Beginner's Guide to the Web

This Handy How-To Will Have You Visiting the Berkeley Pages and Touring the Internet in No Time at All

by Kathleen Scalise

Did it seem only a year ago "web site" wasn't in your vocabulary and now not even a beer commercial goes by without a mention of one? Be assured it's never too late to delve into what the Internet has to offer, and the new campus home page is the perfect place to start.

When you display the campus home page on your computer, you have at your fingertips access to all the information the campus provides online. To retrieve information, point your mouse and click on the color-highlighted words and pictures you see displayed.

However, before you can reach the home page and start your tour, you'll need a software program called a browser installed on your computer. Browsers allow you to read information over the Internet.

A tip on how to get your messages read first: Try flattery. "What a great site" works well.

A common browser is called Netscape Navigator. Another is Microsoft Internet Explorer. Ask your usual computer support personnel to assist with the selection and installation of a browser.

No matter which program you use, you should request that the Berkeley page be set as your home page when your browser is installed. Once this is done, each time you use the browser program the Berkeley home page will appear on your computer screen.

Every page on the Internet has a unique address, called a "url." Url is short for Uniform Resource Locator. As you look at each web page, its url is displayed by your browser. The url, or location, of the campus page is:

The new campus page is designed to help you find information fast. All the web sites on campus have been organized into five categories, displayed at the left of the page.

When you see a category you want more detail on, point your mouse and click. For instance when you click on the highly useful "Departments" category, you will quickly get to information provided by academic units on campus.

Data will be transferred to your computer and you will see a new, colorful page displayed in your browser. You can continue clicking and displaying new pages until you find everything you need.

Or you can take a shortcut. If you don't immediately find what you want by looking through the subject categories, you can ask the computer to help out. At the bottom of the campus home page, you will see "Search Berkeley."

In the window to the right, you can type a few words describing what you're after. When you click on "submit," the campus web server will display a list of likely web sites you can check.

At any point in your Internet tour, you can always go back to prior pages. If your browser is Netscape Navigator, you can go back by clicking on the "Back" button at the top of your browser screen.

If you find a page you'll want to return to at a later date, look for "Bookmark" at the top of the screen. With the web page still on your screen, click on "Bookmark." When it opens, click on the "Add a Bookmark" line.

Your browser has just stored the address of the page. When you want to go there again, go directly to "Bookmark." Click on it and then click on the page name you want. Up it comes onto the screen without your having to know its address or anything else.

Like the Back button and Bookmark menu, symbols called icons and text markers appear automatically on your browser screen and within web pages.

By clicking on them, they give you options for moving around on the Internet and for printing and cutting and pasting and otherwise manipulating information.

The best way to learn what you can do is by hands-on exploring. You can't damage information on the web, so feel free to try out all the features and options.

Sometimes, though, there's no substitute for reaching a real person who knows about the site. Most web pages include an email contact.

On the campus home page, click on "Questions, comments and email for this web site," which is at the bottom of the page. You will be given several addresses for email and comments. Click on any address and an email screen will appear. Type in your message and send.

As you can imagine, home pages receive a great deal of mail each day. So here's a tip to get your message read first: Try flattery in the subject line. "What a great site!" works well.


Copyright 1997, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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