Introduction to the Internet

By12/01/2009

Welcome! This is the handout for the library’s class on beginning Internet use.  Feel free to use it on your own if you cannot attend our classes or to share it with your friends.

The purpose of this class is to give you familiarity with the basics of Windows navigation and familiarity with an Internet browser.  The class is no longer than one and a half hours.  Technical computer terms are kept to a minimum.

For some of you, parts of this class may be material that you are already familiar with.  Please remember that for others all of this may be new, so please be patient.  There are extra links at the bottom of this handout to additional resources for practice or to answer questions you may still have.

One class cannot guarantee that you are a master of the Internet; even those who make computers the focus of their careers cannot know everything.  So be patient with yourselves and assume you will learn something new every day!

You can access this tutorial from any of the library’s Internet computers or from home via the library’s website.

List of current computer classes.

I. Internet Access at the Library

PCs 1 thru 4 The Coos Bay Public Library has 13 Internet computers and three Express Internet computers.

Since demand is high users are required to sign-up for an Internet number at the Reference desk.  This number allows you one hour of use on the Internet computers during peak demand, or two hours per day when no one is waiting. The three Express Internet computers allow 15 minutes of use per person per day.  For those in a hurry, this is a great choice and leaves the ‘one-hour computers’ for those needing more time.

Printouts (8.5 x 11) cost $.20 per page for black and white prints and $.25 per page for color. The default is for black and white prints. If needed, be sure to change to the color printer. Keep in mind you do not always have to print all the pages in a website and can be more selective. Since that option is fairly advanced we will discuss that when you actually want to limit the amount printed.

II. Comments about the Mouse and Navigating the Page:

It is assumed in this class that you have already learned to use a computer mouse. If you would like to know more see our handout on learning to use a computer mouse. It is highly recommended that you become as comfortable as possible with the mouse since it is your most important tool.

III. Learning the Parts of the Internet Browser

An Internet browser is a program for displaying and viewing pages on the World Wide Web. We are using Internet Explorer today, but there are many other browsers available such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari (for Apple users). Internet Explorer comes preloaded on all computers using Microsoft Windows.

As you may have noticed during the mouse exercise the browser you are using has many parts. First is the Menu bar. Here is what the menu bar in Internet Explorer looks like:

Menu Bar

All Internet browsers have many parts.  While they may all be organized different, or even name the parts differently, they all will have functions and features in common.

For the beginning Internet user only some options are essential .

A. Text Size (or View)

Text size

B. File

  1. Print Preview
  2. Print

Extra feature for multitaskers

  1. New Window

C. Edit

  1. Find in This Page… or Ctrl+F

IV. Additional parts of the Browser

Back button etc

  • Back arrow – The back arrow moves you back one web page each time you click.
  • Forward arrow – The forward arrow moves you forward through the web pages you have already visited.
  • Reload Button – This button reloads the current pages.
  • Home – The home button takes you to the Coos Libraries Home Page.
  • Address textbox (where you can type in a Web addresses, also called URLs)
  • History arrow button – clicking on the arrow button will give you a history of some of the places you have been. Right clicking the Back button will give you an exact list of the places you have been.

Yet More Parts

IE Min Re Max

  • Rotating circle – Located in the web page tab, it is not something you use but shows you whether a page is still loading. Some browsers use an image of a world globe.
  • Minimize button – Located in the far upper right, this button is the left most of the three buttons. It shrinks the window and drops it down to the task bar at the bottom of the screen. As a house has many windows you can have many “Windows” or programs open at one time.
  • Resize/Maximize button – Sometimes it is convenient to have windows smaller but not completely minimized in order to work with two programs at once. It is the middle of the three buttons illustrated.
  • Close – to close a window or program such as Internet Explorer. This is the upper right most of the three buttons, easily identified by the “X”.
  • Status bar – Located just above the tabs in the task bar at the bottom of the screen. Much the same as the spinning world or circle but shows you the relative percent done. Note the grey bar in the image below.

IE Status Bar

V. Web Page

A web page is just a computer file or document. It is called a page because that is what it looks like on your screen. A website is a collection of Web pages developed and provided by individuals, organizations,or businesses.

Some Web pages are larger than others and you will need to scroll (move) vertically or horizontally to see the entire page.

VI. Web Page

Here’s what our Web page looks like:

 

If this image was the real website you would be able to click on each of the options and go to another page for more information.

 

VII. Address bar

Note that the library’s website address is shown in the address bar. IE Address Bar

This is called a Web address or URL (Uniform Resource Locator). Any time you know a Web address, you can type it into the Address Bar. Then, either press the enter key or click on the Go button at the end of the address bar.

VIII. Internet Links

Internet links are often in bold text and/or underlined. Web designers might use a different text color for links so be alert to any text in a different color. Some Web designers will remove the underline, which sometimes makes it difficult for the Internet user to identify a link. A link is literally a pointer to a different Web site or even to a different portion of the existing site. By clicking on a link the browser will go to the linked website or spot on the Web page.

IX. – What you can do on the Internet

Now that you are comfortable navigating, you need to have something to do and somewhere to go. Many of you already know why you want to use the Internet, such as go find equipment manuals, email relatives, find health information, or find “how-to” information. All of these are perfectly good reasons, even playing games is a good reason. Let’s talk about what you want to do.

  • Looking for Information:
    To find information one either uses a subject directory like Yahoo! or a search engine like Google. Since you may have come with ideas let’s spend a little time trying to find information of interest to each of you.
  • Getting an ISP (Internet Service Provider):
    The library cannot recommend one ISP over another. However we can talk briefly about the types of access available and what each does for you. Basically you will need to decide how much you are going to use the Internet at home (number of hours per month), how much speed you will need, and how much you are willing to pay per month. Plus you may want to consider whether you want to go with a local company or a national provider. Sources for finding an Internet provider include your local phone book and sources that specialize in listing and reviewing ISPs such as “DSLReports” (http://www.dslreports.com/search), just enter your zipcode.

If you decide to go with a “free” or subsidized ISP’s be aware that you pay for the free or cheap access by giving up all or some of your privacy.

Types of ISPs:

  • Dial-up
  • DSL (Digital Service Line)
  • Cable
  • Satellite
  • Wi-Fi (wireless radio)

Email:

  • Free
  • Provided by your ISP
  • Paying for additional email accounts

Downloading files:

  • photographs
  • programs
  • program updates
  • data files
  • games
  • manuals

X. – Other Resources

Sources of Definitions (computer lingo):

More Sources for Learning the Internet:

Search Engines

  • Google – http://www.google.com
    One of the most popular search engines.
  • Yahoo – http://search.yahoo.com/
    Another popular search engine.

There are literally hundreds of search engines, many of which are very specialized.

Email (Free):

  • Gmail – http://www.gmail.com
  • Outlook – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-com/
  • Yahoo! Mail – http://www.yahoo.com

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