Introduction to the Internet
Using Internet Explorer
What is the Internet?
The Internet is a worldwide network of computers, all linked together for the purpose of exchanging messages (email, mailing lists, newsgroups) and sharing information. There is a vast amount of information on the Internet, some free and some pay-for-use. Examples of what you can find include University and College Calendars, Library Catalogues and Licensed Databases (such as CNC's full-text journals), Online Dictionaries, Electronic Books, Shopping Malls and Disney Movie Clips.
Host computers and addresses:
Information on the Internet is stored on "host computers" or "sites" that each have their own unique address. They have to be registered and must be different, much like the phone system, so there is no confusion in traffic. For example, the College's registered address is cnc.bc.ca (CNC=College of New Caledonia in BC=British Columbia in CA=Canada). If you have an email account on the College computer, it will include this address: e.g. email@example.com Other College addresses will be an extension of this 'root' address. For example, www.cnc.bc.ca is the address of the Web server. Within that address are many files and documents in sub-directories. For example, the Library files on the Web server are located at this address: www.cnc.bc.ca/library/
The World Wide Web (WWW, The Web) is the most common way of posting and accessing information on the Internet. The Web is built on the concept of pages. Individuals or organizations set up a home page (which is a lot like the Table of Contents in a book), and then set up sub-pages (or chapters). Highlighted words on the pages are links to more information, which could be on the same computer or somewhere else on the Internet, linked to another file at another site. Follow these hypertext links to get to the information you need. In addition to text, the page can include forms, email inquiry buttons, graphics, sound files, motion pictures and other features.
All Web addresses begin with http:// (which stands for hypertext transfer protocol)
http://www.cnc.bc.ca <-- College home page
http://www.disney.com <-- Disney home page
The Web is accessed through a piece of software called a browser. The most popular browsers are Internet Explorer, Netscape and Firefox. At the College, we mainly use Internet Explorer. This sheet describes how to use Internet Explorer to access information on the Internet.
Using Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer ("Explorer") is a graphical Web browser. It allows you to find text and graphics that people have placed on the Internet. Graphics include photographs, artwork, cartoons, movie clips, sound files and other types of multimedia, some of which require extra software to run on your machine - see Helper applications below.
Explorer is available on the College network, on computers in the library, in offices, in labs and at regional campuses. The College does not offer home Internet accounts. If you want to use Explorer at home, you need to purchase an Internet account from a commercial Internet Service Provider (such as Telus, Mag-Net, Shaw, etc.)
You will enjoy using Explorer - most people get the hang of it quickly! We'll explain just the basic features here.
(except at public stations in the Library which are already logged on)
or if it's not on the main screen, find it under the Start menu - Programs - Internet Explorer
This is usually the College home page or Microsoft's home page.
Location box (address)
There should be a box at the top, where you can enter an internet address. If it's not there, right-click somewhere in the empty space on the bar at the top and click on "menu bar" to get the box to show up. You may want to also add "status bar" "links" and other options to the display.
Enter an address, or a partial address, in the location box. If you enter a partial address, the browser will try to find a match.
Note: In most versions of Explorer, you do not need to enter the http:// at the beginning. You are also not restricted to just Web (http://) addresses. Some systems use other types of addresses (https, telnet, or ftp). In these cases make sure you include the beginning command (e.g. https://address, telnet://address, ftp://address)
A page can be any length, from one screen to hundreds of screens long. Click on the SCROLL BAR at the right to move from screen to screen. On the page are highlighted or underlined words or graphics. When you move the mouse over one of these highlighted items, it changes from an arrow into a hand. Click on the highlighted item to go to a new page, containing more information on the topic.
Notice: When you first click on the highlighted item, the Explorer icon (logo at the top right of screen) starts to move. It will stay animated as long as the transfer is in progress. At the same time, the bar at the bottom of the screen will tell you the system is working. After the transfer is complete, the Location box changes to show the address for the new page you are viewing.
Back - goes back one page (hold down right mouse button to see list of previous pages)
Forward - goes forward one page (hold down right mouse button to see list of previous pages)
Pull-down menu at right of Location (address) box - shows recently viewed pages
History button - shows pages you have viewed over past (9) days. To change the number of days it keeps, or to delete the files that are currently stored, go to Tools - Internet options - General tab - History.
View - Go to - shows previous pages
Click on STOP to stop a transfer in progress. This is handy if you change your mind about where you want to go, or if you are bringing in a large file or graphic which is taking too long to transfer (say STOP and come back some other time).
Click on HOME to return to the first (Home) page at any time.
