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WebSkulker's tutorial on
getting a domain name cheaply
The following information was revised on 6/6/2000 to reflect minor
changes at joker.com and myinternet.com:
Today's issue will be a step-by-step tutorial on establishing your own
Internet domain name, www.yourname.com, for a total of $11, and
directing that name for free to a web site that you already own under
a different name. This will also work to direct your domain name
to a web server running on your own machine provided that you have a
static IP address, or you can even combine this technique with the one
given in the 2/18/2000
issue about services that will direct a name to your
current dynamic IP address.
Suppose you have a geocities site under their naming system, or suppose
your ISP gives you free web space, but as a subdirectory under their
name. There are services that will give you a simpler name such as
http://come.to/yourname, but that isn't anywhere near the same as
getting http://www.yourname.com (or .net or .org).
Note: you must have a Visa, Mastercard, Amex, or Diner's Club card to
pay for the registration (a debit card should work as long as it has one
of these logos). If you don't have a card, don't waste your time doing the
to be disappointed when they ask how you want to pay.
Go to http://www.joker.com
which is a discount registration service located in Germany.
Even though they are in Germany, you can register a U.S. .com,
.net, or .org domain through them for approximately $11 U.S. per
year (the price fluctuates from day to day with the exchange rate)
and they allow a one-year minimum rather than the two-years of
most other registries. You can, therefore, establish your
domain name for a total of $11 ! They will send you an
invoice a year later for another $11.
The first time you use joker.com, you must
register yourself by giving them an email address and password
that you will use to establish and modify domain names. This
registration is free and quite easy; just click on the Register
Yourself link at the upper-left of their page.
Once you are registered, click on the Order a
Domain link on their home page. Log in using the email
address and password that you just registered.
You will get a screen that lets you check up to
four names at once to see if they are available. If you want
to check www.fredthephreak.com, enter only the main word,
fredthephreak. Enter up to four words and press OK.
The name can be up to 63 characters long with any combination of
letters, numbers and dashes (no other punctuation), except that
dashes can't be the first or last character. Don't choose a
name that is too close to a trademarked business or the name of a
famous person. Don't choose a name that is so close to
another web site that people will get confused about which is
For each word that you entered, you will get three
lines telling you whether the .com, .net, and .org versions of
that name are available, with a box in front of the available ones
to check if you want that one. If you don't like what's
available, go back to the previous screen and enter up to four
more names. Check as many available names as you want, but
remember the $11 charge to order each one. The
default registration period is one year. If you are positive
that you will always want this name and don't want to be bothered
making a renewal payment a year from now, drop down the
Registration Period list and choose a longer number of years, but
you will have to pay for that number of years right now.
After checking at least one box, press
Continue. You will get a screen verifying the one or more
name(s) that you checked, and asking how you want to do the
registration. Don't worry about the details, just trust
WebSkulker and press the Go Advanced button. Note
that the prices shown here are in German currency, not U.S., and
you will have an option later on to get out of paying the VAT tax.
After pressing the Go Advanced button, you will
get a big form asking lots of questions. It isn't that
hard. The first question is Owner Contact/Agent. If
this is the first time you have used joker.com, you will not
have a CORE Handle (this is not the same thing as the
userid you entered above). Therefore you must click on the
link Provide Contact Information. (For the future, note that
when you complete this registration you will be assigned a CORE
Handle that is an abbreviation of your information, and you can
use that next time you register a domain to simplify the process.)
After pressing Provide Contact Information, fill
out the information form and press Continue Order at the
bottom. This information should be accurate, as it will be
used to send renewal notices and invoices, as well as a way to
contact you if there are any problems.
Don't do anything about the questions
Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact and
Billing Contact. The default check mark, Same as Owner
Contact, is fine.
Here's the tricky one and you must have faith in
WebSkulker and type precisely what he says even though you won't
understand it. Proofread carefully as every character
counts! For the DNS-Service question, click on the link
Provide DNS Information. You will get a DNS Information
Form. Fill it in exactly like this, including the word
"mydomain" as shown. This is meant to be typed
literally, not substituted with your new name:
Primary DNS IP Name: ns1.mydomain.com
Primary DNS IP Number: 184.108.40.206
Secondary DNS IP Name: ns2.mydomain.com
Secondary DNS IP Number: 220.127.116.11
Press Continue Order at the bottom.
This will take you back to the main order form. Press
Continue Order at the bottom of that. If you get any error
messages, go back and fix whatever it is.
If there are no errors, you will get a screen
confirming your information. Press Continue Order yet again
if everything looks OK.
Now for the money part. Press the choice
Outside the European Union to eliminate the VAT tax. Fill in
your credit (or Visa/Mastercard debit) card information at the
bottom, read the Registration Agreement and Dispute Policy if you
want, and press the I Agree button at the bottom.
If everything is OK, you will get an email message
a few minutes later saying that your registration is pending, and
a few hours later a second email saying that it is complete.
This second email is also your invoice for the money.
You now have your name registered, but it won't go
anywhere or do anything. We will now register with a second
company that provides free DNS, site redirection, and email
Go to http://www.myinternet.com
When you are at the myinternet site, click on Sign
Up Now at the upper right-hand corner. Read the Terms and
Conditions, check I Agree, and press Continue.
