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Course 101 -. Basic Computer Concepts. Presented by. How Do I Connect My New Computer?. How Do I Connect My New Computer?. Connect only one keyboard and one mouse. If you have a wireless keyboard or mouse, see the setup diagram supplied with those devices for setup instructions.

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How Do I Connect My New Computer?

Connect only one keyboard and one mouse.If you have a wireless keyboard or mouse,see the setup diagram supplied with thosedevices for setup instructions.


How Do I Connect My New Computer?

Align and gently insert the monitor cable connector.Do not bend the connector pins.Tighten the thumbscrews firmly.


How Do I Connect My New Computer?

Modem Option: Insert the modem connector until it clicks. You can attacha phone to the connector next to the LINE IN connector. If you have DSLservice, see your DSL setup guide for DSL and modem setup instructions.A microphone is only available with certain modems.


How Do I Connect My New Computer?

Speaker Option: See the setup diagramsupplied with the speakers for setup instructions.


How Do I Connect My New Computer?

Connect the monitor, computer,and speaker system to electricaloutlets.


How Do I Connect My New Computer?

Press the power buttons to turn onyour computer and monitor. Then turn on the speakers and/or subwoofer(if necessary). Follow the instructionson the screen to complete the MicrosoftWindows operating system setup.


How Do I Connect My New Computer?

See the documentation suppliedwith the printer for setup instructions.See the computer’s owners manual formore information on installing printers.


Power Considerations

It is obvious from the number of cables running around that there is a lot of electricity involved in a computer system. The power in electrical lines is not as steady as you might think. It varies as demand peaks and wanes, as lightning strikes near power lines, as equipment is brought on line or taken off. This exposes the system to three kinds of damage:(1) Fried PartsA power spike is a huge jump that lasts for fractions of a second. One large spike can destroy the CPU and other chips on the motherboard.To block these fluctuations, a computer and all it's accessories should be plugged into a surge protector. These come with different protection levels for different loads, and therefore different prices. You'll have to decide how much protection you are willing to pay for. Not all devices that look alike actually are alike. Power outlet strips look very much like the strip-style surge protectors but give no surge protection at all. They are just a way to connect multiple devices to a single wall outlet. Under-the-monitor styles also can be merely a convenient way to plug everything in, with no protection. So check carefully that you are buying what you think you are buying!


Power Considerations

(2) Accelerated AgingA power surge sends more electricity through the line than normal for several seconds. A brownout is a period of lower voltage. It causes lights to dim but it may not be low enough for devices to shut down.When the voltage fluctuates in your power line, over time the repeated small peaks and dips shorten the life span for computer parts. They wear out sooner. So, in addition to blocking high voltages, you need the ability to smooth out these variations by pumping up the voltage when it drops and stepping it down when it's too high. This is called conditioning. Most protection devices also have noise filters to remove the interference caused by the magnetic fields of nearby devices. You may have seen the speckles and lines in a TV picture when a vacuum cleaner or refrigerator motor starts up. All electrical devices have magnetic fields. Electric motors, sound speakers, and low-flying airplanes are among the worst offenders at generating interference.

(3) Dead DataIf the voltage drops too low, the computer shuts down without warning. A voltage drop that makes your lights blink and the TV flicker can make the computer stop in its tracks. All unsaved changes to your documents and data are lost. You can actually damage, or corrupt, files this way. If the computer was in the act of saving data to the hard drive, the hard drive may be ruined. You need a guaranteed source of power. An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is a combination of surge protector, power line conditioner, and battery power supply. The least expensive ones will power your computer for 5 or 10 minutes. So in a power outage you have the time to save your work and close everything down properly. A much more expensive UPS setup can keep your network running all day when the power is completely out. If there is a brownout, the UPS cuts on instantly and keeps the computer running as if nothing had happened. When the power is stable again, it cuts itself off.



Computers are showing up everywhere you look, and even in places you can't see. Computers check out your groceries, pump your gas, dispense money at the ATM, turn the heat on and off, control the way your car runs. They're everywhere! In fact, the computer is rapidly becoming as tightly woven into the fabric of our lives as the automobile. There are different kinds of computers for different purposes. They are just as varied in size, expense, and ability as our more familiar 4-wheeled vehicles are.

What is a computer?

A computer is an electronic device that executes the instructions in a program. A computer has four functions:

a. accepts data - Input

b. processes data - Processing

c. produces output - Output

d. stores results - StorageSome beginning terms: Hardware the physical parts of the computerSoftware the programs (instructions) that tell the computer what to doData  individual facts like first name, price, quantity orderedInformation data which has been massaged into a useful form, like a complete mailing addressDefault the original settings; what will happen if you don't change anything.

The Information Processing Cycle



Descriptions of Personal Computers

When talking about PC computers, most people probably think of the desktop type, which are designed to sit on your desk. (Bet you figured that one out!) The tower and the smaller mini-tower style cases have become popular as people started needing more room for extra drives inside. Repairmen certainly appreciate the roominess inside for all the cables and circuit boards ... and their knuckles.

