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The Internet is continuing to grow at 40% a year, with about 20 million

users, mainly in USA, Canada, and Australia, but still many all over the

world. You can do many things on the Internet, such as shop for just

about anything, bank and manage money, watch and listen to live cable

televison and radio broadcasts, talk to other users with voice like a

telephone, conduct international meetings, and access all kinds of

information on any subject imaginable.

As mentioned earlier, the WWW consists of pages and pages of text,

images, sounds, and video. Unlike pages in a book, there is no maximum

size for a page, and there is HyperText Links. If you click on any one

of these links, the computer will automatically go to the page specified

by the link. The WWW is programmed in a computer language called Hyper

Text Markup Language, or HTML.

Searching the Web can be a difficult thing to do, or if you use a

search engine, it can be really easy. Since so many new web pages are

added to the Web a day, a very good index is hard to keep, and an

alphabetical listing of millions of web pages would be almost impossible

to navigate through. To help this problem, people developed search

engines that search the Web for you. Some search engines, like Yahoo,

search in a big web directory they have made of hundreds of thousands of

web pages, that is organized like a phonebook. Other search engines,

like Alta Vista, or Magellan, search in a list of Web pages it has

created as it surfed the web all by it’s self.

People usually access the Internet through a computer using a device

called a modem. Modems connect people to the ‘net through telephone

lines. Some companies, and the “heart” of the Internet, Use Fiber-Optic

cables to connect. Fiber-Optic cabled are made of hair-thin strands of

glass that carry information at the speed of light as pulses of light.

Fiber-Optics are thousands of times faster than standard copper

telephone lines.

The Internet began in the 1960’s. In 1962, the Advanced Research

Projects Agency (ARPA) of the United States Department of Defense

developed a network of computers called ARPAnet. At first, this network

only connected military and government computer systems. The purpose was

to make all information safe, so that in disaster or war, if one

computer was destroyed, it’s information would not be lost.

In 1966, the ARPAnet was expanded to include universities and other

institutions. One of the first universities to be added was Utah State

University. Soon, large companies and corporations were added, too. By

1990, anyone with a computer, a modem, and Internet software could

connect to the Internet.

There are many things in the future of the ‘net, including video

conferencing, online virtual reality worlds, and faster Internet


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