Do you use the Internet? If not would you like to? Which of these things do you (or would you like to) use the Internet for?
- finding information
- playing games
- joining chat groups
- on-line shopping
- joining newsgroups
2.11. Read the list of points about the Internet advantages, mark A (advantages) or D (disadvantages). Then act out short dialogues in pairs, as in the example:
A: One of the disadvantages of using the Internet is that web pages with photographs, music and video make downloading slow and boring.
B: I agree, but on the other hand, the latest information is available to you at any time, quickly and easily.
1. Web pages with photographs, music and video make downloading slow and boring.
2. The latest information is available to you at any time quickly and easily.
3. Online shopping can save your time and money.
4. Finding the information you want can take hours.
5. You can share your hobbies and special interests with newsgroups and chat groups.
6. There is too much advertising instead of information you need.
7. You can make new friends in chat groups.
8. Making “chat friends” is not the same as meeting people personally.
9. If you can send e-mail: it will be fast and cheap.
Use the browser to surf the Internet at random. Find five interesting web sites to tell the class about, write down the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of each web site and present the list to the group.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
Computer – it`s a machine for carrying out calculations and performing specified transformations on information, such as storing, sorting, correlating, retrieving and processing data. The main disadvantage of computers is that staring at a screen for long periods of time can be damaging to the eyes, and sitting on a chair for hours at a time is certainly not healthy. Secondly computers distract from social interactions such as conversation. Also, people can be inclined to become anti-social and stay at home and use their computer. Finally, the most persuasive argument against the use of computers is that the more jobs are done by computers the less are done by people. It isn`t very good for increasing people population. However, the advantages of computers are numerous, such as undeniable educational benefits, especially to children. School subjects become more interesting when presented on a computer screen. Moreover, computers can be fun with a seemingly endless variety of games which can be played on them. In addition, computers are valuable to any business, making life easier and saving time by being capable of storing and retrieving vast amounts of information at he touch of the button. I think computer has a lot of disadvantages and advantages. Yet, despite the health problems, risk to jobs and personal interaction, it seems that as long as the use of computers is regulated the benefits computers provide to education and businesses are invaluable. Computers make our life easier.
Word processing is the use of computers to type, edit, and print letters, reports, articles, and other documents. It has replaced typewriting for many tasks at home, in school, and in the office. Business people, authors, students, and lawyers turn to word processing as a tool for writing.
Three main types of equipment are used for word processing: (1) personal computers, (2) dedicated word processors, and (3) electronic typewriters. Personal computers need special instructions called programs or software to perform word processing. Dedicated word processors are computers that do only word processing. Most dedicated word processors have built-in word processing software. Electronic typewriters resemble electric typewriters but include a built-in dedicated computer. The computer provides limited word processing capabilities, such as the ability to store and automatically type a small amount of text.
Personal computers and dedicated word processors display characters on a computer screen as the user types them. Words, lines, paragraphs, and pages can be added, deleted, moved, or copied with a few keystrokes or the click of a button on a handheld control called a mouse. Most word processing programs and dedicated word processors enable the user to check for spelling errors. Many can check grammar in a limited way.
At the touch of a key, the user can print out an entire document. The computer can store the document on a magnetic disk, so additional copies or corrections can easily be made later. In addition, most word processing programs for personal computers and some dedicated word processors can sort and merge lists and perform limited mathematical computations.
Personal computers are the most powerful and versatile of the word processing machines. They can be programmed to do many things besides word processing. Computers can transfer information to other computers linked in a network or, using a device called a modem, send information over telephone lines. Personal computers are also the most expensive word processing machines. Dedicated word processors are a less expensive option for individuals and small businesses whose computer needs are limited to word processing.
Electronic typewriters can perform only the most basic word processing functions, such as inserting, deleting, and underlining text. Most can also check for spelling errors. On many electronic typewriters, a small screen displays material as it is typed. Many electronic typewriters have a memory, but the amount of text it can store is much smaller than in a personal computer or dedicated word processor.
