You suddenly decide to attend the Summer Olympics in Atlanta _ the Games start Friday.
You don't have tickets, lodging, transportation or the slightest idea where the venues are. Don't fret. The World Wide Web and online services are loaded with thousands of helpful pages that can get you there, find tickets and lodging and locate the venues and schedules.
The best bet is to start with the AltaVista search engine. Use the keywords "1996 Atlanta Olympics" or "1996 Summer Games" or "1996 Olympics." Don't use "and" or "or" in the search terms. Each term brings about 40,000 hits to the screen, which should provide any Olympic latecomer with the answers.
An AltaVista search turned up hundreds of lodging sites, including lofts, town houses, apartments, rooms and even a mansion or two available for rent. Some are in Atlanta while others are close by or at outlying venues.
Surf to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Schedule site for a comprehensive look at the sport, venue, date, starting time and ticket prices. The Atlanta Olympics 1996 page provides television schedules sorted by day.
IBM has the official Summer Games homepage featuring the sights and sounds of the Olympics, daily news and features and a search engine. It also has another page listing available tickets and offering athlete profiles and an athlete e-mail feature. Incidentally, you don't need Netscape to visit these sites; most any browser will do. Netscape adds animation and sound to the pages.
Discovery Channel Online is another comprehensive site for English- or Spanish-speaking surfers. It also features e-mail to the athletes, a bulletin board, live online chat with the athletes and live daily updates.
America Online, MSN, Prodigy, CompuServe and other online servers offer Olympic pages, some through NBC, which will televise the Games, and others through GNN and ESPN SportsZone.
_ Phil Gulick can be reached by e-mail at Xerxes6aol.com, Xerxes6msn.com and Xerxesworldnet.com.
The Olympics on the Web
Olympics Schedule: (http://www.tribnet. com/olysked.htm). The sport, venue, date and starting time and ticket prices.
Atlanta Olympics 1996: (http://www.mediacity.com.sg /tvct/tv12/olympics/menu.htm). A listing of the NBC schedule.
1996 Olympics: (http://www.atlanta.olympic.org/). IBM's official Olympic homepage with news, venues and a search feature.
Discovery Channel Online: (http://www.discovery.com). E-mail the athletes, live online chat with athletes, daily live updates, in English or Spanish.
SportsLine: (http://www.sportsline.com /u/olympics/index.html). Columnist Ray Buck takes a tour of some of Hotlanta's hottest nightspots. Select an event, too.
NBC: (http://www.olympic.nbc.com). Broadcast schedule, athlete profiles and other features.
Rental properties: (http://www.cpgs.com/reis/atlanta.htm). Rentals in Atlanta, midtown, Buckhead and the Decatur areas.
Rental properties: (http://www.cpgs.com/reis/conyers.htm). More rentals in the Conyers area.
Rental properties: (http://www.cpgs.com/reis/southsid.htm). Rentals south of Atlanta.
AltaVista search engine: (http://altavista.digital.com). Will find thousands of other sites.