The Internet is an established series of computer routines enabling one computer to talk to another through telephone lines, computer modems, and a network of very large and powerful computers called servers. These routines let users log on, send messages, browse, and copy files to and from any other computer on the network. From a PC, anyone can log on to another computer and search for files under a specified subject or join a discussion group.
Each user has a name and an address, called a domain. On e-mail addresses, the name is to the left of the @ (at-sign), and the domain is to the right. The domain can have several levels, separated by a dot. For example my e-mail address is DJGUMMY@POST.SK. DjGummy is my user name (you can choose it yourself), the domain has two levels (or more): POST stands for main server and SK means the domain is in the Slovak Republic. The most common domain ending seems to be .COM, which means the computer has the address of a commercial corporation. Other typical endings are .ORG, where the address is a non profit organization; and .NET where the address is computer network. There are two types of file transfer availabe on the Internet. FTP is print file transfer. Many newsgroups and discussion forums are accessible through FTP. But the better known is the transfer of graphics text: HTTP. This command accesses the World Wide Web (www), where all those advertisements and pictures can be found.
History: the foreruner of Internet was the frst computer network Arpanet, started in 1969. It connected the US Department of Defense with their defense contractors and with research departments in universities. As tecnology improved in 1987, the military Arpanet became the Internet, and by 1993, the same year the Worl Wide Web into service, the Fidonet, Usenet, and Bitnet had been incorporated into the Internet. In 1993 developments brought the Internet to ordinary people. In that time there were 43 websites, today that number is over 800 000 and increasing. The Internet has taken over advertising, commerce, sending messages. But only ten years ago, the Internet was availabe only to programmers, researchers, college professors, and military personnel.
However, as the number of users has increased to hundreds of millions and commercial Internet service providers have sprouted up, there has been pressure for government regulation of the service.
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