The Internet


Internet access
Back when we were fighting the Cold War against Russia, the Pentagon created a computer
network so that universities could transmit research results to the Pentagon and each other even if
some phone lines and buildings got bombed. That network has become civilian and is called the
Internet (or simply the Net). Now the Internet transmits not just research but also games, ads,
announcements, photographs, love letters, chitchat, and globs of other info, public and private, to
and from President Clinton, David Letterman, and several million other public servants, jokers,
kids, and kooks across the country and around the world.
You can use the Internet to send and receive electronic mail. You can also use the Internet to
browse through announcements posted by folks worldwide.
The Internet gives you a huge sea of info. You stand on its shore, watch its many waves come at
you, and get high by joyously jumping into those waves. That's called surfing the Net, which
means "browsing through the amazing info available on the Net".
You'll quickly get addicted to surfing the Net and spend many hours each day doing it. As you
explore the Net, your electronic requests and their responses travel at electronic speeds around
the world, on what Vice President Al Gore dubbed the Information Superhighway (I-way),
propelling you through cyberspace (the vast, surreal world where all info and people are
represented by bits, bytes, and electronic signals, as opposed to the "real world", called
meatspace, where people are composed of meat).
The Internet lets your mind fly around the world faster than a astronaut's. Your friends will call
you an infonaut or Internaut. Cynics will call you an Internut or interned nut or Net-head. But no
matter what folks call you, you'll have fun, while learning more about the world than any
pre-computer human could ever imagine.
Paying for the Internet
You can access the Internet free if you're part of a government agency, university, or some other
organization who's tied in. If you don't belong to any such organization, join the Internet by
paying a fee to an Internet service provider (ISP) who hooks you up. That's how the Internet is
funded: partly by government agencies and universities, partly by loners paying fees to ISPs, and
partly by advertisers who sneak ads onto the corners of your screen while you surf.
The typical ISP charges you $19.95 per month for unlimited access to the Internet. That amount
is billed to your credit card.
To use the Internet, you tell your computer's modem to dial the ISP's phone number.
 There are thousands of ISPs to choose from; they compete with each other to try to get your
$19.95-per-month business.
When choosing an ISP, there are several questions to ask. The most important is: does the ISP
have a phone number that's local to you, so your computer's modem doesn't have to make a
long-distance call? The typical ISP offers phone numbers in several cities; each phone number is
called an Internet dial-in access number or point of presence (POP).
If you live in a remote area, you might have trouble finding an ISP that has a local POP. In that
case, you must either phone a POP in some farther city (and pay your local phone company's rate
for making a long-distance call) or dial an 800-number POP; but the typical ISP will bill you about
$6-per-hour extra for using the 800 number.
Overload
Many parts of the Internet are overloaded: more people want to use them than they can handle.
When your computer's modem tries to contact the Internet, the modem might encounter a busy
signal or ridiculously long delay or a message saying a service is unavailable; you might get
disconnected from the Internet or ignored or refused.
The overload is worst during the evenings, from 7PM to 11PM, since that's when the kids are
home from school and the parents are home from work and they're all trying to have fun at home
by using the Internet. In many parts of the country, the best time to use the Internet is in the
morning and early afternoon (from 3AM to 3PM).
If a site is used mainly by businesses instead of consumers, that site might be busy during working
hours (9AM to 5PM). If you're trying to contact a site that's far away, in a different part of the
world, remember that the site's busiest hours depend on which time zones its users are in.
Disconnecting
After your computer's modem has phoned a POP number, you can use the Internet for a while.
When you've finished, you should tell your computer's modem to disconnect from the POP.
If you forget to disconnect, your ISP will eventually sense that no transmissions are occurring and
will disconnect you automatically. The typical ISP will disconnect you if 30 minutes have elapsed
without any transmissions.
If you're running a business and want your computer to be waiting for incoming Internet messages
continuously without being disconnected, you must tell your ISP you want a business account,
which costs much more than a personal account. When an ISP advertises a "unlimited access" for
$19.95 per month, the ISP defines "unlimited access" to mean a personal account, used just a few
minutes or a few hours per day, not waiting continuously for transmissions.
While you're using the Internet, here are the most common reasons why you get disconnected:
Your ISP might have disconnected you because too many minutes elapsed without transmission.
Your computer's modem might be inferior and not working consistently.
Your phone line might be suffering from too much static or other noise, preventing a clear signal
from being transmitted. To check, try this experiment: while you're not using the computer's
modem, pick up the phone (so you hear a dial tone), then press the number 5 on the phone (so the
dial tone goes away): if you hear noise (such as static), use a different phone cord, outlet, or line.
Referral fees
Some ISPs will pay you a referral fee if you convince your friends to sign up.
Here's the typical deal: for every friend you sign up, you get a free month yourself. So if you sign
up 12 friends, you get a whole year free!
Notice that the referral fee is paid to you in the form of free months, not cash.
IBM
IBM owns an ISP called IBM Internet Connection, which has POPs in 860 cities. IBM's POP
cities are in all 50 states of the USA, plus 45 other countries.
If you're in the USA, you have two choices:
If you choose unlimited access, you pay $19.95 per month.
