>> Overview of Online Materials: The Internet
The purpose of the Internet is to make connections between computers and networks for communication and information sharing. The Internet in its earliest form began in the 1940's. Users were limited to segments of the scientific community and the military. Even in the early days of the Internet, using much slower computers than are available today, users could move large amounts of information over distances in shorter periods of time than otherwise possible.
Over the years, technological improvements have enabled the movement of information faster and further. The increased number of people, outside of the scientific and military communities, with access to computers (which are continually becoming faster and cheaper), and improved methods of transmitting the information (the creation of the World Wide Web, improved modems, increasing bandwidth, cable access, etc.) has allowed millions of people access to the Internet in the last decade.
The Internet includes: email, discussion forums, listservs, newsgroups, real-time communication electronic forums, ftp, telnet, gopher, the World Wide Web, etc.
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