The Best and Worst of 1994 and
Predictions for '95
by Eric Berlin
Here are the views of Internet World's regular contributors on the year's best and worst trends, events,
resources, and sites, plus prognostications.
Best in Net Entertainment:
Worst in Net Entertainment:
- Nethack. A dungeon-exploration game to which even non-Dungeons and Dragons fanatics
can become addicted. Every adventure game has monsters and magic items, but Nethack has so many monsters, magic items, puzzling situations, and amazing secrets that you'll completely forget about the
ASCII graphics. It's the most complex and thought-intensive adventure you'll experience on the Net (to
access Nethack, FTP to linc.cis.upenn.edu
/pub/NH3.1/binaries; also read rec.games.roguelike.nethack).
- Diplomacy. Avalon Hill's board game Diplomacy is a classic that fits the Internet like a
hand in a glove, and that's why there are zillions of e-mail games going on as we speak; not to mention
discussion groups, Gopher sites, Web pages, and quite a few utilities. Modern-day Machiavellis will find
their electronic home right here (in rec.games.diplomacy).
- The Internet Chess Server. Always near to bursting with activity, you're guaranteed to find
a chess mate of your skill level. Brush the cobwebs off your game or challenge a grandmaster. I
personally keep a physical chess board handy so I can better visualize the game (to access, telnet to
- This Just In. Every week, Randy Cassingham rounds up the strangest news events he can
find; from bumbled bank robberies around the world to humorously bad decisions on the part of the
world's leaders, politicians, and CEOs. He then throws in a line or two of hysterically funny, ironic
commentary and mails the whole thing to thousands of his closest friends around the world. The arrival of
This Just In in my mailbox always brightens my day. To subscribe, send a message to email@example.com with "subscribe this-just-in" in the message
- alt.fan.cecil-adams. Cecil Adams is an acerbic and funny know-it-all, and author of The
Straight Dope, a syndicated column in which he spreads his wisdom, answering amazingly varied
questions from readers. The alt.fan.cecil-adams group is where Cecil (through his assistant Ed Zotti) posts
his weekly column, and where would-be Cecils ponder the mysteries of the universe. Less chaotic than
alt.folklore.urban, and just as entertaining.
- LambdaMOO. You're probably sick of hearing how great LambdaMOO is, particularly if
you haven't been able to log on because of overcrowding. Sorry. Fact is, there's so much going on here,
and Lambda is so darned addictive, how could I leave it off a "best of" list? If you can squeeze through
the door, check it out by telnetting to lambda.parc.xerox.com 8888.
- alt.flame and alt.bitterness. I know I'm only asking for trouble here. But the entertainment
value of these groups eludes me, and the die-hard seriousness with which the regulars go at each other
really gives me the creeps. I've learned to stay away.
- Jeopardy. I'm glad the IRC gaming channels are popular, but the #jeopardy channel is
usually so crowded the game becomes a typing race rather than a trivia game. Maybe the newer game
channels (#outburst and #boggle) will alleviate some of the crowding.
- The TSR/Diku flap. TSR wants to protect its popular Dungeons and Dragons trademarks.
Fair enough. The gamers want to be left alone to play on the DikuMUDs. Also fair enough. The problem
is, the DikuMUDs may violate some of TSR's trademarks, and the result is the collision of two immovable
objects. I personally can't wait for this legal snake pit to get itself resolved. Find out about DikuMUDs in
- E-wrestling. The game for people who find tic-tac-toe too thought-intensive. You control a
wrestler, and you e-mail your move ("Head lock") to the adjudicator. So does your opponent. The judge
decides what happens, writes up a report, and mails it to everyone involved. There's no strategy, not too
many rules, and it makes as much sense as "real" professional wrestling.
- The organization of the World-Wide Web. I love the Web, but finding something specific on
it is a nightmare. And because the Web is growing by leaps and bounds, I just don't see things getting
easier anytime soon.
- Mercury Site: Remote tele-excavation via the Web. An interdisciplinary team at the University of
Southern California has made available Mercury Site, a World-Wide Web server that allows users to tele-operate a robot arm over the Net. Users view the environment surrounding the arm via a sequence of live
images taken by a digital camera mounted on a commercial robot arm. The robot is positioned over a
terrain filled with sand. A pneumatic system, also mounted on the robot, allows users to direct short bursts
of compressed air into the sand at selected points. Thus, users can "excavate" regions in the sand by
positioning the arm, delivering a burst of air, and viewing the newly cleared region. To operate the robot,
you'll need an Ethernet link and a WWW client that handles forms. Have a blast at http://www.usc.edu/dept/raiders.