A workstation is part of a computer network and generally would be expected to have more than a regular desktop PC of most everything, like memory, storage space, and speed.

The market for the smallest PCs is expanding rapidly. Software is becoming available for the small types of PC like the palmtop (PPC) and handheld (HPC). This new software is based on new operating systems like Windows CE (for Consumer Electronics). You may find simplified versions of the major applications you use. One big advantage for the newer programs is the ability to link the small computers to your home or work computer and coordinate the data. So you can carry a tiny computer like a PalmPilot around to enter new phone numbers and appointments and those great ideas you just had. Then later you can move this information to your main computer.

With a Tablet PC you use an electronic stylus to write on the screen, just like with a pen and paper, only your words are in digital ink. The Tablet PC saves your work just like you wrote it (as a picture), or you can let the Hand Recognition (HR) software turn your chicken-scratches into regular text.



  • Mainframe Computers
  • The mainframe is the workhorse of the business world. A mainframe is the heart of a network of computers or terminals which allows hundreds of people to work at the same time on the same data. It requires a special environment - cold and dry.
  • SupercomputersThe supercomputer is the top of the heap in power and expense. These are used for jobs that take massive amounts of calculating, like weather forecasting, engineering design and testing, serious decryption, economic forecasting, etc.
  • ServersThe term server actually refers to a computer's function rather than to a specific kind of computer. A server runs a network of computers. It handles the sharing of equipment like printers and the communication between computers on the network. For such tasks a computer would need to be somewhat more capable than a desktop computer. It would need:
      • more power
      • larger memory
      • larger storage capacity
      • high speed communications
  • MinicomputersThe minicomputer has become less important since the PC has gotten so powerful on its own. In fact, the ordinary new PC is much more powerful than minicomputers used to be. Originally this size was developed to handle specific tasks, like engineering and CAD calculations, that tended to tie up the mainframe.


WindowsWindows is simply another computer program. It is similar to other programs you may have on your computer with one large difference. Windows is the program that manages all the other programs, kind of like the boss. Your boss gives out assignments, allocates resources to projects he thinks are worthwhile, and checks up on your activities. Similarly, Windows knows which file to open when you double-click on an icon on the desktop. Windows also knows how much of your computer’s memory (or resources) to give to each open program, so you can be doing many different things on your computer at once. Even when the files ("employees") start fighting for more resources (even computers play office politics), Windows ("the boss") keeps everything in order.Program

Also known as software or application. A program is simply something that allows you to work or play on the computer. A game is a program, a word processor is a program, Windows is a program.

Programs are used to create documents and files for the user, or to just have fun. Programs are what actually put your computer to good use. Without a program, your computer is impotent.GUI (Graphical User Interface)A Graphical User Interface (GUI - sometimes pronounced GOO-ee) uses pictures to make it easier for the user. It is more user friendly. The next slide provides more information on GUI interfaces.



Common features of a graphical interface:

Window    Menu    Button    Icon


Keyboard Functions In Windows

The Shift Key: Used exactly the same as a typewriter in Windows. Makes capital letters and allows you to use the "cursing symbols" such as @#$%. The Shift Key can also be used to highlight text, like you would do with your mouse. Try it. Hold down the shift key (don't release it), now move your cursor with the arrow keys. You should be able to highlight text this way.

The Alt Key: The ALT key stands for "Alternate." When you push this key in Windows, the cursor moves to the menu bar at the top of the screen. It's the same as clicking your mouse on the "File" Menu above. From there you can use the arrow keys to select menu options. This is useful if you don't like switching between your mouse and keyboard often. Press "Alt" again to move the cursor back off of the menu bar.

The Windows Key: This key opens the "Start Menu" at the lower left corner of your screen. It has the same effect as you clicking the "Start" button with your mouse.

The CTRL Key: The CTRL key stands for "Control." This key is used in combination with other keys to perform specific tasks, often called shortcuts. A list of common Windows Keyboard Shortcuts is included in this presentation. One example is "CTRL+P." Often times programs automatically print the document you are using if you push the Control button and the "P" key at the same time. If you are using Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer to view a web page, you can bookmark the page using the keyboard shortcut "CTRL+D." Try it out!

The Delete Key: This key erases the character directly to the right of your cursor. If you have text or graphics that are highlighted, those are erased by pushing this key as well.

The Backspace Key: This key erases the character directly to the left of your cursor. If you have text or graphics that are highlighted, those are erased by pushing this key as well.


Keyboard Functions In Windows

Enter: The Enter key works very much like the "Return" key on a typewriter. However, do NOT press enter after every line when you are typing a document. Windows knows when you are reaching the end of a line, and will automatically go to the next line. If you do press enter after each line, and then attempt to change the font or size of the document, you'll see some strange results! Pressing enter also usually agrees to a question that Windows asks you, similar to pressing an "OK" button, or a "Yes" button.

