Internet, this wonderful tool which allows what you are reading to be served to
your computer screen anywhere in the world. How does this incredible technology
work? How can you have instant access to any person or any information in your
very home? How do I, Ross, put your pictures on this thing called the web, to
be magically viewed by you all?
best way to look at the " Web " is to look at it as you would look at
a telephone grid. A grid being just a network or neighborhood of telephones connected
by those ugly black wires strung between post along the side of your street. At
this very moment, if you have a telephone, your house is connected to a vast network.
Anyone on this planet with a phone can send a signal through those black wires
to your very own house. This has been possible for many decades now, so you should
feel pretty comfortable with it already. A grid also meaning that you do not have
millions of direct lines from your house to everyone else with a telephone connection,
that would be a mess! Your signal is routed or guided through the network of telephone
lines to end up at it's destination.
Now, when you pick up your phone what is the first
thing you do? You dial a number. Well guess what? Every website
you visit has a number, much like a telephone number. When you
type a website address into your browser or click on a link to
another site your computer sends a signal over a network, in this
case the internet, to convert the letters of the typed address
into the site's unique number. This number is called an IP Address.
The number which appears to your computer when you type in our
is "220.127.116.11" . Here is a test, the IP Address
of www.yahoo.com is "18.104.22.168"
, go up to your address bar in your browser and type that number
in, just the number will do not need to enter www or anything
else. Look what happens, you go to the yahoo website! Some of
astute students might try to type our IP Address into your browser
expecting to arrive at the Armer start page. This is not the case,
we only have space on a computer, or server, not an entire server,
Yahoo owns it's own entire server. Every single computer while
it is connected to the Internet each has it's very own unique
number. While you are reading this your computer which is sitting
on your desk has been assigned a unique number different from
any of the millions of other computers connected. You have a number
just like www.yahoo.com does!
When you connect to the Internet you instantly fall into
one of two categories of computers which make up the Internet. All of you right
now are considered clients. Client computers simply receive information over the
Internet which is served-up from other computers. Can you guess what the other
category of computers are called? Yep, servers. Servers are computers like http://www.armerfamily.com
and www.yahoo.com, these are computers much
like yours, but they just sit there answering "phone calls", request
to their IP Address, from your computer asking for information. Did you know that
when you use those file sharing programs such as Napster, KaZaa, etc.. your computer
becomes a server itself. You are sharing information, so you are a server!