The Music Network
This month Paul Gilby explains how readers of Sound On Sound in Europe can access TMN from the data networks of their own countries and break down those European barriers now!
When The Music Network was conceived it was designed as a truly European network, with the idea of involving musicians from other countries. This was a relatively simple goal to achieve as the main requirement was to connect TMN's computer into the International Data Network system. This connection allows anyone who can access this international system to send an electronic mail message to users on TMN and to log onto the system direct. So how do you go on-line to TMN from any European country?
As users of TMN in the UK will be aware, to access the system you dial your local PSS phone number and go through the log on procedure. This provides a very cost-effective method of accessing TMN at local phone call rates. Well believe it or not, it's practically the same process for users throughout Europe. Luckily, the telephone system operators have actually agreed to do things in a similar way, which in turn makes data transfer across Europe, and indeed the world, fairly straightforward. So if you live in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, etc, this is what you need to do to access The Music Network.
First you must have what is known as an NUI (Network User Identity), which you will have to subscribe to in your own country (see contact numbers at the end). You do this by contacting your own country's telephone company, eg. in France this would be Intelcomfrance and in Germany, Deutsche Bundespost Fernmeldetechnisches Zentralamt. You then need to join The Music Network, who will issue you with a TMN user identity and password.
You are then ready to go on-line. Here's what to do: Dial your local data network node (the phone number should have come with your NUI). When you have entered your NUI password the computer should ask you for an NUA (Network User Address) or DNIC (Data Network Identity Code). You should now type the number that come with your user manual from TMN. This is the data address of the TMN computer in London. Some systems require you to put some other characters or number before the main number, but this varies from country to country. Again, this information will come with your NUI.
Having typed the NUA number you should see the log-in prompt of TMN. Here you type your user name (eg. sos) and your password as issued by TMN (the screen will show the letters xxx in place of the actual password as you type). You should then see the standard TMN 'Welcome' screen, and you're on! It's as simple as that.
The idea of placing expensive long-distance international phone calls has never appealed to anyone. The beauty of having your own NUI is that you can dial a local number in your own country and only be charged for the time you are accessing the local data node. This is obviously a lot cheaper than a phone call to London from Paris, Frankfurt, Oslo or wherever. The only additional charges are for data transfer, which is billed to you for the use of the NUI by your own country's telephone company, and the charges for using TMN, which for European access is only 9 pence Sterling per minute.
We'd really like to see more Euro musicians on TMN, where you can read all the latest news in the sos.news conference as well as access many other interesting and useful services. People are already doing it and, in fact, TMN has a Japanese user who is successfully using the system to keep in touch with his head office in Japan - and that's even further away!
Next month we'll be staying at home in the UK and explaining how to send mail messages to TMN from other email systems in Britain. So, if you already use Telecom Gold, Microlink or Esi Street and you want to send and receive mail from users on The Music Network, don't miss next month's issue of Sound On Sound.
TMN is soon to be featured in Telecom World, British Telecom's quarterly magazine which deals with the innovative use of telecommunications systems in Britain. Telecom World expressed great interest in what TMN is doing and commissioned an article for their magazine which is circulated to all major telecommunications suppliers and service companies.
The story doesn't stop there. We asked the boys at BT Telecom World if TMN could email the article straight to the magazine: there was a brief silence, followed by a rather embarrassed "we don't have email" reply. "OK," we said, "we'll send it on disk for your word processor." More silence. "We don't have any word processors either - but we've got a fax!" We didn't bother asking about DTP. Anyway, TMN is grateful for the publicity nevertheless.
If you missed the recent APRS show at Olympia, you can read a report on the show in the sos.news conference. Amongst other things the article covers the developments in digital and analogue recording technology.
The Music Network, (Contact Details).
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