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Web Voyager

By Ellen Highland Fernandez

Current Column

By Ellen Highland Fernandez

Back to Basics

I received a call from a reader who just got online with her computer. She has been faithfully reading my columns, clipping them out and saving them for when her computer arrived.

With a great sense of accomplishment, she announced "I just figured out the difference between hardware and software!".

I thought perhaps it was time for me to back up and review some basic Internet and computer information. If you have been there and done that, you might be more interested in checking my past columns for places to visit on the web . If you are a newbie or a wantabe, this column is for you.

Very Basic Definitions

Hardware is the equipment you use. Software is a computer program. It is found on your diskette, disk drive, CD-ROM or you can download it from the web.

The Internet is a computer network that connects computers around the world together.

The World Wide Web is the graphical interface that provides a network of interactive documents.

You can look at a web document with your web browser. The two most recommended browsers are Netscape and Microsoft Explorer . It is best to keep the browsers updated to take advantage of new web design innovations. The browsers can be downloaded and updated free or can purchased.

Getting through the web

To connect to the web, you need a computer, modem, phone line and an Internet Service Provider. The software you will use to connect to the Internet is the TCP/IP which consists of Internet Protocol and Transmission Control Protocol . Your Internet service provider will either provide you with the software or will tell you how to configure your TCP/IP software to access the Internet.

IP breaks up information and puts into software packets that can move across networks. The TCP works with the IP to guarantee that the information is transmitted correctly.

Every computer on the Internet is assigned a unique address called the IP address. Each packet of information contains the IP address of the sender computer and the destination computer.

Components of a web site

A web site is made up of pages. The first page of the site is called the Home Page. It usually contains an introduction to the site and has links to other pages. Every web site has a home page but many sites have more than just a home page.

Pages are written in a computer language called Hypertext Markup Language . This language is constantly evolving. A HTML page consists of text and tags. Tags are embedded commands which contain information on the page's structure, appearance, and contents.

Some web authors also include other programs within the HTML document such as Java. Objects such as static and animated images, sound and video clips, and documents from other applications can also be inserted into a document.

Sometimes you will need to download special browser add-ons to take advantage of viewing films or listening to sound on the web site.

Web pages are connected to one another by hyperlinks. By clicking onto a hyperlink, you can go to another section of the page, to another page on the site or to a completely new site. They are imbedded on the page and are usually underlined. Sometimes they appear as clickable images.

The hyperlink contains the Uniform Resource Locator . The URL is the address of the page. When you ask someone for their web address, you are asking for their URL.

The URL for last week's web voyager column, for example, is http://cpubco.com/webv/110297.htm. Http tells you that the document is a web document. Cpubco.com tells you that it is located on the Clarksburg Publishing Company's Internet server. Webv is the path you will take. The file name is 110297.htm.

For more basic information check the column "Connecting to the Internet" . Once you are connected and can read a URL, you can go to a search engine and find more information. Where's a search engine? Go to http://cpubco.com/webv/ehfold.htm to learn how to use the most popular ones.


Send correspondence to me by e-mail: Webmaster@cpubco.com, via post: Web Voyager, Ellen H. Fernandez, PO Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302, or through our web site http://cpubco.com. Phone: 626-1466.


Ellen Highland Fernandez is the Webmaster for Clarksburg Publishing Company's site and her column appears on the first and third Sundays every month in the Sunday Exponent-Telegram.

Clarksburg Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302 USA
Copyright © Clarksburg Publishing Company 1997