Tutorial Introduction



A network is a group of things (such as houses, toys, or electric wires, anything) or people (such as persons or companies) put together to communicate.
A computer is an electronic device or machine that is used to perform calculations or other processing assignments at a speed that surpasses human ability.

A computer operating system is a computer program made of various functions or assignments whose purposes are to tell the computer what to do, how and when to do it. There are usually two kinds of operating systems depending on what the computer is expected to do. A certain computer could be used to perform assignments for an employee or a student, this is called a desktop computer and it runs a desktop operating system. Examples of desktop operating systems include Microsoft Windows (any version), Corel Linux, Apple Macintosh, BeOs, etc. On the other hand, a certain computer could be setup to host information used by other computers, it could also be used as the central point of heavy processing that many other computers depend on; this kind of computer is usually called a server its job is to "serve" other computers. Server operating systems include Microsoft Windows NT server, Novell Netware, Sun Unix, Red Hat Linux server, Microsoft Windows 2000 server, etc.

A computer network is a group of computers put together, generally cabled and connected, to communicate and/or exchange information. To "understand" each other, these connected computers usually use the same operating systems (such as Microsoft operating systems). For example, two or more computers running Microsoft Windows 9X, or Windows Me could be connected in a small office to share the same printer or to send to, and receive files from, each other. Also, many computers could be connected to a Microsoft Windows 2000 server that is "hosting" a lot of information that these computers need. Any of these two scenarios is called a computer network.

There are primarily two kinds of networks.

A workgroup is a group of less than 10 computers connected in a small office of home based network. The idea is to fit a small scenario where people, I mean computers, can share resources and data. These computers usually run a desktop operating system such as Microsoft Windows 9X, Windows Me, or Windows NT workstation, Windows 2000 professional, Linux (any version from any vendor), BeOs, etc.

A network, a Local Area Network (LAN), a Wide Area Network (WAN), or any enterprise network function with more emphasis on what roles different connected computers do to or with each other. Some big computers as mentioned above "serve" other computers. The non-server computers request information from the server. These relatively small computers are called clients. Therefore, this scenario is called a client/server network or a client/server environment.

The Internet is a group of computers and networks from different companies and various computer networks or operating systems connected to communicate, share, and exchange information. There are mainly two kinds of computers that participate to the Internet: those that request information and those that provide that information. As said already, this is a melting pot of different families, languages, and cultures of computer. For computers from different companies to communicate, each computer that participates to this network (the Internet) needs a special software that can interpret what other computers are "saying". This software is called a browser. There are different browsers on the market today. The most popular browsers are from Microsoft and Netscape.

For this tutorial, I expect that you are running a browser on a computer. I believe that you are reading this from the Internet; but if you don't have an Internet connection, you are fine (however you got this tutorial is up to you).



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