Internet Basics Without Fear!

Description

106 pages
Contains Index
$16.95
ISBN 0-9684297-0-X
DDC 004.67'8

Year

1999

Contributor

Reviewed by Jeffrey Moon

Jeffrey Moon is head of the Documents Reference/Data Centre at Queen’s
University.

Review

The first five chapters of this Internet guide, insistently billed as a
book for beginners, provide an introduction to the Internet. The real
meat of the book starts in Chapter 6, which provides a “step-by-step
approach to using the Internet.” The author reviews different hardware
and software choices and suggests minimum (rather low-end)
configurations required for Internet access. He wisely sidesteps the
issue of connecting to the Internet, suggesting instead that users get
their Internet service provider to help them out.

The book covers a wide range of key Internet topics (e-mail, chats, and
browser plug-ins) with mixed success. For example, Fawcett describes
searching the Internet in some detail but fails to draw a distinction
between “search engines” and “subject indexes.” Also problematic
is his recommendation that users “bookmark a favorite ‘hit’ site
the very moment” they link to it; how do users know it is a
“favorite” if they just got there?

A sample search using the words “botanical” and “gardens” is
described as a Boolean “OR” search (which would return hits with one
word or the other). Fawcett recommends using a Boolean “AND” search
instead to get better results. But the example then provided is actually
a quoted “phrase” search (i.e., “botanical gardens”) which would
provide even more targeted results than the suggested “AND” would
provide.

Fawcett’s book includes a brief index and chapters devoted to lists
of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Internet terms, and sample Web
sites (78 in total). As a basic introduction that won’t scare anyone
off, Internet Basics Without Fear! gets a passing grade.

Citation

Fawcett, Shaun., “Internet Basics Without Fear!,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/20.