Computer companies introduced relatively expensive dedicated word processors in the mid-1970's. Prices fell in the 1980's, and personal computers and word processing programs for personal computers became common. Personal computers are the most widely used form of word processor.
In the last two decades cybernetics have experienced a major breakthrough .This led to the utilization of computers at nearly all parts of our daily life, from personal computers to complicated surgery performing. Surely the uptake of this technology facilitates a lot of difficult tasks but is this excessive dependence ripping the warmth of our lives? In this essay, I will outline how the availability of computers affects our lives.
Most of the daily tasks an individual experiences are time and effort consuming. These two fundamental qualities could be tremendously saved by the use of computers. The average period required to prepare a decent meal for a middle-class family is around an hour to and hour and a half when using traditional methods. This time could be literally reduced to half if computerized decivesare used instead. Moreover, a busy businessman is enabled to easily close a profitable deal just with a touch on this highly programmed laptop while enjoying his family vacation and not having to exert an extra effort of traveling long distances just to sign a deal.
On the other hand, new generations are growing remarkably dependent on these modern utilities, which make them handicapped when it comes to preparing a cup of tea. In addition, psychologists suggest that one of the main reasons for suicidal rate increase is recent electric inventions. This is due to that humans by nature stay emotionally healthy through socializing, but due to the importance of modern technology to maintain a financially satisfying standard of life they gradually insulate themselves. As time passes by each of these individuals gets stuck in a vicious circle of loneliness that eventually leads to suicidal attempts specially among youngsters.
In conclusion, similar to every other invention computers has its benefits and drawbacks, I personally think it all depends upon how we use the given tools . Moderation is the key here to keep the balance and allow us to live in harmony.
A web browser is the software program you use to access the World Wide Web, the graphical portion of the Internet. The first browser, called NCSA Mosaic, was developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in the early 1990s. The easy-to-use point-and-click interface helped popularize the Web, although few could then imagine the explosive growth that would soon occur. Although many different browsers are available, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox and Netscape Navigator (a distant third) are the most popular. (Many Mac users prefer the Safari browser.) At one time, Netscape (now owned by AOL) and Microsoft put so much money into their browsers that competitors found it hard to keep up. The battle between the two companies to dominate the market led to continual improvements to the software. Version 5.0 and later releases of either browser are excellent choices. (By the way, both are based on NCSA Mosaic.)
Firefox, a more recent entry, was released in November 2004; version 2.0, with enhanced security and other new features was released in October 2006 and has been updated periodically.
You can download Internet Explorer, Firefox and Netscape Navigator for free from each company's website. If you have one browser already, you can test out the others. Also note that there are slight differences between the Windows and Macintosh versions.
Outfitted with a browser, you can surf to your heart's content, but it's easy to get lost in this vast electronic network. That's where your browser really helps, as it comes loaded with all sorts of handy features. Fortunately, you can learn the basics in just a few minutes, then take the time to explore the more advanced functions.
Since the three browsers have more similarities than differences, we'll primarily cover those. For the most up-to-date information about each browser and a complete tutorial, check the online handbook under the Help menu or go to the websites of the respective software companies.
The World Wide Web is the most popular part of the Internet by far. Once you spend time on the Web you will begin to feel like there is no limit to what you can discover. The Web allows rich and diverse communication by enabling you to access and interact with text, graphics, animation, photos, audio and video.
So just what is this miraculous creation? On the simplest level, the Web physically consists of your personal computer, web browser software, a connection to an Internet service provider, computers called servers that host digital data, and routers and switches to direct the flow of information.
The Web is known as a client-server system. Your computer is the client; the remote computers that store electronic files are the servers. Here's how it works:
Let's say you want to visit the Louvre museum website. First you enter the address or URL of the website in your web browser (more about this shortly). Then your browser requests the all the data files that comprise the web page from the web server that host the Louvre's site. The server sends the data over the Internet to your computer. Your web browser assembles and interprets the data, displaying it on your computer screen.
