Stephen R. Heller

USDA, ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350 USA

As a result of the interest in an article on the Internet that I wrote last year for TrAC 1, TrAC has decided to initiate a regular column on this rapidly growing phenomenon. The purpose of these columns will be to both whet your appetite for what is available on the Internet, as well as to provide some information and suggestions as to how to access the Internet, locate and retrieve this information.

Over the coming months and years a wide variety of topics will be described and discussed on these pages, with considerable depth for each topic covered. Topics will include (almost) everything you need to get connected to the Internet, the types and kinds of chemical information available on the Internet, how to find this data and information you want and need, Internet tools and providers, chemistry list-servers, the World-Wide-Web (WWW) tool, gopher, ftp (file transfer protocol), Internet etiquette, electronic publishing, electronic courses and training, electronic conferences, opinions and speculations on the direction and future of the Internet for chemistry.

One speculation 2 which has started to become a reality is the availability of catalogues. Recently Millipore has made its 1994-1995 Lab Products Catalogue available for viewing on your computer screen via the Internet 3. No doubt other vendors of laboratory and instrument equipment will make their catalogues available via the Internet. This will enable them to keep their product information up-to-date and allow customers to electronically browse for the latest equipment and best prices. It should also save a good deal of money that would otherwise have gone to printing and mailing catalogues and brochures.

One of my goals in this effort is to see if it is possible today for all articles in this column to be composed, reviewed, and submitted in final form electronically. In addition I hope to have all the articles for this column available for access via the WWW after they are published in TrAC. Details on this will be announced in an upcoming issue of TrAC.

For those readers who want to get a head start on getting onto the Internet, there are a great number of books written on the subject. Two of the better ones I have read and used are the The Internet Starter Kit for Windows 4 (which requires an IBM compatible PC and Windows) and the revised The Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog, Second Edition5.

In addition to these books there are numerous articles appearing also every month in popular PC magazines. As interest in Internet has spread a number of companies now provide software to allow dial-up access to all the features of Internet. While the speed of modem will limit the use for such dial-up access, one can still access quite a lot of information and data at 14.4 kilobaud speed. Among the software packages available for dial-up access through a PPP (Point-to-Point) or SLIP (Serial line Internet Protocol) connection which run the proper TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) connectivity are Chameleon NFS, version 4.01 for Windows 6, AIR NFS, version 3.0 for Windows 7 and TCP/Connect II, version 2.0 8 for the Macintosh (as well as a version for Windows). Of course you will need an account on a computer connected to the Internet to use this software. Such access may be available from you own organization, or you may need to open an account with a company which provides dial-up Internet access. Such companies are available throughout the USA and Europe and can be found by reading magazine and newspaper articles on Internet.

The authors who will contribute to this column will come from all areas - academia, industry, government, and providers of services. Anyone reading this should feel free to suggest topics and/or authors they feel would like to contribute to this column by sending me a message at my e-mail address:


1. S. R. Heller, "Analytical Chemistry Resources on the Internet", Trends Anal. Chem., 13 (1994)7-12.

2. See Table X in S. R. Heller, "The Future of Chemical Information Activities", J. Chem. Inf. Comput. Sci., 33 (1993) 284-291.

3. Millipore Corporation, PO Box 9162, Marlborough, MA 01752-9747. Phone: 800-645-5476. When you are connected to the Internet you can use the Mosaic, Netscape (or any equivalent WWW browser) software on your IBM PC, Macintosh, or Unix computer to access the Millipore home page (first page or table of contents) by entering the URL (Universal Resource Locator) into your WWW browser and the appropriate document will appear on your screen. Thus for the Millipore home page one would type "".

4. Adam C. Engst, et al., The Internet Starter Kit forWindows, Hayden Books (Phone: 800-428-5331), ISBN# 1-56830-094-8, $29.95.

5 Ed Krol, The Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog, Second Edition, O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. (Phone: 800-998-9938), ISBN# 1-56592-062-5.

6. Available from NetManage, Inc., 10725 North DeAnza Blvd.,Cupertino, CA 95014. Phone: 408-973-7171, FAX: 408-257-6405, E-mail:

7. Available from Spry, Inc., 316 Occidental Ave. South, Seattle,WA 98104. Phone: 206-447-0300 or 800-777-9638, FAX: 206-447-9008, E-mail:

8. Available from InterCon Systems Corporation, 950 HerndonParkway, Herndon, VA 22070. Phone: 703-709-550 or 800-468-7266, FAX: 703-709-5555,