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Seattle Community Network FAQ

Seattle Community Network
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List
e-mail:, or cpsr-seattle @
voice-mail: (206) 365-4528
Revision: Jun 22, 1994

Q. What is the Seattle Community Network ?
A. Seattle Community Network (SCN) is a free-access community information system for the greater Seattle area. SCN is the "Free-Net" system in Seattle, and is a project of the Seattle Chapter of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR).

Q. What's a "Free-Net"?
A. "Free-Net" systems are community network systems which are affiliated with the "National Public Telecomputing Network" (NPTN). These systems are now online actively serving millions of users, in about three dozen communities worldwide. There are "Free-Net" systems in North America, Iceland, Germany, Finland, Norway, Australia, and others. For more information about Free-Nets, contact:

Q. Is the Seattle Community Network open now ?
A. Yes. It is available for limited use. This a "pilot phase" and there are some bugs left.

Q. How does one log-on to the system ?
A. You can access SCN three ways:

  1. Dial-up: Call the Seattle Public Library system at 386-4140 and type "scn" at the DYNIX "login" prompt, then type "visitor" at the SCN "login" prompt, or ...
  2. Internet: Telnet to and type "visitor" at the SCN "login" prompt, or ...
  3. In-library: you can now access the Seattle Community Network from patron terminals in the Seattle Public Library, on the "Internet" menu page. You can also access SCN through the King County Library System.

Q. What communication settings work for dial-up access?
A. Use 300 - 2400 bits per second (bps), no parity, 8 data bits, one stop bit. (2400-8-N-1)

Q. Is TDD dial-up access available ?
A. Not yet. Please send email to let us know if TDD access would be helpful to you or someone you know.

Q. How much will using SCN cost me ?
A. There are no charges to use this system. However, since SCN costs money to run, donations are encouraged.

Q. Why do I want to be a registered user?
A. Everybody can use SCN. However, if you want to receive electronic mail (e-mail), or contribute to online discussion groups, we need to know how to contact you, therefore you need to register. If you don't register you are always welcome to use the Network as "visitor" and read all the information that is available.

Q. How do I become a registered user right now ?
A. You can request a registration packet online as a visitor to SCN. You will be registered after you read the Policy Statement, Disclaimer and Code of Etiquette, and return the signed user agreement. If you cannot login as visitor to enter your contact information online, call 365-4528 and leave your name and address to request a registration packet.

Q. Will SCN sell or release my name and address to any other organization?
A. No. It is against the policy of the Seattle Community Network to release the registered user list to any other organization.

Q. Is SCN run by the Seattle Public Library?
A. No. The Seattle Public Library may provide information or facilitate discussion on topics such as public process through the Seattle Community Network. The Library is interested in exploring different means for bringing information to the community. SCN and SPL have signed a working agreement for a year-long pilot project.

Q. What is the relationship of SCN to the City of Seattle "Public Access Network" (or PAN) project?
A. PAN is a project initiated by Roger Iida and Lenny Roberts of Seattle's Department of Administrative Services and Craig Buthod of the Seattle Public Library. It is scheduled to be operational in the Summer of 1994. The PAN project is designed to provide access to government information and we at SCN are very interested in working closely with the city to make these capabilities widely available.

Q. What hardware is SCN using?
A. We currently are using a 486/33 with 20 MB of RAM and 1.2 GB of disk storage. We plan to upgrade this system as soon as we have a donation or funds available.

Q. What software are you using?
A. We are running the FreePort community networking software that is used in many "Free-Net" sites around the world. It was written by a team at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. The operating system is BSDI Unix.

Q. What access to the Internet do you provide?
A. SCN provides Internet electronic mail (e-mail) services to all registered users.

Q. When will e-mail be available?
A. You can use e-mail as soon as you become a registered user (see above).

Q. What volunteer opportunities are available?
A. We're glad you asked that question! SCN is run entirely by volunteers. We always need more. We are looking for volunteers to help train users, run the system, help with administrative chores, coordinate activities, and write grant proposals, among other things. Contact information for SCN is shown at the top of this document.

Q. My organization would like to provide information to the system. How can we make this happen ?
A. Contact our SCN information-provider focal point Nancy Kunitsugu ( by email, and let us know what your organization is and who we should contact. You can also e-mail cpsr-seattle @ , or call 365-4528 and leave a voice message.

Q. We'd like to use this system but we don't have access to computers. What should we do ?
A. You can use SCN in any Seattle Public Library branch. SCN is on menus on at least one patron terminal at every Seattle Public Library branch. We are also available in all the King County Library System branches. Also, if you are part of a non-profit group that could benefit from SCN access, and have no computers, let us know -- we may be able to help.

Q. I may have some hardware to donate. What does SCN need ?
A. We need async terminals, large capacity SCSI disk drives (>500 MB), memory (16MB of 60ns SIMMS), 486DX/50 CPU upgrade, terminal server, modems (2400-14.4kbps), and a second CPU (486DX/50 preferred).
We also need donations of computers, printers, and modems for community organizations that want to be information providers. If you have equipment to donate, please send e-mail to Sharma Oliver (email:, or phone 363-9404) or Dave Barts (email:, or call 365-4528 to leave a message.

Q. I'd like to donate money to SCN. Is my contribution tax-deductible ?
A. Yes! As Free-Net founder, Tom Grundner, said, "Free-Nets are inexpensive but they aren't free." We rely on donations from individuals and businesses. A donation of any size is welcome! SCN is a project of the Seattle chapter of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), a tax-exempt educational 501(c)(3) organization, thus all contributions are tax-deductible.

Q. Do you have public project meetings? Where and when are they held ?
A. SCN volunteers meet monthly on the fourth Wednesday at 7:00 PM. We meet in the basement level meeting room of the Seattle Public Library University branch (on the corner of Roosevelt Way NE at NE 50th St. in the University district of Seattle). Please enter by the south side door, on the 50th St. side of the building.

Q. How can I contact people at SCN ?
A. There are lots of options. You can send an email message to You can leave a message on our voice-mail system (365-4528) and we'll call you back. You can also send e-mail to SCN committee focal points:

General Info - (Help, Info, Bug Reports)
Nancy Kunitsugu - (Services committee)
Doug Schuler- doug.schuler @ (Outreach committee)
Aki Namioka - aki @ (Policy committee)
Dave Barts - (Hardware/Software)

tagged by gene chung-ngai moy, CPSR-LA. Flastmod 12:47 AM PST on 11/11/96. C/S.

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