The Fanciful Navigator
(FNav) is a suite individual programs called "clients." The Fanciful
Navigator is a customized version of Wildcat Navigator for Windows. Each client offers its
own set of special features. This page contains several "thumbnail" pictures
of the clients. Almost any Winsock compliant client that does not absolutely require
a dedicated IP address will also work with Fanciful Navigator. This includes Microsoft
Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Netscape Communicator, Eudora Lite & Eudora
Pro, Pegasus Mail, WS_FTP, and many, many others.
The first part of Fanciful Navigator that you see is
the Connection Manager. The Connection Manager can keep track of your user name and
password, if you check "Remember my Password", and includes an option to
"Check for new mail at logon."
The Connection Manager allows you to connect to Fanciful Online either through a direct
dial modem connection to Fanciful Online, or through an Internet connection. You can even
switch back and forth between the two methods, connecting to a Fanciful Online over the
Internet one day, and dialing directly the next.
The connection manager is not used when a Fanciful Navigator login is initiated through
a web browser.
After the Connection Manager connects you to the site,
it turns control over to the other clients in the Fanciful Navigator suite. One of the
first clients to launch will be your web browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.02 is
shown to the right). The web browser is different from the other clients built into
Fanciful Navigator in that you may choose your own web browser (although we strongly
recommend using either Netscape version 3.0 or higher, or Microsoft Internet Explorer
version 3.0 or higher). You will use your web browser to view web pages hosted by Fanciful
Online, or to view web pages from other Internet sites.
Since the web browser is not built into Fanciful Navigator, you may need to configure
it before you begin -- be sure to follow the instructions on the
The heart and soul of most Bulletin Board Systems is the message area, and
Fanciful Online is no exception.
When you first open the Message Client, you will see a list of conference groups
available to you. Open one of the groups, and a list of individual conferences appear.
Conferences that have new mail in them will appear in bold text, while conferences without
new mail will appear in plain text. When you select a conference, you will see a list of
new messages in that conference. Double-click on a message to read it, and a new window
Unlike viewing messages in your web browser, each message does not appear as a new web
page. Instead, the interface looks much more like an Internet email program, or a
specialized word processor. Advanced options are included, such as a spell checker, a
personal address book, and automated file attachment support.
We have many files available online for you to
download if you choose, and the File Client is a simple and familiar interface to get to
them. The windows in the File Client look similar to the Explorer windows found in Windows
95 or Windows NT 4.0, with the bonus of having short textual descriptions of each of the
files available for download. When you double-click on a file, a Transfer Client
automatically handles the download, allowing you to continue working while the file is
copied to your computer.
When the Chat Client opens, you'll find chat rooms
listed, where you can talk "live" to other users on our system. It takes at
least two people to make the Chat Client worthwhile (since you'll need someone to chat
with), but the live interaction is a different experience from sending email messages back
and forth. You can even use your own private chat channel if you wish, where only the
users you choose to invite can join in. Chat becomes particularly interesting when users
from different parts of the world meet online!
If you're going to chat with someone, you're going to need to find out who is on our
system to chat with! That's where the Who's Online Client comes in. The Who's Online
Client shows you who else is connected to Fanciful Online. From the Who's Online Client,
you can page other users, or ask them to join you in a live chat session. Or, you can just
satisfy your curiosity and watch how busy Fanciful Online is as people come and go.
The text-based side of our system looks much like a conventional BBS or Telnet site, and
in fact it is. (You can even telnet directly into Fanciful Online, or dial up using a
conventional ANSI terminal program.) The Terminal Client allows you access to this
text-based system, which is identical to the system dialup callers see through an ANSI
terminal program, or that telnet users see through an ANSI telnet client. Web browser Only
users cannot access the Terminal Client, so they need to run a separate telnet client to
see this side of Fanciful Online.
Change your password, determine if others can page you for chats, and see what your
personal statistics are like in the Personal Properties Client.
Only you can decide this for certain. There are some benefits and drawbacks to using
Fanciful Navigator, and it's up to you to decide how the scales are tipped. Here's a
summary of some of the benefits and drawbacks:
- Can dial our system directly and...
- ...can connect over the Internet through a web browser
- Built-in spell checker
- Word processor-style message editing
- Built-in address book
- Automated file attachments
- Simple, consistent interface
- Can run other Winsock compliant clients, such as browsers, e-mail clients, and FTP
- Only available for Windows 3.1, Windows 95, or Windows NT
- Requires the user to install additional software (Fanciful Navigator itself)
- Requires initial configuration steps
- May require user to configure modem (if dialing directly to Fanciful Online)
You can of course choose to
access Fanciful Online using a terminal/telnet program, such as Qmodem Pro, or
Hyperterminal through the Internet.