1.1. What do I need?
When we talk about the Internet we mean, on general terms, the global network of computers and other computer-related devices that are connected to each other and through which users from all over the world constantly share all sorts of contents.
Given that Internet surfing has become an inherent part of our daily life, we tend to dismiss the technological complexity behind a simple search, and tend to forget how fragile its grounds are.
A possible description of the basic needs to perform a search is described below:
- In terms of hardware, we need a device (personal computer, cell phone, tablet, etc.) that is capable of establishing a connection (a wireline or a wireless connection) to a network (usually a local area network, LAN). In order to establish this connection, a supply company is needed to allow us to connect our local network to the Internet through a router.
- In terms of software, we need a web browser (Chrome, Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, etc.) capable of reading the information stored in Internet servers and translate the HTML code in which it is written into verbal, visual language that may be understood by a human being. The browser provides us with access to search engines (Google, Bing, specialized search engines, etc.) that will help us reach the information we are searching for.
Hardware and software elements should enable us to surf the Internet efficiently, but clearly enough, given the exponential, constant increase in the information hosted in Internet servers, we will need to know what information we need to find and what we will use it for (personal purposes, academic purposes, business-related issues, bibliographic research, etc.) in order to be able to set the goals and strategies that make the search efficient.