Never post binaries to alt.winsock. In general, binaries should only be posted to alt.binaries.* groups. Even if you believe that you have found or written a great program that you think everyone in alt.winsock will want, please do not post a binary to the newsgroup. Simply post a message that gives a description of the program and tell people where it can be found.
Advertisers should be very careful when considering whether they should post on alt.winsock. alt.winsock is not a forum for advertising. But, if your product is a WinSock application, or might be of interest to WinSock users, please announce yourself as an advertiser and give an accurate description of your product.
Before you post any generic questions, please check the FAQ. Please do not post any questions that can be answered in the FAQ. Many of the routine questions include "What Telnet programs are out there?" "Where can I find xxxx?" or other such questions. Checking the FAQ first will reduce traffic and get you a quicker answer as well.
The WinSock specification was born at one of the "Birds of a Feather" sessions at the Interop conference in Fall of 1991. The current version of the specification is 1.1, but work continues on the WinSock 2.0 specification, which is scheduled for completion mid-1995.
The easiest way to show how it works is with a diagram:
But the most important thing for you to remember about WINSOCK.DLL is that the WINSOCK.DLL you're using must match the version of TCP/IP that you're running. Don't assume that because all WinSocks are called WINSOCK.DLL that they're all the same--they're not. So, for example, if I'm using Microsoft's TCP/IP, I can't use Trumpet Winsock.
Similarly, if I'm running on a SLIP connection, and I want to switch from Chameleon Sampler's WinSock to Trumpet Winsock, I first need to remove Chameleon's version of WINSOCK.DLL before installing the new one.
If you end up with multiple versions of WINSOCK.DLL floating around your hard disk, you're asking for trouble. Before you come screaming at alt.winsock, take a couple of minutes to check your hard disk for multiple WINSOCK.DLLs.
For more information, see NCSA's The winsock.dll page.
Your connection to the Internet may take the form of a direct connection via a network card or a dialup account using a modem. Most users reading this FAQ will be using the latter. You'll probably need to acquire an account with an Internet service provider (or else get an account through work or school, if available) -- either a SLIP or PPP account (these are protocols for communicating with the Internet via modem; either is fine, though PPP is generally preferred), or a shell account which allows you to run a SLIP emulator (covered in Section VI.)
The TCP/IP stack you use depends upon your needs. Some operating systems include stacks, such as Microsoft Windows 95 and IBM OS/2. For other operating systems, like Microsoft Windows 3.1/3.11 or Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11, you'll need to add a stack. Section IV of this FAQ covers some of the most popular. Some are free, some are shareware (if you continue to use them after an evaluation period, you must pay a small fee), and others are commercial. Some include no WinSock applications, while others include all the basic apps you'll need.
A fast computer, 8MB or more of memory, and a high speed modem for dialup connections (at least 14.4k) are also recommended.
And, of course, you'll need some WinSock applications. Section VII. points to lists of WinSock applications available.
SLIP has been around since the mid-1980s. It was originally designed to allow Unix machines to connect to one another over the phone. It essentially "tricks" your computer into thinking that its modem connection is a dedicated network connection (the kind you would usually need a network card for).
PPP is based on SLIP, but it is a more sophisticated protocol. It contains additional error checking and authentication, which makes it more reliable than SLIP. For most PC users, there really isn't much difference between the two. Because PPP is more reliable and is generally accepted to be the standard of the future, you should get PPP if you're offered a choice between the two.
WinSock works great with SLIP and PPP. Most WinSock versions come with dialer programs to do the actual connection over your modem.
Version 2.1 is still in development. Recent developments have improved PPP performance and fixed scripting errors. Like version 2.0, version 2.1 supports both SLIP and PPP. A fairly powerful scripting language is also included for login, logout, and other actions. Trumpet Winsock is shareware. After 30 days, you must register (international: US$25, Australia: AU$25).
Make sure you read the README.1ST file if you're upgrading from Trumpet WinSock 2.0x.
There is a beta version of Trumpet Winsock for Windows 95. For more information, see:
First check which values your Internet provider recommends. These values will generally be the best. However, not all providers have experience with Trumpet Winsock, or the values they give you may still need additional adjustment for optimal speed and reliability.
