The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'New Riders' Official Internet Yellow Pages':
Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
Will the real "Yellow Pages" please stand up? Is it this one? Hahn and
Stout's original "Internet Yellow Pages" ? NIS (Network
Information Services, the "yp" programs)? I suppose it doesn't matter: we'll
see all manner of "yellow pages" over time.
This outfit, the McKinley Group, is certainly serious about the task. All
entries have a standard format with title, rating (zero to four STARs--yes,
they made an acronym of it), brief description, keywords, audience, and user
information, ending with a URL (Universal Resource Locator) listing. Once you
get used to it, this is a very quick overview containing almost everything you
For old hands at the Internet, this is a very handy resource. For newcomers,
it might be a bit terse. There are seven "chapters" of introductory material.
These total a lot less than thirty pages, and are very hard to follow, as they
are interspersed with directory entries. The differences between mailing list
programs are downplayed and the explanation of URLs fails at several points.
(By the way, don't expect any consistency in the use of forward and back
slashes in URLs here.) (In fact, don't expect all the URLs to *be* URLs.)
The listings have a very heavy emphasis on mailing lists and newsgroups. ftp
sites are far less common in the directory than on the net. There are a great
many listings for commercial services whose only Internet connection is that
you can use telnet if you have an account. (If those systems are time
sensitive, telnet might not be what you want to use for access.) There are
paid advertisements, in the same format as other listings.
You can't have everything in an Internet directory: the net is too big and
changes too fast. Having done a few dozen searches, I found that the total
number of listings, and the index access, to be less useful than the Hahn/Stout
work. Offsetting this, to a certain extent, is the fact that the "keywords" in
each entry act as a second level of indexing. Following a keyword search is
something like reading a Thompson Chain Reference Bible, but it does guide your
search in directions you might not otherwise have chosen.
(Ahem. Most computer viruses are *not* obtained from downloaded files. Yes,
you *can* have a virus attached to a Windows document. VIRUS-L is also
comp.virus. And why does the "Computer Viruses" keyword have CAD sites in it?)
The standard format and keyword linking are good features and promise well for
future editions. The introduction, listings, index and proofing need work.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1995
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