If you choose light access, here's what happens each month: you pay $4.95, which includes 3
hours; add $1.95 for each extra hour.
If you're in the USA and want 800-number access, add $6 per hour.
According to a survey by PC World magazine, people who use IBM Internet Connection are
happier than people using any other big ISP. For more info about IBM Internet Connection,
phone 800-455-5056.
Mind Spring
Another excellent ISP is Mind Spring. Its POPs are in the USA (in all states except Alaska,
Hawaii, Idaho, Wyoming, and South Dakota).
Mind Spring gives you three choices:
Service                            Monthly fee
light access                    $6.95 includes   5 hours; $2 per extra hour
moderate access          $14.95 includes 20 hours; $1 per extra hour
unlimited access         $19.95 includes unlimited hours
Unlike IBM, Mind Spring makes you pay a surcharge the first month. That surcharge is $25 and
called a setup fee.
If you want 800-number access, add $7.50 per hour. For more info about Mind Spring, phone
800-719-4332.
Earth Link
Another excellent ISP is Earth Link, based in Pasadena, California. It was started in 1994 by a
23-year-old guy named Sky Dayton, who ran a West Los Angeles coffee house, worked for ad
agencies & computer-graphics companies, and was repeatedly voted one of the most influential
technologists in the Los Angeles area. Through alliances with two other network providers (UU
Net and PSI Net), Earth Link is available in Canada and all states except Alaska & Hawaii.
Earth Link transmits data faster than IBM and Mind Spring; but if you ever have difficulty, you'll
be dismayed that Earth Link's technical staff is harder to reach.
Earth Link charges $19.95 per month for unlimited access. For 800-number access, you pay an
extra $5 per month, plus $4.95 per hour beyond the first 5 hours.
You pay a $25 setup fee. For more info about Earth Link, phone 800-395-8425.
Other big ISPs
Though the best big ISPs are IBM Internet Connect, Mind Spring, and Earth Link, you can
choose from many others, which might have POPs closer to your home.
AT&T owns an ISP called World Net, which in 1996 was the first ISP to popularized the idea of
charging $19.95 per month for unlimited access. World Net is often overloaded, especially its
technical-support staff. For more info about World Net, phone 800-World-Net.
America OnLine (AOL) used to be more expensive, but in December 1996 it copied AT&T's idea
of offering unlimited Internet access for just $19.95 per month. That offer was too popular: more
people phoned AOL than it could handle. Even now, AOL is severely overloaded: you'll often get
busy signals, and even if you get past the busy signals you'll discover that access is dreadfully
slow. AOL is trying to solve the problem by adding more modems and computer equipment; wait
until AOL succeeds. For more info about AOL, phone 800-827-6364.
Small cheap ISPs
Though IBM Internet Connection and Mind Spring are excellent, you might prefer a smaller ISP
that charges less.
Zip Link An ISP called Zip Link has POPs in 9 states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York,
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, Texas, and California) and charges just $14.95 per
month for unlimited access. If you pay for a whole year in advance, your rate goes down to
$12.95 per month.
For light access, a monthly fee of just $4.95 includes 5 hours; pay just $1.50 per extra hour.
One reason why Zip Link is cheap is that it automatically disconnects you if no transmissions
occurred during the last 15 minutes.
There's no setup fee. For more info about Zip Link, phone 888-YIP-LINK (since there's no "Z"
on your phone).
Galaxy I use an ISP called Galaxy Internet Services (GIS) because it's the cheapest: it offers
unlimited access for just $9.95 per month (plus a $10 setup fee). But Galaxy has these
disadvantages:
Its POPs are just in Massachusetts (Boston, Boston's suburbs, and Worcester) and Manhattan.
The Worcester and Manhattan POPs have a $5 per month surcharge. The POPs are often
overloaded: when you try phoning during the evenings, you'll often get busy signals or "no
answer". Transmissions can be slow, and you'll often get disconnected.
Galaxy doesn't offer as much software and technical support as top-notch providers (such as IBM
Internet Connection and Mind Spring). Unlike big ISPs that offer tech support at all hours of the
day and night, Galaxy's tech-support office is available just until 9PM most weekdays, 5PM
Fridays, 3:30PM Saturdays, closed Sundays, and often busy.
Despite those disadvantages, I like Galaxy because it's so cheap. For more info about Galaxy,
phone 617-433-5500.
Erol's The most bizarre ISP is Erol's. It's based in Virginia. Its POPs are in 8 states (Virginia,
Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts),
where Erol's TV ads offer unlimited Internet access for just $9.50!
Those ads are misleading. The truth is you have these choices:
$13.00 per month if you sign up for a year
  $9.50 per month if you sign up for 2 years
  $8.30 per month if you sign up for 3 years
  $8.00 per month if you sign up for 5 years
  $6.50 per month if you sign up for 10 years
Here's the catch: you must pay the entire amount when you sign up.
For example, if you want to pay just $6.50 per month by signing up for 10 years, you must
immediately pay $780, which is the total 10-year fee ($6.50 times 120 months). That scheme
raises a frightening question: will Erol's still be around in 10 years, or will the whole service turn
out to be just a ripoff that collects hundreds of dollars from each consumer and then go suddenly
"bankrupt"?
