1.  What is the Internet?

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Internet Size and Growth

How Do People Access the Internet?

Computer Hardware

IBM PC or clone, Mac, UNIX or VMS workstation, or plain terminal.

Network Connection

Communications software

Computer Addresses




The alpha form is divided into four parts: specific to general. For example,

Top Level Domain (Network) Names

Original six in the United States:

edu - Education (universities, schools, etc.)

com - Commercial organizations (i.e., business)

mil - Military (army, navy, etc.)

gov - (non-military) Government

org - Other organizations

net - Network resources

Worldwide Network

Top level domains for countries usually have two-letter names. For example, 'ca' is the country code for Canada.

What can you use the Internet for?

Accessing Services

You can use the internet to logon to a shared computer system, to use its resources, such as library catalogs, or free community bulletin boards (e.g., South Eastern Ohio Regional Freenet), whether that system is in the same room or on another continent. There are two tools that you use:

Communicating With People

Messages can be sent specifically to you, or they can be "posted" where you might look for them.

Accessing Published Information

Although LISTSERV and Usenet news go to many people, it is a selected audience, like CB radio. The next three technologies are methods for public broadcasting, like TV :

Accessing Published Information

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)


On to the World Wide Web

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A more detailed Introduction to the Internet is available on-line.

Dick Piccard revised this file (http://ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu/~piccard/oacrao/net.html) on November 12, 1996.

Please send comments or suggestions to piccard@ohiou.edu.