Date:         Wed, 24 May 2000 02:21:36 +0000
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 23 May 2000 - Surf Report
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Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII
              TOURBUS Volume 5, Number 94 -- 11 May 2000
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       \___/  \___/  T h e   I n t e r n e t   T o u r B u s    \___/
       FIVE YEARS of Searchable Archives at !!
                   TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPIC: Surf Report
Hi again!  In today's issue we'll visit somes sites that'll help you
figure out why the Internet is sometimes slow, then we'll check out
some ways to boost your speed online.  If you've ever wondered why
"surfing the web" is sometimes more like "pushing a fully loaded
dogsled through the desert" then you'll enjoy this one!
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for bringing you this issue of Tourbus.  Stop in and check 'em out!
The Internet Traffic Report monitors the flow of data around the
world.  Visit this page and you'll find a map of the world labelled
with numbers between zero and 100.  Higher values indicate faster and
more reliable connections.  As I write this, the global index is
sitting at 58.  The last time I visited, it was 56, so I guess that's
an improvement.
If you're having trouble accessing a particular website, check the
Internet Traffic Report, so you can determine if your problems are
global or local.  You'll also find a Global Traffic Index, Global
Response Time Index, and a Global Packet Loss chart.  Each has 7-day and
30-day graphs so you can check out Internet performance from the recent
past.  (It would be nice to see data from one, two or five years ago,
but I couldn't find it there.)
  Traffic Report - 
This is similar to the Traffic Report, but the data is displayed
differently.  This site uses Java to present ongoing animated scans of
conditions within the Internet. Sort of like newspaper or TV weather
radar reports, but it's about conditions inside the Internet itself.
Trouble spots are highlighted with larger circles.  I found the data on
this site harder to interpret, but more fun to watch!
John Quarterman and his pals at MIDS (Matrix Information & Directory
Services) deserve some kind of award for keeping this service up to
date since 1993!
  Weather Report - 
Traceroute checks the path between two Internet sites to see exactly
where the bottlenecks are.  Yesterday, I was having trouble getting to
the FlowersFast site.  I was ready to blame my host ISP, but a quick
traceroute showed the problem was a very slow UUNET link near Chicago.
The best way to do Traceroute is to run it from your own computer,
or on your ISP's server.  If you have Windows or some version of Unix
you can use the commands below to check the route between your ISP
and the site in question:
   WINDOWS: tracert
   UNIX:    traceroute
I also recommend the NeoTrace program for Windows users.  It gives
an awesome graphical real-time display of the links from here to there
and does color coding for link speeds, and displays special icons for
different types of sites and countries.  Very slick!
  NeoTrace - 
For Mac users, there is IPNetMonitor or WhatRoute which you can find
at these sites:    
If you can't run traceroute from your own computer, the next best
thing is to visit the website below and find a location close to you
so you can see the results of a traceroute from that site to the site
you want to check out.
  WWW Traceroute - 
You'll learn a lot about the topology of the Net, and the backbone
providers who make it all work, if you examine the results of several
traceroute queries.
Dipstick is a little Windows program that helps you figure out the
best download site when you're ready to download a file, but there
are multiple sites listed.  Just drag and drop the URL to see which
download site is fastest.  This can save you a lot of time if you're
going to download a large file, since some sites are much busier
than others.
   Dipstick - 
Want to know how fast you REALLY are surfing?  The folks at MSN's
Computing Central have created a free Bandwith Speed Test at 
Besides telling you the actual speed of your Internet connection, the
Bandwith Speed Test page also has a question and answer section that
explains where and why slowdowns occur with Internet connections, and
what you can do to make things faster.
Remember the old Star Trek episodes where they hit Warp 10, and
Scotty tells Captain Kirk "Ah doon't know how much loonger ah can
hold 'er together Cap'n"?  That really has nothing to do with this
next section, but it's always good to reminisce about old Star Trek
MTUSPEED is utility that helps you optimize your Win95 Internet
connection.  Turns out the Microsoft defaults work well for LAN
users, but are not so great for dialup users.  Let MTUSPEED tweak
your Windows registry and you'll probably get a boost of 30% or more.
NOTE: If you use a Mac or Windows 98, you don't need this utility.
NETSONIC is a web accelerator that tries to speed up your surfing
by guessing where you'll go next.  NetsSonic is for Windows.  If you
can find a similar Mac web accelerator, let me know!
  NetSonic - 
Hope this helps you go faster, or at least understand why things
can be slow sometimes.  See you next time!  --Bob Rankin
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
=====================[ Tourbus Rider Information ]===================

   The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2238
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