Internet 101, Lesson 1: Equipment Checklist
Author : Paul G.    -   Subject : Internet

    What you need before you dive the Internet!
    There's much more to this than just having a computer.

    "Surfing the Internet" is a misleading metaphor. It is really more like "Scuba Diving the Internet", with all the complexities of equipment, navigation theory, and understanding the wildlife and the terrain.

    Here, we will focus on equipment needed to "successfully dive the Net"! Note that both mandatory and optional equipment is listed below. Please also note that if you browse the Internet from work, many of these items will be provided for you, provided you adhere to professional ethics when using the Internet at the office.

    Internet User's Equiment Checklist

    1. Computer with Internet connection. PC or MacIntosh is fine. Sponsored Links
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    You can also browse the Net with a Pocket PC, a WebTV, or even a Citrix or Sparc workstation, if it is setup correctly. As you might know, there are coffee shop "Internet Cafes" that will rent usage of connected computers to you.
    2. Internet account with a connection provider. Often called "ISP" (Internet Service Provider), these are usually phone or cable companies that charge you $20 to $40 USD a month for Internet access. Note: if you browse the Net from work, your company eats this cost as part of their operations. They also will have rules for you to follow. If you browse from an Internet Cafe, you will need to pay perhaps $6 USD per hour.
    3. Internet browser software. The most popular is called Internet Explorer version 6 ("IE"). Netscape Navigator is the second most-common. AOL browser is the third most-common.
    4. Anti-virus software. Symantec/Norton or McAffee are the two most common. These will help defend you against nasty programs that will erase parts of your hard drive.
    5. Email software. You can choose from the very popular Outlook or Outlook Express, less-common email softwares like Eudora or Groupwise, or the free "web-mail" offered by Yahoo or Hotmail or
    6. Plug-In software. This is a big topic in its own right, but here are the most-common you will need: Java Virtual Machine, Macromedia Flash Player, Windows Media Player, Real Audio music player, Apple Quick Time.
    7. Optional: stereo speakers, microphone, and webcam. These hardware devices will allow you to hear game sounds, do Internet telephoning, and send images to your friends and family.
    8. Optional: Anti-Spam software.
    9. Optional: Censorware, to help police what your kids can see.
    10. Optional: graphic software, so you can edit pictures you like.
    11. Optional: printer.
    12. Optional: wheel mouse, to quickly scroll pages up and down.

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