Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

What is the "Internet"?

My “real job” is helping folks solve their computer problems. I am a Tech Support Help Desk-type (available at and a repair technician. Writing Tech–for Everyone is a passion, but it does not generate my income is my point.

I truly enjoy helping people, and I love solving puzzles. Troubleshooting is an art, and it’s a challenge, and I actually get a kick when someone presents me with a new problem.

However, as I mentioned in my article on pebcak’s, the problem usually turns out to be operator error, and this is due to the user not fully comprehending the technology they’re using (they didn’t read the manual). Because of this reality, I frequently wind up giving brief “how to” lessons, and not actually repairing a machine.

In a classic example of not understanding the technology, the other day, to help diagnose their machine, I asked a client to boot into “Safe Mode with networking” (a special, minimal version of Windows) and they replied, “but I am not networked.” (I have heard this a few times, actually.)

Now, I understood that they were saying they only have one computer, but it helps illustrate a common public misconception– just what is the Internet? It is one vast network, made up of my machine(s), your machine(s), and everyone else’s machine(s). They “talk” to each other over the telephone lines.
Websites? They’re just text documents sitting on a machine that has been configured to be a “server” (no special trick); this “server” could be my old P-III that I keep in my basement, or a expensive, specialty model in a back room at GigantiCorp, or some hacker’s laptop. Most of the time, they’re pages stored on a Hosting company’s “servers”, which they rent out to people.

So, yes– if you go online you are “networked” — with the servers at your ISP, and hundreds of thousands of machines (potentially) in every country on the globe. The Internet is populated with every type of person there is — good, bad, and indifferent. Please, remember this, and practice safe surfing.

Today’s free link: An excellent summation of safe surfing, Internet security, and using online anti-malware scans can be found here. I highly recommend, if you use the Internet (and how else would you be reading this?) that you read this article.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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June 5, 2008 - Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, networking, security, tech | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Hey Paul,

    You should be in the teaching business! What a great, easy to understand explanation of what the Internet is. Uncomplicated and to the point.

    I appreciate the linkback.




    Comment by Bill Mullins | June 5, 2008 | Reply

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