you will see a list of locations from which you may download the file. Select the location nearest you.

Netscape may display the Unknown File Type message. Select Save To Disk, and choose the drive and directory where you want the file to be saved.

Internet Explorer may display the message "What would you like to do with this file? Open or Save to Disk." Choose "Save to Disk."

If you get a message that the "server returned extended information" or "host is unreachable" then select an alternative location from which to download the file.

Unzipping and Installing TELNET software

If the TELNET application is in .ZIP archive format, you will need a copy of PKUNZIP or WINZIP to unarchive the file. (If you do not have a copy of PKUNZIP you can download a copy from one of the sites listed above.)

To unzip the file using the DOS version of PKUNZIP, first place the TELNET application file in a temporary install directory.

Ensure PKUNZIP is in your computer's path statement. If it is not, you must type the full path to where it is located.

From the Windows (3.1) Program Manager, select File, Run, and type: PKUNZIP followed by the complete file name and path of the TELNET application.

    For example: if your TELNET application is WTEL.ZIP you must type "PKUNZIP C:\INSTALL\WTEL.ZIP" (without the quotation marks.)

    If your PKUNZIP is not in your path statement (suppose it is in a directory called C:\ZIP, then you must type "C:\ZIP\PKUNZIP C:\INSTALL\WTEL.ZIP"

If you are using Windows 95 and have a current version of WinZip installed, then locate the zipped file using Windows Explorer, right mouse click on the file, select "Extract To" to unzip the file. If the "Extract To" option is not available, run your WinZip program and locate the file you wish to unzip. Click on "Extract" and select the directory you wish to extract the files to.

This will extract the contents of the file into your install directory.

Now you must install the TELNET application by running the setup or install program. Use the Program Manager's File, Run, and Browse options to locate and run the setup program. The setup program will usually be named "setup" or "install" and may have either a .com, .exe, or .bat extension. If you are given the option to install the application to any directory, select a directory other your C:\INSTALL directory.

You may want to make a backup copy of the ZIP file or the extracted files in the C:\INSTALL directory.

Once the TELNET application is installed you may erase the contents of the temporary install directory.

Be sure to read any registration material supplied with the application.

Setting up Netscape 1.x to operate with TELNET applications

  • Select "Options", "Preferences", "Set Preferences On", "Applications and Directories"
  • Click on the "Browse" button next to TELNET Application and locate the TELNET file on your hard drive. Double click on the TELNET application file.
  • Do the same for the TN3270 Application, except look for the TELNET 3270 application file. If no executable file names containing "3270" can be found then press "ESC"
  • Select "Ok"
  • To save your settings, select "Options", "Save Options"
  • Now, when you use Netscape to connect to a TELNET site, your TELNET application will run automatically.

Configuring Netscape Nav Gold to automatically run the Windows 95-supplied telnet application

To use the telnet application in conjunction with the Netscape web browser:

  • Select "Options", "General Preferences", "Apps"
  • Browse the windows directory or enter the telnet filename "c:\windows\telnet.exe"
  • Select "Ok"
  • To save your settings, select "Options", "Save Options"
  • Now, when you click on a telnet URL in Netscape, the telnet application will run automatically.
  • You will have to manually exit the telnet application after logging off.

Running the Telnet application supplied with Windows 95

To use the Windows 95 telnet application as a stand-alone:

  • Establish your PPP or SLIP Connection
  • Run the "telnet.exe" program in the Win 95 directory
  • Select "Connect"
  • Select "Remote System"
  • Enter " " in the Host box (this is the telnet site at the Air Force Institute of Technology)
  • Be sure "telnet" is visible in the Port box
  • TermType should be "vt100"
  • Then select "Ok"
  • (If you have your dial-up networking configured and haven't yet established a PPP or SLIP connection, the dial-up networking window will appear at this point.)
  • Log in as "afitpac" when the "Username:" prompt comes up, and press "Enter"
  • You will next see the main menu for the AFIT Library
  • When you exit the menu, the telnet window will display "connection to host lost"
  • Note: If you are using the Microsoft Internet Explorer supplied with Windows 95, the telnet application should already be configured to run automatically when you click on a telnet URL.

