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Chapter 20 - Internet Access and Tools

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

This chapter describes some of the Internet tools available with Microsoft Windows 98, including the Internet Explorer 4 browsing software and a complete set of communication and collaboration tools. It also includes a comprehensive discussion of the various options provided in Windows 98 to connect computers to the Internet.

Internet Explorer is an integrated suite of Internet software that includes a customizable browser built on open Internet standards. It delivers an Internet solution to network administrators, who can customize and control their users' Web-browsing capabilities and ensure the security of their corporate intranets. Users and Web authors value the possibilities allowed with Internet Explorer support for Dynamic HTML, ActiveX, and Java.

See Also

  • For information about Outlook Express, the Internet Explorer e-mail client, see Chapter 22, "Electronic Mail with Outlook Express." 

  • For information about configuring Web site and channel subscriptions, see Chapter 6, "Configuring the Active Desktop and Active Channels." 

  • For information about configuring Internet Explorer, see the Microsoft Internet Explorer Resource Kit (ISBN 1-57231-842-2), or download it from http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx 

Overview of Internet Explorer

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Internet Explorer is the Windows 98 suite of Internet communication tools that includes an easy-to-use Web browser. Internet Explorer integrates the PC and the Internet by providing a single Explorer view and Web-savvy Start menu and taskbar. It also delivers information directly to the desktop with support for Webcasting and Active Channels. For information about Webcasting and Active Channels, see Chapter 6, "Configuring the Active Desktop and Active Channels."

The Internet Explorer browsing software gives users a more integrated and personalized browsing experience, providing an easy way to browse the Internet, their intranets, and their local computers. Users can interact with Web sites and find information faster than ever.

For corporate information systems (IS) and information technology (IT) managers, the ability of the Internet Explorer browsing software to combine the browser and the operating system reduces overall cost of ownership, as it allows users to be more productive. It extends existing functionality, thereby leveraging the investment made in training and reducing training costs. New and improved administration tools, including security features, ease migration to the intranet and administrator maintenance and control of internal Webs.

Installing and Configuring Internet Explorer

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Internet Explorer is a suite of Internet software that includes several communication and collaboration tools in addition to the Internet client. It is completely integrated with the Windows 98 operating system and cannot be uninstalled. Various optional components, however, can be uninstalled at any time.

Adding/Removing Components

Certain Internet Explorer components are optionally installed when you install Windows 98. If you do not choose a particular component and wish to install it later, you can do so using the Add/Remove Programs function of Control Panel and selecting the desired components from Windows Setup. You can also install Internet Explorer components from the Add-Ons page of the Internet Explorer Web site. For more information and to download components, see http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx .

Configuring Internet Explorer with the IEAK Profile Manager

The Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) Profile Manager is an administrative tool that can be installed on your computer from the Microsoft Windows 98 Resource Kit compact disc. The Profile Manager simplifies the creation and maintenance of custom Internet Explorer configurations. Network administrators can use the Profile Manager to create, save, and load Internet Explorer profiles that customize settings for Internet Explorer. These profiles are stored in INS files that encapsulate Internet Explorer parameters and are structured very much like Windows INI files.

Understanding IEAK Profiles

There are three types of IEAK profiles, all of which work together to give you the flexibility you need:

Per-user profile. The INS file that contains settings for an individual user. The file name usually consists of the user logon name plus the .ins file extension.

Group profile. The INS file that contains settings for a group (such as a division or department). The file name usually consists of the group name plus the .ins file extension.

Default profile. The INS file that contains settings that Internet Explorer uses if it does not find a per-user or group INS file. The file name is Default.ins.

The Profile Manager can also read Windows policy template (ADM) files. This ability means that administrators can create their own custom templates to define additional settings and restrictions for Internet Explorer and import them to the Profile Manager using Import on the Policy menu. When you use custom policy templates, the Profile Manager generates an INF file using the file prefix from the ADM file. For example, if you import a file called Custom.adm, a Custom.inf file is created.

Important When you import custom policy (ADM) files to the Profile Manager, it is wise to select Check Duplicate Keys on the Policy menu to check for duplicate registry keys in the templates, and delete any duplicates from your templates.

For more information about policy template files, see Chapter 8, "System Policies."

Using the IEAK Profile Manager

The IEAK Profile Manager can be installed from the Netadmin\Profmgr directory on the Microsoft Windows 98 Resource Kit compact disc.

To start the IEAK Profile Manager
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Windows 98 Resource Kit, and then click Tools Management Console

  2. In the left pane, click the Tool Categories folder, and then click the Deployment Tools folder. 

  3. In the right pane, click Profmgr.exe

The Profile Manager is organized into a left-hand pane showing a hierarchical tree of objects and a right-hand pane showing the options. When you select an object in the tree in the left-hand pane, the options and settings for that object appear in the right-hand pane. You can change options or specify settings as necessary to manage automatic browser configurations.

The Profile Manager provides two categories of settings that you can specify: Wizard Settings and System Policies & Restrictions.

Furthermore, you can specify desktop, shell, and security settings across your organization. You can customize numerous settings, ranging from default Start and Search pages to users' permission to transfer files when using NetMeeting.

You can control or lock down features and functions. For example, you can use the System options under the Shell category to prevent Windows 98 users from restarting their systems in MS-DOS mode. You can also use the Security option under Internet Properties to prevent users from changing any of the security settings on the Security property page in Internet Explorer. When features are locked down, they either do not appear or appear in gray type on the user's desktop.

Before changing system policies and restrictions, you should understand the impact of the security settings on your users, especially if you have roaming users who share computers with other users. Consider, for example, the implications of removing icons from the desktop, or not allowing users to change their security settings. Make sure that your users understand what features they have access to and what features need to be configured by your IT organization.

For more information about the IEAK Profile Manager, see Help in the Profile Manager or the Microsoft Internet Explorer Resource Kit. The Microsoft Internet Explorer Resource Kit (for Internet Explorer 4) is available from Microsoft Press, or you can download a copy from the Internet Explorer Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx . 

Configuring Proxy Servers

To ensure the security of corporate networks while allowing users access to the World Wide Web, many organizations use a proxy server. A proxy server can run on a company's firewall computer, which acts as a security barrier between the local network and outside networks, such as the Internet. The proxy server can also speed up access to certain Web sites, because it caches frequently requested uniform resource locators (URLs).

The Internet Explorer browsing software supports the use of proxy servers. You can configure it to use a different proxy for each Internet Protocol (IP). You can do this configuration either manually or automatically using the Connection tab of the Internet Options property page.

Manual Proxy Server Configuration

You may want to configure your proxy settings manually.

To configure proxy settings manually
  1. On the View menu, click Internet Options

  2. Click the Connection tab. 

  3. Under Proxy server, select Access the Internet using a proxy server, and type the Address and Port. 

  4. Click the Advanced button to specify different proxy addresses and ports for each Internet protocol server type, or to instruct Internet Explorer to Use the same proxy server for all protocols

  5. Under Exceptions, you can also enter Internet Protocol (IP) address prefixes or machine names (such as 207.68*.* or *.microsoft.com) for which a proxy server is not to be used.

Important When you enter exceptions, be sure to enter both the relevant names and the relevant IP numbers; if you enter only IP numbers, users who browse a site by name will still be sent by way of the proxy server and vice versa.

Automatic Proxy Server Configuration

The Internet Explorer browsing software allows administrators to configure proxy settings, such as server addresses and bypass lists, automatically. Administrators can use the IEAK Profile Manager to configure proxy settings or to create a settings file (JS, JVS, or PAC) using JScript.

Internet Explorer can be configured to retrieve proxy settings automatically for each Internet Protocol (Hypertext Transport Protocol [HTTP], File Transfer Protocol [FTP], Secure [HTTPS], Gopher, SOCKS), from an INS file created with the Profile Manager or from an HTML file that contains JScript or JavaScript, which executes whenever a network request is made. Multiple proxies can be configured for each protocol type, and Internet Explorer can automatically cycle through the different proxy servers to avoid overloading any particular server.

Benefits of Automatic Proxy Configuration

Automatic Proxy Configuration provides the following benefits:

Centralized management and compatibility. Automatic Proxy Configuration makes it easy to administer a distributed network of PCs running Windows 98 by allowing administrators to set proxy configurations in a central location for all users. Any changes are propagated to all users as they run their browsers, without disrupting the work process.

Most compatible management solution. With Internet Explorer, support for both IEAK Profile Manager settings and JScript configurations ensures maximum compatibility with existing installations.

Automatic Proxy Configuration Files

You can use a text editor to create automatic proxy configuration (JS or PAC) files that dynamically assign browser proxy settings based on the location of hosts. Automatic proxy configuration files are JScript files. When an automatic proxy configuration file is specified, the Internet Explorer browsing software uses the proxy auto-configuration script to determine if it should connect directly to a host or use a proxy server. You can use automatic proxy configuration files to configure users automatically to use different proxy servers for different domains.

The following example shows a proxy auto-configuration function that checks to see whether the host name is a local host, and if it is, whether the connection is direct. If the host name is not a local host, the connection is made through the proxy server. In the following example the server name is "proxy1."

function FindProxyForURL(url, host)
{
if (isPlainHostName(host))
return "DIRECT";
else
return "PROXY proxy1:80";
}

The isPlainHostName() function checks to see if there are any dots in the host name. If there are, it returns false; otherwise, the function returns true.

Automatically Configuring Internet Explorer After Deployment

Although it is advantageous to use the IEAK Profile Manager to customize Internet Explorer so that automatic configuration is enabled before you deploy Windows 98, it is not difficult to turn it on after the fact. This procedure can be done in Automatic Browser Configuration under Wizard Settings in the Profile Manager. You can specify the URL of the INS file to be used for automatic configuration, as well as a time interval (in minutes) for auto-configure to occur.

Important If you set up auto-configuration with the IEAK Profile Manager, you should then prevent your users from changing the auto-configuration settings. This step can be done under System Policies & Restrictions in the Connection tab of Internet Properties.

Users can manually point Internet Explorer to the URL of the auto-configuration file. This task needs to be done once, and then you can lock down the settings (as described earlier) so that your users cannot change them.

To set up automatic configuration manually
  1. On the View menu, click Internet Options

  2. Click the Connection tab. 

  3. Under Automatic configuration, click Configure

  4. Type the URL for the auto-configuration file name. 

  5. Click the Refresh button to update settings immediately. 

Note Some auto-configuration settings require the system to be restarted before changes to the system registry take effect.

Configuring Cache Settings

As you view Web pages, the Internet Explorer browsing software stores them in the Temporary Internet Files folder on your hard disk to make browsing more efficient. Internet files are also stored in this "cache" when you subscribe to Web sites or use offline browsing.

To configure cache settings
  1. On the View menu, click Internet Options

  2. Click the General tab. 

  3. Under Temporary Internet files, click Settings

  4. In the Settings dialog box, you can select an option specifying how often Internet Explorer checks for newer versions of stored pages, specify how much disk space is used for the cache, and change the folder where temporary files are stored. 

Note If you change the folder where temporary Internet files are stored, viewing the %Windows%\Temporary Internet Files folder will still reflect files in the cache. This is because that folder is referencing a Shell Handler, not the actual files.

To view temporary Internet files or downloaded objects
  1. On the View menu, click Internet Options

  2. Click the General tab. 

  3. Under Temporary Internet files, click Settings

  4. Click View Files to view temporary files. 

    – Or – 

    Click View Objects to view downloaded program files. 

Security

Internet Explorer supports many existing and emerging security standards, such as digital certificates, making it the most secure browser available. With it, you can conduct private communications, protect your identity on the Internet, protect your computer from potentially damaging code, prevent others from tracking your activities, and restrict the viewing of certain sites on your computer. You can even verify the identity of Web servers and positively identify yourself to those servers when desired. This restriction means that online consumer transactions and banking can be conducted with privacy and security.

Security Features

The following security features make it easier for you to protect your computer and your privacy while using the Internet Explorer browsing software:

Security zones. This feature allows you to divide the Web into zones and have Internet Explorer provide different levels of security, depending on which zone you have assigned to a Web site.

Authenticode technology. Microsoft Authenticode certificates identify the publisher of a piece of software and verify that it has not been tampered with to help you decide whether to download it.

Privacy Protection. Internet Explorer supports all standard Internet security protocols to ensure your privacy when you communicate over the Web.

Certificate management. Digital certificates are electronic credentials that establish an individual's or organization's identity on the Internet. With certificate management, you can control which Java applets, ActiveX controls, and other software can be run on your intranet, based on who published the software.

Trust-based security for Java. The new Internet Explorer security model for Java makes it easy to control how Java applets can interact with your computer system. This cross-platform security model provides fine-grained administration of the permissions granted to Java applets and libraries.

These security features are described in more detail in the following sections.

Configuring Security Zones

The Internet Explorer security zones divide the Internet or intranet into zones with different levels of security. This capability permits setting global browser defaults for allowing all content on "trusted" sites or disallowing content, such as Java applets or ActiveX controls, depending on the Web site of origin.

The Internet Explorer browsing software comes with four predefined zones: local intranet, trusted sites, Internet, and restricted sites. Using the Internet Properties dialog box, you can set the security options you want for each zone and then add or remove sites from any zone (except Internet), depending on your level of trust in the site. In corporate environments administrators can set up zones for users and even add or remove, in advance, the authentication certificates of software publishers that they do or do not trust so that users do not have to make security decisions while they are using the Internet.

For each security zone you can choose a high, medium, low, or custom security setting. Although Microsoft recommends the high setting for sites in a zone of uncertain trustworthiness, you can safely use the medium setting in a trusted zone. The custom choice gives advanced users and administrators more control over all security options, including the following:

  • Access to files, ActiveX controls, and scripts. 

  • The level of capabilities given to Java applets. 

  • Site identity designation with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) authentication. 

  • Password protection with Windows NT LAN Manager (NTLM) authentication. (Depending on which zone a server is in, Internet Explorer can send password information automatically, prompt the user for user and password information, or simply deny any logon request.) 

Table 20.1 shows the default settings for each security zone.

Table 20.1 Security zone default settings 

Zone

Default setting

Trusted sites zone

Low (do not warn before running potentially damaging content).

Local intranet zone

Medium (warn before running potentially damaging content).

Internet zone

Medium (warn before running potentially damaging content).

Restricted sites zone

High (exclude content that could damage your computer).

To configure security zones
  1. On the View menu, click Internet Options

    – Or – 

    In Control Panel, click the Internet icon. 

  2. Click the Security tab. 

  3. Select the zone you wish to configure from the Zone menu. 

  4. Click the desired security level for that zone. 

  5. If you click Custom, you can then click Settings to modify specific security settings. 

Adding Sites to Security Zones

You can add sites to the Local intranet, Restricted sites, and Trusted sites security zones. The local intranet zone is comprised of all the sites behind your company's proxy server or firewall. All Web sites that are not included in one of the other zones are automatically assigned to the Internet zone.

Note Web sites can be addressed by either Domain Name System (DNS) name or IP address. For sites that use both, it is important to configure both references to the same zone.

To add sites to the Trusted or Restricted zone
  1. On the View menu, click Internet Options

    – Or – 

    In Control Panel, click the Internet icon. 

  2. Click the Security tab, and then select Trusted sites zone or Restricted sites zone from the Zone list. 

  3. Click Add Sites

  4. Enter the addresses of the sites you want to add to this zone, and then click Add after each site you enter. 

To add sites to the Local intranet zone
  1. On the View menu, click Internet Options

    – Or – 

    In Control Panel, click the Internet icon. 

  2. Click the Security tab, and then select Local intranet zone from the Zone list. 

  3. Click Add Sites, and then select the types of sites you want included in this zone. 

  4. Click Advanced

  5. Enter the addresses of the sites you want to add to this zone, and then click Add after each site you enter. 

Note The Internet Explorer browsing software allows you to use a wildcard character (*) when entering the address of a Web site you wish to add to a security zone.

For more detailed information about Internet Explorer security zones and security settings, see the Microsoft Internet Explorer Resource Kit. The Internet Explorer Resource Kit is available from Microsoft Press, or you can download a copy from the Internet Explorer Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx . 

Configuring Security in the IEAK Profile Manager

Administrators can use the IEAK Profile Manager to configure Internet Explorer security zones and keep users from changing security zone settings on their computers. Click Security Zones and Content Ratings Customization under Wizard Settings to customize security zones settings. Lock down these settings by expanding Internet Properties under System Policies & Restrictions and then clicking the Security tab.

Important If you have users who roam from one computer to another, consider the implications of selecting the first option, Use machine settings for security zones ONLY. This prevents users from having their own security settings when they are logged on to a different computer, and they inherit whatever settings are associated with that computer.

MS Authenticode Technology

Microsoft Authenticode technology allows you to verify both the publisher and the integrity of specific code found on the Internet. You can make informed decisions about whether to download the specific code, as well as whether to block execution of specific types of downloadable code, such as Java applets.

