What is a network

1) What is a “network”?

A network is several computer systems linked together so that facilities such as printers, storage, computer programs, etc. can be shared.

2) What is “local area network” (LAN)?

A local area network (LAN) is a group of computers linked together over one small geographical area, usually one building, an office in a building, or across a several buildings on one site.

3) What are “dumb terminals”?

Dumb terminals are display and input devices which don’t process data and input locally, instead transmitting input to a computer to which it is connected and displaying the resulting output.

4) What is a “server” and what does it do?

The file server provides central disk storage for the users of a network. It identifies each user’s file separately, and will not allow another user to access them.

5) What is a “web server”?

A web server is a computer connected to the Internet. Browsers can access the web server to find and display different pages of a web site.

6) What is a “wide area network” (WAN)?

A wide area network (WAN) consists of computers connected together over a wide geographical area, usually over two kilometres and even worldwide.

7) Briefly describe both types of WANs.

Public wide area networks are available to most of the public, usually through telephone and cable TV networks, whereas private wide area networks use privately owned or rented lines and may be accessed only if you are a subscriber to the system.

8) Copy the “key points’ box on page 145.

Advantages of an ICT networked system:

* Access to the system for any workstation.

* Central storage of data and software.

* Sharing of expensive peripherals.

* Control of users’ access rights.

Disadvantages of an ICT networked system:

* Cost of installation.

* Reliance on a server.

* Need for security.

* Need to employ a network manager.

9) What is the “internet”? What did it used to be?

The Internet is the world’s largest wide area network and is often referred to as the network of networks.

10) What is the “world wide web” (www)?

The world wide web is a part of the internet where a set of multimedia documents (documents that can consist of words, sound, video, images or animation) are connected by way of hyperlinks so you can move from one document to another with a mouse click.

11) What computer language are web pages written in?

A webpage is written using HTML (hypertext markup language).

12) Connecting to the internet – what type of hardware device is a “modem” and what does it do?

A modem converts the digital signals from a computer into analogue signals that can be sent down a phone line. These analogue signals are then converted back to digital signals by a modem at the receiving end. The name modem is short for modular-demodulator.

13) What is the difference between “analogue” and “digital” as far as modems are concerned?

An analogue signal is a continuous signal, representing an output which can travel along a telephone line, whereas, a digital signal conveys information in the form of digital ‘on’ and ‘off’ pulses.

14) What does an “Internet Service Provider” do?

Internet Service Provider allows a user to connect to the internet.

15) What is a “web browser”?

A web browser is the special software which lets you ‘surf the net’ as it enables you to view web pages and to click on the hyperlinks. Examples of web browsers include Internet Explorer, Netscape Communicator, Mozilla, and Safari.

16) Copy out the Key Point box on page 157.

To connect to the internet you need:

* A modem;

* A web browser;

* An e-mail communications package

* An Internet Service Provider;

* A computer or other device.

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