Internet Terms
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Internet Terms

Internet Intranet
Addresses Email addresses
Web addresses: Uniform Resource Locators (URLs)
Attachment Browsers Email Home Page
Hypertext HTML
Internet Resources Internet Service Provider
Mailers Filtering Mailing List Mail Exploders
MIME Modem Offline
Search Engines Surf Web


A worldwide system for linking smaller computer networks together. Networks connected through the internet use a particular set of communications standards to communicate. Messages are sent in little electronic packages with addresses attached. Every time they reach a participating computer, it reads the address and posts the package on in the right direction. It is a fantastic system of pass-the-parcel that means any number of messages can be using the same cable wire at the same time. The original system was devised by the USA in the early 1970s as a safe system of sending messages, because if the USSR dropped a bomb on one part of the net, messages would get through by another part. Nowadays no one controls the internet, although all the networks of cables that are part of it are owned and paid for by some company, university, government agency or whatever.

History: Electronic mail (email) sending simple text messages is the oldest aspect of the internet. The first email was sent in 1969. See Pegasus 1990. Tim Berners-Lee created the first web-page in 1991. See Mosaic 1993


An intranet is network used inside an organisation using the software (like browsers) used on the internet, but not available to the public. An example is the intranet used by Middlesex University School of Social Science as a teaching and learning support for its own students and tutors. They call this SocNet.


To send an
email you need an email address

To find a page on the world wide web you need a web address

Email addresses:

Electronic mail needs a name and address just as paper mail does. When we speak about an email address, we usually mean the whole address, including the name.

An email address has the form:

    name @ address

Web addresses:

World Wide Web pages also have addresses. These are called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). A web address looks like this:

Fortunately you do not have to remember the URLs. The browser you use to travel the web can make "bookmarks". Bookmarks are like an electronic address book in which you write the address once, and thereafter just click on it when you want to go to that page. Another name for bookmarks is Favorites (the American spelling of Favourites).

At the top of this screen you may find a menu item marked "Bookmarks" or "Favorites" that you can click to find out how to make a bookmark for this page.

When a web address appears in an email or on a web page you can often go straight to it by just clicking on the address. You can do this with the worldwidewords address above.

Guidance on referencing web pages
A web address is a path


A file attachment to an email is when you tell the mailer that you want to attach a computer file. In this way, you can send wordprocessed files (without converting them to text files), graphics, and computer program files.

At the other end, your attachment is saved to the receivers' disk. Nowadays, attachments are sent using MIME

Computer viruses can travel with attachments, so you must be careful with them.


You are probably reading this in a browser. A browser is software which lets you read the world wide web. The two most widely used browsers are Netscape and Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer comes with Microsoft's recent versions of Windows. As this often comes with new computers, many computers bought in recent years will already have it installed.

Email: electronic mail:

A system of sending written messages from one computer to another, or to several others. To email someone means to send them an email.

Electronic mail sending simple text messages is the oldest aspect of the internet. Universities and large businesses have used it since the early 1970s.

Nowadays you can email any computer file to someone else as an attachment to an email.

To send and receive email you usually use a mailer (email program) on a computer that is connected to the internet (or some other network).

Some kinds of Web- based email do not use mailers. Hotmail, for example, can be used from any recent web browser that is connected to the internet. This means that people with a Hotmail address can send and receive email from computers anywhere in the world. If a local library has a computer for the public to use, they can probably collect and send their email from that.

    "Email is one of the more powerful and robust forms of internet communication. It has taken on many forms over the years and can be enhanced with tools such as Javascript and email filters". (Anthony 'Skip' Basiel)
History: Above written about 2000. As it says, Electronic mail sending simple text messages is the oldest aspect of the internet. The first email was sent in 1969. See 1986. Hotmail was created in 1996. At this time, most internet users in the United States, male, young and highly educated. See 1998. At Middlesex University, communicating with students by email became the norm in the Autumn of 2002 when student trays for paper communications were removed.