At least those deals have no setup fee. Erol's also offers traditional pricing, where you pay $19.95
each month, plus a $15 setup fee. For more info about Erol's, phone 800-Erols-PC.
Juno Though most ISPs charge $19.95 per month or slightly less, an ISP called Juno is absolutely
free! It's paid for by advertisers: while you're using Juno to use the Internet, your screen will also
show you ads from Juno's advertisers.
Unfortunately, the only part of the Internet that Juno lets you use is e-mail. Juno lets you send and
receive e-mail but does not let you surf. For more info about Juno, phone 800-654-Juno. Since
too many people have tried to join Juno, you might be put on a waiting list.

World Wide Web
The most popular part of the Internet is called the World Wide Web (or just the Web or just
WWW). To use it, you need a program called a Web browser.
The first good Web browser was Mosaic, invented in 1994 by Marc Andreessen, an undergrad at
the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), funded by
the National Science Foundation. Later in 1994, he left NCSA and formed a company called
Netscape Communications Corp., where he invented an improved Web browser called Netscape
Navigator (or just Navigator).
In 1995, Microsoft invented a competing Web browser called Microsoft Internet Explorer (or just
Explorer). Its version 3, invented in 1996, is slightly better than Navigator's version 3.
Now Navigator and Explorer are both popular. They work best if you have Windows 95, though
they can also handle Windows 3.1 & 3.11 and the Mac.
I'll assume you have Windows 95. (Windows 3.1 and 3.11 are similar.)
I'll explain how to use Navigator (versions 2 & 3) and Explorer (versions 2 & 3).
The World Wide Web runs slowly. You'll spend lots of time waiting for the World Wide Web to
respond to your commands. That's why cynics call it the "World Wide Wait". To make the
experience reasonably pleasant, you need a modem that's fast (at least 28.8 kilobaud). If your
modem is slightly slower (14.4 kilobaud or 9.6 kilobaud), you can still use the Web but not
pleasantly. If your modem is slower than 9.6 kilobaud, using the Web is not practical.
Installation
To use Navigator or Explorer, you must put it onto your computer's hard disk. If you bought
your computer in 1996 or afterwards, its hard disk probably contains Navigator or Explorer
already. If your computer's hard disk does not contain Navigator or Explorer yet, buy one of these
books:
Official Microsoft Internet Explorer Book by Bryan Pfaffenberger, published by Microsoft Press,
list price $24.95 ($21.20 from discount dealers), includes a CD-ROM disk containing Internet
Explorer 3 and extra software too!
Official Netscape Navigator 3.0 Book (Windows Edition) by Phil James, published by the
Netscape Press division of Ventana, list price $39.99 ($31.89 from discount dealers), includes a
CD-ROM disk contain Netscape Navigator 3 and extra software too!
Each book is written well and includes a CD-ROM containing the program that the book
describes.
You must tell the computer your ISP's phone number and Internet address. To find out how, read
the instructions your ISP sent you. If you don't understand them, phone your ISP's
technical-support number.
Running
Turn on the computer, without any disks in the floppy drives.
To use Explorer, do this:
Double-click the icon that says "The Internet". If the computer asks "Would you like to make it
your default browser?" press ENTER.
To use Navigator instead, do this:
Double-click the icon that says "Netscape Navigator". If the computer says "Netscape License
Agreement", press ENTER. If the computer asks "Would you like to register Navigator as your
default browser?" press ENTER.
If the computer says "Enter your password", type the password you use to connect to your
Internet provider (and press ENTER).
You'll see the Microsoft Internet Explorer window (or the Netscape Navigator window). Make
sure it consumes the whole screen. (If it doesn't consume the whole screen yet, maximize it by
clicking its resize button, which is next to the X button.)
Address
Near the top of the screen, you see the address box. It's a wide, white box labeled "Address".
(Navigator labels it "Location" instead.)
Click in that white box. (If you're using Navigator 2, double-click in that box instead.)
Any writing in that box turns blue. Then type the Internet address you wish to visit.
For example, if you wish to visit Yahoo, type Yahoo's Internet address, which is -
http://www.yahoo.com/
Yes, that's Yahoo's Internet address. It's also called Yahoo's Uniform Resource Locator (or URL,
which is pronounced "Earl").
When typing an Internet address (such as "http://www.yahoo.com/"), make sure you type periods
(not commas); type forward slashes (not backslashes).
The address's first part ("http://") tells the computer to use HyperText Transfer Protocol, which is
the communication method used by the Web. The ".com" means the service (Yahoo) is a
commercial company.
Instead of typing "http://www.yahoo.com/", you can be lazy and type just this:
www.yahoo.com
Here's why:
The computer automatically puts "/" at the address's end.
Explorer 2 and Navigator 2 automatically put "http://" before any address that begins with
"www".
Explorer 3 and Navigator 3 automatically put "http://" before any address that doesn't contain
"://" already.
In an Internet address, each period is called a dot, so "www.yahoo.com" is pronounced
"dubbilyoo dubbilyoo dubbilyoo dot yahoo dot com" by literate computerists; grunters say just
"wuh wuh wuh dot yahoo dot com".
