Computer Basics & Internet
In now a day every one likes to learn about the Internet and its usage. But before learning about the Internet you must be aware about the basics of the computers, how it woks and some common terminologies.
Basics of the Computers
The new generation commercial computer which, we are using today is invented in 1976. The growth of which, in India actually started during and after 1984. The computer is nothing but a combination of some devices (Logical and Physical) which work to gather and give the user possible desired output.
Know the Terms and Devices related to your computer:
1. Monitor (Output Device):
Monitor is the device form, which you can create a visual interface with the computer. Mind well that the monitor is only an output device not a computer it self. Many people in the India would believe that the brand of the monitor is the computer brand. In reality the computers are known by its CPU or branded company name Viz Pentium III or Compaq PC or IBM PC.
2. Keyboard (Input Device):
Keyboard is an input device from you can give command to the computer or insert the data you desired.
3. Mouse (Input Device):
Mouse is also an input device. Now most of people are using the GUI Operating System. Which needs only clicks for the commands. And thus the mouse is used for the same.
4. Operating System:
Every computer needs a platform on which it works. This platform is nothing but a program developed by programmer, to make computer user friendly. And it is known as Operating System i.e. DOS, Windows, Unix, Linux etc.
Graphical User Interface is an environment of a new generation operating systems i.e. Windows; Linux’s Gnome, KDE; Unix’s Xwindow etc., from which user directly interface graphically.
6. CPU Cabinet:
CPU cabinet is the cabinet in which the motherboard and the some internal devices are fitted. They are available in two models. 1. Tower (Vertical) 2. Flat (Horizontal)
CPU stands for Central Processing Unit. All the work given by the user is processed in the CPU. In other word the CPU is the mind of the computer. Some popular CPU is Intel Pentium, Intel Pentium-II, Intel Pentium-III, AMD, and Cyrix. The speed of the CPU is majored in megahertz. More the megahertz’s more the speed of CPU.
8. Mother Board:
Motherboard is a circuit on which all the internal devices of the computer are fitted that’s why it’s known as motherboard. Some of the popular mother board chipset is Intel 810 chip set, Intel 440 Bx, Intel 440 Zx.
9. RAM (Memory Device):
RAM (Pronounced as a Re..am)stands for Random Access Memory. Like human being the computer also needs a memory to store the specific addresses or detail and while doing some work it needs to be recall that memory. In same way the computer while doing random work needs to share some memory. This is making available physically to computer and fitted on the motherboard. In nowadays due to heavy graphical needs of the users the minimum RAM is 32 MB and recommended is 64MB.
10. ROM (Memory Device):
ROM stands for Read Only Memory. Like in human mind some memories are permanently stored we can not change it. And it is must. Likewise the computer while booting needs some predefined work to do which are stored in the ROM.
11. Booting (Procedure):
In simple word we can say that Tuning on Computer is booting.
12. Hard Disk (Storage Device):
Hard disk is a device that stores the data or information, which are created by user. Thus the hard disk is the storage device. Now a day the 40 GB hard disk is outdated at least 80 GB hard disk is required. Generally it is immobile storage device.
Printer is a device to print the work the user done on the computer. The copy is also known as hard copy. They are of three types, 1.Dot Matrix 2.Inkjet 3.Laser.
14. Hard Copy:
The hard copy is the copy, which is physically available. The printed copy of computer work is known as Hard copy.
15. Soft Copy:
The soft copy is the computer work copy, which is available in the movable storage device viz. Floppy, CD-ROM.
16. Floppy (Movable Storage Device):
Floppy is movable storage device on which you can take your one file to use it in another computer. Though the capacity of the floppy is much-much smaller then Hard disk, it is useful as well as effective storage media. In the other limitation of the floppy is the data would be corrupted if stored for long duration. The main popular size of the floppy diskette is 1.2 MB (5 ½ inches), 1.44 MB (3 ½ inches). In recent past many company’s introduced the big storage capacity Floppy Disk. They are of 120 MB in the storage size. The performance of which is not available and other thing is it is quite costly.
17. CD ROM: (Movable Storage Device):
Compact Disk Read Only Memory is over come the floppy’s limitation to storage the data. In it is highly secure to store on the CD-ROM. The storage life is very high, if protected from the scratches. The storage capacity is very high of about 640 MB. But the only disadvantage it has is it requires CD-Writer to write the data on it. And as its name suggest you can write only once on to it. But now in the market the CD-R (CD- Re-writable) and CD-W (CD-Writable – You can write one more time) is available.