Tab: Similar to a typewriter, the Tab key will insert indentation into a document. It also jumps from box to box when entering a form online, or in Windows.

Insert: The insert mode toggles between the Insert Mode, and the Overwrite Mode. The Insert Mode will insert text where the cursor is when you type. For example, if you earlier typed the phrase "Windows is Fun", then moved your cursor between "is" and "Fun" and typed "REALLY", the result would be "Windows is REALLY Fun“. However, Overwrite Mode simply writes over anything in its path. In our last example, the word "Fun" would have been written over by "REALLY", making the sentence read "Windows is REALLY.“

Num Lock: If you look at your Numeric Keypad (that group of keys to the right with all the numbers on it), you'll see that there are arrows and words under most of the numbers. When Num Lock is turned on, you can use those keys to enter numbers (instead of using the row right above the keyboard letters). When Num Lock is turned off, you can use the arrows and commands printed below the numbers.

Home / End / Pg Up / Pg Down: Often the Home key is used to move your cursor to the beginning of a line, and the End key is used to move it to the end of a line. Page Up and Page Down are slightly misleading. Often, the Page Down key won't move your cursor from Page 2 to Page 3, like you would think it would. Instead, they often move the cursor up/down one "screen-length", meaning that if you push the Page Down key, the top of the screen becomes what was just after the bottom of the screen before you pressed the key. That's hopelessly confusing, so try it out yourself. I personally use these four keys very often to navigate quickly around a document.


Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

[Alt] and [Esc] Switch between running applications[Alt] and [Tab] Toggle between running applications [Alt] and letter Select menu item by underlined letter [Ctrl] and [Esc] Open Program Menu [Ctrl] and [F4] Close active document or group windows (does not work with some applications) [Alt] and [F4]Quit active application or close current window[Alt] and [-] Open Control menu for active document[Alt] and [Spacebar] Open Control menu for active application[Ctrl] Lft., Rt. Arrow Move cursor forward or back one word [Ctrl] Up, Down arrow Move cursor forward or back one paragraph[Ctrl] and X Cut selected text or object(s)[Ctrl] and C Copy selected text or object(s) [Ctrl] and V Paste copied text or object(s)[F1] Open Help for active applicationWindows+E Open Windows ExplorerWindows+F Open FindWindows+M Minimize all open windowsShift+Windows+M Undo minimize all open windowsWindows+R Open Run windowWindows+F1 Open Windows HelpWindows+Tab Cycle through the Taskbar buttonsWindows+Break Open the System Properties dialog box

Ctrl + A Select AllCtrl + B BoldCtrl + D DuplicateCtrl + F Find Ctrl + G Go To Page Ctrl + H ReplaceCtrl + I Italic Ctrl + J Justify Text Ctrl + L Left Align TextCtrl + N Open New documentCtrl + O OpenCtrl + P PrintCtrl + Q QuitCtrl + R Right Align Text Ctrl + S SaveCtrl + U UnderlineCtrl + V PasteCtrl + W Close documentCtrl + X CutCtrl + Z Undo


Text Selection Shortcuts

One character right - SHIFT+RIGHT ARROWOne character left - SHIFT+LEFT ARROWTo end of a word - CTRL+SHIFT+RIGHT ARROWTo beginning of a word - CTRL+SHIFT+LEFT ARROWTo end of a line - SHIFT+ENDTo beginning of a line - SHIFT+HOMEOne line down - SHIFT+DOWN ARROWOne line up - SHIFT+UP ARROWTo the end of a paragraph - CTRL+SHIFT+DOWN ARROWTo the beginning of a paragraph - CTRL+SHIFT+UP ARROWOne screen down - SHIFT+PAGE DOWNOne screen up - SHIFT+PAGE UPTo the end of a window - ALT+CTRL+PAGE DOWNTo the beginning of a document - CTRL+SHIFT+HOMETo include the entire document - CTRL+A


General Keyboard Information

What's the Difference Between the Backspace and Delete Key?

Both keys essentially do the same thing, with one major difference. The backspace key deletes to the left of the cursor, and the delete key deletes to the right of the cursor.

For instance if I had the word "trick" on my screen, with the cursor between the "i" and the "c" and pushed delete, I would end up with "trik." Conversely, if I hit backspace, the screen would read "trck.“What does the Print Screen Key do?

In old DOS programs, the Print Screen key used to do just that... Print a copy of whatever was on the screen at that time. However, it didn't work with graphics, so if there were any graphics on the screen at the time, you would get a garbled mess from your printer.

When Windows came along and brought pictures and icons along with it, this created a problem. Now, the Print Screen key copies a picture of whatever is on your screen to the clipboard. Then you can use Microsoft Paint, or another graphics editor to paste it and print it, or put it on your web page.


