Re: Books on Internet

Subject: Re: Books on Internet
From: Lynn Ward <ward -at- UX1 -dot- CSO -dot- UIUC -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1993 11:25:59 -0600

>Recently Ken Stone mentioned a book about the Internet called
>"The Whole Internet," by Ed Krool.

>Suppose a person wanted to do a review article about the Internet
>and other net developments for technical communicators. What
>titles might also interest that audience?

>As such a person, I would appreciate your sending titles along to
>me. I will, in turn, share them with others.

Here is a short review of several books and a list of other free resources
that was included in vol 5. no 3. of LINK LETTER, the Merit/NSFNET


The growth of the Internet has created a market for commercial
publishers, resulting in a flurry of new books on getting
started with the Internet. This trend is a change from the
past, when most Internet "how-to" information was produced
by unpaid volunteers and available at no cost on-line. The
newest books are hardly mass-market paperbacks, but for
those who don't have on-line access to free sources of
information or just like having a one-source reference on
their desks, these books are excellent beginning guides to
the Internet.

Three books already on the shelves include works by authors
who have previously been active in developing on-line
materials. They have their roots in academia, where the
Internet has been most widely deployed and have brought
their extensive knowledge to these publications.

Zen and the Art of the Internet

For a short and to-the-point introduction, Brendan P. Kehoe's
"Zen and the Art of the Internet" (Prentice Hall, 112 pages,
$22.00) is the second edition of a popular on-line work
issued earlier this year. It provides updates to the earlier
document and some minor corrections. The primary focus is what
resources are out on the Internet, and how to find out more
about using them. This work is ideal for individual users who
have questions about using the Internet. Kehoe initially
developed his publication while a college system administrator
who found himself answering the same questions again and again.
When he developed this piece to resolve his frustrations, he
also wrote an excellent and friendly summary that benefits all
beginning users.

The Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog

Ed Krol's 1989 paper, "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Internet," was
one of the first general introductions to the Internet for the
non-technically inclined. He has followed that success with
his new book, "The Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog"
(O'Reilly & Assoc., 376 pages, $24.95). Krol's book goes beyond
Internet resources to provide an overview of the network's
history, technical foundations, and policies. The book evokes
the culture of the Internet to help the network novice get a
feel for the network's structure which can be useful background
for understanding how to best use the Internet. Like Krol's
earlier work, the breezy style makes for pleasant reading on
what could have been a very heavy-weight topic. The old-time
woodcut illustrations in the catalog resource list at the end
contribute to the charm of this work.

The Internet Companion: A Beginner's Guide to Global Networking

The third book comes from Tracey LaQuey with Jeanne C. Ryer,
"The Internet Companion: A Beginner's Guide to Global Networking"
(Addison-Wesley, 196 pages, $10.95). LaQuey's previous book,
"User's Directory of Computer Networks" (Digital Press, 653 pages),
has been a primary resource on network providers since its
publication two years ago, although rapid changes in networking
have dated some of the material--a problem with any book covering
this subject. LaQuey brings her knowledge to her newest work and
provides a well-researched introduction to Internet resources
and uses.

Internet: Getting Started

Not all guidebooks come from commercial publishers. SRI International
has produced an excellent introduction in "Internet: Getting Started"
(SRI, 333 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025, 318 pages, $39).
Edited by April Marine, this book has an international flavor,
covering not only the U.S. Internet but networks throughout the world.
It is particularly useful for the beginner who is interested in
getting connected to the Internet, and provides more technical detail
in addition to sections on Internet resources. It has an excellent
list of network providers and also other organizations which are
important to Internet administration and development.

Additonal resources via Anonymous FTP

A number of other books are scheduled for release early next year.
Of course, there are still many sources of information that don't
cost money if you have a connection to the Internet. Two excellent
resource guides developed by the information services staffs at
NorthWestNet and CICnet are available by Anonymous FTP, as well
as Kehoe's "Zen and the Art of the Internet" (first edition).
Both guides can also be purchased in hard-copy format from their

The "NorthWestNet User Services Internet Resource Guide" on-line
version (1992, 300 pages) is available only in PostScript format.
To find out about getting the files, get the file README.nusirg in
the directory /nic/nwnet/user-guide from

The "CICNet Resource Guide" is available in both text and PostScript
formats. For information on obtaining the Guide on-line, use
Anonymous FTP to access and get the file README in
the directory /pub/resourceguide.

If you are interested in getting "Zen" and other free, on-line
introductory information on the Internet, a good source is the
document collection found in archives around the Internet called
introducing.the.internet. To find out more about accessing these
publications, send a message to nis-info -at- nis -dot- merit -dot- edu with the
first text line: send

-- Ellen Hoffman
Merit/NSFNET Information Services

Lynn Ward, Network Design Office
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1541 DCL, 1304 West Springfield Ave., Urbana, IL 61801
(217)244-0681, ward -at- ux1 -dot- cso -dot- uiuc -dot- edu

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