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World Wide Web

I INTRODUCTION

World Wide Web (WWW), computer-based network of information resources that combines text
and multimedia. The information on the World Wide Web can be accessed and searched
through the Internet, a global computer network. The World Wide Web is often referred to
simply as the Web. See also Internet, Network.

The Web started to become a popular resource after 1993 when the first widely distributed
browser provided a convenient way to access a variety of information on the Internet. The Web
uses multimedia, which means that information can be displayed in a wide variety of formats.
Users can read text, view pictures, watch animation, listen to sounds, and even explore
interactive virtual environments on the Web. A user can move seamlessly from a document or
Web page stored on the computer to a document or Web page stored on another computer.

The Web offers a place where companies, universities and other institutions, and
individuals can display information about their products, services, facilities, or research,
or their private lives. Only a small percentage of information on the Web is restricted to
subscribers or other authorized users. The majority of Web pages are available to anyone
who can access a computer that connects to the Internet. The Web has become a
marketplace for many companies selling products or services, and a forum for people to
exchange opinions and information. Museums, libraries, government agencies, and
schools post information on the Web to make it available to others.

II A WEB OF COMPUTERS

All communication on the Web is carried out among a set of computers that are interconnected
by a computer network. Web technology can be used across an intranet (a network within a
company or organization) or across the global Internet. As with all communications among
computers, computers that comprise the Web employ two types of software: client and server
(see Client/Server Architecture). To make information available, a computer runs a server
program. To obtain and display information from a server, a computer user runs a client
program. The client contacts a server to request information; the server responds by sending a
copy of the requested information. To ensure that the exchange is meaningful, the client and
server programs must follow a communication protocol, a set of rules that the two programs
use to talk to one another. Like a language, a protocol specifies both the form and meaning of
each possible message.

In principle, any computer can run a client or a server. In practice, however, large, powerful
computers are usually chosen to run server software, and small personal computers (PCs) are
sufficient to run client software. Powerful computers are chosen for server software because
they must be able to handle requests for information from millions of people and do so quickly
so that users who request information from the server will not experience long delays. PCs,
however, are used by a single person to request a Web page. After a user makes a request, the
user waits for the information to be displayed. Thus, the client program running on a user's
computer only needs to handle one activity at a time. A server, however, must handle
simultaneous requests from many clients, possibly millions.

The difference between the Web and the Internet is similar to the difference between a
trucking service and a highway system. The Internet corresponds to a highway that allows
traffic to flow between computers, and the Web corresponds to a service that uses the highway
to move information from one computer to another. Confusion about the difference between
the Web and the Internet has arisen because the Web has become extremely popular and
currently accounts for the majority of Internet traffic. However, other services also use the
Internet to carry their traffic. For example, the Internet's electronic mail service permits users
to send and receive textual messages, and the file transfer service allows a user to transfer a
copy of a file from one computer to another.

Although many services use the Internet to carry data from one computer to another, each
service follows a separate set of rules that define the messages used in the exchange. The
Web uses the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), electronic mail uses the Simple Mail
Transfer Protocol (SMTP), and file transfer uses the File Transfer Protocol (FTP). The
application programs that users run to access the Internet often blur the distinction among
these services. For example, an application program that can send e-mail also allows a
user to transfer the contents of a file, and an application program used to access the Web
also allows the user to process e-mail.

III HOW THE WEB WORKS

To access the Web, a user must have a computer connected to the Internet and appropriate
software. The connection between the user's computer and the Internet can consist of a
permanent, dedicated connection or a temporary, dial-up connection. A dial-up connection
uses a modem to send data over the telephone system to another modem. It offers the lowest
cost but requires the user to wait for the connection to be established each time the modem is
used. A permanent connection uses a technology such as Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
(ADSL, also known as DSL), a cable modem, or a dedicated leased circuit. It remains in place
and is ready to use at all times. Permanent Internet connections cost more but offer higher
capacitythat is, they can send more data at a faster speed.

Two pieces of software are needed to access the Web: (1) basic communication software that a
computer uses to transfer data across the Internet and (2) a Web application program known
as a browser that can contact a Web site to obtain and display information. Basic
communication software, which is usually built into the computer's operating system, allows
the computer to interact with the Internet. The software follows a set of protocol standards that
are collectively known as TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). Because it is
built into the computer's operating system, TCP/IP software remains hidden from users. The
software is invoked automatically by application programs that use the Internet.

The second piece of software needed for Web access consists of an application program known
as a Web browser. Unlike basic communication software, a browser is directly visible to the
user. To access the Web, the user must invoke the browser and enter a request. The browser
then acts as a client. The browser contacts a Web server, obtains the requested information,
and displays the information for the user.

Information on the Web is divided into pages, each of which is assigned a short identification
string that is known as a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). A URL encodes three pieces of
information: the protocol a browser should use to obtain the item, the name of a computer on
which the item is located, including its domain name, and the name of the item. The domain
name indicates whether the site is operated by a commercial or nonprofit business. For
example, .com is a commercial site whereas .org is a nonprofit site. Many other domain names
exist, including .edu for Web sites established by educational institutions.

In 2001 many other unique domain names were created. They comprised .info for
informational sites, .biz for businesses, .name for individuals to register their name for a Web
site or for an e-mail address, .museum for museums, .aero for the aviation industry, .coop for
business cooperatives such as credit unions and electric coops, and .pro for professionals such
as accountants, lawyers, and physicians. As of March 2002, all of these domain name suffixes
were operational, with the exception of .pro.

Only the computer name is required in a URL. If the protocol is omitted, a browser assumes
http://, and if the name of an item is omitted, the server chooses a page to send. Thus, the
URL encarta.msn.com, which consists only of a computer name, is also valid.

Before it can obtain information, a browser must be given a URL. A user can enter the URL
manually or click on a selectable link. In each case, once it has been given a URL, the browser
uses the URL to obtain a new page, which it then displays for the user. The URL associated with
a selectable link is not usually visible because the browser does not display the URL for the
user. Instead, to indicate that an item is selectable, the browser changes the color of the item
on the screen and keeps the URL associated with the link hidden. When a user clicks on an
item that corresponds to a selectable link, the browser consults the hidden information to find
the appropriate URL, which the browser then follows to the selected page. Because a link can
point to any page in the Web, the links are known as hyperlinks. See also Hypermedia.

