THE INTERNET (An Assay)
By: Yousef Sameer Al-Shaikh
For: Computer Class Tr. Eihab
School: Al Azizia Private Schools
Date: 23 March 2004
Internet, open interconnection of computer networks that enables the computers and the programs they run to communicate directly. There are many small-scale, controlled-access “enterprise internets”, but the term is usually applied to the global, publicly accessible network, called simply the Internet or Net. By early 2000, more than 100,000 networks and around 100 million users were connected via the Internet. As more and more information is available online, new doors open up for those who have access to that information. And always remember you could always ask for help on the internet, fortunately, most of the locals are actually friendly. In fact, the Net actually has a rich tradition of helping out visitors and newcomers.
Definitions of ‘The Internet’ on the Web:
1. The vast collection of interconnected networks that all use the
TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the ARPANET of the late 60’s and early
70’s. An "internet" (lower case i) is any computers connected to each
other (a network), and are not part of the Internet unless the use TCP/IP
protocols. An "intranet" is a private network inside a company or
organization that uses the same kinds of software that you would find on the
public Internet, but that is only for internal use. An intranet may be on the
Internet or may simply be a network.
2. A global network linking millions of computers for communications
purposes. The Internet was developed in 1969 for the U.S. military and gradually
grew to include educational and research institutions. In the last five years,
connections to, and use of, the Internet has mushroomed, primarily due to the
popularity of the Web and email.
3. The vast collection of inter-connected networks that all use the
TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the ARPANET of the late 60’s and early
4. The interconnected network of networks that is sometimes referred to
as the Information Superhighway. The Internet is a loosely organized series of
computer networks where no one network or computer is essential to the
operation of the whole.
5. A worldwide system of interconnected networks and computers.
6. A global network of computers.
7. A computer
network consisting of a worldwide network of computer networks that use the
TCP/IP network protocols to facilitate data transmission and exchange
RESOLUTION: The Federal Networking Council (FNC) agrees that the following language reflects our definition of the term 'Internet'. 'Internet' refers to the global information system that --
(i) is logically linked together by a
globally unique address space based on the Internet Protocol (IP) or its
Is ‘The Internet’ the same things as ‘The Web’ ?
The Internet is much more than the Web, my simple definitions are that:
• The Internet allows any computer in the world to exchange data with any other computer in the world. As a result, a client program on one computer can access a server on another computer.
• The Web is a hypertext system that runs over the Internet as one of its services. As a result, users can sit at any computer and browse documents that live anywhere in the world; furthermore, these documents can link to documents from any other place in the world.
HOW THE INTERNET WORKS
Internet connection is usually accomplished using international standards collectively called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), which are issued by an organization called the Internet Engineering Task Force, combined with a network registration process, and with the aid of public providers of Internet access services, known as Internet Service Providers.
Each computer network and connected computer—called an Internet host—is provided with a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address—126.96.36.199, for example. For obvious reasons, the IP address has become known as the “dot address” of a computer. Although very simple and effective for network operation, dot addresses are not very user-friendly. Hence the introduction of the Domain Name Service (DNS) that allows for the assignment of meaningful or memorable names to numbers. DNS allows Internet hosts to be organized around domain names: for example, “microsoft.com” is a domain assigned to the Microsoft Corporation, with the suffix “com” signifying a commercial organization, and “Azizia-private-schools.com” could be a host for a school domain. Each part of the domain still has an IP or dot address, which is used by the network elements to deliver information. From a user point of view, though, the IP address is translated by DNS into the now familiar format.
The suffix .com is called a generic top level domain name, and before 2001 there were just three (.com, .net, and .org), with .edu and .gov restricted to educational institutions and government agencies respectively. As a result of the rapid growth in Internet use, seven new names (.biz, .aero, .coop, .info, .pro, .museum, and .name) are expected to come into use in the near future, some of which might now already exist.
Internets are constructed using virtually any kind of electronic transmission medium, such as optical-fiber or copper-wire telephone lines, or radio or microwave channels. They can also connect almost any kind of computer or operating system; and they are operated in such a way as to be “self-aware” of their capabilities.
