(keyboard, mouse) convert dataand instructions for processing in the computer.•
(monitor, printer) present data ina form that people can understand, and•
(modems) control thepassing of information to and from communica-tions networksComputers are differently classified. We can usesize and processing speed to categorize contemporarycomputers as mainframes, midrange computers, per-sonal computers, workstations, and supercomputers.Accessing information using the Internet or compactdiscs require a minimum of a desktop or laptop per-sonal computer. These systems once equipped witha modem, browser software and CD-ROM are suf-ficient enough for individuals to access and trackinformation.
Desktop Personal Computer Laptop Personal Computer
What is the Internet?
The Internet is a network of networks, linkingcomputers to computers sharing the TCP/IP pro-tocols. Each runs software to provide or “serve”information and/or to access and view informa-tion. The Internet is the transport vehicle for theinformation stored in files or documents on anothercomputer. It can be compared to an internationalcommunications utility servicing computers. TheInternet itself does not contain information. It is aslight misstatement to say a “document was foundon the Internet.” It would be more correct to say itwas found through or using the Internet. What itwas found in (or on) is one of the computers linkedto the Internet.Computers on the Internet may use one or all of the following Internet services:•
Electronic mail (e-mail)
. Permits you to send andreceive mail. Provides access to discussion groupsoften called Listservs® after the software theyoperate under.•
Telnet or remote login
. Permits your computerto log onto another computer and use it as if you were there.•
FTP or File Transfer Protocol
. Allows yourcomputer to rapidly retrieve complex files intactfrom a remote computer and view or save themon your computer.•
. An early, text-only method for accessinginternet documents. Gopher has been almostentirely subsumed in the World Wide Web, butyou may still find gopher documents linked to inweb pages.•The
World Wide Web (WWW or “the Web”)
.The largest, fastest growing activity on theInternet.
What is the World Wide Web and whatmakes it work?
The WWW incorporates all of the Internet servicesabove and much more. You can retrieve documents,view images, animation, and video, listen to soundfiles, speak and hear voice, and view programs thatrun on practically any software in the world, providingyour computer has the hardware and software to dothese things.When you log onto the Internet using Net-scape or Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or some otherbrowser, you are viewing documents on the WorldWide Web. The current foundation on which theWWW functions is the programming language calledHTML. It is HTML and other programming imbed-ded within HTML that make possible Hypertext.Hypertext is the ability to have web pages containinglinks, which are areas in a page or buttons or graphicson which you can click your mouse button to retrieveanother document into your computer. This “click-ability” using Hypertext links is the feature which isunique and revolutionary about the Web.
What is a Browser? What is Netscape andInternet Explorer?
A browser is a computer program that resides onyour computer enabling you to use the computer to viewWWW documents and access the Internet taking advan-tage of text formatting, hypertext links, images,sounds, motion, and other features. Netscape andInternet Explorer are currently the leading “graphi-cal browsers” in the world (meaning they facilitatethe viewing of graphics such as images and videoand more). There are other browsers (e.g., MozillaFirefox, Opera). Most offer many of the same