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
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
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
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 new Internet users are rapidly transforming the
nerd orientated culture of the network and opening up the Internet to new and
“I’m not sure threat is exactly the right word, but if you ignore the Internet,
you do so at your own peril, the Internet is going to force a new way of doing
business on some people.” says Norman DeCarteret, senior systems analyst at
Advantis. (A company that links other companies to the Internet. “Internet
becomes the road more traveled as E-mail users discover no usage fee.” Steve
Stecklow, Wall Street Journal (9/2/93).
Here are some good things about the Net and why you should be using it. People
in all kinds of businesses and industries are sharing a wide spectrum of
educational, business, and personal interest on the Net. Most, probably share a
high enthusiasm for the Internet and want to send and receive e-mail messages.
But also, one to one communications by newsgroups or electric mail is different
and better than conventional letter writing or voice phone conversations in that
the people you communicate with seem m You also have instant access to such a
large, varied, and intelligent based individuals on the Net, which gives you the
power of being able to get good information. When you ask a question on the
Internet, you stand an excellent chance at getting at least one intelligent
answer from someone who has gone threw the same experience. Whether it’s advice
on a paper you have to write, how to research a certain topic, or something of a
personal interest, there’s always someone on the Internet willing to share th
Profit, this is something I thought I would throw in for all those entrepreneurs
out there. A rapidly increasing number of companies and entrepreneurs are using
the Internet to market and sell their products and services. When it’s done in
an informative way, and in good taste, and in the on-line areas designated for
advertising orientated messages, most Internet users like to see announcements
of new products and services. A growing number of companies are generating
substantial sales of their products a But hey, the Internet isn’t just for
academics, business, and professional use. It could also be really fun! There
are over 11,000 special interest on-line confrenceing areas called newsgroups,
on the Internet. Many of these groups feature large, active, and sometimes
raucous discussions on the widest imaginable range of interests, hobbies, and
activities. Anything from antique cars, new business opportunities and personal
investing to politics, gun control, sex, and The Simpsons. Participating in
these Of course, like most other things, the Internet isn’t all good and
gloryice. You could say that the Internet is like the Wild West of the late
1800’s. It’s lawless, individualistic, brutal, and chaotic. And like any new
frontier the Internet is not without it’s problem’s. If you decide you want to
connect to the Internet, there are a few things you should know.
The Internet can be pretty raw. That is, if you get a raw connection to the
Internet, it lags behind modern personal computer interface technology by about
15 years. Without a good Windows or Macintosh based graphical software interface,
also called a Web browser, to use all the features of the Internet you would
need to know UNIX, a terse computer operating system command language that’s a
throwback to time sharing computer systems of the 1970’s. For Internet access I
would recommend you to go with an In The Internet has many powerful capabilities
and an almost infinite range of information and communication power, all of
which can never be adequately covered in any one paper or book. All the
information in this paper came from hard copy sources to show you don’t have to
get on the Net to find out about the Net.
Work Cited :
Cagnon, Eric. What’s on the Internet : Berkeley : Peach Pit Press. 1995 Krol,
Edward. The Whole Internet : User’s Guide and Catalog.
Sebastopol : O’Reilly Ass, Inc. 1992 Internet World Magazine. On Internet
94. Westport : Mecklermedia Ltd. 1994 Newby, Gregory B. Directory of
Directories on the Internet :
Westport : Mecklemedia Ltd. 1994 Carmen, John. “The New Wave of the
Internet.” Wall Street Journal : 9/2/93