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The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio • Page 121
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The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio • Page 121

Akron, Ohio
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The Beacon Journal Sunday, November 2, 1997, Page J5 Free Int ernel rare lyeasy Libraries, schools offer service. Be ready to be patient By Glenn Gamboa Beacon Journal business writer In the world of the Internet, free is not necessarily easy. But it can be done. More and more libraries and schools are offering free access to the Internet through terminals at their facilities. But there is usually a catch and often, a wait. The catch is a logical one. Because these are shared public terminals, it is often hard to take advantage of private features, like exchanging e-mail or sending messages to newsgroups. Another problem is that because these terminals are often purchased with precious public funds, they are usually not the highspeed, up-to-the-minute technological wonders needed to take advantage of the latest order to have an e-mail address. Having an e-mail address allows you to take advantage of several Internet features, like mailing lists and newsgroups, that were previously unavailable to those without accounts. The address also allows you to subscribe to a great deal of electronic news sources and even have customized searches, for things like job openings or classified ads, delivered there. More and more universities are tightening controls on who can receive free Internet access through them, and some are limiting usage to avoid system slowdowns. But most still provide students and full-time faculty free access. For those who have computers at home, but don't want to pay the monthly subscription fees for the online services or Internet access providers, the area does have some Continued from previous page Protocol HTTP is a set of rules that govern how files move across the Internet. HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and often appears at the end of Web addresses. HTML is the coding language used to create hypertext documents, which contain those highlighted words or phrases called links that you can click on for more information. Internet -The global collection of small computer networks more than 135,000 of them that are all connected to each other. The World Wide Web is part of the Internet. Internet service provider-A company that sells access to the Internet, usually for $15 to $20 a month. ISPs range in size from huge national providers like America Online to tiny local providers. Reliability can vary. Java A programming language that allows Web pages to include animations, calculators and other fun features. Network Two or more computers connected to share resources. When two or more networks are connected, the result is an internet, with a small Plug-in A small piece of free software that you obtain on the Web and add to your browser to enable it to do more things, such as play video or audio clips. Search engine A site on the World Wide Web that you can use to find information. A few of the most popular seerch engines are Yahoo, Infoseek, Excite, Lycos and WebCrawler. TCPIP -The set of rules by which computers communicate on the Internet. Stands for Transmission Control Protocol Internet Protocol. URL A fancy name for Web address. Stands for Uniform Resource Locator. A URL looks like this: WWW The World Wide Web, or Web for short. The part of the Internet connected to computers-called servers -that run hypertext software, which enables text, graphic, video and sound files to be mixed together on your computer. A FAMILY FREEBIE Free-nets. A Free-net is a dial-up service that provides users with an e-mail address and a text-only connection to the Internet. Developed in Cleveland in the mid-'80s, the Free-net movement began to create electronic cities where people could converse and gather informatioa The network of Free-nets grew so that members in different cities could also trade ideas and informatioa Free-nets operate through the public libraries in Akron and Medina. The Cleveland Free-net, the nation's first, is handled through the National Public Telecomputing Network at Case Western Reserve University. While the services at first were so Learning Together The Summit County Educational Services Center, 420 Washington Cuyahoga Falls, allows parents and their children to use its federally funded computer lab on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. "There is so much fear out there about the Internet," said the lab's director, Steve Snyder. "And most of it rests with people who are not familiar with it. So what's better than for families to learn about it together?" Visitors may also preview software, use video editing equipment and scanners, or view applications training tapes. Call 330-945-5600 for more information. Boacon Journal popular that the wait to join was several months long and busy signals were common, the flashy graphics and easy navigation of online services wooed away users. These days, connecting to the Free-nets is relatively easy, and retrieving the text-based information may actually be faster than waiting for graphics to load on the World Wide Web. The Akron site is reachable on the Internet ( To reach the Medina and Cleveland sites, use your modem and a basic telecommunications program to dial direct: 330-723-6732 for Medina, 216-368-3888 for Cleveland. Rebecca Wilson, marketing communications director for the Akron-Summit County Public Library, said the library is in the process of moving to a graphical connection. "We are doing the technical work to make sure we can support it and looking for the best way to make sure all graphic access activities are legal," Wilson said. "But we are trying to help people move forward." developments on the Internet. But as many Internet advocates and grateful parents say: It is better than nothing. "It puts people who don't have computers on the same playing field as those with access," said Bob Smith, director of the Medina County District Library, which offers unlimited Internet access at its terminals. "If people didn't have public access, we would have a whole class of people who were information-poor." Smith encourages parents to come in to use the terminals with their children so that both can see what the Internet can do. And recent advancements in World Wide Web technology have come a long way in helping people get over the problems of shared terminals. Web-based e-mail services like Hotmail ( and Juno (http: offer users a free e-mail address and mailbox that can be accessed on the World Wide Web. That means you don't have to have your own computer or even your own Internet account in 0 SOURCES: Internet literacy Conultanti, Hobbei' Internet Timeline

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