"Christians and the Internet" newsletter
CATI, Vol. 1, No. 22:  June 2, 2000.
Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2000 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.
To subscribe, write to cati@traver.org, including "Subscribe to
CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real
name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent.  (To be
removed from the emailing list, also write to cati@traver.org,
but include "Remove from CATI List" in the Subject line.)
You may or may not be taking advantage of one of the nicest
features of CATI.  CATI is a newsletter usually filled with
lots of links to various Web sites of interest.  Yes, you can
get there from here, and it should be easy for you to do.  My
purpose right now is to make sure that you know how to do it,
You do NOT have to type in the Web address (or "URL" as it is
called in "geek-speak" -- "URL" stands for "Uniform Resource
Locator," which simply means the agreed-upon way of telling
where a specific page or file can be found on the Web).  Some
of the URLs are long and complicated, and you shouldn't be
wasting your time typing them in.  There must be an easier
way, and there is:  two of them, in fact.
The first way won't work for everyone, but it will work for
many or most people.  If you're using an appropriate email
reader to read CATI, try clicking with your mouse on the
following Web address (but do it after you finish reading
this article):
"Christians and the Internet"
If nothing happens with a single click, try double-clicking
the link (that is, the part that begins with "http://...";),
and that may work for you.
If you're using a friendly email program, you'll be taken to
that page on the Web (and, in addition, your Web browser may
be loaded in at that point if it is not already loaded).  To
return to your email program, all you have to do is to click
on the appropriate button on the Taskbar (if you are using
Windows 95 or later) or press Alt+Tab (if you happen to be
using Windows 3.x).
If it works on that address for you, it should work for any
"http://..."; address that you will find in CATI, with one
possible exception.  If the URL is super-long (more than,
say, 60 characters), the URL may show up on two lines, not
one, in your email program.  In that case, clicking (or
double-clicking) on it will probably only produce an error
message, if anything.  (Nothing bad happens:  you just don't
get there from here.)
There are a number of ways to deal with that rare situation.
What I usually do is copy the first line of the URL from
CATI, paste it into the URL bar in my Web browser, and type
in the last part of the URL by hand.  (I know, that's not a
great solution, but it's easier than typing in the whole URL
by hand.)  But ignore that suggestion for now.  Let's move
on to the second easy way to get there from here, because it
is a way anyone with access to the World Wide Web can use!
In this case, you don't start with reading CATI in your email
program.  Instead you load in your Web browser, connect to
the Internet, and go to this location:
"Christians and the Internet": Archives
Choose the appropriate issue (it may take a day or so for the
very latest issue to become available), and read CATI while
you're online.  When you see a link you want to explore, just
click it, and you'll be taken there from here.  To return to
CATI, simply click on the "Back" button on your Web browser.
If you're reading CATI online, here are another URL you may
want to explore:
"Christians and the Internet": Partial Index
Or you may want to make use of the CATI search engine (which
searches CATI only) which you find at an address that I made
mention of earlier:
"Christians and the Internet"
All of this is designed to make exploring the Web easier for
you.  Enjoy!
--Barry Traver, Editor of "CATI"
P.S. Since the Web is constantly changing, if you happen to
come across a "broken link" (that is, one that doesn't take
you to where you want to go), please let me know so that I
can fix it, if possible.  Thanks!
We'll get to the thoughts from Fred Langa in a few moments.
First, for anyone who hasn't heard about the decision, here
is a brief account from CNN (June 7, 2000):
"Judge orders Microsoft split. Final ruling in landmark
antitrust trial adopts bulk of DOJ's recommendations....
WASHINGTON (CNNfn) - ... a federal judge Wednesday ordered
Microsoft to be broken into two smaller companies to prevent
it from violating state and federal antitrust laws in the
future. In a scathing memorandum that accompanied his 14-page
decision, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson said
he was ordering the breakup because the company was totally
unwilling to admit that it had violated federal antitrust
law and has shown no willingness to modify its business
conduct.... If Judge Jackson's breakup order survives the
appeals process, it would be the largest court-initiated
split since AT&T agreed to be broken into a long distance
company and seven regional phone companies under a 1984
consent decree."
"DOJ," of course, refers to the U.S. Department of Justice
("those fine people who brought you Ruby Ridge, Waco, and
Elian's 'rescue,' I might say if I were in a somewhat cynical
mood, which, of course, I'm not).