Mouse Essentials

In order to use Windows and other programs you need to know how to use a mouse. Let’s take a break from the presentation and try some exercises.

Click on the Mouse Tutorial link in the column to the left



General Information


A file is a collection of information that a computer uses. It is always in a particular format. For example, if you created a Microsoft Word document, the file is saved so that Microsoft Word can read it and open it. Often files cannot be opened to read, they are simply data files the computer and techno-weenies understand. Files are made up of the filename, and the extension.Document

A document is a file that contains information that the user (you) can view or hear. It is most often a word processed letter, a picture, a sound byte, or something similar. Documents are usually created and edited using programs such as Microsoft Word, or Adobe Photoshop.File Name

The file name is the first part of the file, and is sometimes referred to as just the "name." This name can be up to 255 characters in Windows 95, 98, or 2000, as opposed to 8 characters in Windows 3.x and DOS.

This name is set by the computer user (you). It should be descriptive of what the particular file or document consists. For example, if the document is a Birthday Card for Mikey's 9th birthday, set the file name equal to "Mikey's 9th Birthday Card". The second part of the file is the extension.


The extension is the second part of the name of the file. It is often three characters long, but can be longer. The extension tells the computer which program, or application, to associate the file with.

For example, if you create a document in Microsoft Word, the computer automatically assigns that file the extension "doc". That code tells the computer that it is an MS Word document, and should be opened using Word. The first part of the file is the filename.


Backing Up Your System

BackupsBecause your computer has many important personal files on its hard drive, if they all disappeared one day, you would probably be devastated. Hard drives don’t live forever, as some people seem to think, therefore it’s important to back up your personal hard drive files regularly.

Our first recommendation is to buy a good backup program, or use Microsoft Backup that comes with Windows. There are several good programs out there that will do the job, but make sure that you buy one that is current for your version of Windows. A backup system designed for Windows 98 may not be reliable for Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

QuickTipsThere are many mediums on which you can backup your information. The most common right now are CD-Rewritable Drives, Zip Drives, and Flash Drives. CD-Rewritable Drives are different than CD-Writeable drives, the difference being that with Rewritables, you can erase and copy over the same CD, much like you can with a floppy disk. Zip disks look like over sized floppy disks, and can hold about 100 MB of information each. CDs can hold about 700 MB of information each. Flash drives vary, but the most popular ones hold between 128MB and 2GB of data.

Others use less popular mediums such as tape backup units (computerized tape recorder) or even using many floppy disks. If you use either of these methods, only backup your essentials. Floppy disks only hold 1.44 MB of information, and therefore will take all Saturday afternoon and a thousand disks to back up even a small hard drive.


File Size Information

Computer files are measured in units called "bytes" (pronounced "bites"). A byte roughly translates into a character or letter. For example, if I type "Love & War", I have typed in 10 bytes (7 letters, 1 symbol, 2 spaces). Special formatting codes such as Bold, Italics, or Underline add bytes to the document, as well as different fonts or font sizes.

Bytes are measured in the metric system, which won't be unfamiliar to you if you live outside the US. But for those of you that are confused when you buy a 2-Liter from the grocery store, this table may help you figure out what people are talking about when they refer to a Megabyte.

Floppy Disks hold about 1.44 MB. CD's hold about 600-700 MB. Hard Drives hold anywhere from 800 MB to 400+ GB. Flash drives hold anywhere from 128MB to 10GB. Text is not the only information that takes up room on your disk. Images and Graphics are recorded in bytes as well.


File Size Information

How to Determine a File's Size in WindowsThere are a couple ways to determine a file's size in Windows.

If the file you are trying to open is a document, usually you can open the document, click on the File menu, and choose the "Properties" selection. This will normally give you the size of your file.

If that doesn't work, open Windows Explorer. Once Explorer is open, find the file that you are wanting to check. Once you find the file, open the directory (or folder) that contains it in Windows Explorer. You should see every file in that folder on the right side of the screen. Click the "View" menu, and select "Details." All the file sizes should appear.How to Open Windows ExplorerThere are two ways to open Explorer in Windows. The first way is to right-click the Start Button at the bottom-left corner of the screen. You should see an option which says "Explore." Click on this to bring up Windows Explorer. The second way also involves the Start Button. This time, left-click on the Start Button to bring up the Start Menu. In the Start Menu, hover your cursor over the Programs option. You should see an option for Windows Explorer.Directory

A directory is often referred to as a folder in newer versions of Windows. Just like in a file cabinet, your computer divides up files into folders (or directories) to organize them and make them easily accessible.

For instance, if you had a "Fruit" folder, you may have files in it called "Peach" and "Grape". Folders can have sub-folders as well for further organization. You may put a “Living Room” sub-folder inside your “House” folder.


Finding Files

Missing Files!Have you ever needed a file on your computer that you never thought you would use again? Maybe you wrote a letter to someone, and need to see exactly what you said. Or maybe you have saved old reports from your job somewhere on your computer, and are now frantically trying to find them. If this hasn't happened to you yet, it will eventually, and that is why it's helpful to know how to find files on your computer's hard drive using Microsoft Windows.

