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This short guide is intended to explain a few fundamental concepts and offer a few tips to help you find your own way around the Web. Our intention is to offer you enough of the basics for you to be able to get out there and get your feet wet, so to speak, without drowning in a sea of information overload.
Catch 22 - There is a wealth of information about the Web itself, and how to use it, covered more comprehensively than we have here, available from many other places, once you know how to find it! We are trying, with this tutorial, to give you the basic skills to fill that gap and be able to use the web and find what you want to.
|This tutorial is designed for Subscribers of Albury Local Internet, and assumes our Subscribers are using either Microsoft's Internet Explorer or Netscape as their browser. This tutorial uses graphics to assist in explanations, so if you can't see the L Plate to the left of this paragraph, please check the following:|
|If you are using Select Options ... Appearance ... from the top menu bar and make sure the Show Pictures box is crossed.||If you are using Select Options ... and make sure Auto Load Images is ticked in the top Netscape menu bar.|
A Web Browser is a program that runs on your computer and allows you to view information available on the World Wide Web. The two Browsers for which this tutorial has been written are both able to display pictures and text, play sound and video, and are available for a number of different types of computers, and in a number of different human languages. More specific information on each of these Browsers is available from their respective Web Sites (their own Home Pages).
For a basic overview of how to understand and use your Web Browser, select the appropriate icon below (click on it).
Because the World Wide Web is so vast and changeable, a conventional index would be totally unmanageable. To address the problem of finding resources, a number of Search Engines have been devised. They perform the role of an "inter-active" index. To use a search engine you simply input a description of what you are looking for using the key words, and the search engine will return a list of places as clickable links that fit your search criteria. There are numerous Search Engines on the Web, and they all index differently. If you can't find what you are looking for with one Search Engine, try another.
We have links to a number of Search Engines off our of WWW Interesting Links page.
There are many reasons why you may not be able to reach a site and some of the common ones are covered in this separate document.
You will from time to time come across sites that have things that won't either work properly or run on your computer, for example, video clips and audio services.
Some applications require "plug-ins" to be installed and configured on your computer. Usually, a site using a particular feature will either link to or make available the "plug-in" program. Installing all these (and there are lots of 'em available) is beyond the scope of this introductory tutorial, but usually covered in the documentation that comes with the "plug-in", or at the site you got it from (or an associated link there). Follow the relevant instructions carefully.
A problem may be Browser or version specific, in which case there's not much you can do about it except
A lot of Internet software is freely available on the Internet, at least for evaluation purposes. If, for example, you would like to update to the latest version of your Web Browser, you are free to go to the Browser's Home Site and get it from there.
A few points to remember:
It can be as simple as clicking on a link. Your Browser may ask you what to do with the file if an appropriate "Helper Application" has not been set up. Unless you know what you are doing, select Save to disk, and choose the place on your hard disk (the path & directory) in which to save it. DON'T FORGET WHERE YOU'VE PUT IT! You can come along later and install the software. Be sure to read any instructions, and mark the site you got it from in case you need to refer to it for help with installation. If you are unable to get a file successfully using your Browser, you may need to use an FTP agent.
E-mail is electronic mail. It can be private or business correspondence sent via the Internet between individuals e-mail addresses.
Your account with us includes an e-mail address for yourself (email@example.com). Our Server, where you have your account and through which you access the Internet, acts like a Post Officewhere mail is sent and received. Your account is like your own private Post Office Box. Mail you send is routed immediately to the address you specified in your mail, and mail you receive waits in your account until you call to collect it.You can send electronic mail to, and receive it from anyone who has an e-mail address.
E-mail programs can be stand-alone programs in their own right, like Eudora (PC) and Eudora Light (Mac), or incorporated into your Web Browser.
Any Internet transmission can be intercepted. Some sites use various security measures to hamper would-be electronic thieves. All these security measures can be broken given the time and resources. The better measures available to US users only (at the moment) would take years to break. If security is a serious concern, make a personal phone call or use a fax instead. But remember, these can also be bugged and/or intercepted.
A lot of media hype has been given to some of the more questionable material available on the Internet. It is there, but it is unlikely children will stumble on these sites "accidentally". Children should either be regularly supervised once they have reached the insatiably curious age, or lay down your rules and trust your children not to break them (or at least not bend them too far!).
A number of measures are being considered to prevent any accidental access of unsuitable material by children, and may slow down some deliberate attempts!
If there is still a problem, re-configuring your dialler for a manual login with manual entry of your password will prevent unauthorised access (until they find out your password). Locking your modem away somewhere is available as a last resort.
The on-line Itemised Billing will let you keep track of when your account was used, and checks of the following will give you some idea of where your children might have been:
Making your children aware of this may act as a deterrent for some of the more adventurous.
... or what you should and shouldn't do.
There are guide-lines available governing what is/is not acceptable behaviour on the Internet. The term generally used is "Netiquette", and here we have briefly summarised the RFC:1855 on Netiquette Guide-lines.
FIRST DRAFT Disclaimer: This is not intended as a definitive reference, but as a guide only. It will periodically be updated as major changes occur that influence the content or intention of this document. Many other Internet related works have been and are being written around the world, some of which are linked from this tutorial, and are freely available on the net.
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