Emerald Group Publishing Limited
This is the third edition of a popular book that was first published in 1996 and subsequently released in the second edition in 1997. Nearly three years of change have necessitated this new edition, with additional topics including advanced Web technologies, new methods of connecting to the Internet, and material on e‐commerce. Much of the text has been rewritten and reorganised, and the format of the Resource Guide has been revised. One noticeable difference from earlier editions is the absence of screen shots – omitted given their propensity to date faster than text.
As with previous editions, the first section concentrates on the networking fundamentals, with a refreshingly balanced look at the history and development of the Internet both in the UK and beyond. The second chapter, albeit perhaps a little too brief, considers methods of connecting to the Internet and looks at domain names and associated issues. The second section concentrates on the wide variety of resources now available on the Internet, including portals and e‐business as well as search engines and subject listings. As with the rest of the book, this section is amply illustrated with references to known quality resources, further details of which may be found in the “Resource guide” later in the book. The third section, entitled Using the Internet Effectively, briefly tackles basic networking problems, and offers tips to users of e‐mail and USENET. Further coverage considers the use of ftp, telnet, the Web, searching the Internet and building a Web page. It should be understood that this section is a brief collection of useful tips, rather than a concerted effort at exhaustive trouble‐shooting. It also assumes some basic knowledge of Internet resources, or that the previous section has been read.
The final and largest section (of some 70 pages) is the Internet Resource Guide, which is divided into broad sections by topics that roughly follow their sequence in the preceding text. Each key resource, whether Web, telnet, ftp or e‐mail, is described according to a standard template, an annotated example of which is provided. The authors note that the resources were last checked for accuracy in October 1999.
This is an accessible and realistic book. The authors recognise some of the pitfalls of the modern electronic revolution, such as e‐mail overload, but highlight how it may be utilised effectively. This title would be beneficial to anyone who is new to the Internet and not just to those within the information profession. It is clearly written, logical and progressive in structure and easy to read. Experienced information professionals would do well to consult the Resource Guide too, as it provides a useful summary of key resources in essential topic areas.