There are two ways to find a file in Windows. The easiest way is by clicking the "Start" button at the bottom-left of your screen and hovering over the word “Search”. There are several options that will appear next to the word Search, including “For Files or Folders”. Choose this option.Click on the “All Files and Folders" option. A screen comes up, as shown below asking you to provide the computer with information about the file you are searching for. There are several things that you can tell the computer to do. First of all, if you know what the file was called, simply type it in and the computer will find it. But we all know that most of the time we just know that the "file starts with the letter B" or "I know it's a Microsoft Word file, but I don't remember anything else!" In order to find files with limited information, you must know a little bit about the file names themselves.Your computer's files have names like myletter.doc or finance.xls. The part before the "dot" (such as myletter) is your description of the file. The part after the "dot" (such as doc) is called the extension. It tells the computer which type of file it is. Because myletter.doc has the extension of doc, the computer knows it is a Microsoft Word file, because doc is the extension associated with Microsoft Word.


Finding Files

Using “Wildcards”You may be asking, what does playing cards have to do with computers (besides the Solitaire game, that is)? Wild cards are used in a similar way on computers that they are in playing cards. For instance, if in the Search Box that we opened earlier we placed our cursor in the file name field and typed B*.* you would find every file that started with the letter B. "Wait a minute!" you say. "How did you figure that out?“

The * (located above the 8) is the character that Windows interprets as "one or more characters". Therefore, by saying B*.* we're telling the computer to find files that start with B, and have one or more characters (such as A-Z or numbers, etc.) after that B. Then the dot comes. The last * is the extension. Do you remember from the last page? The * after the dot tells the computer that any extension is O.K.

For instance, if you asked the computer to find files named B*.doc the computer will try to find all files that start with B, and have the extension doc.

If you ask the computer to find the files Bulldog.* your computer will search for all files named Bulldog (exactly, because there is no * before the dot) that have any extension (because of the * after the dot).

If you ask the computer to find Bulld*.* it will find all files that start with Bulld and have any extension.

NOTE: One thing to remember. Wild cards are not always necessary, but they will be to perform certain searches. You should have a basic knowledge of how they work, and when to use them. We will discuss this more in the pages to come.


Folder System / Directory System

Have you ever wondered where a file comes from? You load a program and try to open a file you saved earlier, but you don't understand all the folders on the screen. This section will help explain Windows Explorer and the folder system your computer uses to keep track of files. It's really a lot easier than you may now think, and hopefully we'll discover some answers to your computer questions. This section will focus on how to organize your computer so you can find files in the future with ease. We'll start with the basics!

Windows ExplorerAt the bottom left of your screen, there is the "Start" button. Use the Right button of your mouse to click on that button, and then left-click on "Explore“. Windows Explorer is the software program that best lets you manage your computer's files. It represents your computer as one big filing cabinet. We'll use that analogy as we continue.As you view Windows Explorer, you see the screen broken into two halves. One side contains the folders, or directory tree. The other side shows the files and folders inside the folder selected. This will be explained in more detail later. The view above is of the left half. It shows a few of the drives on the computer. The diskette drive is usually labeled the "A drive" (A:). The hard drive is usually labeled the "C drive" (C:). CD Rom drives can be any number of other letters such as D, E, F, G, H, etc. My "C Drive" is labeled "Jerel" above, but yours can be labeled anything you wish to call it. Notice how both the A: and the C: are located under "My Computer". That makes sense when you think about it, because both of the drives are in the computer.


Folder System / Directory System

Recall the diagram on the last page...

Just as the two drives are in "My Computer", the C: drive has folders in it as well. The folders "~mssetup.t", "Acrobat3", "All Documents", etc. are all contained within C:. This is where we draw the analogy of a filing cabinet. You have the Cabinet as a whole (My Computer), then you have Drawers (C: and A:). Inside the drawers are folders (Acrobat3, All Documents), and inside the folders may be sub-folders or the papers themselves (files).

Notice the plus (+) signs by certain folders in the diagram above. Those indicate the folder has other sub-folders contained within. Click on the plus sign, and the tree will expand further. See the next page for more detail.


Folder System / Directory System

Let's expand our diagram to include the right side of Windows Explorer...

As you can see, I clicked on the plus sign to the left of the "Acrobat3" folder, and it showed me a sub-folder named "Reader". "Reader" also has its own sub-folders, as the plus sign to the left of it shows. Windows Explorer shows the sub-folders of "Acrobat3" and the files within on the right side. Readme.txt is the only file contained in the "Acrobat3" folder.Now you have the tools to organize the files on your hard drive. The main reason people lose files on their computer is because they don't remember which folder they saved it under.

