Search

User login

SECTION FOUR: BASIC INTERNET AND EMAIL OPERATIONS

SECTION FOUR CHAPTER ONE OUTLINE

4. Learning Internet and email operations

1 Introduction to Internet and email

2 Accessing the Net

3 Emails

SECTION 4: LEARNING INTERNET AND EMAIL OPERATIONS

Section Objective: Ability to conduct basic operations required to use Internet and email independently

The way Internet has evolved over the years, makes it difficult for us to believe that it was created to allow data transfer and communications in case of a nuclear attack on US or a big disaster. Internet has come a long way from a restricted-use network created for such a special purpose. People today communicate with friends, family and business contacts, participate in community activities developed around their interest areas, shop, bank, study, entertain themselves, and research using the Internet. It is therefore becoming essential for people to learn how to use Internet and email.

TOPIC 4.1: INTRODUCTION TO INTERNET AND EMAIL

Chapter Objective: Familiarity with the fundamental concepts to enable learning to use Internet and email

Before we begin learning how to use the Internet and email, we must get familiar with some of the fundamental concepts. Internet is a huge network of computers. People connect their computers to local networks, which in turn are connected to regional networks and these regional networks are connected to a central structure called backbone.

1. TCP/IP

Just like two people can communicate easily if they talk in the same language and its rules. Similarly, all computers connected to Internet follow same rules and procedure, also called protocols, to communicate with each other. These protocols, or the common language, of the Internet are known as Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol or TCP/IP.

Every computer on the Internet has a unique address. This is a four-part numeric address called Internet Protocol Address or IP address, and it contains information that identifies the location of this computer. Some examples of IP addresses are 255.230.54.1, or 10.11.0.220. Therefore, we can see that each part of IP address is a number ranging between 0 and 255.

2. DNS

Most computers also have an address called a Domain name system address or DNS address. A DNS address has two parts: a host name which stands for the name the computer; a domain name that identifies the type of organisation from which the computer is connected. Some of the most used domain names today are .com which is used by commercial organisations; .edu used by educational institutions; .net used by network service providers; .org used by non-profit organisations; and .gov used by government departments and organisations.

3. World Wide Web

For the purpose of this tutorial, when we mention Internet, we are actually referring to the World Wide Web (WWW or the web). The web was developed as a method for incorporating footnotes, figures, and cross-references into online hypertext documents, also called web pages. These web pages are files encoded by using the hypertext markup language or HTML, and this language allows developers to insert hypertext links in the documents. It is through this facility that the web has become so useful for all of us. The web users can click any link on a web page to access more information about these links. A collection of related web pages is called a website. The first page of a website is called its home page. On the home page, links to various webpages of the website are listed.

Back to Chapter Outline

4. Web Browsers

You need a web browser to access web pages on the web. A web browser is a software application specially designed to look up and open web pages on the user's computer. The two most popular web browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Netscape Navigator. For the purpose of this tutorial we will refer to the Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 which is used by a vast majority of web users.

5. URL

The World Wide Web is built on a set of rules called the Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP). This protocol requires the Internet addresses in a special format, called URL or Uniform Resource Locator. A typical example of a URL is as follows:

http://www.enablingdimensions.com/home/home.html

Let us see what the various parts of a URL stand for:

  1. http://
  2. www
  3. enablingdimensions
  4. home
  5. home.html
  6. stands for a server that uses the hypertext transfer protocol means the website is on the World Wide Web part of the Internet stands for the name of the service/company/organisation whose website you are accessing refers to a web folder belonging to the website of enablingdimensions. refers to the specific web page in the web folder named home.
Sometimes the name of the web page is not displayed in the URL. However, each web page on the web has a unique URL. To access a website, you must know its URL and that URL should be typed in the Address bar of the web browser used by you.

6. Emails

To send and receive mails in electronic format, an email account and an Internet connection are required. There are email programs available to help you manage your emails on your computer. Some of the most commonly used email programs are Microsoft Outlook Express and Netscape Messenger. However, it is not essential to have an email program to be able to send and receive emails. There are several free email service providers on the web, including Hotmail, Yahoo!, Rediffmail and Indiatimes. You need to register with them and open an account with them to start sending and receiving emails.