If you're using Navigator 3, you can type just this -
yahoo
because Navigator 3 will automatically put "www." before and ".com" after any address that
contains no periods.
At the end of your typing, press ENTER.
You'll see the beginning of Yahoo's home page.
Seeing the rest of the page To see the rest of the page, click the scroll-down arrow (the ( near the
screen's bottom right corner). If you're using Explorer 3 or Navigator, you can also move down
by pressing the down-arrow key or PAGE DOWN key.
Here's how to hop immediately to the page's bottom....
Explorer 3:    press the END key.
Navigator 3:   while holding down the Ctrl key, tap the END key.
To see the beginning of the page again, click the scroll-up arrow ((). If you're using Navigator,
you can also move up by pressing the up-arrow key or PAGE UP key.
Here's how to hop immediately to the page's top....
Explorer 3:    press the HOME key.
Navigator 3:   while holding down the Ctrl key, tap the HOME key.
Links
On Yahoo's home page, you see many topics to choose from.
The typical topic is underlined. For example, at the top of the page you see these hot reference
topics:
Yellow Pages   People Search   City Maps       Today's News   Stock Quotes   Sports Scores
Below them, you see 14 broad topics:
Arts and Humanities                                    News and Media
Business and Economy                                   Recreating and Sports
Computers and Internet                                 Reference
Education                                                             Regional
Entertainment                                                    Science
Government                                                            Social Science
Health                                                                     Sports
Scattered around the page, you see many other underlined topics, too! You also see some topic
buttons (labeled "New", "Cool", "Today's News", and "More Yahoos").
Each topic button or underlined topic is called a link. Click whichever link interests you. (You can
click anyplace where the mouse's pointer-arrow turns into a pointing finger.)
Then - presto! - the computer shows you a whole new page, devoted entirely to the topic you
linked to! Read it and enjoy! While you're looking at that new page, you'll see its address in the
address box.
On that new page, you'll see more links (topic buttons and underlined topics); click whichever one
interests you, to visit a further page.
Back & forth
After admiring the new page you're visiting, if you change your mind and want to go back to the
previous page you were looking at, click the Back button (whose symbol is "(" in Explorer, "((" in
Navigator).
Then you see the previous page, but the underlined topic you clicked might have changed color.
For example, on Yahoo's home page, most underlined topics are blue, but any topic you've
clicked turns purple. If you're using Navigator, that topic will stay purple for 30 days.)
After clicking the Back button, if you change your mind again and wish you hadn't clicked the
Back button, click the Forward button (whose symbol is "(" in Explorer, "((" in Navigator).
History To hop back several pages, you can click the Back button several times.
To hop back faster, do this trick:
On the screen's top menu bar, click Go. (In Explorer 2, click File instead.) You see a list of pages
you visited. Click the page you want to go back to.
The Go list mentions the current page, plus the previous pages whose trail of underlined links led
you to the current page. The Go list is always short (no more than 15 pages in Navigator, 9 pages
in Explorer 2, usually 5 pages in Explorer 3).
If you're using Explorer try this experiment:
Click the History button, if you see it at the bottom of the screen. (If the History button is
temporarily missing, click "File" then "Open History Folder" instead. Explorer 2 says "More
History" instead of "Open History Folder".)
You see an alphabetized list of pages you visited during the last 2 weeks. (Explorer 2 shows the
last 300 pages instead.) You see the list's beginning; to see the rest of the list, press the PAGE
DOWN key several times. Double-click the page you want to visit.

Favorites The computer can remember which pages are your favorites. If you're viewing a
wonderful page that you want to call one of your favorites, do this if you're using Explorer:
Click the Favorites button. (In Explorer 2, click the word "Favorites" on the screen's top menu
bar instead.) Then click "Add To Favorites", then press ENTER.
In the future, whenever you want to return to your favorite pages, click the Favorites button
again. You'll see a list of your favorites. Click the page you want.
Do this instead if you're using Navigator:
While holding down the Ctrl key, press the D key (which means "delightful page to store on
disk").
In the future, whenever you want to return to a delightful page, do this: while holding down the
Ctrl key, press the B key (which stands for "bookmarks"); then press the END key. You'll see a
list of your favorite pages; above them you'll see a list of Netscape Corporation's favorite pages.
(To see the lists better, make sure the window they're in is maximized.) Double-click the page you
want.
Home Each time you start using the Internet (by double-clicking the Internet icon or Netscape
Navigator icon), the first page you see is called your start page or home page (because that's
where life starts - at home). If you view other pages (by clicking underlined topics) and later
change your mind, you can return to viewing the home page by clicking the Back button many
times - or click the Home button once. (The Home button has a picture of a home on it. In
Explorer 2, that button is called the Open Start Page button.)
Search box On Yahoo's first page, you see a white box next to the word "Search". That box is
called the search box.
Try this experiment: click in the white search box (double-click if you're using Netscape), then
type a topic that interests you. At the end of your typing, press ENTER. Yahoo will list all Yahoo
pages about that topic! Click whichever underlined page you want.