Authenticode works with VeriSign, a leading certificate authority. VeriSign is responsible for issuing digital certificates (which the company refers to as "digital IDs") and continuously verifying that the certificates are still valid.

If a piece of software has been digitally signed, Internet Explorer can verify that the software originated from the named software publisher and that it has not been tampered with. Internet Explorer displays a verification certificate if the software passes the test.

The new Authenticode time-stamping feature establishes that a piece of software was properly signed during the valid lifetime of a publisher's certificate. (Certificates have a limited lifetime to prevent giving counterfeiters enough time to eventually crack the code associated with the certificate.)

Developers can find tools for signing their code through the ActiveX software development kit (SDK).

Privacy Protection

This section describes the various aspects of privacy protection built into the Internet Explorer browsing software.

Secure channel services. Support for Secure Socket Layer (SSL) version 2.0/3.0 and Personal Communications Technology (PCT) version 1.0 ensures that personal or business communications using the Internet or intranet are private. The SSL and PCT protocols create a secure channel so that no one can eavesdrop on communications. With secure communications guaranteed, you can buy consumer goods, reserve airplane tickets, or conduct personal banking on the Internet.

Transport Layer Security. Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a new secure channel protocol under development by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). TLS builds on existing protocols to create an improved Internet secure channel protocol.

Personal Information Exchange. The Personal Information Exchange (PFX) is a set of public key-based security technologies that is part of the Microsoft Internet security framework. PFX supports such Internet standards as X.509 and Public Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) #7 certificate formats. Microsoft has submitted PFX for consideration as a new PKCS standard.

Cookie privacy. Some Web sites use cookie technology to store information on a client computer. These cookies are usually used to provide Web site personalization features. With Internet Explorer, you can choose whether to store a cookie by making the desired selection on the Advanced tab of the Internet Options dialog box.

SOCKS firewall support. Many corporations provide their employees with access to the Internet through firewalls that protect the corporation from unwanted access. SOCKS is a standard protocol for traversing firewalls in a secure and controlled manner. Internet Explorer is compatible with firewalls that use the SOCKS protocol. Hummingbird Communications, a leading provider of firewalls, provides this support.

Windows NT Server challenge/response. Corporations can take advantage of the Microsoft Windows NT Server LAN Manager (NTLM) challenge/response authentication that is already in use on their Windows NT Server networks. This provides users with increased password protection and security while remaining interoperable with their existing Internet information servers.

CryptoAPI. CryptoAPI version 2.0 provides the underlying security services for secure channels and code signing. Through CryptoAPI, developers can easily integrate strong cryptography into their applications. Cryptographic Service Provider (CSP) modules interface with CryptoAPI and perform functions, including key generation and exchange, data encryption and decryption, hashing, digital signatures, and signature verification. CryptoAPI is included as a core component of the latest versions of Windows. Internet Explorer automatically provides this support for earlier versions of Windows.

PICS standards for Internet content. Parents want assurances that children can be blocked from visiting sites that display inappropriate information. Corporations have similar concerns, wanting to block the use of sites that offer no business value to their employees. Microsoft has been working closely with the Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS) committee to help define standards for rating Internet content. Internet Explorer supports the PICS standard, which means that you can control access to rated Web sites or use third-party rating bureaus to control access based on content. For more information about third-party rating bureaus, see the PICS specification at http://www.w3.org/pics/ .

Microsoft Wallet. Microsoft Wallet supports securely storing important and private information, such as credit cards, electronic driver's licenses, ATM cards, and electronic cash. No application or person can view this information without your permission. In addition, you decide where to store the information (on a computer, smart card, or floppy disk). You have to enter password or account information only once and do not have to remember many different passwords. You have complete control over who can see or use this information. Wallet allows information to be securely transferred to any computer and used with any application through the use of PFX technology. Wallet supports additional payment methods (such as Internet cash) as well as other credentials and confidential information.

Note Microsoft Wallet is an optional component of Internet Explorer and must be selected under Internet Tools when installing Windows 98.

To add or modify personal information or payment methods
  1. On the View menu, click Internet Options

    – Or – 

    In Control Panel, click the Internet icon. 

  2. Click the Content tab. 

  3. Under Personal Information, click Addresses or Payments to add or change personal information and payment methods to be used by Internet Explorer. 

Certificate Management

With Certificate Management, administrators can control which Java applets, ActiveX controls, and other software can run on their intranets based on who published the software. This control makes administering network security relatively easy. Certificates are assigned only to software publishers who meet industry guidelines for security and integrity.

Managing Certificates with the Internet Explorer Administration Kit

Through the IEAK, administrators can pre-install certificates on users' computers and block them from downloading any other certificates. The benefit of such pre-installation is two-fold. First, it gives administrators greater control. Second, it reduces the number of warnings and choices that are presented to users when they download software from the Internet.

After initially installing Windows 98, administrators can remotely manage all allowed publisher and site certificates by adding new certificates or removing certificates from the list.

For more information, or to license and download a copy of the IEAK, visit the IEAK Web site at http://ieak.microsoft.com/ . 

Obtaining and Using Personal Certificates

Personal certificates verify your identity on the Web. You can obtain a certificate from a certifying authority, an organization responsible for issuing certificates and continuously verifying that the certificates are still valid. The certificate provider preferred by Microsoft is VeriSign.

For more information on obtaining a personal certificate, see Chapter 22, "Electronic Mail with Outlook Express."

Viewing Security Certificates

You can view both personal and site certificates at any time in the Internet Explorer browsing window.

To view security certificates
  1. On the View menu, click Internet Options

    – Or – 

    In Control Panel, click the Internet icon. 

  2. Click the Content tab. 

  3. Under Certificates, click Personal, Authorities, or Publishers to view the current certificates. 

Note You can also import or export personal certificates. (The file extension is .cer or .p7c.)

Trust-Based Security for Java

Trust-based security is a cross-platform security model that adds intermediate levels of trust to the Java security model. It enhances administration of the Java Virtual Machine (VM) by providing flexible control over permissions granted to Java classes, such as access to scratch (storage) space, local files, and network connections. This allows an application to be given some additional permissions without being offered unlimited access to all other permissions in the system.

For more information about Java and the Java VM, see "Java" later in this chapter, or visit the Microsoft Java Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/java/ .

Trust-based security zones. Administrators can manage Java classes with the same trust level as a group by assigning them to the same zone. For more information about Internet Explorer Security Zones, see "Configuring Security Zones" earlier in this chapter. Administrators can configure three different sets of permissions for each zone, for both signed and unsigned code:

  • Permissions granted without user intervention are available without user intervention to Java applets from the zone. They can be specified for signed and unsigned applets. 

  • Permissions granted with user intervention are determined by a user's responses to queries about whether to grant permissions to specific applets from the zone. 

  • Permissions that are fully denied are considered too dangerous to allow under any circumstances and, therefore, are denied automatically. 

Permissions model. This model supports a rich set of permissions that administrators can control with parameters and individually grant or deny for a particular zone. To reduce the number of options that administrators have to specify in common cases, the administrative user interface for trust-based security supports several preset permission sets that can be applied.

Permission signing. Permission signing extends signed Cabinet (CAB) file functionality by allowing a signed CAB file to specify securely not only the identity of the signer, but also the set of permissions being requested for the signed classes. Because the permissions are understood by the Java VM, a Java component can read the signature and provide an accurate warning about the risks of each permission.

Permission scoping. Permission scoping prevents permissions granted to a trusted component from being misused, either intentionally or inadvertently, by a less trusted component. Permission scoping allows a class to precisely limit the range of code for which a granted privilege is enabled for use.

Package Manager. Package Manager allows the installation of local class libraries that are not fully trusted, using permission signing. This is important for components, such as JavaBeans, that need to reside on the local computer and have some expanded privileges but should not have unlimited power.

Trust User Interface. The user interface defined by trust-based security for Java shields users from complicated security decisions and reduces the number of security-related dialogs they must answer. When deciding whether to trust an application, users need only make a simple "Yes/No" choice, because an administrator has already made the fine-grained decisions of what is left to the discretion of users for a particular zone.

Using Profile Assistant

The Internet Explorer Profile Assistant provides a simple way for you to store personal information that can be shared with specified Web sites. This information is completely private and secure, in that others cannot view or access it without your permission. Profile Assistant saves you from having to type in registration or demographic information each time it is requested. The Profile Assistant secure client profile is populated by default with registration information collected by Internet Explorer. If there is no data, or you wish to edit the information previously collected, you can access your profile at any time.

To access personal information in Profile Assistant
  1. On the View menu, click Internet Options

    – Or – 

    In Control Panel, click the Internet icon. 

  2. Click the Content tab. 

  3. In the Personal Information area, click Edit Profile

  4. Click the desired tabs to enter personal, demographic, and security information.

Note Profile Assistant can be disabled using the Advanced tab of the Internet Options dialog box. If you disable Profile Assistant, all requests from Web sites for personal information must be handled manually.

When a Web site requests user information, such as an e-mail address, Profile Assistant opens a dialog box that provides you with the URL of the site, the specific information requested, the purpose of the request, and whether the site has a secure connection. You can then decide what information, if any, you wish to share. There is also an option you can choose to always allow this site to see the specific items you have selected.

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If you have given permission for certain sites to always have access to some or all of your personal profile information, you can revoke that access at any time.

To revoke permissions previously granted to sites
  1. On the View menu, click Internet Options

    – Or – 

    In Control Panel, click the Internet icon. 

  2. Click the Content tab. 

  3. In the Personal Information area, click Reset Sharing, and then click Yes

Using the Internet Explorer Browsing Software

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The Internet Explorer browsing software is powerful and easy to use. The following section highlights some important features and describes how you can customize and personalize Internet Explorer.

Making Browsing Easy and Personalized

Internet Explorer includes improvements in browsing and personalization capabilities.

Explorer Bars

Explorer bars are ways to browse through a list of links, such as your History or Favorites, while displaying the pages those links open in the right side of the window. For example, if you click Search on the toolbar, the Explorer bar opens and you can use it to search for the Web site you want. You can use several different Explorer bars:

  • The Search bar displays a list of services that offer different kinds of searching capabilities. You can use the IEAK Profile Manager to specify a custom Search bar that points to the URL of your workgroup's favorite search engine. 

  • The Favorites bar displays the list of Favorite Web site URLs, files, folders, and applications added using Add to Favorites

  • The History bar displays a list of folders containing links for URLs visited in previous days and weeks. 

  • The Channels bar displays a list of subscribed Active Channels. 

Explorer Bars slightly reduce the available content area and remain visible until you again click the button that opened the particular Explorer bar.

AutoComplete

AutoComplete makes it easy to type in an Internet address and reduces the risk of typographical errors. The Address bar automatically completes addresses for you based on sites you have already visited, adds prefixes and suffixes to Internet addresses, and corrects syntax errors. You can easily override the suggestions by typing over them. AutoComplete is similar to the AutoFill feature in Microsoft Excel.

AutoComplete includes the following features and shortcuts:

  • You can skip to break and separation characters in URLs (that is, // / . , ? +) by pressing and holding CTRL and then pressing the right or left arrow key. 

  • You can search your History file by typing the beginning of an Internet address and then pressing the up or down arrow key to find the desired URL. 

  • By pressing CTRL and ENTER, you can browse directly to "http://www.<what you typed>.com." You can customize this shortcut through a registry key, as described in Chapter 31, "Windows 98 Registry." 

Improved Favorites

The Favorites function has been improved in the following ways:

Drag and drop ordering. This feature allows you to drag and drop your favorite sites and links to the Favorites menu and arrange them in any way you choose.

Thumbnail view. This option allows you to preview multiple Web sites simultaneously without visiting the sites.

To enable Thumbnail view
  1. On the Favorites menu, click Organize Favorites

  2. Right-click the window background, and then click Properties

  3. Click the Enable thumbnail view check box. 

  4. Right-click the window background, and then click Refresh 

  5. Right-click the window background, point to View, and then click Thumbnails

Browse in a New Process

This optional feature enables you to open multiple browsing windows simultaneously. For example, if you have an Internet Explorer browsing window open, and you open an HTML document in My Computer, another browsing window opens for the HTML document. If you click a link on a Web site that calls for a new Internet Explorer window, a new window opens for that link. This feature helps minimize disruption to other programs on your computer if the content or programs you are running in a browsing window are unstable.

Note Enabling this option can degrade system performance due to the additional system resources required by each Internet Explorer browsing window. If your computer is low on resources or only meets the base system requirements for Windows 98, you may want to consider not enabling browsing in a new process.

To enable browsing in a new process
  1. On the View menu, click Internet Options

  2. On the Advanced tab, select Browse in a new process

RealPlayer 4.0

With the inclusion of RealPlayer version 4.0 in Windows 98, you can easily access RealAudio and RealVideo content from the Web. The RealPlayer 4.0 is automatically launched from the Internet Explorer browsing software when you choose to play RealAudio and RealVideo clips. You can continue to use your browsing window while RealPlayer is playing the clip, and you can minimize the RealPlayer 4.0 window while you use other applications. The RealPlayer 4.0 continues playing the selected clip until it is finished, or until you stop or pause it.

For information about how to use the RealPlayer, refer to online Help in RealPlayer 4.0. To obtain technical support from RealNetworks, go to their Web site at http://service.real.com/ .

On a corporate intranet, the RealPlayer may need to be configured to work with your company's firewall. For information about using RealPlayer 4.0 with a firewall refer to the information at http://www.real.com/firewall/ .

Creating Web Page Subscriptions

You can choose to subscribe to a Web page as you add it to your Favorites. Web pages that you subscribe to are automatically checked for updates since the last time you accessed them, and, if there have been any updates, the new content can be downloaded automatically or you can choose to be notified of changes by e-mail.

To create a Web page subscription
  1. Open a Web page you wish to subscribe to. 

  2. On the Favorites menu, click Add to Favorites

  3. Click Yes, but only tell me when this page is updated

  4. Click the Customize button, and select Yes, send an e-mail message to the following address to configure Internet Explorer to send you an e-mail message when the Web page is updated. 

Configuring Web Page Subscriptions for Offline Reading

Using a large network, such as a corporate intranet or the Internet, has traditionally required having a direct connection from your computer to the network. This prevents access to network content for computers without a network connection, such as portable computers. Furthermore, even for a computer with a network connection, browsing can be slow, because the browser must traverse the network from the local machine to the Web server and back to the local machine again to download and refresh the content on the screen.

The offline capabilities of the Internet Explorer browsing software allow you to access subscription Web pages without being connected to the Internet. Internet Explorer downloads the pages in the background based on a schedule you set up, automatically disconnects from the Internet, and then notifies you of changes to these pages. You can also download the pages manually, if desired.

To configure new Web page subscriptions for offline reading
  1. Open a Web page you wish to subscribe to. 

  2. On the Favorites menu, click Add to Favorites

  3. Click Yes, notify me of updates and download the page for offline viewing

  4. Click Customize to start the Subscription Wizard. 

  5. Select the desired download option for this subscription, and then click Next

  6. Select the desired e-mail option for this subscription, and then click Next.

  7. Select the desired scheduling option for this subscription, and then click Next

  8. Specify any password data if applicable, and then click Finish

Note If you do not designate a schedule for downloading updates to Web pages, Internet Explorer defaults to a daily update between 12:00 A.M. and 12:30 A.M.

You can also modify download and scheduling options for existing subscriptions.

To modify an existing subscription
  1. On the Favorites menu, click Manage Subscriptions

  2. Select the desired subscription. 

  3. On the File menu, click Properties. 

    – Or – 

    Right-click the subscription, and then click Properties

  4. Click the Receiving tab and select the desired subscription and notification options. 

  5. If you select Notify me when updates occur, and download for offline viewing, you can click Advanced to configure options for specific content and items to be downloaded, and for the maximum number of bytes to be downloaded at one time. You can also configure the subscription to follow links outside of the subscribed Web site. 

  6. Click the Schedule tab to designate whether downloading of content should occur automatically or manually, and when to perform manual downloading. 

To update subscriptions manually
  • On the Favorites menu, click Update All Subscriptions

Controlling Subscriptions with the IEAK Profile Manager

Administrators can use the IEAK Profile Manager to control whether and how their users subscribe to Web sites. The time of day that downloads can occur, as well as the maximum size of the content downloaded, can be specified as well. These and other options are accessible in Channels & Subscriptions under System Policies & Restrictions.

For more information about configuring subscriptions, see Chapter 6, "Configuring the Active Desktop and Active Channels."

Customizing Your Start Page with the Personal Home Page Wizard

Whenever you start the Internet Explorer browsing software, the first page you see is the Internet Start page. This page always includes articles and features to help you benefit more from the Internet. You can customize this page through the Internet Start Personalization feature so that it keeps you up to date with information about topics of interest to you.

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You can also add headlines from news providers, including Wired, MSNBC, and Forbes. In addition, you can search the Web from your Internet Start page.