18. Multi Media Kit:
The sound, video etc. which we are watching on the computer is known as multimedia. For these facilities the computer needs a multi media kit. That is a CD-ROM, a Sound card and AGP Card.
In offices, where you have about 10 computers and the work is done on every computer randomly. And if some body work on computer 3 and other day he wants to append his/her work it is quite annoying that he/she has to wait till the computer is free. So to overcome this situation the Engineers created a network with help of the cables and some protocols so that every computer remains linked. And every one can share the resources available on to all computers.
In simple word, protocol is nothing but a rules and regulation for connecting or sharing the resources. If the protocol is satisfied than it will be allowed sharing the resources and data accordingly. Some protocols are FTP (File Transfer Protocol), HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) etc.
LAN stands for Local Area Network. As its name suggests it is a network of the computers locally i.e. in one room, one building.
WAN stands for Wide Area Network. As its name suggests it is a network of the computers spread widely geographically i.e. One the head office of the large firm is in the one city and the computers of that office is connected to it’s other city’s office, The Railway Ticket Booking system is also is a WAN.
Internet is a huge network of computer networks. For Internet connection at home you required an Internet connection form ISP, TCP/IP enabled operating system (Mostly all new operating system are TCP/IP enabled), a telephone line and a Modem.
24. Modem (Device):
Modem stands for Modulator Demodulator. The data, which are available on the Internet, travels in packet format that needs to be converted in to computer language. So the modems role is to convert the data in to packets and transmit it by phone line and vise versa. It is available as external as well as internal device.
ISP stands for Internet Service Provider. If you need an Internet connection you have to buy it from ISP.
What is Internet?
The Internet is a huge collection of computer networks that can communicate with each other - a network of networks. A network, further, is a collection of interconnected individually controlled computers through networks; each computer user can communicate and share common resources, such as printers and storage space, When you connect to Internet from office or home, your computer becomes a small part of this giant network.
Internet is a huge network of computer networks. Computers of all kinds constitute the Internet. It is an umbrella under which many different networks, small or big, freely exchange information.
How does the Internet work?
In order to make the Internet work the requirements is:
- A physical connection between the computers, and
- A common language called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) for the computers to communicate over the Internet. By using TCP/IP protocol, all kinds of computers with different operating system fun on the Internet.
What is WWW?
The World Wide Web (WWW) is a vast collection of documents stored on the Internet Computers.
World Wide Web is considered one of the key milestones in Internet Usage. WWW has changed the way information is accessed on the Internet since its inception.
Tim-Berner-Lee invented the web (WWW) in early 1990s. It has grown very rapidly. Four years ago only around 1250 web servers were online. Today over 10,00,000 web serves. The idea behind the development of the web was to provide easy access to information and to provide the capability to move freely on the Internet. WWW documents can contain text, pictures, sound, videos and more.
What is web server?
Web server is a program and a computer clubbed in to one entity, which responds to the requestor from web browsers for Internet resources.
What is Home Page?
Home page is the first hypertext document to be shown when a user follows a link to the web server.
What is Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP)?
Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the protocol used by the Web to transfer hypertext documents and other Internet Resources.
What is URL (Uniform Resource Locator)?
Uniform Resource Locator is a special scheme that tells the user exactly where a resource is located on the Internet.
What is web browser?
A web browser is a program that is allows a user to display and interact with a hypertext document. Some of the popular web browser is Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Eye, Neoplanet, Lynx etc.
Web browsers are of two types:
1. Text Only Browsers
A text only browser such as Lynx allows you to visit web pages without showing art or page structure. Essentially you look at text on the screen. The advantage of a text-only browser is that it displays web pages very fast. This is because it need not transfer images, voice and other media that occupy large amount of memory.
2. Graphical Browsers
The two graphical browsers that are currently in use are Netscape, Internet Explorer. The graphical browsers are significantly slower than their text only counterparts since the multimedia files/graphics in these browsers often take a long time to download.
NOTE : You can download the browsers free from the following URLs
Netscape Navigator : http://home.netscape.com
Microsoft Internet Explorer : http://www.mocrosoft.com > downloads
How to surf the web with a Browser?
Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer are very popular browsers in use today. Both browsers have a simple tool bar for navigating the web including the web buttons to move backward and forward through pages you have visited as well as button to reload/refresh the current page. Several other options, including printing and searching, are also available from the toolbar.
You can jump to any site on the web by typing its URL in the Location Box/ Address Bar and pressing Enter. Both Netscape and Internet Explorer use the search button to find just about any web site that is available.
Internet Explorer and Netscape, both remember your favorite web page by using bookmarks creating bookmarks allows you to create a permanent link to the current page. You can instantly jump to any of the marked pages by selecting it from the Bookmark Menu.
Hyperlinks on the web page:
Hyperlink allows you to jump to another page on web. Normally, hyperlink text is underlined and appears in a different colour on the webpage. (Mainly Blue colour). There is another way to identify the hypertext (Link). When your cursor points to it the hand sign will appear.
Email stands for Electronic Mail.
So how does it work? Just like your regular mail. Take a moment to understand how your message reaches a relative in the distant US.
First, you write a letter, address the envelope and drop it at the post-office after sticking a stamp on it. In case you're writing a business letter, you may want to make copies for filing or for sending to another department in your organization. The letter passes through a series of post offices till it reaches the receiver’s local post office. From there, it is delivered to his doorstep. You can also send a parcel with the letter in much the same way.
And e-mail? Similar procedure without the stamp-licking routine. Instead of post-offices, e-mail passes through servers. You’ll have to dial-up your e-mail service provider whenever you want to send and receive mail. Besides an e-mail account, a program called an e-mail client is required to send and receive electronic mail. The client provides facilities to like letters and fax is that it is almost instantaneous. More importantly, it directly reaches the concerned individual’s electronic mail-box without getting buried under a mountain of paper.
In some cases, you can even confirm whether your message as been received and read by the recipient-something next to impossible with a letter or fax. Sure the good old telephone offers advantages similar to that of a letter or fax, but what do you do when the person you are calling is not on his table? Or if the person is a few continents away.... With e-mail, even if the recipient is not around, the message is delivered into his mailbox and is available the next time he checks in. Compared to other mediums, e-mail is dirt-cheap. The cost of sending an electronic message across the world is same as sending one across the city-in most cases, a local telephone call.
Further, as the message is in an electronic form you save money on printing, fax paper and ink. Used correctly, e-mail offers many advantages over a physical mail or message. For example, using encryption technology you could electronically deliver confidential documents saving time and money over the standard practice of having a `reliable" person- who could be waylaid-hand-delivering a sealed document.
What really happens is backstage E-mail works in the same way as the postal system does. When you write an e-mail message and mail it, it gets posted on a mail server, which could be on your private network or the Internet. This is analogous to your local post office where all your letters land up after you deposit them in the letterbox. Like letters, which are transferred from one post office to another, the mail server forwards all e-mail to the next server which temporarily stores them before re-forwarding them to the next one. This mail server too temporarily stores all the e-mail before transferring them to the next mail server. This store-and-forward cycle continues until the e-mail messages reach their destination mail server. The mail server also plays a large part in controlling the data traffic on the network. It stores messages when network traffic is high and forwards them when it is low thereby reducing chances of network congestion. It also acts as a gateway or a translator between different types of e-mail systems like the Internet’s POP3
Once the messages reach their destination mail server, they are stored until collected by the recipients. E-mail protocols to send and retrieve messages between computers on the Internet, every computer involved must follow the same set of rules or protocols. For e-mail there are special protocols like SMTP, POP, IMAP and MIME.
Mainly one can separate it in to category.
Web based Email and another is Protocol based email.
Web mail email is the one which one can use it by going to the web site of the email provider and by entering the site. In this type of mail the email are mainly sent in the text only format, but you can also sent it in a html format, which is more time consuming than protocol base email. Some of the popular free web based email sites is: www.hotmail.com, www.netaddress.com, www.yahoo.com etc.
The Protocol based emails are those which one can do from his/her email client viz. Microsoft Outlook Express. In this case you can send the email with html format or in text format very quickly than the web based email. For protocol based emails you need the service providers mail servers POP3 (In coming Mail server address) and SMTP(Out going mail server Address) addresses. Some of the popular free protocol based email providers are: http://mail.yahoo.com, http://mail.zeenext.com and your ISP (Internet Service Provider).
By: K D Padaki