In a way, understanding this is more important than understanding the internet. This is because this is where you get a choice that actually impacts your every-minute life.
A browser is a program that helps you get where you want to go on the internet. Think of it as your virtual Uber, but for information. You announce where you want to go by typing it into the search bar. A page of options comes up. You pick the one you like. Click! And you are there.
Your browser actually gets you where you want to go by using hyperlinks (thanks, CERN!) or more specifically, by using HyperText Transfer Protocol, aka HTTP. You may have noticed that a lot of addresses on the internet start their names with http://…. Now you know why.
Okay. You have your hardware (laptop, tablet) and you have a subscription to some kind of task-accomplishing software that’s actually physically located hundreds or even thousands of miles away from you in a well-guarded high-security high-tech warehouse. How do you use it? The internet!
The internet is also called the World Wide Web, which explains the “www.” portion of all the “web addresses” or “internet addresses” that you “go to” in order to be productive. (Or to kill trolls. Your preference.)
First, there is no cloud.
Having said that, I also need to say that “The Cloud” occupies some of the most valuable real estate on the planet. You see, “The Cloud” is a euphemism (aka, pretty word) for vast server farms scattered across otherwise unimportant swaths of the world, all networked together.
Imagine you are driving down a country road. Corn and soybeans on one side. Anonymous warehouses on the other. Get it? (Now imagine all the wires. Not enough twisty ties in the entire world to keep that straightened out.)
Hardware – Software
It’s never wise to assume, right? So we’ll start with the very basics.
HARDWARE is equipment. Back in the introduction, you may have noticed some of the advances were equipment upgrades. Writing with that erasable No. 2 pencil on smooth (cheap) white paper probably would have moved Bob Cratchit to tears.
Computer. Keyboard. Mouse. Server. And wires. Lots and lots of wires, right?
SERVER by the way, means a dedicated computer that simply houses information. Servers are generally used in a business environment when the company’s needs have grown such that multiple users need to access the same information simultaneously, so everybody gets a computer, (also called a terminal,) but all the information is actually kept on a separate computer. The separate computer is the server.
SOFTWARE is harder to define. “Anything that is not hardware, but is used with hardware,” says dictionary.com. Merriam Webster tells us software is “the entire set of programs, procedures, and related documentation associated with a system, and especially a computer system; specifically computer programs.” Gobbledy-gook.
HIghlights in the History of Bookkeeping for the Entrepreneur
1494 – Luca Pacioli (Venice, Italy) codified the double-entry system of bookkeeping in a mathematics textbook and earned the title, Father of Accounting and Bookkeeping. Although versions of double-entry accounting can be found for hundreds of years prior, this publication established both terminology and technique, going so far as to provide sample year-end closing entries and ethical admonishments. It is interesting to note that Pacioli was a contemporary of Leonarda da Vinci, to whom he taught mathematics, including calculus. In turn, da Vinci is thought to have illustrated many of Pacioli’s works.
1843 – Charles Dickens (London, England) published A Christmas Carol, introducing Bob Cratchit to the world. Armed with a simple quill pen and course rag paper, Bob Cratchit became the world’s best-known bookkeeper. His obvious meticulous care of the numbers in spite of his working conditions (cold, dark, long hours, and with the one of the world’s worst bosses,)