to the Internet
2) Web Directories
3) Search Engines
4) Understanding a URL
5) Five Types of Webpages
6) Evaluation Criteria
to the Internet
The Internet is a vast, worldwide network of interconnected
computers, actually a network of networks that are constantly exchanging
data. This giant network links large corporate and government computers, universities,
and personal computers through telephone and cable systems.
In 1960 the U.S. Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects
Agency (ARPA) funded a project to link computers together
through telephone hookups. ARPA was interested in developing a secure military research system that
could withstand power outages. Previously, ARPA had relied on one line to
link its computers together. If one computer went down, the entire
network would fail.
researchers developed a new software program called Internet Protocol
(IP) that sent data in packets through a network of communication lines.
Packets carried bits of information from one network node to another.
Once these bits of information reached their destination, a computer on
the other end was able to reconstruct the information. The scientists who developed the Internet did
most of their work at universities. They discovered new ways to communicate
electronically; one of these new means of electronic communication was
How it Evolved
The National Science Foundation developed five supercomputer networks
called ARPANet in 1986. Traffic was so heavy on this network that it
soon became overloaded. NSF came to the rescue by providing more
communication lines and faster computers. Up to this time only
researchers at universities and a few governmental agencies used the
Internet. The five supercomputer networks were increased to 15,
and thousands of colleges, research companies, and governmental agencies
now had access to the Internet. This new network was called NSFNET.
Soon, the National Research & Educational Network (NREN) expanded NSFNET to include K-12 schools and community colleges. Vice President
Al Gore was instrumental in spearheading this legislation.
The Internet Today
controls the Internet; it does not belong
to any one person, government, or private entity. Anyone with access
to a computer with a modem and telecommunication software can connect
to the Internet and publish on it. The only
authoritative body over the Internet is the Internet Society, a non-governmental international organization
whose main function
is to foster worldwide cooperation in the use of the Internet.
Most of the cost
of the Internet is assumed by the various networks, which pass on the cost to
their customers. Universities and colleges pay for connection for faculty and students.
Millions of people from every
walk of life and from all over the
world use the Internet every day. They use it for communication,
entertainment, to access
information on a host of subject areas and topics, to conduct business,
and for education and research. Much of the information on the Internet
cannot be found anywhere else, but some does duplicate printed
material. Information on the Internet can be very up to date, which is important
for people involved in such fields as science and business, who need access to the most current
information. The instant a newspaper is printed it is available on the
Internet, and so are court cases and federal regulations.
E-mail. There are numerous ways to exchange information on the Internet.
One way is through e-mail. E-mail is a message sent from one person
to another via computer. E-mail can also be sent automatically to large
numbers of addresses, via listservs.
World Wide Web. The term "World Wide Web" is often used
synonymously with "Internet." In fact, the Web is a graphical way of
viewing the information that is transmitted via the Internet. Information on the Web comes in various formats,
e.g. text, sound, images,
Web Browsers. Browsers are powerful tools for reading HTML documents. Microsoft's Internet Explorer
is the most widely used Web
browser; a popular alternative is Mozilla's Firefox.
(Hyper Text Mark Up Language) is a coding language used to create
documents for use on the Web. All web browsers, e.g. Netscape,
Microsoft Explorer, and Firefox, can read HTML.
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