The Louvre's website also has links to the sites of other museums, such as the Vatican Museum. If you click on that link, you will access the web server for the Vatican Museum. In this way, information scattered all across the globe is linked together.
The "glue" that holds the Web together is called hypertext and hyperlinks. This feature allows electronic files on the Web to be linked so you can jump easily between them. On the Web, you navigate--commonly known as browsing or surfing--through pages of information based on what interests you at that particular moment.
To access the Web you need a web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Netscape Navigator. How does your web browser distinguish between web pages and other types of data on the Internet? Web pages are written in a computer language called Hypertext Markup Language or HTML.
Think of the World Wide Web as a vast collection of electronic files stored on millions of computers all around the world. Hypertext links these files together. Uniform Resource Locators or URLs are the addresses used to locate the files. The information contained in a URL gives you the ability to jump from one web page to another with just a click of your mouse. When you type a URL into your browser or click on a hypertext link, your browser sends a request to a remote computer, called a web server, to download one or more files. Every URL is unique and identifies one specific file.
What does a typical URL look like? Here are a few examples:
The home page for Learn the Net.
A directory of files at MIT available for downloading.
A newsgroup on rose gardening.
A blog about soccer.
The first part of a URL (before the two slashes) tells you the type of resource or method of access at that address. For example:
http - a hypertext document or directory
ftp - a file available for downloading or a directory of these files
news - a newsgroup
file - a file located on a local drive, for instance, the hard drive of your computer
The second part is typically the address of the computer where the data or service is located. Additional parts may specify the name of a file, the port to connect to, or the text to search for in a database.
You enter the URL of a site or web page by typing it into the Address bar of your web browser.
Browsers can store the URLs that you want to revisit by adding them to a special list. Netscape Navigator and Firefox call them Bookmarks; Microsoft Explorer calls them Favorites. Once you add a URL to your list, you return to that web page simply by clicking on the name on the list, instead of retyping the entire URL.
Most of the URLs you will use start with http, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the method by which HTML files are transferred over the Web. Here are few other things to know about URLs:
A URL usually has no spaces.
A URL always uses forward slashes (//).
URLs aren't case sensitive. So typing "http://www.learnthenet.com" or "HTTP://WWW.LEARNTHENET.COM" or any variation of upper and lower case letters takes you to the same page.
If you type a URL incorrectly, your browser will not be able to locate the site or resource you want. Should you get an error message or access the wrong site, make sure you spelled the address correctly.
You can find the URL behind any link by placing your cursor over the link. The pointer turns into a hand and the URL appears in your browser's status bar, usually located at the bottom of your browser window.
To learn more about URLs, read the World Wide Web Consortium's Fact Sheet on URLs.
Online Music: Turn on & Tune In
If you're a music fan, there's no better source than the Internet. A high-speed connection and a good set of speakers turn your PC into a digital jukebox. With online music services, you can listen to commercial-free channels or choose from your favorite artists and songs; others allow you to burn songs to a CD or load them on a portable player for mobile listening.
As the list of online music services continues to grow, you will undoubtedly wonder which is best. Unfortunately, there's no easy answer. The right one for you depends on your musical taste and how you like to listen to music.
How They Work
Music services break down into two basic types: subscription and non-subscription. With non-subscription services, you pay to download individual songs or an entire album. Apple's iTunes Music Store has sold over a billion songs at US $.99.
With subscription services you pay a monthly fee to access libraries of a million or more songs. But you don't actually own the songs. Once you end your subscription, you can no longer listen to your music, unless you've actually purchased individual songs. Most subscription services also charge an additional fee for their "To-Go" service, which let's you load songs on a portable device. When evaluating a service, consider your listening habits.