The great scale and universality of the public Internet results in its use to connect many other kinds of computer networks and services—including online information and shopping services—via systems called gateways. As a result of all these features, internets are an ideal means of building a very robust universal information infrastructure throughout the world. The rapid growth of online shops, information services, and electronic business applications is testament to the inherent flexibility of the Net.
HISTORY AND FUTURE
The Internet technology was created by Vinton Cerf in early 1973 as part of a project headed by Robert Kahn and conducted by the Advanced Research Projects Agency, part of the United States Department of Defense. Thereafter, Cerf led many efforts to build, scale, and standardize the Internet. In 1984 the technology and the network were turned over to the private sector and to government scientific agencies for further development. The growth has continued exponentially. Service-provider companies that make “gateways” to the Internet available to home and business users enter the market in ever-increasing numbers. By early 2000, access was available in over 200 countries and encompassed around 100 million users. The Internet and its technology continue to have a profound effect in promoting the sharing of information, making possible rapid transactions among businesses, and supporting global collaboration among individuals and organizations. In 1999, 205 countries and territories in the world had at least one connection to the Internet. The development of the World Wide Web is fuelling the rapid introduction of new business tools and activities that may by then have led to annual business transactions on the Internet worth hundreds of billions of riyals. The potential of web-based commerce is immense. Techniques that allow safe transactions over the Net (for payment and funds transfers), the construction of faster, more secure networks and the development of efficient search techniques make the Internet an ideal trading medium.
Internets support thousands of different kinds of operational and experimental services. A few of the most popular include the following:
1. E-mail (electronic mail) E-mail is an electronic version of the postal service. Type a message on your screen, enter the address of a friend, hit the `send' button and away it goes. The message is zapped across the world to its destination and placed in the recipient's electronic mailbox. Unlike the postal service, e-mails arrive in minutes, if not seconds. Internet has its own e-mail standards that have also become the means of interconnecting most of the world's e-mail systems. Internet e-mail addresses usually have a form such as “email@example.com”, where “yousef” is the e-mail account name, and “azizia-private-schools.com” is the domain identity of the computer hosting the account. E-mail can also be used to create collaborative groups through the use of special e-mail accounts called “mailing lists” that automatically redistribute mail sent to the address.
It soon became obvious that the ARPANET was becoming a human- communication medium with very important advantages over normal U.S. mail and over telephone calls. One of the advantages of the message systems over letter mail was that, in an ARPANET message, one could write tersely and type imperfectly, even to an older person in a superior position and even to a person one did not know very well, and the recipient took no offense. The formality and perfection that most people expect in a typed letter did not become associated with network messages, probably because the network was so much faster, so much more like the telephone.
- J.C.R. Licklider, Albert Vezza , Nov 1978.
Summary: Email is a natural communication technology that developed along with the evolution of the Internet.
Message exchange in one form or another has existed from the early days of timesharing computers. Network email was developed for the ARPANET shortly after it was created, and has evolved into the powerful technology we use today. Key events and milestones in the invention of email are described below:
· SNDMSG & READMAIL. Ray Tomlinson developed the first email application for the ARPANET in 1971, consisting of a program called SNDMSG for sending mail, and a program called READMAIL for reading mail. These early email programs had simple functionality and were command line driven, but established the basic model still in use today. In 1972, the commands MAIL and MLFL were added to the FTP program to provide standard network transport capabilities for email transmission. FTP sent a separate copy of each email to each recipient, and provided the standard ARPANET email functionality until the early 1980's when SMTP was developed to provide a more efficient protocol that (among other improvements) enabled sending a single message to each domain with more than one addressee, at which point the message was locally copied to each recipient.
· Online Services. In the late 1990’s big companies, the likes of Microsoft and AOL began the large scale adoption of Internet email as a global standard by starting large E-mail servers such as “hotmail.com” and “aol.com”.