And here's where you'll find some background, again from CNN
(this time two years earlier, May 18, 1998):
"U.S. targets Microsoft.  Justice Dept., 20 states and D.C.
slap software giant with wide antitrust suit.... NEW YORK
(CNNfn) - U.S. regulators Monday launched one of the biggest
antitrust assaults of the century, accusing Microsoft
Corp. of using its dominance in computer software to drive
competitors out of business. Reviving images of trust-busting
fervor against industrial titans like Standard Oil, AT&T and
International Business Machines, U.S. officials charged the
software giant with engaging in anticompetitive behavior."
Now, I am no great defender of Microsoft (and I'm willing to
concede that there is evidence that Microsoft violated the
Sherman Act and is guilty of particular unfair business
practices), but to me it seems at times too much like one
bully (Microsoft) being picked on by a bigger bully (the U.S.
Department of Justice, headed by Janet Reno) and somewhat of
a personal vendetta to "get Gates" (Bill Gates, who is the
CEO or "Chief Executive Officer" of Microsoft).
In short, my own personal opinion is that although Microsoft
ought to be punished for its misdeeds, splitting up Microsoft
is an extreme response that may not ultimately benefit the
consumer.  (Remember what happened when Ma Bell was broken
up?)  I do not think that the only reason why Microsoft was
successful was unfair business practices:  I think another
reason is that in the marketplace they offered something
many people freely chose to buy, because, for one reason
or another, people (consumers) were persuaded that it was
a worthwhile investment of their money.  (And other choices
were available, as Fred Langa makes clear in a moment.)
Interestingly, neither the Sherman Antitrust Act or the
subsequent Clayton Antitrust Act outlaw monopolies:  they
are only targeted toward monopolies that are gained through
predatory business practices.  I'm not arguing on behalf of
monopolies here, but just suggesting that a large reason
for Microsoft's success just might be that they produced
products people preferred.
If that is true, then the decision to break up Microsoft
rather than to punish the company in a less drastic manner
may not necessarily be beneficial to the consumer.  But
these are simply my own personal feelings on a somewhat
controversial topic, and you are free to agree or disagree
with them.  In any case, the matter is hardly settled at this
point (the judge's decision is being appealed), so we will
have to see how the story ends.
In the meantime, I think you will enjoy reading Fred Langa's
reflections on the decision to break up Microsoft.  (You were
probably wondering when I was going to get around to that!)
His comments are more interesting than mine, and he publishes
an excellent newsletter called the Langa List, which I have
often found very helpful:
Langa List Home Page
With his permission, I am including in this newsletter his
thought-provoking remarks from the June 12, 2000 issue (I
hope you enjoy them as I did):
"1) On Microsoft's Being Forced To Split:
"Wow, what an awesome day for computing! Thanks, Judge
"Just think, in today's horribly noncompetitive, Microsoft-
dominated environment, we have no real browser choices at all,
except for AwebII, Amaya, Arachne, Cello, Chimera, Grail,
HotJava, I-Com, I-View, IBrowse, InterGo, Internet Workhorse,
Lynx, Mosaic/MultiLingual Mosaic, NeoPlanet, NetCruiser,
Netscape, Mozilla, OmniWeb, Opera, Quarterdeck, Spyglass,
STiK/CAB, Sesame Navigator, SlipKnot, Softerm, Tango, Tiber,
TkWWW, UdiWWW, Voyager, WebExplorer, WebTV, iCAB, Microsoft's
Internet Explorer and a few others; or about 100 different
ones in all if you count various subtypes and versions. Thank
you, Judge Jackson, from rescuing us from this lack of choice!
"Likewise, in today's horribly noncompetitive, Microsoft-
dominated operating system environment, we are totally
*straightjacketed* into running only BeOS or FreeBSD or
FreeDOS or Solaris or OS/2 or the MacOS or the AmigaOS or any
of the many classic *NIXen or any of the approximate 50(!)
flavors of Linux--- or one of the 5 flavors of Windows in wide
circulation. I can't wait until we actually have some choices!
"Clearly, Microsoft's stranglehold on the industry has
completely stifled development of all alternative approaches
and kept prices artificially high, which is why computers
remain exotic and rare luxury purchases in the hands of only
tiny numbers of the super-rich and the technologically elite.
"Thanks to Judge Jackson's vision and courage, maybe one day
we'll reach the goal of having computers for the masses, in
every business and many homes; with hardware and software so
cheap some companies--- ISPs, for example--- will even be able
to give away complete computer systems for free, just for
signing up! And we'll finally have a choice among dozens of
browsers and dozens of operating systems, many of which won't
cost a dime. Clearly, this happy day of cheap, ubiquitous
hardware and abundant, affordable software never would happen
without Judge Jackson's brave actions.
