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partnerships:articles:basics [2017/06/12 10:20] (current)
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 +# Internet Basics
 +
 +
 +The Internet
 +------------
 +
 +**How it started\
 +**\
 + The Internet has evolved from a research programme of the USA's
 +Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), which
 +developed ARPAnet, an experimental computer network. This network was
 +designed to work with no central control on a "peer to peer" basis, so
 +that messages would be able to go by any route to reach their
 +destination. This method makes more efficient use of the resources
 +available (because busy routes can be avoided) and means that if a route
 +is disconnected or computer lost, the message can still get through an
 +alternative path.\
 +
 +
 +**How it works\
 +**\
 + The Internet is not a single network but rather a "​network of
 +networks",​ all conforming to a common set of "​protocols"​ or standards
 +for connection and traffic handling purposes. While these individual
 +networks may be owned, nobody owns the Internet and nobody runs it. The
 +only restriction is the underlying global telecommunications network
 +that it runs on. Standards are maintained by mutual consent. [The
 +Internet Society](http://​info.isoc.org/​) is a voluntary organising body
 +for this purpose; checking protocols and setting naming standards
 +(domain names). It does not verify what traffic or service content is
 +being provided.\
 +\
 + As computers working in a common language can talk to each other more
 +easily, and because anyone can join the network as long as they adhere
 +to the standards, the Internet has spread quickly around the world. The
 +system can be used for discussion, sharing of ideas and research and
 +exchange of large amounts of information.
 +[Email](basics) and the [world wide
 +web](basics) are simply examples of the types of
 +file which can be sent between computers. The development of the web,
 +with it's graphical presentation,​ and of the tool to view and access
 +this information,​ Mosaic, were instrumental in advancing the popularity
 +of the Internet. Mosaic was the first example of a web browser and has
 +been developed for a wide range of computing platforms.\
 +\
 + The rapid take up has been driven as much (if not more) by individuals
 +than by corporate organisations but has been taken up very quickly by
 +Governments as well as by the private sector. It now provides access to
 +vast information resources in over 150 countries with over 30 million
 +users worldwide.\
 +\
 +
 +**The World Wide Web**\
 +\
 + The World Wide Web (or Web) was devised and developed at Europe'​s CERN
 +laboratory. It provides easy access to the vast range of networked
 +information people have put on computers connected to the Internet. You
 +simply send a request to another computer determined by it's unique
 +address (see [Internet Addresses](basics)) and the file
 +is returned to your computer.\
 +\
 + The structure of these documents has been defined through a language
 +called HyperText Markup Language (HTML). Your browser understands the
 +HTML instructions which come in a document, and uses them to display the
 +document or '​page'​ in an attractive graphical way. After viewing, these
 +pages can then be printed or saved locally to be referenced later. The
 +standard format of these files means you can also use your browser to
 +access file archives, newsgroups, directory searches, a variety of media
 +such as video, sound, and image files and so on.\
 +\
 + A key feature of HTML is Hypertext links - the user can follow a
 +"​trail"​ of information from one computer to others simply by selecting a
 +highlighted piece of text or an image. Each highlight corresponds to a
 +new unique address, giving access to a new document. This may be a new
 +page, an email address or a sound file.\
 +\
 + ​Anyone with a computer attached to the Internet can therefore publish
 +whatever they want. For this information to be permanently available, a
 +permanent connection to the Internet is required. As this requires
 +maintaining an open communications channel to the Internet, which is
 +expensive, intermediaries,​ known as Internet service providers, host
 +files and other services on an Internet server. Their customers may then
 +temporarily dial up the server when they want to retrieve files from
 +other computers on the Internet, or messages which have been sent to
 +them, like email.\
 +
 +**Internet Addresses
 +
 +
 +Academic users
 +
 +xxx**.ac** or,\
 + ​xxx.**uni**
 +
 +The individual is connected via a (US) University or other educational
 +site
 +
 +xxx.**ac.uk**
 +
 +An academic site in the UK.
