Telnet connectivity is the feature that distinguishes a real-time connection to the global network from other modes of connectivity, such as UUCP or Fidonet. When you use telnet, you are actually logging into a remote computer, with all the data passing back and forth through the pathways of the Internet. In most cases you need to be a registered user of the remote computer. For example, it is possible in Seoul to use the voluminous news archives of the Nexis information service via telnet, but you must have an account with Nexis in order to log in.
In some cases, information providers make resources freely available via the Internet. One major example is the WAIS-server at quake.think.com. Wide Area Information Search, or WAIS, is a powerful computer program that allows you to search by keywords through a number of databases that you specify. The WAIS program tallies up a list of resources, scored by how closely they fit your keyword search. For example, you can ask WAIS to search databases at UNESCO and the Australian National University for resources relating to "population," "Cairo" and "Asia." The resulting list can point you to resources relating to Asian perspectives on last year's population conference in Cairo.
Before you try WAIS or the commercial databases on this list, it is advisable to read more about how to use them.
Here is a list of some resources reachable through telnet. To log onto the remote computer, you just type "telnet quake.think.com," for example. In the case of free resources, use the specified log-in. In the case of commercial resources, you should use your private log-in.
telnet compuserve.com: CompuServe. Log-in: CIS
telnet dialog.com: Dialog Information Services.
telnet delphi.com: Delphi Internet Services. Log-in: joindelphi. Password: info
telnet djnr.dowjones.com: Dow Jones News/Retrieval Service. Respond to query with: djnr
telnet nex.meaddata.com: Nexis/Lexis Information Services.
telnet quake.think.com: Free log-in: wais. Wide Area Information Search (WAIS)
telnet ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu: Free log-in: ex-ussr. Databases on the former Soviet Union. An added benefit is that this University of Kansas computer lets you use the Lynx software to tour the World Wide Web.