Internet and Personal Computing Fads

Madely du Preez (University of South Africa)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 1 December 2004




du Preez, M. (2004), "Internet and Personal Computing Fads", Online Information Review, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 463-464.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The internet and the world of computers have had a great impact on society and brought about many changes in society, in the way business is conducted and in the field of library and information science. Internet and Personal Computing Fads takes an encyclopaedic look at internet buzzwords that have become synonymous with these changes. It offers a well‐documented overview of events and developments related to the explosion of computer technology and the internet in society – the introduction claims it to be American society, but a personal opinion is that this is true of society worldwide. After all, since the inception of the internet there has been a “disappearance” of international borders and the onset of one global village.

The volume is arranged in much the same arrangement as other books in the multi‐volume Haworth fad encyclopaedia series, which includes such titles as Arts and Entertainment Fads, Fashion and Merchandising Fads, and Sports and Recreation Fads.

Internet and Personal Computing Fads includes historical and present‐day references, and also offers predictions about future trends and fads in very brief articles that are detailed enough for reference use by general users, academics and students, especially LIS students who are introduced to computers and the “connected” world for the first time. It is an essential guide to the most regularly used computer and internet terms, describing each term in easy‐to‐understand language. The book provides interesting browsing as well as references to specific terms.

The more than 100 articles cover a wide spectrum and vary from “Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)” to “Hypertext” and conclude with “Wireless Networks”. Each entry offers a jargon‐free explanation of the terms representing a variety of fields of interest, including general computer use, business, entertainment, multimedia development and education. The book offers an interesting retrospective view of the development of computer and internet use, a description of current fads and trends, and predictions on how the technologies will develop in the future. It also places the social dimensions of technology, such as “Emoticons” and “Netiquette” in context with the hardware/software developments such as “Bots” and “Multitasking”. The most popular abbreviations and acronyms appear throughout the collection. The bibliographic citations at the conclusion of each article represent both contemporary and historical sources, thus providing support for those readers who would like to do further research.

This excellent volume combines the comprehensive information one would expect from a reference book with a casual and colourful look at the histories and backgrounds of each term and concept included in the volume. It is well researched and well written and includes an invaluable index. Mary Ann Bell, Mary Ann Berry and James van Roekel can only be complimented on the publication of this very exciting volume that will be of great benefit to many users interested in computer/information technology and the internet.

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