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Beginners' Series #3 Part 1

How to Get a *Good* Shell Account
In this Guide you will learn how to:
· tell whether you may already have a Unix shell account
· get a shell account
· log in to your shell account

(When I wrote this, it was easy to get a good shell account. Today, it is almost impossible. This is because it is easy to do destructive hacking from a shell account. If you are unable to get a good shell account, install some sort of Unix on your home computer, and use the shell accounts you own computer offers. Linux is easiest to install. Also, people keep on writing me complaining that free shell accounts won't let them do anything. Duh -- guess why they are free? However, if you can get a shell account from an ISP, they are more fun than one on your home computer because you can meet other hackers on a shell server -- give the command "w" or "who" to see who's online, then give the command "talk <username>" substituting the user name of the person you'd like to talk to.)

You've fixed up your Windows box to boot up with a lurid hacker logo. You've renamed "Recycle Bin" "Hidden Haxor Secrets." When you run Netscape or Internet Explorer, instead of that boring corporate logo, you have a full-color animated Mozilla destroying New York City. Now your friends and neighbors are terrified and impressed.

But in your heart of hearts you know Windows is scorned by elite hackers. You keep on seeing their hairy exploit programs and almost every one of them requires the Unix operating system. You realize that when it comes to messing with computer networks, Unix is the most powerful operating system on the planet. You have developed a burning desire to become one of those Unix wizards yourself. Yes, you're ready for the next step.

You're ready for a shell account. SHELL ACCOUNT!!!!
Newbie note: A shell account allows you to use your home computer as a terminal on which you can give commands to a computer running Unix. The "shell" is the program that translates your keystrokes into Unix commands. With the right shell account you can enjoy the use of a far more powerful workstation than you could ever dream of affording to own yourself. It also is a great stepping stone to the day when you will be running some form of Unix on your home computer.
Once upon a time the most common way to get on the Internet was through a Unix shell account. But nowadays everybody and his brother are on the Internet. Almost all these swarms of surfers want just two things: the Web, and email. To get the pretty pictures of today's Web, the average Internet consumer wants a mere PPP (point to point) connection account. They wouldn't know a Unix command if it hit them in the snoot. So nowadays almost the only people who want shell accounts are us wannabe hackers.

The problem is that you used to be able to simply phone an ISP, say "I'd like a shell account," and they would give it to you just like that. But nowadays, especially if you sound like a teenage male, you'll run into something like this:

ISP guy: "You want a shell account? What for?"

Hacker dude: "Um, well, I like Unix."

"Like Unix, huh? You're a hacker, aren't you!" Slam, ISP guy hangs up on you.

More how to get a good shell account--->>

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