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This MausNet description is for English speaking users who have heard of the German MausNet (in Germany, nearly all electronic conversations about Atari are on the MausNet!) and want to know more about it. Of course it's no real alternative to any kind of mailbox system out of Germany (high telephone prices and only German-speaking newsgroups available), but maybe some of you out there just want to broaden their mind... :-)
The MausNet is a community of many mailboxes which operate all the same. The method used to exchange messages is called MausTausch ("MausExchange"). Among Program sections (German: "Programmteile") there are Newsgroups, here just called Groups (German: "Gruppen") offered. Some of these Groups are exported (thus they can be read with a newsreader from the Internet as well), others are imported (e.g. from the FidoNet or Usenet), but some are reachable only locally, too (which means in the MausNet only).
In every larger city of Germany there is such a box called MAUS which can be reached by the telephone line by modem and in most cases with ISDN (X.75) as well. For the navigation in the MAUS you need a terminal. For the actual MausTausch you should get a frontend additionally - now you can start!
Although you can use the MAUSes gratuitously for program downloads the use of all the possibilities is not for free because after all the keep and maintenance of each Maus mailbox costs quite a lot. But instead of paying for the use of single MausNet boxes you only have to pay once a single sum to your home MAUS (the one which is next geographically) of about 50 to 60 DM (about 25 to 30 EUR or 30 to 40 $) and are then able to use all the services of the MausNet for whole a year:
But that's not all by far: Regardless of whether you are enrolled in the MausNet; as a user ("payer") or not - you can use both all pubilc and group program sections. That means you can dial into one of the many MausNet; boxes spread all over Germany by terminal and download the latest programs from there. Thus, you're always up-to-date!
April 3, 1999