"Er, waitaminit---it already happened? Long *before* Jackson's
"Um, Judge, can we talk?"
The preceding material is copyright (C) 2000 by Fred Langa and
was taken (with his permission) from the following newsletter:
Langa List (June 12, 2000) 
At the present time, more than half of CATI's subscribers are
ministers in the OPC, PCA, RPCNA, ARP, RCUS, or URCNA.  This
newsletter is intended equally for non-pastors, but that's
the way it has worked out at present (since a free newsletter
has no budget for advertising itself and since email addresses
of such pastors were reasonably easily accessible to me).  Thus
ministers of the gospel will probably especially be interested
in this article, but some laymen (and laywomen) may also have
an interest in the Greek New Testament.
My point is that if you have little interest in New Testament
Greek, feel free to skip this article.  If, on the other hand,
you do have an interest (or are simply curious), then keep on
reading, whether you're a minister or not, because you should
find some useful information here.
There are opportunities to learn New Testament Greek online
(or to review New Testament Greek if you learned it once but
have forgotten some of it).  Here's a very helpful list of
resources on the Web relating to the Greek New Testament,
done by a Professor at the University of Birmingham:
Greek New Testament Gateway (Dr. Mark Goodacre)
Here are the areas covered:  Learning New Testament Greek,
Greek New Testament Texts, Bibliography, Septuagint, (Greek,
Hebrew, and other), Lexica, Grammars, Language, Discussion
List, and Computer Software.  Presumably, various points of
view will be represented, but if that is understood, the
resources should be beneficial.
If you're looking for the Greek New Testament itself (and
have learned the Greek alphabet), here is my own favorite
Greek New Testament (the late Tony Fisher)
Here's how the site is described by Mark Goodacre:  "...a
new on-line Greek New Testament (N-A26), available for
browsing and searching. You can search for individual words
by base or inflected form and you can limit your search
further by specifying tense, voice, mood etc. It does not
require a Greek font to be pre-installed on your computer
and is fast and user-friendly. An excellent resource." 
I don't usually use it for searching, however.  What I like
to use it for is to read the Greek New Testament while I'm
online (and get some occasional parsing help, if needed).
Try it out.  Go to the page, click on "Select a Chapter,"
and take a look at John 1.  If you don't know Greek, you can
say, "It's Greek to me," and if you do know Greek, you can
test yourself.  Click on a word, and it will be parsed for
you.  (The English meaning is not supplied, however.  For
that, you'll have to make use of a different resource.)
Here are some comments from Tony Fisher:
"This is a browsable, Web-based interface to the Greek New
Testament (GNT). It has several distinguishing features. 
Unlike packages such as 'Logos', you don't need to install
it: if you are reading this page using any graphical web
browser (e.g. Netscape or Internet Explorer), you can browse
the GNT. You don't need any Greek fonts. The text is rendered
as images (GIF files), normally one for each verse. This gives
you good-quality text - much better than several widely-used
installable fonts - with no effort on your part. Subject to
the limitations imposed by limited bandwidth, the system is
fast.... The system does not use JavaScript, Java, client-side
image maps, or any other recent enhancement to HTML or browser
technology.... Caveat: I am a student of New Testament Greek.
I am in no sense an expert. I wrote the programs which
implement the interface in order to learn NT Greek better."
Sad to say, Tony Fisher passed away on February 29, 2000,
of cancer at the age of 43.  He was a lecturer in computer
science at the University of York, and, according to a
recent tribute, was a "genuine bearded eccentric ... loved
and respected for what he was and did":
Tribute to Tony Fisher
Fortunately, his Greek New Testament pages remain as a legacy
(at least "for the time being").  I know little about him,
but I'm encouraged to read that he was "a polymath who refused
to be appropriated by the shifting fads and politics of
academia."  At any rate, I prefer his Greek New Testament
to the others I have seen online thus far.
