Student Publications

Author: Anthony Oduori Solo
Title: Internet Course

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Available for Download: Yes

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The internet is the most used network in the world, but it is also the least understood. The
internet is a network of networks; its a set of separate and distinct networks operated by
various national and state government agencies, non profit organization and other
corporations. The internet exists only to the extent that these thousands of separate
networks agree to use Internet protocols (TCP/IP) and to exchange data packets among one

All networks that connect to the internet must rigidly conform to a set of standards for the
transport and network layers that unyielding, without these standards, data communication
would not be possible. At the same time, content and new application protocols are
developed freely and without restriction and anyone in the world is able to comment on
proposed changes to the internet protocols.


Basic Architecture

The Internet is hierarchical in structure. At the top are very large national Internet Service
Providers (ISPs) that are responsible for large Internet networks. These national ISPs
connect together and exchange data at network access points (NAP)

Regional and local ISPs often will have several connections into national ISP to transmit
its messages and a regional ISP does not charge another regional ISP thus this is known as
peering. Its peering that makes the internet work and has led to the belief that the internet is
"free". This is true to some extent but higher level ISPs normally charge lower level ISPs to
transmit their data e.g. national ISP will charge regional and regional will charge local
ISPs) thus a local ISP will charge individuals for access.

ISP are autonomous systems thus each ISP is responsible for running its own interior
routing protocols and for exchanging routing information.

Connecting to an ISP

Each of the ISPs is responsible for running its own network that forms part of the internet.
Each IPS has one or more points of presence (POP). A POP is simply the place at which
the ISP provides services to its customer.


What is a web browser?

It is a program used to view, download, upload, surf or otherwise access documents (pages)
on the World Wide Web. Browsers can be text-based meaning they do not show graphics
or images but most however are text and graphical based.


Types of Web Browser

There are various types of web browsers i.e. Mozilla, Windows Explorer, Opera, Netscape

What is a Database?
It is a structure for storing information. Databases are typically organized into tables, which
are collections of related items.
Access is a database, a program used to store information about a large number of items.
As well as displaying the data kept about each item you can ask the database to select
various items that satisfy certain criteria (e.g. selecting all the sales representatives from a
certain town) or sort them into order. Getting the database to search the list of items to find
ones that match criteria is called applying a query to the database. Access is one of the
most powerful databases around.
Tables, Records and Fields
An Access database contains one or more tables. These are lists of items and each table
consists of a list of items of the same type. A database of employees in a factory might
contain a table listing the employees themselves, one listing the salary levels for the
company, one listing the details of the departments that the employees work for etc.
Each item in a table is called a record. Each piece of information stored about each record
is called a field. The following diagram shows a table called Friends consisting of three
records, each with four fields:


Starting an Access Database

When you activate Access, you are faced with the initial menu. This gives you the choice
of starting a new (blank) database, opening an existing database (to edit it or to ask it
queries), or to use the Database Wizard.
The Wizard is a program built in to Access which takes you by the hand and helps
you build the database. It does the hard work for you - all you have to do is "fill in the
A list of the most recently used databases appears under the Open Existing Database
option. To use one of these, click on the name. Alternatively, one of the options on that list
is "More Files" which lets you choose from all the available database files using the normal
Open dialogue box (the sort of thing you see when you choose Open in Microsoft Word).
Whichever of the three options you choose, to proceed to the next step, click on OK at the
bottom of the box.
Starting a blank database
The first thing Access gets to do when you create a new database is to save it! This seems
strange when it is blank, but as the database consists of a variety of tables, queries, forms it
makes sense to choose the file name "up front" so that Access can save these items
automatically as and when they are created. The database file will lump all these things
together in the same file.
The name that Access suggests for your database is db1 (or db2, db3 etc. if the file db1
already exists), although you are free to choose any other file name. When you have chosen
the file name for your database, you are faced with the listing of the main components of
the database.


The diagram below shows the component listing for a database that I created on Aphasia
patients. When you start a new database, the large white area will be blank.
The six tabs at the top of the listing (Tables, Queries etc.) show the different listings that
you can choose. The diagram shows the Tables tag selected, so that the white area shows
the tables present in the database.

In this example, there are two of them, Papers and Patients. If you click on the Queries
tab, Access will list the queries that the database holds, or forms for the Forms tab etc.
Next to the white area are three icons, Open, Design and New. The Open icon lets you
view the contents of the item (whatever it is). The Design icon lets you edit the structure of
the item (for example, adding another field to a table or altering a query so that it does
something different). The New icon lets you create a new table, query or whatever.


Creating a New Table
The first thing that you do when you start a blank database is put a table of data in it. Select
the Table tag and click on New. The following dialogue box appears:

You are asked what method you would like to use to create the table. As before, there is a
Wizard, which is a program that creates the table for you (you still have to enter the raw
data in the table, of course)
You can import a table from an existing database. You can also create a table which is a
copy of another table (possibly in another database) and linked to it, so that when the table
is changed in one database, it also changes automatically in the other as well.
The two options that create a simple table from scratch are Datasheet View and Design


The next stage is to define the list of fields that will make up this table. You are presented
with a series of slots for you to fill in the fields - the diagram to the right shows a table in
the process of having its fields defined.
Each field has a name (first name, surname, DOB in the example) and a data type. The data
type indicates what sort of information can be stored in that field. The "first name" field,
for example, is going to hold letters of the alphabet, so its data type is set to Text. The
DOB field is going to hold a date. Similarly, if a field had been included to hold a person's
age, then its data type would be set to Number.

To set the type of the field, click in the relevant slot in the Data Type column. A small
grey down-arrow symbol appears. Clicking on this produces a drop-down list of data types.
Here I have created a field called Married, and I want to set it to Yes/No (I shall ignores
divorces, separation etc.), so I click on the grey arrow and choose Yes/No from the list that
presents itself.

Most of the types are fairly self-explanatory - text, number, date/time, currency etc. A
memo field is similar to a text field. An AutoNumber field is similar to a simple number
except Access automatically gives each record in the database a different (and unique)
number. For instance, if you create a table with an AutoNumber field, then the first record
in the table will have 1 in this field. The second will have 2 here, the third 3 etc. This is
marvelous if you want a field which you can guarantee will be different for each of the
records in the table.

Beneath the grid for defining the fields themselves is the Field Properties box. This lets
you set the exact properties of each field. For instance, if you create a Text field, Access
assumes that you will require 50 characters (letters) for the field.
If it is a first name, then 50 characters is more than necessary, so you can click on the field
and change it to 20, as indicated above.

The last thing to mention is the Description slot of the field creation grid. This lets you
enter a description for the field explaining what it is for. This is purely optional - a field
called "surname" needs no description, but one called "DOB" should probably be
When you have finished adding and editing fields in the table, click on the
icon in the
top right corner of the field selection grid. First of all, Access asks you whether you want to
save the table that you have created (presumably you do), and when you click on Yes, you
are asked to give the table a name. The default name is Table1 (or Table2 etc.
A Primary Key
An error message has appeared indicating that you have no Primary Key Field. What is
this all about?

A primary key is a field in the table that Access can use to identify each field uniquely. For
instance, you may have several John Smiths in your database, so how can you tell them
apart? Access suggests that you create a field, perhaps a code number, for each record, with
no two records having the same value in this field. If you mark this field as the primary
key, then Access will make sure no two entries are ever the same.
A good example of a primary key field is one set up as an AutoNumber type. This will
automatically fill in a code number for each record, starting at 1 for the first.


To turn any field (whether it is an AutoNumber or not) into a primary key, move the arrow
over the small grey rectangle to the left of the field name and click the right mouse button.
This gives an option for creating the primary key, and you can use it for adding/deleting
fields in the grid (i.e. inserting or deleting rows hence primary key has been created.
Designing the table without Access moaning about a primary key. Of course, primary keys
are purely optional, but you have to put up with Access reminding you at every stage!
Clicking on the cross returns you to the components list (shown below), here you will see
that a new table has appeared in the large white space .The table, is however, empty. The
fields have been set up, but there is no data in them. Click on the Open icon to view the
contents of the table in Datasheet view:

The table has only one row in it and that is empty! The height (being a number) appears as
0, and the automatically generated code number has yet to be filled in. Type in the data - as
soon as you start typing in the empty line, another empty line appears below it ready for the
next record:

Access always marks the blank line where the next record is to be entered with a star in the
grey box on the left - just in case you can't recognize a blank line when you see one!

Exiting the Table
To stop entering data in the table, click on the lower of the two crosses in the top right
corner of the screen. Only use the top cross to leave Access altogether.


Designing the Table in Datasheet View
This lets you specify the field name at the same time that you enter the data itself. The table
appears in Datasheet view as below, with the fields called Field1, Field2 etc. Move the
mouse pointer over one of these field names and click the right mouse button to rename the
field itself.


Introduction to HTML
HTML is the markup language used to create World Wide Web documents hence HTML is
a set of logical codes in parentheses that constitute the appearance of a web document and
the information it contains e.g.<b>The text would appear bold in the browser</b>
The codes are enclosed by less than "<" and greater than ">" brackets. These bracketed
codes of the markup are commonly referred to as tags. HTML codes are always enclosed
between brackets and are not case sensitive, meaning it doesnt matter whether you type the
in upper case or lower case.
HTML has an opening a tag and a closing tag distinguished by the "/" inside the "<"
opening bracket.
Document Structure
The document is marked up with elements and their attributes is according to a document
type definition (DTD). These are rules that govern the way in which a document can be
marked up.
An element called <HTML> surrounds the whole document. This element contains two
sub-elements, HEAD and BODY. These elements are required to form any HTML
document i.e.
<title>document Title</title><head>
<HEAD> has sub-elements that define header material
<TITLE> Document title. The title of your document is what appears in a web browsers
favorite or bookmark list. Your documents title should be as descriptive as possible.
Search engines on the internet use the documents title for indexing purposes.<TITLE>
<BASE>can be used to record the documents location in the form of a URL. The URL
recorded here may be used to resolve a relative URL (If the document is not accessed in its
original location).</BASE>
<ISINDEX>indicates to the browser that the document is an index document. This is used
only if the document is on a server that does indexing.</ISINDEX>
<LINK>indicates a relationship between this document and some other object on the web.

<META>provides information such as the pages keywords and description that appears in
HTTP headers.</META>
<SCRIPT>contains information used by cascading style sheets</SCRIPT>
<BODY>html elements are contained within these tags

Text Editor
There are many different programs that one can use to create a web document. Text editors
are basic word processing programs. The advantage of using a text editor is that the files
are created and saved with few if any invisible formatting codes, which could drastically
affect a document when saved as a web page and displayed in a browser. Tex editors are
good for creating web documents.
HTML editors enable user to create documents quickly and easily by pushing a few
buttons. Instead of entering all of the HTML codes by hand, these programs will generate
the HTML ,,source code for you. HTML Editors are excellent tools for experienced web
Document properties are controlled by attributes of the BODY element i.e. color settings
for the background color of the page, the documents text and different states of links.
The BODY element
The BODY element of a web page is an important element in regards to the pages
appearance. This element contains information about the pages background color, the
background image, as well as the text and link colors.
If the BODY element is left blank, web browsers will revert to their default colors. To set
the documents background color, you need to edit the <BODY> element by adding the
BGCOLOR attribute i.e.


These attributes control the colors of the different link states:
LINK � initial appearance � default=Blue
VLINK � visited link � default = Purple
ALINK � active link being clicked � default =Red
Wed developers will set the link colors of their documents to flow with the color scheme of
the site. The format for setting these attributes is:
The results of the above BODY element would be a white background with links being
blue, visited links as magenta and active links colored in yellow.
The BODY element also gives the ability of setting an image as the documents
background. Background images are tiled in the web browser, which means that they are
replicated and positioned below and besides each other until the browser screen is filled.
Images must be seamless hence when the copies are placed below and besides each other
the seams are invisible.
Using background images can be very effective if used properly. For instance you may
want the company logo as the background or create a border background so that it appears
as though your page is divided into two columns. A background image must be either in the
form of a gif or jpg file.i.e
The documents background image is set to logo.gif. the BGCOLR attribute has been added
hence the browser window will have a white background during the process of loading the


The <table></table> element has four sub-elements:
a) Table Row <tr></tr>
b) Table Header <th></th>
c) Table Data <td></td>
d) Caption<caption></caption>
The table row elements usually contain Table Header elements or Table Data elements.
The Table Header and Table Data elements can contain several of the body elements,
which allows for rich formatting of the data in the table i.e
<table border= "1"
<th>Column 1 header</th>
<th>Column 2 header</th>
<td>row 1 � col 1 </td>
<td>row 2 � col 2 </td>
<td>row 2 � col 2 </td>
<td/row 2 � col 2 </td>
<td>row 3 � col 1</td>
<td>row 3 � col 2 </td>
Tables are used a great deal in the creation of web pages. They allow you to create
boundaries that make positioning easier. They are great for formatting forms.


Table Caption:
A table caption allows you to specify a line of text that will appear centered above or below
the table. This can act like a title for the table i.e.
<table border="1" cellpadding="2">
<caption align="bottom">Label for my table</caption>
The caption element has one attribute ALIGN that can be either TOP (above the table) or
BOTTOM (below the table). Standard character formatting codes are used inside the
CAPTION element.



Wiseman Trainers College Nairobi
Hypertext Markup Language � Infotech Centre


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