The Inter(esting)net

With only 1000 or so networks in the mid 1980\'s, the Internet has become
tremendous technological change to society over the past few years. In 1994,
more than twenty-five million people gained access to the Internet (Groiler..).
The Internet users are mainly from the United States of America and Europe, but
other countries around the world will be connected soon as improvements of
communication lines are made.
The Internet originated in the United States Defense Department\'s ARPAnet
(Advanced Research Project Agency, produced by the Pentagon) Project in 1969
(Krol). Military planners sought to design a computer networking system that
could withstand an attack such as a nuclear war. In the 1980\'s, the National
Science Foundation built five Superconductor Computer Centers to give several
universities academic access to high powered computers formerly available to
only the United State\'s military (Krol). The National Science Foundation then
built its own network chaining more universities together. Later, the network
connections were being used for purposes unrelated to the National Science
Foundation\'s idea such as the universities sending electronic mail (today, it is
understood as Email). The United States government then helped pushed the
evolution of the Internet, calling the project: Information Super Highway
In the early 1990\'s the trend then boomed. Businesses soon connected to
the Internet, and started using the Internet as a way of saving money through
advertising products and electronic mailing (Abbot). Communications between
different companies also arose due to the convenience of the Internet. Owners
of personal computers soon became eager to connect to the Internet. Through a
modem or Ethernet adapter (computer hardware devices that allow a physical
connection to Internet), home computers can now be made to be accessible to the
Internet (Groiler..).
New Internet servers have evolved since the National Sciences Foundation\'s
basic idea back in the 1980\'s (Krol). The majority of the home users subscribe
to services such as Netscape, Prodigy, America Online, and CompuServe. These
services are connected to the Internet and provide user-friendly access to the
Internet for a reasonable monthly fee. These services are connected to a main
server called the World Wide Web. The World Wide Web is a service that is
defined as global international networking (Abbot). The Web makes all of the
systems from other countries work together with compatibility. Thus, allowing
the Internet to be internationally user-friendly. The United State\'s stock
market has greatly benefited due to sudden interest and popularity in the
Internet. Stock holders with share of Internet related companies have noticed a
skyrocket in the prices over a short period of time.
The Internet holds an endless amount of information. From Chia Pets, to
vacation sites, to the anatomy of a bullfrog, the Internet covers information on
and about anything. For example, I was very interested in the sport Broomball
when I played my first game at Iowa State\'s Hockey Rink. Not knowing much about
the newly experienced sport, my interests grew to find out more about it. Using
my computer, I typed in "Broomball" into Netscape. To my surprise, forty sites
that contained the word "Broomball" popped up, and I was able to find out much
more about the sport. One of the sights that I visited happened to be down in
Australia, another up in Canada! From there, I now know that Broomball leagues
can be found all over Canada, and that Broomball was first invented in 1981.
Millions of college student\'s lives have be effected because of the
Internet. To college students, the Internet is a twenty-four hour library that
can be accessed through various computer labs across campuses. To others, it is
a way of electronically sending in homework, or sending a letter to a friend who
is enrolled to a different college. It is also an exciting, growing spot to
visit when boredom casts over. From obtaining information to Emailing, uses of
the Internet can be endless for students.
With my personal computer set up with Netscape service along with a
thirty dollar Ethernet Card, I am able to browse through the Internet in my dorm
room. I often Email friends at the University of Northern Iowa, to my cousin in
Chicago, and to friends back in my hometown Dubuque. This is quite handy because
I quickly found out that the cost of phone calls can be ridiculous, and the wait
for a computer to free up in the labs to be quite frustrating. In a few
computer science classes of mine, Project Vincent is a system used with the
Internet during class. In class, we use it to gain entry into different
programs and software. I also use it