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.    Go to for an example.

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

You can search by concept or keyword.  Go to  to try using  concept and keywords 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.



Links to Useful Sites for Teachers -

There are great websites here.  One of my favourites is Kathy Schrock's Guide.


Hasslefree Online Activities -

This is an Australian/New Zealand site.  There are some great links for science teachers.  Plus there is helpful information for new users of the Internet.


Basic Search Tips - Beatrice's Web Guide -

There is great advice here.  This is an interesting place, especially for women.


Newbie-u -

This is for new users.


The Teacher's Lounge -

I love this site.  It takes you on a trip  using the Internet.  I wish I'd thought of this idea!  Also, there is some other useful teacher stuff.



                        A way for web browser users to mark a web page they want 
                        to return to later, in the same way you would put a 
                        bookmark in a book. Choose Bookmarks from the 
                        Communicator menu in your browser to add or go to 
                        bookmarked pages.


                        To store on a computer user's hard disk a local copy of 
                        a web page accessed via the Internet. The web browser 
                        compares the cached copy of the page to the original, 
                        and if there have been no changes, the browser and 
                        server programs will use the cached copy rather than 
                        reloading the page onto the client, saving processing 
                        and download time. Also refers to a web site's database 
                        generating static copies of frequently requested dynamic 
                        pages, reducing processing time.
                        A section of the Netscape Netcenter site. Each channel 
                        focuses on a particular topic, such as travel, 
                        entertainment, or shopping.

                        A feature of Netscape Conference that lets you converse 
                        with other computer users by typing messages in 
                        real-time online sessions.

                        A service of the Netscape Netcenter site that lists ads 
                        for new and used goods as well as personal ads for those 
                        seeking relationships.

                        Computer hardware or software used by an end user on a 
                        computer network or the Internet to query a remote 
                        server. A web browser is an example of client software. 
                        Also refers to a local computer.

                        A computing network in which the functions are divided 
                        between clients (or personal computers or terminals), 
                        and servers that store, process, and transmit the 
                        information. A standard language is used to define 
                        client-server interaction.

                        A unique string of letters and numbers that a web server 
                        stores in a file on a user's hard drive. Web developers 
                        use cookies to store information on a visitor's personal 
                        computer. For example, cookies can keep track of 
                        purchases a visitor wants to make while shopping through 
                        a web catalog. Cookies may work through a single visit 
                        to a web site or may be set to work through multiple 
                        sessions when a visitor returns to a site that includes 
                        customized information, such as My Netscape.


                        Digital Certificates
                        The digital equivalent of positive identification, such 
                        as a driver's license. Issued by various certificate 
                        authorities, digital certificates are used to prove that 
                        a web site, or a visitor to a web site, is the entity or 
                        person they claim to be.

                        Digital Signatures
                        Digital signatures work just like paper-and-ink 
                        signatures, allowing document recipients to confirm the 
                        source of a document. Digital signatures are generated 
                        by digital certificates.

                        Discussion Groups
                        A place to meet online and discuss topics with people 
                        who share common interests. Discussion Groups is 
                        Netscape Netcenter's discussion group, where members can 
                        read interviews with top business leaders and discuss 
                        today's hot topics.

                        To retrieve a copy of a file from another computer using 
                        a modem or computer network.


                        Electronic mail that is sent either over a company's 
                        computer network or over the Internet. See also WebMail.

                        A method of encoding messages to provide privacy for 
                        email, discussion group postings, and other 
                        communications as they move over intranets or the 
                        Internet. Some methods of encrypting, such as 128-bit 
                        encryption, are so difficult to break that U.S. export 
                        laws permit them to be used only within the United 
                        States. Netscape Communicator provides the option of 
                        securing U.S. documents using 128-bit encryption.

                        A specialized virtual community created by linking 
                        business groups via the World Wide Web. Similar to an 
                        intranet, an extranet includes outside vendors and uses 
                        web technology to facilitate interbusiness transactions, 
                        such as placing and checking orders, tracking 
                        merchandise, and making payments.


                        File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
                        A standard that allows users to transfer files from one 
                        computer to another using a modem and telephone lines or 
                        a computer network. Netscape Navigator and Communicator 
                        can both be used to access FTP sites.

                        Computer hardware and/or software that limits access to 
                        a computer over a network or from an outside source. 
                        Used to prevent computer hackers from getting into a 
                        company's computer systems.