Through its Exploring section, Internet Start also includes regularly updated links to the latest sites from around the world that qualify as the Best of the Web in such categories as sports, travel and entertainment, and computers and technology.

To use the Personal Home Page Wizard
  1. Start Internet Explorer. By default, your start page is set to Internet Start: http://home.microsoft.com/ 

  2. Click Personalizing on the toolbar at the top of the Internet Start page. 

  3. Follow the instructions on the screen to select the type of content you want to see each time you start Internet Explorer. 

Changing Your Default Home Page

You can also change your default home page to another Web site or to a blank page. Administrators can do this globally through a setting in the IEAK Profile Manager and can disable users from changing the setting.

To change your default home page
  1. On the View menu, click Internet Options.

  2. Click the General tab. 

  3. Type the URL of the page you want to designate as your home page. 

    – Or – 

    Click Use Current to make the current page your default home page. 

    – Or – 

    Click Use Blank to have Internet Explorer start with a blank page. 

Using Internet Explorer with Netscape Browsers

The Internet Explorer browsing software may coexist with any Netscape browser. Keep in mind that the Netscape user settings are imported by Internet Explorer only at the time you upgrade your system to Windows 98. After that, separate user settings may be applied to each of the browsers.

Migration of Existing Netscape Configurations

Windows 98 Setup imports proxy settings, bookmarks, and cookies from Netscape Navigator or Communicator to the Internet Explorer browsing software.

The following Netscape Navigator settings are always imported:

  • The Proxy settings. 

  • Netscape bookmarks adopted as Internet Explorer Favorites. With Navigator, only custom bookmarks are adopted. With Communicator, all default bookmarks are adopted. 

The following Navigator settings are adopted only if they are not default settings:

  • Security settings: personal certificate list and site certificate list. 

  • Option to match up the Toolbar view in Internet Explorer to that in Netscape Navigator. 

The following Navigator settings are imported by Outlook Express:

  • SMTP server information. 

  • POP3 server settings (POP3 server name and POP3 user name). 

  • Identity information (name, e-mail address, reply address, organization, and signature information). This information is stored in a different tab from View/Options/Server

  • Personal address book. 

  • Internet telephone application Web-based telephone book. 

  • Send and post settings (8-bit characters in headers, and MIME compliance) if different from the Navigator Default. 

  • Settings for checking new messages every x minutes if different from the Navigator Default. 

The following Navigator settings are imported by the Web Publishing Wizard:

  • Author's name 

  • Document template location 

  • Publisher user name 

  • Publisher password 

Using Public Domain Tools

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There are a variety of navigation applications available in the public domain on the Internet, including Gopher, Archie, and Wide Area Information Server (WAIS). These applications allow you to find information on the Internet easily. The following sections provide information about several of these applications. You should contact your Internet service provider (ISP) to find these public domain and shareware applications. To download them, you can use the File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

Note Many TCP/IP applications from non-Microsoft vendors offer Internet browsing, viewing, and connection capabilities. Many of these applications are 16-bit and do not currently work with the 32-bit version of TCP/IP provided with Windows 98.

Caution Windows 98 provides a 32-bit Windows Sockets interface (Winsock.dll). Any attempt to override the Windows 98 interface could cause TCP/IP applications to fail or could cause the computer to stop responding.

Using Gopher

Gopher offers menu-based access to Internet information. Gopher hides the intricacies of FTP servers and bypasses complicated TCP/IP addresses and connections. You choose information from a list of menus, and Gopher makes the connections necessary to retrieve the files. Gopher is most helpful when you need to find specific pieces of information on the Internet.

Using Archie

Archie is a server that supports a database of anonymous FTP sites and their contents. Archie stores the contents, descriptions, and file names of many FTP sites. Archie applications are available from many major Internet sites.

Using Wide Area Information Server

With Wide Area Information Server (WAIS), you can browse the hundreds of databases and library catalogs on the Internet in an organized way. WAIS searches the contents of documents based on words as opposed to titles. After a search, WAIS displays a list of documents. This list, however, can be extremely large, so WAIS sorts the documents based on how many times a key word is found in each one. If the list is too large, you can narrow the search by specifying categories.

Tips for Adding a Gateway Server

A dedicated connection to the Internet provides many advantages over a modem connection with a telephone line to your ISP. Having a gateway server can improve performance and reduce costs. You will need to set up hardware and obtain a domain name so others can send information to your gateway.

If you set up a dedicated computer to act as a router or gateway server to the Internet, it should use a high-speed connection, such as T1 or 56 KB lines, instead of a slower telephone line. The T1 line connects to the computer using a special network adapter.

Networks that connect to the Internet must obtain an official network ID from the InterNIC to guarantee unique IP network IDs. Contact the InterNIC by sending electronic mail to info@internic.net. In the United States call (800) 444–4345; from Canada and overseas call (619) 455–4600.

Send Internet registration requests to hostmaster@internic.net. You can also use FTP to connect to rs.internic.net/templates where you will find a template for registering a domain name. The template also contains details on the registration process and procedures. After receiving a network ID, the local network administrator must assign unique host IDs for computers within the local network.

MS TCP/IP Utilities

Windows 98 provides several TCP/IP utilities for copying files, initiating host sessions with other servers, checking the status of your IP configuration, and verifying your connection.

Using File Transfer Protocol

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) allows the transfer of text and binary files between a host computer and a computer. FTP requires you to log on to the remote host for user authentication. Sometimes, you may log on as "anonymous" and use your e-mail address as your password. Some FTP servers limit the number of anonymous users they can handle at any one time, so you might have to attempt to connect more than once to get a connection.

Working with Directories and Folders at an FTP Site

You can view a list of directories and files at an FTP site, change directories, and download files. Most FTP servers contain text files that describe the layout of their entire directory structure to help you find what you need. For example, the text file Dirmap.txt may describe that server's directory structure.

To list the directories and folders at an FTP site
  • At the ftp> prompt, type ls 

To view more details about the current directory
  • At the ftp> prompt, type ls -l 

This command provides a detailed listing similar to the following:

dr-xr-xr-x

1

owner

group

0

Aug 23

16:23

advsys

dr-xr-xr-x

1

owner

group

0

Aug 24

5:37

deskapps

dr-xr-xr-x

1

owner

group

0

Aug 24

10:52

developer

-r-xr-xr-x

1

owner

group

4161

Sep 19

7:43

dirmap.txt

-r-xr-xr-x

1

owner

group

712

Aug 25

15:07

disclaimer.txt

-r-xr-xr-x

1

owner

group

860

Sep 1

8:40

index.txt

In this list:

  • The left column indicates whether the item is a file (r) or a directory (dr).

  • The fifth column indicates the size of each file in bytes. 

  • The last column describes the name of the file, directory, or link. A link can be to a file or directory somewhere else on the FTP site (similar to a shortcut to a folder or file in Windows 98). 

To change directories
  • At the ftp> prompt, type cd directory_name 

    For example, to get more information about desktop applications, you might type cd deskapps 

To go back to the previous directory
  • At the ftp> prompt, type cd

    If you have navigated through many directories and want to go back to the beginning, instead of typing cd .. again and again, you can type cd / to return to the root directory of the host. 

Tip Notice that the forward slash "/ " is used (as opposed to the backslash " \" that MS-DOS and Windows users are accustomed to). On most UNIX computers, the way to change directories is the forward slash. Thus UNIX FTP servers typically understand only directory names using the forward slash, while Windows NT FTP servers, such as ftp.microsoft.com, understand directories using both the forward slash and the backslash.

Downloading Files with FTP

To download files from the Internet using FTP, you must indicate whether the file is an ASCII or a binary (for example, Microsoft Word) file. By default, when you begin using FTP, you are working in ASCII mode. To transfer text files, it is not necessary to change modes; however, you cannot transfer a binary file while you are in ASCII mode.

Tip Most text-based FTP clients are case-sensitive, so make sure you use the correct case when you attempt to transfer resources from these FTP sites.

To switch from ASCII to binary transfer mode
  • At the ftp> prompt, type binary 

    The following message appears to confirm the change to binary transfer mode: 

    200 Type set to I 

To switch from binary transfer mode to ASCII
  • At the ftp> prompt, type ascii 

    The following message appears to confirm the change to ASCII: 

    200 Type set to A
    
To transfer a file to your computer
  • At the ftp> prompt, type get filename 

    For example, to get the directory map on the Microsoft FTP server, type get dirmap.txt 

    To place the file on a computer with a name other than the one it had on the server, type get filename newname 

If you receive an error message, remember that you are using software that is case-sensitive, so make sure you typed dirmap.txt exactly.

When you see the ftp> prompt again, look in Windows Explorer for the Dirmap.txt file and open it by using a text processor, such as Microsoft WordPad.

To disconnect from your host
  • At the ftp> prompt, type disconnect 

To quit the FTP client
  • At the ftp> prompt, type quit 

Using Telnet

Some of the information on the Internet is still available only if you use telnet. Windows 98 provides a version of telnet that you can run from the Start menu.

To run telnet
  1. From the Start menu, select Run, type telnet, and then click OK

  2. In Telnet, click the Connect menu, and then click Remote Session

  3. In the Connect dialog box, type the host name of the telnet site to which you want to connect.

  4. In the Term Type box, select a terminal mode. The default is VT-100. 

  5. In the Port box, select a port. The default is telnet. 

  6. To start the telnet session, click the Connect button. 

  7. To capture data to a file, type terminal/start logging 

For more information about using telnet, see Help.

Supported Standards and Technologies of Internet Explorer

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Users can now view and listen to real-time netcasts, watch videos, run ActiveX controls and Java applets, and play interactive multiplayer games while they are connected to the World Wide Web. This capability is made possible by the extensive support of Internet Explorer for Internet standards and its innovative underlying technologies, such as Dynamic HTML, ActiveX, and Java. Using this set of technologies, Web authors can produce more enticing content and develop consumer and business applications that create a more rewarding Web experience.

Dynamic HTML

Because of the limitations of earlier browser technology, Web authors often have to choose between page interactivity and speed. After a page is loaded, changing the display or content of the page typically requires the entire page to be reloaded. Or, depending on how extensive the changes are, additional pages may have to be retrieved from the server. The Internet Explorer browsing software solves this dilemma with Microsoft's Dynamic HTML, a collection of features that extends the capabilities of traditional HTML, giving Web authors more flexibility, design options, and creative control over the appearance and behavior of Web pages as well as an easier and faster way to author interactive Web pages.

Dynamic HTML is consistent with the direction of the Document Object Model, being defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Document Object Model Working Group. Dynamic HTML allows Web authors to add a new dimension of interactivity without slowing performance in the process.

Dynamic HTML offers a new way for Web authors to control the HTML tags they already know. Every element on a Web page—whether it be an image, link, Java applet, heading, or the like—is now an object to which Web authors can add functionality. Much of Dynamic HTML's functionality and flexibility comes from adding "intelligence" to the user's computer. When the user places the mouse over the object or clicks on it, the element can deliver additional information or options—without having to go back to a Web server to do so. In this way, you can use Dynamic HTML to pack greater value into your Web sites.

The following paragraphs describe some of the key aspects of Dynamic HTML.

Document Object Model for Dynamic HTML

The central Document Object Model for Dynamic HTML gives authors access to every HTML tag on a page. You do not need to be an expert programmer to create a dynamic experience for the user—add a little JavaScript or VBScript to the standard tags already in use throughout the Web. You can also extend the capabilities of Dynamic HTML through Java applets or ActiveX controls.

What you see is only the start of what you get from a Web page when you create it using the Dynamic HTML Document Object Model. Consider an organizational chart, for example. The new Document Object Model allows you to build the chart so that when a user moves the mouse over a person's name, a pop-up box tells the user more about that person and his or her group. For additional information, the user can simply click a link in the box. This way of presenting the information saves space on the page—and the user's valuable time—by hiding information and options until the user wants them.

Another example of how you can use the Object Model is building a table of contents that users can expand or contract to see key information on a page quickly. Such a table of contents is easy to generate in Dynamic HTML—even for sites that already exist—because the Object Model gives authors control over all the HTML tags on a page. In this case, you add a few lines of scripting to take the existing heading tags and arrange them into a linked table of contents on the user's command.

Here are some of the things you can do with the Dynamic HTML Object Model by adding a little JavaScript or VBScript to standard HTML:

  • Build in text that changes and images that move and hide, changing dynamically according to what the user does with the mouse. 

  • In a picture, have text display when the user moves the mouse over any button. 

  • Hide and show text as well as move objects around the page. 

  • Add several layers of information—and color—to ordinary text. Set up a title to display main headings dynamically with a mouse click. Set up the headings to change font color as the user points to them. Allow another click to display subheadings that link the user to pages within the Internet Explorer site. 

Dynamic HTML 2-D Positioning

Web authors can position elements to make sites look as they want them to. The Internet Explorer browsing software supports cascading style sheets (CSS) positioning, or the ability to position HTML elements in x- and y- coordinates, and the z-plane. With this capability, authors can overlap objects make them transparent. Combined with other Dynamic HTML features, these new positioning capabilities allow authors to move elements around and animate their pages.

With the Dynamic HTML 2-D positioning feature, you have complete control over the positioning of images and elements and can determine what happens where on every page you create. In addition to being able to specify the exact placement of text and images on a page, you can create multiple layers using standards-based cascading style sheets so that images overlap and appear transparent, creating new visual effects that animate pages. You can also build interactivity into your sites by combining 2-D positioning with scripting.

Data Binding in Dynamic HTML

The data awareness functionality of the Internet Explorer browsing software allows Web authors to use native HTML so that users can manipulate and input data efficiently, with minimal load on the server. After users receive data from a Web site that is enabled with Dynamic HTML, they can sort, filter, and modify the data repeatedly—without using the server again. By reducing the number of hits to the server, data binding speeds up operations for both the user and the Web site.

Until now, sending and receiving data over the Web have been difficult and inefficient. Whenever you wanted to look at the data a different way, you had to go back to the Web server and then wait for the page to reload. With Internet Explorer, Web authors can take advantage of the Dynamic HTML data awareness, or data binding, capabilities to create powerful and useful Web-based business applications.

After you receive information from a site that takes advantage of Dynamic HTML and data binding, you can sort and filter the data repeatedly without initiating another round trip to the server. For example, you may be shopping for a car and request a list of all cars costing between $15,000 and $20,000. After receiving the list, you decide to narrow the search to sports cars within that price range. Your computer does all the subsequent processing, refreshing the page to reflect the result of the sort operation. The result is faster performance and less traffic on the Web server. Data binding creates pages that display such information as lists of prices, product descriptions, airline flights, and company benefits.

Data binding requires little or no additional programming. Instead, it allows authors to insert data into a Web page as a Java applet or an object that can be manipulated. The HTML Data Binding extensions can bind HTML elements that have been proposed to the W3C for incorporation into the HTML standard. Authors can choose from data source objects included in the Internet Explorer browsing software or in third-party data source objects, or they can build new ones. After the object is dropped into an HTML page, Internet Explorer recognizes it as a data provider.

Data binding delivers all the Best-of-the-Web content when you first download the site. Then, as you select various categories of information, data binding filters the information on your computer—without revisiting the server. In this way, the content you want to read displays instantly, no matter how many pages you view or the number of times you filter the information.

Data binding gives you quick access to information and enables you to enter information, make selections, and manipulate data any way you want. Best of all, Data Binding allows you to view pages instantly—even while building complex tables.

Dynamic HTML Scriptlets

Dynamic HTML scriptlets let Web authors create reusable objects with Dynamic HTML. These reusable objects, known as Web components, are simply Web pages in which script has been written according to certain conventions. The functionality of a scriptlet can be written in any scripting language, including Microsoft JScript and Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript).

The following benefits of using scriptlets make the Internet Explorer browsing software an ideal platform for anyone building applications for the Web:

  • Because they are isolated from their surrounding program, errors elsewhere in a program will not affect the scriptlet. This makes debugging programs simpler and less time consuming. 

  • Scriptlets can be reused in many programs without having to be modified. This can eliminate many problems that can arise from copying and modifying source code. 

  • Due to the support of the underlying component architecture, scriptlets written in different languages can be combined. This allows applications to be built more quickly since code does not have to be translated to another language. 

ActiveX

With ActiveX, you can create dramatic multimedia effects, interactive objects, and sophisticated applications. Internet Explorer ActiveX controls allow you to uninstall controls quickly.

ActiveX technology creates innovative Web-based software components. Developers can write ActiveX controls in any language, including Visual C++, Microsoft Visual Basic, and Java with low-bandwidth effects on the Web pages. Also, ActiveX controls have full access to the Object Model in Internet Explorer, which allows developers to manipulate pages dynamically.

Following are some examples of ActiveX controls:

Windowless controls. Allow developers to create transparent and nonrectangular controls—a crucial feature for overlapping controls with the 2-D layout feature of Internet Explorer.

Apartment model controls. Increase performance by taking advantage of the fact that Internet Explorer is a multithreaded container.

Quick activation. Greatly simplifies the process of initializing controls.

