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Internet Tour

What is the Internet? | What is the World Wide Web?
Explore the Library |Search Strategies | PDF Files

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If today is your first day or one of many days on the Internet, you are a netizen, a citizen of the Internet. This is a starting point for beginners. All Internet beginners are newbies. There is nothing wrong with being new.

Remember every expert was once a beginner. You will soon learn, if you do not already know, that everyone is learning on the Net, even the experts. There is so much to see and do on the Internet, that no one knows it all. Do not delay. The world awaits you!
A Tip Before You Begin
Whenever you see an underlined word or phrase, click on it if you want more information. You will jump to a definition in the Internet Dictionary, a topic on this page or another page. When you want to return to your current page, press the BACK key in your browser. Use the scroll bar or the up and down arrow keys to get back to where you started.
If this explanation is not clear, take our Computer Tour and our Tips to Get Around.

What is the Internet?

The Internet links computers and people around the world. These links resemble a net or a web. Networks are smaller groups of linked computers. Inter is a prefix meaning between and mutually. Another name for The Internet is the Net. Together Inter and Net mean computers and people are mutually sharing information between them.

The Internet is the hardware that links people and machines together. The Internet lets people and machines communicate information many different ways. These are

  • file and e-mail (electronic mail) exchange
  • electronic bulletin boards
  • text based sites
  • logging into remote computer databases
  • chat
  • games
  • World Wide Web

The Internet began as a tool for academicians, technicians and the military. Later it expanded to link businesses, networks, private citizens and schools. To learn more about the Internet, explore An Internet Timeline, Microsoft's An Internet Tutorial and the Chicago Public Library's Online Tutorials.

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What is the World Wide Web?

The World Wide Web is part of the Internet. The Web is another name for the World Wide Web. Like a spider's web, there are many paths along the World Wide Web to reach the same place. This means that even if part of the Web is not working, information can travel a different path to the user.

Before the World Wide Web, the Internet relied on text. The Web has sound, pictures, video, virtual reality, and text.
    These innovations have made possible
  • online shopping
  • interactive virtual tours and games
  • classroom instruction
  • telephone conferences

The Web has hyperlinks, commonly called address on the World Wide Web. To find a Web page, you type in or left mouse click on its Web address, called a Uniform Resource Locator or URL. The URL for this page is http://jps.net/jhuddle/internet.htm. For more information, look up URL in the Internet Dictionary.

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    To explore the World Wide Web using links:
  1. Move the mouse's cursor over a picture, underlined word or phrase until a hand appears.
  2. Left mouse click to visit the link.
  3. To go to another link, left mouse click on any other link.
  4. Look at the top of the screen and find the BACK button.
  5. Left mouse click on the BACK button to return to the previous screen.

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Netscape 4.0 browser screen saver
    To enter a Web site address:
  1. Left mouse click in the long white Address or Location box located at top of the browser window.
  2. Type the address in this box.
  3. If the address is www.disney.com, type http://www.disney.com. The http:// address is necessary in some browsers.
  4. Press ENTER on the keyboard to jump to the Web site.
  5. To go to another link, type a new address or left mouse click on any underlined link.
  6. Look at the top of the screen and find the BACK button.
  7. Left mouse click on the BACK button to return to the previous screen.

To learn more about the World Wide Web, explore Yahoo's Best of the Web.

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Explore the Library

The Internet Community Public Library is an excellent place to learn how to explore the Internet. Skills you learn here will help you navigate around the Internet Community Public Library and the World Wide Web.
    To navigate around The Internet Community Library
    Computer Tour
  1. Left mouse click on any picture on the green navigational bars.
  2. Left mouse click on any underlined topic at the top of each page.
  3. Use the scroll bars to move up and down.
  4. Use "Go back to the Top of the Page" to return to the top of the page.
  5. Left mouse click on any underlined word or phrase to jump to the link's location.
  6. Look at the top of the screen and find the BACK button.
  7. Left mouse click on the BACK button to return to the previous screen.
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Search Strategies

Internet searching is frustrating when you do not find the information you need quickly. Typical searches produce thousands of hits, but not the answers you require. Each hit represents a source of data. The problem with the Internet is too much data and not enough information.

Techniques to Search Smarter
    These simple steps will help you find what you need.
  1. Select the right search tool.
  2. Read the search tool's instructions on how to search on their Web site.
  3. Define your search using keywords.
  4. Refine your search.
  5. Scan only the first two pages of links.
  6. Visit sites that match your search.
  7. If you do not find what you are looking for, switch to a different search tool.
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Select the Right Search Tool
    There are three main types of search tools:
  • Online Libraries
  • Indexes or Directories
  • Search engines
    Online Libraries

    Online libraries collect resources and categorize them. Unlike some indexes and search engines, librarians evaluate and choose which resources to include in their library. These experts decide which resources are the most reliable.