Locating Addresses of TELNET Sites

Most of the links in LogisticsWorld are of hypertext documents. There are, however, some gopher, wais, and TELNET sites included.

First of all, servers may offer hypertext documents (http://...), they may have a gopher server (gopher://...), ftp (ftp://...), and/or they may offer TELNET access (telnet://...) -- or, any combination.

Generally, if a site has a home page in http/HTML format, it will list gopher, wais, TELNET, FTP or other services on their HTML web page.

There are various listings and search tools for gopher, wais, and FTP sites, but I'm not aware of any monster listings of TELNET sites on the internet. I'm sure there's some out there, and if you know of a quick and easy way to locate TELNET sites, please send me an e-mail.

"Where DO you get the addresses?" The whole purpose of LogisticsWorld is to help people find things. However, you have to keep multiple sets of books if you build a http list, then a ftp list, then a gopher listing, a wais listing, and then a TELNET listing. You also have a mammoth task of ensuring that all of these links are in good working order. Plus, it can be confusing for someone to know exactly where they connecting to, and what other type of resources are available. Instead, here's what you do...

If you want to see what a site has to offer, visit the HTML file (the home page) and look around.

For example, I went to the Library of Congress (LOC) home page at:

Library of Congress

scrolled down the page and found this:

LOC Online Services

This page lists the various services at the LOC and includes LOCIS which you can access via TELNET. Other services included are the LC MARVEL gopher, a Z39.50 gateway, and their FTP site.

But on the page, you'll find a link that says:

Connect to LOCIS using TELNET

This is pretty much the way it works for a lot of indexes nowadays, in which you rely on the HTML document to tell you everything the site offers and how to hook-up to them.

Another example for you: Most libraries at colleges and universities have TELNET access to their online card catalogs. Yet, unless you already know what services the library has to offer, as well as what the log-on procedure is, you may feel lost hooking up directly via TELNET. Enter the HTML library home page which lists all of the services (not just TELNET) and how to access them. Granted, once you learn what the site has to offer, and you know you want to enter via TELNET, or gopher, or whatever, you can do that.

For example: the Air Force Institute of Technology Library Home Page

It gives you a complete overview of all of the resources available and how to access them.

It tells you how to access the card catalog via TELNET, and a very important point--what the login password is

AFIT Library TELNET, login as "afitpac"

The instructions frequently give you pointers on how to navigate the TELNET site once you've connected.

How do I find the TELNET login and password?

My particular strategy is to visit the hypertext home page of the server--the home page. Here, you will usually find an index to site resources. If a server offers telnet access, it will usually be mentioned on the home page or some other page that outlines site resources. Additionally, if public telnet access is offered, the hypertext document will point you to the telnet URL, and will give you public logon instructions (i.e. username and password.) If these are not publicized, then access may be restricted.

Nowadays, there are few telnet-only servers out there. Most have a www server in addition to telnet, gopher, or ftp. However, it may be the case that the site you're attempting to access does not have a www or gopher server whereby you can get instructions for logging in by telnet. If this is the case, you're stuck. You will have to call or write the organization for login instructions. You may be allowed access after an application procedure, or informed that access is restricted. Hopefully, you will receive public access login instructions.

How do you find the www or gopher server URL if all you have is the telnet URL? Again you're at a bit of a disadvantage. About all you can do is change the URL from, for example, telnet:// to, or gopher:// and hope it works. Then comb the hypertext pages or gopher files for telnet login instructions.

I'm sure you tried every possible guest password, and no, it really isn't hacking. Common passwords are guest, visitor, student, user, your/an email address, the name of the school, company, or server, anonymous (usually a user login, not password, for ftp sites), or leave blank (press return.) If these, or any other common guest passwords fail, and you can not find specific instructions on how to log in, then it is a good chance that access is restricted.

WWW Virtual Library of Logistics
Ver 4, Sep, 1999, Matthew D. Cox,
Sponsored by LogisticsWorld.
Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 MDC, All rights reserved.