Where things are on the 'Net

about addresses in a town with no road maps


understanding where things are on the 'Net

Every 'page' or 'site' on the Internet, and every 'user', has an address which gives you some information.

email addresses

Email addresses are generally put together like this:

username@servername . server's type of organization . country code

e.g. my address

tells you that my username
(the name I chose and which was allowed me by my Internet Service Provider)
is clytie
my connection is with a mail-server
(a computer which provides electronic mail services to users)
called riverland
at an Internet organization, in Australia.

Other common types of organization are:

com (company or business)
gov (government)
edu (education)
org (organization)
mil (military)

and country codes like uk for the United Kingdom. and jp for Japan aren't too hard to guess, although de for Germany (Deutschland) and es for Spain (España) are based on how you say that country's name in its own language.
See also the
alphabetical listing of country codes as you read further down the page.

People in the USA do not generally use a country code, and many organizations (e.g., and will negotiate an email address with anyone anywhere, so email addresses without a country code do not always mean people live in the USA.
For whatever reason, their organization has chosen not to register its name with a country code on the end.


sending email from a webpage

Email addresses are placed on webpages as mailto: links so you can click on them.
When you do this, your browser or email program will immediately pop up a new-message window (just close that window if you have changed your mind), so you can then write to that person and send the message straight away, if you like.

Great for questions or complaints ;-)

e.g. you can't load the page
(let's say someone has given you this address for some reason)
but you can load
so you can then go back to that main page and click on the webmaster's mailto: link
(webmaster@hostname, in this case
and tell him/her about it.

For example: In the Subject box you click and then type

page does not load
Then in the body of the message (the large space underneath), you click and write something like:
A friend gave me this web address:
but it doesn't work. Can you tell me what is wrong?
The webmaster will check the address, and write back to you, either telling you that the address is incorrect (spelled wrongly, or does not exist anymore, or didn't exist in the first place) or thanking you for pointing out that the link didn't work, and telling you that it has been fixed and does work now.



Most general traffic on the Internet is 'browsing' among webpages people have written to provide information, entertainment
or <sigh> advertising and lots of slow-loading graphics (pictures).

Most pages on the World Wide Web will have a URL (Universal Resource Locator) with www in it, e.g.

To make things easier, your browser (commonly Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer) is designed to browse webpages and will go to an address without the http:// in front of it.

http:// means you will receive this page through the Internet via the standard HyperText Transfer Protocol (this standard makes it possible for a wide variety of computers and software to view the same page in much the same way).
Your browser knows that already, so you can simply type in

and it will go to ozland's main page.
You can experiment with shortening Web addresses, to see just how good a guesser your browser is ;-)
It can save time.


pathways and links

Like email addresses, all these Web addresses give you some idea what kind of organization is involved, and where the webpage or website (more than one webpage, linked together, at the same location) is hosted (allowed to have space on a computer):

e.g. When you see

at the beginning of a web address, you can then see that it's telling you:

this is a webserver . on the machine called riverland . which is part of an Internet type of organization . located in Australia

The address also tells you the whole domain name: riverland,
Domain names have to be registered internationally, and no two can be the same.
A domain may be based on a single computer and a single webserver.
However, major domains usually have a number of webservers to share the load, along with mail, ftp, proxy and other servers doing other kinds of jobs for the organization's clients.
These servers will have names like:, , and
stating their service first, but always following up with the full domain name.

A web address will then continue with a / along a path to a directory (each directory is just like a folder on your own computer's hard drive) and then the path may continue through one or more / (forward slashes) on its way to a particular page (file) on that server.

This gives a very simple example of a web address, and is the way the address of a person's homepage will usually look.
To make writing and remembering these homepage addresses easier (i.e. to keep them short!), the host organization (usually an Internet Service Provider) doesn't show you the long and winding path through a computer's internal structure to where the homepage might be located.
The organization's webserver (computer serving up webpages when you ask) uses the ~ or tilde to take a direct path to a member's own space on that server.
The address of any single webpage will often end with html or htm, simply meaning HyperText Markup Language.
This language is used to write webpages which any browser can view, and to give you links you can click on, to move throughout the pages on that website, or to move on to pages on other sites.
Although having html or htm on the end of a webpage might seem unnecessary by this stage (the browser knows I'm looking for a webpage, doesn't it?), computers are very simple-minded, and won't store or identify a file properly unless you tell them exactly what kind of file it is.