You can now easily create your own folder system, and save files under appropriate headings. For instance, you might create two folders, "Business", and "Personal". In the "Personal" folder, you may have the sub-folders "Budget", and "Home Inventory". You'll never have to lose files again.

If you have lost some files recently, refer back to the Finding Files section.


The Internet

What is the Internet?A global network connecting millions of computers. More than 100 countries are linked into exchanges of data, news and opinions. Unlike online services, which are centrally controlled, the Internet is decentralized by design. Each Internet computer, called a host, is independent. Its operators can choose which Internet services to use and which local services to make available to the global Internet community. Remarkably, this anarchy by design works exceedingly well.

There are a variety of ways to access the Internet. Most online services, such as America Online, offer access to some Internet services. It is also possible to gain access through a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP).

The Internet is not synonymous with World Wide Web.


The Internet

The Difference Between the Internet and the World Wide WebMany people use the terms Internet and World Wide Web (a.k.a. the Web) interchangeably, but in fact the two terms are not synonymous. The Internet and the Web are two separate but related things.The Web is that part of the Internet that uses hypertext documents, also called Web documents or Web pages. Words in hypertext are generally underlined and in a special color, like this. They have an address attached to them so that clicking on the hypertext accesses the file at that address. The file can be one that is on the viewer's own computer (like C:\My Documents\letters\5-10-98 to mother.doc) or halfway around the world (like Such text is called a hypertext link, hyperlink, or just a link. Web pages have come a long way from the original plain text documents. Now they can show movies, play songs, and react to what the user clicks on in many imaginative ways.

It was only in 1989 that development began by CERN (the European Laboratory for Particle Physics) on the beginnings of what became the World Wide Web. The physicists wanted the ability to handle all Internet work though a single interface, to simplify the sharing of documents between their widely scattered sites. By 1992 the system was functioning well enough to publicize and invite others to move to the new approach. Very quickly numerous browsers were developed for a variety of operating systems. The Web soon became the most popular way to access the resources on the Internet.


The Internet

HTMLHypertext documents are written in HTML (HyperText Markup Language), a coding language that does much more than just create hyperlinks. HTML code puts special marks in a text document to tell browser software how to display the text. For example <FONT FACE=ARIAL COLOR=#FF0000> means to use the font Arial and the color red when displaying the text. The language's instructions are based on English. Each new version of the HTML standards adds more formatting choices and the ability to do other things like playing sounds and running animations. One of the unique features of HTML documents is that the text wraps to the size of the window. In a word processor the text will wrap to the size of the paper page. So a web page can fit in a wide variety of window sizes, monitor sizes, and resolutions without making you scroll across the page.

Most people like to point and click on a hyperlink better than to type long addresses. They like pictures better than plain text. This explains why the Web has rapidly become so popular.The Language Of The WebDid you notice that the address extensions are based on English, and the HTML code uses English terms? Many English terms and phrases have been adopted as the standard names for things having to do with the Internet, especially in HTML and in coding languages like JavaScript. It is another special area of learning. In ballet the terms are French. In music the terms are Italian. In computing most of the terms are English.

You can find more materials on the Web in English than in any other language. Major sites are rapidly building versions in the major languages of the world. But the primary language of the Internet is English and many sites are available only in English. The more English at your command, the more resources there will be that are available to you.


The Internet

Web Page AddressesEach web page has a unique address called a URL, or Universal Resource Locator, which tells where a file is located among all the computers that are part of the Internet. A URL usually has three parts: protocol://domain/path


Protocol:  tells the computer what kind of coding to expect. For non-secure web pages the address always starts with http:// which stands for hypertext transfer protocol. For secure web pages the address SHOULD always start with https://. For a site that just downloads files you might use ftp:// which stands for file transfer protocol. There are other protocols that you are less likely to use.

Domain:  the unique name for the computer to which you are connecting. All domain names have a 4-part number address like but most have a name using letters, too, like (which is much easier to remember!). A dot character always separates the parts of a name. The www stands for World Wide Web and is used for most web pages as the first part of the domain name. The com part stands for "commercial" and is one of several extensions allowed for the top level domain. Others include gov for government, edu for educational institution, org for organization, mil for military, and net for network. It is common in many countries to include the country identifier in the domain, such as .us for the United States, .fr for France, or .ar for Argentina.

Path: is the list of folders on the computer, down to the actual file, like /windows/downloads/default.asp  If no file name is listed at the end of the path, the browser will look for the default file, usually named index.html . If no such file is found, the browser will try to show a list of the files in the last folder in the path. It may find that it needs special permission or a password to show the list of files.


