Getting Comfortable With The Basics

Browser – Search Engines- Research Tools


A web browser or Internet browser is a software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web.

You can install and use more than one browser!

  • Chrome by Google – This is the fastest-growing browser and my personal favorite! 68%
  • Microsoft Edge – The default browser installed on all Windows computers. 9%)
  • Mozilla Firefox – An excellent optional browser used by many web surfers. 7%
  • Safari – The default browser on Apple Computers. 9%
  • Opera – 3%

Search Engine:

We use search engines to search for information on the World Wide Web. The search results are usually presented in a list of results and are commonly called hits. The information may consist of web pages, images, information, and other types of files.

Nearly 93% of all web traffic comes through search engines. Globally, Google accounts for 76% and 86% of desktop and mobile search traffic, respectively. Google accounts for 96.2% of all desktop search engine traffic in Brazil and 95.9% in India. Google processes 2 trillion searches a year.

You can choose from many Search Engines.

Research Tools:

  • Wikipedia – You might shun this online, open-source encyclopedia if you’ve ever been burned by prank entries or fudged facts. But because anyone can edit Wikipedia, it’s a richer resource than Britannica for subjects off the beaten path, such as the 1960s underground press or rivethead subculture. Though it’s not the only source you should reference in term papers, at least Wikipedia gets you started.
  • Google Scholar – Google Scholar searches journals in the arts and humanities, business, science, medicine, and mathematics. It turns up abstracts and sometimes full articles that are indispensable for academic and professional research and points to libraries that keep the hard copies.
  • Google Book Search – Google’s goal to digitize the world’s libraries has hit some copyright snags, but Mountain View continues to sign deals with universities, scan books, and put their pages online. You can read the entire text of books in the public domain or see excerpts from, say, Build Your Own All-Terrain Robot, before committing to buy the hard copy. Props are due to Project Gutenberg, the first major effort to make e-books free.
  • Yahoo Answers – When you’re stumped about something, asking a knowledgeable person can cut to the chase better than a Google query. But what if there are no experts on, say, epiphytes in your circle of friends? Pose that question about rare orchids to Yahoo Answers, and you’re sure to find a green thumb among the tens of millions of users.
  • Google Earth – Google Maps first made satellite views of the planet free on the Web. But the Google Earth download gets you even closer, letting you fly around the globe, zoom in for a closer view, and add your own landmarks with Google SketchUp. If research brings you back to the land, Google Earth is an essential ally. For instance, environmentalists fighting mountaintop removal mining used Google Earth to assemble a virtual tour of the damage done.

Definition of the word “default” when used in relation to computers.  A value that a program or operating system assumes, or a course of action that a program or operating system will take, when the user or programmer specifies no overriding value or action.

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