Book details of 'Using the Internet'
|Title||Using the Internet|
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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Using the Internet':
Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
The first edition of this title that I reviewed was not impressive. I
was, therefore, more than willing to pan this one. However, the
author of this edition has added not only a fresh and readable voice,
but an understanding of the net that can portray important concepts in
clear language without simplifying to the point that accuracy is lost.
Part one covers the fundamentals of the Internet. Chapter one is a
basic introduction that manages to get across the crucial character of
the net without once dragging in the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency. Getting connected to the Internet covers a lot of
ground, but chapter two does a good job of covering the major topics.
It is, however, restricted to the specifics of Windows 95 release 2
with IE 4. While I still maintain that, for anyone who has used the
Internet for any length of time, email is the killer application, for
those coming to the net as newcomers these days the Web is what they
have heard about. Both Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer are
briefly described in chapter three.
Part two moves into actual use of the net. Again the Web takes pride
of place and gets a solid introduction in chapter four. Search tools,
both engines and directories, are described in chapter five. The
discussion of files and downloading, in chapter six, is marred in
several ways. The browser is the only downloading tool described, the
section on viruses is extremely poor, ZIP is the only archive format
mentioned, and the security concerns with component programs are not
reviewed. Also, I am not sure why telnet is considered (and
Part three looks at email and Usenet newsgroups. Chapter seven covers
configuration of Outlook and Netscape. The management issues chapter
eight covers are attachments, distribution lists, and mail folders.
Chapter nine mentions other mail programs, but only describes Eudora
Lite. Configuration and activities in Usenet news, and even the very
useful DejaNews archive, are overviewed in chapter ten.
Part four seems to be a bit of a grab bag. Chapter eleven is a very
quick look at children's material and issues. Education gets a bit
more space in chapter twelve. The material in chapter thirteen on job
searching is much better than is found in most general works of this
type. Online commerce is handled well in chapter fourteen, including
the security issues surrounding cookies. The one caveat I should
submit is that Internet shopping is not quite as easy, convenient, and
available as the presentation may make it appear. I am nowhere near
as enthusiastic about push technology as the author, but the
information in chapter fifteen is useful if you want to explore it. I
do not, however, know why people finders are listed at the end of it.
Part five looks at real time communications, but in a limited way.
Chapter sixteen does not really cover IRC (Internet Relay Chat) at
all, even though MSChat will use it. Conferencing only uses the
NetMeeting and Netscape Conference programs in chapter seventeen.
There is essentially no coverage of Internet telephony, although CU-
SeeMe gets a terse mention.
Part six discusses producing content for the Web. Chapter eighteen
walks through the generation of a personal Web page with page creation
software. The important parts of getting a business up on the Web are
covered, although there are lots of details that can't be included, in
While the author does attempt to cover both the MS Internet Explorer
and Netscape Navigator browsers, there is a definite Microsoft bias to
the material. There are also numerous and very definite gaps in the
coverage, even for the neophyte. However, as an introduction to the
net, this is quite acceptable.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1998
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