Surfing The Internet

Michael LaCroix Eng 101 Dr. Sonnchein 4/10/96

Chances are, anyone who is reading this paper has at one time, at least, surfed
the net once. Don\'t worry if you haven\'t, I will explain everything you need to
know about the Internet and the World Wide Web. Including how it started, it\'s
growth, and the purpose it serves in today\'s society.

The Internet was born about 20 years ago, as a U.S. Defense Department network
called the ARPnet. The ARPnetwork was an experimental network designed to
support military research. It was research about how to build networks that
could withstand partial outages (like bomb attacks) and still be able to
function.

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 the
universities 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 physicist
so they could send and retrieve information more easily. The WWW basically is a
tool for exploring or surfing the Internet. The WWW is an attempt to organize
the Internet so you can find information easier moving threw document to
document.

Why do I need to know this?

Well now that I got threw all the techno-babble, let\'s get down to it. If you
know how to utilize the Net, in just five minutes you could trade information
and comments with millions of people all over the world, get a fast answer to
any question imaginable on a scientific, computing, technical, business,
investment, or any other subject. You could join over 11,000 electronic
conferences, anytime, on any subject, you would be broadcasting your views ,
questions, and information to millions of other partic There has never been
anything like it in the history of the world, and in this English class we\'ve
covered alot of history. At a growing rate of about 20% per month the Internet
is only getting bigger and if people don\'t start utilizing it\'s resources they
could be road kill on this Information Superhighway. Hey, I\'ll bet in the middle
of 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-line
discussion groups called Newsgroups, on most any topic you can imagine. If you
are on the Net, you can participate in any of these discussions in any of these
newsgroups.

The next thing is Universal Electronic Mail or E-mail. E-mail is the biggest and
cheapest system on the Net and is also one of it\'s biggest attractions. Since
all commercial on-line services have something called "gateways" for sending and
receiving electronic mail messages on the Internet, you\'re able to send and
receive messages or files to anyone else who is on-line, anywhere in the world
and in seconds.

The third feature I mentioned was files and software. This in my opinion is the
most impressive one. All the thousands of individual computer facilities
connected to the Internet are also vast storage repositories for hundreds of
thousands of software programs, information text files, video and sound clips,
and other computer based resources. And their all accessible in minutes from any
personal 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 monthly
growth. From the latest statistics I was able to get, their are currently 30
million people who use the Internet worldwide. To try and put that number into
perspective, that\'s over five times the size of CompuServe, America On-line,
Prodigy, and all other on-line commercial information services combined. Or if
you\'re not familiar with those services, it\'s more than the combined populations
of New York City, London, and Moscow. Eri Just a few years ago, the Internet had
a small exclusive domain of a small band of computer science students,
university researchers, government defense contractors, and computer nerds. All
of whom had free or cheap access through their universities or research labs.
Because of the widespread free use, many people who used the Internet as
students have demanded and received connections to the Internet from their
employers as they got jobs in the outside world. Because of that, use of the
Internet has expl The Internet is rapidly achieving a state of critical mass,
attracting interest from huge numbers of personal computer users from non
technical backgrounds. All these