If you've had no instruction in New Testament Greek, you
may find it easier to learn than you expected.  You'll find
a number of approaches to learning New Testament Greek
online (see the Goodacre page for specifics), but one that
I especially like (although I don't know if I should admit
it publicly, since someone who has a Th.M. in New Testament
from Westminster Seminary should probably be recommending
something more "serious") is the approach of Jonathan Robie:
Little Greek Home Page (Jonathan Robie)
Little Greek 101: Learning New Testament Greek
As in the case with Tony Fisher's site, here also you do NOT
have to install special Greek fonts to view the Greek at the
Here are two other approaches which, however, do require that
you install a special Greek font on your computer (which is
really not that difficult to do):
Learning New Testament Greek (Corey Keating)
Elementary Greek (Dr. Jim West)
You'll find many other resources on Dr. Goodacre's Web site.
Here, however, is a resource not (yet) included in his list:
Resource Page for Greek Students (Fritz Hinrichs)
Part of the Escondido Tutorial Service site ("dedicated to
bringing classical Christian education to homeschoolers"),
this page includes a number of helpful charts and other aids
(such as a Greek alphabet song, definite articles song,
pronouns chant, John 3:16 song, and participle chant, all
presented in RealAudio!).
And here's one site where you'll find an interlinear Greek
New Testament (although here also you do need to install a
special Greek font to make good use of the site):
Interlinear Bible
Dr. Mark Goodacre describes this resource as "an attractive,
user-friendly Interlinear Bible with some special features.
In any verse displayed you can 'click on' the Greek word to
see its entry in the Lexicon."  There are other helpful
resources mentioned on his homesite, but I will let you
explore them further on your own at this point.  Again,
here's the location:
Greek New Testament Gateway (Dr. Mark Goodacre)
P.S.  For those who would like an explanation for the alphabet
soup in the first paragraph, here is what the acronyms stand
for:  OPC--Orthodox Presbyterian Church, PCA--Presbyterian
Church in America, RPCNA--Reformed Presbyterian Church of
North America, ARP--Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church,
RCUS--Reformed Church in the United States, URCNA--United
Reformed Churches in North America.  Subscribers from other
backgrounds are also very welcome, of course!
When you signed up with your online service (such as AOL) or
with an ISP ("Internet Service Provider"), you were probably
given a Web browser to use.  What you may not have been told
is that you can ordinarily use a different Web browser as an
alternative (or, for that matter, in addition, and even at
the same time, something I'll say more about at the end of
this article!).
The two most widely-used browsers are (Microsoft) Internet 
Explorer and (Netscape) Communicator/Navigator, although
many other possibilities exist, as you can see from these
Web sites where you can download your choice of Web browser:
Stroud's CWSApps: Web Browsers
Here you'll find some excellent in-depth reviews, including
the following:
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 Beta review
Netscape 6.0 Preview review
Netscape Communicator 4.72 review
NeoPlanet 5.1
Opera 4.0 Beta
TUCOWS: Browsers (Windows 95/98)
TUCOWS: Browsers (Windows 3.x)
TUCOWS: Browsers (Windows 2000)
TUCOWS: Browsers (Windows NT)
The preceding are all at one of TUCOW's Pennsylvania sites.
If you want a site that may be geographically closer to you,
you can start here:
TUCOWS: Main Starting Home Page
DaveCentral: Web Browsers
Lots of choices, with a paragraph description for each.
TUCOWS: Browsers for TUKIDS: Ages 9-12
One of the kids Web browsers you can download here is Surf
Monkey, which we looked at in CATI 1/8/3:
Family-Safe Internet: Keeping Kids Safe with Surf Monkey
My personal recommendation is that you install both Internet
Explorer and Netscape on your computer (that is, if you have
the space), and decide which you prefer.  (I personally use
both, since there are certain things each does better than
the other.  Right now I'm using Microsoft Internet Explorer
5.5 and Netscape Communicator 4.7.)  Don't waste your time
trying out lots of browsers, but it may be worthwhile to
install Internet Explorer and Netscape and perhaps to try
one or two others (such as Opera, NeoPlanet, or a browser
for the kids, such as Surf Monkey).
Many Web browsers are free, including Internet Explorer and
Netscape, but some are "shareware" (or "try before you buy")
programs, including one that has a devoted following:  Opera.
This program is popular enough, for example, that an Opera
Web Browser for Dummies book has recently been published!
Opera Web Browser for Dummies
Why would you pay for a Web browser (and Opera is not cheap:
it will cost you $35 to $39, unless you're a student, in
which case it will cost you $18 to $20)?  There are a number
of possible reasons.  You may dislike both Microsoft and
AOL/Netscape for what you may regard as unethical business
practices, and support a different company instead.  Or you
may find that Opera meets special needs not met by Internet
Explorer or Netscape.  Or (after having tried out Opera for
30 days) you may have just found that you like it better
than the "free" programs.