- University of Virginia Curry School of Education's Instructional Technology Program has introduced
an interactive frog dissection program. The tutorial combines text with 60 in-line color images and 17
QuickTime movies illustrating dissection procedures and internal organs. Numerous clickable image
maps provide interactive practice. Research with pre-Web versions of the program suggests it is a valuable
preparation tool or even a useful substitute for laboratory dissection. Take a peek at http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/~insttech/frog.
- The Imaging and Distributed Computing Group of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory has created an
interactive forms-based frog dissection kit. Images of the frog from various views, and in various stages of
dissection, are generated on the fly based on parameters set by the user. Hop over to http://george.lbl.gov/ITG.hm.pg.docs/dissect/info.htm.
- Best public display/demo of the Internet:
- The Shoemaker-Levy comet vs. the planet Jupiter
- Funniest Usenet posts:
- The April 1 "Warning about make.money.fast" Usenet posting to news.important by FBI Agent
- Mike Jittlov's make.money.fast parody
- Joel Furr's "Ultimate Spam Cliché" parody posting
- Niftiest/wackiest World-Wide Web sites:
- Niftiest Gopher menu/site:
- Best new Unix command-line client and funniest help messages:
- Best new break-the-paradigm Internet software:
- TIA (The Internet Adapter) from Cyberspace Development Corp.
- Pipeline from James Gleick and the gang
- Best booth concept by an Internet vendor:
- Sandsculpture (InterCon, at NetWorld+Interop 94 in Atlanta)
- Best workarounds for non-SLIP users:
- pine (mail program supporting MIME)
- Lynx (ASCII Web browser that enables downloading saved files for local viewing)
- Best song:
- Hero of the Net award:
- The Norwegian cancelbot launcher
- Best Usenet thread:
- Follow-ups to "Global Warning" in dozens of Usenet groups
- Usenet Zero Hour in rec.arts.comics.misc
- Most awesome thing I downloaded:
- Worst spams:
- Green Card Lottery
- Air Force fugitive GIF
Disaster Relief. We saw the best of Internet users when they pulled together to help each
other through several natural disasters in 1994. The year brought floods, earthquakes, and other major
tragedies. Almost immediately following each of these events, Net users gathered around their terminals
and formed newsgroups to relay information and help the afflicted.
Most memorable perhaps was the response to the Los Angeles earthquake in January. Mailing lists (la-quake) were created without delay. Los Angeles users immediately posted offers to make telephone calls to
friends and relatives in the area because incoming phone calls from outside of L.A. were not possible in
the initial hours following the disaster. With every aftershock came a posting from people in the Los
Angeles area letting the rest of us know how strong the shock had been and what further damage had
There were many touching and unforgettable postings that tell the rest of the story. One that really stands
out in my mind was from a family who posted asking for someone to contact their grandmother in an
apartment building in L.A. "We heard on the news that her building has had severe damage and we are
very worried," the message said. A couple of hours later, a reply came that said, "I couldn't get through to
your grandmother, so I went to the apartment building and found her. The building didn't hold up very
well, but your grandmother did. She's fine and wants you to contact the rest of your family and let them
know. She'll call you as soon as she can." You could almost feel the hugs coming right through the
The proliferation of the World-Wide Web. Unlike other areas of the Net, once you access the
Web, it makes no difference whether you're a new user or an old pro. The Web graciously accommodates
I remember the first time I saw a URL address: http://www.something.something.something. "Ugh," I
moaned. "A whole new language I have to learn? I was just getting the hang of Unix!" I immediately
resigned myself to the fact that this might be the end of my days in cyberspace. The Net had become
somewhat of a runaway locomotive and I was the woman running behind it, screaming for the conductor
to please wait! Then suddenly it all came together. A Net guru friend told me about Lynx. "All you have
to do," he said, "is type the word 'lynx' at your Unix prompt, and presto! You're into the Web." That
weekend I spent about eight hours a day exploring. I quickly found out that you could access all your
favorite telnet, FTP, and Gopher sites from the Web, as well as tons of resources you would never find
anywhere else on the Net. My cyberlife had changed forever.
The way I figure it, the arachnid family (I speak of spiders, of course) have had the right idea all along.
Spin a Web, then use it to capture the best of the best. How do you spin your Web? Type "lynx" at your
Unix prompt or load other Web browsers such as Mosaic. You'll find the best of '94 at your fingertips!