After you drop your letter in the post box, the post-man collects and takes it to the central post office. From here it is dispatched to the recipient's city. Similarly, after an email is sent from a computer, it is sent to the nearest mail server. Here, depending on the recipient's domain and top-level domain name, the mail is forwarded to the mail servers closest to the recipient.

To deliver a letter, a postman collects the recipient's mail from the central post office and delivers it to the recipient's home. Similarly, whenever the recipient connects to his mail server, the email program retrieves the mail from there and presents it to the recipient.

Irrespective of what time of the day you send a mail, and no matter how far your recipient is, the whole process of sending and receiving mails takes a few seconds.

7. Email Address

Just like every letter should have an address where it can be delivered, there are addresses for sending and receiving emails also. Every email user has a unique email address.

A typical example of an Email address is as follows:

sam@internet.com

Email addresses have three parts:

  1. User name
  2. Domain name - 'internet' in the example. The domain name refers to the mail server - a type of computer - where the recipient has an electronic mailbox. It is usually the name of a company or an Internet service provider. A domain name and user name are always separated by the axiom symbol '@'.
  3. Top-level domain - '.com' in the example. The top-level domain is always preceded by a dot and refers to the country or type of organisation where the recipient's domain mail server is located. Some of the commonly used top-level domains are
    1. .com
    2. .edu
    3. .org
    4. .net
    5. - A commercial enterprise or an online service - An educational institution or university - A non-profit organization - A network
  4. - 'sam' in the example. The user name refers to the mailbox of the recipient.
Back to Chapter Outline

TOPIC 4.2:ACCESSING THE INTERNET

Chapter Objective: Good understanding of commands and steps required to access the web

To be able to use Internet and email, you need to set up a connection with an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Internet connections are available over the telephone line through dial-up modems or DSL; over cable through Cable T. V. wires; and through wireless. The most common way of connecting to the Internet is over telephone line using a dial-up modem. However, lately Internet over cable is also becoming quite popular. There are also a large number of cyber cafes in the country offering Internet Access facility on hourly rental basis.

Before we begin, ensure that you have an Internet connection on your PC. If you are accessing from home, you need to connect to the net using the software provided by your service provider. This software can be launched from the Program sub-menu in Start Menu or from Desktop, if there is a shortcut on the desktop.

1. Starting Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0

To access websites on the web, we need to launch a web browser. Here we will learn to access websites using the web browser from Microsoft - the Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0. To launch Internet Explorer, follow the instructions given below:

1. Press the start button to open the start menu. Go to Programs and open the programs sub-menu.

2. Now use the down arrow direction key to reach the option labeled Internet Explorer, and press Enter.

3. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut icon for Internet Explorer on the desktop.

2. Components of Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0

The components of Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 are quite similar to the Windows Explorer. It consists of the following parts:

1. Title Bar - It is the topmost part of the web browser, and is a thin rectangular strip. The left hand corner of Title bar displays, the icon of Internet Explorer, name of the web site, and name of the program i.e. Internet Explorer. On the right hand corner the three buttons - Minimize, Maximize and Close are displayed.

2. Menu Bar - This consists of a horizontal row of command options. These are File, Edit, View, Favorites, Tools, and Help.

3. Standard Tool Bar - It displays shortcut icons of some of the most frequently used commands on the browser.

4. Short cut links bar - This may or may not be present. It displays shortcuts to a few most preferred links by the user.

5. Address Bar - It displays the URL of the website being accessed by the user.

6. Contents Pane - The contents of the web page will be displayed here.

7. Status Bar - It displays the status of download, connectivity and the URL of the link being downloaded.

3. Accessing websites

To access websites, follow the instructions given below:

1. Ensure that you are connected to the Internet. Launch the Internet Explorer from the start menu, programs sub-menu.

2. Go to file menu option of the Internet Explorer by pressing the Alt key. Open the file menu drop down by using the down arrow direction key. In this drop down, use the down arrow direction key to go to the option labeled 'open'. This will open the 'Open' dialog box. Alternatively, you can press Control key and O key. The cursor will be in an edit text box. Here type the URL of the website you want to visit. We will take the example of Enabling Dimensions website. So, type www.enablingdimensions.com in the open edit text box, and press Enter.