Open something different
To switch to a completely different address, click in the address box again (double-click if you're
using Netscape), then type the Internet address you wish to visit.
For example, if you wish to visit Excite, type this -
http://www.excite.com/
or type just this:
www.excite.com
At the end of your typing, press ENTER.
Excite is a competitor to Yahoo. It resembles Yahoo but gives you a slightly different list of
subjects to choose from. As in Yahoo, Excite's underlined topics are blue. If you click one of
those blue underlined topics, then later go back to the Excite's main page (by clicking the Back
button), the blue topic you clicked turns red.
Another good place to visit is Infoseek. It's another competitor to Yahoo. To visit Infoseek, type
this -
http://www.infoseek.com/
or type just this:
www.infoseek.com
At the end of your typing, press ENTER.
Yahoo, Excite, and Infoseek are all called search sites, since their purpose is to help you search
for other sites on the Internet.

Three ways to search
Here are the three popular ways to search for a topic on the Web.
Search-box method In a search box, type the topic you're interested in, and then press ENTER.
That makes Yahoo (or Excite or Infoseek) use its search engine, which searches on the Internet
for pages about that topic.
Infoseek has the best search engine: it works better than Yahoo's or Excite's. But to get different
perspectives on the topic that interests you, try the search engines of all three of those services!
When you make the computer search for a topic, the computer typically finds thousands of pages
about that topic. The computer tries to guess which of those pages are the most relevant; the
computer shows you those pages first. To help the computer deduce correctly which pages are
the most relevant, use the following tricks (which all work in Infoseek and sometimes work in
other search engines)....
Capitalize names (and titles). For example, to search for the actor Rock Hudson, type:
Rock Hudson
If you accidentally type -
rock hudson
the computer will think you're also interested in rock-climbing along the Hudson River and rock
music there.
Use quotation marks around phrases. For example, to search for the phrase "read my lips"
(uttered by President George Bush and repeated by other politicians afterwards), type:
"read my lips"
If you omit the quotation marks, the computer will think you're interested in all pages containing
the words "read" and "my" and "lips", not necessarily in that order. For example, you'll get pages
about teaching deaf people to do lip-reading.
To search for stupid pet tricks (on TV shows such as David Letterman's), type:
"stupid pet tricks"
If you omit the quotation marks, the computer will think you're also interested in how to play
tricks on stupid pets.
Instead of typing just a single word, type a list of SEVERAL words. In that list, put a plus sign in
front of each word you REQUIRE, and put a minus sign in front of each word that you FORBID
(do NOT want). For example, suppose you want to search for pythons, which are a kind of snake.
If you type just -
python
you'll get info about python snakes but also info about a programming language called Python and
a comedy group called Monty Python. To get info on just python snakes, try -
python -monty
(which gets you most pythons but eliminates any pages that mention Monty) or say -
python -monty -Python
(which gets you most pythons but not Monty and not capitalized Python) or say -
python snake
(which gets you any page that mentions pythons or snakes a lot) or say -
+python snake
(where the plus sign means you insist on seeing just pages that mention pythons, and of the
python pages you prefer to see first the ones that also mention snakes a lot).
To be very restrictive, tell the computer to show you a page just if that page mentions both
pythons and snakes on the same page. To do that, say -
+python +snake
or:
python|snake
(To type the symbol "|", tap the "\" key while holding down the SHIFT key. That symbol works in
Infoseek but not in most other search engines.)
To search for several capitalized names, put commas between them. For example, to search for
pages that mention two famous clowns, "Bozo" and "Ronald McDonald", say:
Bozo, Ronald McDonald
If you omit the comma, the computer will search for somebody named "Bozo Ronald McDonald"
and not find him.
Remember that the Internet is huge. For a typical topic, the search engine will find thousands of
pages about it. For the most popular topics, the search engine will find millions of pages.
If you try to fool the search engine by typing a fake topic (such as a nonsense syllable), you'll be
surprised: the search engine will typically inform you that the topic was already invented by others
and will show you several pages about it (because it turns out to be the name of some rock band,
or some organization's initials, or some word in a foreign language).
You can try other search engines. Here's a list of popular search engines:
Search engine            Address
Yahoo                                   www.yahoo.com
Excite                                       www.excite.com
Infoseek                                www.infoseek.com
AltaVista                          www.altavista.com
Lycos                                        www.lycos.com
WebCrawler                         www.webcrawler.com
HotBot                                  www.hotbot.com
Magellan                           www.mckinley.com
Galaxy                                  galaxy.tradewave.com
Infoseek does the best job of deducing which sites are the most relevant. AltaVista (invented by
Digital Equipment Corporation) runs the fastest and finds the most sites but does a poor job of
deducing which of the found sites are most relevant.
A metasearch site called All4One (www.all4one.com) splits your screen into four frames, where it
runs 4 search engines simultaneously (Yahoo, AltaVista, Lycos, and WebCrawler). A metasearch
site called MetaCrawler (www.metacrawler.com) is more sophisticated: it runs 7 search engines
simultaneously (Yahoo, Excite, AltaVista, WebCrawler, Lycos, HotBot, and Galaxy) in a single
frame and combines their results into a single list. Too bad those metasearch sites don't include
Infoseek, which is the best!
