Think of your computer account as your base of operations on the system. Your home directory is only one branch in the larger directory tree. It contains all your files and subdirectories. Also, by virtue of being part of the system directory tree, it gives you access to other publicly-readable files and directories anywhere on the system.
In the figure above, the home directory of user billtcat is represented in blue. It is organized into various subdirectories. For users in fields realted to molecular biology, BIRCH programs and databases.stored in the directory /home/psgendb, can be used through software such as GDE. Mail can be sent and received using mail programs like mailtool and pine. Internet Newsgroups can be read with news readers such as rn or xvnews, as well as netscape, which has a built-in newsreader (choose Window -> Netscape News). The World Wide Web is the best known client/server application, but there are many other client/server programs available on the system. The one common thread is that client/server applications work through an interaction between a client that creates a user-interface on your NC, and a server that processes requests from the client.
Return to Introduction to Network Computing