Published: Sunday 15 September 1996

A choice of images
Applet is the term used for the latest novelty to hit the Internet. Applets are small programmes that can be quickly transmitted to a personal computer (PC). They consequently make the web sites more interactive. But the most unique thing about an applet is its capability to turn a photograph into an impressionistic painting or show the earth spinning in sunlight and shade. Rather than have a web site send you a huge file containing a complete animated sequence, an applet can send packets of codes that would enable the PC to generate the required images, saving online time.

Double entertainment
RCA, a US-based company, plans to market its 36-inch Genius Theatre TV with Internet access early next year. Viewers can access the Net via RCA's Starsight programme schedule. Any programme would give the viewer a choice of watching the show or surfing the programme's web site.Managing this media traffic would be a new piece of gear called the home server. This device contains a high-speed modem and a digital receiver or decoder to handle live signals entering the home by cable, satellite, or over-the-air broadcasting.

Pros and cons
With the advent of Internet, the CD-ROM is now on the verge of being pushed into oblivion. The latter can hold loads and loads of data with a storage capacity of 600 million bytes. But Internet, with its extendible structure and a capacity for data transfer at the rate of more than one million bits per second, offers a far better proposition. As vehicles for quick software updates and for referencing timely data, CD-ROM does have its advantages. But a growing number of Net users are installing software by downloading it directly from Internet. Up-to-date information is also always readily available on the Net, albeit at a slower speed.

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