2. The World Wide Web allows the seamless creation and use of elegant point-and-click hypermedia presentations, linked across the Internet in a way that creates a vast open knowledge repository, through which users can easily browse. In the 1960's, Ted Nelson popularized the hypertext concept, and Douglas Engelbart developed the first working systems. In the 1980's, the web as we know it was conceived and developed in Europe by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau, and then rapidly spread around the world by Marc Andreessen and the NCSA team that developed the Mosaic and Netscape browsers in the 1990's.
Getting information: This is fast becoming the dominant use of the Internet, people have gone Web-crazy; downloading text, pictures, computer programs and now even virtual reality scenes from all over the world. It works like this. Everyone who is connected to the Internet sets aside an area of their system for outside access. In this area they place information (in computer files) that they want to be available on the Web. To access all this stuff all you need is a browser on your own machine, and a list of useful addresses. You type the address into your browser; it sends a message to the remote machine, requesting the file to be sent to you. Depending on the type of file, you can then read it, look at it, play it (it might be a game) or whatever. Most files these days are HTML files; this is what you view when you use Internet Explorer. HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language; the important bit is the `hypertext'. Hypertext is like normal text except that it usually looks more exciting (with nice fonts, icons and graphics) and, more importantly, it contains links to other related hypertexts. When you read one Web `page' there is usually at least ten links to follow. These might point to Web pages at different sites, in other countries even.
And because everyone everywhere is adding new Web pages every minute of every day, the amount of stuff out there is immense, and it keeps growing and growing. Any topic, any subject - news, share prices, the weather forecast, music, sports and so on and so on - you name it, somebody's written it. It's all too easy to spend hours and hours just `surfing' the Web, following links to new places, following more links and so on.
Home Page on the World Wide Web: When a computer user accesses a site on the World Wide Web, he is presented with a screenfull of information called a page. An organization usually maintains a home page, the “master page” from which other pages can be reached by a series of branching pathways. The user can make the jump to another page by “clicking on” a highlighted “hot spot”. Similar simple actions enable the visitor to the page to see film clips, hear sound sequences, send e-mail, or send information to the Web site.
Internet Cafes: Internet cafes, or cyber cafes, have created a popular and affordable way to access the Internet and to send and receive e-mails. Popular with travelers and people on the move, they also provide opportunities for relaxing and socializing, some Internet Cafes have surfaced in Saudi Arabia; most of these are multi-purpose, as they have arcade games, and even billiards…
3. IRC (chatting) When a more interactive form of communication is needed, you can hold an interactive `talk' session with someone. The screen splits in two. What you type appears in the top half and what the other person types appears in the bottom half. It's not as easy as using a telephone, but it's certainly a lot cheaper.
4. Gopher is a system that allows the creation and use of directories of files held on computers on the Internet, and builds links across the Internet in a manner that allows users to browse through the files.
5. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a set of conventions allowing easy transfer of files between host computers. This remains the biggest use of the Internet, especially for software distribution, and many public distribution sites now exist.
6. Usenet Unbeknown to the general public, (USENET) is a collection of over 3000 discussion groups (newsgroups) where people worldwide exchange information, hold debates and generally gossip. Each newsgroup is dedicated to a particular topic, with names like com.amiga.games or rec.music.blues. Anyone can `post' a message on any newsgroup, airing their opinion on a subject or offering an answer to a question asked in an earlier posting. And everyone who reads that newsgroup will read what you write. One of the biggest problems with newsgroups is `flaming' - people's opinions differ and when controversial viewpoints are posted, they inevitably start a flame war; this is essentially a slanging match between two or more people which gets very tedious for everyone else, but can sometimes be great fun to watch!
7. Telnet This was the original intended use of the Internet. So long as you have a suitable password, you can `log in' to any machine on the Internet and use all its facilities. You might want to use a Cray MkII supercomputer to do some number crunching for you, or you may be working as part of a team spread all over the country (or world). Many people in the computer industry now work from home in this way.
METHODS OF CONNECTING
There are three ways to connect to the public Internet.
