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So, what are you doing? It's one of the first questions we often ask friends and family. Even if the answer is just mowing the lawn or cooking dinner, it's interesting to us. It makes us feel connected and a part of each other's lives.
If you’re like most people, computers are becoming a part of your life, and it helps to know how they work. They seem complicated inside, but by understanding just a few parts, you can see a simpler side of computers. You’ve seen them. They come in all shapes and sizes, but work pretty much in the same ways.
It’s easy to think of computers as just machinery – buttons, screens and parts that work together. But the magic of computers comes from something that makes them unique to you. The problem with computers is that most of us don’t speak their language. We need a translator, something that can understand our needs and put the computer to work for us. The translator is called software and it makes computers useful.
The chances are you’ve been using apps for years. Your home or work computer has apps like a spreadsheet program, calculator or photo editor. Recently these apps, or applications, evolved in a big way.
Have you ever wondered, when you visit a website, where those words and images come from? These days, as long as we have an Internet connection, using the Web is pretty easy. We can visit billions of pages on things from pet alligators to the weather in Holland. To help figure out how it works, let’s pretend we can get really small, follow the wires and explore what makes the Web work. In order to get to the Web, we need a connection from our home or business to the rest of the online world.
You've seen the word, you've seen the web sites and you may even have one. But have you ever wondered: What's the big deal about blogs? To make sense of blogs, you have to think about the news and who makes it.
I think we can all agree that reality is pretty great. It’s what we experience through our senses like our eyes, and phones with cameras. The Internet is awesome too, but the Internet and reality have a hard time working together. Thankfully this is changing quickly. New tools mean that the world around you can now be seen with a layer of new information from the Internet. Let's start with an example.
Remember the good old days of TV and radio? Everyone would gather around to be entertained. Shows were broadcast at specific times and if you weren't there on time, you missed it <boo>. Broadcasts disappeared into the ether. Well, things have changed. Here's the big idea.
The Internet has problems. Technorati says there are 50 million weblogs, and as you can see, it's going up. This is overwhelming.
The Web may seem like a vast ocean when it comes to finding something you need. Thankfully, search engines can help turn oceans of information into small pools that make finding information easier. Before we dive in, let’s talk a bit about how search works on the Web. Search engines go out and try to account for every word on every webpage. All this information is then organized for easy reference.
Computers used to work alone, inside a home or business. But thanks to the Internet, we can now use the power of computers at a completely different location - what we call "in the cloud". To start, meet Lucy from Lucy's Lilies, a new florist. She is concerned about how to manage flower deliveries. Right now she's responsible for hiring drivers and keeping the vans running. But this scenario makes her nervous.
These four friends are going on a camping trip. They need to bring the right supplies because they're backpacking. The group needs to plan and plan well, so coordination is key. They're all computer users, so they start planning with an email. It's start with one, but then becomes a barrage.
You've probably seen encyclopedias. Whether you're settling an argument or researching a school project, these books can hold the answers. These days though, the world moves so fast, it's hard for books that were written months or years ago to keep up. Thankfully we have a new kind of encyclopedia that's online, free, built by thousands of people and changes every day. The idea that thousands of volunteers could create an online encyclopedia doesn't sound possible, but thanks to new technology and specific policies, Wikipedia has become one the top 5 sites on the Web. The site is run by a not-for-profit foundation with a goal to provide everyone on the planet access to the sum of all human knowledge.
I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz. Social Media may be the next big thing. What’s it all about?
It's just too much. Did you know that there are over 15 billion web pages? To make sense of it all, we need to pluck out the best pages and save them for later. We have choices. We could bookmark or add to favorites in our web browser.