Downloading files from the Web
One major use of the Internet, in all it's forms, is to transfer files
(including programs, text files and graphics) from one place to another.
This is made possible thanks to a protocol developed by
and the NCSA,
called FTP, which stands for File Transfer Protocol. This allows
files to be transferred over the Internet in a binary form. This, in an
aside, also forms the basis of the Web, every time that you click on a
link, the file that was requested is downloaded using FTP.
Anyway, the fact that files can be transmitted using FTP is very useful for business as has been demonstrated in recent BT radio advertisements for ISDN (but that's a different story). The point is that businesses can simply have files transferred to them by clients over the 'Net rather than physically sending the files on a disk. Many people also download PD or freely distributable software from websites such as Aminet, which contains just about every Shareware/Freeware program available for the Amiga computer - as well as many images and music modules that users want to share with other people.
Web browsers, downloading files
is simply a matter of clicking on a link, that is actually a file, in
the same way as one would to navigate the Web. Many software companies,
or even programmers with Internet access, make downloadable demos of
their software available to users and this is a good thing - a form of
try before you buy, but one has to take care when downloading files to
avoid Trojan Horses.
A Trojan Horse, like the Greek myth of old, pretends that it is something that it is not. It usually involves a malicious program, such as a virus, masquerading as something desirable, such as a new game or something similar. Some crackers are so twisted that they will upload a virus disguised as a virus checker! To avoid risks such as this, all files that are downloaded should be checked by a reputable virus checker before they are used.
Also, it is possible to download pictures from the Web. Any picture
that you can see on the screen can be downloaded to your own computer
and saved on to a hard disk. This is a very simple matter, but depends
on your machine/browser. For Netscape Navigator on a Windoze
machine then move the mouse over the picture and press and hold the
right mouse button. Move the pointer down to Save Image As
and select this item. This will present you with a normal file
requester and you can save the file to hard disk.
For Netscape Navigator on a Mac, it is the same process, except there is only one mouse button, so press and hold this
The process is similar, for MS Internet Explorer except that you use the Save Target As menu item after right-clicking the button.
I should mention here that downloading offensive material can lead to access being denied, and not just at university. If an ISP finds out that you are downloading - or indeed uploading (although uploading will not be covered here) - offensive material from the Web, then you could well find yourself cut off. A final note is that some material can be classed as offensive without actually being illegal, if your access is from a university, then you should be especially careful, since academic institutions tend to be very strict about this, so the best advice is to avoid it altogether to avoid the risk off being cut off.
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|Web Browsers||Search Engines|
|Downloading Files||The End|