There's not much that's bad on the Net, but because cyberspace does imitate life, we shouldn't be
surprised that in 1994 some less-than-desirable material showed its insolent face. Pick any tragic event
and you can probably recall seeing a newsgroup that taunted its seriousness. There was alt.tonya-harding.
whack.whack.whack. Then we had alt.lorena.bobitt.chop.chop.chop. And no, I haven't forgotten alt.oj-simpson.drive.faster.
Expect to see more of this in '95. But don't despair, the flamers are out in force, scorching away at those
who abuse the Net, and working to make the Information Highway more like real life, where all is good
and nary an offensive word is spoken .
- The Digital Telephony bill
- The Clipper Chip FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard)
- Obscenity prosecutions of BBSs
- Media hysteria about e-mail stalking and the threat to children on the Internet
- There will be a concerted effort by the U.S. Congress to regulate content on the Internet.
- Worst Usenet newsgroup: alt.fondle.vomit. I'll probably get complaints from militant wretchers, but
do we really need this?
- Worst e-mail received: "Found your name on Gopher. How do I read files?" Yes, this is a true story,
and yes, it was an AOL user.
- Worst event: Canter & Siegel spam the Net. Not what they did, but the fact that anyone still
cares to talk about it.
- Worst Internet omen: Home Shopping Channel joins the Internet.
- Worst personal event: Trying to get my SLIP connection going. Yeah, sure, "just load the software
and hit 'run.'"
- A World-Wide Web add-on, whereby category and file size can be assessed prior to file transfer, will
- Software that handles virtually all network functions via one seamless interface will emerge and
begin to dominate the commercial Internet marketplace.
- Internet access via ISDN will see a massive growth spurt.
- A protocol will be developed for smaller interest groups to form larger common-interest federations.
- UFOs will make contact with the Internet.
- Media coverage. Sure, some of that coverage seems clueless, and some of it focuses; foolishly, but not surprisingly; on the seedier side of the Net (such as pornography and electronic stalkers). But 1994 saw the Internet finally hit the mainstr
eam. Time and Newsweek now routinely print letters received through e-mail, and more importantly, it's no longer a novelty. The coverage in magazines on the supermarket check-out line has helped make the other "best" things possible.
- On-line shopping. The other best sign that the Net has hit the mainstream. Flowers, pizza, condoms,
lobsters, books, music, and more are available, with other products sure to follow. Small companies can
now have the same presence as larger ones. Who cares what neighborhood that bookstore is in?
- No more secrets. With more and more people on-line around the world, it's hard for anyone to get
away with anything. Sure, a lot of things make their appearance in alt.conspiracies, but the Net has finally
come into its own as a news source for the masses. It's no longer strange to hear, "I heard on the Net that
Paul's going to have an affair on 'Mad About You.'"
- New providers, more products, and more books. The Internet is proof that capitalism works, and
never has that been shown more than in 1994. Big companies like Netcom and AlterNet compete with
local providers like Panix, Pipeline, and the Well. Consumers have more choices than ever in access
providers, software, and reading material. As usual, the best succeeded and the rest are ending up on the
- Government intervention. They ruined the railroads and the phone companies, and now they're after
the Internet. It works like this: Something is good, and private companies are selling it and making it
work. The government decides it's a "right," and subsidizes one of those private companies to give it to
people who can't afford it. The subsidized company soon runs the competition out of business and
becomes a sponsored, sanctioned monopoly. The process has started with the Internet under the guise of
"making the Information Superhighway available to everyone." It may sound good at first, but it's a bad
idea. We may look back at 1994 as the beginning of the end of the high-quality Net.
- America Online. It let its users onto the Net with only the barest bit of training or preparation. It
provided software that made it difficult for even the most savvy user to behave with proper netiquette. But
the worst offense is that AOL, like other major on-line services, is taking from the Internet without giving
back. Major providers like Alternet, Netcom, and PSI not only put users on the Net, they make available
Gopher servers, FTP-able files, and other resources. AOL, CompuServe, and Prodigy are only just
beginning to do that, and to be proper net.citizens they must make more substance available to the rest of
- Canter and Siegel. A cheap shot, true, but still one of the worst events of 1994. It's more than simply
the fact that they annoyed a few million users in more than 100 countries without showing remorse. The
almost-disbarred-from-Tennessee lawyers gave the idea to others, and made people see marketing and
sales opportunities that simply don't exist.
- Zealots. They're the people who have decided that they have the right to regulate; with threats or
force if necessary; what is available on the Net.