When a browser uses a URL to obtain a page, the information may be in one of many forms,
including text, a graphical image, video, or audio. Some Web pages are known as active pages
because the page contains a miniature computer program called a script or applet (a small
application program). When a script or applet arrives, the browser runs the program. For
example, a script can make images appear to move on the user's screen or can allow a user to
interact with a mouse, keyboard, or microphone. Active pages allow users to play games on
the Web, search databases, or perform virtual scientific experiments. Active pages are also
used to generate moving advertisements, such as a banner that keeps changing or a logo that
appears to rotate.

The codes that tell the browser on the client computer how to display a Web document
correspond to a set of rules called Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). An HTML
document consists of text with special instructions called tags, which are inserted to tell
the browser how to display the text. The HTML language specifies the exact rules for a
document, including the meaning of each tag. Thus, a person who creates an HTML page
is responsible for inserting tags that cause the browser to display the page in the desired
form. Not all Web pages use HTML. Graphics images are usually encoded using the
Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) or Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG)
standards. Active pages are written in a computer programming language such as ECMA
Script or Java.

IV WHO USES THE WEB

Even though the World Wide Web is only one possible service that uses the Internet, surveys
have shown that more than 80 percent of Internet traffic is for the Web. The percentage is
likely to grow in the future.

The most remarkable aspect of the World Wide Web arises from its broad appeal. Users form a
cross-section of society, including students preparing term papers, physicians researching the
latest medical information, and college applicants investigating campuses or even filling out
application and financial aid forms online. Other users include investors examining the trading
history of a company's stock or evaluating data on various commodities and mutual funds. All
the necessary information is available on the Web.

Travelers investigating a possible trip can take virtual tours, check airline schedules and fares,
and even book a flight on the Web. Many destinationsincluding parks, cities, resorts, and
hotelshave their own Web sites with guides and local maps. Major delivery companies also
have Web sites from which customers can track shipments to determine the location of a
package in transit or the time when it was delivered.

Government agencies have Web sites where they post regulations, procedures, newsletters,
and tax forms. Many elected officialsincluding almost all members of the United States
Congresshave Web sites, where they express their views, list their achievements, and invite
input from the voters. The Web also contains directories of e-mail and postal mail addresses
and phone numbers.
Many merchants now do business on the Web. Users can shop at the Web sites of major
bookstores as well as clothing sellers and other retailers. Many major newspapers have
special Web editions that are updated more frequently than the printed version. In some
cases, a Web site will offer basic information to everyone, but provide additional
information to users who buy a subscription. The major broadcast networks use the Web
to provide supplementary materials for radio and television shows, especially
documentaries. Electronic journals in almost every scholarly field are now on the Web.
Most museums now offer Web users a virtual tour of their exhibits and holdings. Finally,
many individuals have a Web site that describes their family, hobbies, and other personal
information.

V HISTORY

The World Wide Web was developed by British physicist and computer scientist Timothy
Berners-Lee as a project within the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in
Geneva, Switzerland. Berners-Lee combined several existing ideas into a single system to
make it easier for physicists to use data on the Internet. Most important, he added multimedia
the ability to include graphicsto the hyperlink concept found in a previous Internet service
known as gopher. Berners-Lee had begun working with hypertext in the early 1980s. An early
prototype implementation of the Web became operational at CERN in 1989, and the idea
quickly spread to universities in the rest of the world.

Groups at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of


Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researched and extended Web technology. They developed
the first browser that was used at many sites, named Mosaic, in 1993. To allow the Web
to be accessed from a wide variety of computer systems, researchers built multiple
versions of Mosaic. Each version was designed to be used with a specific operating
system, the software that controls the computer. Within a year, computer programmer
Marc Andreessen had formed a commercial company, Netscape Communications
Corporation, to build and sell Web technologies.

VI FUTURE TRENDS

The amount of information on the Web continues to grow rapidly, as does the number of users
around the world and the amount of online commerce. For many businesses, the Web is
replacing traditional catalog ordering. In addition, people continue to extend and improve Web
technology. Several research efforts are underway to generate new methods that search the
Web for information, new methods for restricting access to intellectual property, and new
technologies that will permit live Webcasts similar to television broadcasts.

Although most Web pages still use the HTML language, extensions and alternative technologies
have been proposed. The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is becoming popular for business-
to-business communication. Unlike HTML, in which the meaning of all tags is pre-determined,
XML allows companies that use it to define their own tags. For example, a publisher and a
bookstore might choose to define their own tags for information about authors, titles, and
publication dates for the information they exchange. Similarly, an automaker and a dealership
might choose to define their own unique tags for models, body styles, and price. XML
definitions are only meaningful to the parties involved. For example, the automaker's software
will not understand a book publishers author tag, and the bookstore's software will not
understand the automakers body style tag.

Other alternative forms are also emerging. The Wireless Markup Language (WML) is designed
to be used with small wireless devices such as Web-enabled cell phones. Several scripting
languages are available, including ECMA Script (which was originally called JavaScript) and
Visual Basic. Scripting is gaining importance as more sites use animation.

Another Web technology expected to gain importance is known as a Content Distribution


Network (CDN) or mirroring. A CDN consists of multiple sites around the world that all contain
the same information. When a user requests a page, the CDN directs the request to the closest
copy. From a user's viewpoint, a CDN results in a faster response. From a company's viewpoint,
a CDN is necessary because no single Web site can handle simultaneous requests from several
hundred million users. The largest Web sites already use CDN technology.

Higher-speed Internet transmission facilities, known as broadband, are also helping improve
response times. Broadband technologies include Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL),
which works over telephone wiring, and cable modems, which work over cable TV wiring. Each
technology allows data to flow from an Internet service provider to a user's computer hundreds
of times faster than traditional dialup modems. Another, less popular option is satellite Internet
access, in which a computer grabs an Internet signal from orbiting satellites via an outdoor
dish.