                        Home Page
                        The page a web browser is set to display every time the 
                        browser is opened.

                        HTML Editor
                        A software program that makes creating a web page nearly 
                        as easy as typing a memo using a word processor. Instead 
                        of learning HTML commands, users can format web pages 
                        using menus and buttons. The HTML editing tools in 
                        Netscape Composer support bullets, tables, paragraph 
                        alignment, font size, font color, indenting, and other 
                        common formatting features. Many HTML editor packages, 
                        including Netscape Composer, display the page being 
                        edited in the same way it will be displayed on the web - 
                        a feature called WYSIWIG, or what you see is what you 

                        HTTP Publishing
                        The standard for publishing documents on web servers, 
                        whether on an intranet or the Internet. Netscape 
                        Composer's One-Button Publish feature supports HTTP 
                        publishing and allows users to publish their documents 
                        to any web server with a single mouse click.

                        A connection found in web pages and other electronic 
                        documents that, when clicked with a mouse, automatically 
                        opens a file or web page in your web browser. A 
                        hyperlink may be a word, icon, or graphic. When a 
                        hyperlink is text, it typically displays in a different 
                        color and may also be underlined. A text hyperlink that 
                        the user has already visited is usually displayed in a 
                        third color.

                        Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
                        A language used to create web pages and other documents 
                        that can contain text, graphics, and connections called 

                        Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
                        The set of standards that allows computer users to 
                        access the World Wide Web. HTTP:// is the command that 
                        tells the browser that the document found at this 
                        address is HTTP-compatible, and to display it in HTTP 


                        Instant Messenger
                        A service from Netscape and America Online that lets 
                        users exchange messages over the Internet in a flash.                        
                        The "information superhighway" that is made possible by 
                        standard transmission control protocols/Internet 
                        protocols (TCP/IP). Originally developed for the U.S. 
                        military in 1969, it grew to include educational and 
                        research institutions. With the advent of browsers like 
                        Netscape Navigator, the arcane commands formerly used to 
                        access the Internet became unnecessary. The Internet 
                        includes access to email, the World Wide Web, and Usenet 

                        Internet Service Provider (ISP)
                        A company or organization that lets users connect to the 
                        Internet by dialing into its computers using a modem. 
                        ISPs typically charge a fee and in return provide the 
                        dial-up telephone number, an email address, and some 
                        technical assistance (usually via email), but no online 
                        content. See also online service.

                        A computer network that functions like the Internet, 
                        using web browser software to access and process the 
                        information that employees need, but the information and 
                        web pages are located on computers within a company.


                        A computer language developed by Sun Microsystems that 
                        can be read by many different computer platforms without 
                        the need for programmers to laboriously create a version 
                        of the program for each platform. Java programs, also 
                        called applets, are automatically downloaded and 
                        executed on the client side by the web browser.


                        Member Directory
                        A Netscape Netcenter service that lets members connect 
                        with other professionals in their industry and make 
                        business contacts.

                        A modulator demodulator, or device that allows a 
                        computer to receive and transmit data over standard 
                        telephone lines. A modem takes digital data and converts 
                        it to analog data, and the modem at the other end takes 
                        the analog data and converts it back to digital. Most 
                        computers use modems to connect to the Internet and the 
                        World Wide Web.

                        My Netscape
                        A Netscape Netcenter service that lets users customize a 
                        web page to display the news, stock prices, and local 
                        weather of their choice.


                        Online Service
                        A company that allows computer users to connect to the 
                        Internet by dialing into its computers using a modem. 
                        Similar to ISPs, these services also offer features and 
                        online content available only to members.


                        Page Footer
                        At the bottom of every Netscape Netcenter page, a list 
                        of links that let you jump instantly to our Help page 
                        and site map or any of our content channels.

                        A computer operating system such as Unix, Windows, or 

                        Small applications that add new functionality, 
                        multimedia, or audio-video capability to a program. For 
                        example, an audio plug-in lets Netscape Navigator users 
                        listen to audio files on a web page or in an email 

                        A software program that retrieves information from web 
                        sites and deposits a copy on the user's computer to view 
                        offline. This is in contrast to traditional pull 
                        technology, where the user must manually seek and find 
                        information on the World Wide Web.