Fill out the Customer Information form. The
first field is what you want as your userid, not necessarily your
personal name because you enter that later. Press Continue
at the bottom. Answer the next question and press
Continue. If the confirmation screen looks correct, press
They will send you an email message several
minutes later with a starting password. Go back to www.myinternet.com
and login as the email instructed. Note that the Login ID
is your email address! The first time you log in, you
might want to go to the MyAccount section and change your password
to something you choose yourself.
The next step is to tell myinternet.com about the
name you just registered with joker.com, but you can't do it
now because the DNS information for your new name won't be seen by
Internet routers around the world until many, many hours later.
For now, just look around the myinternet.com site and read the
information about what you can do.
After you get the second email (the invoice) from
joker.com, wait about a day and a half (seriously, you need to
wait that long) and then go back to
myinternet.com and login.
Click the MyDomain button at the top. Click
Register/Move Domains on the left. Read the first paragraph
and notice that we didn't really have to do all that joker.com
stuff because myinternet.com would have registered the name for
you. But they would have charged $70 up front for a two-year
minimum whereas you got the name for $11 up front.
Click Move .COM .NET .ORG at the left. Enter
your new domain name (no www prefix, just the yourname.com part)
and press Submit. If your new name is ready and visible to
myinternet.com, you will get a form called Move Information
Review; if you see that, press Submit to go on. If
you get an error message that the domain is "not registered
or currently on hold" then you didn't wait long enough.
Come back and try this again a few hours later. It should
eventually see your new name and let you continue.
You should now have a page titled
"Instructions for completing domain moves" Ignore
all of this; you don't need to do anything because you already put
in the mydns.com server information above in step 10. Your
domain is already "moved" to their service. They
will also send you an email at this point with the same
instructions. Ignore that email; you don't need to do
You now must wait up to several minutes for their
server to analyze your domain and incorporate it into their
service. Try to do the following, but if your domain name
doesn't show up, keep waiting and try again a minute later.
Click on the Domain Manager link at the left and
wait for the menus to change. If you currently have
a web site under geocities, your ISP, or some other ugly name,
choose WebSite Redirection at the left, read the instructions, and
fill out the information about your site name. If you
currently have a web server running on your own machine, choose
Domain Pointing at the left, read the instructions, and fill out
the information about your IP address.
You're almost done. The last thing to
configure is how you want email sent to your new domain to get
forwarded. Neither joker.com nor myinternet.com provide you
with a mailbox; you must already have one or more email addresses
somewhere else, and myinternet.com will forward email as you
specify. Most people will probably just use the Email
CatchAll function at the left to say that all email going to
yourname.com should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org, or
whatever. But you can be a little more specific and use the
Email Forwarding function also. This lets you specify that
email to email@example.com should go to one email address, email
to firstname.lastname@example.org should go to another address, etc. You
can still set a catchall to show where mail to other addresses on
your domain should go.
Note that the changes you make may not be seen by
the routers around the rest of the Internet until hours, possible
a day or two, later so don't tell anyone about your new domain
made WebSkulker laugh
The Global Village
KABINDA, ZAIRE--In a move IBM offices are hailing as a major step in the company's ongoing worldwide telecommunications revolution, M'wana Ndeti, a member of Zaire's Bantu tribe, used an IBM global uplink network modem yesterday to crush a nut.
Ndeti, who spent 20 minutes trying to open the nut by hand, easily cracked it open by smashing it repeatedly with the powerful modem.
"I could not crush the nut by myself," said the 47-year-old Ndeti, who added the savory nut to a thick, peanut-based soup minutes later. "With IBM's help, I was able to break it." Ndeti discovered the
nut-breaking 28.8 V.34 modem yesterday, when IBM was shooting a commercial in his southwestern Zaire village. During a break in shooting, which shows African villagers eagerly teleconferencing via computer with Japanese schoolchildren, Ndeti snuck onto the set and took the modem, which he believed would serve well as a "smashing" utensil.
IBM officials were not surprised the longtime computer giant was able to provide Ndeti with practical solutions to his everyday problems. "Our telecommunications systems offer people all over the world global networking solutions that fit their specific needs," said Herbert Ross, IBM's director of marketing. "Whether you're a nun cloistered in an Italian abbey or an Aborigine in Australia's Great Sandy Desert, IBM has the ideas to get you where you want to go today."
According to Ndeti, of the modem's many powerful features, most impressive was its hard plastic casing, which easily sustained several minutes of vigorous pounding against a large stone. "I put the nut on a rock, and I hit it with the modem," Ndeti said. "The modem did not break. It is a good modem."
Ndeti was so impressed with the modem that he purchased a new, state-of- the-art IBM workstation, complete with a PowerPC 601 microprocessor, a quad-speed internal CD-ROM drive and three 16-bit
Ethernet networking connectors. The tribesman has already made good use of the computer system, fashioning a gazelle trap out of its wires, a boat anchor out of the monitor and a crude, but effective, weapon from its mouse.
"This is a good computer," said Ndeti, carving up a just-captured gazelle with the computer's flat, sharp internal processing device. "I am using every part of it. I will cook this gazelle on the keyboard." Hours later, Ndeti capped off his delicious gazelle dinner by smoking the computer's 200-page owner's manual.
IBM spokespeople praised Ndeti's choice of computers. "We are pleased that the Bantu people are turning to IBM for their business needs," said company CEO William Allaire. "From Kansas City to Kinshasa, IBM is bringing the world closer together. Our cutting-edge technology is truly creating a global village."
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