Reviewed By:
Douglas E. Comer
Microsoft Encarta 2009. 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Apple Inc.
I INTRODUCTION

Apple Inc., major manufacturer of personal computers and other digital devices, including the
popular digital music player, the iPod, and the online music service known as the iTunes Music
Store. With headquarters in Cupertino, California, Apple designs, produces, and sells personal
computer systems for use in business, education, government, and the home. It also creates
its own operating system software, server software, and World Wide Web browser. In addition
to these products, Apple also makes printers, monitors, scanners, a cell phone, a digital video
system, Web services, and networking products. Apple also operates a chain of retail outlets.

1977
Apple Releases the Apple II

Apple Computer Company, established by American electronics hobbyists Stephen G.


Wozniak and Steven Jobs, introduces the Apple II, the first personal computer with color
graphics.

II FOUNDING

Apple Computer was formed by Steven Jobs and Stephen Wozniak in 1976 to market the
Apple I, a computer circuit board that they had designed and built in Jobss garage in Los
Altos, California. They scrapped their plan to sell the board alone when Jobss first sales
call yielded an order for 50 units. They were, however, sold without monitor, keyboard,
or casing. The company was incorporated in January 1977 by the charismatic Jobs, the
meditative inventor Wozniak, and their new partner and chairman, Mike Markkula.
Markkula brought credibility, maturity, engineering and product management experience,
and an extremely broad-based knowledge of the business world, as well as investment
cash of his own and contacts among Silicon Valleys venture capitalists. Markkula also
recruited all of Apples outside board members and lured away managers from other
major high-technology firms, including Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and National
Semiconductor.

III APPLE II AND MACINTOSH

In 1977 Apple introduced the Apple II, a personal computer able to generate color graphics,
with its own keyboard, power supply, and eight slots for peripheral devices, which gave users
wide possibilities for add-on devices and software programs. Apple established its corporate
headquarters in Cupertino in 1978. The Apple III computer, introduced in 1980, sold poorly
because of hardware problems and a high price.
With Apple II sales soaring, in 1982 Apple became the first personal-computer company
to record annual sales of $1 billion. In 1983 Apple introduced the Lisa, a personal
computer designed for business use that incorporated a handheld mouse to select
commands and control an on-screen cursor. The Lisa was followed in 1984 by the
Macintosh personal computer, based on the 68000 microprocessor manufactured by
Motorola. Like the Lisa, the Macintosh, also known as the Mac, incorporated a graphical
user interface, which made the computer easy to operate for the novice user. Apple
entered the office market with the introduction of its LaserWriter printer in 1985 and
Macintosh Plus computer in 1986, a combination that launched the desktop publishing
revolution. Although the company prospered in the early 1980s, Wozniak left Apple in
1985 to start a company of his own. That same year disappointing sales and internal
wrangling led to restructuring, the companys first layoffs, and Jobss departure from the
company. John Sculley, whom Jobs had hired in 1983 as Apples president and chief
executive officer, replaced Jobs as chairman of the companys board of directors.

IV EXPANSION AND CHANGE

The late 1980s and early 1990s were times of growth and change at Apple. In the late 1980s
Apples net income increased substantially, and in 1990 Apple introduced a new line of
Macintosh computers, priced at 50 percent less than previous models to attract new customers
to the Macintosh. In addition to expanding the Macintosh line, Apple extended its system
software, the modular System 7. In 1991 Apple formed an alliance with International Business
Machines Corporation (IBM) and Motorola to develop the PowerPC family of reduced instruction
set computing (RISC) microprocessors. In 1992 Apple introduced the family of Macintosh
PowerBook laptop computers, which offered built-in networking capabilities. That same year
the company introduced its QuickTime software, which allowed computers to play video clips in
multimedia applications.

In 1993 Michael Spindler replaced John Sculley as chief executive officer of Apple. That
same year the company introduced the Newton, a handheld communications device with
several functions including the ability to translate handwriting into typewritten text. The
company also announced restructuring plans that included substantial layoffs, wage
freezes, and changes at the executive level. In 1993 Apple discontinued its Apple II
product line.

V FINANCIAL WOES IN THE 1990S

In 1994 Apple launched the Power Macintosh line of high-performance computers, the first
Macintosh computers based on Motorolas PowerPC chip. The company also began licensing its
operating system, Mac OS, to other computer manufacturers for the first time. After a year of
solid growth, Apples fortunes declined again in 1995. A string of problems, including severe
shortages of some computer models, led to sluggish sales and financial losses.
In 1996 Gilbert F. Amelio, a business executive credited with saving the National
Semiconductor Corporation from financial ruin, replaced Spindler as Apples chief executive
officer. Apple abandoned its plans to release a major upgrade of its operating system. Later in
the year, the company paid $400 million to acquire NeXT Software, a company headed by
Apple cofounder Jobs, and announced plans to release a new operating system based in part
on NeXT technology. Jobs returned to Apple as a part-time consultant. Despite losing $816
million in 1996, Apple rejected a number of proposed mergers.

In 1997 the companys sales continued to drop due to competition with manufacturers of
Macintosh clones and computers using the Windows operating system developed by Microsoft
Corporation. (Encarta Encyclopedia is published by Microsoft.) That year Apple laid off 4,100
workers, or about 30 percent of its workforce, as part of a sweeping reorganization designed to
return the company to profitability. Also that year, Apples board of directors dismissed chief
executive Amelio. At the time of his dismissal, Amelio had not managed to bring about a
promised reversal of the companys fortunes.

Although he held no formal position at Apple at the time of Amelios departure, Jobs embarked
on a bold plan to turn the company around. He persuaded longtime rival Microsoft to invest
$150 million in Apple, to pay sizable fees to license Apple technologies, and to develop new
Macintosh versions of Microsoft Office, a suite of business application programs. In September
1997 Apple hired Jobs as interim chief executive officer, and he continued to make
fundamental changes in Apples business strategy.

Jobs reversed the companys decision to license the Mac OS to other computer
manufacturers, which had taken away market share from Apple. He discontinued the
Newton, Apples handheld computer that had never made a profit. The company also
introduced a successful line of high-powered desktop and notebook computers based on
the PowerPC G3 processor made by IBM and Motorola. In 1998 Apple introduced the
iMac, a low-cost computer with an eye-catching design; this quickly boosted Apples
share of the personal computer market. The same year it launched a new operating
system, the Mac OS X. Building on the success of the iMac, Apple introduced the iBook
laptop the following year.

