What is the World Wide Web (WWW)?
WWW stands for “World Wide Web.” The WWW project, started by Tim
Berners-Lee while at CERN (the European Laboratory for Particle
Physics), seeks to build a “distributed hypermedia system.” In
practice, the web is a vast collection of interconnected documents,
spanning the world. Tim Berners-Lee continues his pioneering work with
the W3 Consortium at MIT.
The advantage of hypertext is that in a hypertext document, if you want
more information about a particular subject mentioned, you can usually
“just click on it” to read further detail. In fact, documents can be
and often are linked to other documents by completely different authors
— much like footnoting, but you can get the referenced
To access the web, you run a browser program. The browser reads
documents, and can fetch documents from other sources. Information
providers set up hypermedia servers which browsers can get documents
from. The browsers can, in addition, access files by FTP, NNTP (the
Internet news protocol), gopher and an ever-increasing range of other
methods. On top of these, if the server has search capabilities, the
browsers will permit searches of documents and databases.
The documents that the browsers display are hypertext documents.
Hypertext is text with pointers to other text. The browsers let you deal
with the pointers in a transparent way — select the pointer,
and you are presented with the text that is pointed to.
Hypermedia is a superset of hypertext — it is any medium with
pointers to other media. This means that browsers might not display a
text file, but might display images or sound or animations.
What is FTP?
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) allows a person to transfer
files between two computers, generally connected via the Internet.
Integrity Online provides an FTP while you are connected to the
Internet, allowing you to access very large amounts of files available
on a great number of computer systems. A good source of information on
archives in general is the Usenet newsgroup comp.archives. When using
FTP, you use a program called a ‘client’ to connect to a machine
that holds the files; a ‘server’.
What is Email?
Email is comprised of a software package that allows you to send and
receive electronic mail to anyone else on the Internet including people
on Compuserve, America Online etc. Your e-mail address from Integrity
• “username” is your login name on our system.
• Make sure you have replaced “username” with you own “login
• @ pronounced “at”. This says that you are “at” a given
• “safe-t.net.com” is called the domain.
• “.com” stands for commercial or company.
Examples of other extensions are .edu (educational), .gov (government),
.mil (military), .net (network), .org (organization) etc.
• Most Email packages are fairly intituitive. You have an “in” box
and an “out” box. To send a letter click on “message, new
message”, fill out the e-mail address of your intended recipient, fill
out the subject line, and type in your letter. Click on the send button.
To check to see if you have received new mail, click “file, check
mail”. New letters will appear in your “in” box. To read them,
simply double click on them.
What is SMTP?
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, the international standard which is used
on the Internet. It was designed for sending printable text only.
What is MIME?
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, a recent international
standard designed for sending images, word processing documents, movies,
etc. using Internet (SMTP) Mail.
What is POP3?
Post Office Protocol 3, an international E-mail server (host
computer) standard for holding messages until clients pick them up and
move messages to their own computers.
What is IMAP?
Internet Message Access Protocol is an internet E-mail standard which
permits client e-mail programs to access messages on a server as if they
were local—in other words, all messages stay on the server.
This protocol is an improvement over POP3 for traveling or roving users
who check in from different computers.
What is UUENCODE?
One of the first encoding systems invented to disguise a complex object
so it would look like printable text and be “email-able”.
What is BINHEX?
An encoding systems that is “Macintosh specific”, designed to
disguise a complex Macintosh object so it would look like printable text
and be “email-able”.
What is an Email Attachment?
Word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and other software allows
you to format a document (centering, changing fonts and font sizes,
defining tables, margin size, etc) by the use of hidden codes. In order
to send a document with the same fonts, page layout, etc. through email,
you must send both the words and the hidden codes. Hidden codes are
usually non-printing characters; since you can’t type these characters
from your keyboard, you can’t put these codes directly into an email
message. Someone figured out how to trick Email into sending these
codes, anyway - but first, the codes must be disguised as printable
characters. When the words and hidden format instructions are translated
together into a code made up of all printable characters, you get what
appears to be a big jumble of nonsense; BUT, it WILL travel through the
Is there only one kind of translation scheme? Of course not; there are
several in use throughout the internet. Common translation schemes
include MIME, BINHEX, and UUENCODE. The jumbled up message is referred
to as an “Email Attachment”. The attachment always “rides”
inside your Email message across the Internet. It is referred to as an
“attachment” because it is hoped that your Email program is smart
enough to parse the incoming jumble and automatically recompose it into
your original message and separate, formated documents. Unfortunately,
many Email programs will NOT handle all of these formats for you.
That’s when the jumble arrives stuck as a jumble inside your message.
What are Usenet News
Usenet is the set of people who exchange articles tagged with one or
more universally-recognized labels, called “newsgroups” (or
“groups” for short). There is often confusion about the precise set
of newsgroups that constitute Usenet; one commonly accepted definition
is that it consists of newsgroups listed in the periodic “List of
Active Newsgroups” postings which appear regularly in news.lists and
other newsgroups. A broader definition of Usenet would include the
newsgroups listed in the article “Alternative Newsgroup Hierarchies”
(frequently posted to news.lists). An even broader definition includes
even newsgroups that are restricted to specific geographic regions or
organizations. Each Usenet site makes its own decisions about the set of
groups available to its users; this set differs from site to site.
(Note that the correct term is “newsgroups”; they are not called
areas, bases, boards, bboards, conferences, round tables, SIGs, echoes,
rooms or usergroups! Nor, as noted above, are they part of the Internet,
though they may reach your site over it. Furthermore, the people who run
the news systems are called news administrators, not sysops. If you want
to be understood, be accurate.)
Usenet is a world-wide distributed discussion system. It consists of a
set of “newsgroups” with names that are classified hierarchically by
subject. “Articles” or “messages” are “posted” to these
newsgroups by people on computers with the appropriate software —
these articles are then broadcast to other interconnected computer
systems via a wide variety of networks. Some newsgroups are
“moderated”; in these newsgroups, the articles are first sent to a
moderator for approval before appearing in the newsgroup. Usenet is
available on a wide variety of computer systems and networks, but the
bulk of modern Usenet traffic is transported over either the Internet or