One of the obligatory things that I find on every home page is the owner's own collection of links to what she or he thinks are ``real neat" stuff. Like Yahoo or Lycos. Don't misunderstand my point; both are valuable resources, & I use them myself, but why add them if everyone already knows about them? What I feel makes a collection of links valuable is how the collector organizes them, & the comments she or he adds to them. These characteristics offer an insight to the owner's mind, & gives the reader a hint just how far the creator has researched the topic.
With that preface out of the way, here is my ``Page-O-Links."
Since the average 'Net Surfer will be using Netscape with a modem, he will want to know about John Navas' 28800 Modem FAQ, a regular storehouse of information, as well as Curt's High Speed Modem page. If you are too cheap to afford a real modem, & think a 2400 baud modem on the electronic equivalent of Angel Dust is good enough for you, then study the latest revision of the RPI Modem FAQ, & maybe you can actually make this abomination work. And unless you are using the Personal Edition, for your stack & dialer, you have Trumpet Winsock on your system, and will want to know about Lynn Arrow's Trumpet Winsock Troubleshooting Reference, Trumpet Software International's Home Page & the alt.winsock FAQ.
You can read all about Linux at the source, Sunsite. However, if you want to download the actual software itself, don't go to Sunsite, but either to Walnut Creek's site, or InfoMagic. There is also a User's group in the Portland area, The Portland Linux User's Group. A piece of the history of the Linux OS can be found in the Flame War between Linus Torvald and Tannenbaum that occured some years back.
The conventional wisdom is betting on Java, an object-oriented language, which has an official home page at Sun Microsystems, & its own newsgroup & a number of Web resources like Digital Espresso. Two FAQs that are equally useful are maintained by D'Arcy Smith, & Elliotte Harold. A small software company called Nombas complains that there is more hype than substance in Java, pointing out that they've offered an interactive language like Java for a couple of years now. I guess the difference between Nombas' offering & Java is that Java's bringing together a number of companies around an open standard - Netscape, Borland, Symantec, & even the Linux community, where Nombas' offering is the work of one lone company. This wide-spread endorsement of Java has forced even Micro$oft away from their proprietary approach to software and at least claim to adopt Java in their browser.
Java has official ports to Windows 95, Windows NT, & Solaris, but there are unofficial ports to platforms such as OS/2, Macintosh System 7.5, and also Linux. The Linux port requires support for threading, so you need to have a kernel that supports the ELF executable format, as well as the proper libraries to compile the ELF binaries. The details are explained in the ELF Howto. Check out the Java HOWTO at the Blackdown Organization for all of the steps.
Another important development is Virtual Reality Markup Language (or VRML). This is intended to create portions of three-dimensional space that browsers compliant with this standard can explore. The excitement greeting this development is due to the widespread hope that the Internet will begin to resemble the Cyberspace described in William Gibson's Neuromancer. The standards for this are still developing: Version 1.0 of the standards was finalized early in 1995, but after various weaknesses were found, a Version 2.0 is evolving, modeled after Silicon Graphic's Moving Worlds. Some good places to start researching: the San Diego SuperComputing Center's useful VRML Repository & Wired's Forum about VRML. A VRML consortium has been formed to keep the technology from being lost to business interests.
This page last revised on 26 May 1996.