Internet is a network of computer systems that have been connected to each other through satellites, telephone lines and optical cables. These computers can have access to a large volume of precious and useful information. Initially, Internet operations were confined only to the USA but this new technology has spread its wings around the globe during the last 10 years.
Internet operations began in 1986 when the US department of defence connected some computers through optical cable networks. These networks also used satellites for transmission of data to far-off places. Later, some American universities also entered the internet arena. The main systems called the internet servers were located in the USA. Now, internet is a global phenomenon. Every student can have an access to internet through his computer system, a telephone line and a modem. The internet service must be provided by a government organisation (like VSNL, MTNL, etc.) or by a private firm, which is known as an internet services provider (ISP).
The key to success of Internet is the information. The better the quality, the more usage of Internet operations. And this would lead to “hooking on” of more number of users on the Internet highway. Internet uses a special type of software, which has been developed in HTML, JAVA, VB and SGML. However, a student need not be worried about these programs as Internet surfing is very easy. It is possible to surf through Internet with the help of Windows 98 software and netscape navigator software and either of these two would have to be ‘loaded’ in the computer of the student.
Internet has given the most exciting mode of communication to all – the E-mail. We can send an E-mail (the short form of electronic mailing system) to all the corners of the world. The cost per page of E-mail is only 30 paisa. Further, internet, as already stated, can be used to collect information from various storage areas of the servers, called the website. This information could relate to education, medicine, literature, software, computers, business, entertainment, friendship and leisure. Internet is also used for carrying out business operations and that set of operations is known as electronic commerce (E-com).
All the newspapers, magazines and journals of the world are available on internet. Even our own Doordarshan is available on this information superhighway. Therefore, possibilities of internet are endless. The student can enhance his knowledge about the world in a matter of few hours while he is hooked on to internet.
Some students have mischievous intentions. They waste time on sending false E-mails. Some others try to view those websites that are not meant for them. This is a bad tendency and must be checked. Internet must be used for development and not for decay.
MTNL has offered internet connections as far as low as Rs. 2500 per annum. This cost would be reduced further. The cost of the computer system, modem and other associate hardware is also likely to come down. The internet user must have a telephone line that would connect his computer to an ISP. In India, this facility being provided by the local networks have not been designed and made functional but internet would be available in all the cities and townships of the country by 2002 AD. In four major cities, internet services are available with ease and at very low prices.
Internet is the technology of future. In the times to come, offices would be managed at distant places through internet.
The advantages of internet are low cost, large volumes of information, high speed of access and good quality of entertainment. Its disadvantages are faulty telephone networks, useless information for students and wastage of time while surfing through various websites. Students can create and maintain their own websites but for that, they would have to learn internet programming. They can learn internet operations and software and could be successful internet programmers in the times to come. By the end of 1988, there were only 1,20,000 internet connections in India. The students must learn internet operations and must try to collect only the useful information. The new century would usher mankind into a new era of information technology (IT) and internet is the backbone of this exiting era.