Using A Browser

When it comes to surfing the World Wide Web, you still have two computer options. You can either use the "dumb" terminals or you can use the Windows 95 based computers. Remember, however, that the "dumb" terminals are text based systems and you will be unable to see the rich use of graphics and photos that are found on today's web sites. You will also be unable to hear sound files that might accompany some web pages. However, if you still wish to use one of these terminals, or if it is your only way to surf the web, please follow this link to find out how to surf the web using these machines.

If you have the access, then by all means use a Windows 95 based computer to do your surfing. On these systems, you will even have two (possibly three) options to choose from on how to surf. Netscape Navigator, Netscape Communicator, and Microsoft Internet Explorer are three programs that can be used to surf the net. The program you choose will be based upon what computer you sit down at, and your personal preferences. None of the programs are bad. They all get the job done.

You will notice that some sites have logos that say that web site is "Enhanced." That means that that web site has some HTML Code (which we'll cover in a bit) which only a Netscape or a Microsoft reader can read and interpret. It does not mean, however, you won't be able to view that site. It just might not look the way the webmaster intended for it to look.

All the programs operate in the same basic way and the following will cover the basics on how to operate any of them. The names of items will change from Netscape to Microsoft, but the buttons will have the same functions.

Log on the computer using the process described earlier (Click here to remember.)
Begin the program of your choice by double-clicking on it's icon. Remember, some computers will only have one of the three programs.
Once you double-click the icon the program will start and will begin with the home page of Louisiana Tech University. You will notice that above the screen with the photo in it, is a long white area with the text "" This text is called an URL (or Universal Resource Locator) This is basically the address of the web site. Just like you have a mailing address, a web site also has one.
Click in the white text area to highlight the text. You can now change the web page you are looking at by typing in a new URL. For instance, if you wanted to visit Dr. Bruce Magee's homepage, you would simply type in " " It would not be necessary for you to type in the "http://" part because, the browser already knows to include it.
In order to return to the Louisiana Tech web page, (or any page you had just visited) you would simply press the "BACK" arrow icon just above the URL line. To move forward, you would click the "FORWARD" arrow.

Another interesting aspect of both browsers is the capability for it to remember which sites you like to visit. Netscape calls this "Bookmarks" whereas Microsoft calls this "Favorites." By making a web site a "bookmark" or a "favorite" you can simply click on its name in its respective menu, instead of having to type in the sometimes long URL.

Both browsers also have their own unique features which make them different from each other. We suggest you try out both companies. See which one you like best and see which one is easier for you to use. If you plan on creating your own web sites, it is wise to have both of them on your computer to see how your web site looks in both browsers.

Also, be sure and see what plug-ins are available for your browser. Plug-ins allow you to hear news reports over the Internet, chat with other people, and even download TV broadcasts live. To see which plug-ins are available for which browser, visit their respective sites which can be linked to at the end of this site.

We've almost covered everything to get you started on Tech's Internet. But wait, there's more. In our next section, we will guide you on how you can create your very own homestead on the World Wide Web.