- Cancelbot wars. As spamming and the spam-killing cancelbots become more widespread, people will
find their Usenet News messages canceled by someone who simply doesn't like them. Cancelbot software
will spread, as people begin editing out opposing views and unfriendly ideas.
- More secrets. With more and more commerce being conducted through the Net, encryption will
become necessary and common. Clipper will die, and something like PGP or ViaCrypt will be used by
most people and businesses.
- Two new standards; the first for dial-in users, the second for commerce. Whether it's a SLIP or PPP
process that all access providers will adopt, we'll see easy access in easy-to-use products. A standard also
will emerge for secure monetary transactions, using some form of encryption, that will make people
comfortable sending credit-card information over the wire.
- More bandwidth. A new transmission medium will be announced that offers a many-fold increase in
speed and savings over the current offerings. An entirely new hardware technology will emerge that will
eventually replace the T-3 and fiber-optic lines that carry much of the Net's traffic. Why? Because it must.
The Net is overloaded as it is, and necessity has always been the mother of invention. Watch Bell Labs.
- Smart searches. The first intelligent agent software packages will emerge, allowing Net users to ask for a specific piece of information like "What is the population of Fiji?" or "How far is Saturn from the Sun?" An agent will go out on the Net
, find the information, and return it without the user knowing the source.
(See Kevin's "Odds n' Ends: Best Hookups, Best Practical Jokes, and Best FAQs," which follow "Best
Education Resources" in this issue.)
- Within the next three years, everyone from AT& T to Sony to your cable company will offer on-line dating, electronic gambling, video on demand, and role-playing games via a set-top box. That's the
Information Superhighway everyone wants!
- In five years, prices on those set-top boxes will drop dramatically as vendors learn that their services
are way too expensive and that people don't like getting information from their TVs. Ever heard of
VideoTex? No? My point exactly.
- In five-and-a-half years, when people still aren't buying set-top boxes, vendors will realize that it
wasn't because of high prices, rather that people don't want to gamble, date, or watch videos "on demand."
- The Information Superhighway as delivered via set-top boxes will die forever; a good idea gone awry
(gone the way of Betamax); unless someone figures out what people really want, such as the ability to
search reference works, participate in distance learning, search the holdings at the local library, and
practice electronic democracy.
- None of the set-top cable services will ever replace the Internet.
- The critical-mass factor. The number of people now reachable via e-mail on the Internet has grown
so large that anyone who isn't connected knows they're missing a good thing. Before, I had to argue with
people about whether or not to join a public e-mail system. Now people take an Internet e-mail address for
granted. This was the year that just about everyone finally realized they had to get wired to stay
competitive. The Internet isn't just for nerds anymore.
- New browsers. Finally, there are commercial-quality browsers with fewer bugs than Mosaic,
especially EInet's WinWeb and MacWeb, which hit the market this year. NCSA Mosaic is great for still
shots in Wired and The New York Times, but it crashes and burns far too often. The world needed
someone with an economic incentive to write a good browser, and we can see plenty of contenders at the
starting line already. The coming year will be a great one for World-Wide Web browsers.
- TCP/IP for free for everyone. Both Apple and Microsoft announced that in the next major release of
their operating systems, TCP/IP will be built-in and ready to rock-and-roll. Now the only major holdouts
are Digital's OpenVMS and IBM's VM. Are you listening?
The amount of WWW and Gopher data traversing the backbone means that poor little folks who want to
do something as backwards as telnet are out of luck: The arteries of the Internet are clogged with the
cholesterol from the information equivalent of a burger, fries, and shake. I know the Internet isn't just for
research anymore, but do you suppose copying megabytes of GIFs of weather maps or naked girls could be
done during non-prime time? This was the year that Internet traffic truly exceeded capacity.
- All data are Mosaic. What is it about the World-Wide Web that makes everyone want to stick 100-K
pictures on their home pages? Add that to the incredible inefficiencies and poor designs of the Gopher
and HTTP (WWW) protocols and we see another generation of computing resources torpedoed by the
enthusiasm and poor programming of graduate students.
- The great CIX debate. How is it possible that an organization with as great a charter as the
Commercial Internet Exchange (CIX) could get so mired in politics, poor PR, and petty infighting?
Normally we wouldn't care, but CIX has become increasingly important as a core traffic-carrying part of
the Internet, and we can't afford to have grownups acting irresponsibly with our bandwidth. Fortunately,
the NAPs (network access points) give us a way out, but it's going to get uglier before it gets prettier.
