Chances are, anyone who is reading this paper has at one time, at least, surfed the net
once. Don't worry if you haven't, I will explain everything you need to know about the
Internet and the World Wide Web. Including how it started, it's growth, and the purpose it
serves in today's society.
The Internet was born about 20 years ago, as a U.S. Defense Department network called the
ARPnet. The ARPnetwork was an experimental network designed to support military research.
It was research about how to build networks that could withstand partial outages (like bomb
attacks) and still be able to function.
From that point on, Internet developers were responding to the market pressures, and began
building or developing software for every conceivable type of computer. Internet uses
started out with big companies, then to the government, to the universities and so on.
The World Wide Web or WWW, is an information service that is on the Internet. The WWW is
based on technology called hypertext, and was developed for physicist so they could send
and retrieve information more easily. The WWW basically is a tool for exploring or surfing
the Internet. The WWW is an attempt to organize the Internet so you can find information
easier moving threw document to document.
Why do I need to know this?
Well now that I got threw all the techno-babble, let's get down to it. If you know how to
utilize the Net, in just five minutes you could trade information and comments with
millions of people all over the world, get a fast answer to any question imaginable on a
scientific, computing, technical, business, investment, or any other subject. You could
join over 11,000 electronic conferences, anytime, on any subject, you would be broadcasting
your views , questions, and information to millions of other partic There has never been
anything like it in the history of the world, and in this English class we've covered alot
of history. At a growing rate of about 20% per month the Internet is only getting bigger
and if people don't start utilizing it's resources they could be road kill on this
Information Superhighway. Hey, I'll bet in the middle of that last sentence another
computer just got on-line to the Net.
There are three major features of the Internet, On-line discussion groups, Universal
Electronic Mail, files and software. There's about 11,000 on-line discussion groups called
Newsgroups, on most any topic you can imagine. If you are on the Net, you can participate
in any of these discussions in any of these newsgroups.
The next thing is Universal Electronic Mail or E-mail. E-mail is the biggest and cheapest
system on the Net and is also one of it's biggest attractions. Since all commercial on-line
services have something called "gateways" for sending and receiving electronic mail
messages on the Internet, you're able to send and receive messages or files to anyone else
who is on-line, anywhere in the world and in seconds.
The third feature I mentioned was files and software. This in my opinion is the most
impressive one. All the thousands of individual computer facilities connected to the
Internet are also vast storage repositories for hundreds of thousands of software programs,
information text files, video and sound clips, and other computer based resources. And
their all accessible in minutes from any personal computer on-line to the Internet.
So I could do all this stuff on the Internet, why should I take notice?
Because of it's sheer size, volume of messages, and it's incredible monthly growth. From
the latest statistics I was able to get, their are currently 30 million people who use the
Internet worldwide. To try and put that number into perspective, that's over five times the
size of CompuServe, America On-line, Prodigy, and all other on-line commercial information
services combined. Or if you're not familiar with those services, it's more than the
combined populations of New York City, London, and Moscow. Eri Just a few years ago, the
Internet had a small exclusive domain of a small band of computer science students,
university researchers, government defense contractors, and computer nerds. All of whom had
free or cheap access through their universities or research labs. Because of the widespread
free use, many people who used the Internet as students have demanded and received
connections to the Internet from their employers as they got jobs in the outside world.
Because of that, use of the Internet has expl The Internet is rapidly achieving a state of
critical mass, attracting interest from huge numbers of personal computer users from non
technical backgrounds. All these new Internet users are rapidly transforming the nerd
orientated culture of the network and opening up the Internet to new and exciting
"I'm not sure threat is exactly the right word, but if you ignore the Internet, you do so
at your own peril, the Internet is going to force a new way of doing business on some
people." says Norman DeCarteret, senior systems analyst at Advantis. (A company that links
other companies to the Internet. "Internet becomes the road more traveled as E-mail users
discover no usage fee." Steve Stecklow, Wall Street Journal (9/2/93).
Here are some good things about the Net and why you should be using it. People in all kinds
of businesses and industries are sharing a wide spectrum of educational, business, and
personal interest on the Net. Most, probably share a high enthusiasm for the Internet and
want to send and receive e-mail messages. But also, one to one communications by newsgroups
or electric mail is different and better than conventional letter writing or voice phone
conversations in that the people you communicate with seem m You also have instant access
to such a large, varied, and intelligent based individuals on the Net, which gives you the
power of being able to get good information. When you ask a question on the Internet, you
stand an excellent chance at getting at least one intelligent answer from someone who has
gone threw the same experience. Whether it's advice on a paper you have to write, how to
research a certain topic, or something of a personal interest, there's always someone on
the Internet willing to share th Profit, this is something I thought I would throw in for
all those entrepreneurs out there. A rapidly increasing number of companies and
entrepreneurs are using the Internet to market and sell their products and services. When
it's done in an informative way, and in good taste, and in the on-line areas designated for
advertising orientated messages, most Internet users like to see announcements of new
products and services. A growing number of companies are generating substantial sales of
their products a But hey, the Internet isn't just for academics, business, and professional
use. It could also be really fun! There are over 11,000 special interest on-line
confrenceing areas called newsgroups, on the Internet. Many of these groups feature large,
active, and sometimes raucous discussions on the widest imaginable range of interests,
hobbies, and activities. Anything from antique cars, new business opportunities and
personal investing to politics, gun control, sex, and The Simpsons. Participating in these
Of course, like most other things, the Internet isn't all good and gloryice. You could say
that the Internet is like the Wild West of the late 1800's. It's lawless, individualistic,
brutal, and chaotic. And like any new frontier the Internet is not without it's problem's.
If you decide you want to connect to the Internet, there are a few things you should know.
The Internet can be pretty raw. That is, if you get a raw connection to the Internet, it
lags behind modern personal computer interface technology by about 15 years. Without a good
Windows or Macintosh based graphical software interface, also called a Web browser, to use
all the features of the Internet you would need to know UNIX, a terse computer operating
system command language that's a throwback to time sharing computer systems of the 1970's.
For Internet access I would recommend you to go with an In The Internet has many powerful
capabilities and an almost infinite range of information and communication power, all of
which can never be adequately covered in any one paper or book. All the information in this
paper came from hard copy sources to show you don't have to get on the Net to find out
about the Net.
Work Cited :
Cagnon, Eric. What's on the Internet :
Berkeley : Peach Pit Press. 1995
Krol, Edward. The Whole Internet : User's Guide and Catalog.
Sebastopol : O'Reilly Ass, Inc. 1992
Internet World Magazine. On Internet 94.
Westport : Mecklermedia Ltd. 1994
Newby, Gregory B. Directory of Directories on the Internet :
Westport : Mecklemedia Ltd. 1994
Carmen, John. "The New Wave of the Internet."
Wall Street Journal : 9/2/93
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