Internet FAQs
(Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the Internet?

The Internet is the global network of computers that communicate using a common language. When you connect to Internet DEN you are connected to the Internet. Currently, there are over thirty million people that have e-mail access to the Internet.

What is the World Wide Web?

The World Wide Web is a term used to describe all of the information and multimedia content available on the Internet. To access this information, you use an application called a web browser. Microsoft's Internet Explorer is an example of a web browser. Explorer lets you search, find, view and download information on the Internet.

Browsing, or navigating, the web is made easier by "hypertext". Using a file format called "HTML" (hypertext markup language), "hypertext" lets you "hyperlink", or jump, from one web page to another. Web pages can contain images, movies, sounds, 3D worlds, or just about anything. You can think of "hyperlinks" as the connecting strands that form the World Wide Web. When you connect to the web, you have equal access to information anywhere in the world. This means you can access information from a library down the street, or a library on the other side of the world, without paying long distance charges.

I just got on the Internet. What can I do now?

The first thing you want to do is explore the web. Click Internet Explorer's search button and search for something that you are interested in. It can be a general subject of interest like hockey, a particular product or company, a library, or the name of a publication or person. If there is a match, you can hyperlink straight to the information by clicking on the highlighted text. If there is no match, try using another topic name. You can also visit a particular URL that you may have read about or seen on television.

What is a URL?

URL stands for "Uniform Resource Locator." It is a way to address information on the web compactly and unambiguously. Think of the URL like a postal address or a telephone number that describes where certain information is located in a computer. There are URLs to describe hypermedia (http://), FTP (ftp://) and Gopher resources(gopher://), newsgroups (news://), and more.

What does "This URL is not recognized" mean?

The URL itself may be incomplete or incorrect. Or perhaps the page or information the URL pointed at may have been moved or deleted altogether. If you are typing the URL, make sure you are entering it correctly.

What is hypertext and hypermedia?

"Hypertext" and "hypermedia" are text or graphics that have links embedded in them. You activate hypertext and hypermedia links (also known as hyperlinks), by clicking on a underlined word or a highlighted graphic on a Web page. Clicking on a hyperlink can take you to another web page full of information, images, sounds or videos.

How does the Web compare to Gopher and WAIS?

Gopher was an early part of the web. It organized information into simple text documents and menus, but did not have the hypertext or inline graphics capabilities that made the World Wide Web popular. WAIS was another early part of the web. WAIS was used by large institutions to search and index large amounts of data. Both are still used quite a bit, and both can be accessed seamlessly by Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Can I catch a virus by looking at a Web page?

No, your computer cannot catch a virus by just clicking on a web page. This is true even if the page has graphics or plays movies, sound or 3D files. However, if you download a new program and run it, you run the same risk as you would running any new program. So, before you download a program, you should consider whether you trust the site that it is coming from. Otherwise, nothing "automatic" within the browser is going to cause a virus to enter your computer.

How can I play sound files retrieved from the Internet?

Your computer must have the software and hardware required to produce sounds. Check to see if you have a sound card, speakers and the software to make these things work with your computer's operating system. If it does, you can obtain sound files from the Internet and save them to disk to use later. You can also listen to some sound files from within the browser.

What are newsgroups?

Usenet newsgroups are electronic discussion groups that allow you to share information and opinions with people all over the world. Within each newsgroup, you'll find any number of articles and discussion groups covering a variety of subjects. Usenet newsgroups allow you to reply to articles you have read, and to publish or "post" your own articles for others to read. Newsgroups are organized and grouped by titles using compound names. The title,, tells you that the general category is recreation, the subgroup is sport, and the newsgroup talks specifically about college basketball.

How do I find someone's electronic mail address?

Ask them! Or, when they send you mail, look at the "From:" address. E-mail addresses are often listed on web pages. You can also use a directory called "People on the Web" found in Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Can I get in trouble with e-mail?

Yes. Harassment; Mass-mailings and Junk E-mail; Chain-mail; Fraud and Misrepresentation; and "Spoofing" (forging a message that appears to come from another user) can all get you into trouble with your Internet service provider or other "neti"zens.