Let's invent a computer-type address for my younger daughter:


and then we'll explore how the computer gives an address to a file.
This address I've invented (rather frivolously ;-) can stand for:

I'm pretending that I've invented a new protocol for the computer to interact with Trinh: kid exploring protocol:
I've also invented a separate computer, which offers a service I have called keyboard-tapping little monster:
This computer is located at Renmark:
which is a town:
in australia
then the address tells the computer to go to the directory owned by Trinh
in which the computer has a file called funpage.sfc which indicates a special filetype: small female child:

Unfortunately, I can't file Trinhy in a computer.
Not that she would mind (she loves computers and has grown up with them), but the computer would probably have the electronic version of a nervous breakdown! :-))

Note that Internet addresses (particularly domain names and user-names) are usually written in lower-case (not capitals).
Internet and email addresses can be case-sensitive: this means that if you change a small letter to a capital letter (or the other way around, though capital letters are much less common) then the computer will not recognize (see and understand) the address.


country codes (alphabetical list)

acknowledging information from the text document (c) Copyright 1998, Arlene Rinaldi + Florida Atlantic University

This table extends as far to the right as necessary: just click on the scroll-bar at the bottom of your page, to the right-hand-side, and you will move as far to the right as you need.
To come back to the left, click on the scroll bar again, but to the left-hand-side.
Think of it as cheap international travel :-))

AC Ascension Island AD Andorra AE United Arab Emirates AF Afghanistan AG Antigua and Barbuda AI Anguilla AL Albania AM Armenia AN Netherlands Antilles AO Angola AQ Antarctica AR Argentina AS American Samoa AT Austria AU Australia AW Aruba AZ Azerbaijan
BA Bosnia-Herzegovnia BB Barbados BD Bangladesh BE Belgium BF Burkina Faso BG Bulgaria BH Bahrain BI Burundi BJ Benin BM Bermuda BN Brunei Darussalam BO Bolivia BR Brazil BS Bahamas BT Bhutan BV Bouvet Island BW Botswana BY Belarus BZ Belize
CA Canada CC Cocos (Keeling) Islands CD Democratic Republic of Congo CF Central African Republic CG Congo CH Switzerland CI Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) CK Cook Islands CL Chile CM Cameroon CN China CO Colombia CR Costa Rica CU Cuba CV Cape Verde CX Christmas Island CY Cyprus CZ Czech Republic
DE Germany DJ Djibouti DK Denmark DM Dominica DO Dominican Republic DZ Algeria
EC Ecuador EE Estonia EG Egypt EH Western Sahara ER Eritrea ES Spain ET Ethiopia
FI Finland FJ Fiji FK Falkland Islands FM Micronesia FO Faroe Islands FR France FX France, metropolitan
GA Gabon GB Great Britain (also UK) GD Grenada GE Georgia GF Guiana (French) GG Guernsey (Channel Islands) GH Ghana GI Gibraltar GL Greenland GM Gambia GN Guinea GP Gaudeloupe GQ Equatorial Guinea GR Greece GS Sth Georgia and Sth Sandwich Islands GT Guatemala GU Guam (U.S.) GW Guinea-Bissau GY Guyana
HK Hong Kong HM Heard and McDonald Islands HN Honduras HR Croatia (Hrvatska) HT Haiti HU Hungary
ID Indonesia IE Ireland IL Israel IM Isle of Man IN India IO British Indian Ocean Territory IQ Iraq IR Iran IS Iceland IT Italy
JE Jersey (Channel Islands) JM Jamaica JO Jordan JP Japan
KE Kenya KG Kyrgyzstan KH Cambodia (Kampuchea) KI Kiribati KM Comoros KN Saint Kitts Nevis Ang. KP Korea (North) KR Korea (South) KW Kuwait KY Cayman Islands KZ Kazakhstan
LA Laos LB Lebanon LC Saint Lucia LI Liechtenstein LK Sri Lanka LR Liberia LS Lesotho LT Lithuania LU Luxembourg LV Latvia LY Libya
MA Morocco MC Monaco MD Moldova MG Madagascar MH Marshall Islands MK Macedonia ML Mali MM Myanmar (formerly Burma) MN Mongolia MO Macau MP Northern Mariana Islands MQ Martinique (French) MR Mauritania MS Montserrat MT Malta MU Mauritius MV Maldives MW Malawi MX Mexico MY Malaysia MZ Mozambique
NA Namibia NC New Caledonia (French) NE Niger NF Norfolk Island NG Nigeria NI Nicaragua NL Netherlands NO Norway NP Nepal NR Nauru NT Neutral Zone NU Niue NZ New Zealand
OM Oman
PA Panama PE Peru PF Polynesia (French) PG Papua New Guinea PH Philippines PK Pakistan PL Poland PM St Pierre and Miquelon PN Pitcairn Island PR Puerto Rico (U.S.) PT Portugal PW Palau PY Paraguay
QA Qatar
RE Reunion Island (French) RO Romania RU Russian Federation RW Rwanda
SA Saudi Arabia SB Solomon Islands SC Seychelles SD Sudan SE Sweden SG Singapore SH St Helena SI Slovenia SJ Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands SK Slovak Republic SL Sierra Leone SM San Marino SN Senegal SO Somalia SR Suriname ST Sao Tome and Principe SV El Salvador SY Syria SZ Swaziland
TC Turks and Caicos Islands TD Chad TF French Southern Territories TG Togo TH Thailand TJ Tajikistan TK Tokelau TM Turkmenistan TN Tunisia TO Tonga TP East Timor TR Turkey TT Trinidad And Tobago TW Taiwan TZ Tanzania
UA Ukraine UG Uganda UK United Kingdom UM U.S. Minor Outlying Islands US United States UY Uruguay UZ Uzbekistan
VA Vatican City State VC Saint Vincent and the Grenadines VE Venezuela VG Virgin Islands (U.K.) VI Virgin Islands (U.S.) VN Vietnam VU Vanuatu
WF Wallis and Futuna Islands WS Samoa
YE Yemen YT Mayotte YU Yugoslavia
ZA South Africa ZM Zambia ZR Zaire ZW Zimbabwe