3. The browser will then look for the Enabling Dimensions website on the web. The status bar will display "searching www.enablingdimensions.com". When it finds the website, the status bar will display 'website found'. After this a process of displaying the website on your computer will begin, this process is called downloading. The page that appears after downloading is complete is called the home page of the website. Once the site is completely downloaded, JAWS will start reading the page. To stop JAWS from reading the entire page press the control key once.

4. Typically, a website is divided into five distinct areas. It is like a window and its frame. So the area of the window is the content section, while each side of the frame represents a particular section. The different sides of the frames are called navigation bars, because they contain links to navigate through the website. Therefore, usually there is a top navigation bar, a bottom navigation bar, a left navigation bar and a right navigation bar. The top and bottom navigation bars of the frame contain links to various sections in the website. These are also called the global navigation bars. The left navigation bar of the frame usually serves as a section navigation bar i.e. it contains links to pages within the particular section being accessed. The right navigation bar is for links to specific pages, or links outside the website. This placement and the number of these navigation bars can vary widely from website to website, however, a global and section navigation bar is always there.

5. JAWS will start reading the downloaded web page from top left-hand corner of the screen to the bottom right-hand corner. You can stop JAWS from reading the page by pressing the control key. If you want JAWS to begin reading the web page again, press the down arrow key. JAWS will start reading forward from the point it had stopped when you pressed the control key. You can now keep pressing the down arrow key to move forward step by step at your own pace. To move backwards, press the up arrow direction key.

6. A web page usually consists of many elements such as hyperlinks to other web pages in the same website or to other websites; buttons for commands; Forms with text boxes, combo boxes, check boxes and radio buttons; graphic images; and ofcourse plain text. While reading the web page, JAWS will distinguish each element as follows:

A. Plain Text: JAWS will simply read out the plain text

B. Hyperlink: Before reading out a hyperlink, JAWS will speak out the word "link" and then read out the name of the link. For example if a hyperlink is labeled 'About Us' then JAWS will read "link About Us".

C. Buttons: JAWS will first read out the title of the button and then speak out the word "button". For example if a button is labeled 'Submit' then JAWS will read " Submit button".

D. Graphic Images: Every graphic image has an alternative text associated with it, JAWS will speak out the word 'Graphic' first and then read out the alternative text of the graphic.

E. Forms: A form has many fields in which a user can type relevant information. There are different types of fields in a form. These are:

  • Text Box: These are areas in which the user can type limited information. JAWS will first speak out the label of the text box and then it will speak out the word "Edit". For example, if there is a field in which the user has to enter his first name, then JAWS will read "First Name Edit'
  • Combo Box: Usually combo boxes are provided to make certain pre-defined selections. These selection options can be browsed by using the down and up arrow keys. JAWS will speak out the label of the combo box and then it will speak the word "Combo". For example, if there is a field in which the user has to select his country from a list of countries provided in a combo box, then JAWS will read "Select your Country combo". Sometimes, user can type in a combo box also, for such combo boxes JAWS will speak out "Edit Combo".
  • Check box selection: This is a small box provided for single selection options. To select and deselect the option against a check box, use the space bar. JAWS will speak out "check box checked" if the option is selected and "check box unchecked" if the option is not selected.
  • Radio buttons: These are small buttons provided when there are limited options, usually two to five options, to select from. These options are changed by using the direction arrow keys. JAWS will speak out the word "radio button" and then the option that is against it. For example if there are two options A and B, and option A is selected, then JAWS will speak out "Radio button Option A selected", for the option not selected it will speak out "Radio button Option B unselected".
7. To access a link that you would want to access, there are two ways

First: Use Tab key to browse through the links sequentially, and when you reach the link you want to access, press Enter key.

Second: Press Insert key + F7 key. This will open a 'Links list' dialog box. As the name suggests, links list dialog box has the complete list of links present in the opened web page. You can reach the link you want to access by using the up or down arrow direction keys. You can also use the alphabet keys. For example, if you want to access a link labeled 'Email', then press E key. Keep pressing E key till you reach the link labeled Email. After you reach this link, press Enter. This will then open the page hyper linked to the accessed link.

