Everyone agrees, its a whole new world. And this perception is overwhelmingly true for the professional electrician. Those of us who make our living channeling, regulating and harnessing the power of the electron no longer are limited to bending conduit, rebuilding motors, hanging chandeliers from ballroom ceilings and a million other tasks. Now we find ourselves immersed in the Cyberage. In a few short years the silicon chip has taken control of everything from elevators to fire alarms to telephone switchboards.
Today's electrician has to be at least as computer savvy as the teenager in the house. For a lot of us, we've got some catching up to do.
In this intimate (if that's not too strong a word) corner of electriciansparadise, we shall examine a few of the many aspects of this revolution that we are experiencing. No doubt it is an ongoing affair and at best we can hope to grasp small facets of it. But rather than carrying on indefinitely in this vein, let us jump right in. Consider the Internet:
It's ironic --
To receive material off the Internet, you need an open Internet connection. But you don't even need an IP account to create a web site. All you need is a working computer and browser.
But let's back up a moment. Why would a working electrician even want a website? You probably have all the work you can take care of. Let's just say its the lure of the technical, the thrill of moving electrons all over the world.
Here, in a highly simplified way, is how its done:
To put up a website therre are two separate discrete operations that have to be performed. The first is to compose the HTML documents which create the finished product that appears at the viewers' computers courtesy of their installed browsers.
The other operation is to upload the HTML to the host hard drive so that viewers can access it.
We shall begin with a brief overview of the HTML creation process. HTML, which stands for Hyper Text Markup Language, is easily transferred from one computer to another, even cross platform, because it is text only. An entire website, complete with color, sound and moving pictures, is based on the output of a computer keyboard. For example, let us say that the background color of a web page is to be light blue. The page is not transmitted via the Internet as an entity that contains that color. Rather, it contains a written statement that the document is to have a light blue background.
There are a number of websites that explain all the details about HTML. Its just a question of learning the tags and how to apply them, and you can easily create a website made up of any number of pages.
If you have Internet Explorer for a browser, while looking at any web page, under view you can click on source and you will see on your screen the HTML document that created that page. At first it will look like a jumble of random symbols and wild puntuation, interspersed with stretches of recognizable text. As you learn the HTML conventions, the whole thing will make perfect sense and in no time you will be able to write HTML.
It is suggested that you now go to view/source for this page. We shall start at the beginning and look at the HTML. To save clicking back and forth, you may want to print the HTML and refer to it as you read this piece. Before beginning this examination of a typical HTML, a few other comments are in order.
HTML can be composed in any word processing program. It is customary, however, to use Notepad (for Mac users Simpletext) a simplified no frills word processing program with limited fonts, colors, sizes and any of the vast number of features found in, say Microsoft Word.
What you do, for the initial page, is compose the HTML in Notepad, save it as index.html, and it will display as a finished web page in your browser window. Then, when you click view/source , you will see your original HTML document. You can make and view a whole website without having a host or even an Internet connection. If you look at the HTML for most web pages, you will see associated with the BODY tag a background color. As a preliminary exercise, try putting up a page with a background color. Here is a tabulation showing colors with their codes, which can be used for page backgrounds or fonts - -
HTML Color Chart
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