INTERNET FOR DOCTORS - GETTING STARTED
"Internet" the word seems to be on everyones
lips and in every media possible. Meet an acquaintance and dont
be surprised if he asks you for your e-mail address. When I
started writing this article I realised that it would be an
almost impossible task to tell you how to set-up your computer
and get an internet account. I can just give broad guidelines but
anything more you would require a good book, lessons or a friend
who can show you the "ropes". The fastest and easiest
way is to buy an Internet ready package that is
available. This comes with a computer, modem, an account with a
service provider, softwares to use, and maybe a few lessons
thrown-in. My main aim is to share interesting web page sites for
medical information. This will be done progressively. This
article can be accessed at http://www.vadscorner.com/internet.html.
If you have sites you would like to share e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the internet ?
The internet is a collection of thousands of computer
networks, tens of thousands of computers, and more than 10
million users who share a compatible means for interacting with
one another to exchange digital data.
What can I do with Internet Access?
- You can exchange information quickly and conveniently
- You can access experienced and expert individuals in
thousands of fields
- You can receive regular updates on topics of interest
- You can gain wide-area access to your data
- You can build teams and enhance teamwork across
- You can gain access to archived information
- You can translate and transfer data between machines
- You can have fun and be entertained
What equipment will I need?
Get your computer from a reliable vendor and a good
company (e.g. Acer, IBM, Compaq, etc). What you want is
good after sales service and help from the vendor when
you have minor problems. The computer should at least
come with a Pentium 133mHz processor and above, minimum
16MB Ram on board, more than 1 gigabyte of hard disk
capacity, 1 MB VGA Ram, a floppy disk drive and a minimum
6-speed CD-ROM drive. A 15-inch SVGA monitor will make
viewing pleasant. A modem either internal or external
depends on your usage. If you want to use the modem on
another computer then get an external modem. Make sure
you dont get anything less than 28,800 and
preferably 33,600-baud rate model. The latest computers
come with MMX Pentium chip which makes downloading of
multimedia files faster. The above configuration is ideal
not only for Internet dial-up accounts but also to run
the many softwares that is in the market especially
Microsoft Windows based programmes. The above is an ideal
computer but an ordinary DX2-66MHz computer will suffice
for the time being. You would of course require a
telephone line. A separate line would be good if you plan
to use the Internet service for long periods.
The most common service providers are JARING and TMnet. Whichever the
service provider you choose, they should
- be easily accessible at all times
- be relatively cheap
- have many nodes so that you can call in from any State in
Malaysia(if you use a notebook) and pay the local
- have backup service or customer information service
- provide various facilities, e.g. e-mail, www, telnet, ftp.
- if necessary allow you to "log-in" in another
country and pay the local rates. This might be ideal if
you travel a lot and have a notebook
Some vendors and service providers provide you with the
software. Otherwise you may have to purchase them but I
suggest you ask a friend who is on the Internet for at
least a software to log-in and a world-wide-web browser.
If you have this you can then download most of the
software from the "net". If you have Windows 95
and PLUS you can easily set-up your computer to log-on
with your service provider.
Lets assume you have
all this; you have logged-in with your service provider,
given your username and password and been given access to
the Internet service. Now we have to decide what we want
to from the following services
- World Wide Web (WWW): A program that works through
hypertext links to data, allowing you to explore network
resources from multiple entry points.
- Electronic mail (e-mail): Electronic mail involves
sending and receiving messages over the network.
- Usenet (newsgroup): A worldwide network of newsgroups on
thousands of subjects that can be accessed by newsreader
- File transfer protocol (ftp): File Transfer Protocol is
your tool for moving files from any one of thousands of
computer sites to your own computer.
- Telnet: An Internet protocol that allows you to log on to
a remote computer and is used, for example to search
- Internet relay chat (IRC): Real-time interactive
character-based communications. Use your keyboard to
"talk" with others in real-time.
- Internet Phone: Real-time audio based communication.
Using your multi-media PC as a two-way radio.
- Teleconferencing: Real-time audio and video data transfer
over the network.
Where can I get software in the web and which
ones should I have?
The choice of software depends on the individuals
familiarity with the software. A good site to start is The
Consummate Winsock Apps Lists . (now WinPlanet)
Depending on whether you want a 32 bit or 16 bit software
just point your mouse and click. First and foremost you
require a world wide web browser. Internet
Explorer for Windows or Netscape
Communicator. Both these browsers come along with e-mail
and usenet capability. The full version allows chat
keyboard or voice. The next software you would
require is compression software such as Winzip . This
particular software is useful for you to unzip files.
Make sure you have a good virus program. One good program
is VirusScan from McAfee.
With these basic programs you can try downloading
the other files for ftp,
internet phone, Skype (voice over the
internet-talk over the internet), etc. It might be worth
your while to download a graphic viewer such as Lview Pro
so that you may view graphic files that you have
Hopefully we are all set now to take
a trip into cyberspace. I leave you with a site to
explore at Yahoo
Health. ( http://dir.yahoo.com/Health/
- Using The Internet, Special Edition. William A.Tolhurst
et al. Que. 1994.
- The Internet Navigator. Second Edition. Paul
Gilster. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.1994.
Links last updated 16 April 2005
Berita MMA Vol.27 No.3;