      These are Online Libraries:

    • The Internet Public Library. The IPL librarians have an impressive set of resource sources and categorized them by business, computers, education, entertainment, health, law, government, science, technology, the arts and humanities.
    • The WWW Virtual Library. This is the oldest catalog of sites on the Web, started by Tim Berners-Lee who created the web. It is a high quality guide to the Web.
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    Indexes

    Indexes are not search engines. An index groups information by subject and topic. Searching an index produces results in that topic. If you know the subject category, begin looking there to find information. Limit your topic to produce the desired results.

      These are Indexes:

    • The Librarian's Index to the Internet selected, categorized and reviewed each of the 3000 entries. These include the most reliable and useful sites on the World Wide Web.
    • WebCrawler has 2 million Web pages selected by Internet robots.
    • Yahoo is the best known index. They use robots to select and categorize their 750,000 Web sites. They allow full searching of the World Wide Web through a partnership with a search engine.

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    Search Engines

    A search engine looks at the keywords you enter. Using a search engine produces results that share any or all of the keywords. Limit the keyword search to produce the desired results.

      These are Search Engines:

    • Alta Vista searches the text in 100 million Web pages.
    • Excite searches the keywords of 55 million Web pages.
    • HotBot searches the text of 110 million Web pages.
    • Infoseek searches the text of 30 million Web pages.
    • Northern Light searches the text of 67 million Web pages.

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This table lists our recommended Search Tools and the locations they search on the Internet and the World Wide Web.

Search ToolsSearch Locations
Alta Vista
http://www.altavista.digital.com
  • Web sites
  • Subject directory of selected Web sites
  • Usenet
Excite
http://www.excite.com
  • Web sites
  • Subject directory of rated Web sites
  • NewsTracker (current news from 300 news organizations)
  • Usenet (present and recent news articles)
HotBot
http://www.hotbot.com
  • Web sites
  • International Web Sites
  • Usenet
Infoseek
http://www.infoseek.com
  • Web sites
  • Subject directory of selected Web Sites
  • Gopher and FTP sites
  • Usenet and News
  • Companies
Librarian's Index to the Internet
http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/InternetIndex/
  • Web sites (staff-reviewed 3000 Web sites in their subject directory.)
  • Handy link to Recommended Search Tools allows multiple searches of search engines.
Northern Light
http://www.nlsearch.com
  • Web sites
  • 3400 Internet publications (newspapers, business & trade magazines, articles, newswires and academic journals.)
WebCrawler
http://www.webcrawler.com<./AP
  • Selected Web sites
Yahoo
http:// . .
  • Subject directory of Web sites
  • Web sites

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How and Where to Search
To be a successful searcher on the World Wide Web, learn how to do a keyword search. Additional help is available from Search Tool Tutorials.
    To do a keyword search:
  1. Go to Recommended Search Tools which includes links to Basic Search, Advanced Search and Help for the all the major search engines and indexes.
  2. Select the keywords you want to search, for example, training cocker spaniels.
  3. Group similar words and put them in quotes, "training dogs" "cocker spaniels."
  4. Put a plus sign, "+," immediately before any keyword that must be in the search, +"training dogs" +" er spaniels"
  5. Capitalize any words that are normally capitalized, for example Bugs Bunny.
  6. Click in the search tools dialog box
  7. Enter the keywords and click GO.
  8. Refine your next search by changing your keywords, for example +"train dogs" +" er spaniel."
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    Is Your Source Reliable?
  • Another problem facing searchers is how to determine if the information is accurate. There are reliable and unreliable sites on the Internet. Here are some tips to help you find the good sites and avoid the bad ones.
  • Does the URL end in .edu or .org or .gov? Sources from education, non-profit organizations and the government may be more reliable.
  • Does the information sound too good to be true or too biased to be accurate? If it is biased, do not rely on their information.
  • Is the information timely and updated as needed? If it is not updated, it may no longer be accurate.
  • Is there a way to contact them? If there is not, do not rely on their information.
  • Is there a ~ in the title? This indicates a Web site created by an individual. The information may or may not be reliable.
  • Are there many dead links? If there are many dead links that indicates the information is not current and may not be reliable.
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    Solutions for Dead links
  1. Some searches and underlined links lead to dead links. A dead link is a broken hyperlink that leads nowhere. To find what you are looking for
  2. Check if you typed the URL or address correctly. If you did not, retype it correctly and press ENTER.
  3. Check to see if there is a period "." before the domain name. If there is not, add the period "."
  4. If the URL ends in .htm, replace it with .html and press ENTER. If the URL ends in .html, replace it with .htm and press ENTER.
  5. If the dead link is on our Web site, please notify us by clicking on CONTACT US on the left navigational bar.