8. To know your position on the page, press Insert key + Up arrow key.

9. To go back to the previous page, press Alt key + left arrow key. To move forward to a visited page press Alt key + right arrow key.

4. Using Search Engines:

The web has become a huge repository of information on a variety of topics. This makes it a preferred mode to research on a large number of topics. However, the volume of information is so large, that it makes the access to right information difficult and slow. This is the reason for the popularity of Search Engines. Search Engines help web-users to find information quickly. Some of the most popular search engines are Google, Altavista, and Hotbot. Usually search engines have a text box, where the users have to enter the information they want to search on the web. On pressing Enter, the search engine looks for a match to the words entered in the text box. After a few moments, a list of search results is displayed on the screen. This list usually consists of a listing of links to various websites containing and a brief description of each link. These results are arranged according to their accuracy, i.e. the closer the match with the text entered by the user, the higher up the list it is placed. The user, then has to browse through this list to find which results are relevant and open the links by pressing Enter key on them.

We will learn to conduct search on Google.

1. Open Internet Explorer.

2. Press control key + O key to open the 'Open' dialog box, type www.google.com and press enter key.

3. In a few moments the home page of the Google website will be opened. The cursor will be placed in the search text box, press enter key to put on the forms mode. Now, type the text you want to search on the web in this box and press enter key.

4. In a few seconds, the search results will be listed on your computer.

5. Use Tab to browse the links. Or if you are already know the link, press Insert key + F7 key to open the links listing dialog box. Now, use the arrow direction keys to reach the link you want to access, and press enter key.

Back to Chapter Outline

TOPIC 4.3: USING EMAILS

Chapter Objective: Good understanding of commands and steps required to use emails on Yahoo!

1. Opening an Email account

Before you can start accessing an email, you must have an email account. There are two ways of acquiring an email account:

1. Buy an Internet account from an Internet service provider. An email account is provided to you as part of the package.

2. Open an email account with web-based email services such as Hotmail, Yahoo!, Rediffmail etc.

We will learn how to open an email account with the web-based email service Yahoo!:

1. Ensure that you are connected to the Internet. Open Internet Explorer, press control key + O key to open the 'Open' dialog box, type www.yahoo.com and press enter key. This URL is of the website for the Yahoo! email service.

2. The Yahoo home page will download on your screen. Now, since we want to open an Email account, we will look for the link labeled 'Email' on the home page. Press Insert key + F7 key to open the links list dialog box. Now press the E key repeatedly, till you reach the Email link and then press Enter key.

3. After a short while, the 'Email Sign In' page will open. On this page, email account holders with Yahoo type in their username and password to access their email account. This page also contains hyperlink to the page with the registration form for opening new email accounts. This link is labeled 'Sign up Now'. Again press Insert key + F7 to open the links list dialog box. Now press the S key repeatedly, till you reach the Sign up now link and then press Enter key.

4. This will open a selection page. Yahoo offers three types of email services, out of which only one is free, the other two are paid services. Each service has a link labeled 'Sign up now' link and another link called 'learn more'. On this selection page, the users are required to select the service for which they want to register themselves. The free email service is the first one in the list. Hence, we need to click the first 'Sign up now' link. Use tab to reach this link and press enter key.

5. This will open the Registration page, that is, the page with registration form for the free email service. In this form, there are several sections that you have to fill. The fields in these sections of the registration form are:

A. Choosing your ID- This is the first section of the form. There are three fields in this form. You will use the information entered in this section, every time you access your email account. The three fields in this section are:

1. Yahoo! ID: This is the name of your email account. For example, if your name is Amitabh Bachchan, then you may want to keep the name of your Yahoo email account as amitabhbachchan. However, while naming your email account, bear in mind that it should be unique. Common names are not available as email ID's, since there is a very high probability that someone else might have created an email account by that name. So try to think of a unique name which no one else could have thought of. When you are ready, press Enter key to put the forms mode on. Do not give any spaces between words. After you have typed your unique Yahoo ID, press tab to go to the next field.

