Sum of the parts makes the whole
Jul 31 - Aug 06, 2000
Kicker Many facets of IT I
Many people think the Internet and the Web are simply two names for the
same entity. Given the prominence of the World Wide Web, it is easy to forget there is a
great deal more to the Information Superhighway than the Web itself.
If we view the Internet as a pie, the Web is a slice. A good-sized
slice to be sure, but still only a fraction of the whole.
The Internet originated in order to spur communication between
researchers and the military. In addition, people in general wanted to be able to connect
to any computer on the network, no matter where it was located.
What follows are some of the tools developed to meet these needs.
Obviously, some are more popular than others:
Electronic mail: E-mail was the original and is still the most
important service provided by the Internet.
E-mail allows users to send messages to one another. Currently, all
types of files can be attached to e-mail messages, including word-processing documents,
video and audio clips, as well as images.
To read mail messages, you need a mail client, such as Microsoft
News: Newsgroups resemble the old bulletin-board services of the early
Most newsgroups use the "threaded discussion model."
When someone posts a message, everyone on the Internet can see it by
entering that newsgroup. Other users can then add their messages in response to the
original, thereby creating a thread of discussion.
People also can create new message threads. To view and respond to
newsgroups, you need a news reader. Such a client is provided with Outlook Express.
Telnet: From the very beginning, the Internet provided a means for
logging into a remote computer and running programs. Telnet services provided this
Although Telnet is much less frequently used today, it can still
connect with remote computers.
A good example of using Telnet takes place when connecting with a
remote library computer to search the card catalog or with a remote server to locate a
FTP: The File Transfer Protocol was developed as a means of moving
files among online computers.
Currently, FTP is the most common method of publishing pages on the Web
and downloading files from the Web. Internet Explorer 4.0 has some FTP capabilities built
In other cases, you may need to secure a third-party FTP application,
such as the shareware program Cute-FTP.
Real-time collaboration: Chat simultaneous communication
has been part of the Internet since its inception. IRC (Internet Relay Chat). MIRC and ICQ
are client programs that continue to be popular among people.
With the expansion of multimedia capabilities and the drop in the
prices of video-capture devices, real-time audio and video-conferencing with programs such
as Microsft's Net Meeting has become extremely popular.
World Wide Web: The Web's popularity among Internet services is so
preeminent, people often mistakenly think that's all there is to the Internet.
The Web is a method of presenting richly textured documents, which can
include graphics, sound, video clips, and hypertext links to other sites on the Internet.
Web content is presented in pages documents created in hypertext
markup language, or HTML. To view HTML pages, you need a browser such as Explorer 4.0 or
M. Shahbaz Alibaig is a Web designer as well as the co-founder of
www.foxvalley-guide.com. To ask him a question, e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail
to The Post-Crescent c/o the Fox Valley Inc. Editor. P.O. Box 59, Appleton 54912.