Computer Networking This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   With all this talk about Internet, e-mail, and cyberspace, it makes understanding on-line services fairly difficult. In the '90s, we are always being exposed to new advances in the scientific field of computers. Until the appearance of this new networking software, no advances have been as fun and interesting. Now we are able, on computers, to talk one-on-one to people via electronic mail (e-mail) or in an electronic "chat room" where people gather to talk about common interests.

Not only do these programs excel in the communicative aspect, they also provide services that normally would have to be done outside the home. On one particular service, CompuServe, they have electronic mail where you order through catalogs that are viewed on screen. You can also arrange travel plans and obtain information about virtually everything. These services could erase the need for cumbersome sets of encyclopedias that take up whole shelves and reduce it to a few megabytes on your hard drive. There are bulletin boards where people can share files and ideas, some have forums where a panel of experts can answer your questions about anything. This kind of service also contains games and kids' activities to entice family use.

To run a program like this, you must own a computer, of course, and you must have a modem connected to it. A modem is a device that transfers computer signals over phone lines which can link your computer to an on-line system.

The cost of some of these services can be on the high side. There are basic services that will cost a flat rate. If you extend the hours you use the service, that is usually not included in the basic package. From getting your horoscopes to the latest stock prices, it is well worth the expense. Although like most things, it is best used in moderation. u




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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