Support for downloading data asynchronously. Boosts performance for controls that need to download images or other complex data.

ActiveX Scripting

Web authors can use ActiveX Scripting to make pages more interactive—capable of asking questions, responding to queries, checking user data, calculating expressions, and connecting to other controls. You can view Web pages that use any popular scripting language—including VBScript and JScript.

ActiveX Scripting lets ActiveX controls "talk" to each other and to other Web programs. It allows ActiveX and Java controls to access the Object Model in Internet Explorer, which in turn allows developers to author pages that users can manipulate.

In addition to the scripting support in the Internet Explorer browsing software, Microsoft provides the following powerful scripting options.

The Windows Script Host (WSH) is a simple, powerful, and flexible scripting solution for the 32-bit Windows platform. WSH allows scripts—including those written in VBScript and JavaScript—to be run directly on the Windows desktop without being embedded in an HTML document. This low-memory scripting host is ideal for non-interactive scripting needs, such as logon and administrative scripting. WSH can be run from either the Windows-based host (Wscript.exe) or the command-shell–based host (Cscript.exe).

For more information about the Windows Script Host see http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/default.mspx.

Microsoft Internet Information Server now supports Active Server Pages, which allows scripts to run on Web servers. In other words, it enables server-side scripting over the Internet or an intranet.

Java

With Internet Explorer support for Java, developers and users can enjoy the benefits of compelling, high-performance multimedia applications. The following paragraphs describe some of the features that make it easy for developers to create rich, full-featured Java applications for the Web.

High performance. Internet Explorer maintains its performance leadership as the fastest way to run Java applications, delivering performance improvements in the Virtual Machine, Just-in-Time (JIT) compiler, and class libraries.

Full integration with ActiveX. Developers can now access ActiveX controls as Java Beans (components), and Java Beans as ActiveX controls. This integration is seamless, automatic, and bidirectional. In addition, developers now have a seamless operation for debugging between Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript), JScript, and Java.

Full Object Model capability. The Internet Explorer Document Object Model is exposed through Java libraries, allowing Java developers to manipulate pages dynamically and tightly integrate Java applications with Web pages.

Application Foundation Classes. Support for Java includes Microsoft's recent introduction of Application Foundation Classes (AFC), a comprehensive set of cross-platform class libraries that help software developers quickly create commercial-quality applications for Java. AFC delivers a rich suite of graphics as well as user interface and multimedia capabilities.

Java Development Kit 1.1 compatibility. Internet Explorer is fully compatible with all the cross-platform features of Java Development Kit (JDK) version 1.1, the current version of Java.

New multimedia class libraries. All the functionality of DirectX 5 media and the DirectX 5 foundation is provided as cross-platform Java class libraries, enabling developers to manipulate and animate a full set of media types.

Capabilities-based security model. Internet Explorer expands the code-signing Authenticode feature to specify at a granular level which system capabilities—for example, the file system—a Java application can access through the use of digital signatures. For more information about Internet Explorer security, see "Security" earlier in this chapter.

Virtual Machine for Java

Windows 98 includes Microsoft's Virtual Machine for Java, which enables the Internet Explorer browsing software to interpret Java code. The Virtual Machine makes Java code platform-independent, meaning that the same code can run on many different machines. When Internet Explorer encounters a Web page that contains a Java applet, it uses the Virtual Machine to compile the Java bytecode into hardware-specific code and run the applet. Figure 20.1 illustrates the various components of the Virtual Machine for Java.

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Figure 20.1 Virtual Machine for Java 

The Virtual Machine for Java includes the following components:

  • Class loader. Responsible for loading classes. A class is Java source code compiled into bytecode. 

  • ByteCode verifier. Prevents hostile classes from being loaded, and verifies the overall integrity of the class files. 

  • Execution engine. Compiles Java bytecode in-line. It can also use the Just-in-Time (JIT) compiler to compile code on the fly for faster running. 

  • Garbage collector. Keeps track of memory usage, freeing the developer from having to make explicit calls to allocate and deallocate memory. 

  • Just-in-Time (JIT) compiler. Compiles bytecode into machine specific code at runtime. This provides for enhanced performance, because the code is not interpreted instruction by instruction. 

Note The JIT compiler can be turned off in Internet Explorer by clicking Internet Options in the View menu and then deselecting the Java JIT compiler enabled option on the Advanced tab.

Conferencing with NetMeeting

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NetMeeting version 2.1 is a powerful conferencing tool that allows you to take full advantage of the global reach of the Internet or corporate intranets to communicate and collaborate effectively in real time.

The video, audio, and data conferencing functions of NetMeeting 2.1 are all based on industry standards, so you can communicate with people who use compatible products from companies other than Microsoft.

NetMeeting 2.1 is compatible with earlier versions of NetMeeting; with the Microsoft Internet Locator Server (ILS), which lets you find and connect with other people on the Internet; and with applications and solutions built using the Microsoft NetMeeting 2.1 Software Development Kit (SDK). The NetMeeting 2.1 SDK can be downloaded from the NetMeeting SDK Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/netmeeting/ .

For more information about NetMeeting 2.1, see the NetMeeting Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/netmeeting/ or the NetMeeting Resource Kit, which is on the Microsoft Windows 98 Resource Kit compact disc, or can be downloaded from the NetMeeting Resource Kit Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/netmeeting/ .

Conferencing Options

With NetMeeting 2.1, you can take advantage of the following conferencing options:

Audio conferencing. NetMeeting 2.1 serves as an Internet telephone with high-quality audio, letting you talk with others in real time over the Internet or an intranet. All you need are a sound card, a microphone, and speakers. While you are conversing, you can bring data or video conferencing capabilities into NetMeeting 2.1.

Video conferencing. When you add a video capture card and camera to your computer, you can hold a face-to-face conversation over the Internet or an intranet with high-quality video. (You do not need a video camera on your computer to receive video, and there are some cameras that do not require a video capture card.) You can even take a snapshot of a person or an object with your video camera and place it on the Whiteboard for discussion or markup.

Multipoint conferencing. The comprehensive suite of data conferencing tools in NetMeeting 2.1 lets you collaborate and exchange information with two or more people in real time. You can share information from one or more applications on your computer, exchange graphics or draw diagrams on an electronic Whiteboard, send messages or take notes with the text-based chat program, and send files to other meeting members using the binary file transfer capability.

Installing and Configuring NetMeeting

This section describes hardware requirements and steps for installing and configuring NetMeeting 2.1.

Hardware Requirements for NetMeeting

The following hardware is required for data and audio conferencing:

  • 486/66 MHz computer. 

  • 5 MB of free hard disk space. 

  • 8 MB of RAM. 

  • 14,400-baud or faster modem, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), or local area network (LAN). 

  • Sound card with microphone and speakers. 

  • TCP/IP connection, which is supported by the data conferencing features of NetMeeting. For real-time audio conferencing you must use a TCP/IP network, such as the Internet or your corporate LAN. 

The following hardware is required for data, audio, and video conferencing:

  • Pentium 90 MHz or higher processor. 

  • 5 MB of free hard disk space. 

  • 16 MB of RAM. 

  • 28,800-baud or faster modem, ISDN, or LAN connection. 

  • Sound card with microphone and speakers. 

  • Video capture card or camera that provides a Video for Windows capture driver (required only to send video images). 

NetMeeting 2.1 works with any video card or camera that provides a Video for Windows capture driver. Some video cameras can plug into the parallel port; other cameras require a video capture card installed in your computer. Camcorders can often be plugged into these adapters.

In general, parallel port cameras are less expensive but can be more CPU-intensive, yielding decreased video performance. Cameras connected to separate video capture cards typically offer better performance. Also, a black and white camera typically offers better performance than an equivalent color camera, because fewer bits need to be sent across the connection.

Installing NetMeeting

The NetMeeting 2.1 component of Internet Explorer is selected and installed by default in the full installation of Windows 98. If you do not wish to install it, you can easily deselect it during installation. You can install it later using the Add/Remove Programs option in Control Panel.

To install NetMeeting if it was not installed with Windows 98
  1. In Control Panel, click Add/Remove Programs. 

  2. Click the Windows Setup tab. 

  3. Click Communications, and then click Details

  4. Select the Microsoft NetMeeting check box, click OK, and you will be guided through the installation process. 

Configuring NetMeeting Client

When you run NetMeeting 2.1 the first time, a one-time Configuration Wizard runs to help you set up your personal information, the directory server you want to connect to, and your audio and video device preferences. It then runs an Audio Tuning Wizard that prompts you to select options to tune your audio settings.

After running the Configuration Wizard, you can always change your NetMeeting configuration from within the program by clicking the Tools menu and then clicking Options.

Note Sound quality can vary depending on your sound card and microphone. To run only the Audio Tuning wizard at any time after you initially run NetMeeting, on the Tools menu, click Audio Tuning Wizard.

Configuring NetMeeting Settings with the IEAK Profile Manager

The IEAK Profile Manager allows system administrators to control their users' implementation of NetMeeting 2.1. They can restrict NetMeeting activities, such as file transfer and application sharing, disable or lock down certain options, and specify a default directory server.

For an overview of the IEAK Profile Manager, see "Configuring Internet Explorer with the IEAK Profile Manager" earlier in this chapter.

To set NetMeeting policies and restrictions
  1. In the left-hand pane of the IEAK Profile Manager, expand Microsoft NetMeeting under System Policies & Restrictions

  2. Click NetMeeting Settings to display options for NetMeeting restrictions in the right-hand pane. 

  3. Select the desired restrictions, and enter the appropriate information. 

  4. Save the settings in the INS file that will be used to configure your users' installation. 

Setting NetMeeting policies with the System Policy Editor

Administrators can also implement NetMeeting system policies with the System Policy Editor. Using system policies, administrators can predefine settings and restrictions, and provide standard NetMeeting configurations for their user community.

NetMeeting system policies are set using the Conf.adm template.

For more information about setting system policies, see Chapter 8, "System Policies," or see the NetMeeting Resource Kit, which is on the Microsoft Windows 98 Resource Kit compact disc or is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/netmeeting/ /.

Using NetMeeting

The main window of NetMeeting 2.1 contains four navigation icons in the left-hand pane which provide single-click access to the major functions of NetMeeting:

Directory. The Directory icon opens a window containing a list of users connected to the selected server, including e-mail address, name, and location, the category of the directory (such as Personal or Business) and the server name.

SpeedDial. If you make a connection to another user through an ILS, the person's contact information is stored as a SpeedDial entry. You can add anyone to your SpeedDial list by selecting an entry in your Directory and clicking the SpeedDial icon on your toolbar.

Current Call. When you connect to someone, this window is automatically selected. This window is where you conduct data, voice, and video conferencing.

History. Select the History icon to see a log of each incoming call. The log includes the name of the caller, your response to the call (accepted or ignored), and the time the call was received.

Note The navigation icons are part of the default view in NetMeeting 2.1. They can be optionally hidden by deselecting them on the View menu, in which case you can gain access to the particular function by selecting it on the View menu.

The Internet Locator Server

The Microsoft Internet Locator Server (ILS) provides a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) service that allows NetMeeting 2.1 users to locate each other on the Internet or corporate intranets. These servers create a directory of NetMeeting users. From this directory, you can select participants to connect to for real-time conferencing and collaboration.

The ILS provides a memory-resident database for storing dynamic directory information. This database allows you to find dynamic information, such as an IP address, for people currently logged on to an Internet service or site. The ILS database maintains the entries, which clients refresh periodically. This process ensures that clients can always access the most current information about each user's Internet location.

The ILS provides a graphical setup program to help you easily install server components. Administrators can set options for user logon, security, and server access.

Note If you are an Internet Webmaster or an intranet administrator, you can set up your own Intranet Locator Server on the Internet or your corporate intranet. For more information, refer to the Microsoft Internet Locator Server Operations Guide, or to its companion, the Microsoft Internet Locator Service Operations Reference. Both documents are packaged with the product, or you can download the ILS and the accompanying documents from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/netmeeting/ .

Entering Your Personal Information

If you want to change any of the personal information that you have entered in the Configuration Wizard, you can do so at any time using Options on the Tools menu, and then clicking the appropriate tab to access the information you want to change.

If your network administrator used the IEAK Profile Manager to restrict the use of the Options dialog box, one or more of the Options tabs may not be visible.

Video Conferencing

With the video conferencing feature of NetMeeting 2.1, you can send and receive real-time visual images with another conference participant using any Video for Windows-compatible equipment. You can conduct "face-to-face" meetings and use the camera to view any item instantly by placing it in front of the lens. Note that you do not need video hardware to receive images.

NetMeeting 2.1 video has many features, including remotely adjustable video quality, detachable video window, ability to control the size of the video window dynamically, Clipboard accessibility, and the ability to switch video to another meeting member.

If another meeting participant has a camera, receiving video is automatically enabled when you begin a conference. You can disable these options and choose to send or receive video manually at the start of a conference by setting these options on the Video tab of the Options dialog box.

Audio Conferencing

The audio conferencing feature of NetMeeting 2.1 allows you to conduct real-time, point-to-point conversations over the Internet or corporate intranet. NetMeeting 2.1 audio conferencing has many features, including half-duplex and full-duplex audio support, automatic microphone sensitivity level setting, microphone muting, and the ability to switch audio to another meeting participant.

You automatically enable audio when you begin a conference.

Note For video and audio conferencing, support is limited to TCP/IP connections, and only two people at a time can send and receive audio or video during a meeting.

To switch your audio connection to someone else
  • Right-click the person's name in the Current Call window, and then click Switch Audio and Video

    – Or – 

    On the toolbar, click Switch, and then click the name of the person to whom you want to switch. 

To stop sending audio to someone
  1. Click the Speaker icon next to the name of the person. 

  2. Click Stop Using Audio and Video

Multipoint Data Conferencing

Using Multipoint data conferencing, two or more people can share information in real time over the Internet or corporate intranet. Meeting participants can share applications, exchange information between shared applications through a shared clipboard, transfer files, collaborate on a shared Whiteboard, and communicate with a text-based chat feature.

Sharing Applications

Participants in the conference can share a program running on one computer. They can review the same data or information and watch the actions of others as they work on the program (for example, editing content or scrolling through information). Participants can share Windows-based applications transparently, without any special knowledge of the application capabilities. The person sharing the application can choose to collaborate with other conference participants, and the participants can take turns editing or controlling the application. Only the person sharing the program needs to have the given application installed on his or her computer.

Caution When you share an application and collaborate, meeting participants can use the File Open and File Save dialog boxes in your application to open or delete files on your computer or network. To stop someone from using your shared program while you do not have control of the cursor, press ESC. To stop them when you do have control, click Collaborate or press ESC.

Sharing the Clipboard

The shared Clipboard allows you to exchange its contents with other participants in a conference using familiar cut, copy, and paste operations. For example, you can copy information from a local document and paste the contents into a shared application as part of group collaboration. This capability provides seamless exchange of information between shared and local applications.

Transferring Files

With the file transfer capability, you can send one or more files in the background to one or all of the conference participants. You can send files to a particular person by right-clicking on that person's name in the Current Call window or by dragging and dropping the file into the Microsoft NetMeeting 2.1 window and having it sent automatically to all meeting participants, each of whom can then accept or decline receipt. Again, this file transfer occurs in the background as everyone continues sharing an application, using the Whiteboard, or chatting. This file transfer capability is fully compliant with the T.127 standard.

Using the Whiteboard

The Whiteboard program is a multipage, multiuser drawing application that allows conference participants to sketch diagrams, create organization charts, or display other graphic information. Whiteboard is object-oriented, allowing you to move and manipulate its contents by clicking and dragging with the mouse. In addition, you can use the Remote Pointer to point out specific contents or sections of shared pages. This capability extends the application-sharing feature of NetMeeting 2.1 by supporting ad hoc collaboration on a common drawing surface.

Using Chat

Using Chat, you can type text messages to share common ideas or topics with other conference participants or record meeting notes and action items as part of a collaborative process. Conference participants can also use Chat to communicate in the absence of audio support. A new "whisper" feature lets you have a separate, private conversation with another person during a group chat session. From the Chat window, click on the person's name in the Send to list, and type your text message that only you and the selected person see.

Using NetMeeting with a Firewall

You can configure firewall components in a variety of ways, depending on the specific security policies and overall operations of your organization. While most firewalls are capable of allowing primary (initial) and secondary (subsequent) TCP and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) connections, they might be configured to support only specific connections based on security considerations. For example, some firewalls allow only primary TCP connections, which are considered the most secure and reliable.

To enable NetMeeting 2.1 multipoint data conferencing (application sharing, Whiteboard, chat, file transfer, and directory lookups), your firewall needs to pass through only primary TCP connections on assigned ports. For NetMeeting 2.1 to make calls with audio and video conferencing, your firewall must be able to pass through secondary TCP and UDP connections on dynamically assigned ports. Some firewalls can pass through primary TCP connections on assigned ports but cannot pass through secondary TCP or UDP connections on dynamically assigned ports. In such cases, you are not able to use the audio or video features of NetMeeting 2.1.

