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Internet Practices

The Internet has revolutionized communications and commerce. Sometimes referred to as a "network of networks," the Internet allows computers and computer systems throughout the world to exchange information instantaneously. Faced with a virtual world library, where do you start? has a brief article titled History of the World Wide Web.

The University of California Berkeley has other Internet Tutorials on topics such as how to do a good search and how to evaluate a web page.

Although it did not become popular to the general public until the early 1990s, by the beginning of the 21st century there were "more than 360 million people online" with access to the Internet.

Steve Case, Chairman and CEO, America Online, Inc.

"Surfing the Web"

Searching for information—or just playing—is often referred to as "surfing the Net" or "surfing the Web," but the World Wide Web and the Internet are not one and the same. The Internet is simply the global network of computers and smaller networks. (The word "Internet" is always capitalized, by the way, as it is the formal name of the network.)

The World Wide Web is a sub-set of the Internet. It is one of the newer information-gathering services on the Internet. It is also the most successful tool, by far, used to access information. It is based on the concept of hypertext, first developed at CERN (Centre Européen de Recherche Nucléaire), the European particle physics lab in Geneva, Switzerland.

Hypertext is based on the concept that a word, phrase, or object is actually a link to another object. The hyperlink object is usually either underlined, highlighted, or of a different color (in this site, the links are in bright blue and bold). When the link is activated (by clicking the mouse on it), a number of different scenarios may happen: files can be viewed or downloaded, a movie can be played, or you can be taken to other sites.

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator, in other words, an address) that begins with "www" will take you to a site on the World Wide Web. See this detailed discussion of the World Wide Web from Spider's Loom, a Web developing company.

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