2. Password: This is the second field in the registration form. Type a word as your password. JAWS will speak out "star" for each press of key in this field. Password should be at least six characters long. Also, do not enter your name or yahoo ID as the password. Remember your password and do not share it with anyone. Press tab to go to the next field.

3. Retype Password: This is the third field in the registration form and exactly same as Password field. Type the same word that you typed as your password. JAWS will speak out "star" for each press of key in this field. Press tab to go to the next field.

B. Recalling your password: This is the second section of the registration form and the next field comes under this section. This section asks you information that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess. This information is required so that when you forget your password, the service administrators can be sure that you are the genuine holder of the email account. The following fields are part of this section:

1. Security Question: This is a combo box, in which there are some questions. These questions ask you such personal information that only you are likely to know. You have to select only one from this list, by using the down arrow direction key. After you have selected the question for which you would like to provide an answer, press Tab key to go to the next field.

2. Your Answer: This is a text box in which you will type the answer of the secret question selected by you in the previous field. Press Tab key to go to the next field.

3. Birthday: There are three sub-fields against this field. You have to first select the month in which you were born, from a combo box. After you have selected the month, press tab to move to a text box. In this text box enter the day in two digits (if say, you were born on 2nd day of a month, type 02 in this field) and press tab. This will take the cursor to another text box. Enter the year of your birth in four digits (if say, you were born in 1970, type 1970 in this field) and press Tab key to go to the next field.

4. Current Email (Optional): This is a text box in which you can enter any other email ID you may have. If you do not have any email ID, leave this field blank and press tab to go to the next field.

C. Personal Information: This is the second section of the registration form and the next field comes under this section. In this section, your personal details will be asked. The following fields are a part of this section:

1. First Name - This is a text box. Type your first name in this field and press tab to go to the next field.

2. Second Name - This is a text box. Type your second name (surname) in this field and press tab to go to the next field.

3.  Language and content - This refers to the language you would prefer to use on Yahoo and the country from which you will access the information. This is a combo box and use the down arrow key to browse through various choices. Press enter on the language and country you want to select. Press tab to go to the next field

4. Zip/Postal code - This refers to your PIN number. This is a text box, type your PIN number in this field and Press Tab to go to the next field.

5. Gender - This is a combo box, use the down arrow key to select an option and press enter to confirm the selection. Press Tab to go to the next field.

6. Industry - This is a combo box, use the down arrow key to select the industry you work in and press enter to confirm the selection. Press Tab to go to the next field.

7. Title - This is a combo box, use the down arrow key to select the most appropriate designation at work and press enter to confirm the selection. Press Tab to go to the next field.

8. After these selections, there are many check boxes, asking you to subscribe to certain schemes. A good practice is to not subscribe to these options, since it attracts a lot of unwanted mails. If any check box is checked, press space bar to uncheck it. To move from one check box to another press Tab key.

9. Word verification: This is a text field. Take the help of a person with sight to fill this information for you in this field. Press tab to go to the Submit this form button and press enter.

10. If you had left a field blank, or entered incorrect information in the registration form or if the Yahoo ID entered by you is not available, you will have to enter the details again. Use tab key to go to the fields. After entering the information, press tab to go to the Submit this form button and press enter.

11. After a short while a confirmation screen will inform you that your email ID has been created. Remember your Yahoo ID is what you entered in the Yahoo! ID field in the registration form. So, taking the amitabh bachchan example, the yahoo ID will be amitabhbachchan. However, the email ID will be amitabhbachchan@yahoo.com. On the confirmation screen, JAWS will read out your yahoo ID and email address.

Back to Chapter Outline

2. Sending and receiving Emails in Yahoo!

1. Ensure that you are connected to the Internet. Open Internet Explorer, press control key + O key to open the 'Open' dialog box, type www.yahoo.com and press enter key. This URL is of the website for the Yahoo! email service.

2. The Yahoo home page will download on your screen. Now, since you want to access your Email account, look for the link labeled 'Email' on the home page. Press Insert key + F7 key to open the links list dialog box. Now press the E key repeatedly, till you reach the Email link and then press Enter key.

3. After a short while, the 'Email Sign In' page will open. On this page, email account holders with Yahoo type in their username and password to access their email account. When this page opens, the cursor will be in Yahoo ID field. It is a text box, press enter to turn the forms mode on and type your Yahoo ID. Press tab to go to the Password field. It is a text box, type your password in this field and press enter key.