Establishing a NetMeeting Connection with a Firewall

When you use NetMeeting 2.1 to call other users over the Internet, several IP ports are required to establish the outbound connection. If you use a firewall to connect to the Internet, you must configure it so that the IP ports shown in Table 20.2 are not blocked.

Table 20.2 Required IP ports in NetMeeting connections with firewalls 

This port

Is used for

389

Internet Locator Server (TCP)

522

User Location Service (TCP)

1503

T.120 (TCP)

1720

H.323 call setup (TCP)

1731

Audio call control (TCP)

Dynamic

H.323 call control (TCP)

Dynamic

H.323 streaming (RTP over UDP)

To establish outbound NetMeeting 2.1 connections through a firewall, the firewall must be configured to do the following:

  • Pass through primary TCP connections on ports 389, 522, 1503, 1720, and 1731. 

  • Pass through secondary TCP and UDP connections on dynamically assigned ports (1024-65535). 

The H.323 call setup protocol (over port 1720) dynamically negotiates a TCP port for use by the H.323 call control protocol. Also, both the audio call control protocol (over port 1731) and the H.323 call setup protocol dynamically negotiate UDP ports for use by the H.323 streaming protocol, called the real-time protocol (RTP). In NetMeeting 2.1, two UDP ports are determined on each side of the firewall for audio and video streaming, for a total of four ports for inbound and outbound audio and video. These dynamically negotiated ports are selected arbitrarily from all ports that can be assigned dynamically.

NetMeeting directory services require either port 389 or port 522, depending on the type of server you are using. ILSs, which support LDAP for NetMeeting 2.1, require port 389. The User Location Service (ULS), developed for NetMeeting 1.0, requires port 522.

Microsoft Proxy Server Example 

The following steps describe how to set up the Microsoft Proxy Server to enable the necessary ports for NetMeeting outbound calls. Use this example as a guideline for configuring your proxy server for NetMeeting. For additional information about configuring the Microsoft Proxy Server, refer to the Microsoft Proxy Server Installation and Administration Guide.

To configure the Microsoft Proxy Server for NetMeeting
  1. Start the Microsoft Internet Service Manager, and then click Winsock Proxy Service.

  2. Click the Protocols tab, and then click Add

    Add each port required for NetMeeting 2.1 (listed earlier in this section) by typing or selecting values for the following fields:

    • Protocol Name 

    • Type 

    • Direction 

    For example, if you want to add port 389, you would enter the following settings:

    • Protocol Name NetMeeting 2.1 

    • Port 389 

    • Type TCP (default) 

    • Direction Outbound 

    For TCP-only ports, click OK after adding information for each port. For ports that require UDP connections, continue with step 4.

  3. For ports that require secondary UDP connections, click Add in the Port Ranges for Subsequent Connections dialog box.

    Enter the following values:

    • Port or Range 0-65535 

    • Type UDP (default) 

    • Direction Inbound or Outbound 

  4. Click OK to add the UDP connection information. Repeat this process to add both Inbound and Outbound dynamic port ranges. Then, click OK to add the protocol definition. 

Firewall Limitations

Some firewalls cannot support an arbitrary number of virtual internal IP addresses or cannot do so dynamically. With these firewalls, you can establish outbound NetMeeting 2.1 connections from computers inside the firewall to computers outside the firewall, and you can use the audio and video features of NetMeeting 2.1. Other people, however, cannot establish inbound connections from outside the firewall to computers inside the firewall. Typically, this restriction is due to limitations in the network implementation of the firewall.

Note Some firewalls are capable of accepting only certain protocols and cannot handle TCP connections. For example, if your firewall is a Web proxy server with no generic connection handling mechanism, you are not able to use NetMeeting 2.1 through the firewall.

Optimizing Bandwidth

Microsoft designed NetMeeting 2.1 as a "bandwidth-smart" application with built-in mechanisms for caching, compressing, and optimizing information dynamically. NetMeeting 2.1 includes system policies to limit throughput for audio and video and to restrict audio and video features. These system policies provide additional assurance that corporations can control the impact on bandwidth utilization. NetMeeting 2.1 bandwidth testing confirms these assumptions.

NetMeeting 2.1 achieves optimal bandwidth use by focusing on the most efficient and effective methods for minimizing network traffic while maximizing performance. This effort encompasses intelligent bandwidth management and control, and optimization of data through compression, caching, and other tools.

Bandwidth Characteristics of NetMeeting Data Conferencing

The following characteristics typify NetMeeting 2.1 data conferencing scenarios:

  • NetMeeting 2.1 creates bandwidth traffic only when an action is occurring, as when a person is updating information. If no action is occurring (for example, a person is viewing information on the screen), network bandwidth is not impacted.

  • There will be intermittent spikes in the bandwidth during intense activity, with a return to zero bandwidth use when no activity is occurring. (Screen updates due to mouse or cursor activity may prevent the bandwidth from returning to zero.) This type of activity is similar to standard file traffic on the network.

  • For increased efficiency, NetMeeting 2.1 transmits data in a series of smaller packets rather than in one large packet. This method spreads out the bandwidth traffic to reduce large spikes, in contrast to the output you would see during a typical file copy.

  • NetMeeting 2.1 data compression varies depending on the size of the data packet and the speed of the network, so that more compression will occur over slower network connections.

  • NetMeeting 2.1 optimizes the available bandwidth (through caching, compression, and other tools), but response time varies depending on the amount of bandwidth available for NetMeeting operations. If less bandwidth is available, responsiveness decreases.

Bandwidth Characteristics of NetMeeting Audio and Video Conferencing

The following characteristics typify NetMeeting 2.1 audio and video conferencing scenarios:

  • Audio-only conferencing (normal conversations) produces more predictable, less sporadic bandwidth results than do data or video conferencing.

  • By default, NetMeeting 2.1 uses low-bandwidth codecs for audio (G.723.1) and video (H.263). For example, the G.723.1 audio codec requires only 6.4 kbps, plus ~40% for the IP packet header and overhead. Higher bandwidth codecs are used only if they are selected manually by the user or are required by another application for interoperability.

  • Video performance can dynamically scale higher or lower, depending on the available network bandwidth, but audio remains constant.

  • NetMeeting uses bandwidth during video and audio activity and returns to zero when no activity is present.

  • During video conferencing, NetMeeting 2.1 transmits a complete video frame every 15 seconds to refresh an image and then sends successive deltas throughout the transmission.

Supported Standards

The conferencing functionality in NetMeeting 2.1 is based on international communication and conferencing standards, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) H.323 standard for audio and video conferencing and the ITU T.120 standard for multipoint data conferencing. The H.323 standard specifies the use of T.120 for data conferencing functionality, allowing audio, data, and video to be used together. H.323 gateway services are being developed that will allow NetMeeting 2.1 users to access the Internet and call any telephone in the world through the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

The T.120 standard protocols assist developers in creating applications that allow real-time multipoint data connections and conferencing. These T.120-based applications permit users to transmit and receive data and to collaborate using compatible data conferencing features, such as sharing applications using a Whiteboard and transferring files. The H.323 standard is a hardware standard for audio and video. Because it defines how audio and video information is formatted and packaged for transmission over a network, it allows users on different platforms to use products from different vendors to speak with each other and communicate face to face.

Support for these standards ensures that you can call, connect, and communicate with other users who are using compatible conferencing products. You can also take advantage of conferencing services that support these standards. (For more information about this functionality, see "Multipoint Data Conferencing" earlier in this chapter.) 

Troubleshooting NetMeeting

This section contains a brief description of a troubleshooting strategy for NetMeeting, as well as procedures on how to access NetMeeting's online Help. For more information about troubleshooting NetMeeting, see the NetMeeting Resource Kit, which is on the Microsoft Windows 98 Resource Kit compact disc, or can be downloaded from the NetMeeting Resource Kit Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/netmeeting/reskit/ .

Checking for Common Problems

Check to see if the problem is a commonly reported one in the online Help for NetMeeting 2.1, or in the Netmeet.txt readme file which is in the \Program Files\NetMeeting directory. Online Help includes troubleshooting aids for solving problems related to NetMeeting features and components.

To get troubleshooting help from NetMeeting online Help
  1. In NetMeeting, click Help, and then click Help Topics

  2. On the Contents tab, double-click Troubleshooting

  3. Click If you have trouble using NetMeeting, and then click Display.

  4. Click the button to the left of the appropriate scenario description. 

Isolating and Testing Error Conditions

You can resolve a problem more quickly by systematically isolating and testing error conditions. Use the following methods for isolating your error conditions:

  • Eliminating variables helps to determine a problem's cause. For example, consider closing all other programs except NetMeeting to eliminate the other programs as the potential cause of your problem. 

  • You can isolate the cause by changing a specific value and then testing to see if the problem is corrected or altered. For example, if you experience audio problems, switching between full-duplex and half-duplex options might resolve the issue.

  • If a component fails after you upgrade to new hardware or software, replace the new version with the original item and then retest. For example, if you install a new sound card driver and lose audio capability, you can replace the new driver with the original version and retest to see if the problem still occurs. 

Test each modification individually to see if the change resolves your problem. Make note of all modifications and their effect on symptoms. If you contact product support personnel, this information helps them troubleshoot your problem. Also, the information provides an excellent reference for future troubleshooting.

Consulting Online Troubleshooting and Support Options

When possible, check the appropriate online forum. Other users might have discovered, reported, and found workarounds for your problem. Suggestions from others could save you time in tracking down the source of the problem and might give you ideas that can help with troubleshooting.

To get online support
  1. In NetMeeting 2.1, click Help

  2. Click Online Support. The NetMeeting Technical Support page on the World Wide Web is displayed. From this page, you can choose from several topics, including Knowledge Base articles, Frequently Asked Questions, Troubleshooting wizards, newsgroups, and other support options. 

Multimedia Streaming with NetShow

Cc768190.spacer(en-us,TechNet.10).gifCc768190.spacer(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Microsoft NetShow version 2.0 is a platform for streaming multimedia over networks ranging from low-bandwidth dial-up Internet connections to high-bandwidth switched local area networks. Using NetShow, companies can offer new streaming content for such applications as training, corporate communications, entertainment, and advertising to users all over the world. NetShow is a powerful broadcast system that is easy to acquire and operate and that empowers companies to offer rich, high-quality interactive content over networks.

Microsoft NetShow 2.0 provides a complete platform for integrating audio and video into online applications, bringing the power of networked multimedia to the Internet and corporate intranets. With its leading-edge live and stored media-streaming technology, Microsoft NetShow 2.0 allows users to receive audio and video broadcasts from their personal computers. It uses a client/server architecture and sophisticated compression and buffering techniques to deliver live and on-demand audio, video, and illustrated audio (synchronized sound and still images) to users of the NetShow Player. The NetShow Player continuously decompresses and plays the content in real time. Users can listen and watch live audio and video programs or navigate on-demand audio and video content.

Note NetShow complements NetMeeting, and the two make up Internet Explorer's main delivery systems for multimedia communication. Whereas NetShow delivers content from one source to many on the Internet or an intranet, NetMeeting allows person-to-person and group interactive sessions.

Advanced Streaming Format

Advanced Streaming Format (ASF) represents the file format in which NetShow content is created. It is a low-overhead storage and transmission file format that encapsulates multimedia data types (images, audio, and video) as well as embedded text (URLs, for example) and allows for the synchronization of these objects within a stream. When you create NetShow content, you create ASF streams or files.

ASF provides industry-wide multimedia interoperability, with ASF being adopted by all major streaming solution providers and multimedia authoring tool vendors.

Each ASF file is composed of one or more media streams. The file header specifies the properties of the entire file, along with stream-specific properties. Multimedia data, stored after the file header, references a particular media stream number to indicate its type and purpose. The delivery and presentation of all media stream data is synchronized to a common timeline.

NetShow Player

There are two ways of using NetShow Player to play content:

  • As a standalone player. When you use NetShow Player as a standalone application, you can decide how you want to have access to the NetShow content. If you play the NetShow content file locally, you are not streaming the file. NetShow Player reads the content file from the hard drive and then plays it. If you play a content file from a remote location, it streams to your computer. You can start the standalone player from a link in a Web page. 

  • Embedded in a Web page, Visual Basic script application, or another ActiveX container application. An easy way of providing NetShow Player to people who do not already have it on their computers is to embed the player in a Web page. When a user gains access to the page, the player is optionally downloaded. The script commands used to embed the player can identify the NetShow content to play as well as show how to play it. The properties can be set to check the version of the player on the computer. If the player is outdated, the computer downloads the newest version. 

Installing and Configuring the NetShow Player

Playing ASF files requires prior installation of the Microsoft NetShow Player, a third-party player that supports ASF files, or an application that supports the NetShow ActiveX control. After the player is installed, a user either clicks on a link to the NetShow content and it plays in an external help application, or it plays embedded in an HTML page or application that uses the NetShow ActiveX control. Whether content plays in the external player or is embedded is determined at the time the content is authored. The NetShow ActiveX control ships with the NetShow Player installation.

Where to Find the NetShow Player

The NetShow Player is available in the full installation of Windows 98. If you select the full installation when installing Windows 98, it gives a choice of components to install. Choose the category Multimedia, and you will be allowed to select Microsoft NetShow Player 2.0.

It is also available on the Microsoft NetShow Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx . Additional NetShow products, such as the NetShow Tools, Software Development Kits, and NetShow Server are also available there, as well as versions of the player for Windows NT 3.51, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 3.1, Macintosh, and UNIX computers.

The NetShow Player installed with Windows 98 is the same as the one on the NetShow Web site. However, it does not contain the Netscape plug-in that allows you to play NetShow content embedded in an HTML page and played back by a computer running Netscape Navigator.

Installing the NetShow Player

If you choose the standard installation of Windows 98, the NetShow Player will not be installed automatically. It is easy to install later, however.

To install NetShow Player after installing Windows 98
  1. In Control Panel, click Add/Remove Programs. 

  2. Click the Windows Setup tab. 

  3. Click Multimedia, and then click Details

  4. Select the Microsoft NetShow Player 2.0 check box, click OK, and you will be guided through the installation process. 

Configuring the NetShow Player

You can use the Advanced tab of the File/Properties menu or the View/Play Settings menu to control the buffering and protocols settings for NetShow. The Advanced tab gives you control in two areas: Buffering and Protocols.

The Buffering option can be used to decrease or increase the amount of time it takes before content begins to play. Normally the default time is sufficient and users under normal circumstances would not need to change it. However, if network conditions make playback quality unacceptable, you can increase the buffer time to try to improve performance. Most content is normally set to buffer between five and ten seconds.

You can also make some selections in the Protocol area, as shown in Table 20.3.

Table 20.3 NetShow Player protocol settings 

Setting

Description

Multicast

Multicast enables the client to receive multicast streams. It allows the administrator to send one copy of the content to many users on the network, as long as that network is multicast-enabled. Networks that are not multicast-enabled and ASF files not being streamed from a NetShow server are sent through unicast. Unicast means that one stream is sent for every request.

UDP

UDP enables the client to receive streams through UDP. It is well-suited to audio because it sends packets regardless of connection quality. Therefore, users hear fewer delays or pauses. The problem with UDP is that if a company's firewall does not accept UDP streams, the stream stops at the firewall, and the user gets an error message. If the company's network administrator has set up their firewall to support UDP streams on a particular port, the user can specify that port. If UDP does not work, the stream automatically rolls over to TCP transmission.

TCP

TCP transmission sends the stream through more firewalls. TCP forms a reliable stream—if packets are lost, the stream stops and lost packets are recovered. This means that users experience more delays and pauses over a network that is congested.

HTTP

HTTP transmission sends the stream through almost all firewalls and proxy servers through port 80, using either the existing browser proxy settings or a customized setting.

Using the NetShow Player

Playing NetShow content is straightforward. Normally, a user clicks on a link to the content, and it starts playing. This allows the user to listen to or watch the content and continue to browse the Web or run other applications.

Markers

Markers are like bookmarks in the file. They can allow you to quickly skip from one part of the content to another. This feature becomes very important to developers who wish to create interactive applications using NetShow, because they can use VBScript or JavaScript to present questions to the user and respond to the selection given by skipping directly to a particular part in the ASF file. For example, a developer writing an interactive training application could present material and, at a specific point in the file, insert a URL flip command in the stream that flips the user's browser to an HTML page with quiz questions on it. Based on the answer to the quiz question, the developer can automatically make the user repeat a section if the answer is incorrect or continue to the next section if the answer is correct.

To see whether the person who created an ASF file used markers, look for the tick marks under the slider bar on the player. If you hover your mouse over the tick marks, you can see their description:

Cc768190.wrk0u10(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 

Notice the "Road Work Ahead" label that appears when the mouse hovers over the corresponding marker.

If you would like to see a marker list, right-click the ASF while it is playing, and select Marker List.