VI ENTERING THE 21ST CENTURY

Under Jobss leadership, Apple experienced a significant financial rebound after years of losses,
and the companys profits steadily increased. In 2000 Jobs accepted the role of permanent
chief executive officer and dropped the word interim from his title.

Apple began 2001 with a new round of product upgrades, but the most dramatic turnabout in
its fortunes came with the introduction of the digital music player known as the iPod at the end
of the year. The music player became extremely popular and was credited with helping turn
the company around. The same year the company announced plans to open retail stores,
which helped Apple provide better marketing support for its products. Following on the success
of the iPod, Apple in 2003 debuted an online music site called the iTunes Music Store that
enabled computer users to purchase and download music. The service quickly became one of
the most popular music download sites on the Web.

By 2005 Apple had opened more than 100 retail outlets in the United States, along with stores
in Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom. It continued to pioneer in music services, unveiling
the iPod nano, a smaller, thinner version of the iPod. In 2006 Apple sold about 39 million iPods
and announced that users had downloaded more than 2 billion songs from its iTunes Music
Store.

Building on the success of the iPod, Apple continued to diversify its product line. In January
2007 the company renamed itself Apple Inc., dropping Computer from its title to signify that
it was no longer just a personal computer company. The same month Apple announced the
development of the iPhone, a cell phone capable of playing music and videos, surfing the Web,
and sending e-mail, as well as making telephone calls. Although other companies had
pioneered such smartphones long before, Apple brought its unique graphical user interface
design to the product, including touchscreen capability rather than a built-in keyboard. The
iPhone was to be made available by June 2007 through a single carrier, Cingular Wireless, and
was expected to offer search functions and special applications from Google and Yahoo.

In 2007 Apple also introduced Apple TV, a digital video system that plugs into a television set
and stores up to 50 hours of video. The system enables the wireless transfer of videos from a
computer to the television set.

Server, in computer science, a computer that supplies services or data to other machines
on a local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN) such as the Internet. Some
servers run administrative software that controls access to all or part of the network and
its resources (such as disk drives or printers). Others provide files, applications, or World
Wide Web pages. Computers that request services or data from a server are known as
clients. See also Client/Server Architecture.

Client/Server Architecture, in computer science, an arrangement used on local area


networks that makes use of distributed intelligence to treat both the server and the
individual workstations as intelligent, programmable devices, thus exploiting the full
computing power of each. This is done by splitting the processing of an application
between two distinct components: a front-end client and a back-end server. The client
component, itself a complete, stand-alone personal computer (versus the dumb terminal
found in older architectures such as the time-sharing used on a mainframe) offers the user
its full range of power and features for running applications. The server component,
which can be another personal computer, minicomputer, or a mainframe, enhances the
client component by providing the traditional strengths offered by minicomputers and
mainframes in a time-sharing environment: data management, information sharing
between clients, and sophisticated network administration and security features. The
advantage of the client/server architecture over older architectures is that the client and
server machines work together to accomplish the processing of the application being
used. Not only does this increase the processing power available, but it also uses that
power more efficiently. The client portion of the application is typically optimized for
user interaction, whereas the server portion provides the centralized, multi-user
functionality. See also Distributed Processing; Local Area Network.

Local Area Network


I INTRODUCTION

Local Area Network, in computer science, collection of interconnected computers that can
share data, applications, and resources, such as printers. Computers in a LAN are separated by
distances of up to a few kilometers and are typically used in offices or across university
campuses. A LAN enables the fast and effective transfer of information within a group of users
and reduces operational costs (see Network).

Other connected computer resources are wide area networks (WANs) and private branch
exchanges (PBXs). WANs are similar to LANs but they connect computers separated by
longer distances, typically across the country or internationally, and they use specialized
and expensive hardware and leased communications services. PBXs provide continuous
computer connections for the transfer of specialized data such as telephone transmissions,
but they are not ideally suited to send and receive the short bursts of data used by most
computer applications.

II INTERNAL LAN CONNECTIONS

A LAN usually consists of a collection of computers, but it also may include printers or data
storage devices, such as hard drives. The physical connection between LAN devices can be a
coaxial cable, pairs of copper wires, or optical fiber. Wireless connections also can be made
using infrared or radio-frequency transmissions.

A LAN device can send and receive signals from all other devices in the network. Alternatively,
each device may be linked to a repeater or hub, specialized equipment that selectively pass
information from one device to one or more destinations in the network.

Networks use protocols, or rules, to exchange information through a single shared


connection. These protocols prevent collisions of data caused by simultaneous
transmission between two or more computers. Computers on most LANs use protocols
known as Ethernet or Token Ring. An Ethernet-linked computer checks if a shared
connection is in use. If not, the computer transmits data. Since computers can sense an
idle connection and send data at the same time, transmitting computers continue to
monitor their shared connection and stop transmitting if a collision occurs. Token Ring
protocols pass a special message called a token through the network. A computer that
receives the token is given permission to send a packet of information or, if the computer
has no packet to send, it passes the token to the next computer.

III EXTERNAL LAN CONNECTIONS

Connections that link LANs to external resources, such as other LANs or remote databases, are
called bridges, routers, and gateways. A bridge creates an extended LAN by passing
information between two or more LANs. A router is an intermediary device that connects a LAN
to a larger LAN or to a WAN by interpreting protocol information and selectively forwarding
packets to different LAN or WAN connections through the most efficient route available. A
gateway connects and translates between networks that use different communications
protocols. LAN computers use a gateway or router to connect to a WAN such as the Internet,
the worldwide consortium of computer networks. Such connections are a security risk because
the LAN has no control over users on the Internet. Applications transferred from the Internet to
the LAN may contain computer viruses that can harm the components of the LAN, or external
and unauthorized users may gain access to sensitive files or erase or alter files. A special type
keeps external users from accessing resources on the LAN
of gateway called a firewall
while letting LAN users access the external information.

