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Sending and receiving email is one fun thing you can do on the Net, but surfing the Net is where it's really at! Surfing the Net means getting on the Internet's digital waves and riding the computer network to just about any place in the world. Surfers cruise between computers around the world, moving from site to site, in search of the perfect wave....uh....file.
For example, you can log on your home computer, hook up to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, jump back to the United Nations in New York, then check out the latest version of your favorite software computer game--all in the time it takes to lick through a lollipop! Getting, sending, and receiving information from the Net can take only a few seconds, as long as you know how to surf.
Surfing the Net does take a little bit of practice and patience. There's so much information on the Net, and so many places to go to get it, that you might not know where to begin. Then there's the problem of knowing how to get to where you want to go, once you've decided what you're looking for! But have no fear, you'll find out all you need to know right here about surfing the Net--without ever getting wet!! Surf's up!!
Once you have a computer hooked up to the Net, you need to get a special surfing software called a Net browser. This computer program will make surfing a lot easier for you. Most browsers today let you use your mouse to point-and-click at the places you want to explore and then--like magic--your computer takes you there. Web browsers "read" the html text then converts it into a page like the one you're reading right now. You can use a web browser to send and receive email, access gopher resources, download files using FTP and read online newsgroups. The two most popular browsers are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Online services like America Online and Prodigy to access the Internet, you may be using their own special Internet web browser. What you'll be learning here, will help you no matter which web browser you use.
A Web of Waves
Once you start exploring the Net in search of cool things to see, download, and explore, it won't be long before you get caught in the WWW, also known as the World Wide Web. It's also called the Web, for short. This has become the most popular place for millions of scientists, teachers, business people, adults, and kids around the world. It's a part of the Net's that's great because it's easy to use. The Web uses graphics, hypertext, sound, video clips that have built-in links to others pages on the Net. A collection of web pages mounted on one computer is called a Web Site (like Mrs. Parcell's Computer Applications II Web Page). The first page of a web site is called the "home page". The "home page" contains highlighted words or pictures called "hyperlinks". Clicking on a hyperlink instantly connects you to another web page. That web page could be located on the same computer, or another computer anywhere in the world!
Catchin' the URL waves!
To get to specific Web sites, you'll need to know their addresses. On the Web an address is called an URL, known as Uniform Resource Locator. Simply, an URL is the name for an Internet address. It may be hard to understand what all the letters, symbols and slashes stand for, let me break it down so you can see how easy it is to understand.
|This tells you that the site is on the World Wide Web.||// Anything after these two slashes indicates the computer on the web where the site is located.||/ Anything after the single slash identifies a specific file, or a directory of information at the site.||This means the file is especially formatted for the web.|
Here are some examples of different Internet URL resources:
http://www.londonderry.org (Web Site)
gopher://marvel.loc.gov (Gopher Site)
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org (Email address)
Anatomy of a Web Page
Here's how a search engine works. They're actually web pages that provide an empty rectangular box where you can type in words related to what you want to find. These words are called keywords. Type in your keywords and press the search or submit button (or just press the Enter/Return key). Within seconds, the search engine will give you a list of Internet sites for you to visit to see if they have the information you want.
Here's an example of a search engine:
Once you have press the Search button, the results of your search will appear (as in the example below).
Now it's time to complete the worksheet for this section. Click on this hyperlink to take you to your worksheet.
This site was created byLaura Parcell for the primary purpose of teaching and demonstrating computer skills.
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