INTRODUCTION TO INTERNET
Harry Sheng 1996/12/20
Internet is the most popular vocabulary recently. If you don't understand the meaning of Internet, you will lose the most interesting and convenient thing in the world. Actually, people around us are talking about it all day long as follows:
- What do you think about the NTU BBS's headline?
- Do you know the IP address of NSYSU?
- Could you tell me the E-mail address of Gram?
- Have you ever been to the home page of White House?
- You can use the HTML format to develop your own home page by using the software FLEXED.
- Can you teach me how to use the JAVA to build Web site on UNIX system?
If such dialogues above seem be Greek to you, now is the best opportunity for you to go into the world of Internet.
Why so many companies use Internet to send their mail instead of the traditional fax? Why so many people use Internet to read the news instead of the newspaper? Why there are so many shops use Internet to extend their business without having any actual buildings? Why I can find the schedule of any airplane I want on Internet? Let me tell you!
WHAT IS INTERNET?
In sort, network is a concept from computer science, when some sets of computers are linked by the real lines of connection, we called it network. If many networks are linked together by any kinds of ways(wire or wireless), and followed the same protocol, we called it Internet.
You can imagine that the virtual world is built by the Internet. There are super highways between networks, there are no limits and boundaries. We may sing "we are the world" together, that is, the only country we live is the wonderful Internet world.
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT TO USE INTERNET?
CHEAPER PHONE CALL
Are you worried about the high cost of the international phone call? Internet has provided you the cheaper way to have a international call, we call it 'Internet Phone' (I-phone). The rate of payment is calculated as the local phone call but both of the ends should be equipped personal computer basically. I think that will save your money a lot!
If you use traditional air mail to send your letter, it will take you five or six days to United States. But Internet will send your mail immediately, I think your customs will be pleased to get your mail in a few minutes. Not only the texts can be delivered, but also the drawing files and image files can be sent as the attachments. And the cost is the cheapest one among the air mail, fax and Internet.
LARGE QUANTITY OF IMFORMATION
Today is the information exploration day, people need more information than before. We search for newspapers, video tapes, magazines and books all day long. Internet has included all the information as the hyper-document, and we can get them at the same time as large quantity as you want.
You can talk or post anything you want on the free bulletin board system and no one will stop you. You will be a famous article writer and every one may be your reader. It is free(you don't have to pay) and free(no limits) for you to post your opinions on Internet.
SAVE YOUR MONEY AND TIME
If I want to write this article by using the traditional way.(go to the library to find references, go to the bookstore to buy some magazines to get photographs, to ask someone for help) How much money should I pay? More than NT1000, I guess. But I searched all the information on Internet and collected all the free image files on Internet. How much money did I pay? Just NT20. I am just an unprofessional user on Internet, can you imagine how much money and time can a big company save by using Internet? It is really a huge amount of money.
I hate to go shopping in Kaohsiung and Taipei, due to it is hard to park and it is crowed everywhere in the department store and it takes me 2 hours to find just a suit. One day, I found some department stores have provided the on-line shopping on Internet. That is a surprise to me. I just connected the stores and keyed in the number of my credit card, and I got a nice suit as I want. Of course, I can return it if I don't like that one.
APPLICATIONS OF INTERNET
To use Internet, you have to prepare a set of personal computer, including the sound card with microphone and speakers. And the most import hardware is MODEM for personal use. It is the device to translate the digital signals into the analogue signals in order to using the telephone lines. If we install the hardware above properly, we can use the software follows to travel the world of Internet.
BULLTINE BOARD SYSTEM(BBS)
Bulletin Board System (BBS) is the free and virtual space for people to discuss some specific topics. There are boards in it and any board has its topics, for instance, traveling, dancing, joking, engineering, recycling, computer and so on. Over 100 topics you can choice to post or answer other*s question. Another function of BBS is IRC(International Relay Chat), you can have a real time chat with others on line.
When I go home, my first thing is to turn on my personal computer to connect the Internet and use the news reader(free Agent Ver. 1.0) to get the real time news on the news group. After I got what I want, I will read it through off-line and I know what happened today all over the world. Of course, tomorrow*s newspaper is no more needed for me.
WORLD WIDE WEB(WWW) BROWSER
The most incredible invention on Internet is the hyper-text, that is, creating document by using not only the text and graphs but including the voice and video in the document. The software to browse the hyper-document is WWW browser(for example: Internet Explorer and Netscape), and the sites supplying hyper documents on Internet are called World Wide Web(we call triple W). There are billions WWW sites in the world. We can connect if we want. You may wonder how can I found the address I want. Don't worry! People offer the searching engines to search the WWW site including the key words you want. The most famous searching engine in the world is 'Yahoo'.(it is developed by Mr. Young, and he comes from Taiwan)
FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL(FTP)
In my company, we usually receive an updated software disk by air mail from Europe. It usually takes us six or seven days to get it. But now, we use the FTP(software CuteFTP) to get the updated software even we use different operation systems easily. FTP is the file transfer protocol between two different platforms(or two different kinds of computer). That makes the transmission of computer files quickly and easily.
ELECTRIC MAIL (E-MAIL)
To write an E-mail just as easy as to write a letter by letter paper and envelope. The only different thing is address. The E-mail address is a virtual address located on the Internet. For example, my E-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org, that means my mail box is located in Taiwan, KaohSiung Country Government, ms is the name of mail server and 84c123 is my I.D. I used to use Eudora to handle my E-mails from Internet. It can save all my mails in my computer and can mark which one hasn't been replied.
We usually talk to somebody far away by telephone, but one day, my father found I was talking to my computer, he said I lost my mind. The fact is, I was talking to my friend far away from me by using the Internet Phone. Even we can use it as the international phone call. Is that unbelievable!
WWW EXAMPLES OF INTERNET
There are some famous home pages following:
- China Science Institute
If you ask me what will be Internet looks like in the future, I may say it will be faster, more popular and more powerful than it did today. Of course, we should believe ourselves than Internet itself. Someday, Internet will occupy your daily life as the TV and newspaper did. It supports not only the fashion and new method for you but also the convenient and efficient way for us to contact the mass of information. In the future, human beings will have a more wonderful life with Internet, but the most important thing is we can handle it very well.