IV ADVANCES

Progress in how a network routes information will allow data to move directly from a source
computer to a destination computer without interference from other computers. This will
enhance the transmission of continuous streams of data, such as audio and video. The wide
use of notebook and other portable computers has produced advances in wireless networks.
Wireless networks use infrared or radio-frequency transmissions to connect mobile computers
to networks. Infrared wireless LANs connect computers within a room, while wireless radio-
frequency LANs can connect computers separated by walls.

New LAN technologies will be faster and will support multimedia applications. Asynchronous
Transfer Mode (ATM) and Ethernet LANs that are 10 to 15 times faster than standard LANs are
now available. To take advantage of faster LANs, computers must become faster, especially
the connection called the bus that links the computer's memory to the network. In addition,
computer software must be developed that is able to efficiently transfer large amounts of data
from networks to computer applications.

Contributed By:
Scott F. Midkiff
Archie, a tool that helps computer users locate publicly available files on the Internet. To
search for files using Archie, a user must provide either the specific name of a file or part
of that name; the system cannot search for files by subject. Archie then checks lists of file
names on its servers and provides the names of other servers that contain the requested
file. Requested files can be accessed and downloadedthat is, copied, by anonymous
File Transfer Protocol (FTP), a basic method of transferring files from one computer to
another. Archie servers regularly update their lists of file names by pollingthat is,
regularly searching, servers that support FTP.

File Server, in computer science, a file-storage device on a local area network that is
accessible to all users on the network. Unlike a disk server, which appears to the user as a
remote disk drive, a file server is a sophisticated device that not only stores files but
manages them and maintains order as network users request files and make changes to
them. To deal with the tasks of handling multiplesometimes simultaneousrequests
for files, a file server contains a processor and controlling software as well as a disk drive
for storage. On local area networks, a file server is often a computer with a large hard
disk that is dedicated only to the task of managing shared files. See also Computer; File;
Local Area Network; Storage.

Gopher (computer), a system that enables computer users to find servers and files on the
Internet. Developed at the University of Minnesota in 1991, Gopher presents menus and
submenus users can select to specify their search. Each Gopher server contains menus for
local servers and files and is linked to other Gopher servers; its menus change as the
resources available to the system change. There are hundreds of Gopher servers around
the world. The system of all Gopher servers is called Gopherspace.
One type of network, a local area network (LAN), consists of several PCs or workstations
connected to a special computer called a server, often within the same building or office
complex. The server stores and manages programs and data. A server often contains all of
a networked groups data and enables LAN workstations or PCs to be set up without large
storage capabilities. In this scenario, each PC may have local memory (for example, a
hard drive) specific to itself, but the bulk of storage resides on the server. This reduces the
cost of the workstation or PC because less expensive computers can be purchased, and it
simplifies the maintenance of software because the software resides only on the server
rather than on each individual workstation or PC.

WAIS (Wide Area Information Servers), system that allows searches of databases on the
Internet. In response to a word or words entered on a computer by a user, WAIS displays
a list of names of documents on the server computer that match the query; those
containing numerous uses of the keywords appear at the top of the list, whereas those
with only a single reference appear at the bottom of the list. The user may choose to view
any of the documents or may refine the query and run a new search. WAIS servers are
specialized, each dealing with a specific subject, such as astronomy, physics, cooking, or
political issues.
Open Source Software, form of software in which the original source code is openly
available for users to examine and modify, and to use to run or to create computer
programs. One of the best-known examples of open source software is Linux, which is
widely used as an alternative to commercial operating system (OS) software. Open
source software includes a license to use, modify, and redistribute the code.
Commercially sold software products can be developed from open source software.

Open source software is considered distinct from free software, which is also open source
but can be used for any purpose and without any costs or restrictions. Both open source
software and free software are different from software provided for free (freeware) by
commercial software manufacturers that do not allow access to the original source code.

A central features of open source software is that users can review the software, add
features to it or hire programmers to add features, or fix errors known as bugs, rather than
wait for the original software publisher or creator to release a patch or bring out a new
version. With open source software, programmersmany of them nonprofessionals
contribute to the computing community by making their improvements and bug fixes
available to other users.

This type of peer review is open to community input, standards, and verification, and is
thought to lead to more reliable software. It is also thought to speed up the software
development process. In some cases, the peer review may be uninfluenced by deadlines
or other commercial concerns. However, as open source software development has
evolved, companies such as the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), Sun
Microsystems, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Apple Inc., and others have offered an
increasing number of open source products.

Growing segments of both government and business have adopted some open source
software such as Linux. Other commonly used open source products include the Apache
open source program for Web servers and the Web browser Mozilla Firefox. OpenOffice
offers open source applications similar to commercial products such as Microsoft Office.

Potential drawbacks to using open source software include incompatibility with different
applications or devices run with commercial software platforms such as Microsofts
Windows or Apples Mac OS. Security features included in commercial software may
also block some open source software. Similarly, open source software may lack security
features, making it vulnerable to hacking or infection with harmful software such as
computer viruses. Commercial software products usually offer rapid personal tech
support for users. Finding help in solving problems that occur with open source software
may require much more effort, particularly if the user is not an expert with computer
code.

II.EARLY HISTORY OF OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE


The mere fact of making source code available does not make a program open source,
according to the definition of open source provided by the Open Source Initiative, a
nonprofit corporation. The organizations formal definition specifies that, among other
things, anyone has the right to modify and redistribute program code and derived works.
The OSI definition of open source is roughly the same as the definition of free
software advanced by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), founded by United States
computer programmer Richard Stallman and embodied in the FSFs General Public
License (GPL). Stallman started the free software movement in 1983 when he announced
plans to write a complete UNIX-compatible software system called GNU (which stands
for GNUs Not UNIX) and to give it away for free. Ultimately, this led to the creation of
the GNU/Linux and GNU/Hurd operating systems.

The Open Source Initiative group distanced itself from the Free Software Foundation in
1998 when it adopted the open source label, arguing that open source carried less
ideological baggage than free software. The group believed the phrase open source
would have greater appeal to businesses, even though the software and the open approach
were roughly the same as that put forward by the Free Software Foundation. Since 1998,
the two movements have generally shifted in philosophy. The Open Source Initiative
tends to view itself as a software development-related initiative; the Free Software
Foundation views itself as a social movement.

