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A global network connecting millions of computers. More than 100 countries are linked into exchanges of data, news and opinions. Unlike online services, which are centrally controlled, the Internet is decentralized by design. Each Internet computer, called a host, is independent. Its operators can choose which Internet services to use and which local services to make available to the global Internet community. Remarkably, this anarchy by design works exceedingly well. There are a variety of ways to access the Internet. Most online services, such as America Online, offer access to some Internet services. It is also possible to gain access through a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP).
One of the earliest applications of computer networks was exchanging messages and files among users of the network. When networks expanded into internet a logical step was to exchange messages among persons spread out all over the world. it soon became one of the most popular applications of the internet and was called electronic mail or e-mail .E-mail system is so reliable today that people use it for important communications and don’t send the so-called postal copy for confirmation. The use of e-mail has expanded with provisions to attach pictures and audio files to text. Current e-mail systems provide the following facilities: • Send a message to a specified recipient or a group of recipients • Send a message that includes as an attachment a text, audio, graphics or video file. • Send a message along with a program which can be executed at the recipient’s computer and send a reply. In order to be able to send or receive e-mail you need a unique address. It is similar to need to have a postal address if you want to receive letters. The e-mail address has the form: yourname@name of your e-mail server assigned by domain name server For example, my e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
My id for e-mail
if you want to send e-mail from your home you need to have; a. A telephone connection
B.A modem in your computer.
Most recent computers have a built-in modem which can transmit/received @56.6Kbps.If your computer doesn’t have a built-in modem Which is usually connected to a serial port of your computer? C.The ISP will provide you an e-mail id and allow you to use a secret password of your own to access your mail boxes. D.It is possible to have files attached to your mail like ASCII, jpeg, tif, mp3, etc.
2. INFORMATION BROWSING SERVICE
One of the most important and widely used applications using the internet is known as information browsing. By information browsing we mean: ``to re trive and display specified information stored in one or more computers connected to a computer network”. Browsing also implies interactivity. In other words, one should be able to read what is displayed and, based on it, able to access other related information which may be stored on the same or any other computer. Other tasks can also be performed by browsers which are: • Obtain text, graphics, audio or video information from a variety of remote computers connected to the network. • Displays obtain information on your VDU if it is text. If you have a multimedia computer then audio, graphics, video can be presented. • Store retrieved information in your disk. • Print the retrieved text/graphics. The term computer network we have used in the definition may be a LAN, WAN, internet or intranet. These types of browsings are two types A) Menu Based Browsing B) Hypertext Based Browsing
3. THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Another major application of the internet is known as the World Wide Web or web. The web has become most important information infrastructure in the world and has a user base of billions. At the touch of a terminal button we can get information from the all corners of globe. It has also enabled many other services such as e-commerce, e-governance, e-publishing etc. TIM Berners-Lee was in 1989 build software which will use this infrastructure effectively to retrieve documents Stored in various servers spread across laboratories. He designed a new set of rules for computers to retrieve textual data from remote servers. This was called Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The next step was to describe a notation to mark keywords in documents for ease of search and retrieval .This was called Hypertext Markup Language (HTML).
The final step was to assign a unique address specifying the server connected to the internet in which the document resided and how to access it. It was called a Universal Resource Locator (URL). The next crucial step was the development of hypertext browser by Mark Andersen and his team of programmers at the National Centre for Supercomputer Applications at the University of Illinois. This was called Mosaic Web browser and was the software which really opened up the World Wide Web as we know it today. URL of an organization is: http://www.bitit.org
Domain name of server which hosts the web page
4. INFORMATION RETRIEVAL FROM THE WWW:
One of the best way of searching for information on the web is to start with a known website which will lead you to other similar sites via hypertext links. It is advisable to store these URLs with what is known as bookmarks.Bookmarking tool is available with all browsers.
A) Resource Directories:
If you don’t know any URL it is a good idea to use what are known as Internet resource directories. These directories normally categorize resources by subjects and resource type. There are two types of resource directories. Some ex of general purpose directories are yahoo.com, einet.com.Some ex of societies in the subject area Americal Mathematical Society (ams.org), American Chemical Society (acs.org).
B) Search Engine Based Retrieval:
Currently the most popular method of retrieving documents from the World Wide Web is to use what are known as search engines. The following sties provide search engines: a. Google.com b. Altavista.com c. Lycos.com India specific search engine sties are: • Searchindia.com • Khoj.com We will consider currently popular search engine google.com as an example and examine the facilities available in it for information retrieval.http://www.searchenginewatch.com Goggle allows search queries using phrase which can be used in a query. It is quite different from the term “computer”and”network” which will retrieve too many irrelevant documents.