by Mike Mallett D6K
This is not really the place for a history of the Internet as this has been covered elsewhere but it has grown very rapidly in the last few years. Much of this has been due to the World Wide Web where information is presented a graphical point and click way. Unfortunately this needs at least a powerful Mac or PC with a fast modem !
However the earlier facilities provided by the Internet can be still be very useful. Probably the most useful is electronic mail where messages can be sent all over the world for a few pence. A BBC with basic comms software and a 1200 bps modem is a basic but usable setup if you don't intend to send long messages or files. Some service providers offer e-mail only accounts at low cost but you can often find local bulletin boards that offer a limited free service. You may like to try Lentil in Woking on 01483 834626 The is run by Robert Lister who is always willing to help beginners.
E-mail can also give access to mailing lists which are automatic messages sent to subscribers interested in a particular topic. http://lists.cloud9.co.uk/mailman/listinfo/bbc-micro
this should give some very interesting discussions from current BBC users.
It also possible to use e-mail to transfer and request files - if anyone is interested I can provide some text files from the Internet which explain this far better than I can !
Full Internet access now costs from 10 to 15 per month plus the cost of (usually) local calls. If you have this luxury and a newer machine there are a surprising number of web sites that are of interest to 8BSers. Try the links on the 8BS links page.
You may be lucky enough to come across emulators to run BBC software on other machines such as a PC but that is another story !
In this short time I have only had time to touch the surface but if there is interest I will be happy to provide more information. As I have full access to the Internet I will try to download some software for the 8BS library.