The GNU/Linux operating system, usually called Linux, is the most successful and well-
known example of open source software. Linux is a UNIX-like operating system that
many use as an alternative to commercial UNIX or Windows operating systems. Finnish-
born software engineer Linus Torvalds used GNU Can open source version of the C
programming languageto write the Linux operating system kernel and released it under
the Free Software Foundations GPL, although it was not written as an FSF project.

Web Site, in computer science, file of information located on a server connected to the
World Wide Web (WWW). The WWW is a set of protocols and software that allows the
global computer network called the Internet to display multimedia documents. Web sites
may include text, photographs, illustrations, video, music, or computer programs. They
also often include links to other sites in the form of hypertext, highlighted or colored text
that the user can click on with their mouse, instructing their computer to jump to the new
site.

Every web site has a specific address on the WWW, called a Uniform Resource Locator
(URL). These addresses end in extensions that indicate the type of organization
sponsoring the web site, for example, .gov for government agencies, .edu for academic
institutions, and .com for commercial enterprises. The users computer must be connected
to the Internet and have a special software program called a browser to retrieve and read
information from a web site. Examples of browsers include Navigator from the Netscape
Communications Corporation and Explorer from the Microsoft Corporation.

The content presented on a web site usually contains hypertext and icons, pictures that
also serve as links to other sites. By clicking on the hypertext or icons with their mouse,
users instruct their browser program to connect to the web site specified by the URL
contained in the hypertext link. These links are embedded in the web site through the use
of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), a special language that encodes the links with
the correct URL.

Web sites generally offer an appearance that resembles the graphical user interfaces
(GUI) of Microsofts Windows operating system, Apples Macintosh operating system,
and other graphics based operating systems. They may include scroll bars, menus,
buttons, icons, and toolbars, all of which can be activated by a mouse or other input
device.

To find a web site, a user can consult an Internet reference guide or directory, or use one
of the many freely available search engines, such as WebCrawler from America Online
Incorporated. These engines are search and retrieval programs, of varying sophistication,
that ask the user to fill out a form before executing a search of the WWW for the
requested information. The user can also create a list of the URLs of frequently visited
web sites. Such a list helps a user recall a URL and easily access the desired web site.
Web sites are easily modified and updated, so the content of many sites changes
frequently.

OS/2
OS/2, or Operating System 2, operating system developed for the personal computer in the
mid-1980s by International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and Microsoft Corporation. An
operating system is the set of software programs that controls the basic functions of a
computer. The operating system coordinates and stores data entering and leaving the
computer, controls the computers hardware (such as computer memory, keyboard, and
mouse), and handles system errors.

At the time OS/2 was introduced in late 1987, the most common personal computers were IBM-
compatible computers running the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS) and computers
manufactured by Apple Computer Corporation running Apples system for the Macintosh (Mac
OS). The Macintosh operating system included multitasking, a feature that enabled computers
to run several applications simultaneously. In a computer network, multitasking allows several
users on different computers to have simultaneous access to the same application or data set.
OS/2 was the first operating system designed for IBM-compatible personal computers that
allowed multitasking.
The first version of OS/2, version 1.0, was text-oriented and lacked a graphical user interface
(GUI) that would allow users to enter commands with a point-and-click input device, such as a
computer mouse. A year later IBM and Microsoft released OS/2 version 1.1, which included a
GUI called the Presentation Manager. The Presentation Manager interface contained icons,
pictures or words on the screen that users could click on with a mouse to enter instructions.
OS/2 version 1.1 also allowed users to have multiple windows open (windows are portions of
the screen that each contain a different document or program) and included pull-down lists of
commands that the user could choose by clicking on them with their mouse.

IBM and Microsoft ended their collaboration on OS/2 in 1991 after Microsoft released its
Windows software, a multitasking environment that ran on MS-DOS. In 1992 IBM released
version 2.0 of OS/2, which ran Microsoft Windows programs and could perform multitasking of
DOS operations. It also contained an object-oriented programming environment that allowed
software designers to create programs using high-level, object-oriented programming
languages.

Subsequent versions of OS/2 offered enhanced performance and multimedia capabilities, and
in 1994 IBM announced that more than 5 million copies of OS/2 had been sold since its
introduction. The same year, IBM introduced a new version of OS/2 called OS/2 Warp that
featured improved performance, more multimedia capabilities, an array of integrated
applications, and easy access to the Internet. IBM has continued to upgrade and extend OS/2
Warp.

Windows
Windows, in computer science, personal computer operating system sold by Microsoft
Corporation that allows users to enter commands with a point-and-click device, such as a
mouse, instead of a keyboard. An operating system is a set of programs that control the basic
functions of a computer. The Windows operating system provides users with a graphical user
interface (GUI), which allows them to manipulate small pictures, called icons, on the computer
screen to issue commands. Windows is the most widely used operating system in the world. It
is an extension of and replacement for Microsofts Disk Operating System (MS-DOS).

The Windows GUI is designed to be a natural, or intuitive, work environment for the user. With
Windows, the user can move a cursor around on the computer screen with a mouse. By
pointing the cursor at icons and clicking buttons on the mouse, the user can issue commands
to the computer to perform an action, such as starting a program, accessing a data file, or
copying a data file. Other commands can be reached through pull-down or click-on menu
items. The computer displays the active area in which the user is working as a window on the
computer screen. The currently active window may overlap with other previously active
windows that remain open on the screen. This type of GUI is said to include WIMP features:
windows, icons, menus, and pointing device (such as a mouse).
Computer scientists at the Xerox Corporations Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) invented the
GUI concept in the early 1970s, but this innovation was not an immediate commercial success.
In 1983 Apple Computer featured a GUI in its Lisa computer. This GUI was updated and
improved in its Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984.

Microsoft began its development of a GUI in 1983 as an extension of its MS-DOS operating
system. Microsofts Windows version 1.0 first appeared in 1985. In this version, the windows
were tiled, or presented next to each other rather than overlapping. Windows version 2.0,
introduced in 1987, was designed to resemble IBMs OS/2 Presentation Manager, another GUI
operating system. Windows version 2.0 included the overlapping window feature. The more
powerful version 3.0 of Windows, introduced in 1990, and subsequent versions 3.1 and 3.11
rapidly made Windows the market leader in operating systems for personal computers, in part
because it was prepackaged on new personal computers. It also became the favored platform
for software development.

