Magazine article Online

Roadmaps to the Internet: Finding the Best Guidebook for You

Magazine article Online

Roadmaps to the Internet: Finding the Best Guidebook for You

Article excerpt

Dern, Daniel P. The Internet Guide For New Users. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993. 570pp. ISBN 0-07-016510-6, $40, hardcover; ISBN 0-07-016511-4, $27.95, softcover.

Daniel Dern's name caught my eye with his February 1992 article in BYTE entitled "Applying the Internet." He wrote a lucid piece on how researchers will use the Internet at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. As a librarian working at Argonne, I took a keen interest in his article. I also have watched Internet World closely as he turned the newsletter into a polished magazine. I had high expectations for his new book, The Internet Guide for New Users, released in September 1993, and once again I am impressed.

The purpose of The Internet Guide for New Users is to help readers learn about, join, and use the Internet. Dern says he wants to help the reader to "think like an Internet user."

Like Krol's book, The Internet Guide for New Users is slanted toward a UNIX-experienced audience. However, this should not discourage users who aren't working with UNIX, since most of the computers you'll encounter on the Internet are UNIX, or accept UNIX commands. Dern also includes a crucial appendix on how to exit UNIX text editors.

The Internet Guide for New Users is the most extensive, as well as the most current book reviewed in this article. It's over 500 pages in length, covering much more than the obligatory topics, and in greater detail than other guides. It marks the beginning of a new, responsible way to use the Internet. Dern stresses a "think globally, seek locally" approach, encouraging users to find, use or install local clients for tools, and place the processing load on your system, instead of on someone else's. He gives sensible advice, and promotes using the Internet in a accountable way. Dern also views "pay for use" as a vital policy for the Internet's future, because it provides the economic fuel for growth. …

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