The Internet & Navigation Tools Guide
The goal of this guide is mainly to provide
those unfamiliar with the Internet with the tools necessary to
navigate this new world. Section I contains a short list of other
guides available on the Internet. The guides selected are frequently
updated to maintain their usefulness. Section II provides a brief
explanation of the Internet and describes several key Internet
tools that will help new users productively use the Internet.
I. Other Internet Guides
II. The Internet & Internet Tools
- Internet Tools
- World-Wide Web
- Search Tools
- Einet Galaxy
- WWWW Worm
I. Other Internet Guides
II. The Internet and Internet Tools
Given the media obsession with the Internet
in recent years, it is unlikely that anyone has not heard of the
Internet. "A world-wide network of computer networks"
is an adequate description of the Internet. The Internet is a
massive, heterogenous collection of interconnected computer networks
encompassing the world. Still in its youth, it continues to rapidly
Why the Internet continues to generate such interest is because
1. provides global electronic communication
2. contains an inconceivable amount of accessible
stored on the computers that comprise the
The Internet tools briefly covered in this guide either help provide
electronic communication (email, voice, video...) or the exchange
of information (text, graphics, software...).
These tools, also known as client applications, are located
on the user's computer. A client application contacts and submits
a request for information to a server
application that resides on an often distant host. If access is
permitted, the server (application) will attempt to comply with
the client's request. Each client application is designed to work
with one or more specific kinds of server application. E.g. WinGopher,
a windows client application, works with Gopher server applications.
Acquiring the Internet tools presented is straightforward. Freeware
client applications are likely to be already provided/ installed.
If not, Internet tools can be acquired by using WS_FTP,
a windows client application that uses the file transfer protocol
( FTP), to retrieve a copy of the application.
An Archie search is a reliable method of
locating client applications on the Internet. In Section I The Consumate Winsock Applications List
contain a list of where these Internet tools/ client applications
can be located. Also, the icons in Section II are clickable images
that point to additional information and sites where the tools
can be found.
To remove some confusion surrounding the Internet tools, many
of the tools are named after the protocol they employ. For example,
WS_FTP is a windows client application that uses the FTP protocol.
A protocol is basically a standard of communication, a way of exchanging information, between
computers often separated by great distance.
The Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
is the main communications protocol for the Internet. In 1982,
it displaced the Network Control Protocol (NCP). TCP/IP
is suite of protocols that enables reliable and efficient transmission
of data across the Internet. Other protocols, such FTP, SMTP (email)
and Telnet, rely on TCP/IP to provide the network and transport
levels (layers) for communication as seen in the diagram on the
As previously mentioned, FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol.
It enables users to exchange files between computers. FTP is an
efficient way of transferring (uploading and downloading) files.
Using their userid, users can connect (login) to remote computers.
However, Anonymous FTP is the more common method
of exchanging files (e.g. text, graphics, software...) across
the Internet. There are hundreds of anonymous ftp sites (host
computers that permit anonymous ftp). On these sites, users type
"anonymous" instead of their userid and give their email
address as the password. Don't mistakenly type your
password for your system.
Providing access is given, users can ftp by using either the host
computer's system name or its Internet address. For example, Microsoft's
ftp site's system name is "ftp.microsoft.com" and its
internet address is "188.8.131.52". Most users prefer
using system names because they are easier to remember.
a client FTP application is already installed
and easy to use.
Email or electronic mail is likely to be the most useful and used
feature of the Internet. It enables users to communicate quickly
with each other. In a matter of minutes (or seconds) email can
be reliably delivered via the Internet to any email account in
Just as the normal postal system (snail mail), email requires
the recipient's email address. Email addresses are determined
by the Internet's addressing scheme, Domain Name System
DNS is a multi-segment address that combines geographic and network
information. DNS translates numeric Internet addresses into string
segments addresses denoting user names and locations.
The structure of an email address is:
firstname.lastname@example.org of organization.country
For example, Lance Grant's email address is:
user name: lgrant
domain: uvic (University of Victoria)
country: ca (Canada)
Another benefit of email is being able to join electronic discussion
groups: newsgroups and mailing lists. Newsgroups share information
and commentary on defined topics. Although participation is encouraged,
newsgroups tend to become unfocussed. To access a newsgroup(s),
users need a Network News Transport Protocol (NNTP) client (reader)
and access to a NNTP server. Mailing lists are, in general, more
focussed forums. List servers maintain the mailing lists and automatically
redirect mail to the appropriate (mailing list) subscribers; list
servers act like giant message redirectors for discussion groups.
To join/ subscribe to a mailing list, a user sends an email message
with his/her email address to a list server maintaining the mailing
list. Caution. New users should be selective in subscribing; some
electronic discussion groups generate hundreds of messages per
day. Should a discussion group prove unsatisfactory, users can
simply send an email to unsubscribe and have their email address
removed from the group's mailing list.
One of most popular email applications is Pegasus Mail for
Windows. File(s) may be sent with (attached to) email. Pegasus
Mail, freeware, includes sufficient online help that a user can
productively use the application. Pegasus Mail's author supports
development by charging for manuals.
Improving Email Messages
Telnet is a terminal emulation protocol that allows users to login
a remote host computer on the Internet. The user's computer acts
a dumb terminal attached to the remote host. This protocol enables
a user to, for example, check his/her email remotely. More than
a thousand libraries around the world allow free remote access
to their electronic catalogues and occasionally, specialized databases.
