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Use a Database

A collection of facts stored in a computer and sorted into different fields is called a database. A database can be reorganized in any way that suits your needs.

Learn the Skill A computer program that allows you to create your own database is a database management system (DBMS). It allows you to add, delete, or change information. Take time to get to know the features of your database software.

■ Determine what facts you would like to include and research to collect your information.

■ Determine how you want to organize the information.

■ Follow the instructions for your particular DBMS to set up fields. Then enter each item of data in the appropriate field.

■ Follow the instructions to sort the information in order of importance.

■ Evaluate the information in your database, and add, delete, or change as necessary.

Use the Internet

The Internet is a global network of computers where information is stored and shared. To use the Internet, like the students in Figure 17, you need a modem to p. connect your computer to a phone line and an Internet Service Provider account.

Learn the Skill To access internet sites and information, use a "Web browser," which lets you view and explore pages on the World Wide Web. Each page is its own site, and each site has its own address, called a URL. Once you have found a Web browser, follow these steps for a search (this also is how you search a database).

Figure 17 The Internet allows you to search a global network for a variety of information.

Be as specific as possible. If you know you want to research "gold," don't type in "elements." Keep narrowing your search until you find what you want. Web sites that end in .com are commercial Web sites; .org, .edu, and .gov are nonprofit, educational, or government Web sites.

Electronic encyclopedias, almanacs, indexes, and catalogs will help locate and select relevant information. Develop a "home page" with relative ease. When developing a Web site, NEVER post pictures or disclose personal information such as location, names, or phone numbers. Your school or community usually can host your Web site. A basic understanding of HTML (hypertext mark-up language), the language of Web sites, is necessary. Software that creates HTML code is called authoring software, and can be downloaded free from many Web sites. This software allows text and pictures to be arranged as the software is writing the HTML code.

Bob Daemmrich

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