Subject-tree method You see a list of broad topics (on the main page of Yahoo, Excite, Infoseek,
WebCrawler, Magellan, or Galaxy). That list is called the subject tree of knowledge (because it's
as tempting as the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden). Click on whichever broad topic
interests you. Then you see a list of that topic's branches (subtopics). Click whenever subtopic
interests you. Then you see a list of subsubtopics (twigs). Click whichever subsubtopic interests
you. Keep clicking until you finally zero in on the very specific topic that interests you the most:
it's the fruit of your search!
Yahoo has the best subject tree. But to get different perspectives on the topic that interests you,
also try the subject trees provided by Yahoo's competitors.
Address-box method Give your friends a sheet of paper and ask them to jot down the addresses of
their favorite Web pages. (Or get lists of nifty Web addresses by reading computer books,
magazines, newspaper articles, or ads.)

For example, here's a list of popular Web sites. For each site, I give its title, a comment about the
site, and the site's Web address:
Launch sites for beginners              Comment                                                                                             Web address
     Get Hooked on the Internet                   a springboard to many interesting
sites                                   stingray.ess.harris.com/gethooked.html
     Miss Nikita's Parlor                                   many links and
interesting things to do                               puffin.ptialaska.net/~pongo/parlor
     Berit's Best Sites for Children              links to many fun sites appropriate
for kids                      www.cochran.com/theosite/ksites.html
     Cool Site of the Day                                   a different Web site
each day                                                    www.infi.net/cool.html
     Wall O' Shame                                               strange but true tidbits from news & ads                              www.milk.com/wall-o-shame
     Alt.Culture                                                      a guide to 90's alternative culture                                             www.altculture.com/home.shtml
Solid writing
     Alice's Adventures in Wonderland   classic tale plus animation, great background music    www.megabrands.com/alice
     Complete Works of Shakespeare      all of Shakespeare's works, Web style                                 the-tech.mit.edu/shakespeare/works.html
     Bartlett's Familiar Quotations               browse by name or search for quotes by
keywords       www.columbia.edu/acis/bartleby/bartlett
     Inkspot: Resources for Writers               how to get started, improve your
writing, & sell it       www.inkspot.com/~ohi/inkspot
Comic quips
     Woody Allen Quotes                                hundreds of quotes
from his best movies                              www.idt.unit.no/~torp/woody/lines.html
     Steven Wright                                               a
collection of his best one-liners                                               meer.net/~mtoy/steven_wright.html
     The "Wisdom" of Dan Quayle              a collection of his more "interesting"
sayings                  www.concentric.net/~salisar/quayle.html
     Abuse-A-Tron                                                automatically generates insults using finest English   www.xe.net/upstart/abuse
     Longest List of "Yo momma"Jokes    compiled by British kid; spelt rong, but hoo cairz?         www.pobox.co.uk/jgrj/yomomma/index.htm
Word games
     Madlibs                                                               fill in the blanks to make up a story                                      www.mit.edu:8001/madlib
     Riddle du Jour                                              a new riddle each day, with fun prizes                                www.dujour.com
TV
     TV Guide Online                                             many
articles, check TV listings for next 2 weeks      www.tvguide.com/tv
     Internet TV Resource Guide                   links to Internet sites for TV shows,
networks, actors    www.teleport.com/~celinc/tv.shtml
     Comedy Central Online                             cable TV's fun show,
plus Politically Incorrect              www.comcentral.com
     Seinfeld                                                              lots of audio & pictures, mock interview with Jerry    www.execpc.com/~bogambo/seinfeld.html
     The X-Files                                                      loaded with info about the hit TV show                                www.thex-files.com
Movies
     Internet Movie Database                      huge searchable database of
movie facts                             www.msstate.edu/movies/search.html
     Hollywood Online                                       Hollywood
news, movie reviews, promotions                   www.hollywood.com
     6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon                     connect any actor to Kevin
Bacon within 6 movies         www.fas.harvard.edu/~sasalm/sdokb
Music
     Rock and Roll Hall of Fame                   today in rock history, inductee info,
media clips              www.rockhall.com
     The Beatles                                                      Beatles trivia game, audio clips, reference library         www.primenet.com/~dhaber/beatles.html
     Classical MIDI Archives                      your favorite classical pieces;
160 megs of sound        www.prs.net/midi.html
     Sleaze                                                                     music and entertainment gossip updated daily                metaverse.com/vibe/sleaze
Food
     Recipe Archives                                             links to
hundreds of cookbook Web pages                         www.nova.edu/inter-links/fun/food.html
     Godiva Chocolatier                                     recipes,
history, and other tidbits about chocolate        www.godiva.com
     The Spam Haiku Archive                       haiku devoted to that
glistening food of foods                www.naic.edu/~jcho/spam/sha.html
Science
     Bill Nye the Science Guy                     info & merchandise, science
"demo of the day"             nyelabs.kcts.org
     NASA Spacelink                                         learn
about space from the experts                                          spacelink.msfc.nasa.gov
Job search
     America's Job Bank                                over 300,000 jobs                                                                              www.ajb.dni.us
     Career Path                                                      over 136,000 jobs                                                                              www.careerpath.com
     The MonsterBoard                                       over 50,000
jobs; post your résumé online                     www.monster.com
     Online Career Center                                   over 32,000 jobs; post
your résumé online                      www.occ.com
Phone numbers
     Switchboard                                                      white pages, fast & easy to use                                                      www.switchboard.com
