Hurstville Seniors Computer Club
(A lesson from the Internet Class)
The most effective and quickest way to look at a certain site on the NET is by using it's designated address, ie. it's Universal Resource Location or URL for short. It is similar to ringing your favourite store and ask them for a certain item you are after. Do not forget however, if you dial the wrong number, one extra digit, or leave one out, use the wrong sequence, you will not get your favourite store.

When you type the URL into the ADDRESS BAR of your home page (Alt + D) you have to be exact. URLs never finish with a DOT (full stop). What happens if you do not know the number of your pet store? You then get the telephone directory and look for either the store's phone number (URL) or look for the product you are after. Yellow Pages, Pink Pages, Internet and Phone Directory, or any others available to you.

This second option is performed on the NET by so called SEARCH ENGINES. Just as there a number of specialised phone books in Australia, there are a lot more SEARCH ENGINES on the NET, by the very nature of it being WORLDWIDE. SEARCH ENGINES are a fantastic resource, no matter whatever your interests. They attempt to help you isolate the desired information by searching for your specified KEYWORD, or KEYWORDS.

There are two types of search engines: WEB CRAWLERS and DIRECTORIES. Web crawlers are also known as SPIDERS. Webcrawlers are automated programs trawling the NET for accessible, new resources, which they add to their catalogued database. The NET user accesses the database in turn by his/her search engine. There are tons of them to be had free of charge. Some are even specialised to suit certain areas, for Australian enquirers or, etc. for general use. They also come in different languages and fonts in different parts of the world. The softwares of these search engines compare the words entered in the SEARCH BOX with the words of umpteen millions of WEB PAGES that match the search terms. Finally they add up all the possible, related resources and organise all that information on the SEARCH RESULT PAGE. Sometimes this information may run into several pages. If you were to type in music in GOOGLE's search box, it would give you 62,100.000 results (finds) in 0.09 seconds. Not bad for a dumb machine!

We'll talk about SPIDERS in the next issue.

........................ The Surfer     

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