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What can you do with computers?

In the workplace, many people use computers to keep records, analyze data, do research, and manage projects. At home, you can use computers to find information, store pictures and music, track finances, play games, and communicate with others—and those are just a few of the possibilities.

You can also use your computer to connect to the Internet, a network that links computers around the world. Internet access is available for a monthly fee in most urban areas, and increasingly, in less populated areas. With Internet access, you can communicate with people all over the world and find a vast amount of information.

Here are some of the most popular things to do with computers:

 The web   

The World Wide Web (usually called the web, or web) is a gigantic storehouse of information. The web is the most popular part of the Internet, partly because it displays most information in a visually appealing format. Headlines, text, and pictures can be combined on a single webpage—much like a page in a magazine—along with sounds and animation. A website is a collection of interconnected webpages. The web contains millions of websites and billions of webpages.

   

Surfing the web means exploring it. You can find information on the web about almost any topic imaginable. For example, you can read news stories and movie reviews, check airline schedules, see street maps, get the weather forecast for your city, or research a health condition. Most companies, agencies, museums, and libraries have websites with information about their products, services, or collections. Reference sources, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias, are also widely available.

   

The web is also a shopper's delight. You can browse and purchase products—books, music, toys, clothing, electronics, and much more—at the websites of major retailers. You can also buy and sell used items through websites that use auction-style bidding.

 E‑mail   

E‑mail (short for electronic mail) is a convenient way to communicate with others. When you send an e‑mail message, it arrives almost instantly in the recipient's e‑mail inbox. You can send e‑mail to many people simultaneously, and you can save, print, and forward e‑mail to others. You can send almost any type of file in an e‑mail message, including documents, pictures, and music files. And with e‑mail, you don't need a postage stamp!

    Instant messaging   

Instant messaging is like having a real-time conversation with another person or a group of people. When you type and send an instant message, the message is immediately visible to all participants. Unlike e‑mail, all participants have to be online (connected to the Internet) and in front of their computers at the same time. Communicating by means of instant messaging is called chatting.

 Pictures, music, and movies   

If you have a digital camera, you can move your pictures from the camera to your computer. Then you can print them, create slide shows, or share them with others by e‑mail or by posting them on a website. You can also listen to music on your computer, either by importing music from audio CDs or by purchasing songs from a music website. Or, you can tune in to one of the thousands of radio stations that broadcast over the Internet. If your computer comes with a DVD player, you can watch movies too.

 Gaming   

Do you like to play games? Thousands of computer games in every conceivable category are available to entertain you. Get behind the wheel of a car, battle frightening creatures in a dungeon, or control civilizations and empires! Many games allow you to compete with other players around the world through the Internet. Windows includes a variety of card games, puzzle games, and strategy games. For more information.