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Workshop: Saturday 30th November, 2 - 4 p.m.

International Exchange through Email and PeaceNet

Only a few people attended but we exchanged information on our
experiences and the potential of communications using computers and

Monica explained how email had helped the organisers of the
conference. Using a computer and a modem to transmit information
over telephone lines is much quicker and more reliable than using
postal services. But unlike telephoning one does not need to worry
about time zones or language and it is much cheaper. It made
communicating with the United States quick and easy and
communication with Russia possible. Fax has similar advantages but a
modem and email are more flexible.

All sorts of information can be transmitted and accessed. The
Internet, a global network of interconnected computers, makes it
possible to look at publicly available information - it's like being
able to walk into a public library. And like a big library, there is
lots of material available and it can be confusing or difficult to
find the relevant information. There are various software tools to
enable one to browse, surf or search for specific information. In
addition there are lists of sites on the World Wide Web (part of the
Internet) containing information pertinent to particular subjects.
Many organisations have their own Web sites on which they publish
details of their activities and copies of their publications.

To use email and access the Internet one needs a computer, a
telephone, a device called a modem which links the two and the
relevant software. One also needs to subscribe to a service provider
which acts as the telephone exchange. There are many service
providers all of whom enable one to send and receive email and to
access the Internet. Many also provide one with space for one's own
Web site and some provide access to discussion groups or
conferences. Generally they provide a local telephone number so one
does not have to make a long distance phone call but this varies
from country to country.

Many Internet providers are large commercial concerns but the
Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is designed
specifically for environmental, peace, human rights and development
groups. It links up computer networks dedicated to providing
low-cost and advanced computer communications services in order to
improve networking and information-sharing among organisations and
individuals working for these issues. The U.K. member of APC is
GreenNet (77 White Lion Street, London N1 9PF; tel: 0171-713 1941,
fax 0171-836 5551, email [email protected]). APC has member
networks in the United States (PeaceNet), Canada (Web), Australia
(Pegasus), Germany (ComLink), Russia (GlasNet) and many other

Monica Frisch