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    Search Tool Tutorials
  • The University of Albany Libraries offer 21 different tutorials on the Internet for beginners and experienced users. Learn how to research, make search engines work for you.
  • Take Ithica Library's guide to the World Wide Web to learn to search effectively and discover more interesting and useful Web sites.
  • The Virtual Reference Librarian has a tutorial to help beginners find the information they want on the Internet.
  • For a quick reference on search engine tips and sample searches, visit Find Spot
  • Learn reliable places to search and time-saving shortcuts at How to Be a Web Hound.
  • Search Engine Watch provides facts about how search engines work and tutorials on how to search effectively.
  • The InfoPeople's Search Tools Chart covers what the top search tools search, search terms, options and features.
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PDF Files

What are PDF Files?

Many Web sites have Portable Document Format files (PDF). These files are print documents on the Web. They are images of pictures, text or forms. The Adobe Acrobat program converts any paper document electronically for display on the World Wide Web.

PDF files can only be read by Adobe Acrobat. This free software program has a Reader that allows anyone to view a PDF file. Look at the URL address to determine if you have found a PDF file. PDF files end with ".pdf."

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How to Open a PDF File

Many schools, libraries and personal computers already have the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader loaded on their computer. If your computer already has Acrobat installed, the program will automatically open. If you do not have the Acrobat PDF reader on your computer, consider downloading from http://www.adobe.com.

Once the Acrobat PDF reader installs on your computer, it will automatically open any PDF file on the Web.

    To open a linked PDF file in a browser:
  1. Left mouse click the link to the PDF file.
  2. The screen will be blank while the PDF file downloads to your computer.
  3. The PDF file opens automatically on your screen.

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How To View PDF Files

This is a picture of the Adobe Acrobat Reader's tool bar.

PDF tool bar

Use the following tools to view a PDF file.
    The third set of buttons control the image:
  • Use the hand to move and see different sections of the file on the screen.
  • Use the Zoom Out magnifying glass (with "+" in the middle) to make the image larger.
  • Use the Zoom In magnifying glass (with the "-" in the middle) to make the image smaller.
    The fourth set of buttons select a page:
  • Use the Left button "<" to view the previous page.
  • Use the Right button ">" to view the next page.
    The last set of buttons control the page view:
  • Use the page with a turned corner to see the normal view.
  • Use the page completely surrounded by a box to see the page fit on one screen.
  • Use the last page button to makes the page fit the width of the screen.

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PDF tool bar

Left mouse click on any Adobe Acrobat Reader tool to use it. Drag tools onto the image.
    To move the file image around the screen:
  1. Click and drag the hand onto the PDF file.
  2. Click on the hand and hold down the left mouse button.
  3. Move the file any direction to view any section.
  4. Release the mouse button when the section you want is in the screen.
    To change the size of the image:
  1. Click and drag the magnifying glass with a "+" onto the image.
  2. Drag the magnifying glass onto the part of the image you want to make larger.
  3. Click on the image to enlarge it. Each click makes the picture twice as large.
  4. Click and drag the magnifying glass with a "-" onto the image.
  5. Drag the magnifying glass onto the part of the image you want to make smaller.
  6. Click on the image to compress it. Each click makes the image twice as small.
    To change the page view:
  • Click on the right arrow > to view the next page.
  • Click on the left arrow < to view the previous page.
  • Click on the page with a turned corner to see the normal view.
  • Click on the page completely surrounded by a box to see the page fit on one screen.
  • Click on the last page button to makes the page fit the width of the screen.

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How to Print PDF Files

This is a picture of the PDF file print box. Use only this tool bar to print a PDF file. Left mouse click on any Adobe Acrobat Reader tool to use it.

PDF print box

    To print a PDF file
  1. Find the printer box icon picture in the upper left corner of the Adobe Acrobat Reader screen.
  2. Click on the printer box. A print dialog box opens.
  3. Click on the Shrink to Fit box in the lower left of the print dialog box. This fits each PDF image on a page.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Pick up your copy from the printer tray.
Congratulations! You learned how to print a PDF file.
    Practice what you learned:
  • Visit Santa Clara's County Parks.
  • Find "Download Adobe's Free Acrobat Reader software from Adobe Systems' web site."
  • Left mouse click on "Download a map of Santa Clara County and its parks (189KB) in Adobe's Acrobat Reader PDF format."
  • Notice the screen is completely white until the .pdf file downloads.
  • Try the tools described above.
  • Print a copy of the image.
If you want to learn more, visit the Problem Solving Guide, take the Computer Tour or return to the top of page for recommended Web sites.

Visit The Problem Solving Guide           Take the Computer Tour

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© 1998 Janet Baird Huddle, Techmaven. All rights reserved. Graphics © Microsoft.