Home Page

On the web (or any hypertext system pages are needed that act as the front covers and contents pages to other pages. These pages are called Home Pages. There will usually be links back to the home page from every page on the site. The home pages are usually pages that will take you to all the related web pages by clicking on the relevant links.

The home page on a browser is the page that appears when the browser is first opened. It will be set by the company that provides the browser to their home page, but can be altered to any other page the user chooses.

The home page on a web site is the page that introduces the site. Click here to go to the Home Page of this site. Within a site there may be other home pages. For example, this site includes a home page for the Study Guide. By following the home page links at the top of pages, you reach the main home page. The home page to this one is the Computer Index.


Hypertext is the word most usually used for interactive text. This is text in which the reader can pick on link words that bring other texts or part of the text to attention. This dictionary uses Hypertext. When you click on a coloured word, it takes you to the new text. This kind of interactive text (text that lets you tell it what to do) is only practical using computers.

Hypertext can be created on computers as HTML for using on the web, as this is. It can also be created for other programs. For example, I wrote the paper version of the Study Guide in a Wordperfect for DOS wordprocessor that I have programmed to use hypertext. When I tap on a word marked by an arrow, like this<, the computer takes me to where the word is defined or developed.

The same happens on a web page that you are reading in a browser. When you click on a link the browser takes you to where it links to: which can be another position on the page or another document. The web page link may take you to a page that is on a computer in Japan.

My Wordperfect hypertext stays safely within my own computer. If I want to travel, I use the browser.

HTML: Hypertext Markup Language.

HTML is the way the pages on the web are written.

They start as plain text and this is marked up by adding codes which the web browser interprets and converts into a screen display.

You can look at how this web page is marked up by going to the View menu at the top. Click on View, then click on Document Source. You will be able to use ALT with the TAB key (together) to move back and forth between the source and the page in the browser.

You will see that < angle brackets > with letters are used for marking. This is how they are used to add an attribute to plain text.

This sentence is plain text.

This sentence has an attribute (italics) added.

To make the italics appear on the web page I would mark up the sentence like this:

< I > This sentence has an attribute (italics) which the web browser shows as such when it reads the codes < I >...< /I > at each end of the sentence.< /I >

External link:
Learn to write it

html tags use USA spelling

Some of the features provided for by HTML are:

Graphics Links Tables Forms Frames

Graphics A mark up tells the web page which graphic (picture) to display. Most of these graphics are in a form that has .gif at the end of the file name. They may be called gifs. This red button is a gif. Click on it with your right mouse button to see what you can do with computer images.

Links A mark up tells the web page where to go on the same page, or another page anywhere in the world. Click this link to do no more than pop up the page. If I had written the address of a page in Japan you could have been taken half way round the world.

More about links

Tables HTML tables arrange material in rectangular spaces. Like this:

Forms Forms let you email from a web page in a way that means your email will be electronically sorted by a computer. Amongst other things, they can be used for ordering goods from a company, telling the person who made a website what you think of it, or submitting work to a school or university. The form provides you with rectangles in which you write the information that is required. You then click a button marked send and of it goes. One of the important points about the form is that the address it goes to and the subject headings are decided by the form, not by you. You may not know what they are. At the other end filtering rules are set up on the computer software that use the (hidden) subject headings to sort your email, act on it and file it. You may get an automated thank you from the recipient, whose computer could put your reply into a collection of replies for easy reading. A form on a commercial page could lead to the automated despatch and invoicing of the goods you order.

Frames Frames arrange the screen so that it shows more than one page at once. They can be useful when an index is displayed on one page and the joining page shows the material you have selected from the index. I do not use them as I like simple pages that help my mind avoid confusion.

Internet Resources for education include web sites and electronic
mailing lists.

