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By Adam Gaffin <email@example.com>
Senior Writer, Network World, Framingham, Mass.
Welcome to the Internet! You're about to start a journey through a unique land without frontiers, a place that is everywhere at once -- even though it exists physically only as a series of electrical impulses. You'll be joining a growing community of millions of people around the world who use this global resource on a daily basis.
With this book, you will be able to use the Internet to:
And you will have become the newest member of this ever growing community. If you stay and contribute, the Net will be richer for it -- and so will you.
But it will take a sense of adventure, a willingness to learn and an ability to take a deep breath every once in awhile.
Connecting to "the Net" today, takes something of a sense of adventure, a willingness to learn and an ability to take a deep breath every once in awhile. Visiting the Net today is a lot like journeying to a foreign country. There are so many things to see and do, but everything at first will seem so, well, foreign.
When you first arrive, you won't be able to read the street signs. You'll get lost. If you're unlucky, you may even run into some locals who'd just as soon you went back to where you came from. If this weren't enough, the entire country is constantly under construction; every day, it seems like there's something new for you to figure out.
Fortunately, most of the locals are actually friendly. In fact, the Net actually has a rich tradition of helping out visitors and newcomers. Until very recently, there were few written guides for ordinary people, and the Net grew largely through an "oral" tradition in which the old-timers helped the newcomers.
Here's where you take a deep breath. Fortunately, most of the natives are actually friendly. In fact, the Net actually has a rich tradition of helping out visitors and newcomers. With few written guides for ordinary people, the Net has grown in large part one person at a time -- if somebody helps you learn your way around, it's almost expected you'll repay the favor some day by helping somebody else.
So when you connect, don't be afraid to ask for help. You'll be surprised at how many people will lend a hand!
Without such folks, in fact, this guide would not be possible. My thanks to all the people who have written with suggestion, additions and corrections since the Big Dummy's Guide first appeared on the Internet in 1993.
Special thanks go to the following people, who, whether they know it or not, provided particular help -- and to my loving wife Nancy:
Rhonda Chapman, Jim Cocks, Tom Czarnik, Christopher Davis, David DeSimone, Jeanne deVoto, Phil Eschallier, Nico Garcia, Jon Granrose, Joerg Heitkoetter, Joe Ilacqua, Jonathan Kamens, Peter Kaminski, Thomas A. Kreeger, Stanton McCandlish, Leanne Phillips, Nancy Reynolds, Helen Trillian Rose, Barry Shein, Jennifer "Moira" Smith, Gerard van der Leun and Scott Yanoff.
If you have any suggestions or comments on how to make this guide better, I'd love to hear them. You can reach me via e-mail at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Boston, Mass., January, 1994.
"Stop the murder! Support dolphin-free networking." --- Brendan Kehoe's .signature "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog." --- Adam's favorite one.
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