TropicNet Internet Services Provider

Look Ma! This system ain't a PeeCee!
TropicNet can honestly beat any "good" deal you may have gotten so far from the hoopla masters!
TropicNet owns all its equipment and facilities outright, and can pass along the savings to its customers.
This is what you get to use for just 50 cents a day:


TropicNet provides Internet connectivity for client machines on the following hardware platforms:

Network and Communications

TropicNet is connected directly to the Internet via a high speed T1 link (1.544 Mbps), provided by MCI. A Cisco 4000 router is used to direct the in-house Ethernet TCP/IP network traffic to and from the Internet. To help reduce the network load and improve performance, two Ethernet 10-BaseT interfaces, connected to separate AT&T StarLAN 10 hubs (with blinking lights :-) forming in effect subnets, are used on the servers. Each subnet connects to a different Ethernet port on the Cisco router. High-speed serial ports for dial-in access are provided by 64-port SerialSmart asynchronous communications controllers for the SUN SPARC platform from GNP Computers. To ensure the quality of dial-up lines, TropicNet uses a fiberoptics cable connected directly to the BellSouth Miami Beach switch. All our dial-in modems are top of the line Microcom DeskPorte FAST+, supporting both V.34 and V.FC protocol connections at 28.8kbps.

Server Hardware

The main host is a SUN SPARCstation 10 MP, using dual 50 MHz SuperSPARC processor modules with 1 MB of e-cache each, and 512 MB of RAM. A second SUN SPARCstation 10 serves as dedicated business Web server. The third SUN SPARCstation 10 is used for handling a full USENET news feed. The fourth SUN SPARCstation 10 is a dedicated Web server for high-volume sites. A fifth SUN SPARCstation 10 is kept for special projects and as a backup machine. In an emergency, this machine could be configured to act as the main host, web server or news server, as it is unlikely that more than one server is out of order at the same time. To date, we have 51 GB of fast SCSI-2 hard disk space (Seagate and Quantum) on our servers, including two 9 GB dedicated news drives, and 1.5 GB total of RAM in 64 MB simms. Backups are performed with an 8mm Exabyte 8505XL tape drive, which can dump 5 GB of information on a single 8mm tape cartridge without data compression. An 8mm Exabyte 8500 tape drive is used for dumps on the other servers. The tape and CD-ROM drives are on another SCSI-2 Sbus controller, separated from the system disk drives. Other nice features, benefitting mostly systems staff, are 19" Sony Trinitron high resolution color consoles and GX graphics cards for Web pages development, several C-Itoh ascii terminals for system monitoring and programming, as well as other UNIX-based computers that are generally not accessible to the public.

System Software

The operating system used is a Solaris 2.4, SUN Microsystems' implementation of SVR4 UNIX. The standard O/S features were augmented with GNU utilities, including the C/C++ GNU compilers, and Perl. Shell users can chose between the traditional shells supplied with Solaris (sh, jsh, csh, ksh), or other popular shells (bash, tcsh, zsh). Those not familiar with UNIX commands can use a friendly menu interface for their system command needs. Manual pages are available online for virtually every system command. Tropic Net offers SLIP/PPP graphical interface access and a home page at no extra charge! In fact, our setup allows the user to select at login time the preferred method of system access.

Utilities and Miscellaneous Net Software

TropicNet users enjoy a wide variety of Internet information search, access, retrieval, and forwarding tools. The CERN httpd 3.0 World Wide Web server on port 80,, allows each user to create and maintain a personal homepage. Home pages can be easily created and uploaded to our server using Netscape 3.0. For those that prefer the NCSA web server, a stand-alone ncsa_httpd daemon is running on port 8080. We also support commercial Web pages for our business account customers. We support several popular packages, among them Netscape, Trumpet Winsock, telnet, Eudora, Free Agent, Archie, FTP and Gopher for Windows. Online e-mail packages include UNIX mail, elm, and pine. Users can chose from several text editors, such as vi, pico, emacs, joe. Some may prefer to communicate online using the talk, ntalk or ytalk utilities, or chat live with other users on icb and irc servers. And even though TropicNet runs the Solaris 2.4 operating system, a System V based flavor of Unix, many utilities were ported from the BSD environment. Unlike on most other systems, TropicNet users are free to select from a choice of various Unix shells, a friendly ascii menu, SLIP, or PPP when accessing the system.

With 9 GB of dedicated news storage, Tropic Net offers a full, uncensored USENET feed, accessible locally with the tass, tin, nn, rn or trn newsreaders, as well as via popular PC news readers, such as Free Agent or Netscape.

We have worked hard to offer South Florida a professional Internet access service at competitive prices. Users are encouraged to express their desires, and TropicNet will continue to tailor services based on popular demand.

[Return to the TropicNet home page]