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You can expect to see htm or html as the extension for most web pages. The extension asp (Active Server Page) is used for a page that uses special codes from Microsoft in addition to HTML. There are numerous other extensions, including php, cgi, js, swf, pdf, etc.NOTE: The spelling and punctuation of an Internet address must be exactly right, including the use of upper case letters. Many servers that handle web pages use the operating system UNIX, for which myfile.htm, MyFile.htm, myfile.HTM are all different names. Type carefully! A forward slash / is not the same as a back slash \. A colon : and a semicolon ; are not the same. A comma , is not the same as . the dot character.Connecting To The WebIn order to join the flood of people getting connected to the Web, you need some hardware and some software. Exactly what you need depends on what you want to do and how much you can afford to pay to do it. To play games over the Internet requires a much faster computer system and a faster connection than just about anything else. A 3D-video card and superior speakers are important for top quality gaming also. But for basic access, a fairly ordinary computer (by today's standards!) and a moderate connection speed will enable you to meet and greet all over the world.The next slide will explain what hardware and software is needed to access the web.


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Hardware1. A computer: Of course! You'll need empty hard drive space for the software you will install. You'll need to have enough memory to run the software. A computer that can run Windows XP will work well.2. A connection: You need some way to connect to the Internet from that computer.A.Network:  If your computer is connected to a network, you may not need any more hardware. Many networks are permanently connected to the Internet.

B. ISP:  If your computer is not on a connected network, you must sign up with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or with an online service. In addition to the connection, an online service, like America OnLine, provides content like discussion forums, information articles, and other web pages and services. Usually you use a telephone line and a modem to connect your computer to the ISP's server computer, which is connected to the Internet. Costs vary widely. Different accounts at the same ISP provide different services and different amounts of time online. There is no standard pricing. Your ISP will tell you how to configure your computer to connect. It involves some scary sounding settings and you may need to install some more things from your Windows installation CD. Just follow all the directions from your ISP. It's not really that hard to do.3. A Connection device:The device must match the type of connection you have arranged.

A. Modem:   connects your computer to your ISP or online service over a regular telephone line. Modems come in several different speeds. Do not settle for 28.8 Kbps if your ISP can handle higher rates. Be careful that your kind of modem works well with the kind that your ISP uses. B. ISDN terminal adapter:  a digital device that works in an entirely different way from a modem, but it is often called a modem anyway. ISDN requires a special kind of connection with your telephone company. This will cost extra. The advantage is a much higher speed of data transfer than with a modem.


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  • Hardware (continued)
  • C. Cable modem: uses the your cable TV wire to send data at very high rates, but the speed depends on how many other cable TV users are using their cable modems when you are. No need to dial! A permanent connection.D. DSL:   (Digital Subscriber Line):  allows your computer to be permanently connected to the Internet using telephone lines. No more dialing! There are a number of different types of DSL connection. All will be available at a higher cost and only in areas that are fairly close to the telephone company's transmission center.
  • Software1. Browser:   handles the display of the data that the modem or network connection brings to your computer. Netscape and Internet Explorer are the most popular browsers and are both free now, but there are many other good browsers out there. Older browsers may be text only. An online service may provide its subscribers with a browser with a special interface.
  • 2. Email: handles the creating, sending, receiving, and storing of email messages.
  • 3. Other useful software:
    • A.FTP program- for file transfers
    • B.IRC (chat) or instant messaging program- for discussions and general conversation using text.
    • C.Newsgroup program - for exchanging messages about a particular topic, like Windows installation problems.
    • D.HTML editor - Writing your own web pages can be done with just a text editor like Notepad,
    • but it's easier with an HTML editor. FrontPage Express is a WYSIWYG (sort of)
    • editor and can get you started, but it is quite limited. Microsoft FrontPage is a
    • more advanced editor.

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Software (continued)

If you install the complete set of programs that come with Internet Explorer, or the programs that are available as additions, you will have IE as your browser, Outlook Express for both email and newsgroups, Microsoft Chat for IRC chatting, and FrontPage Express for creating web pages (depending on which version of IE you install). If you install a recent version of Netscape, you will also have software that performs all these important functions. Neither Internet Explorer nor Netscape have an FTP program. Both sets of programs do their jobs. Each has certain advantages over the other. If you don't like either of these suites of programs, there are many other programs available from other companies.

Internet BrowsersAn Internet browser is a program that lets you navigate the World Wide Web or view HTML pages on a CD or on your hard disk. A browser displays web pages, keeps track of where you've been, and remembers the places you want to return to.

More information is available over the Internet every day, and more tasks can be done. You can buy books, check on your bank account, buy and sell stocks, even order pizza over the Internet. But you have to have a browser to do it. Internet Explorer is by far the most popular browser, though there are many others around. Netscape was once the dominant browser. Mozilla FireFox has evolved from Netscape and has become the favorite of many.Purpose:Navigating the InternetMajor Advantage:Can display graphics, which older internet applications don't Keeps a list of places you want to return to. Shows HTML pages, which can include links to other pages and files for quick access.


