WHAT IS THE INTERNET?
The Internet, sometimes called simply “the Net,”
is a worldwide system of computer networks—a
network of networks in which users at any one
computer can, if they have permission, get
information from any other computer (and
sometime talk directly to users at other computers).
Electronic Mail (e-mail) is the most widely used
application on the Net. Electronic mail,
commonly called email or e-mail, is a method of
exchanging digital messages from an author to
one or more recipients.
Another popular feature of the Internet is you can
carry on live “conversations” with other computer
users, using Chat.
Chat is real-time communication between two
users via computer. Once a chat has been initiated,
either user can enter text by typing on the keyboard
and the entered text will appear on the other user's
monitor. Most networks and online services offer a
CHAT –ABBREVIATIONS AND
<3 heart 404 I haven't a clue
A3 Anyplace, anywhere, anytime ADN Any day now
AFAIK As far as I know AFK Away from keyboard
ARE Acronym-rich environment ASAP As soon as possible
A/S/L? Age/sex/location? B4N Bye for now
BAK Back at the keyboard BAS Big a** smile
BBIAB Be back in a bit BBL Be back later
BBN Bye bye now BBS Be back soon
BEG Big evil grin BF Boy friend
BFD Big f***ing deal BFN Bye for now
BG Big grin BIBO Beer in, beer out
BIOYIOP Blow it out your I/O port BL Belly laughing
NOTE: These are just a few of the abbreviations and meanings that
are used for a more complete list, go to
WORLD WIDE WEB
The most widely used part of the Internet is the
World Wide Web (often abbreviated “WWW” or
called “the Web”. The World Wide Web is a
system of interlinked hypertext documents
accessed via the Internet.
Hypertext is a method of instant cross-
referencing. In most Web sites, certain words or
phrases appear in text of a different color than
the rest; often this text is also underlined. When
you select one of these words or phrases, you will
be transferred to a page that is relevant to this
word or phrase. Sometimes there are buttons,
images or portions of images that are “clickable”.
ACCESSING THE INTERNET
You can access the Internet at home with a
personal computer or at various community
locations, like the library, schools, etc. Be aware
that if you use a public computer to access the
Internet, there is probably an Internet Use
Policy and you will be responsible for following
those rules and policies.
NOTE: To see the Roanoke Public Library’s
Internet Use Policy go to www.roanoke.lib.in.us
then click Policies tab then Acceptable Use.
REQUIRED TO GO ON INTERNET
If you are using your own computer, you will
need to have at least 3 pieces of hardware /
software to access the internet.
#1 A MODEM
A modem is the piece of hardware that “calls”
your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and
connects your computer to theirs. A modem can
connect through a phone line or through a cable
#2 INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER
Your computer cannot connect directly to the
Internet. You need a third party, the ISP, to connect
to the Internet. The ISP you chose will provide you
with the necessary software to connect your
computer to theirs, and then to the Internet. Some
Internet providers are free while others charge a
monthly fee. Differences in ISPs include:
Appearance of online ads
Number of hours included in their plan each month
Number of email accounts provided
Web page space available 11
#3 WEB BROWSER
This is the software that allows you to view
graphics and other components on the Internet.
The most popular are Microsoft Internet Explorer
or Netscape Navigator. The appearance of a
particular Web site may vary slightly depending
on the browser you use.
Anti-virus software is a program that runs in
the background of your computer and continually
scans your hard drive for viruses. If a virus is
detected, the program notifies you and
quarantines the infected file so you can safely
delete it from your computer.
You want to make sure you have an antivirus
program installed AND up to date on your
computer! Some viruses can be spread just by
opening a website and there is no way to know
until it has infected your computer!
Firewalls are programs that add another level
of security and are especially important to have if
you connect through a cable modem or another
connection that is “on” all the time. A firewall
protects your computer from someone on the
outside gaining access. Without a firewall,
someone could potentially access the files on your
computer, or send emails through your email
A cookie is information that a website puts on your
hard disk so that it can remember something about
you at a later time. Cookies are required for many
websites to display correctly or accumulate
information you are entering.
