Internet Guide for New Users

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How do I get started?

You are probably saying to yourself, "I'm here now, but I don't know what to do next."  When I first started using the Internet, I was afraid that I would never be able to learn everything.  I was overwhelmed by all of the "computer speak".  The vastness of the information amazed me. But with patience, trial and error, and the Help File, I persevered.  So, I decided that people need a simplified way to learn how the Internet works. 

Think of using the Internet like using a huge library.  Once you learn how to use the card catalogue or online computer, then you can find your book.  A card catalogue system uses subject, author, and title cards.   A library uses a system to organize books.  The Internet uses a similar method of organization.  Once you know the system, you'll be "surfing" in no time.


What is browsing?

A browser connects you to the world wide web.  It will be Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Explorer.  Because you are using Netscape in this course, this tutorial will show you how to use Netscape.  Browsing is simply getting connected to the web and looking around.

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How do I open a new page?

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This is the location window.  It contains the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) or address of the website you are seeking.  You can type in the address in the window.  If you use a search engine, the address will appear in the window.  A URL will begin with http://, followed by the rest of the address.  Not all websites contain www.

What are the parts of the navigator window?

The navigator window contains many parts.  Let's take a look at them.

Menu Bar

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Title Bar

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Navigator Bar

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Back: Push this button to return to the previous page.

Forward: Push this button to go to the next page.

Reload:  Push this button to refresh or reload your page.

Home:  Push this button to go to your home page.   In this course, your home page will be the MUSC Library home page.  You may change your home page on your own computer.

Search:  Push this button to go to some of the search engines, which are preset by Netscape for you.

Netscape: Push this button to go to the main page for Netscape.  This page will lead you to many useful websites and provide information for you.

Print:  You may push this button to print or click on file to print.

Security:  This button provides security information about a website.

Stop:  Push this button to stop a website from loading. 


Location Bar

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This includes the Location field, where you type the web address of a page you want to see, and the What's Related button.  PC users will also see the bookmarks menu here, rather than as part of the menu bar.

Personal Toolbar

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This is a place for accessing and filing the bookmarks you want to use most often.

Status Bar

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When a page is loading, download information, such as how much data has been received, appears in the status bar. The status bar also contains a security icon, which you can click to get security information about a page.

An icon is a small image.

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Component Toolbar

Navigator connects you with Email.

The Inbox (green arrow is lit) tells you if you have Email.

If you would like to subscribe to a newsgroup, the information will be found here.  A newsgroup is a way for you to talk to other people about a particular topic.  There are many excellent teacher forums.

The address book allows you to store other people's Email addresses.

The Composer allows you to send an Email message.

History List

The history list tells you the recent websites that you have visited.  By using the history list, you can easily return to a previous page.



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What is a link?

Every web page has links.   A link takes you to another page or website.  Look for a word that is a different colour from the text.  When you click on this word, you will go somewhere else.  To return, use your back button at the top of the page.  After you click on a link, it will change to another colour.  This way, in the future, you will know you have been to this place before.



How do I save files or images?

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You can click on file at the top of the page.  Always click on save as... for a new file.  Choose the directory and folder.  When you save from the Internet, make sure you make this as a txt. file, unless you want an html file.  You can also save an image (picture or graphic) in the same way.

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With your mouse, you can click on the right button (right click) to save a file or an image.  This is much easier than clicking on file.  It takes time to get used to doing this.

What is a bookmark?

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bs00003_.jpg (10105 bytes)If you find websites that you like, you can bookmark them.  This is just like marking a favourite page in a book.  Click on add bookmark.  You can edit your bookmarks.  You can work on your bookmarks offline. You can also put photos behind each file.  This is really fun.  The bookmark feature will save you a lot of time.

What is a search engine?   

bs00047a.gif (1934 bytes) A search engine is a device that allows you find information on the web in a fast manner.  It helps you locate specific information. You can search by pushing the search button.  This will bring up some search engines.  As a research historian, I used to spend time going to personally look at records in libraries and other places.  Sometimes, I had to travel to other cities.  Now, I can use the search engines to locate this information faster, cheaper, and from home. Eventually, after you have used the Internet for awhile, you will discover all of the advantages.  Watch out!  Using the Internet is addicting!  You may have to join Webaholics Anonymous.

You can search by categories.wb01055_.gif (611 bytes)    Click here for an example.

You can search by being specific.  Type in a specific name or title.

You can search by concept or keywordwb01055_.gif (611 bytes) Click here for an example of concept and "search within a search.

You can use Boolean language.  This uses words like and or and not.  You can type in "Jefferson and not Thomas" for example.   This is a feature to limit your searches.


ALWAYS put your words in quotes.  Otherwise, you will bring up too much information.  I have included a link to search engines with a description of each one.

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Which search engines are best?

I prefer YAHOO because it is divided into categories.  Yahoo is not a true search engine, but it is my favourite.

ALTA VISTA is best for very specific information.

bs00003_.jpg (10105 bytes)What is a multi-search engine?  This is a great way to look at many places at once.  By using a multi-search engine, you save tremendous time and energy.


Simply go to Yahoo and type in one of these words. Click on search to go to these places.

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What is a hit?  A hit is a place where you may find information.  Hits are usually grouped in tens.  After thirty hits, the information becomes far removed from your original topic.

How do search engines rank material?  The first answer is the best match and so on to the end of the list.  Some search engines will give you a percentage from 100% to the end.

REMEMBER: JUST BECAUSE THE INFORMATION IS ON THE INTERNET DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE.  Use reliable sources until you know your way around the net.


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NetWatch allows you to choose safe Internet sites for children.

Also, look for the kidsafe sign at each website.


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Web Design by:

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Some material and graphics were "stolen" from Netscape.  Thanks Netscape!  All other graphics come from Microsoft Publisher 98.

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