You can skip to a specific marker by clicking on the marker number and clicking Go To Marker. This feature is especially convenient for content embedded in an HTML page with no controls showing.

Advanced Player Features

After users learn that playing content over the Internet means compromises in the size of images, frame rate, or clarity of the images, they often become curious about the bandwidth the file uses for adequate playback. They also learn how to find out more about the ASF file in case they are having problems getting it to run. Here is how to find out the details of the ASF file, even if it is embedded in an HTML page. First, right-click on the content while it is playing. Then select Properties.

You are presented with a separate window with multiple tabs to choose from. The General tab details the ASF title, author, copyright, rating and description. The Details tab gives you the following information:

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Protocol. Shows what protocol is being used between the player and the NetShow server or HTTP server or file server running the content. Choices are File for play from a local drive or file server, MMS or HTTP for play from a NetShow server, or HTTP for play from an HTTP server such as Microsoft's Internet Information Server or some other HTTP server (such as a UNIX server).

Source link. Shows the server or share location for the file or stream. Bandwidth shows how much bandwidth the file will take up when playing back. In the example above, it takes 72,000 bps or a LAN connection or dual-channel ISDN connection. Error Correction shows whether the file was created with error correction features enabled.

If playback of a file is inconsistent or the picture or sound is poor, checking the Statistics tab can be helpful.

On networks, such as the Internet, where varying traffic conditions mean varying performance, you can see that the reception quality and numbers of packets lost vary when the Internet gets busy. When the connection is poor, you see the red part of a pie chart that gets bigger and smaller with connection variances.

Hosting NetShow Content

After NetShow content has been created, it can be hosted in several ways.

From a Local Drive. You can play ASF files from a local drive. When linking to the content, use file://c:\directory\filename.asx as the path.

From a File Server. You can play ASF files from a file server or network drive. When linking to the content, use file://\\servername\share\filename.asx as the path.

From a NetShow Server. You can play ASF files from a NetShow server. The NetShow server software is available from http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx . It allows you to stream using UDP, TCP, or HTTP, which means a great degree of flexibility in configuration to support the widest array of networks. It also provides the ability to do live streaming, multicast, unicast, scheduling of programs, and administration. When you play content from a NetShow server, use mms://servername/path/filename.asx as the path.

From an HTTP Server. You can play ASF files from a standard HTTP server (such as Microsoft Internet Information Server or a UNIX-based HTTP server). First, you need to register the ASF and ASX MIME types on your HTTP server. Instructions on registering MIME types are at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx . Then just store the ASF on the HTTP server and link to it (see "Linking to NetShow Content" later in this chapter for information).

Linking to NetShow Content

After NetShow content is created and hosted, the content developer can link to it in a variety of ways.

Links from HTML Pages

Most users start by using a standard anchor tag to link directly to an ASF file (like <a href="http://servername/path/filename.asf">). However, browsers by nature understand how to send files from a server to a user's computer. For example, when you link to a Word document (.doc) or an Excel spreadsheet (.xls), the browser sends the entire file to the client. When you link directly to an ASF file, the same thing happens—the entire ASF file is downloaded to the user's cache directory, and the file plays back from there. This defeats the purpose of streaming, however. So to cause the browser to stream, we have to introduce a redirector file called an ASX.

When a user links to an ASX file, the user's browser downloads the entire ASX file to the user's cache directory. (Do not worry. The files are only about 1 KB in size.) Then the user's computer receives the signal in the file associations table that when it reaches an ASX file, it should start the NetShow Player. The NetShow Player opens, looks in the ASX for instructions on where to get the ASF file, and starts the stream playing.

If you have an ASF file that you want users to be able to connect to on demand, or in a unicast fashion, create an ASX file by going into your favorite text editor, such as Notepad, and type the following:

ASF path 

where path is one of the following, depending on where you are streaming the content from:

  • mms://servername/path/asfname.asf (for content on a NetShow server) 

  • http://servername/path/asfname.asf (for content on an HTTP server) 

  • file://\\servername\path\asfname.asf (for content on a network server) 

  • file://c:\path\asfname.asf (for content on a fixed drive, such as your hard drive)

For example, you might use the following text in an ASX file:

ASF mms://netshow.microsoft.com/welcome.asf

After you enter this data into Notepad, save the file as Filename.asx and host it on the HTTP server that contains your HTML pages. Make sure the ASX is working by double-clicking its name in Windows Explorer. It should bring up the NetShow Player and start the content streaming. To make the link to the ASF file, therefore, link to the ASX file instead, and use the following syntax:

<a href=http://servername/path/filename.asx >Description</a> 

To edit an existing ASX file, open up a text editor, such as Notepad, and open the file.

Note There are two types of ASX files: handcrafted, for use with stored content, and machine-generated for use in multicasting content from the NetShow server. The machine-generated files are encrypted and allow you to publish an announcement that supports multicast. They are generated in the NetShow Program Manager and are created by right-clicking an existing NetShow program and choosing Announce. This process creates an ASX file that you can link to in the standalone player, use with an embedded object on an HTML document, use with an anchor tag in an HTML document, or distribute as appropriate.

Embedding Content in HTML Pages

Internet Explorer 

To embed ASF files in an HTML page for the Internet Explorer browsing software, use the following code:

<OBJECT ID="NSPlay" WIDTH=160 HEIGHT=128 CLASSID="CLSID:2179C5D3-EBFF-11CF-B6FD-00AA00B4E220"> 
<PARAM NAME="FileName" VALUE="http://server/path/myvideo.asx">
</OBJECT>

You need to change the VALUE for the ASX to reflect the location of the ASX on your HTTP server, and you need to change the WIDTH and HEIGHT to reflect the actual size of the ASF.

Netscape 

The NetShow Player installed from http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx includes a Netscape plug-in for Windows 95 and Windows NT clients. (The NetShow Player installed with Windows 98 does not include the Netscape plug-in.) To use it, just add some code to the <object> tag used earlier:

<OBJECT ID="NSPlay" WIDTH=160 HEIGHT=128 
CLASSID="CLSID:2179C5D3-EBFF-11CF-B6FD-00AA00B4E220"> 

<Embed type="video/x-ms-asf-plugin"
src="http://server/path/myvideo.asx"
filename="http://server/path/myvideo.asx"
pluginspage="http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/default.aspxdownload/player.htm"
ControlType=1
width=290
height=250>
</embed>
</OBJECT>

The <embed> part of this code invokes the NetShow plug-in for Netscape.

For additional information about how to embed NetShow content in an HTML page while using the codebase property to auto-install the NetShow Player, see http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx .

Starting NetShow Content from E-Mail Messages

First, you need an ASX file. Insert the file into an e-mail message as an attachment. When the user receives it, he or she can double-click it, and the NetShow content starts streaming from the specified server.

There are some big advantages to inserting ASX files into e-mail messages as a way to encourage people to view live or stored content. First, this method saves bandwidth. Instead of sending an e-mail message to large numbers of people with big multimedia files that could clog network bandwidth, when you send ASX files, you send only a tiny (approximately 1 KB) file that does not take up network bandwidth until the user starts playing the file. Also, sending ASX files means that the NetShow content plays in its external player, freeing the user to continue reading e-mail or work on other applications. Last, it allows the content developer to sidestep the entire browser issue by not requiring that the user have a browser installed.

Placing NetShow Content on the Active Desktop

One of the features of Internet Explorer is its ability to embed content onto the Active Desktop. This can be especially useful to allow you to put live NetShow streaming audio or video content directly onto the desktop so you can listen to your favorite radio station on a site, such as AudioNet ( http://www.audionet.com/ ) or your favorite live video-based business news on a site, such as MSNBC ( http://www.msnbc.com/ ).

To place NetShow content on the Active Desktop
  1. Right-click on the desktop and select Properties

  2. Click the Web tab and make sure View my Active Desktop as a web page is selected. 

  3. Click New, and then click No to indicate that you do not want to connect to the gallery. 

  4. Enter the URL for the Web page you would like to have displayed on your desktop.

It is easy to resize the window so you can see only the part of the page that contains the NetShow content.

Configuring for Play over a Variety of Networks

One of the new features of NetShow 2.0 is the ability to do protocol rollover. Protocol rollover allows you to try sending the ASF over a default protocol (such as MMS using UDP from the NetShow server). If it fails, it tries sending over an alternative server or protocol that you specify in the ASX file. This is especially convenient when you are concerned whether your content will penetrate customers' firewalls. You can set it up to try UDP first, and if that fails because the users' companies do not accept UDP traffic through their corporate firewalls, you can tell it to try the same content over HTTP or from a different server. This procedure uses the advanced capabilities of ASX files.

You can also insert the program title, description, author, and copyright information from the ASX. This information appears in the properties of the ASF when the user plays the file.

To use these features, go into Notepad and create and type the following lines that apply to what you are trying to do:

[Reference]
Ref1=mms://servername/path/asfname.asf (this is the first reference to try)
Ref2=http://servername/path/asfname.asf (this is the second reference to try)
BaseURL = http://servername/path/dir/ (this is the Base URL for relative references in the ASF stream to use as a base path)
[Description]
Program Title=Title of the ASF here 
Program Description=Description of your ASF here
Program Author=Your name here
Program Copyright=Copyright or other information here

Base URL is used when you want to create NetShow content that uses URL flips but does not rely on the ASF being on one particular server. For example, if you created an ASF that included URL flips to a specific directory on an HTTP server, to duplicate the content on another server using protocol rollover, previously you would have had to rebuild the ASF with new hard-coded URL flips for every server. With NetShow 2.0, you specify a Base URL in the ASX file, which allows you to move or duplicate the NetShow content to other servers.

Save this text file as Asxname.asx and post it to your HTTP server or network server, as before. Also, note that you do not need REF1 and REF2 if the virtual path is the same for both protocols. For example, if you had HTTP streaming enabled on the NetShow server or had a WWW virtual root that was the same, the first REF1 would be sufficient because of the protocol rollover feature of NetShow version 2.0 clients.

Technical Notes on the NetShow Player

NetShow provides a wide range of audio and video compression models to accommodate various forms of content and different bandwidths and bit rates. Following is a partial listing of codecs supported by NetShow:

  • H.263 video 

  • G.723.1 audio 

  • MPEG layer-3 audio 

  • MPEG-4 video 

NetShow has the following minimum system requirements:

  • 486/66 MHz computer. 

  • 8 MB of RAM. 

  • 16-color display card. 

  • 16-bit sound card. 

  • 14 KBps modem. 

  • Windows 95 (audio, audio and images, some video). 

NetShow has the following recommended system requirements:

  • Pentium 120 MHz or higher processor. 

  • 16 MB or more RAM. 

  • 256-color or more display card. 

  • 28.8 KBps or higher modem or Ethernet card. 

  • Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT 4.0 (audio, audio and images, video). 

Troubleshooting the NetShow Player

If you encounter problems when playing back NetShow content, they are usually in one of the following areas:

Codecs

Codecs (compressors/decompressors) are required on the content creation side as well as the client side to play the content back. If the content creator uses a codec that is not installed on the client computer, then the content does not play back. While playing the content, the user can right-click on the ASF, select Properties, and then click the Codecs tab. If any of the codecs listed say NO in the Installed column, the user is missing a codec necessary for playing the audio or video. The quickest way to get the largest set of NetShow codecs is to re-install the NetShow Player from http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx .

Firewalls

Many corporations administer firewalls to prevent unauthorized access to corporate networks. Most firewalls are based on packet filtering. Packet filtering takes place when the computer examines the source and destination IP addresses of a packet and forwards only those packets for which access has been granted. When playing NetShow content, if it is being sent using a protocol that is not allowed through the corporation's firewall, it will not play. Therefore, if NetShow content does not play at all, make sure the company's firewall supports the protocol used (for example, UDP, TCP, or HTTP). For a list of firewalls that support NetShow, go to http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/techresources/streaming/default.asp.

Common Errors

When NetShow Player opens, the animation stops. 

If all you see is a black screen, you should see if you have the correct codec installed to render the video.

To check if you have the right codec installed
  1. Right-click in the player window and select Properties.

  2. In the NetShow Player Properties dialog box, select the Codecs tab. The codecs used to compress the ASF information are displayed. 

  3. Verify that the video codec used to compress the ASF information is installed on your computer. If the codec is not installed, contact the person who created the ASF stream for information about how to get the proper codec. Most content creators either use standard NetShow codecs or provide a way for you to download the codec before watching the ASF information. 

Audio is distorted or video is choppy. 

Distorted audio and video are usually caused by one of two things: there is a large amount of network traffic, or the audio and video were created that way.

To determine if network traffic is the problem
  1. Right-click in the Player window and select Statistics.

  2. In the NetShow Player Properties dialog box, determine how many (or what percentage of) packets have been lost. If you are losing more than five percent of the packets, network traffic is your problem. 

  3. If NetShow Player is losing only a few packets, check to see if Buffering appears in the Current Time/Total Time indicator. If NetShow Player must constantly buffer information, there is network traffic, and NetShow Player must wait to receive ASF information.

If you are not losing any packets and there is no significant network traffic, the content was likely created that way. Take into consideration the type of ASF content you are watching. Video requires considerably more network bandwidth than image flipping, and the higher the audio quality, the more bandwidth is required.

Audio sounds scratchy, hisses or pops, or is silent. 

This problem can often be caused by problems with incompatible or improperly implemented sound devices.

To determine if the problem is due to poorly implemented or incorrect sound devices
  1. Open Sound Recorder.

  2. Open the Microsoft Sound directory (in the Media directory under your Windows directory). 

  3. Play one of the sounds. If it sounds OK, then proceed to the next step. If the sound does not play correctly, you may need to check the directions for installing your sound device and re-install it. 

  4. On the File menu, click Save As, and then click Change

  5. Select the same Format and Attributes as the clip you are having the problem with, and then click OK

  6. Save this file with a different name or in a different directory, so as not to overwrite the Microsoft Sound file. 

  7. Open the file saved in the previous step and play it. If it does not play correctly, check the drivers you are using to ensure that they are the most recent and proper drivers for your sound card. 

Note Another possible cause of audio problems can be the sampling rate of the content. Sampling rates of 12 and 24 kilohertz (kHz) are not supported in many hardware sound devices and drivers. Content authors should choose a sampling rate other than 12 or 24 kHz when creating content.

You have problems when using dial-up networking to gain access to a network. 

These problems are usually caused by incorrect settings for the proxy server the firewall is using.

To verify that your proxy settings are correct
  • On the Advanced tab of the NetShow Player Properties dialog box, for the HTTP protocol, select No proxy.

You get a Failed Network Connection message. 

One possible reason for this message is that your NetShow Player settings may conflict with your Internet Explorer settings. This occurs if you adjust the NetShow Player protocol settings in the Advanced Settings tab and do not restart NetShow Player. Clicking Apply does not cause these changes to take effect.

Getting Help on the World Wide Web

For more information, see the NetShow Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx . Material here includes NetShow Software Development Kits, online documentation, tools, and the Content Creation Authoring Guide. The Content Creation Authoring Guide is a detailed resource for people who want to understand how to create NetShow content for the highest quality and performance. The NetShow Web site also includes demonstrations, NetShow-based tutorials on NetShow, lists of companies providing services and products based on NetShow, support information, and white papers.

Web Authoring with FrontPage Express

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FrontPage Express is a Web page editor with a graphical user interface that gives you full access to Hypertext Markup Language (HTML 3.2). When you work with FrontPage Express, you are in a WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") view mode, which gives you a clear picture of how your pages are going to appear.

FrontPage Express takes you step by step through the process of creating Web pages, and it is also a tool for editing existing HTML documents. When you have FrontPage Express installed, start it by clicking the Edit button on the Internet Explorer browsing window toolbar to start editing the page you are viewing. Then you can use the Microsoft Web Publishing Wizard to post the modified page back to the server.

FrontPage Express offers many of the features of Microsoft FrontPage 97 Editor, in a smaller package. If you need the added features of FrontPage Editor and FrontPage Explorer, it is easy to upgrade to FrontPage 97 or FrontPage 98 without having to learn a new software package.

Key Features of FrontPage Express

FrontPage Express includes all the features of the FrontPage 97 editor except for the following: editing frames, image maps, and proofing tools; support of Advanced Server Pages; Preview In Browser; most of the FrontPage WebBot® components, and the site management features. Some of the key features included in FrontPage Express are the Include, Search, and Timestamp WebBot components; capabilities for editing tables, forms, plug-ins, Java applets, JavaScript; and some of the FrontPage page templates and wizards.

Note FrontPage WebBot components are referred to simply as FrontPage components in FrontPage 97 and FrontPage 98.

Some of the FrontPage Express features are explained in the following paragraphs:

Personal Home Page Wizard. This wizard takes you step by step through the process of creating a personal home page. For more details about this wizard, see "Customizing Your Start Page with the Personal Home Page Wizard" earlier in the chapter.