1. Host access is usually carried out via dial-up telephone lines and modems, combined with internet software on a personal computer, and allows the computer that is accessed to function fully as an internet host, lately there have been advances in this way of connection including V-Sat, Cable, ADSL, and other fast technologies…
2. Network access is similar to host access, but is done via a leased line, which makes a local or wide area network, and all the attached computers, into internet hosts.
3. Terminal access is usually carried out via dial-up telephone lines and modems combined with terminal emulation software on a personal computer; it allows interaction with another computer that is an internet host, exam on this sort of access is the pc terminal found at the King Fahad University of Petroleum (KFUPM) computer lab in Dhahran…
THE INTERNET AND LIFE
For most, the Internet is an amazing reality, a system of computers that many of us depend on for maintaining relationships, gathering timely information, encountering diversity, and having fun. However, the Internet’s popularity has led to a host of new puzzles regarding how we relate to each other and what we do in our "virtual community." A few of these puzzles are mentioned, followed by a few ideas to help you keep your cyber-life in balance.
Many Internet users have encountered communication difficulties. These difficulties stem from the differences between non-verbal, oral, and written forms of communication. When we meet face to face, we share words, the emotions and volume behind the words, and all the non-verbal cues our bodies give off. We know more reliably whether someone is tired, bored, happy, angry, or whatever. The Internet’s routers and gateways permit words alone. Communication becomes tricky because we lose all those other "clues" about what someone means and start guessing instead. Though people footnote their feelings on-line in words ( <grin> ) or with smiley faces ( :-) ), the impact is just not the same.
1. Freedom: Does the Internet Bring Freedom? Will the Internet make the world more free? Some would answer with a resounding yes. Consider, for example, the views of John Perry Barlow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who has declared in his widely-circulated "Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace":
“Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind….I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.”
Barlow goes on to suggest that anyone, anywhere in cyberspace "may express his or her beliefs without fear of being backed into silence".
An opposite view is held by social critics such as Herbert Schiller, professor emeritus of communication at the University of California San Diego. Schiller writes that in the U.S., the country with the most Internet users,
“Inequality of access and impoverished content of information are deepening the already pervasive national social crisis. The ability to understand, much less overcome, increasingly critical national problems is thwarted, either by a growing flood of mind-numbing trivia and sensationalist material or by an absence of basic, contextualized social information”
Critics also point to the increased possibilities of governments to monitor communications, invade people's privacy, and wage high-tech war (Roszak, 1994).
2. Online Communities: Are Online Groups “Communities”? In an account written thirty years ago, Licklider and Taylor suggested that “life will be happier for the on-line individual because the people with whom one interacts most strongly will be selected more by commonality of interests and goals than by accidents of proximity.” Whether Internet users are in fact happier and, if so, because they are users, remains to be seen and may never be known. The underlying hypothesis—that “accidents of proximity” are on balance a source of unhappiness—seems incomplete at best. But Licklider and Taylor were certainly right to predict that online communication would facilitate the growth of groups with shared interests. Indeed, participation in such groups is now the second most frequent interactive activity (behind email) among Internet users.
On the other hand some people think that newsgroups, mailing lists, chat rooms (the Internet’s virtual communities) are not communities in almost any sense of the word. They say a community is people who have greater things in common than a fascination with a narrowly defined topic. They also reject online communities because they emphasize exit as a response to discontent and dissatisfaction, they do not promote the development of voice; because they emphasize personal choice, they do not acknowledge the need for authority; because they are brought together and held together by converging individual interests, they neither foster mutual obligation nor lay the basis for sacrifice.
3. Social Isolation: The study found that the more time people spend on the Internet, the less time they spend communicating with other people. In particular, 27% of heavy Internet users report spending less time talking to friends and family over the phone. 15% report spending less time physically with friends and family, and 13% report spending less time attending events outside the house. Leaving aside the fact that this means that 85% of heavy Internet users do not report spending less time with friends and family, the real question is whether the study has an appropriate definition of social isolation.
