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This full-color, fast-track guide focuses on teaching vital skills and shortcuts to using the Internet. Users will explore the seamless direct connection to the Internet made possible by Windows 95. The book provides quick tips on accessing the World Wide Web, sending e-mail, and using the Internet features of the Microsoft Network.
Now, I don't want to paint myself as some sort of whistle-blowing naysayer. I'm a card-carrying Internet addict, and I have trouble imagining how I could conduct my life without it. Then again, I work in this business, and I learned long ago that my enthusiasm is not universal. The fact is, I'm part of the Internet-hype economy. Much as I'd like to deny it, I'm out in front in a barker's uniform ushering you in. Fine, that's my role and it pays the rent, but as you enter the tent let me just warn you to keep your wallet tightly gripped and be careful with your time.
The Internet: A Network of Networks
Most of us are too busy to spend all day discussing the history and technology of the Internet and all the fascinating trivia associated with it. You can get those anecdotes anywhere. (For that matter, you can get them for free once you're on the Net.) Suffice it to say, the Internet is not really a coherent network in the same sense as a local area network, such as you might find in an office, or a wide area network, like you might find on a university campus.
Actually, the Internet is a loosely and redundantlylinked collection of smaller networks and individual computers, all of which agree to share (some) information using the various Internet protocols as a lingua franca.
If you ask what the Internet is like or how it works, you'll get a range of answers obtainable from blind men touching different parts of an elephant. The Internet is like a cloud. The Internet is like a web. The Internet is like a tree. I suggest you think of the Internet as a black box. Stuff goes in one end and comes out the other. Forget trying to figure out what happens in the middle. Why did the chicken choose a particular path through the Internet? To get to the other side.
The most important advance in making the Internet easy and convenient to explore has been the development of the World Wide Web (a method for viewing much of the Internet) and elegant programs called web browsers that enable you to view and thumb through the myriad sources of information, communication, and software out there.
Browsing the Internet is a simple matter of running one of these programs and jumping to a destination. Because of the flexibility of the web medium, you can even use a web browser to gain access to items that are out there somewhere on the Internet, but not directly on the Web. The web browser acts as a sort of umbrella interface for the entire Internet.
If CNN and ESPN have some of the most popular, most expensive, most close-to-supporting-themselves-via-advertising web sites, does this mean that the Web is really a new kind of TV? No, it doesn't, but those who have thrived in the one-to-many media model would like to emphasize those capacities of the Internet. Others would argue that the Net is inherently many-to-many and must naturally evolve differently from TV...
|1||The World Wide Web: Click Here!||1|
|2||Using Your Web Browser||15|
|3||E-Mail: You Have New Mail||51|
|4||Your Mail Program||69|
|7||How to Read Newsgroups||129|
|8||Real-Time Conversation with IRC||155|
|9||FTP, Telnet, and Gopher: Action at a Distance||173|
|10||Searching the Net||195|
|11||Places to Go, Things to See||215|
|12||A Web Design Primer||225|
|A What Kind of Connection?||243|
|B Basics of the Microsoft Network||255|
|C The Busy Person's Links||263|