Internet Service Provider:

A company that provides individuals and organisations who own computers with access to the internet. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) has a large computer with a leased connection to some part of the network of thick cables known as the internet. Your computer reaches the ISP through the telephone wires. The main type of ISP just gives you access to the internet. Another type, called On-Line Services (including companies like Compuserve and AOL - America On Line), also provide services of their own like news and chat forums. Those staff and students at Middlesex University who have a computer at home can get an ISP free through their dial-up accounts. If you have to pay for a service, it can be complicated calculating the cost. The Which? Guide to Computers and The Which? Guide to the Internet give guidance

Links or Hyperlinks See Hypertext

A link in a web page is a connection from one page to another. You find them by looking for words highlighted with colour in the content area of the browser, or for images and icons with coloured borders. You bring a linked page to your screen by clicking once on the highlighted text, image or icon. If you are not sure if a screen word or image is a link, put the cursor on it and look at the bottom of the screen. As the cursor moves over a link a web address (URL) should appear. Links are called jumps in the Windows Help system.

Real hyperlinks can also be put into other applications, such as wordprocessors. This may happen automatically when you type a web address. The web address may turn into a real link to the internet. If this is a nuisance (which it normally is) you can turn the feature of. See advice for Microsoft Word, for example.


Programs that let you write, send, receive and edit email.

There are separate programs like Pegasus and Eudora.
There are also programs like Netscape Messenger that are included in internet browsers.

A mailer that allows filtering, can automatically process your mail on the basis of where it comes from, what the words in the subject area are, and similar items. For example, it could move all emails your mother sends you to a special folder.

Electronic Mailing Lists

On the internet, a mailing list is either

List Servs or List server

An automatic mailing system. When someone sends mail to a list server it is distributed to everyone on the list. A list server is a mail exploder.

You can create your own list server using a Pegasus mailer.

A list server does at least two distinct operations:

  1. Automates a mailing list: It automatically adds and removes email addresses from an electronic distribution list when requested to do so by an email with specified key words (usually in the subject area).

  2. Automatically send emails to the mailing list: When other emails are sent to it, it resends them to the addresses on the distribution list.
Automated mailing lists are also used to let people subscribe to newsletters, or cancel their subscription.


Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions: An extension to internet email which provides the ability to transfer data that is more than a simple text file, like a wordprocessed file, graphics, or program files. traditionally carry, which are in waves.


Offline processing means moving emails and web pages from the internet to your computer so that you can read them and work on them while your telephone is switched off. Emails you want to send can be composed offline and the telephone switched on whilst you are sending them. All modern internet software lets you do this. If you find some that does not, do not use it if you will be paying the telephone bill. In the USA local calls are often free so users can afford to work online.

Search engines:
Internet Searches
Search engines are internet databases, usually in America, that you can use through your web browser. They allow you to search for keywords that will bring a list of relevant files to your screen.

If you look at the buttons at the top of your web browser's screen there should be one marked Search, or something like that. If you click on this, when the computer is online, it will take you to a search engine.

However, the search engine your browser takes you to may not be a very good one. You can choose your own from the Links to Search Engines, and then bookmark it for future use.

One of the best known search engines is called Google. Google only started in 1998 (see Wikipedia), but the word "google" is now used for using a search engine to search the web.

Surf the web:

Surfing the web is moving from site to site sampling the contents. But it has been used as a word for any use of the web, including serious research.

Web. The World Wide Web or WWW:

In 1993 people at Illinois University created software that made moving about the internet easy. It is this software that has created the web. It uses images on the screen that you click on.

Because it is designed for graphical instead of word-based interaction, it is easier to use than to describe. Information is fed into your computer from all over the world by telephone. All you do is click on an item on the screen. This sends a message to another computer (which can be anywhere in the world) to tell it you want to see some information, and the computer, obligingly, sends it to you.

Usually the new screen of information contains other points to click on, and some of these link to computers somewhere else in the world. Following an interest in an author or subject, it is quite possible to find you have collected screens of information from Britain, the USA, Australia and Japan in just a few minutes. You can also visit Middlesex University's web site and find out what is happening there. And (here is the magic), whatever the distance, the telephone call is usually just a local call. Pages of information on the WWW have addresses called URLs (Uniform Resource Locators). They are written in HTML. Language

Web Working

Web working is working across the internet using the world wide web and email.

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Email addresses


Home Page




Internet Resources

Internet Service Provider




Mailing List

Mail Exploders





Search Engines


Web addresses: Uniform Resource Locators (URLs)


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