                        Real Time
                        At the same time, simultaneously. An event where two or 
                        more people communicate simultaneously, similar to the 
                        way people speak on a telephone at the same time. This 
                        is in contrast to time-shifting, where one person leaves 
                        a message and the other person responds later. Examples 
                        of real-time Internet communication include chat, 
                        Internet phone calls, and live broadcasts of concerts or 
                        news events.


                        A button on the Netscape Navigator toolbar that provides 
                        single-click access to the web's leading search engines.

                        Search Engine
                        A web-based program that allows users to search and 
                        retrieve specific information from the World Wide Web. 
                        The search engine may search the full text of web 
                        documents or a list of keywords, or use librarians who 
                        review web documents and index them manually for 
                        retrieval. Typically, the user types a word or phrase, 
                        also called a query, into a search box.

                        A computer that is attached to the Internet, which 
                        automatically stores, processes, and transmits data and 
                        delivers it to a client. A standard language is used to 
                        define this client-server interaction.

                        Copyrighted software that is distributed over the 
                        Internet or from one satisfied user to another user. No 
                        fee is charged for trying the program, but the user is 
                        expected to pay a donation to the owner and tell others 
                        about the program if he or she continues to use it. 
                        Software that is distributed for free, such as Netscape 
                        Communicator, is called freeware.

                        A program that automatically downloads and installs 
                        Netscape Communicator and its plug-ins. SmartUpdate 
                        eliminates the need for configuration, making it simple 
                        to add new features to Communicator.

                        Spell Checking
                        Spell checking is integrated throughout Netscape 
                        Communicator components. Users can check spelling in 
                        email messages, web documents, and discussion group 


                        Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
                        Pronounced as either "U-R-L" or "Earl." The standardized 
                        addressing or naming system used for locating web sites 
                        and other resources over the Internet. Also known as an 
                        Internet address or web address.

                        User Interface
                        The part of a computer program that the user sees 
                        displayed on the screen. Also used to describe how 
                        people interact with what they see on the computer 
                        screen. A good user interface makes it easy for users to 
                        do what they want to do. See also graphical user 

                        Utility Bar
                        Links at the top of each Netcenter page that make it 
                        easy to search the Internet, check email, go to your 
                        personalized home page, or look up an email address.


                        Web Browser
                        A software application used to make navigating the 
                        Internet easy for the user by providing a graphical user 
                        interface (or GUI) so the user can click menus, icons, 
                        or buttons rather than learning difficult computer 
                        commands. Also called a web client because the browser 
                        application resides on the client, or the computer of 
                        the individual using it, rather than residing on a web 

                        Web Directory
                        A Netscape Netcenter service that helps users find what 
                        they are looking for on the web by their topic of 
                        interest, then scanning the subtopics for a list of 
                        recommended web sites and brief site reviews.

                        Web Page
                        A single document on the World Wide Web that is 
                        specified by a unique address or URL and that may 
                        contain text, hyperlinks, and graphics.

                        Web Server
                        Computer hardware where web pages are stored and 
                        accessed by others using web client software, or the 
                        computer software that allows the user to access the web 
                        pages. See also server.

                        Web Site
                        A group of similar web pages linked by hyperlinks and 
                        managed by a single company, organization, or 
                        individual. A web site may include text, graphics, audio 
                        and video files, and hyperlinks to other web pages.

                        Netscape's free, permanent email account that you can 
                        access from home, work, the local library, or your 
                        college computer lab. Your mail is stored on a server, 
                        rather than on your personal computer, so you can access 
                        it from any computer with an Internet connection.

                        What's Cool
                        Netscape Netcenter's daily list of the most interesting 
                        web sites.

                        What's New
                        Netscape Netcenter's daily list of the newest or most 
                        topical web sites.

                        White Pages
                        Online directories that work much the same way as a 
                        telephone book to track down friends or locate business 

                        World Wide Web
                        Also known as the web. A portion of the Internet that 
                        has a graphical user interface composed of web servers 
                        that provide access to web sites and web documents. The 
                        "www" in the URL is often pronounced "dub-dub-dub" or 


                        Yellow Pages
                        Online directories where users can find phone numbers, 
                        mailing addresses, email contacts, and web pages for 
                        companies around the world.

                        You Are Here
                        Netscape Netcenter's navigation system that lets you see 
                        where you are on the Netcenter site. Check the top of 
                        every Netcenter page and use the links as shortcuts to 
                        find your way to related parts of the site.