SCN FAQ: Access to the Internet

SCN Helpdesk
Voice mail: (206) 365-4528
Modem: (206) 386-4199 or (206) 654-7044


How do I log on? What phone numbers do I call?

SCN's modem lines:
Use your modem through a terminal-emulation program to call (206) 386-4199.
Type "visitor" or your SCN user ID at the SCN login prompt.

Also see Access to SCN and SCN Public Access.

Public Internet Access Locations in King and Pierce Counties lists some places where you can use Internet computers.

On the Internet:
Telnet to and type "visitor" at the SCN login prompt.

What settings work with my modem?

Use 8 data bits, no parity and one stop bit (8-N-1 or N-8-1). For best results, set your communications program to a nominal speed somewhat higher than SCN's 33.6k bps modem speed, such as 38400 or 57600. If your phone line has call waiting, disable it first (include *70 in front of the telephone number.)

See Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Modems for more on modem settings.

Also see: Access to SCN

What access to the Internet do you provide?

SCN provides Internet electronic mail services to all registered users.

We provide links to several large, publicly accessible news servers, through which you can read messages with a Web browser. Please see the Usenet menu.

World Wide Web:
We provide the Lynx text-only Web browser. Anyone can use it. Visitors can browse all the sites linked from SCN's menus. Registered users can go directly to any address on the Web.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol):
You can download files from FTP sites with the Lynx browser. Start Lynx, type "g" (for go) and then type an FTP address. For example, "" will connect you to Microsoft's file download site. Keep in mind that your SCN account has limited file space.

SCN offers access to certain telnet sites as menu choices. For example, you can log onto some other Freenets from the SCN menus. But there isn't an open telnet prompt, because of some potential problems that might cause. If you'd like a particular telnet site added to the menus, please ask to add it.

Do you offer PPP, so I can use Mozilla or Internet-Explorer?

No, but there may be a locally available free ISP that does.

We don't have access to computers. What should we do?

You can use SCN in any Seattle Public Library branch. SCN is also available in all King County Library System branches, and in some other public libraries in western Washington. Also, if you are part of a nonprofit group that could benefit from SCN access, and have no computers, let us know. We may be able to help.

Can I use FTP?

You can download files from FTP sites with SCN's Lynx browser, but regular SCN user accounts do not have access to transfer files otherwise with FTP. You'll have to use one of the protocols on the Freeport file transfer menu (Freeport shortcut commands: "go upload" or "go download"). For example, you can transfer files with Zmodem or Kermit via telnet or a dial-up connection using a telnet or terminal-emulation program with that capability. (See the Terminal Settings and Telnet Programs page.) Note: SCN Information Provider accounts can use FTP to transfer files.

Can I use telnet?

If you have a Seattle Public Library card, you can use the Library's Lynx browser to go to a telnet site. To use Lynx for this, login to SPL with your library card number, pick "Internet Resources" from the menu, start the Lynx browser, type "g" (for go) and type a telnet address. For example, the address "telnet://" lets North Seattle Community College students check their NSCC e-mail and do some classwork from home. In Olympia and southwest Washington, the Timberland Regional Library also offers telnet access through Lynx.

Why don't you offer IRC?

SCN doesn't have the resources to run IRC or chat, even though many people would like to see it. To participate in on-line chat, see the list of Web-based chat sites in SCN's Internet Guide.

Why don't you have more phone lines?

SCN depends on voluntary contributions, and not everyone can contribute, so there aren't many phone lines compared to the thousands of users. SCN's budget is only a few dollars per user per year. This has to cover everything, including the phone lines.

Individuals, businesses and organizations can sponsor phone lines. We welcome such contributions, to help us provide better access for people without other means to access the Internet. If you would like to sponsor a phone line (your name and a four-line message are displayed to people who call in on that line), please see How to Contribute to SCN.

Is TDD dial-up access available?

No, but we can offer help to the deaf by e-mail. Please let us know if you or someone you know needs more help with this.

Updated March 24th, 2004 -