     Four11                                                                white pages, also find who lives on your street                  www.four11.com
     InfoSpace                                                        white pages, accurate, with maps&driving directions    www.infospace.com
     555-1212.com                                                metasite searches Switchboard, Four11, & InfoSpace     www.555-1212.com
     BigBook                                                          yellow pages, with maps & driving directions                www.bigbook.com
News
     CNN Interactive                                             Cable
Network News                                                                         www.cnn.com
     USA Today                                                   USA's biggest newspaper                                                              www.usatoday.com
     New York Times                                         USA's
most prestigious newspaper                                            www.nytimes.com
     WebWeather                                                       weather forecasts for cities all over the USA                         www.princeton.edu/webweather/ww.html
     ESPNet SportsZone                                 sports articles, scores,
and updates from ESPN                   espnet.sportszone.com
Reference
     Reference.Com                                          a great
all-around reference site                                                  www.reference.com
     Deb&Jen's Land O' Useless Facts    bizarre trivia submitted by readers                                             www-leland.stanford.edu/~jenkg/useless.html
     CIA World Factbook                                facts and statistics
about every country in the world   www.odci.gov/cia/publications/95fact/index.html
     Library of Congress                               search the Library of
Congress database                            lcweb.loc.gov/homepage/lchp.html
     Internet Public Library                           youth&teen divisions,
library of links, online books     www.ipl.org
     Amazon.com Books                                  world's biggest online
bookstore; fast searches           www.amazon.com
City secrets
     Excite City.Net                                             interactive maps and info about most cities                      www.city.net
     Boston.com                                                       all about Boston, run by Boston Globe newspaper        www.boston.com
     Las Vegas                                                        accommodations, casinos, show schedules, more          www.vegas.com/vegas/lasvegas.html
Government
     The White House                                             presidential info, history, tour, guide to fed services     www.whitehouse.gov
     Hillary Clinton's Hair                                 see the many styles of
our First Lady's hair                        hillaryshair.com
     Social Security Administration               frequently asked questions, statistics,
info, links              www.ssa.gov
     US Census Information                             population and
economic statistics and facts                     www.census.gov
     The British Monarchy                              the queen, her dogs, and the
relatives who dog her         www.royal.gov.uk
Illegal activities
     WWW Speedtrap Registry                  lists police radar speed traps by state                                    www.nashville.net/speedtrap
     The World Sex Guide                               reports on prostitution
in many cities & countries         www.paranoia.com/faq/prostitution
Computer culture
     Tech Support Stories                                   funny "war stories"
from the tech-support trenches          www.azstarnet.com/~sean/short.html
     Quantex Microsystems                              great place to buy a
computer; fun links too                      www.qtx.com

Type one of those addresses in the address box. (If you're using Explorer 2 or Navigator 2, you
must type "http://" before any address that doesn't begin with "www".) Then press ENTER.
To understand how addresses work, consider the address for "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland",
which is:
http://www.megabrands.com/alice/
The address's first part ("http://") is called the protocol.
The address's next part ("www.megabrands.com") is called the domain name; it tells you which
computer on the Internet contains the info. The typical domain name begins with "www.", then
has the name of a company (such as "megabrands"). The domain name's ending (called the
top-level domain) is typically ".com", which means "USA commercial company". Some addresses
have different top-level domains:
Top-level domain    Meaning
               .com                     USA commercial company
               .org                     USA organization, typically
non-profit
               .gov                     USA government agency
               .mil                     USA military
               .edu                     USA educational institution
               .net                     USA network resource
               .us                           USA in general
               .au                           Australia
               .br                           Brazil
               .ca                           Canada
               .cn                           China
               .es                           EspaĄa (Spain)
               .fi                           Finland
               .fr                           France
               .de                           Deutschland (Germany)
               .dk                           Denmark
               .il                           Israel
               .it                           Italy
               .in                           India
               .it                           Italy
               .jp                           Japan
               .mx                           Mexico
               .no                           Norway
               .nz                           New Zealand
               .ru                           Russia
               .se                           Sweden
               .tw                           Taiwan
               .uk                           United Kingdom (Great
Britain & Northern Ireland)
The rest of the address (such as "/alice/") is called the page name; it tells which file on the
computer contains the page you requested.
Type each address carefully:
While typing an address, never put a space in the middle.
Watch your punctuation. The typical address will contain a dot (.) and a slash (/). An address can
also contain a hyphen (-) or squiggle (~). Addresses never contain commas, backslashes, or
apostrophes.
Type small letters (uncapitalized) for the typical address, since capitalized page names are rare.
(The computer doesn't care whether you capitalize the protocol and domain name.)

Delays
The computer might take a long time to switch from one page to another.
