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A Selection of Articles from GreenNet News: Autumn 1994


Bicycle lanes for the information super highway
Resource Centre for Community Groups (RCCG) - Sri Lanka
New APC Members

Bicycle lanes for the information super highway...
Yes, you can use the new Internet tools on GreenNet. Those of you who can't wait to use Mosaic, Gopher, SLIP, PPP, FTP, POP, Eudora, etc., right from your Mac or Windows desktop can start using them now, provided you can handle a little bit of configuration and installation to set them up. This is the deal. It works for all ordinary users of GreenNet without any extra or special setup at the GreenNet end, you can collect your mail with Eudora one minute and log in normally and read it online the next time if you want. You just need the software (nearly all of it free or shareware) running on your computer. We don't have all our confs in a "news reader" format yet, that will come later, but you won't be charged extra if you use telnet to log in to GreenNet to read them the usual way.
We support both SLIP and PPP (these are the dial up Internet Protocols) with dynamic IP number allocation (that's just a fancy way of saying we provide you with an Internet "address" from a stock on GreenNet when you dial in, and when you've finished your call, we return it to our stock ready for another caller to use).
We aren't ready to provide the same level of handholding and user support as we provide for ordinary use, so if you have problems you'll need to ask for help in the conference <help> where those staff and users able to help will respond as soon as possible. We'll be making some changes and improvements over time as we iron out the bugs and add new features, this is a service 'under construction' and you'll be helping us too by testing it out and giving your feedback.
Despite all these warnings, it is easy to use! To get the software you'll need:

WINDOWS: send us 3 High Density 3.5" disks and return postage and address label and we'll send you an install package.

Apple Macs: Buy the MacInternet Tour Guide, by Fraase published by Ventana, ISBN 1566-040-620 for around 22 pounds. This has all the software you'll need including the one bit that isn't shareware (MacTCP/IP). You can then get extra instructions for how to configure it for GreenNet from the conf <gn.netnews>.

DOS: There is still one piece of the software that needs testing before we can provide a package that definitely works with GreenNet, watch <gn.netnews> for announcements.

Other: We don't have any specific software collections but we do have a set of general instructions for setting up your software to use SLIP or PPP to connect to GreenNet provided you can find the right software yourself, see <gn.netnews>.

For Mosaic and other Internet browsing you will want to use a high speed modem (9600 or higher) but using Eudora or similar for reading and writing mail works fine at 2400 and functions like an "off line reader". We have tested using direct dial and EUnet dialup but not yet using Dialplus. Watch gn.netnews for further announcements and information.
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Resource Centre for Community Groups (RCCG) - Sri Lanka
This issue profiles the works of the Resource Centre for Community Groups (RCCG) - based in Sri Lanka. The Centre is currently running the equivalent of GreenNet for groups in Sri Lanka. Hyacinth Silva of the Centre has written this piece focussing on its work. Hyacinth is currently working with us, acquiring skills and learning about system maintainence.
In October 1980 a handful of grassroot activists took the first tentative steps to set up the Resource Centre, in a climate of despair and demoralisation. The total defeat of the ill-organised general strike resulted in huge job losses. In the context of an ever deepening social and economic crisis and a greater readiness to use violence to resolve socio-economic problems it was essential to promote widest possible discussion on issues that affected ordinary people.
The initial purpose of the Resource Centre was to provide typing, duplicating and printing facilities to small community groups who did not have the resources to purchase their own equipment.
The Centre now provides training facilities to young men and women from poor and underprivileged homes. The most important development in its training activities was the decision to adopt a policy of positive discrimination in favour of women. Although an uneasy step, the Centre can claim to be the first organisation in Sri Lanka which trained women in modern printing skills including Electronic trypesetting, Camera work and offset printing aswell as providing training for members of ethnic minorities.
The Resource Centre has expanded rapidly and has set up many departments such as the Womens Unit which develops feminist consciousness and self-assertion and a Development Education library.
The Centre has recently recognised the benefits of using electronic mail and conferencing and have moved to set up a small host. The main aim of this is to enable the NGO community to share information on a national and international basis.
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New APC Members
As of the APC Annual Meeting held in Canada in July this year, APC has two new member networks:
ColNodo, Carerra No 39-82, Santafe de Bogota, COLOMBIA, Tel: +57/1 269 7181, Fax: +57/1 244 4984, Email:
PlaNet, PO Box 6594, Auckland 1, NEW ZEALAND, Tel/Fax: +64/9 3786 006, Email:
The brings the total of APC member networks to 18 worldwide.
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