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Q&A

Q1:Can I set up Windows 3.1 for the Internet?
A1: Some ISPs and online services still supply signup disks for Windows 3.1. As always, a signup program is your best option. In fact, if an online service doesn't supply a Windows 3.1 signup disk, you probably can't use that particular service.

To set up Win 3.1 for an ISP that doesn't have a signup disk, you must ask the ISP for a copy of Trumpet Winsock, a Windows 3.1–based TCP/IP communications program that enables Win 3.1 to use a PPP account. Better ISPs send out a copy of Trumpet Winsock that's preconfigured with an IP address, local access number, and all of the other information you need to connect. Following instructions from the provider, all you need to do is install Trumpet Winsock, choose a few options, install the browser and other software the ISP provides, and you're ready to go.

Q2:Is configuring for the Internet getting any easier?
A2: Oh, my yes. Signup disks from ISPs are becoming far more common, and the slow death of SLIP and shell accounts has reduced the number of options, setting the stage for easy-to-use PPP setup programs. All new operating systems—such as Windows 98 and Mac OS8—have easy Internet setup routines built in to them. And more and more ISPs are supporting automatic IP address assignment and other techniques that make setting up on the user's end simpler.

Setup is simplifying itself so rapidly that, if you'd just waited another year or two, this hour of the book would have been only six minutes long. I could grant you a 54-minute nap and still stay on schedule.


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