 +
 +xxx.**edu**
 +
 +Higher education establishments,​ usually from the US
 +
 +Commercial users
 +
 +xxx.**co** or\
 + ​xxx**.com**
 +
 +A site owned and/or operated by or in the name of a commercial company
 +
 +xxx**.co.uk**
 +
 +The UK equivalent
 +
 +Government user
 +
 +xxx**.gov**
 +
 +US government offices or agencies
 +
 +xxx**.gov.fr**
 +
 +Others countries take gov plus their country designation,​ France in this
 +example
 +
 +USA military user
 +
 +xxx**.mil**
 +
 +Organisational user
 +
 +xxx**.org**
 +
 +A non-governmental or not-for-profit organisation,​ communities online
 +for example, or one that doesn'​t fit another category.
 +
 +Network provider
 +
 +xxx**.net**
 +
 +\
 + At the "​**xxx**"​ level, a new user applies for a "​domain name", for
 +example our own domain name is "​communities"​ and our Internet domain
 +address is **communities.org.uk**. The domain address for the UK
 +Government'​s Department of Trade & Industry is **dti.gov.uk.** See
 +[Registering Your Own Domain
 +Name](http://​www.vois.org.uk/​etongarages/​phillipa3) by Phillipa
 +Gamse from Total Net Value for guidelines on registering your own domain
 +name.\
 +\
 + To send a message to an individual you then need a further identifier
 +for that person, for example <​dwilcox@pavilion.co.uk>​ or
 +<​info@communities.org.uk>​\
 +\
 + To request a web page (or HTML) document from us, you'll need to
 +specify a URL (Unique Resource Location). For example
 +[www.communities.org.uk/​](http://​www.communities.org.uk/​).
 +This is usually prefixed by "​http://"​ to indicate that it's a hypertext
 +file. www indicated it's on the world wide web. The last part of the
 +address is the name of the file on the communities.org.uk server,
 +indexl\
 +\
 + The fact that you are using a computer means you need to get it right -
 +the computer won't try to work out what you meant but it is easier to
 +get it "right first time". Once you have correctly entered someone'​s
 +address into your computer'​s address book, all you need do is to select
 +the person you want to mail, the computer will fill in the correct
 +details.\
 +
 +**Electronic mail (email)
 +\
 +** Email is probably the most useful example of the transfer of files
 +between computers. It is a way for users of ordinary desktop PCs to
 +communicate with others around the world - or sitting next to you. It
 +enables you to send private messages and files to other e-mail users
 +conveniently,​ quickly and cheaply. It also provides an effective
 +mechanism for the distribution of information to many people
 +simultaneously. An email is therefore like a fax, a personal letter or a
 +memo, depending on it's use, but has advantages over both fax and post.
 +It is cheaper and faster than conventional mail, and cheaper than fax.\
 +\
 + To send an email message, you firstly compose your message without
 +being connected. You then dial up your service provider, send the
 +messages (which will take a matter of seconds), and disconnect again.
 +Incoming messages wait in your mailbox on your service provider'​s
 +computer until you're ready to collect them. When you wish to collect
 +them, you dial up, download (or move) them onto your computer (again in
 +a matter of seconds), and disconnect. This process may happen at the
 +same time as sending your mail and the cost will be that of a short,
 +local telephone call, even if the messages are from all over the world .