You can change the page that displays as Home to any page you like. Go to Top menu bar: Tools - Internet options - General tab - Home page. Type in the address of your preferred home page (e.g. the College home page is http://www.cnc.bc.ca/) or, if you are currently viewing the page you want to be your new home page, click on Use Current Page. Click OK. From now on, whenever you click on Home you will always go to this page.
Click on the REFRESH button (or View-Refresh) when you are in a page, to refresh it (if it's garbled) or to update it. This is useful for places like News sites, where information is constantly being updated. You can set Explorer to Refresh the page every time you visit it by going to Tools - Internet Options - Settings - Check for newer versions of stored pages - click on the radio button "Every Visit to the Page"
Click on PRINT to print the page or document you are currently viewing to the printer that is networked to your computer. To see a preview first, go to Top menu: File - Print Preview. If the page is very long, you may want to just print a selection from it. To do this, put the mouse at the beginning of the section you want and hold it down to highlight/select it, then go to Print - click on "Selection" (only the selected text will print). Or you may want to Save it as a file or Cut/Paste instead! If the page needs to be printed sideways ("landscape"), in the Print box, click on Properties - Paper tab - Landscape (or go to Top menu: File - Page setup - Orientation: Landscape). One more trick to save paper is to reduce the size of the text. Go to View - Text size - "Smaller" and then Print the document.
Save as a file
To save the page as a file, go to Top menu: File - Save as (e.g. to the desktop or to another file storage area)
You can open a separate Word Processing document on the desktop and Edit - Copy/Paste parts of the Web page into your Word document. Here's the basic procedure: (1) downsize the Explorer page, or minimize it, placing it on the bottom menu bar (2) select a word processing application, open a new file and place it on the desktop (3) On the Explorer page, select (highlight) some text (4) choose Edit - Copy from the Windows menu (5) place cursor in word processing document and choose Edit - Paste to insert the copied text (6) Save the word processing document using File - Save as; select the Desktop or another file storage area - click OK.
Save an image
Put mouse on image and right click. A menu appears. Click Save Picture As... (you have some interesting choices here!)
The FAVORITES button allows you to save a list of your favourite sites. Note that this works best on stations where you are the only user (otherwise, you get everybody else's favorites as well)! To add a Favorite site, when you are viewing it, click on the FAVORITE button and click on Add. It will now be listed on this menu. To delete it later, right click on the entry and click on DELETE.
Find on page
This is a very useful feature of Explorer. It allows you to quickly find words in a long page or document. Go to Top menu: Edit - Find on this page - Type word(s) in box - Click Find Next. Explorer goes to the first occurrence of the word on the page and highlights it. Click Find Next to find the next occurrence, etc.
If you have a Search BUTTON (a magnifying glass) on the toolbar, it takes you to the Microsoft search engine. Enter your word(s) in the search box. The search engine will retrieve a list of sites which feature these words. Click on any site to go there.
While this search engine is fine, there are better ones. Google is an example of one that searches not just web pages, but news, images, documents etc. To connect to Google or other top-rated search engines, go to the Library's Web Search page.
There is also a Search BOX on college pages, where you can search for information located on the college site.
e.g. "prince george cougars" "spruce budworm"
e.g. +cookies +recipes -nuts will find cookie recipes without nuts
Read searching tips or help pages posted by the search engines you use most often. Each search engine has different search commands and strategies. Some have advanced search screens that are very useful for refining your search and getting quick and useful results.
Notes about other features
Cookies are packages of information created when you enter a web site. They are stored in your harddrive. They allow the site to tailor their service to you, so that, for example, the next time you enter the site you get a special message or welcome screen. Cookies are, however, also used by companies to find out more about your habits and purchases. You may or may not want to accept them. To delete cookies on your harddrive, or change your preferences, go to: Top menu: Tools - Internet options - General tab - Cookies.
Helper applications are needed if you want to listen to sounds, play movies, decompress downloaded applications or get a better display of images. Common applications include Windows Media Player, QuickTime and Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a very important add-on because it allows you to view PDF document files like government documents and library full-text journal articles. Computers at the College have most common applications installed. Installing anything extra involves putting in a request to Information Technology Services. Students should request through their instructor. Employees can contact the firstname.lastname@example.org
Start your Internet searches at the Library Web Page!
Go to College Library Web Page: http://www.cnc.bc.ca/library/
Check out some of these interesting choices
Find...Books, media in catalogue - search for 180,000+ books, videos, reports, etc.
Journals - choose one of the full-text indexes! You have access to over 28,740 online journals and newspapers on this menu
Web Search - top-rated search engines for information, people, software, etc.
Web Reference - includes online Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Biography sites and more!
Web Subject Sites - faculty-recommended websites, listed by program area
News, Help and a host of fun links!