How the Web Works
It is said that one of the greatest things about the Internet is that nobody really owns it. It is a global collection of networks, both big and small.
These networks connect together in many different ways to form the single entity that we know as the Internet. In fact, the very name comes from this idea of interconnected networks.Since its beginning in 1969, the Internet has grown from four host computer (supercomputers) systems to tens of millions.
In 1992 the fastest growing part of the Internet came to be known as the “World Wide Web”. It is here that you can see pictures, listen to sounds, play videos, chat online and even speak with others.But in 1992 the ability to even share simple web pages and move from one to another instantly even if it is on the other side of the world.
The web has brought not only the ability to access more and more information but also made the interaction around the world almost instant. Programs were invented to sit on top of the web; now that this new infrastructure had been invented people began to see more and more opportunity to share information. Things like Email, Search Engines User groups, Chats, FTP sharing, MP3 and what we call Rich Media have become all the rage. We will attempt to take you through these items and give you a brief overview as to what they are and how they can be used.
Email: The oldest tool on the Internet, The Very very very first email ever sent was form a computer at the University of California LA, USA. Just so you know the term “e” or “E-mail” is based on a term invented in the 70’s for the word Electronic As in Electronic Mail.
Email is a way to write a letter or note on one computer and then send it to another. Where it can be opened and read. Although email programs today have moved far beyond this basic concept the principals remain the same.
Search Engine: The Web began by putting networks together; these networks are each massive in size and content so a way to manage this information or distill it down became important. Search engines were born.
The best way to think of a search engine is like a librarian in your school, you tell them what you want and looking for and they will point you in the right direction. It is not an exact Science; each one of them acts and reacts to your requests differently. So try them all. Happy Trials, it can be a fun Adventure. See our list of resources and recommended downloads, but remember to be Cybersafe.
UseNet or Newsgroups: The concept is and has always been to have a huge bulletin board on the Internet. Well in 1979 when computers at Duke University and computers at the University of North Carolina got connected that is what happened. Now there are more than 30,000 newsgroups all around the world and you can find almost any theme you can think of. Remember to by Cybersafe0 (link) when joining newsgroups.
Chat: Image a group of 10 kids talking on the phone all at once, Well this is the result Chat, Chat allows for groups of people to talk and communicated online all at once, leaving Messages and threads of conversations to keep track of. It began as a simple tool to type to each other with but has now grown in such popularity that new and improved tools have come online such as video chat, Voice chat, Picture exchange and much more to come.
The key to chat is to be in a safe environment so it can allow people all around the world to interact and meet. In the past chat has had good and bad points. It allows people to who are shy in person to explore relationships with out the embarrassment but that can also work in the reverse, people are braver online than in person and may say things that are not necessarily something you wish to be involved in. Know where you are and by Cyber Safe when chatting, It can be a lot of fun.
Instant messaging: This is a wonderful invention for networks and the Internet. The concept is personal Chat. You have a list of people you allow to talk to you directly. You can have personal private conversations or invite people to join in the conversations. The difference between Instant messaging and Chat is that you have the choice who you talk to and who you can block out. This is considered a private Chat or communication. Be aware that the Network Server you are using can read and save your conversations. So if you use this at work, it is considered not as safe as email. Again remember to be to be Cybersafe (link) when using Instant messenger.
FTP: This acronym stands for File Transfer Protocol. What that means is, a set of standards have been created that allow computers all over the world to exchange files. When you download something from the Internet you are using an FTP. You can find public and private ( password protected) FTP sites. Again remember to be Cybersafe (link) when using FTP.
MP3 & Rich Media Streaming:
These tools are fast becoming the most popular part of the Web (world Wide Web). They are poised to become the interactive center of your home life, taking over for your Radio’s, TVs, CD and DVD players. You can now listen, download (be Cybersafe with this one) you r favorite music, video and even watch late breaking news and events right from you computer screen. See our great list of tool in Andy’s “Great web Resources.” So get online and try communication, Exploring, Find something new, learn a little and Don’t for get to have Fun.
Learn to be Safe online with Andy. Please Note just because nobody owns the Internet, it doesn't mean it is not monitored and maintained in different ways. The Internet Society, a non-profit group established in 1992, oversees the formation of the policies and protocols that define how we use and interact with the Internet. Please check in with the Society and the W3C.org for regular updates.