Surfing The InternetMichael LaCroix Eng 101 Dr. Sonnchein 4/10/96Chances are, anyone who is reading this paper has at one time, at least, surfedthe net once. Don’t worry if you haven’t, I will explain everything you need toknow about the Internet and the World Wide Web.

Including how it started, it’sgrowth, and the purpose it serves in today’s society.The Internet was born about 20 years ago, as a U.S.

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Defense Department networkcalled the ARPnet. The ARPnetwork was an experimental network designed tosupport military research. It was research about how to build networks thatcould withstand partial outages (like bomb attacks) and still be able tofunction.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 theuniversities 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 physicistso they could send and retrieve information more easily. The WWW basically is atool for exploring or surfing the Internet.

The WWW is an attempt to organizethe Internet so you can find information easier moving threw document todocument.Why do I need to know this?Well now that I got threw all the techno-babble, let’s get down to it. If youknow how to utilize the Net, in just five minutes you could trade informationand comments with millions of people all over the world, get a fast answer toany question imaginable on a scientific, computing, technical, business,investment, or any other subject. You could join over 11,000 electronicconferences, anytime, on any subject, you would be broadcasting your views ,questions, and information to millions of other partic There has never beenanything like it in the history of the world, and in this English class we’vecovered alot of history.

At a growing rate of about 20% per month the Internetis only getting bigger and if people don’t start utilizing it’s resources theycould be road kill on this Information Superhighway. Hey, I’ll bet in the middleof 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-linediscussion groups called Newsgroups, on most any topic you can imagine. If youare on the Net, you can participate in any of these discussions in any of thesenewsgroups.The next thing is Universal Electronic Mail or E-mail. E-mail is the biggest andcheapest system on the Net and is also one of it’s biggest attractions. Sinceall commercial on-line services have something called “gateways” for sending andreceiving electronic mail messages on the Internet, you’re able to send andreceive messages or files to anyone else who is on-line, anywhere in the worldand in seconds.

The third feature I mentioned was files and software. This in my opinion is themost impressive one. All the thousands of individual computer facilitiesconnected to the Internet are also vast storage repositories for hundreds ofthousands of software programs, information text files, video and sound clips,and other computer based resources. And their all accessible in minutes from anypersonal 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 monthlygrowth. From the latest statistics I was able to get, their are currently 30million people who use the Internet worldwide. To try and put that number intoperspective, that’s over five times the size of CompuServe, America On-line,Prodigy, and all other on-line commercial information services combined. Or ifyou’re not familiar with those services, it’s more than the combined populationsof New York City, London, and Moscow.

Eri Just a few years ago, the Internet hada small exclusive domain of a small band of computer science students,university researchers, government defense contractors, and computer nerds. Allof whom had free or cheap access through their universities or research labs.Because of the widespread free use, many people who used the Internet asstudents have demanded and received connections to the Internet from theiremployers as they got jobs in the outside world. Because of that, use of theInternet has expl The Internet is rapidly achieving a state of critical mass,attracting interest from huge numbers of personal computer users from nontechnical backgrounds.

All these new Internet users are rapidly transforming thenerd orientated culture of the network and opening up the Internet to new andexciting possibilities.”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 doingbusiness on some people.” says Norman DeCarteret, senior systems analyst atAdvantis. (A company that links other companies to the Internet. “Internetbecomes the road more traveled as E-mail users discover no usage fee.” SteveStecklow, Wall Street Journal (9/2/93).

Here are some good things about the Net and why you should be using it. Peoplein all kinds of businesses and industries are sharing a wide spectrum ofeducational, business, and personal interest on the Net. Most, probably share ahigh 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 differentand better than conventional letter writing or voice phone conversations in thatthe people you communicate with seem m You also have instant access to such alarge, varied, and intelligent based individuals on the Net, which gives you thepower of being able to get good information.

When you ask a question on theInternet, you stand an excellent chance at getting at least one intelligentanswer from someone who has gone threw the same experience. Whether it’s adviceon a paper you have to write, how to research a certain topic, or something of apersonal interest, there’s always someone on the Internet willing to share thProfit, this is something I thought I would throw in for all those entrepreneursout there. A rapidly increasing number of companies and entrepreneurs are usingthe Internet to market and sell their products and services. When it’s done inan informative way, and in good taste, and in the on-line areas designated foradvertising orientated messages, most Internet users like to see announcementsof new products and services. A growing number of companies are generatingsubstantial sales of their products a But hey, the Internet isn’t just foracademics, business, and professional use. It could also be really fun! Thereare over 11,000 special interest on-line confrenceing areas called newsgroups,on the Internet. Many of these groups feature large, active, and sometimesraucous discussions on the widest imaginable range of interests, hobbies, andactivities.

Anything from antique cars, new business opportunities and personalinvesting to politics, gun control, sex, and The Simpsons. Participating inthese Of course, like most other things, the Internet isn’t all good andgloryice. You could say that the Internet is like the Wild West of the late1800’s. It’s lawless, individualistic, brutal, and chaotic. And like any newfrontier the Internet is not without it’s problem’s.

If you decide you want toconnect 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 theInternet, it lags behind modern personal computer interface technology by about15 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 wouldneed to know UNIX, a terse computer operating system command language that’s athrowback to time sharing computer systems of the 1970’s. For Internet access Iwould recommend you to go with an In The Internet has many powerful capabilitiesand an almost infinite range of information and communication power, all ofwhich can never be adequately covered in any one paper or book. All theinformation in this paper came from hard copy sources to show you don’t have toget 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 Internet94.

Westport : Mecklermedia Ltd. 1994 Newby, Gregory B. Directory ofDirectories on the Internet :Westport : Mecklemedia Ltd. 1994 Carmen, John.

“The New Wave of theInternet.” Wall Street Journal : 9/2/93