If it is a reputable website, it is usually safe to accept
Every website on the Internet has a unique
address and to access that website, you must
know the address. A website address is called a
URL, or Uniform Resource Locator.
ADDRESS OF A WEBSITE
The format of website addresses are almost all
the same. Most start with www, for world wide
web. Then comes the actual address of the site,
followed by a “dot” extension, which identifies
the domain. The address is like a house
number-it identifies a specific person or account.
A domain is a group of hosts (or computers that
have web sites on them) that are of a same or
similar organization. The domain is like a street
address—a lot of people live or have accounts
there. There are 6 common domains set up for
US Internet sites:
1. .com Commercial
2. .net Network
3. .gov Government
4. .edu Educational
5. .org Organization (usually not for profit)
6. .mil Military 18
An example of a website address is:
“uncanmanuals” is the address.
.com is the domain extension
NOTE: Since every website address must be
unique, the same name may be used for different
websites but they will each use a different dot
TEN POPULAR WEBSITES
You have probably heard of or will hear of these
websites, even if you never use them.
1. Google (google.com)—a site where you can set
up an e-mail account, read the news, get
directions, and go shopping, but at its core
Google is a search engine.
2. Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)—an online
encyclopedia that is free but it is user-written
3. Amazon (amazon.com)—it began as a way to
sell books without costs associated with a
physical bookstore and has become a store for
MORE OF WEBSITES
4. Facebook (facebook.com)—a social networking
website for keeping in touch with old friends and
making new ones.
5. eBay (ebay.com)—an online auction where
people sell everything, from real (DVDs, cars,
furniture) to more conceptual (one man auctioned
6. Yahoo (yahoo.com)—a search engine, an e-mail
outlet, and a news source.
7. The Drudge Report (drudgereport.com)—Matt
Drudge combines links to other new sources and
stories he writes himself to bring his readers the
latest news and rumors. It broke the Monica
Lewinsky story in 1998. 21
8. Blogger (blogger.com)—creates a website for
people to blog. Blog is an abbreviation of “web
log”, a term for an online journal, column, etc.
9. Craigslist (craigslist.org)—low-tech, local
version of eBay. It is like a huge community
bulletin board, allowing a person to find just
10. YouTube (youtube.com)—allows users to post
FINDING A WEBSITE
There is no “directory” available for internet
addresses (websites) because there are so many
and they change all the time. However, as we
will explore later, there are lots of Search
Engines you can use to find sites about the
information you are seeking.
Internet explorer will open to whatever you have set
as your home page.
At the Library, our home page is the Roanoke Public
NOTE: When on your own computer, your home page is
the page that opens every time you connect to the
CHANGING YOUR HOME PAGE
You can change your home page by clicking Tools on the
menu bar, the Internet Options. In Windows 7, you will
click the and then click Internet Options.
Windows 7Windows XP
The address of your home page is in the Home page box.
You can click on…
Use Current to set the open page as your home page
Use Default to set the ISPs page as your home page
Use Blank for a blank window to be your home page
type in the address of the website of your choice.
Windows XP Windows 7
The standard toolbar has buttons for the most
commonly used commands in Internet Explorer.
You can use these buttons to help explore the
internet. To see a description of a button, move
the mouse pointer over the button and hold it
still. A short description of the button will
Back: Moves you back to your previous screen(s)
Forward: Moves you ahead one screen if you’ve
already moved back.
Stop: Stops downloading the page Internet Explorer is
attempting to display.
Refresh: Reload the current page (download it from
the server again)
Home: opens your home page
Search: Type in a key word e.g. 'Football' and you will
be presented with a list of all the relevant web sites..
MORE TOOLBAR ITEMS
Favorites: Opens a list of bookmarks to your favorite
Add a Favorite: Adds current site to your Favorites
History: Opens a list of sites you have visited
Mail: Brings up Outlook Express to allow you to send
and read email
Print: Allows you to print the current page
Edit: lets you edit the current page in Word.
