5-1 The Internet :
The Internet is the largest computer
network in the world. It uses telephone lines to connect thousands of smaller
networks around the world. It is also called the Net, cyberspace, and the
information superhighway. Most of the information you can find on the Internet
is free. Using the Internet is commonly called surfing the Net and being online.
There are many reasons why the Internet is so popular. Here are a few of the things you can find on the Internet:
All computers on the Internet work
together to transfer information around the world. When you send information
over the Internet, it is divided into smaller pieces called packets. These
packets are put back together when they reach their destination. TCP/IP (or
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) is the name of the language
computers on the Internet use to communicate with each other.
A router is a specialized computer that regulates traffic on the Net and chooses the best route for your packets. The backbone of the Internet is made up of high-speed data lines that connect major networks around the world. When you use a computer to receive information from another computer on the Internet, you are downloading that information. When you use the computer to send information, you are uploading that information.
In order to access the Internet, you must have the right equipment:
5-2 The World Wide Web:
The World Wide Web (also called
the Web, WWW, or W3) is part of the Internet. The Web
consists of a huge collection of documents stored on computers around the world.
A Web page is a document on the Web. Web pages can include text,
pictures, sound, and video. A Web site is a collection of Web pages
maintained by a college or university, agency, company, or individual.
The URL (or Uniform Resource Locator) is the "address" of a Web page. Each Web page has its own unique address. When a friend tells you his Web address, he is telling you the URL of his Web page. Most Web addresses begin with http://, which stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. Most (but not all) Web addresses also include the prefix www and a suffix like com.
Web pages are hypertext documents. Hypertext documents contain links that connect to other pages on the Web. These links often appear as colored text. When you use the mouse to point to a link, it changes the pointer to the shape of a pointing hand. This means that you can go to another Web page by clicking on that link. HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and Dynamic HTML are languages commonly used to create Web pages.
We will discuss the Internet and the World Wide Web in more detail in the next course.