In 1993 Microsoft introduced Windows NT (New Technology). The Windows NT operating


system offers 32-bit multitasking, which gives a computer the ability to run several programs
simultaneously, or in parallel, at high speed. This operating system competes with IBMs OS/2
as a platform for the intensive, high-end, networked computing environments found in many
businesses.

In 1995 Microsoft released a new version of Windows for personal computers called Windows
95. Windows 95 had a sleeker and simpler GUI than previous versions. It also offered 32-bit
processing, efficient multitasking, network connections, and Internet access. Windows 98,
released in 1998, improved upon Windows 95.

In 1996 Microsoft debuted Windows CE, a scaled-down version of the Microsoft Windows
platform designed for use with handheld personal computers. Windows 2000, released at the
end of 1999, combined Windows NT technology with the Windows 98 graphical user interface.
In 2000 a special edition of Windows known as Windows Millenium Edition, or Windows ME,
provided a more stable version of the Windows 98 interface. In 2001 Microsoft released a new
operating system known as Windows XP, the companys first operating system for consumers
that was not based on MS-DOS.

Other popular operating systems include the Macintosh System (Mac OS) from Apple Inc., OS/2
Warp from IBM (see OS/2), and UNIX and its variations, such as Linux.

Operating System
I INTRODUCTION

Operating System (OS), in computer science, the basic software that controls a computer.
The operating system has three major functions: It coordinates and manipulates computer
hardware, such as computer memory, printers, disks, keyboard, mouse, and monitor; it
organizes files on a variety of storage media, such as floppy disk, hard drive, compact
disc, digital video disc, and tape; and it manages hardware errors and the loss of data.

II HOW AN OS WORKS

Operating systems control different computer processes, such as running a spreadsheet


program or accessing information from the computer's memory. One important process is
interpreting commands, enabling the user to communicate with the computer. Some command
interpreters are text oriented, requiring commands to be typed in or to be selected via function
keys on a keyboard. Other command interpreters use graphics and let the user communicate
by pointing and clicking on an icon, an on-screen picture that represents a specific command.
Beginners generally find graphically oriented interpreters easier to use, but many experienced
computer users prefer text-oriented command interpreters.

Operating systems are either single-tasking or multitasking. The more primitive single-tasking
operating systems can run only one process at a time. For instance, when the computer is
printing a document, it cannot start another process or respond to new commands until the
printing is completed.

All modern operating systems are multitasking and can run several processes simultaneously.
In most computers, however, there is only one central processing unit (CPU; the computational
and control unit of the computer), so a multitasking OS creates the illusion of several processes
running simultaneously on the CPU. The most common mechanism used to create this illusion
is time-slice multitasking, whereby each process is run individually for a fixed period of time. If
the process is not completed within the allotted time, it is suspended and another process is
run. This exchanging of processes is called context switching. The OS performs the
bookkeeping that preserves a suspended process. It also has a mechanism, called a
scheduler, that determines which process will be run next. The scheduler runs short processes
quickly to minimize perceptible delay. The processes appear to run simultaneously because the
user's sense of time is much slower than the processing speed of the computer.

Operating systems can use a technique known as virtual memory to run processes that
require more main memory than is actually available. To implement this technique, space
on the hard drive is used to mimic the extra memory needed. Accessing the hard drive is
more time-consuming than accessing main memory, however, so performance of the
computer slows.

III CURRENT OPERATING SYSTEMS

Operating systems commonly found on personal computers include UNIX, Macintosh OS, and
Windows. UNIX, developed in 1969 at AT&T Bell Laboratories, is a popular operating system
among academic computer users. Its popularity is due in large part to the growth of the
interconnected computer network known as the Internet. Software for the Internet was initially
designed for computers that ran UNIX. Variations of UNIX include SunOS (distributed by SUN
Microsystems, Inc.), Xenix (distributed by Microsoft Corporation), and Linux (available for
download free of charge and distributed commercially by companies such as Red Hat, Inc.).
UNIX and its clones support multitasking and multiple users. Its file system provides a simple
means of organizing disk files and lets users control access to their files. The commands in
UNIX are not readily apparent, however, and mastering the system is difficult. Consequently,
although UNIX is popular for professionals, it is not the operating system of choice for the
general public.

Instead, windowing systems with graphical interfaces, such as Windows and the
Macintosh OS, which make computer technology more accessible, are widely used in
personal computers (PCs). However, graphical systems generally have the disadvantage
of requiring more hardwaresuch as faster CPUs, more memory, and higher-quality
monitorsthan do command-oriented operating systems.

IV FUTURE TECHNOLOGIES

Operating systems continue to evolve. A recently developed type of OS called a distributed


operating system is designed for a connected, but independent, collection of computers that
share resources such as hard drives. In a distributed OS, a process can run on any computer in
the network (presumably a computer that is idle) to increase that process's performance. All
basic OS functionssuch as maintaining file systems, ensuring reasonable behavior, and
recovering data in the event of a partial failurebecome more complex in distributed systems.

Research is also being conducted that would replace the keyboard with a means of using voice
or handwriting for input. Currently these types of input are imprecise because people
pronounce and write words very differently, making it difficult for a computer to recognize the
same input from different users. However, advances in this field have led to systems that can
recognize a small number of words spoken by a variety of people. In addition, software has
been developed that can be taught to recognize an individual's handwriting.

Contributed By:
Mark Allen Weiss
Linux, computer operating system using open source software. Linux is a UNIX-like
operating system that is available as an alternative to commercial operating systems such
as Windows, UNIX, or Macintosh OS. Because Linux is open source software, users
have access to the source code and are allowed to use, modify, or redistribute the code.
The name Linux is pronounced LINN-ucks in English.