Table creation and editing. Generating tables is easy with the Insert Table feature. Once you insert a table into a Web page, you can edit the entire table or individual cells.

Forms. You can add forms to your Web page that can be filled out and submitted to your Web site. Your forms can include text boxes, check boxes, drop-down menus, images, and more.

Page templates and wizards. If you are connected to a server running the FrontPage Server Extensions, you can also use forms-related wizards and templates that let you create the following items without having to write any code:

  • A form, by selecting the types of information you need to collect. 

  • A page to acknowledge that you have received a user's input. 

  • A survey to collect information from readers and store it on your Web server. 

You do not have to be connected to a server running the FrontPage Server Extensions to use these features. However, in that case you do not have the advantage of having the HTML code written for you.

FrontPage Express supports major Internet technologies, such as Java applets, JavaScript, plug-ins, and ActiveX to make your pages more engaging.

WebBot Components

FrontPage Express WebBot components are dynamic objects you can insert on your Web pages. They provide complex functionality that would otherwise require you to write scripts. WebBot components require the FrontPage Server Extensions to be installed on the Web server in order to function properly.

FrontPage Express offers three WebBot components:

  • The Include component lets you insert the body of another HTML page into the current page. This is useful for serial elements, such as headers and footers that appear on multiple pages. Instead of having to edit every instance of a serial element, you simply edit the included file once. 

  • The Search component builds an index of the current Web site's content so that it can be searched. 

  • The Time Stamp component automatically inserts the date and time of the last update to a page. 

Most WebBot components are added to a page using the WebBot Component command on the Insert menu in the FrontPage Express editor. When you insert a WebBot component, dialog boxes help you configure it. A graphical representation of the WebBot component is then visible in the editor at that position in the page. The HTML that a WebBot component generates depends on conditions in your FrontPage Web at the time the WebBot component is activated. For example, a WebBot Search component is associated with a search form that FrontPage Express creates. When a user enters a word to search for and submits the form, the WebBot Search component searches the FrontPage Web and generates an HTML list of hyperlinks to all the pages in the FrontPage Web that contain the word. The WebBot component supplies this HTML list to the Web browser, which automatically displays it to the user.

When you view a page that includes a WebBot component, the interactive or programming properties of it are available. The WebBot components themselves are stored in a page using a specially formatted HTML comment, although the FrontPage Express author does not typically see this representation.

Installing and Configuring FrontPage Express

The FrontPage Express component of Internet Explorer is selected by default in the full installation of Windows 98. If you do not wish to install it, you can easily deselect it. You can install it at a later time using the Add/Remove Programs option in Control Panel.

To install FrontPage Express if it was not installed with Windows 98
  1. In Control Panel, click Add/Remove Programs. 

  2. Click the Windows Setup tab. 

  3. Click Internet Tools, and then click Details

  4. Select the Microsoft FrontPage Express check box, click OK, and you will be guided through the installation process. 

You can also install FrontPage Express from the Internet Explorer Add-Ons Page on the Web at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx .

Benefits of Web Authoring

Writing your own Web pages offers two main benefits:

Fast Web page development. With FrontPage Express, you do not need to learn HTML, because the application has a graphical user interface. FrontPage Express even lets novices insert Java applets, ActiveX controls, or scripts without knowing any programming. For those who still like to edit HTML directly, FrontPage Express offers a new color-coded HTML editing mode.

Tight suite integration. As mentioned earlier, when you have FrontPage Express installed, the Edit button on the Internet Explorer browsing window toolbar allows you to edit the currently viewed page.

How Web Authoring Works

While you are browsing any Web page, you can click the Edit button on the Internet Explorer browsing window toolbar to open FrontPage Express with all of the tables, controls, and pictures displayed inside the editor. FrontPage Express makes it easy to download pages from the Web locally because it lets you save an entire Web page (pictures included) in a single step.

Most WebBot components are added to a page using the WebBot Component command on the Insert menu in the FrontPage Express editor. When you insert a WebBot component, a graphical representation of the WebBot component is then visible in the editor at that position in the page. A few of the WebBot components are specifically associated with forms and can be reached through the Form Properties dialog box rather than the Insert WebBot Component command.

When you view a page that includes a WebBot component, the interactive or programming properties of it are available. The WebBot components themselves are stored in a page using a specially formatted HTML comment, although the FrontPage Express author does not typically see this representation.

Publishing Web Pages with Personal Web Server

Microsoft Personal Web Server (PWS) version 4.0 is the answer to your personal information sharing and Web development needs. PWS is a desktop Web server that performs Web site setup, creates a personalized home page automatically, and allows drag-and-drop publishing of documents.

On the corporate intranet, Personal Web Server can be used to share documents in their native format quickly; or you can convert documents to HTML and then use PWS to share them across different operating systems.

Because Personal Web Server supports Advanced Server Pages, it can be used as a development and testing platform for Web sites. You can create your site in the office or at home and test it by using Personal Web Server before hosting it on the corporate server or an Internet service provider.

Installing Personal Web Server

Personal Web Server is included on your Windows 98 compact disc. You can install it using the Add/Remove Programs option in Control Panel.

To install Personal Web Server
  1. In Control Panel, double-click Add/Remove Programs. 

  2. Click Install, and insert the Windows 98 compact disc. 

  3. Browse to \add-ons\pws. 

  4. Double-click the PWS application icon and follow the instructions on your screen. 

  5. When you are finished, restart your computer for the changes to take effect. 

After installation, PWS appears as an item on your Program menu and includes four components: FrontPage Server Administrator, Personal Web Manager, Personal Web Server Set up, and Personal Web Server Documentation.

Using Personal Web Server

You can use Personal Web Server to create and maintain a Web site in addition to using features, such as the guest book and message drop box.

PWS online Help shows you how to do the following:

  • Create a Web page without learning HTML.

  • Create a Web page with a text editor.

  • Make documents available on your site.

  • Add links on the home page to documents on your hard disk or the Internet. 

  • View and edit your guest book.

  • View and delete your drop box messages.

  • Add new publishing directories. 

  • Track activity on or performance of your site.

Posting a Web Site with the Web Publishing Wizard

The Internet Explorer Web Publishing Wizard allows you to post your own Web site to a server. The Web Publishing Wizard allows you to publish Web pages on the Internet or an intranet by automating the process of copying files from your computer to a Web server or an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

The Web Publishing Wizard can automatically post to a variety of Web servers and offers support for standard protocols, such as FTP, universal naming convention (UNC), HTTP Post; third-party services, such as America Online, America Online Primehost, and SPRYNET Primehost; and system-independent protocols, such as CRS and FrontPage Extended Web.

The Web Publishing Wizard can post to local ISPs, IIS, intranet servers on your local area network, and FrontPage. It supports the following languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

ISPs that have their own protocol schemes for uploading files to their Web servers can write a custom WebPost provider dynamic-link library (DLL) and distribute it from the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/software/webpost/ .

If you want details about this procedure, send e-mail to WebPost@lists.msn.com expressing your interest in writing a provider DLL. Code for a sample WebPost provider is included in the ActiveX SDK.

The Web Publishing Wizard connects to the ISP, determines the protocol needed to copy the files, and then uploads the files to the appropriate directory on the ISP computer. Before publishing a Web site with the Web Publishing Wizard, you will need to have the following information:

  • The local path to the Web content you want to publish (such as C:\webfiles). 

  • The protocol used by the ISP to upload files. You can choose from FTP, HTTP Post, or CRS (FTP is the most commonly used protocol).

  • The URL that files are to be uploaded to (for example, ftp.my_isp.com if the ISP requires users to post files via FTP). 

  • The URL for your root on the Web server. This is often the URL for the ISP, plus the username (http://www.my_isp.com/username). 

  • The username and password for the account. 

The Web Publishing Wizard will guide you through the steps of connecting to your ISP or intranet site and will automatically upload Web files from a directory you specify. Because it saves all of the information that you enter, you will not be asked to enter it during subsequent publishing efforts, making subsequent publishing efforts quick and convenient.

To begin publishing on the Internet with the Web Publishing Wizard
  1. Create a Web page using FrontPage Express or your favorite authoring tool. 

  2. Sign up for an account with an ISP. 

  3. Use the Web Publishing Wizard to copy the Web pages to the Internet. 

Other Tools for Authors and Developers

Internet Explorer provides new technology that you can use to increase interactivity for your customers without slowing down server performance. Internet Explorer includes the following technologies to help you create Web pages and applications:

ActiveX scripting. Lets ActiveX controls talk to one another and to other Web programs.

ActiveX technology. Helps you create Web-based software components using your existing knowledge and code base.

Dynamic HTML. Gives you design options and control, as well as the ability to add a new dimension of interactivity without slowing performance in the process.

Java with AFC. Provides a powerful set of building blocks for developing Java applets and other Internet applications. Application Foundation Classes (AFCs) deliver a rich suite of graphics as well as user interface and multimedia capabilities to authors who use Java in their Web pages.

Upgrading to FrontPage

When you install FrontPage 97 or FrontPage 98 on a computer that has FrontPage Express installed, the Edit command on the Internet Explorer browsing window toolbar and the Internet Shortcuts from the Windows 98 desktop use FrontPage 97/98 as the default editor. In other words, the most recently installed HTML editor takes precedence over any previously installed HTML editors.

Using the Registry to Change the Default Editor

You can also edit the Windows 98 registry to set a different default HTML editor in Windows 98.

The registry key that needs to be changed is:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \htmlfile \shell \edit \command 

The value for FrontPage Express is: "C:\Program Files\FPXpress\bin\fpexpress.exe %1."

This value can be changed to: "C:\Windows\Notepad.exe %1" for Notepad or "C:\Program Files\Microsoft FrontPage\bin\fpeditor.exe %1" for FrontPage 97 or FrontPage 98.

Warning Changing the registry by using a registry editor can have unforeseen effects that can prevent you from starting your system. In some cases, you might need to reinstall Windows 98. Wherever possible, use programs, such as Control Panel or System Policy Editor, to configure Windows 98.

Connecting to the Internet

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Whether you connect to the Internet through your corporate LAN or you use a modem to dial in to an ISP, you can configure your connection easily in Windows 98. The Internet Connection Wizard is the primary Internet connection tool provided with Windows 98. It takes you through all of the steps required to set up your connection, and uses "smart" code to detect existing configurations. Depending on your requirements, you can also perform these steps manually.

The following choices are provided in Windows 98 to connect to the Internet:

  • You can use the Internet Connection Wizard to help you sign up with an ISP if you need to and configure your connection to the Internet. 

  • You can join the Microsoft Network (MSN) online service from the Windows 98 desktop to send and receive mail on the Internet and to gain access to Internet newsgroups. For more information about how to install and connect to MSN, see Help. 

  • You can use the Online Services folder on the Windows 98 desktop to set up accounts with a variety of ISPs. 

  • You can use TCP/IP and Dial-Up Networking — both of which are provided in Windows 98 — to connect to ISPs. You connect to an ISP by using Dial-Up Networking to dial in to their Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) or Serial Line IP (SLIP) servers, which are connected directly to the Internet. 

  • You can use TCP/IP and a network adapter so that you can connect to a company's network server that is connected directly to the Internet. 

Windows 98 supports all the protocols you need to connect to an ISP, including a 32-bit implementation of TCP/IP, as PPP or SLIP. In addition, Windows 98 provides File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and telnet clients, which can be used to browse the Internet and download files from Internet servers. Also, you can use the Internet Explorer browsing software to browse the World Wide Web. Figure 20.2 illustrates how your Windows 98 computer can be connected to the Internet.

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Figure 20.2 A Windows 98 computer connected to the Internet 

For more information about using telnet and FTP, see "Using Public Domain Tools" earlier in this chapter.

Preparing to Connect to the Internet

To connect a computer running Windows 98 to an ISP, do the following:

  • Obtain an Internet account with an ISP. This is provided automatically if your company has a direct connection to the Internet. 

  • Make sure TCP/IP and Dial-Up Networking are installed, and make sure TCP/IP is bound to the Microsoft Dial-Up adapter or a network adapter.

  • Install a modem (if you dial in to the Internet) or a network adapter (if you have a direct network connection to the Internet).

  • Define a Dial-Up Networking connection to an Internet Service Provider, and define IP address information for each connection, or for your network adapter, if required.

Before you connect to the Internet, you need to decide what kinds of information you want to provide or exchange. The most common tools for finding and exchanging information and the most common sources of information are described briefly in the following sections.

Sending and Receiving E-mail

You can exchange e-mail with individuals on the Internet or join an Internet mailing list. To do this, you run an electronic mail application, known as a Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) client, and connect to an SMTP or Post Office Protocol (POP) server. Most ISPs provide this support. For information about Outlook Express, the Windows 98 e-mail client, see Chapter 22, "Electronic Mail with Outlook Express."

Usenet Newsgroups

Newsgroup servers, supporting Net News Transport Protocol (NNTP), share information and commentary on defined topics. Each newsgroup is an electronic bulletin board where members post and reply to messages. Most ISPs offer NNTP access. To connect to a newsgroup, you need the following:

  • Access to an NNTP server. 

  • A newsgroup account provided by an ISP. 

  • An NNTP reader (an application that allows you to view newsgroup information), which is available as a feature of most Word Wide Web browsers, including the Internet Explorer browsing software. 

Internet Tools

A variety of tools are available to help you find the information you need on the Internet. For information about these tools, see "Using Public Domain Tools" earlier in this chapter.

Note Network administrators can configure Internet connections for their users using the Internet Explorer Administration Kit. This will prevent the Internet Connection Wizard from being launched automatically on users' computers. For information about using the Internet Explorer Administration Kit, see "Configuring Internet Explorer with the IEAK Profile Manager" earlier in this chapter.

Connecting to the Internet with the Internet Connection Wizard

The Internet Connection Wizard is included in Windows 98. This wizard is a fully automated process with two main functions. It can sign you up with an ISP if you do not already have an account with one, and it can help you configure your Internet software if you do not need to sign up with an ISP. The four possible paths that the wizard can take once it is started are determined in part by the wizard, and in part by the tasks you wish to accomplish.

Understanding the Internet Connection Wizard

There are five possible ways you can run the Internet Connection Wizard in Windows 98:

  • From the Windows 98 Welcome screen. 

  • From the Connect to the Internet icon on the desktop. This is only for new computers, or computers that have been upgraded to Windows 98 and had no previous Internet connection. 

  • From the Start menu. This is only for new computers, or computers that have been upgraded to Windows 98 and had no previous Internet connection. 

  • From the Internet Explorer browsing software or Outlook Express. This is only if you have not already configured an Internet connection the first time you run one of them. 

  • From the Connections tab of Internet Options in the Internet Explorer View menu. 

When the Internet Connection Wizard starts, it analyzes your computer to determine if there is an existing Internet connection. If it finds one, the path it follows is determined by where the wizard was run from. If the wizard does not find an Internet connection, then it gives you the option of signing up with an ISP or using the Manual Internet Configuration Wizard (Inetwiz.exe) to manually configure Internet settings for an existing ISP account.

The code that the Internet Connection Wizard runs during Windows 98 Setup searches your computer for evidence of an existing Internet connection. Once this determination is made, there is either a Connect to the Internet icon on the desktop (in lieu of the Internet Explorer and Outlook Express icons) and an Internet Connection Wizard shortcut in the Start menu, or the regular Internet Explorer and Outlook Express icons appear on the desktop and an Internet Connection Wizard shortcut appears in the Internet Explorer program group.

Starting the Internet Connection Wizard

As mentioned earlier in this section, there are a number of different ways you can start the Internet Connection Wizard. The entry points from the Windows Welcome, the desktop icon, and the Start menu are only available if no existing Internet connections were detected during Windows Setup. Similarly, the only way that Internet Explorer or Outlook Express will run the Internet Connection Wizard when they are started is if you have not already configured an Internet connection. You can however, always run the Internet Connection Wizard from the Internet Explorer program group, and from the Connection tab of Internet Options in the Internet Explorer View menu.

Signing Up with an ISP

If you choose the path in the Internet Connection Wizard that allows you to sign up for an Internet account with an ISP, you will be connected to the Internet Referral Server. If the Internet Connection Wizard detects that there is no modem configured, it will run the Install New Modem Wizard to help you configure your modem. Once you have configured your modem, the Internet Connection Wizard gathers location information from the dialing properties to pass to the Referral Server.

Once you are connected to the Referral Server, you can choose from a list of ISPs available in your area, and set up an account with any one of them. Certain ISPs will provide a free trial period of Internet service. With this option, you will not have to supply any credit card or other billing information when you sign up. When the trial period expires, the ISP will contact you to offer a continuation of service and request your billing information then.

Configuring Settings with the Manual Configuration Wizard

If you choose the option to set up an Internet connection for an existing Internet service in the initial screen of the Internet Connection Wizard, the Manual Internet Configuration Wizard does the following:

  • Checks that your modem is set up properly. If it is not, the wizard runs the Install New Modem Wizard so that you can configure your modem. 

