When people get online, most of the time they do one of two things: read their email or use a search engine. But how many of you really know how to use a search engine? Sure using a search engine is easy. You open the page, enter what you're looking for in the box and hit the search button. How hard is it?
Well, you're right, but there actually are a lot more features built into search engines than that, and knowing what they are and how to use them will help you harness the vast amounts of information that are on the Internet.
There are many search engines on the Internet: Google, MSN, Yahoo, Lycos and quite a few others. (There's even one that's named after a dog that "fetches" the information you're looking for... sheesh). For the use of this article I'll be using Google. I prefer Google because of its simple interface.
This AND That OR The Other
In every programming language I know, every single one has something called "operators". Operators are words such as "and" and "or", that help describe the results you are trying to get from whatever datasource you are using, such as a database or in this case Google. (Ok, ok... I'm on a plane right now and I can already see my wife's eyes glazing over, so I'll get back out of the weeds.)
Let's say I'm trying to find out why my dog insists on chewing on the window ledges in the kitchen when we leave him home alone. (No, that is not funny.) Now, our dog is a pureblood mutt, Beagle and Terrier mix, so I go to Google and I type in this query: