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Email 101

The best way to think of the Internet is as a communications medium like the Telephone, Television, or the Postal Service. Using the Internet you can send a any written text by E-mail. This is rather like mailing a letter and having it arrive in seconds--three days in the most backwards parts of the world. Using a special protocol called File Transfer Protocol you can transfer text files that are too long to mail (over about 50 pages) or even transfer graphics and programs. If E-mail is the equivalent of "talking" to a person, then Telnet, the third main Internet service, is equivalent to telephoning a computer. As long as you know the password for logging on to a computer, you can access and search any of nearly a million computers.