Some years back,joining a good college or getting admissions meant waiting for hours in long queues.Although it happens now too,some precent of it has been reduced due to the "Inernet".Information regarding many colleges and the procedure for getting admissions can now be done online.Using the internet is now a common thing and is used between people's of different fields and sectors.Whether you are a bussinessman,a student or an IT professionals internet plays a important role in your life.Want to be the first to know your exam results? Want the news about the latest software on the market? Get the latest market quotes?Just plug in your computer and search on internet! Before it became common,nobody believed that a normal man could have access to the Internet.Corporate users and researchers in universities were among the few lucky one's who got access to Internet in early stages.Thankfully, all of this has changed now.Awareness, for one, has increased a great deal and people are constantly in touch with the latest happenings around the planet. The Internet is omnipresent and people ignoring it or trying not to use it are considered thick.
Internet connections of present days are not restricted to merely the dial-up connections and user's are moving onto more faster and reliable broadband connections,although it's use is still limited.Nonetheless, the good part is that people are now more connected than ever before.The world's seems to be a giant village due to the unlimited resources of Internet.But who fuels this?Where is the Internet based? More importantly, what really is this Internet?How did it suddenly become such an integral part of our lives? Is it a bad thing or a good thing?Is it going to last? Is it helping us? You will know answers to all this question and many more in a manner that will make you understand what it really is and how can you use it best.Also you will get knowledge about future technologies that will transform the manner in which we use the Internet today.
P2P is a strange topic to talk about since in normal network jargon it refers to connecting computers across the network to share resources and in some cases, to work as one (cluster computing). In this section, we will talk about P2P software and its history. What attracts users across cyberspace to this and what is the software available and why are the authorities working overtime to make P2P a thing of the past? All that and more as we move on. The traditional way of networking is client-server architecture. In this type, there are dedicated computers (servers) which let other computers (clients) access it and use its resources. In the P2P type,all computers are connected to a network and at any point of time any computer can act as a server and another computer that uses its resources is the client.
Peer-to-peer file-sharing is based on this protocol. When you install software such as Napster or Kazaa on your computer and access the Internet, it connects to other computers to download any stuff that you have searched using the client.Based on this protocol, Napster was launched in May 1999. This was the first P2P software but not in the truest sense of the word. This was because it still needed users to connect to a central server and once the client was identified, further file transfer was passed on to the nodes. This was furthered by software such as Kazaa and eDonkey. However, with each new software came a different implementation of the technology. We will talk about this when we go and pick apart each of the software.
Since 1999, there have been many changes in the P2P world. Napster has since closed down owing to a ruling by the American courts. Napster is still available, but in a form where it is no longer attractive enough for P2P users. Newer P2P software such as BitTorrent has reared its head in recent years and is the latest rage amongst P2P users. Filling the gap between Napster and BitTorrent was eDonkey, which was going strong until BitTorrent appeared. eDonkey is still pretty much available, but its favourite rating amongst users has dropped to a very large extent.
In the coming section, we will discuss the most used P2P software worldwide and how to use them. But before you start reading it, remember that downloading illegal stuff of the Internet such as movies or music you do not own or do not have a copyright of is illegal.
We do not condone such activities and the information provided here is only for the sake of informing you as a reader and not to give you ways of downloading stuff illegally. Please be aware of what is legal on the Internet and steer clear of activities that could potentially land in you in jail. With that said lets look at the software mentioned above and understand how it works.
Netscape has quite some history behind it as a browser. Netscape started out as collaboration between Silicon Graphics founder Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen in mid-1994 to form Mosaic Communications. Mosaic Communications later went on to be renamed Netscape Communications. Andreessen had been a leader in University of Illinois in a software project called Mosaic.
With the advent of the Internet, both Jim and Marc saw the oncoming wave of the Internet, and understood that browsers would be the primary tool to access it, thus making Web-browsing software a huge potentia money-spinner. Within a brief half-year period, many of the original people from the NCSA Mosaic project were working for Netscape, and Netscape was released to the public in December 1994.
Netscape became a big success within months of its release. And some of the contributing factors to its success were the pace. with which software releases took place. New innovations and improvements were constantly being made to the browser and that made it “the” browser to browse the Internet with. Newer HTML capabilities were added with every release to Netscape and in most cases, these enhancements and improvements were much, much better than any other browser could provide at that time. By the summer of 1995, it was a good bet that if you were browsing the Internet, you were doing so with a Netscape browser—by some accounts Netscape had over 80 per cent market share, and Netscape’s browser helped cement their own dominance.
Enter Windows 95 and Internet Explorer, and Netscape met with their first worthy competitor. Microsoft made Operating Systems for a living, and browsers were a spin-off from the OS. For sometime though, Internet Explorer played second fiddle to Netscape and was always playing catch up. There were two advantages that Netscape could not deny that Microsoft had. First that Microsoft was way above Netscape in terms of market penetration, and secondly, Internet Explorer was free while Netscape was not. Netscape wanted to counter this situation in a manner that would impress its clients and in March 1996 launched Netscape 2.
Netscape 3 rolled out in August 96 at almost the same time as Internet Explorer 3.0 and this flared off a war amongst the two mammoths. Although, Netscape was still the dominant one in the browser market, Internet Explorer by then started making their first dents in the browser market and eating into the Netscape pie. One of the improvements that Netscape 3 browser boasted off was “mouseover” which means showing one image when a link is highlighted and a different one when it is not.
On the other hand, Netscape tried to add the new features on top of Netscape 3’s code engine, a decision that was to have grave consequences. Another factor was that Microsoft’s DHTML implementation was user friendly and attracted both Web designers and developers alike who could write or design programs without having to refer to textbooks. Netscape’s implementation of DHTML though remained in the realm of elite programmers who had code for lunch, dinner and sex.
The Internet in 1997 was looking up with mass sales of computers and new users wanting to hook up to the Internet. They did not want to know what software to download, what software to use as a browser; all they wanted was the Internet “installed” in the computer, for them to click on. As mentioned earlier, Microsoft was in the business of making OSes and Windows was by far the only OS that most non-geek users were happy with. With Internet Explorer being freely available along with the OS, Netscape suffered a major setback in their browser business.
These surges of new users were unburdened with the history of the WWW and along with that the existence of Netscape as a browser, and as a result Netscape came crashing down from the once dominating Internet browser market. As a last ditch effort, Netscape did away with the shareware tag and made Netscape a completely free browser killing their main source of income. However, this solution did not turn out to be Netscape’s saviour. The newer code of Netscape 4 incorporated in the Netscape 3 core started showing bugs and extremely odd ones at that.
Netscape was going down, and fast! Finally, Netscape announced that it was going open source. This was the re-birth of Mozilla as an open source project, but the deliverables were still about 4 years away, making the wait too long for most.
Currently, Netscape has been sidelined by the barrage of new browsers such as Firefox and Opera. Features such as tabbed browsing, which was the mainstay of Netscape, has found new homes in these other browsers. The current version of Netscape is 8.0.2 and is based on the Mozilla Firefox core. For now, Netscape is dependent on the Mozilla Project and the real work actually happens there rather than at Netscape. More about this when we talk about Mozilla!