Dickens had it right when he noted that it was the best of times and worst of times. Instead of two cities,
however, we're talking about the Internet. This past year on the Net was quite a roller coaster of events,
and the next 12 months will undoubtedly be the same, only more so!
With this in mind, I offer my list of 11 events that are not only both the best and worst events of the past
twelve months, but are predictions for the future. You can decide for yourself whether they're
predominantly good or bad.
- The World-Wide Web. It's everyone's answer to everything, but it's only barely able to work for a tiny
subset of the Internet community. Twenty million people trying to find their ideal home page by
wandering around? Yet without a doubt it's light years ahead of the rest of the Internet services, with
pictures, movie clips, audio, multiple typefaces, and more.
- Gopher. The lower-profile poor cousin from outta town, the media has been so absorbed in the
publishing potential of Mosaic that it hasn't noticed the continued, and dramatic, growth of this easier-to-use; albeit less visually sexy; alternative. One key difference: I can always find what I want in
Gopherspace with only a step or two.
- Commerce on the Internet. Whether it's junk e-mail or inappropriate postings to your favorite Usenet
group, commercial ventures are here to stay and are finding the Internet a pretty pleasant place to do
business. The good news is that we're the pioneers of this medium and we get to help sculpt it into
something we like. The bad news is that some people just aren't listening. Can you really get rich quick,
- America Online. It's the plague of the newbies! Or is it a breath of fresh air; a large community of
people that bring their own set of interests and expectations to a huge, but too-insular community? If only
the AOL software made it clearer when users were sending mail versus posting to a Usenet group.
- Signature advertisements. Everyone said, "You can't advertise on the Net," but no one really thought
about those innocuous four lines at the bottom of each posting: the .signature. Does it violate the spirit of
the noncommercial culture? The last twelve months have seen a definite transition from cute quotes to
advertising hype. What happens when graphics can be included and viewed by the majority?
- Faster modems. Here's a classic good/bad issue: Is it a good thing that more people can connect faster
to the Internet; sending and receiving more information? You decide, but a word of advice: Get a faster
modem yourself, too.
- SLIP and PPP and the Web. All right, it's cool stuff, but does everyone need to spend the money each
month to get a faster connection? Easier-to-use graphical interfaces are a definite boon, but do they really
need to have a SLIP or PPP connection underneath? I don't think so, but everyone else does.
- Hostility and rudeness. This one's a bit of a ringer. Part of Internet culture is people being rude and
unforgiving of new people who might make silly gaffes. I can see that as a good and bad thing. Is the
existing culture so wonderful that change wouldn't improve it? Can't we be more pleasant and tolerant of
others? Can't we all just get along?
- Application software.
good thing that the Internet is still so hard to use? The new graphical user interfaces are still hard to use,
but they trade lots of mystery keystrokes with lots of poorly explained buttons and weird layout. Outside of
its functionality, for example, is Eudora really such a great mail program for the Mac?
- Porn on the Internet. Who gets to decide this one? The media certainly finds it a delight that you can
find pictures of naked men and women on the network with relatively little work (just read
alt.binaries.pictures.erotica). If we weren't so anxious about sex, however, would the story sell and would
anyone care? Look around. Sex sells, so is it any wonder that as the Net becomes more and more a mirror
of our overall society it includes more and more prurient material? Is the fault with the network or with
society and the media?
- The Internet Mall. It's a central clearinghouse for companies doing business on the Internet, and it's
growing at more than 10 to 15 shops per week. It's a spot where new Internet users can find out the wide
range of companies on the Net a good thing or bad thing? Did the telephone system become more
pervasive as the Yellow Pages began to be printed? You decide, and let me know.
- Millions of new users. People from Delphi and AOL have had a rough time on some newsgroups, but
each wave of new users brings new resources for everyone.
- Intuitive user interfaces. The Net still has a steep learning curve, but graphical user interfaces are
enabling new groups of users to get on-line.
- Commerce on the Internet. New information, new options, new opportunities; what's too expensive
to give away may be just the thing to sell or trade.
- Search tools. We've come a long way from crib sheets of good FTP sites.
- Governance. It's been engineers; rather than lawyers and legislators; that have run the Internet. It
would be nice to keep it that way.
- Communities of interest. The Internet helps people to associate according to common interests rather
than geography, race, class, religion, and gender.
- Government information available via the Net.
- Security. The Net and people on it don't have good security yet. Reusable passwords, service
providers that just don't care, SMTP port 25; the Net is full of holes that need technical and social fixes.