What does Opera have to offer?  Here are some helpful comments
from ZDNet's June 2, 2000 review of Opera 4 Beta 4:
"The strongest feature of Opera is its low system
requirements. This is one browser that will run on a 386 CPU
with 8 megs of RAM! Opera's efficiency allows you to open many
browser windows simultaneously without affecting system
performance. Here in the ZDTV Labs, our PIII test machine
may have been overkill for this browser, but we were able to
open over 70 different websites in separate windows without
any noticeable slowdown.... Opera is an efficient browser
that works well in older systems."
(PIII means Pentium III, but note again that Opera can be run
on a 386 CPU, whereas many newer Web browsers will not run on
older machines at all.)
Here are some more features of Opera, as described by ZDNet:
"Opera allows the importing of IE Favorites and Netscape
Bookmarks. Opera supports offline browsing and stores its
history, links, and cookie information in separate .dat files
that are erasable if a user wishes to start anew. Opera's
cookie management is able to block 'illegal' cookies and
erase all new cookies upon ending a session....  Opera's user
interface is elegant and customizable, which allows the user
to add or remove components for a personalized look. A hot
key for toggling Web-graphics on and off is a nice touch, as
is the zoom feature that allows you to view webpages the way
you want.... Opera's strict translation of the HTML standards
is a bonus to Web-designers looking for a single browser to
test page design. If it works in this browser, it will work
with any browser."
And here's their summary:
"This...browser offers support for many popular operating
systems. Its cost and plug-in support may discourage some
people from checking it out, but it's an excellent alternative
for people using older computers. Pros: Terrific performance
on older systems. Customizable user interface with good
features. Cons: Cost. Plug-in support requires manually
copying files to a folder."
I'm still in the 30-day trial period, but I love Opera and I
will probably register it at the end of the trial (although I
expect to be using it as a supplement to rather than as a
replacement for Internet Explorer and Netscape).  Loading of
pages and downloading of files seems to take less time with
Opera, which may be another reason to go with Opera.
But I'm not trying to talk you into Opera:  it's just one of
a number of browsers available that present an alternative to
Netscape and Internet Explorer, although it should be admitted
that some of them do "piggy-back" on -- or act as a "front
end" for -- Internet Explorer.  One example of such a program
is the currently popular NeoPlanet.  Again, don't waste a lot
of time trying out different browsers, but if you have a family
with children ages 9-12, you may want to try out one of the
browsers at the TUKIDS site mentioned above.
I mentioned earlier that you do not have to use the Web
browser you were given when you signed up with your online
service or ISP.  Rather, you should be able to use a different
Web browser instead of (or in addition to) that Web browser.
You can even have more than one Web browser running at the
same time!  (If you're running Windows, just use the Taskbar
or press Alt+Tab to switch between them.)
Here's an example of how that might work.  I was teaching a
mini-course in "Christians and the Internet" in the church
office, where the pastor had installed AOL.  As you may know,
I do not like the AOL Web browser, so here is what I did.
I logged on to AOL in the normal way, downloaded Opera (a
fast download compared to Internet Explorer or Netscape),
and installed Opera.
After that, I logged on to AOL in the normal fashion and
indicated that I wanted to browse the Web.  When I got to
the Web area, I minimized the AOL program and loaded in
Opera.  It worked great!  After I finished browsing the
Web, I closed Opera, returned to the AOL program and then
logged off.  (Incidentally, with most ISPs, you can be running
a Web browser and a separate email program such as Eudora or
Pegasus at the same time in a similar way, although I'm not
sure whether this also works on AOL.)
So you don't have to use the AOL browser or any other
specific Web browser you were given.  You do have the
choice to try others and use whatever suits you and your
family best!
This is the twenty-second issue of a free newsletter devoted
to "Christians And The Internet" ("CATI," pronounced "Katy,"
but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and the
Privacy policy:  The information in the "Christians And The 
Internet" mailing list will NOT be sold, rented, or given to
others.  (Let them make their own lists! <grin>)
Past issues:  you'll find archives of past issues of CATI
available online at http://traver.org/cati/ .  ("It's not a
pretty site," but hopefully it may be a useful one.)
Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2000 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.
To subscribe, write to cati@traver.org, including "Subscribe to
CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real
name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent.  (To be
removed from the emailing list, also write to cati@traver.org,
but include "Remove from CATI List" in the Subject line.)