Great general questions about how the internet works.

These are some great questions a student recently emailed to me.  My answers are in green.  Thank you for letting me share your questions!  I've been hearing some of these often, which always says to me, it's time to blog about it :)

Professor,

I have some questions about the terminal application on my mac. I am very confused about the terminology and processes. 

Is the terminal what you refer to as the linux box?  The terminal is your way to connect to the linux box, you actually can interract with your mac file system through the terminal as well.

The directories are like folders inside the linux box? Yes the directories are folders in the linux box, your mac also has a folder structure for all applications and data

Who creates such directories? We created some like the drupal directory, I created the /var/www/student directories, when applications like php are installed folders and files are created.

How is the linux box connected to the internet? When you go to a url in your browser like firefox, chrome or internet explorer, another server called a DNS server looks up what server to connect with the url, and then pulls the information of what to show in the user's browser based on what is in the computer connected to said url.

What is the function of a text editor and how do I make that code be reflected on the terminal? 

When you connect your text editor (we are using komodo edit in class) to the linux box you then can browse the files and folders on the linux box and can change the contents of the files.  You can also add directories and files to the linux box using komodo editor.  Also Komodo editor can do all of these same things on your personal computer (the mac or pc), operating on your computer's local files and folders stored on your computer.