Thursday, July 31, 2003

Getting a feel for IT
Establishing a functional and organized relationship with computing and the Internet cooperatively.

As luck would have it in the present moment it appears as though the world of the desktop and the one of the World Wide Web remain segregated in a separate but equal manner.

For some of us the separation is beneficial for others it’s complicating. Part of the functionality of being an avid blogger and actively participating in discussions relaying personal thoughts, feelings, ideas, and findings is paving the road to understanding desktop and Internet application respectively. It is important to distinguish between that which is desktop relevant and that which is Internet relevant. The glory is you can do all this independently provided that there is a comprehensive explanation for all the tools available. One ideal analogy for relating desktop applications and resources against the Internet would be the beach and the ocean visual. Think of the desktop application as the beach and the Internet as the ocean.

Computing 101

You got your desktop or laptop. That was work, dealing with features, prices, competitive brand marketing, and sales apathy. If you got through that you are already there. You are an intelligent person living a responsible life. You already understand your role in the Universe you just need to be able to apply all your life or knowledge collected over lifetimes to create or establish a functional channel within the development of computing and software. This is a simple request and one that should be satisfied automatically.

Depending on what stage you were at when you first turned on your new PC you need to be prepared to activate this system. If you are among the present majority, you new system came complete with MS Windows OS and MS Works. With respect to the changing world, there will be other software hardware bundles available for the consumer. This is O.K. because the system has already been established and what you get with Microsoft you will also have with any other software provider.

The first thing you need to do after you have properly connected all your hardware is to install your OS (operating system) software. Once this has been completed you may wish to then customize this application for security and the like. The next step when you are ready for it would be to install desk top application software for word processing, database, spreadsheet, and depending on the software extensions that will acknowledge your inevitable need to connect to the Internet (i.e. web browser, publishing software, and email). Going with Microsoft because that is what I use and have experience with, MS Works satisfies basic desktop requirements for individual organization and document management. Depending on where you are with your software purchasing and personal needs this may be good enough for a while.

Microsoft Office is often preferred over Works. In general, the best reason for this is simply that it is a more advanced package that is built for greater use and connectivity. FrontPage98 is the first model of a web publishing application. Initially this was not part of Microsoft Office but phased into it. FrontPage98 is the publishing application that works off of Win95 OS and Microsoft Office 97 package. With respect Win95 was Microsoft’s first real accomplishment with regard to the future of computing and the Internet.

FrontPage98 enables a novice user with the tools to begin experimenting with Internet connectivity for establishing a web site presence. Creating with Front Page will enable the user with server software and ftp connection may be established from there through your Internet connection provider.

There is a lot to learn about web site publishing to get yours to the level of sites you have most likely admired while browsing. The publishing aspects of Front Page will require a basic Internet Connection like a dial up that you probably already have a working knowledge of or are at the very least aware of it. Most telephone service providers have already embraced the relevancy of Internet connection and is most likely a good place to start if your newly purchased PC is the only computer you have access to or you are just getting started with computing. There is independent ISP (Internet service providers) that will work just as well that one may prefer after having some time to get familiar with available options.

Assuming that you don’t have any other “hook ups” for establishing your Internet connection from your home, contact your telephone company and request information via mail on the services they provide. This can be done immediately as you will benefit from just experimenting with your desktop software and finding ways that it will service to assist unique needs to get organized in one centralized location. * I have already published some useful real life uses for excel, word, access, and Front Page with regard to their Works counterparts.

The normal connections available to everyday consumers are dial up or DSL. Say you want to start simple just basic dial up which is configured to work from your preexisting hardware and basic modem.

The installation walk through is completed and you are ready to start surfing the web and associating with its variety of offerings. It’s natural that your fascination with this counter culture will be boundless and enjoyable.

If you should chose to utilize personal publishing software like Front Page, you will use the same connection as the one established with your dial up.

To the credit of Microsoft the packages are quite useful and progressive but also mean to entice consumers to remain co-dependent on their product offerings.

I say this because in order to evolve your front-page creations you will require a more functional database platform like SQL server, once you are there you will then be encouraged or enticed to reinvest in your own web server and so on. Assuming that there was in fact no malicious monopolistic intent this step-by-step response only works to accommodate business budgets and is at best one solution option method and at worst painfully myopic.


There are three main protocols for maneuvering throughout the Internet realizing of course this method is the same that others will use to access your web presence, it is highly relevant to be informed. The three protocols are FTP (file transfer protocol), NNTP (news transfer protocol), and HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol).

HTTP is the most familiar as this is the method for connecting to the public servers that make up the World Wide Web. This also defines the URL prefix that is repetitively used http://www.~ .

If you have made it past all this information you are ready to really embrace the Internet as a responsive application to your desktop requirements and personal or professional research or knowledge building requirements. The Internet is always there and will not use up space on your hard drive (computer memory). As a resource it is a glorious creation. As you are better able to establish personal interests online you will be able to build value to your computing investment. Real perceptions will require doing outside research beyond the booklets that accompanied your software. These resources are available in abundance both online and at the local bookstore, which can mostly likely be accessed on line just as readily. Public Libraries are also accommodating the new genre of resource material. This is the best method of getting the most out of the software you have before investing further in less readily comprehensive options.

In short, it is more rewarding to set out to completely understand and put to use the software that came complete with your hardware purchase unless of course your explorations are required for your work or income generating interests. You may wish to accelerating your presence, this is understandable, still in the long run you will save more time and money if you insist on taking the time to understand your purchases completely.

In the Genesis, you really shouldn’t need more than an OS, desktop organizational managing software (like MS Works, MS OFFICE, or another brand counter part), Internet Access, and an open mind to get the most out of computing 101.


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