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 a
lot 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 they are 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, there 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