Why is the telephone considered a superior form of social contact relative to the Internet and its communication formats such as email and discussion groups. If somebody had conducted a similar survey 100 years ago, they would surely have claimed that phone calls were a cold medium that undermined traditional forms of social contact such as visiting people to have tea.
In assessing the impact of the Internet, the question is not whether it replaces some other forms of communication and social contact. Because the Internet adds its own new forms of communication and social contact. For example, people may well attend fewer meetings and events outside the house and yet feel connected to a community of others who "meet" on a much more regular basis online.
The question is whether the new lifestyle is enjoyable and whether it nourishes humans or causes them damage. There is certainly a risk that some people get overly caught up in chat rooms and role playing, but a different kind of study is needed to assess this problem.
4. Good or Bad? The Internet is unlike any previous human invention. As a world wide resource, it is important to all of the people in the world. How did it become so important, so fast? It's rapid development and revolutionary impact on human society is largely to its incorporation of a number of deeply powerful features that leverage the rest of the system's advantages.
Western Civilization has had a centuries' long romance with technology and has often worshipped it as the "savior of mankind". Alternately, anti-utopians, ever since Shelly conjured up Frankenstein, have depicted it as the destroyer of humankind and human values.
Technology is power and, as such, can serve many purposes. Whereas an earlier vision of the computer predicted an Orwellian "big brother" utilizing a centralized computer system to control society, the advent of the personal computer has turned this power pyramid on its head.
Increasing thousands of people have a computer on their desk with as much capability at their fingertips as once was housed in an expensive and complicated mainframe. Obviously, the decentralization of power is no guarantee that the people will make good or wise use of it.
- Norman Coombs, Liberation Technology, 1992.
The following are the statistics of thorough research:
1. Percentage of people online with college degrees: +49%
2. Percentage of older people online compared with 18-25 years’ olds: -43%
3. Percentage of people online having high income: +21%
Figure 1: Bar Chart
A bar chart presents an impression of numerical relationships with immediate visual impact. Here, the positions of the bars correspond to numbers of Internet users, while their sizes represent numbers of Internet addresses.
Global Internet Statistics
Here are the latest estimated figures of the number of people online in each language zone (native speakers). We classify by languages instead of by countries, since people speaking the same language form their own online community no matter what country they happen to live in.
The Internet: is a global network linking millions of computers for communications purposes. The Internet was developed in 1969 for the U.S. military and gradually grew to include educational and research institutions. In the last five years, connections to, and use of, the Internet has grown primarily due to the popularity of the Web and email.
The Internet is mostly used for:
1. Email, which is sent between friends and
relatives, or through mailing lists.
2. The Web, which is browsed by everybody online to get to information they need, exams are www.the-saudi.net, and www.kfupm.edu.sa
4. Download, where a lot of the internet’s user base use the internet to download all sorts of stuff, like music and useful programs.
5. Research, where the vast libraries of information are seeked by assay writers (such as myself) to write an assay (such as this one) making it less time demanding (yet, still too demanding if you have exam studying to do, which I have, obviously)…
6. Socializing, a lot of people meet good friends online, or spend time every day chatting with family members that are far away.
Bad Prospects of the internet:
1. Some people use the internet to download illicit material of the net, mostly pictures.
2. Some anti-Islamic organizations use the internet to publish there thoughts.
3. Some anti-governmental groups use the internet to spread disorder.
4. Some people spend too much time online, getting away from their duties, such as studying and socializing.
5. Some people get addicted to the internet and let it take over there lives, especially the people who play online games a lot, like “spades” on yahoo.com
6. Some people commence through prohibited actions online, such as joining an online-casino.
7. A lot of people waste valuable time online chatting in chat rooms about empty subjects that don’t really achieve anything.
Difference between “the internet” and “the web”:
“The internet” contains “the web”, the web basically is the sites you visit, whereas the internet also contains chat, email and the likes.
THE INTERNET (AN ASSAY)
DONE BY: YOUSEF SAMEER ALSHAIKH
FOR: Computer Class Tr. Eihab
SCHOOL: AL AZIZIA PRIVATE SCHOOLS
DATE: 23 MARCH 2004