Perhaps the most important question is whether the service has the music you want. It doesn't matter what it costs if you don't like the tunes. While most services boast libraries of more than a million songs, it's quality, not quantity that matters. For instance eMusic specializes in non-mainstream artists--terrific if you like Mingus, but not if you're a Madonna fan.
The good news is that most of the services offer a free trial, since you won't really know what's stored in the music vault until after you join. If you don't like the service, be sure to cancel before the trial period is up or you'll be billed for at least a month.
There's nothing to prevent you from using a mix of services--downloading songs from MSN Music and subscribing to Napster for everyday listening. Since most services only require a month-to-month commitment, you can cancel at any time if you're unhappy. To choose the right service, it helps to understand a bit about digital music files and copyrights.
Digital Music File Formats
You've probably heard about MP3 files, the digital format that launched the online music revolution in the 1990s. It shrinks the size of audio data while preserving sound quality, so music files can be easily distributed over the Internet. While MP3 remains very popular, two other file formats are hot on its heels.
AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) has improved on MP3 by requiring less data to reproduce the same sound quality. Songs downloaded from Apple's iTunes Music Store are encoded in this format.
WMA (Windows Media Audio) has the same audio quality as MP3 with only half the file size. This means that you can store twice as many songs on a hard drive or portable player than with MP3.
While there are other formats in use, AAC, MP3 and WMA are the big three formats used by digital music services. Your personal computer can probably play songs encoded in any of the formats, but most portable music players cannot. For instance, iPods play MP3 and AAC files, but not WMA files. Bottom line: Your portable player may determine which service you can use.
Apple's iPod has an 80% share of the portable player market.
The Rights Stuff
It took the music industry a long time to embrace the digital music revolution, because it feared losing control of its product. Since the industry makes its money by selling CDs, if people can freely exchange perfect digital copies of songs, well...there goes the profit. To allay this fear, engineers have built technical safeguards into some digital file formats that control duplication and sharing of music. Referred to as Digital Rights Management or DRM, both AAC and WMA files employ DRM technology (MP3 files don't).
This is important because it restricts what you can do with songs you download. For instance, you can burn a song to a CD only a limited number of times.
(Frequently Asked Questions)
The Internet is without doubt one of the most important inventions in history. It was started in 1968 by the US government, but at first it was used mainly by scientists. Since 1990, when the World Wide Web was created, it has changed the world, and its uses are growing every day.
1. What exactly is the Internet?
The Internet is a network (several networks, in fact) of millions of computers around the world, connected by phone lines, satellite or cable, so that all the computers on the net can exchange information with each other.
2. That’s the same thing as the Web, isn’t it?
Not quite. The internet links computers, and the World Wide Web is a system which links the information stored inside these computers.
3. What is a web site, and how do I visit one?
A company or organization stores its information in electronic documents on one of the Internet computers, somewhere in the world. This computer space – the company’s web site – has an address, in the same way that every telephone has a number. To visit a web site, you simply enter the address. Your computer is connected to the web site, a document is downloaded, and a page appears on your computer screen.
4. How do I “surf the net”?
When you visit a web site looking for information, some words on the page may be underlined, showing that there is more information about the subject in another document. If you click on one of these words, the Web automatically connects your computer to a new document or web site, even if this is stored thousands of kilometers away. You’re surfing the Net!
5. What can I use the Internet for?
The main use of the Internet is to find information – for your schoolwork or job, or just to find out more about your hobbies, sports or current events. You can also use the Internet to read newspapers and magazines, play games, plan your holiday or buy things from your favorite shops. E-mail makes it possible to send electronic messages anywhere in the world in seconds, and you can use the Internet to “chat” with people and make new friends.
6. What do I need in order to use the Internet?
If you don’t already use the Internet, all you need to get started is a computer, a modem and a phone line. Using the Internet is getting cheaper and easier all the time.
Are you ready to surf the net? There’s a whole exciting Internet world out there waiting for you!
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