- Digital Telephony and Clipper. These efforts to prevent or eliminate private communications, over
the objections of the vast majority of people outside the law enforcement establishment, will make police
work as easy as it always is in a police state.
- Net.sociopaths, spammers, disbarred lawyers, and others who want to make.money.fast. These types
think the Net and the people on it are something to consume or otherwise take advantage of.
- Hype. Is there anyone who isn't carsick from the phrase "Information Superhighway?"
- ISDN access will become a common standard for small office and home office access, allowing lots
of new applications from conferencing to software distribution.
- Return of the editors. The CB radio effect; too much noise from too many people; will drive more
people to moderated lists and newsgroups.
- Digital cash will bring home shopping and pay-per-view to the Internet, as well as new forms of
asset protection, money laundering, and tax evasion.
- Conflicts between local and global Internet jurisdictions will become more pronounced, especially
over censorship issues. How will prosecutors in Tennessee go after posters from Denmark?
- On-line politics will take off in a big way, with candidates for the 1996 presidential race making
their positions available, soliciting funds, debating opponents, and forging postings from each other. Some
campaign somewhere will get in trouble over dirty GIFs.
- Cancelbot wars will erupt on some newsgroups. Some disbarred attorneys will unleash a doomsday
bot that cancels every Usenet message that does not refer to their green card services.
- Hordes of users from commercial on-line services such as America Online, CompuServe, and
Prodigy have come onto the Net. This has opened up the Internet beyond the borders of the academics and
the researchers, and is the first major step toward a truly mainstream network of the people. While this
did not happen solely in 1994, this year has seen the floodgates simply burst open, as it were, and the
Internauts are a-flowin' in!
- Runner-up: make.money.fast. I simply can't get enough of this post! Give me more!
- Hordes of users from commercial on-line services such as America Online CompuServe, and Prodigy
have come onto the Net. This has burst the Internet open beyond the borders of a relatively well-trained
and well-mannered few, and is the first major step toward diluting the Internet into a sea of hostility and
miscommunication, much like the real world. While this did not happen solely in 1994, this year has seen
the floodgates simply trampled over, as it were, and the clueless newbies are a-stumblin' in!
- Runner-up: The World-Wide Web. I can't sleep, I have no time to eat, the Web has taken over my
life and will soon take over yours! As I type this I can feel the scurvy in my gums, having had my last
intake of vitamin C sometime before NCSA Mosaic 1.0.3 was released.
Best Books of '94
- I have one word for you: connectivity. As the nation unifies into a blob-like Web addict, the roar for
faster connectivity will grow deafening. "An ISDN in every wall outlet, and a chicken in every pot!" to
quote the precocious William Jennings Bryant.
The Whole Internet: User's Guide and Catalog, 2nd edition
by Ed Krol
Price: $24.95 (paper), 453 pages
Publisher: O'Reilly & Associates (Sebastopol, CA)
One of the best overviews of the Internet from one of the original programmers of NCSA's Mosaic World-Wide Web browser. Although it is more than an overview, Krol does not wallow in 1970s, history of C,
Unix, and the Internet. Instead the book is packed with facts on the utility of all the Internet's offerings.
Krol's offering is a basic Internet reference that no serious Internetter should be without.
The Internet Unleashed
Kevin Kelly, editor
Price: $29.95 (paper), 1,387 pages, 1 floppy disk
Publisher: Sams (Indianapolis, IN)
Phone: 800-428-5331; 317-581-3500
Fax: 800-448-3804; 317-581-3550
This is an encyclopedic collection of essays by Internet experts in a wide variety of avocations. Kelly's
crew go beyond their excellent descriptions of the basic Internet applications to discuss their life
experiences, such as connecting PCs, LANs, WANs, schools, universities, and libraries to the Internet.
There is depth as well as breadth to the subject matter. Beam this one up to your Internet bookshelf.
Usenet: Netnews for Everyone
by Jenny Fistrup
Price $24.95 (paper), 396 pages
Publisher: Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ)
Phone: 800-947-7700; 515-284-6751
In the past year, e-mail and Usenet News were the avenues by which most people were introduced to the
Internet. Fistrup shows how the type of information exchanges within the Usenet format continue to be a
powerful tool and virtual community builder, even as new technologies and communications methods
The resulting query responses, FAQs, and organizational management are complemented by recent
Current versions of Mosaic allow you to more quickly scan newsgroup listings, but to make a posting you
will still need to know the procedures and observe the various rules of netiquette Fistrup discusses.
Copyright (c) 1994 by Mecklermedia Corporation. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced or
distributed in any form without permission.