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(?) The Answer Guy (!)

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) Accessing Shakespeare's Lear: Get Thee to a Help Desk!

From TRANS on Tue, 06 Jun 2000

I'm having trouble getting into telnet from an off campus computer. I've

tried to access my shakespeare account, lear, using the email express tab on the IUB homepage, but everytime I try to connect a little dialog box pops up and says connection failed. I know that my modem is working, so I don't know what the problem is. I would appreciate any help you could offer. Thanks,

Nellie Khalil

(!) Unfortunately you message doesn't contain enoough information to troubleshoot the problem.
It sounds like you're trying to access an account under the name of 'lear' on a host named 'shakespeare' from some other system which is "off campus." I guess you're looking at the web pages at "IUB" which I presume is some university or college, and you're clicking om some link that this web page provides (which is labelled "email express" or something like that).
So, you think your modem is working (presumably becuase you can use your browser to access some web page). It's not clear why you think telnet is involved in any of this. Is the link you are clicking of the form "telnet://shakespeare..."?
However, there are way too many variables here. Most likely the system you are trying to access is behind some sort of firewall or on some network that is not routable from where you're connected to the net. It is also likely that the link on this IUB page shouldn't be visible from the outside world. Of course its also possible that you have a broken browser, don't have a telnet client installed, are looking at a broken link or that I've completely failed to guess at what your question really meant.
In any event it is VERY unlikely that this is a Linux question and it is VERY likely that you should contact the help desk at whatever campus you're talking about.
It also seems like you might won't to take some extra classes in communications skills. It amazes me that anyone could write a message such as this with an apparent total ignorance of how much it assumes of the reader.
How many people out on the internet know what you mean by IUB? How many other meanings of IUB might collide with that? What campus? What "tab"? Where would I look to see that "tab" and how were you "using" it (clicking, I guessed)? What put up that little dialog box? (Your browser? MS Windows? Linux GNOME or KDE?) etc.
I probably should just delete messages like this. It's clear that I spend far more time and energy trying to understand them than the writers put into composing them.
However, there's a part of me that hopes that some of the people that read this rant will think about it. Maybe they'll re-read what they've written to some tech support guy out there and ask themselves: "Have I provided enough information that this correspondent could possibly answer my question?"

Copyright © 2000, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 55 July 2000
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Tuxtops, Inc., http://www.tuxtops.com/

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