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Surfing the internet

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

Michael LaCroix

Eng 101

Dr. Sonnchein


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