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Internet Explorer – General SettingsThe Internet Options dialog View | Internet Options or Tools | Internet Options contains many different settings that affect the way Internet Explorer (IE) behaves. Most of these are not often changed from the default settings. In the step-by-step sections that follow, you will verify only those settings that will allow IE to respond in the way the directions say that it will.The General tab has three main sections plus some buttons to optional areas:1.Home page:  sets what page will be displayed when IE first opens. The default is a page from Microsoft. The Use Default button will restore this default setting. You can type in an address to a different page or load a page and click the button Use Current to use the page currently displayed in the browser as the new Home page. If you don't want the assistance of a Home page, you can have IE open a blank page by clicking the buttonUse blank. Kind of boring, but IE will load fast!

A portal can be a good choice for your home page. What makes a page a portal? It contains services and links for the most common Internet tasks in a convenient layout. Many major Internet sites are trying to become portals. They show news headlines, weather, sports scores, a search box, and whatever else they think you might want. These pages can get quite messy since they try to do so many different things.


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Internet Explorer – General Settings (continued)2. Temporary Internet files:   the files that IE must store on your hard drive to display a web page. These files are also called the browser's cache. The page will display faster on a second visit if the files are already in the cache on the hard drive. You normally want to keep these files around for a few days at least. Too large a cache will slow down your browser. It can take longer for the browser to check what it already has than it would have taken to just download everything all over again.Delete Files: deletes all the temporary files. You will need use this button if IE gets confused and

continues to load an old version of a page that you know has been changed. IE6 adds a button Delete Cookies... A cookie is a text file saved on your hard disk that records information for the next time you visit the site that created the cookie.*** If the browser seems slower than usual, cleaning out these files may speed things up.Settings... allows you to control how often IE checks for new versions of the files, how much space on the hard drive can be used for these files, and where they are kept. If you have more than one hard drive, it can speed loading to have the temporary files on a small drive. More is not always better here! Too large a setting for the disk space will let your cache build up too large, slowing down your browser.3.History: a list of the pages you have seen recently. The list can get very long very quickly. You should clear it from time to time. You can clear the list manually here with the Clear History button. You set the number of days for the computer to remember where you have been here also.


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Internet Explorer – General Settings (continued)4. Buttons for defaults:  give you some control of the browser's default settings (what you will see if the web page does not give specific directions). The defaults right after installing the browser are:font = Times New Roman and Courier Newfont size = Medium  text color and background color = whatever Windows uses link colors = blue for unvisited and purple for visited.Font size settings are not in this dialog but are on the menu View | Text Size  in Internet Explorer 5/6. You can choose between Largest, Larger, Medium, Smaller, Smallest.The Accessibility button has choices that let you override parts of the HTML code. This lets people with visual handicaps force pages to use very large font sizes or high contrast colors.


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Internet Explorer – Screen NavigationTitle BarThe Title Bar shows the title of the page and the browser's name at the left. At the right are the standard buttons: Minimize, Maximize, and Close.


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Internet Explorer – Screen NavigationMenu BarThe Menu Bar contains cascading lists of commands.


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Internet Explorer – Screen NavigationToolbarThe toolbar has buttons for the most commonly used commands. When the mouse is over a button, it will gain colors and look raised. Some buttons won't show if the window size is small.Until you know the function of each button on the toolbar, you probably will want to display the text labels.


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Internet Explorer – Screen NavigationAddress BarThe Address bar shows the URL (Universal Resource Location), also called the address, for the web page that is showing in the browser's window. The Links bar is usually shown to the right of the Address bar.

You can type a URL in the Address bar and press the ENTER key to display the page whose location you typed.The Go button is added to the right of the Address bar in IE5. If you like the mouse better than the keyboard, you can click the Go button instead of pressing the ENTER key to open the page at the address in the Address bar.


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Internet Explorer – Screen NavigationStatus BarThe Status Bar talks back to you. On its left side you will see messages about what browser is doing. The most common message is "Done", which means that the browser thinks it has finished downloading a web page.

If your mouse hovers over a link, the address of that link appears on the status bar. There are also icons to show the status of your connection.Links BarThe Links bar is a convenient spot for shortcuts to your most frequently accessed web pages. IE comes with some Microsoft sites already showing on the Links bar. Different versions will have somewhat different sites listed. You can delete those and add your own sites. You can see the links that aren't visible to the right by scrolling the bar. Click on the arrow at its right end. To see links that are not visible, click on the double arrow at the right edge of the Links bar. A drop list appears.


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Hands-On Exercises

  • Browsing to a site
  • Look at links, graphics, buttons, toolbars, etc.
  • Discuss importance of correct site names (i.e. vs.
  • Discuss importance of checking for SSL sites when submitting online data (look at address,lock, etc.)
  • Discuss running ActiveX controls
  • Discuss Pop-Up Blockers
  • Discuss Search Engines
  • Discuss Trusted Software

Thank you for participatingin our training session!

We hope we provided you with useful information that will allow you to be more comfortable in your use of the computer. Classic IT & Design will be continuing to expand training sessions and it is our sincere hope that you will return in the future to take advantage of the many learning opportunities we can provide.

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