Introduction to internet
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18-02-2011, 04:17 PM

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Introduction to internet
By the turn of the century, information, including access to the Internet, will be the basis for personal, economic, and political advancement. The popular name for the Internet is the information superhighway. Whether you want to find the latest financial news, browse through library catalogs, exchange information with colleagues, or join in a lively political debate, the Internet is the tool that will take you beyond telephones, faxes, and isolated computers to a burgeoning networked information frontier.
The Internet supplements the traditional tools you use to gather information, Data Graphics, News and correspond with other people. Used skillfully, the Internet shrinks the world and brings information, expertise, and knowledge on nearly every subject imaginable straight to your computer.
What is the Internet?
The Internet links are computer networks all over the world so that users can share resources and communicate with each other. Some computers, have direct access to all the facilities on the Internet such as the universities. And other computers, eg privately-owned ones, have indirect links through a commercial service provider, who offers some or all of the Internet facilities. In order to be connected to Internet, you must go through service suppliers. Many options are offered with monthly rates. Depending on the option chosen, access time may vary.
The Internet is what we call a metanetwork, that is, a network of networks that spans the globe. It's impossible to give an exact count of the number of networks or users that comprise the Internet, but it is easily in the thousands and millions respectively. The Internet employs a set of standardized protocols which allow for the sharing of resources among different kinds of computers that communicate with each other on the network. These standards, sometimes referred to as the Internet Protocol Suite, are the rules that developers adhere to when creating new functions for the Internet.
The Internet is also what we call a distributed system; there is no central archives. Technically, no one runs the Internet. Rather, the Internet is made up of thousands of smaller networks. The Internet thrives and develops as its many users find new ways to create, display and retrieve the information that constitutes the Internet.
Hardware and Software Requirements
Depending upon the online school that you have applied to, hardware and software requirements may vary. Be sure to ask a representative from your program about the specific hardware and software programs you will be expected to have before classes begin.
Hardware Requirements
Most online courses require a basic level of hardware in order for all course materials to be accessed properly.
• Processor: Your processor dictates how fast your computer can perform particular functions. Most courses require that you have a Pentium processor that operates at 300 MHz or higher.
• Memory: In order to store information on your computer, including files and software programs, you will need to have a good amount of available memory. Most courses recommend that your computer have at least 128 MB of RAM (random access memory).
• Disk Drive: CD-ROM, DVD, or floppy disk drives are necessary in order to download course materials and save information.
• Modem: A good internet connection is obviously very important when you’re taking an online course. A modem with a baud rate of at least 56 K (baud rate measures the amount of information processed per second) is usually the minimum requirement for connecting to the internet. You will also need an internet service provider to connect your modem. You may use dial-up, cable, or DSL internet access. High-speed internet access will allow you to download information more quickly, and might help to take a lot of frustration out of using the internet.
• Sound Card and Speakers: In order to hear sound clips on audio and video files, you will need to have a sound card and speakers installed on your computer. You may also want to get some headphones, so only you can hear the sound coming from the computer.
• Printer: You will likely want to print out some of your course materials while you are taking your class and for this you will need to have a printer that is capable of printing graphics. An inkjet or laser printer are your best bets.
Software Requirements
Software requirements can vary greatly from course to course. Some engineering, art, or math courses may require special software in order to complete assignments and project and implimentations. Your online education instructor should provide you with at least some of these software applications. Basic software that you will need for any online course includes:
• Operating System: You will need an operating system that is relatively up-to-date. If you’re using Windows, you will need Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, or XP. If you are using Macintosh, you will need System 8.1 or higher.
• Word Processor: Most courses will require that you use a word processor to prepare assignments and essays. Microsoft Word is the most commonly-used word processing program although there are others available, such as Word Perfect and AppleWorks.
• Email Account: You will need an email account in order to send and receive emails daily. Free accounts are available online.
• Plug-Ins: Plug-ins are bits of software that allow you to see, hear, or manipulate an image. Your instructor will provider you with a list of plug-ins that will allow you to access video and audio clips, as well as animation. Plug-ins are usually available through free software downloads on the internet.

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