 +You don't need paper, stamps, envelopes etc. and you can send and
 +receive whenever you want using an existing telephone line\
 +\
 + A good email system presents the user with a list of incoming messages,
 +showing the subject of each message and the identity of the sender. On
 +reading a message, one can very easily reply, and then choose to copy,
 +print, delete or file the received message for future reference, all
 +without handling or creating any paper. This system can improve the
 +handling and control of messages, making it possible to keep an ongoing,
 +permanent record of discussions and forward messages to others at the
 +click of a button.\
 +\
 + ​**Mail Attachments and collaborative working\
 +**\
 + Email is text-based. You can rework files on your computer or other'​s
 +messages just as if they gave you a word processed file on disk, without
 +re-typing it into the computer. However you may wish to exchange
 +formatted text, data, audio or video material, for example to work on a
 +word processor document with a group of people. This is where mail
 +attachments can help. As long as the person you are sending it to has
 +the same or compatible software, you can attach a file to an email
 +message. The file will then be copied onto their computer when they pick
 +up their email message. They may then decide to edit this copy and send
 +it back to you in the same way.\
 +\
 + ​**Mailing lists\
 +\
 +** Collaborative working may also be realised through the use of mailing
 +lists. Computers can be programmed to respond to specific e-mail
 +messages. You send a message to an email address at an Internet computer
 +which acts as an electronic forwarding office. This '​starbursts'​ your
 +message out to anyone else who has subscribed to the list. You can keep
 +in touch with many users at once and if any of them reply, their message
 +will be sent to you, along with everyone else on the list. See [mailing
 +lists](http://​www.partnerships.org.uk/​internet/​maillist) for more
 +information.\
 +\
 + Kay Caldwell of the National Network of Community Business explains
 +[Email benefits for community business](nncsl) (local)\
 +
 +**Forums, Conferences and Newsgroups -
 +Usenet**\
 +\
 + Known as a newsgroup, discussion forum or conference depending where it
 +resides on the Internet, forums are places where you can "​post"​ and read
 +articles or email, with an electronic post box where you can rummage
 +through the messages. They can either be open to anyone - as are
 +newsgroups on the Internet - or limited to subscribers to a particular
 +service like Compuserve, or still further limited to a smaller or
 +interest group, people who share a common interest in a particular
 +topic. Some are moderated; either the content or members are controlled.
 +Newsgroups are owned by the people who set them up and have rules of use
 +and etiquette which usually appear as FAQs or resource files and should
 +always be followed.\
 +\
 + Each participant can join the electronic meeting at any time, without
 +incurring overheads of travel, meeting costs etc. When a new participant
 +joins the meeting, he or she can catch up with what has gone before by
 +reviewing recent activity - most such forums keep the last few hundred
 +messages "on view" and important sets of messages can be made available
 +to future participants through an archive. In a conventional network, if
 +you miss a few meetings you quickly get out of touch. In the electronic
 +meeting point, all discussion is visible even to those who aren't able
 +to actively participate.\
 +\
 + ​**Usenet** is the term for all such distributed discussion systems. The
 +majority of modern Usenet traffic is over the Internet but the term
 +Usenet includes many other systems which use different software and
 +different standards.\
 +\
 + ​[Conferencing on the
 +Web](http://​freenet.msp.mn.us/​people/​drwool/​webconf) is a very
 +comprehensive guide to Web software for asynchronous group discussions
 +using stored text messages, maintained by David R. Wooley. This document
 +links to and provides descriptions of free, commercial and "​industrial
 +strength"​ software. It also lists new resources chronologically,​
 +provides examples, and links to other related resources.\
 +
 +
 +**Notice or Bulletin boards**\
 +\
 + ​Bulletin board systems (or BBSs) are a place for private email,
 +discussion forums and libraries of files. They can run on the Internet
 +via a service provider or may be set up independently. Individuals
 +wanting to make information available to the public or to friends
 +directly provide a number which users need a modem to dial into, without
 +needing an account with a service provider.\
 +\
 + While email is sent to you, a bulletin board is for public '​notices'​ -
 +you need to go an look at the notice board The increase in the use of
 +web pages means that bulletin boards are slowly being superseded.\
 +\
 + A proper balance of email, conferencing and bulletin boards can greatly
 +improve communications.\
 +
 +**Information libraries and ftp\
 +**\
 + These are sources of files and other resources which relate to a
 +meeting place for a common interest group. They may contain summaries of
 +mailing list topics, FAQs or useful software distributed by the
 +maintainer of the forum, or be used by subscribers to disseminate their
 +own information. During collaborative working, archived copies of work
 +or background information may reside here, building up a library of
 +valuable information. Although these files may be published as web
 +pages, they are usually accessed by ftp using a special software program
 +or via a web browser.\
 +
  
partnerships/articles/basics.txt ยท Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)