The Internet - "information superhighway" - is a network of independent computer networks, both public and private, connecting millions of computers all over the globe.
It first appeared in 1969 as an experimental network used by the US Department of Defense. Later, it was used by universities and now it links universities, companies, associations, libraries, institutions and home-users all over the globe.
The data available is growing exponentially, comprising a large variety of information and services such as library catalogs and databases, sending and receiving e-mail, reading and downloading documents, checking current news and weather, joining discussion lists on virtually every topic, viewing works of art, shopping and much more.
Internet, actually supplements the traditional tools used to find information. "If used skillfully it shrinks the world and brings information and up-to-date knowledge on nearly every subject straight to your computer".
E-mail is the first and most popular Internet application that is represented as userid@domain
The userid or the login is the user name that identifies the individual, and the domain is the computer host from which users receive/send their e-mail. This domain is composed of subdomains:
|org=non profit organization||net=a net work organization|
Countries outside United States are identified by two letter codes in the domain:
uk = United Kingdom ca = Canada lb = Lebanon
Searching for an e-mail of a person can be a frustrating experience. If you know the person's institution or know that he is a member of a particular professional society, start by looking for a directory on that institution or society's Web site. If this does not work, the following Internet tools might help:
Netiquette, the Internet etiquette, is a set of rules of behavior that are expected from net users:
Keep your voice down; typing in capital letters is like screaming in cyberspace. If you want to emphasize something place * around the text. If you are subscribed to a mailing list or discussion group, read the FAQ file before sending any message and when you do send one make it as short as possible.
Some abbreviations that are frequently used in emails:
|btw||by the way||fyi||for your information|
|imho||in my humble opinion||tia||thanks in advance|
|bbl||be back later||b4||before|
|iow||in other words||nrn||no reply necessary|
|lol||laughs out loud||l8r||later|
Emoticons or Smilies are a series of letters (dashes, parenthesis and other punctuation marks) that sketch out a facial expression and can be read by tilting your head to the left. These are widely used in e-mails and newsgroups to indicate an emotion and to overcome the impersonal nature of the electronic medium.
Following are some of the most widely used ones:
|:D laughing||:-) happy||() hugging|
|:-@ screaming||:-o surprised||:* kiss|
|:**: remote kissing||: ( frowning||;-) winking|
|:-& tongue tied||:-( sad||:/) not funny|
Listservs are electronic discussion groups or mailing lists that allow users to communicate with others in a particular field of interest by receiving messages directly to their e-mail. This proved to be an effective way of communication with peers who share the same interests.
To join a listerserv, one should send an e-mail message to the listserv@address, leave the subject field blank and type at the message:
subscribe listname yourfirstname yourlastname
then one receives a message indicating that he/she is subscribed and requires the user to confirm registration.
The first message received, gives functions and basic information about the listserv, its contents and important commands including how to unsubscribe.
To see what Listservs are available search:
World Wide Web (Web), introduced in 1992, is the largest and most popular and user friendly multimedia interface used to navigate the Internet. The Web through its own hypertext transfer protocol (http) allows users to move from one document to another by simply clicking on the highlighted links. Many browsers allow users to navigate the Web such as Netscape or Internet Explorer.
Web documents have addresses called Uniform Resource Locator (URL). The anatomy of a URL has the following format:
Using URL users can go directly to a specific document, instead of selecting links from other documents. One should enter the URL as is, using capitals and lower case exactly as it appears on the URL, ex.