Two months ago I was very skeptical of the Internet. Some of that skepticism came from America Online and its sad excuse for a Web Browser. I was used to being horribly rushed to find things because I was paying for every minute. But now I have the direct connection and the Internet is a completely different place. The Internet is supposed to be a fun place.
When I first received the software, I was almost scared. I’ve heard the horror stories of trying to connect for the first time. An instruction manual came with the software from my provider. I followed every step, filling in all the domain names as needed. When I finished, I decided to try connecting. It worked on my first try. I haven’t made one phone call to the tech support for help. Maybe I was really lucky, but it was a good first impression of the Internet.
I soon found out that the Internet is full of information. Any topic is on it. The great part is that you can search for it and find it. Search engines are the most useful things on the Net. I use Alta Vista for all of my searches. I probably end up using it a few times a day. I’ll pick one of the first sites that sounds interesting and see what it is really like. It still doesn’t have every single site, but it has most of them.
Graphics are everywhere on the Net. Although it does make it look nice, they really slow everything down. The pathetic thing is that I am using a 28.8 modem and it is still very slow. I have had visions of ISDN popping through my head at times. But now that I have unlimited time, I just sit and wait for the majority of the graphics to show up. It makes the Internet much more inviting to see the graphics. Otherwise, you can read all about everything, but that would just get boring after awhile.
The one problem with the Internet is that it is very easy to get addicted. There is so much stuff out there. For me anyway, I just keep looking around for hours. When I finally log off, the timer says I was on for an hour and a half. I consider that a lot of time for one session. On America Online, you would never do that. It would cost way too much to even get close to doing that regularly.
The software is much easier to find than I thought it would be. Granted, America Online has more accessible software, but the Internet has more and it’s not too hard to find. The Web site “Shareware.com” is the perfect search system for shareware files. Places like Macworld Online and MacUser Online and also good places to start looking. Even FTP isn’t that hard. I have never uploaded something to the Internet with it, though. I just use Navigator’s FTP system for downloading. It is actually very Mac-like. It has all the folders and the files that you can double click on.
At first, I thought the Internet had no way of talking to people in real time. But I was wrong. Internet Relay Chat (IRC) does just that. I have just recently started using it, but from what I’ve seen, it is very big. There seems to be thousands of rooms that you can go into. This is one area of the Internet where it helps to have a name of a room to go into. But once you get into one, the Internet becomes a very lively place. There are people talking about anything and everything. This a place where you can make a lot of friends. I have yet to do that, though.
Originally I thought the Internet would be very hard to navigate. The Web is very easy. That is just point and click. Usenet isn’t hard either. I use Navigator’s reader. E-mail is the hardest thing to decide on. There are so many different programs to choose from. There is Navigator’s, Emailer, Eudora. I’ve used them all and I’m pretty sure I like Emailer the best. But they all have their good and bad points.
I have yet to find a really cool, small site. Maybe there’s no such thing. But that is what makes the Internet so much fun. You can keep on looking until you find something. Even though looking leads to addiction, it’s worth it. If you never can find it, you can always make your own site. I’m still looking into that.