Express Mail: Searching For Relief From Bitnet

Spending too much time on electronic mail, lately? Maybe Binet is the culprit—and maybe you’d like an alternative. Among scientists in academia who’ve been bitten by the E-mail bug, Bitnet appears to have emerged as the transmitting/receiving network of choice. Since it’s a network run by a consortium of academic institutions, it’s private----essentially only other academics may use it. And virtually all academic institutions—and the National Science Foun

Barry Simon
Mar 19, 1989

Spending too much time on electronic mail, lately? Maybe Binet is the culprit—and maybe you’d like an alternative.

Among scientists in academia who’ve been bitten by the E-mail bug, Bitnet appears to have emerged as the transmitting/receiving network of choice. Since it’s a network run by a consortium of academic institutions, it’s private----essentially only other academics may use it. And virtually all academic institutions—and the National Science Foundation—are on it.

And best of all, for the end-user, it’s free. Its costs are covered by the participating institutions. No wonder its use has spread like a computer virus through the academic community.

Drawbacks

Not that it’s destructive in the sense that a virus is, but it does have its drawbacks. Some scientists, for example, find themselves spending—rather than saving—a lot of time on E-mail due to Bitnet, a frustration attributable in large part to Bitnet’s poor interface with desktop PCs.

Not...