4. After a short while, your email account home page will be opened. There are two links that we will look for in this page - Inbox and compose. Inbox is like your mailbox, all incoming mails will come here. Therefore, Inbox link will take you to all emails sent to this Yahoo email ID. Compose link will take you to an email form in which you can type your email and send to any email ID.

5. To check new emails and even old emails in your Yahoo email account, go to the Inbox link. Press Insert key + F7 key to open the links list dialog box. Now press the 'I' key repeatedly, till you reach the Inbox link. If JAWS reads out a number in parentheses along with the word 'Inbox', for example, if Jaws reads out "lnbox left parenthesis 2 right parenthesis" it means that there are two new emails in your Inbox. Once you reach Inbox link in the links list dialog box, press enter.

6. An email listing page will open. Here all incoming emails will be listed in reverse chronological order, that is, the latest emails will be listed on the top, while the oldest will be at the bottom. The email list is organised as a table. Each email occupies a row and is divided into five columns. These five columns are:

  • check box - Each email has a check box in the beginning. It is used to select the email for operations like delete or moving it to another folder.
  • Sender - In this column, the sender's name is displayed
  • Subject - The subject of the incoming mail is displayed in this column and it is a hyperlink.
  • Date - The day and date on which the incoming mail is received is displayed in this column
  • Size - The size of each email is displayed in this column
7. To view the content of an email, access the hyperlink of its subject and press enter. This can be done by using the up or down arrow direction key, or tab key or from the links list dialog box.

8. To send an email, we need to access the compose link. Press Insert key + F7 key to open the links list dialog box. Now press the C key repeatedly, till you reach the Compose link and then press Enter key.

9. An email form will open. The email form has the following fields:

  • 'To': This is a text box in which you will type the email address of the person to whom you want to send your email. When the email form opens, the cursor will be in this field. Press enter to turn on the forms mode and type the email address of the recipient. Press tab to go to the next field.
  • CC: It refers to carbon copy, that is if you want to send a copy of this email to some other persons then type the email IDs of these persons in this field. Press tab to go to the next field. All the recipients will see who else has received this message. To send the same mail to more than one recipient, separate the email addresses of the recipients by a comma or a semi-colon.
  • BCC: If you want to send a copy of your message to someone, but do not want others to know, then use the blind carbon copy (BCC) option for this undisclosed recipient. Type the email IDs of such person/s in this field. Press tab to go to the next field.
  • Subject: Type the subject of your email in this field and press tab to go to the next field.
  • Text: This is the place where you would write your message. This is like notepad and you just need to start typing. When you are done, press tab once to go to send button. Press enter on Send button.
10. After a short while, a confirmation screen will appear. This will inform you that your message has been sent.

11. You can send a reply to any email received in your account. To do this, go to the Inbox email listing page. Go to the subject hyperlink of the email to which you want to reply and press enter. This will open the detailed text of the email on the screen. On this page, there is button labeled Reply. Use arrow direction keys to reach this button and press enter. After a short while, a page with the email form, similar to the compose email form will appear. However, unlike the compose form, the reply form will have the following fields appearing pre-filled.

  • 'TO' field: The email address in the 'From' field of the message to which you are replying, will appear pre-filled in the 'To' field of the reply form. For example, if say you received an email from Raj Kapoor, whose email address is rajkapoor@yahoo.com. Now, when you reply to his message, the To field of the reply form will have rajkapoor@yahoo.com pre-filled.
  • CC field and BCC field will be blank
  • Subject: The text in the subject field of the message to which you are replying, will appear pre-filled in the 'Subject' field of the reply form with the text 'Re:' pre-fixed to it. For example, In Raj Kapoor's email, if the subject field had 'Hello there', then the subject field of the reply form will have the text 'Re: Hello there' pre-filled in it.
  • Text: The complete text of the original message will appear pre-filled in the Text box for writing messages. When the reply form opens, press tab once and the cursor will be placed in the text field. You can now start typing your reply. When you are done, press tab to reach the send button.
Back to Chapter Outline

Get Social with enableall