An increasing number of commercial services, such the Dow Jones
New Service, are becoming available via telnet.
EWAN is a Windows freeware terminal emulation application based
on the Telnet protocol.
QWS3270 enables users to connect to IBM mainframe computers by
providing the necessary 3270 terminal emulation. QWS3270, freeware,
should already installed. To customize the application, see Options
and Printer in the Setup menu within the application.
4. World-Wide Web (WWW)
The WWW is a hypermedia-based distributed information retrieval
system. With WWW, documents contain hypertext links to other documents
or files (text, images, audio...). WWW documents are written in
a language called "Hypertext Markup Language" or html
for short. http, HyperText Transfer Protocol", is the protocol
enables the transmission of html documents across the Internet.
Documents usually point to other documents or files by referencing
their URL (Uniform Resource Locator) or address. A URL is the
exact location (address) of a document or file. The syntax of
a URL is:
1. protocol :// hostname or
2. protocol :// hostname/ directory/sub-directory/
For example, http://www.cous.uvic.ca is the URL of UVic's Computing
User Services homepage. ftp://risc.ua.edu/pub/network/tcpip/qws3270.zip
is a URL pointing to the telnet client application QWS3270. URLs
are an attempt at creating a universal system for accessing information
on the Internet whether it is software on an anonymous ftp site;
an image on a WWW server or a specific Gopher site.
WWW client applications
WWW client applications are referred to as browsers. Of the many
WWW browsers available, Netscape is the most widely used. According
to a study reported in INFORMATION highways, in January 1995 77%
of Internet users browsed the WWW via Netscape.
Because WWW browsers can handle other protocols, such as FTP,
Gopher, News, Telnet and WAIS, in addition to HTTP, they can used
in place of FTP, Gopher... client applications. This ability and
browser's graphical interfaces, have contributed to accelerated
growth of the World- Wide Web. Netscape, as with other browsers,
can load and display WWW documents, but requires help to process
graphic, audio and video files. Netscape uses helper (external)
applications to process these files. Once the helper application
are installed, in Netscape under the Options menu, select Preference,
Helper Apps to configure these external applications.
Welcome to Netscape
Other WWW Browsers
WWW Virtual Library: Subject Catalogue
Useful WWW Sites on Hypertext
HTML Developer's Resources
Gopher is a distributed document retrieval system which originated
at the University of Minnesota. Gopherspace, the collection of
gopher servers around the world, provides users with a menu of
documents. A document may be a text, audio or an image file or
submenu pointing to other documents. Gopher is being eclipsed
by the World-Wide Web (WWW), since most WWW browsers can handle
HGopher is a Gopher+ client for Windows; Gopher+ is an extended
version of Gopher.
GN Server - A Httpish Gopher server
Gopher Jewels 1
Gopher Jewels 2
is a complete search system that automatically gathers, indexes
and serves (responds to search requests) information on the Internet.
Archie indexes all the filenames of all anonymous FTP archives
on the Internet. It is ideal for locating software.
Archie Request Form
Welcome to ArchiePlex (Hypertext Archie)
maintains six indexes that encompasses a large part of the Internet.
Complexboolean keyword searches with restrictions are possible.
For example, "classic or jazz notcountry" is an acceptable
boolean phrase. Also the number of search results returned can
Galaxy Search Tutorial
is a tool used to locate internet users.
WWW Finger Gateway
searches and indexes a limited, but critical area of the Internet.
Lycos focusses on Gopherspace, FTP sites and HTTP documents. It
continuously searches the Internet and updates its existing index.
Lycos Search Form
a more selective gopher search tool, stands for "Jonzy's
Universal Gopher Hierarchy Excavation and Display." Fairly
new (1993), Jughead allows users to limit the area of Gopherspace
searched. Instead of searching all of the indexed Gopherspace,
like Veronica, Jughead can efficiently limit its search to only
a few gopher servers.
How to Use Jughead
a gopher search tool, stands for "Very easy rodent-oriented,
net-wide index to computerized archives." It indexes the
titles of most of gopher servers and users are able to keyword
search Veronica's indexes. If successful, Veronica returns a menu
listing titles containing the keyword or keywords searched.
Veronica Search Tutorial
stands for "wide area information servers." Users submit
a keyword(s) and WAIS returns a list of documents, ranked by the
frequency of occurrence of the keyword(s) in the search.
WAIS FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
WAIS Help Page
maintains a large half a gigabyte index referencing over 150,000
documents. To keep the index a manageable size, certain common
words are not included. Webcrawler returns query results in order
of the relevance numbers calculated for each document found. A
document with a relevance score of 1000 (highest possible) contains
many incidence of the keywords searched.
WebCrawler Search Form
The Internet continues to rapidly evolve.
Hopefully, new tools being developed will keep pace and help bring
some order to the Internet. Some parting advice on learning how
to navigate the Internet and eventually, use the Internet productively.
Have patience; learning takes time. If possible, seek the help/advice
of an experience user. Focus on the tools/ applications most useful
to your situation. Pegasus Mail (email) and Netscape (WWW browser)
are probably two of most useful Internet tools/ applications to
learn. Finally, feel free to explore the Internet; it is impossible
to break it.