clicking on addresses on webpages

As you move your mouse to pass your cursor (usually a pointer) over the text (words) and graphics (pictures) shown on your computer's screen by a webpage, wherever the cursor changes to a hand-shape (or in the case of my favourite browser, Cyberdog, a paw ;-), you have found a link.

Holding your cursor on top of that link (but not yet clicking on it), you can look down at the bottom of your browser window, and it will show you the webpage (www.) or email (mailto:) address behind the link.

Let's try that: hold your cursor on top of the Cyberdog link above (underlined, as links in writing usually are).
Look down at the bottom of your browser page.
Its status bar
(which gives you information while you are using your browser,
such as "connecting to [servername]" or "downloading at 3k per second")
will be showing you the web address which I have written into the page as a link for Cyberdog:

so you can see that if you clicked on that link, you would go to another site, probably in the USA (no country code) which would give you more information about the browser program Cyberdog.

Another example: if you know any child around 8 years old, s/he might like to become Trinh's email penpal.
When you pass your cursor over Trinh's name where it is underlined, the status bar at the bottom of your browser page will show you the email address I have written into the page as an email link for Trinh:

so you will be able to see that if you click on Trinh's name where it is underlined, a new-message email window would pop up, and you could write to her, where she lives, in the Riverland of South Australia.

NOTE: if young children wish to have email addresses, it is wise to have these addresses protected by your own email address.
Your postmaster can arrange this for you.
Just email postmaster@yourhostname, in this case, or ring your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and request that your child's email address be created as an email alias or virtual email address (not an independent email address) connected to your own.
Then you set a filter in your mail program so that any messages sent to your child's new email address go into a special mailbox you have created on your computer.
Then you can check new messages as they come in, but your child still feels s/he has his/her 'very own mailbox'.
This may sound like a lot of fuss, but the Internet is as safe as the world it represents.
There are a few weirdos out there.
Some ISPs may charge for this service, but it's worth it ...
By making this arrangement with your postmaster, you can make sure each child only gets safe and appropriate mail.
By checking out real web addresses in the way we have practised, already you have some idea of where you would be going, or what you would be doing, if you did click on a link.

Wherever you see an email address underlined on a webpage, it is a mailto: link and you can click on it if you wish (which causes your mail program to pop up a new-message window), write a message and send it straight away.

Wherever you see a webpage address (URL) underlined on a page, you can click on it and go there, usually straight away.

Remember that a busy website (with many people using it), a small server without much bandwidth (phone-system space through which to send you information) or a website which is far away, may take longer to show a page to you.

A webpage which has a lot of graphics (pictures), especially computer-time-wasting things like animated banners (usually advertisements of some kind) will always take much longer to load in front of you, than a page which is mostly text (writing).
Sometimes websites are down (power, phone or computer problems at their end, usually temporary) or the link on which you click may be broken.


If you are told that a certain website is not available right now (but you can get to other websites) then it is not your problem, and you can come back and try that address another time.


If you cannot reach any website, then you may not be properly connected to your ISP (Internet Service Provider).

Try checking or sending mail.

If you cannot do either of these, then you are not connected to your ISP (whatever your browser program may say!).

Check your modem-phone plug and your connection settings, and try again.

If everything is OK at your end, you may need to contact your ISP for help.


If you can only reach pages on your ISP's own server (showing your ISPs own address at the front), then your ISP will want to know that (something may have happened to their link to the rest of the Internet).


If you click on a link and you get a message saying that the link no longer works, or that there is no longer a page or file at that location, then the person maintaining the website where you first clicked that link needs to know that the link is broken.

Click on your browser's Back button, and then find the webmaster email link on that originating page.
S/he will want to track down the new location of that page or file, and update the website so people do not encounter broken links.
Since the Internet changes around us every second, like a shifting sea, keeping up to date is a major task for webmasters! While you're browsing around webpages, and checking out the links on them, experiment with holding down the mouse button or using the other button to see what other options you have, like opening that page in a separate window, putting its address in your Bookmarks/Favourites, saving an image (picture) to keep...

It's really up to you, how much you get out of your connection to the Internet.


email Clytie!

back to 'Look Here First'

made with a Macintosh