USING THE ADDRESS BAR
The address bar allows you to type in the web address
or click on the down arrow for a list of addresses you
have entered in the past. Once you type in the address,
click on the Go button or press the Enter key on the
Most websites have multiple pages. The page that
opens when you type in a website address is
usually the site’s home page. There may be other
pages included in the website that can be accessed
by a hyperlink. Hyperlinks are connections to
other pages in the site you are looking at or to
another unrelated site.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE A HYPERLINK
You can usually tell a hyperlink when you see it. It may…
Be a different color.
Change the mouse pointer to a hand when pointing at it.
NOTE: Many pictures can also be hyperlinks—watch how
the mouse pointer changes when you point to it.
When you open a page you like and want to save for
future reference, click on Favorites on the menu bar and
choose Add to Favorites.
ADD A FAVORITE
The Add a Favorite window will open.
The window will show what the site will be listed
under (this can be changed).
Click on Add button to add it.
OPEN A FAVORITE
To open a saved favorite, click on Favorites on the
main menu, choose the name of the favorite from the
1. Open Internet Explorer
2. Go to Google by typing it in the address bar.
Save this site to your favorites.
3. Practice using the back and forward buttons.
4. Click on the Home Page button on the toolbar
to go back to www.roanoke.lib.in.us
5. Click on some of the text links and some of the
On the Internet, a search engine is a coordinated
set of programs that includes:
1. A spider (also called a “crawler” or a “bot”) that goes
to every page or representative pages on every Web
site that wants to be searchable and reads it.
2. A program that creates a huge index (sometimes
called a “catalog”) from the pages that have been
3. A program that receives your search request,
compares it to the entries in the index, and returns
results to you.
SEARCH ENGINE APPROACHES
Major search engines such as Google and Yahoo
(which uses Google) index the content of a large
portion of the Web and provide results.
Ask Jeeves provides a general search of the Web
but allows you to enter a search request in natural
language such as “What’s the weather in Seattle
Special tools and some major Web sites such as
Yahoo let you use a number of search engines at the
same time and compile results for you in a single
Individual Web sites, especially larger corporate
sites, may use a search engine to index and retrieve
the content of just their own site. Some of the major
search engine companies license or sell their search
engines for use on individual sites.
HOW TO SEARCH
If you know of a specialized search engine such as
SearchNetworking that matches your subject (for
example, Networking), you’ll save time by using
that search engine.
If there isn’t a specialized search engine, try Google
or perhaps other search engines for their results.
SAVING A DOCUMENT
You can save a web page to a flash drive or to a
hard drive. You may do this in order to print it
in a word processor (this gives you more control
of the pages you print) or to view it later.
When the page you want to save is open, click on
the File then Save As…on the main menu.
Select the folder you want the page saved in and give
it a file name. Then click on the Save button.
1. Choose the
Folder you want
to save it in
3. Click Save
DOWNLOADING A DOCUMENT OR
Sometimes you may have the option to download
a program or file to your computer. This means
you are copying a file or program from
somewhere on the internet to your computer.
When you download you have 2 options—to open
the program or file or to save it to disk.
If you open the program, the download and
installation will happen immediately.
If you save the program, you can choose when to
install the program.
Before you download a file or program or install a
downloaded file or program, make sure you have
up to date virus software. This is one way your
computer can be infected by a virus!
NOTE: MANY OF THE GAMES ARE
TRIAL VERSIONS ONLY.
This means that some of the features may be
disabled or that after a certain number of days
the program will no longer be accessible.
The File Download window will open. Here is
where you can choose to Save or Open the
program you are downloading.
If you choose Open, the download will begin. If
you choose Save, you will be asked where to save
the file. Make sure you make note of where you
save it so you can find it later on!
Using a search engine, try to find the following
Local weather forecast for Roanoke, IN
A place to eat in Kalamazoo, MI
A place to stay overnight in Lexington, KY
What specials Toys R Us has online this week
Look up your phone number (try
Save a website to the hard drive in the My
Spend time exploring different websites 57
Please fill out the questionnaire
For more information, contact the Library at 260-
672-2989 or firstname.lastname@example.org or come in
and talk to a librarian.