The software that constitutes the Linux operating system has two main parts. The Linux
kernel is low-level software that manages computer hardware and the many programs
that are running at any given time. The Linux Operating System is the collection of utility
programs that allows a user to copy files, delete files, and do all of the other actions that
make a computer useful. Although Linux can be used to run desktop computers, it is most
widely used for servers, mobile platforms, and supercomputers. It is also used in
embedded hardware for consumer electronics products such as game consoles and digital
radios and televisions. A significant part of the business community has adopted Linux to
support office and commercial systems.

The original version of Linux was not developed as a commercial product. The Finnish
software engineer Linus Torvalds wrote the first version of Linux while he was a second-
year student of computer science at the University of Helsinki in Finland. He released it
to a public Internet forum in 1991. Other software engineers worldwide subsequently
adopted Linux as a programming challenge. With thousands of minds focused on
improving the software, Linux rapidly became a fast, reliable, and widespread operating
system. What perhaps endeared Linux most to so many people who volunteered their
efforts was the fact that the basic Linux operating system was, and continues to be, free.

Linux has been continually enhanced since the 1990s, with thousands of programming
enthusiasts working to develop applications as part of an open-source software
movement. In addition, several commercial enterprises have released their own Linux-
based products.

A number of vendors have gathered together various pieces of software and presented
them in a distributable format that makes Linux look like any operating system with
which people are familiar. The Linux releases from these companies are called
distributions. The Red Hat distribution is the most popular commercial offering, with
Caldera, Debian, and openSuse some of the other leading names. Ubuntu is the most
popular desktop distribution and is available preinstalled on desktop computers
manufactured by Dell.

The way in which Linux has been developed has made it important in the advancement of
computing across the world. The basic Linux operating system can be downloaded from
Web sites on the Internet. Because Linux can be scaled to run in almost any computer
with very few resources, it has become a natural choice for low-budget computer users.
Linux enables old or discarded computers to be reused in developing countries in Asia,
Africa, and Latin America.
The One Laptop Per Child program to provide inexpensive laptop computers to school
children in developing countries has adopted a version of the Linux operating system for
the XO laptop. Open source software should allow users to adapt the laptops to local
needs and technological requirements.

UNIX, in computer science, a powerful multiuser, multitasking operating system.


Considered a very powerful operating system, UNIX is written in the C language and can
be installed on virtually any computer.

UNIX was originally developed by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie at AT&T Bell
Laboratories in 1969 for use on minicomputers. In the early 1970s, many universities,
research institutions, and companies began to expand on and improve UNIX. These
efforts resulted in two main versions: BSD UNIX, a version developed at the University
of California at Berkeley, and System V, developed by AT&T and its collaborators.

Many companies developed and marketed their own versions of UNIX in subsequent
years. Variations of UNIX include AIX, a version of UNIX adapted by IBM to run on
RISC-based workstations; A/UX, a graphical version for the Apple Macintosh; XENIX
OS, developed by Microsoft Corporation for 16-bit microprocessors; SunOS, adapted and
distributed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.; Mach, a UNIX-compatible operating system for
the NeXT computer; and Linux, developed by Finnish computer engineer Linus Torvalds
with collaborators worldwide.

Windows, in computer science, personal computer operating system sold by Microsoft


Corporation that allows users to enter commands with a point-and-click device, such as a
mouse, instead of a keyboard. An operating system is a set of programs that control the
basic functions of a computer. The Windows operating system provides users with a
graphical user interface (GUI), which allows them to manipulate small pictures, called
icons, on the computer screen to issue commands. Windows is the most widely used
operating system in the world. It is an extension of and replacement for Microsofts Disk
Operating System (MS-DOS).

The Windows GUI is designed to be a natural, or intuitive, work environment for the
user. With Windows, the user can move a cursor around on the computer screen with a
mouse. By pointing the cursor at icons and clicking buttons on the mouse, the user can
issue commands to the computer to perform an action, such as starting a program,
accessing a data file, or copying a data file. Other commands can be reached through
pull-down or click-on menu items. The computer displays the active area in which the
user is working as a window on the computer screen. The currently active window may
overlap with other previously active windows that remain open on the screen. This type
of GUI is said to include WIMP features: windows, icons, menus, and pointing device
(such as a mouse).
Computer scientists at the Xerox Corporations Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)
invented the GUI concept in the early 1970s, but this innovation was not an immediate
commercial success. In 1983 Apple Computer featured a GUI in its Lisa computer. This
GUI was updated and improved in its Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984.

Microsoft began its development of a GUI in 1983 as an extension of its MS-DOS


operating system. Microsofts Windows version 1.0 first appeared in 1985. In this
version, the windows were tiled, or presented next to each other rather than overlapping.
Windows version 2.0, introduced in 1987, was designed to resemble IBMs OS/2
Presentation Manager, another GUI operating system. Windows version 2.0 included the
overlapping window feature. The more powerful version 3.0 of Windows, introduced in
1990, and subsequent versions 3.1 and 3.11 rapidly made Windows the market leader in
operating systems for personal computers, in part because it was prepackaged on new
personal computers. It also became the favored platform for software development.

In 1993 Microsoft introduced Windows NT (New Technology). The Windows NT


operating system offers 32-bit multitasking, which gives a computer the ability to run
several programs simultaneously, or in parallel, at high speed. This operating system
competes with IBMs OS/2 as a platform for the intensive, high-end, networked
computing environments found in many businesses.

In 1995 Microsoft released a new version of Windows for personal computers called
Windows 95. Windows 95 had a sleeker and simpler GUI than previous versions. It also
offered 32-bit processing, efficient multitasking, network connections, and Internet
access. Windows 98, released in 1998, improved upon Windows 95.

In 1996 Microsoft debuted Windows CE, a scaled-down version of the Microsoft


Windows platform designed for use with handheld personal computers. Windows 2000,
released at the end of 1999, combined Windows NT technology with the Windows 98
graphical user interface. In 2000 a special edition of Windows known as Windows
Millenium Edition, or Windows ME, provided a more stable version of the Windows 98
interface. In 2001 Microsoft released a new operating system known as Windows XP, the
companys first operating system for consumers that was not based on MS-DOS.

Other popular operating systems include the Macintosh System (Mac OS) from Apple
Inc., OS/2 Warp from IBM (see OS/2), and UNIX and its variations, such as Linux.