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Information Retrieval Using Telnet

To Connect To Databases Using Telnet

There are many valuable databases accessible on the Internet, but they are built upon a wide variety of software platforms, and require a variety of search commands. One must connect to the computer holding the databases, access the database, and once in the database use the search language specific to it.

Telnet enables connection to many different types of computers. You may be requested to enter a username and password, username alone, or in many cases be allowed directly into the database. There usually is a Help feature (look for the navigational commands, often listed at the bottom of the screen). Consult the Help feature to learn the search commands and, equally as important, how to exit. If the particular database does not list an exit command try Quit, Exit, End, or Logoff. If these do not work, be patient almost all systems have a

timeout feature and automatically disconnect after a few minutes

of nonactivity.

To learn more about Telnet please browse Chapter 5 of The Whole

Internet, 2nd Edition, by Ed Krol.

Telnet Exercise 1 Connecting to the "Coalition For Networked Information" Database.

From the VAX prompt, type


When you see the prompt "Username" coming from the remote computer, enter in small letters only [note: systems based on UNIX are casesensitive it is often important whether a small letter or large letter is required.]

brsuser R

You have now connected to a database maintained by the Coalition For Networked Information, using as a platform software produced by a company named BRS (hence the username brsuser). This database maintains an archive of Internet email messages from several discussion lists that focus on Internet resources and Internet training.

Please read the onscreen prompts carefully. When asked your terminal type select VT100. (Kenyon users should always select the standard VAX terminal type VT100.)

Please choose 1 to see the database's options.

Go to the second screen (press R ) and choose NTHP for the archive of the discussion list NetHappenings. Search the database using terms central to your interests you may find leads to other Telnetaccessible databases, Gopher sources, or discussion lists of possible interest to you.

Try the same searches in the database TPND CNI's effort at a subject index to Internet resources.

To exit type O R

Telnet Exercise 2 Connecting to a Library Catalog.

While there is a gateway to library catalogs in KCInfo (under Library) you may find that you go to one library catalog often enough to want a direct path. If you know the Telnet address, at the VAX prompt, type

TELNET address



to search the 7 million plus titles of the University of California system.

Note: When asked for terminal type, type VT100 R

To exit type END R

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