  • Checks that your dialing settings are set up properly. If they are not set up properly, the wizard displays the Dialing Properties dialog box. 

  • Sets up the TCP/IP protocol. 

  • Sets up Dial-Up Networking, and then creates a Dial-Up Networking connection to assist you in creating an Internet account. 

If you are connecting to the Internet over a corporate network, you may need to supply the Internet Connection Wizard with proxy server information and, in some cases, TCP/IP information. You can check with your network administrator, and obtain the appropriate information.

If you are connecting to the Internet by dialing in to an ISP with a modem, you will need to supply the Internet Connection Wizard with the following information:

  • Telephone number, account ID, and password 

  • Mail account information: server types and names, and password 

  • TCP/IP information if required 

Once you have completed all of the tasks required to configure a connection to the Internet, and exited the Internet Connection Wizard, you can return to it at any time by pointing to Programs on the Start menu, pointing to Internet Explorer, and then clicking Connection Wizard.

Installing and Configuring a Modem

Windows 98 supports a variety of modems for dial-in access. You do not need to configure a modem differently to connect to the Internet than you would for any other Dial-Up Networking connection.

For information about installing and manually configuring modems and communications ports, see Chapter 21, "Modems and Communications Tools."

Obtaining an Internet Account

Most users connect to the Internet by dialing in to an ISP's server that is directly connected to the Internet.

Tip Using an ISP for remote access is a fairly inexpensive way to reach the Internet, but its effectiveness is limited by the speed of the connection and the modem. For a good modem and a normal phone line, this speed tends to be roughly between 14.4 and 28.8 kilobytes per second (KBps).

For better performance at greater expense, you can use one or more Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN) lines to achieve 64 KBps or 128 KBps. Many ISPs now offer ISDN packages.

In deciding which ISP to use, you should consider the following:

  • Does the ISP offer full Internet access?

  • Does the ISP support PPP? 

  • Does the ISP offer technical support? 

  • What kind of connection speeds does the ISP support?

  • Does the ISP have an adequate number of phone lines and a large enough pipe to the Internet in order to provide good response time?

  • Does the ISP offer a local dial-up number? 

  • What range of services, such as mail, does the ISP offer, and at what charge? 

After you have chosen an ISP, obtain the following information from the ISP when you establish a PPP or a SLIP account. You need this information in order to configure Windows 98 to gain access to the Internet:

  • Access phone number, preferably local. 

  • Logon name. 

  • Logon password. 

  • Your host and domain name. If electronic mail is part of your connection services, your host name can include a POP3 host name and an SMTP host name. 

  • The NNTP server name, if Internet newsgroups are part of your connection service. 

  • The Domain Name System (DNS) server and IP address (only if they will not be assigned automatically by the ISP). 

All SLIP accounts require you to manually configure an IP address on your computer when you connect. Service providers who support PPP usually assign an IP address automatically each time you dial in to the service provider. However, some PPP service providers might require manual configuration of an IP address. In most cases you also need to configure the IP address of the service provider's DNS server.

For more information about these settings, refer to the following sections.

Installing TCP/IP

Connecting the millions of computer networks on the Internet would not be possible without a standard set of protocols. TCP/IP is the protocol used on the Internet. It combines many different protocols, making it possible to communicate across interconnected networks that have diverse hardware and operating systems.

To connect to the Internet, you must install TCP/IP. Windows 98 automatically allows (binds) TCP/IP to work with a network adapter or with the Microsoft Dial-Up adapter. You can install TCP/IP when you install Windows 98, or you can install it after Setup by using the Network option in Control Panel.

To install TCP/IP
  1. In the Network option in Control Panel, click Add on the Configuration tab. 

  2. In the Select Network Component Type dialog box, double-click Protocol.

  3. In the Select Network Protocol dialog box, select Microsoft from the Manufacturers list. 

  4. In the Network Protocols list, click TCP/IP.

  5. Click OK

To verify that TCP/IP is bound to the Microsoft Dial-Up adapter or a network adapter
  1. In the Network option in Control Panel, scroll through the list of network components on the Configuration tab, and select the TCP/IP icon. It may include an arrow that indicates which adapter it is bound to. 

  2. If no adapter is indicated, click Properties. The TCP/IP Properties dialog box appears. 

  3. Click the Bindings tab. This tab lists the adapter(s) to which TCP/IP can be bound and indicates binding with a selected check box next to the bound component. 

When you install Dial-Up Networking or another network adapter, Windows 98 automatically binds TCP/IP to the adapters if TCP/IP was previously installed. If your computer has multiple network adapters, an entry for TCP/IP is displayed for each one. You must configure each adapter with its own TCP/IP settings.

Setting the Domain Name System Server and IP Addresses

The Internet uses the DNS to translate computer and domain names into IP addresses. A DNS server maintains a database that maps domain names to IP addresses as specified by network administrators. The DNS organizes the names of hosts in a hierarchical fashion, similar to a file system.

Most ISPs dynamically assign IP addresses for DNS servers, especially for PPP or SLIP connections. If yours does not, you must configure a computer to recognize DNS information. If an ISP does not dynamically assign either a DNS IP address or your IP address, you should set these in the TCP/IP Settings dialog box in Dial-Up Networking for each connection you create.

If your LAN's Internet access server dynamically assigns your IP address and the DNS IP address, you do not need to set this information yourself. For example, if you are using a server with Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) capabilities, such as a DHCP server on a Windows NT Server network, it assigns IP address information dynamically If you have a static, direct LAN connection to the Internet or other TCP/IP network, then you should set the DNS IP address and your IP address in TCP/IP Properties in the Network option in Control Panel.

For more information about configuring IP addresses, see Chapter 15, "Network Adapters and Protocols."

Note The following procedures assume that your computer has Microsoft TCP/IP installed as a network protocol. If your site uses another vendor's version of TCP/IP, you must configure the protocol as recommended by the protocol vendor.

It is important that each host on a network be assigned a unique IP address that is valid for its particular network. Before assigning any IP addresses, read the related material in Chapter 15, "Network Adapters and Protocols."

To set the DNS IP address for a direct LAN connection without DHCP
  1. In the Network option in Control Panel, double-click TCP/IP for the network adapter in the network component list on the Configuration tab. 

  2. In the TCP/IP Properties dialog box, click the DNS Configuration tab. 

  3. Click Enable DNS, and then, in the Host and Domain boxes, type your host name and domain name, respectively. These names identify you on the Internet. 

  4. In the DNS Server Search Order dialog box, type the address of your LAN's DNS server.

    If your network has more than one DNS server, type the address of each DNS server, and then click Add. DNS settings are currently global across all instances of TCP/IP. This allows you to rely on a secondary DNS server if the primary DNS server is down. The first server listed is the first one searched. 

To define the IP address for a direct LAN connection to the Internet
  1. In the Network option in Control Panel, double-click TCP/IP for the network adapter on the Configuration tab. 

  2. In the TCP/IP Properties dialog box, click the IP Address tab, and then select Specify an IP address.

  3. Type your IP address in the IP Address dialog box. After you type the address, the subnet mask is provided automatically.

  4. Click OK.

The following procedures are for setting IP addresses on a computer that uses Dial-Up Networking to connect to the Internet.

To set the DNS IP address for each connection in Dial-Up Networking
  1. In Dial-Up Networking, right-click the connection you have defined for the Internet, and then click Properties.

  2. In the connection's properties, click Server Types, and then click TCP/IP Settings

  3. In the TCP/IP Settings dialog box, select the Specify an IP address option, and type your IP address. 

  4. Select the Specify name server addresses option, and then type the IP address of the DNS server in the Primary DNS dialog box.

To define an IP address if the service provider does not dynamically assign one
  • In the TCP/IP IP Address dialog box, click Specify an IP address, and then type your IP address.

For more information about assigning DNS and IP addresses, see Chapter 15, "Network Adapters and Protocols."

Making a Dial-Up Networking Connection

After you configure TCP/IP, you need to configure a Dial-Up Networking connection to an ISP. The way you configure the connection settings depends on the type of Internet server you are using.

The Dial-Up Networking defaults for the dial-up connection are designed for Internet connections and for most other types of connections. You can change these defaults, but you should do so only if you want to change the default behavior.

There is one exception. By default, Dial-Up Networking uses the PPP protocol to connect to servers. This default will work for most Internet connections. But if you are connecting to a server that does not use PPP, you must change the server type as illustrated in the following section.

Note You can predefine Dial-Up Networking connections for users by including them as part of system policies. If you enable user profiles, different users sharing the same computer can use separate dialing configurations. For more information, see Chapter 7, "User Profiles," and Chapter 8, "System Policies."

Configuring Options for the Server to Which You Are Connecting

Dial-Up Networking allows you to configure options for the server to which you are connecting. You do not need to change any values in this section if you are connecting to an ISP and your ISP's remote access server supports PPP.

Before you begin, make sure that TCP/IP is correctly installed on your computer.

To configure options for the server to which you are connecting
  1. In Dial-Up Networking, right-click a connection icon, and then click Properties

  2. Click the Server Types tab. 

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  3. In the Type of Dial-Up Server box, ensure that the correct remote access server type is selected. If it is not selected, you will not be able to connect to the server. The possible connections are as follows:

    This server type

    Connects to

    PPP: Internet, Windows NT Server, Windows 98 

    The default; selecting it allows Windows 98 to automatically detect and connect to other remote access servers that are running TCP/IP, NetBEUI, or IPX/SPX over PPP. Select this option for connections to your ISP. 

    NRN: NetWare Connect version 1.0 and 1.1 

    Novell NetWare Connect 1.0 or 1.1 running IPX/SPX over NetWare Connect 1.0 or 1.1. 

    SLIP: UNIX Connection 

    Any SLIP server over TCP/IP. 

    Windows for Workgroups and Windows NT 3.1 

    Windows 98 Dial-Up Server; Windows NT 3.1 or 3.5; Windows for Workgroups version 3.11 running NetBEUI over RAS. 

    CSLIP: UNIX Connection with IP Header Compression 

    Any SLIP server over TCP/IP that supports IP header compression. 

  4. Optionally, if you are making a connection to an ISP, deselect Log on to network to speed connection time. This option is selected by default, but it is unnecessary for Internet connections.

  5. Optionally, select Require encrypted password. If this option is selected, the client will use only Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) and MS-CHAP encryption when generating a password. If this option is not selected, the client can also perform Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) if the server requests it. However, PAP encryption is less secure. 

  6. Optionally, select Require data encryption. If this option is selected, the client will refuse to connect with any server that does not use data encryption. For more information, see Chapter 19, "Remote Networking and Mobile Computing." 

  7. Optionally, select Record a log file for this connection. If this option is selected, Dial-Up Networking will create a PPP log file that shows information about your connection. For information about PPP log files, see Chapter 19, "Remote Networking and Mobile Computing." 

  8. In the Allowed network protocols box, make sure that TCP/IP is selected.

    Note By default, all network protocols (TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, and NetBEUI) are selected in the Allowed network protocols box. However, for you to use those protocols, they must also be installed on the client workstation you are configuring. For information about how to install protocols, see Chapter 15, "Network Adapters and Protocols."

  9. Optionally, if you are configuring a connection to your ISP and your ISP requires you to enter information such as a static IP address for your computer or a DNS server to which you must connect, click TCP/IP Settings. However, in most cases you do not need to do so. For more information, see "Setting the Domain Name System Server and IP Addresses" earlier in this chapter. 

For more information about defining a Dial-Up Networking connection, see Chapter 19, "Remote Networking and Mobile Computing."

Connecting to a SLIP Server

Windows 98 Dial-Up Networking clients support SLIP and can connect to any remote access server using the SLIP standard.

There are two types of SLIP accounts: uncompressed SLIP and compressed SLIP (CSLIP). You set what type of SLIP account you have for each connection you create in Dial-Up Networking.

To select the type of SLIP account for a connection in Dial-Up Networking
  1. Right-click a connection icon, and then click Properties

  2. In the connection's properties, click Server Type

  3. In the Server Type dialog box, select the Slip option UNIX Connection or CSLIP Connection With IP Header Compression in the Type of Dial-Up Server dialog box. 

Tip If you have difficulty running TCP/IP applications after connection, you might need to change the server type from CSLIP to SLIP or from SLIP to CSLIP.

SLIP servers cannot negotiate your TCP/IP address. Therefore, you must set Dial-Up Networking to display a terminal window after you dial the Internet server. After you type your user name and password, IP address information is displayed in the terminal window as described in the following procedure.

To connect to a SLIP server
  1. In Dial-Up Networking, right-click the connection icon you created for the Internet, and then click Properties to specify that a terminal window be displayed. Click OK

  2. In General Properties, click Server Types.

  3. In the Server Types dialog box, select SLIP UNIX Connection or CSLIP UNIX Connection With IP Header Compression, and then click OK.

    Make sure the Log on to network check box is not selected, because SLIP servers allow you to log on only in a terminal window. Notice that the only protocol allowed is TCP/IP.

  4. In Dial-Up Networking, double-click the icon for the connection. 

  5. In the Connect To dialog box, click Connect.

  6. After the modem establishes a connection, the Post Dial Terminal Screen dialog box appears for you to log on to the SLIP server and receive your IP address.

    You must follow the ISP's guidelines for logging on to its server. Most ISPs require only that you type a user name and a password. However, ISPs require additional information. 

    In most cases, after you type your user name and password, the ISP displays two IP addresses, a host IP address and your IP address. (If the ISP does not display the IP addresses, you should ask about them.) The second address displayed is usually your IP address, which you may wish to record for future reference. Then click F7. 

  7. In the SLIP Connection IP Address dialog box, type your IP address, and then click OK

  8. If your Internet Service Provider assigns you the same IP address each time you connect, then, after you finish an Internet session, type your IP address in the TCP/IP settings dialog box for that connection in Dial-Up Networking. The next time you connect to the Internet SLIP server using this connection, you will not have to type your IP address. 

Note You can use the ping command at the command prompt to differentiate the local from the host IP address. At the command prompt, type ping and the local IP address (for example, 123.45.6.7), and then try ping with another server on the Internet. If the local address works, and the server address does not, contact the ISP.

After you connect to an ISP, Windows 98 displays a dialog box named Connected To Internet (or whatever name you gave the Dial-Up Networking connection to the Internet). You can minimize this dialog box and begin your Internet session by running Internet Explorer, FTP, telnet, or other Internet browsing applications.

Troubleshooting Internet Connections

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Using Winipcfg to Verify Internet Connections

The IP Configuration utility (Winipcfg) is a troubleshooting utility that displays all current TCP/IP network configuration values for any computer running Microsoft TCP/IP. Network configuration values include the current IP address allocated to the computer and other useful data about the TCP/IP allocation. This utility is of particular use on networks using DHCP, allowing users to determine which TCP/IP configuration values have been configured by DHCP.

The IP Configuration utility does not dynamically update information. If you make any changes, such as disconnecting, you must exit the IP Configuration utility and restart it.

To run Winipcfg, select Run from the Start menu, type winipcfg, and click OK.

For more information about IP addresses on TCP/IP networks, see Chapter 15, "Network Adapters and Protocols."

This following paragraphs describe how to identify and resolve common Internet connection problems.

Your modem does not dial. 

Use the troubleshooting aid for modems in online Help. See also the modem troubleshooting section in Chapter 21, "Modems and Communications Tools."

You cannot connect to your Internet service provider. 

  • Select the Network option in Control Panel to make sure TCP/IP is bound to the Dial-Up or network adapter. 

You connect to the Internet service provider but cannot obtain information from other Internet sites. 

Try using the ping command to connect to other Internet sites.

To test a connection using the ping command
  1. At the command prompt, type ping followed by the name of the host you are trying to reach. 

    If ping succeeds, your connection to the Internet is working properly. 

  2. If ping does not succeed, type ping followed by the IP address of the host. 

    If this works, you are properly connected to the Internet, but not properly connected to your DNS server. 

    – Or – 

    If this does not work, you may not be connected to the Internet. In either case, contact your ISP. 

You cannot view or download hypertext documents. 

To view or download hypertext documents, such as World Wide Web home pages, you must use an Internet browser, such as the Internet Explorer browsing software. The telnet and FTP utilities provided with Windows 98 support only basic navigation on the Internet.

For more information about troubleshooting Dial-Up Networking connections, see Chapter 19, "Remote Networking and Mobile Computing."

Additional Resources 

For more information about

See this resource

Proxy Server

Microsoft Proxy Server Installation and Administration Guide

Windows Script Host

http://www.microsoft.com/management/default.mspx 

Java

http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/java/ 

Third-party rating bureaus

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx 

Internet Explorer

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx 
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx 
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx 

NetMeeting

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/netmeeting/ 

Internet Locator Server Service

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/netmeeting/ 

NetShow

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/ie/reskit/6/ie6rkit.mspx 

RealPlayer

http://service.real.com/ 

Dynamic HTML scriplets

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/htmlhelp/html/vsconocxscripts.asp 

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