The INSTALL.DOC that comes with Trumpet Winsock also lists a few general rules for setting these values. MTU should be TCP MSS+40. TCP RWIN should be 3 or 4 times TCP MSS. It suggests starting with the following values: MTU=256, TCP RWIN=848, TCP MSS=212. However, these are only general rules and there may be better values for your particular situation.
Peter Tattam also believes that MTU should be pushed up to 1500 if supported by your provider, although many providers recommend setting the MTU at 1006.
He also recommends that you set the values for SLIP/PPP as follows: TCP MSS=512, TCP RWIN=2048. CSLIP/CPPP values should be: TCP MSS=212, TCP RWIN=848.
Ethernet and TIA users should use the following values: MTU=1500, TCP RWIN=4096, TCP MSS=1460.
A lot of Windows 95 beta users have installed Trumpet Winsock and are using it quite happily.
Now, once you've got that verified, you need to replace the old COMM.DRV driver that came with Windows 3.x, because it was designed to work with the older UART 8550 chip. (Windows for Workgroups 3.11 users don't need to worry about this.) The two most popular replacement COMM drivers are CyberCom and WFXComm. Documentation is included in the zip files. Click here to download:
Also, you need to edit your SYSTEM.INI file to include the following statements in your [386Enh] section:
Although it is quite out of date, There is a FAQ that provides a more in-depth discussion of this subject:
To correct this problem, do the following:
In Netscape 1.1, there is a bug that may cause the Netscape window to open off-center and partially off the screen. Unfortunately, this was not fixed in the official release of Netscape 1.1N.
There are two methods to improve this:
This is an option set by your system administrator to prevent users from sending articles which contain, for example, 100 lines of quoted text with "I agree" added to the bottom. Such articles are considered a nuisance. Consider editing the quoted text for clarity.
Some users adjust their newsreader to use an unusual quote character. In some cases, this can fool the news server software and thwart your provider's options. Please be aware that this is a blatant circumvention of your provider's policies, and may result in loss of your Internet access. This type of action is inadvisable.
If the quoted text limitation really bothers you, try politely asking your provider to change this option in their news server software.
However, Versions 1.4f and later, including the recently released Version 2.0 have apparently fixed this problem.
If you're receiving frequent GPF errors with WSIRC, you may wish to update or switch to another IRC client.
Fortunately, some features of DCC will work. You will be able to
receive a DCC Chat request and DCC Get will also work. But you will be
unable to initiate a DCC Chat or use DCC Send.
For most applications, there is no difference between a true SLIP account and TIA. But there are a few drawbacks. Because TIA users do not have a real, unique IP address, applications that require this (some DCC Chat, Talk, CuSeeMe, Ping, etc.) will not work. Also, servers, in general, will not work. The latest beta version does have a port redirection feature, but TIA is not meant for server use. TIA requires that you have an "8-bit clean" connection to the Internet. Check the TIA FAQs for more information.
TIA currently costs U.S. $25.00 for a single-site license. They also have 14-day temporary licenses available. Version 1.04 has recently been moved from beta to official release in preperation for the release of Version 2.0, which is currently in closed beta testing. All future upgrades will be free to registered users.
See the FAQ (under More Information, below) for information about FTPing the latest compiled versions for various hosts. You must FTP the complete package (see below) to obtain the required stack, which is compiled. Source code for the host program and the stack is included.
There are several regularly updated lists of WinSock applications. If you're looking for something, try these lists first. You can FTP the files directly through either of the Web-based lists.
However, not all winsock applications are freeware. Many are
shareware, and shareware is not the same as freeware. Please use your
conscience. If you try out a shareware program and find it to be
useful, send in the registration fee. The prices are usually quite
reasonable. Moreover, it encourages and enables further development of
many great applications.
The traffic on alt.winsock.ivc and alt.winsock.voice is often sparse and overlapping. Although not as active as alt.winsock, both alt.winsock.programming and alt.winsock.trumpet are active groups.
Also, when posting, please do not post the same message to multiple groups in the alt.winsock hierarchy.
The FAQ will be archived monthly through news.answers as of this posting. It can be found at:
Or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following message:
Thanks also to Bob Ennis, Lynn Larrow, Craig Larsen, Ed Sinkovits, Perry Grieb, and Aaron Weintraub.
Comments and suggestions are welcome--this is a document in progress!
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