Near the screen's top right corner, you see a logo. (In Navigator, the logo is a big N. In Explorer
2, the logo is a stained-glass window in the sky).
While the computer is switching to a new page, the computer amuses you by animating the logo.
(You see shooting stars behind the big N or see clouds moving behind the stained-glass window.)
Near the Start button (at the screen's bottom left corner), the computer prints messages about the
switch. At the screen's bottom right corner, the red lights turn green while data is being
transmitted; they remain red while your computer waits for the other computer to pay attention.
How to stop If the switch is taking a long time and you don't want to wait for it to finish, click the
Stop button. That makes the computer stop the switching.
"Switching pages" is called loading a new page. When you click the Stop button, here's what
happens:
If the computer has nearly finished loading the new page,
the computer shows you most of the new page.
If the computer has not nearly finished loading the new page,
the computer shows you the previous page.
Disconnect
You might get interrupted by a window that suddenly appears and says "Connection was
terminated". That means a computer accidentally disconnected you from the Internet.
Click the "Reconnect" button. Your computer will say, "Connected". Then hide the Connected
window by clicking its minimize button (which is left of the X and resize buttons).
Print
While you're examining a page, here's how to print a copy of it onto paper.
Click the Print button. (In Explorer 2, it's under the word "Edit".) Then press ENTER. That
makes your printer print the entire page - even the part of the page that goes below the screen's
bottom edge and doesn't fit on the screen.
Changing the home page
When you first buy Explorer or Navigator, here's what happens:
Navigator assumes you want the home page to be "http://home.netscape.com/".
Explorer 2     assumes you want the home page to be "http://www.msn.com/".
Explorer 3     assumes you want the home page to be "http://home.microsoft.com/".
But you can change the assumption, and make the start page be anything you want! Here's how:
Explorer Which page do you want to become the start page? Get that page onto your screen (so
you can admire it), then click "View", then "Options", then "Navigation", then "Use Current",
then "OK".
(Instead of saying "Navigation", Explorer 2 says "Start and Search Pages".)
Navigator On the screen's top menu bar, click Options. Then click General Preferences, then
Appearance. If you want the home page to be just a blank page, click Blank Page; if you want the
home page to be "http://www.yahoo.com/", click Home Page Location instead, then press the
TAB key, then type:
http://www.yahoo.com/
Finally, press ENTER.

Finish
When you finish using Explorer or Navigator, close its window (by clicking its X box).
For Navigator, do this:
If the taskbar (at the screen's bottom) still shows the name of your Internet provider (such as
"Galaxy"), click that name and then click "Disconnect".
For Explorer 3, do this:
If the History window appears, close it (by clicking its X box). If the taskbar (at the screen's
bottom) still shows the name of your Internet provider (such as "Galaxy"), click that name and
then click "Disconnect".
For Explorer 2, do this:
If the History window appears, close it (by clicking its X box). If the computer asks, "Do you
want to close the connection to Galaxy?", press ENTER.
Does the taskbar (at the screen's bottom) still show the name of your Internet provider (such as
"Galaxy")? If so, the name will probably disappear within 15 seconds. If the name does not
disappear by then, make it disappear by doing this: click that name then click "Disconnect".

Electronic mail
Another popular Internet activity is to send electronic mail (e-mail). An e-mail message imitates a
regular letter or postcard but is transmitted electronically so you don't have to lick a stamp, don't
have to walk to the mailbox to send it, and don't have to wait for the letter to be processed by the
postal system.
E-mail zips through the Internet at lightning speed, so a letter sent from Japan to the United
States takes just minutes (sometimes even seconds) to reach its destination. Unlike regular mail,
which the Post Office usually delivers just once a day, e-mail can arrive anytime, day or night. If
your friends try to send you e-mail messages while your computer is turned off, your Internet
service provider will hold their messages for you until you turn your computer back on and
reconnect to the Internet.
Since sending e-mail is so much faster than using the Post Office (which is about as slow as a
snail), the Post Office's mail is nicknamed snail mail. Yes, e-mail travels fast, typically takes just a
few minutes to reach its destination, and is usually free; snail mail travels slowly, typically takes
several days to reach its destination, and usually costs 32 cents (for a stamp) plus money for paper
and an envelope. So if your friend promises to send you a letter "soon", ask "Are you going to
send it by e-mail or snail mail?"
An "e-mail message" is sometimes called just "an e-mail". Instead of saying "I sent three e-mail
messages", an expert says "I sent three e-mails".
To use e-mail, you need a program called an e-mail client. The most popular e-mail clients are
Netscape Mail (which is part of  Netscape's Navigator) and Internet Mail (which is part of
Microsoft's Internet Explorer 3).
I'll explain how to use those e-mail clients. (If you're using Explorer 2, which includes no e-mail
client, switch to Explorer 3.)
Running
Here's how to start using e-mail.
Navigator When you're running Navigator, the screen's bottom right corner shows the time. Just
above the time, you see the mail icon, which looks like the back of an envelope. To use e-mail,
click that icon.
You'll see the Netscape Mail window. In front of it, you'll probably see a notice saying "No new
messages on server" (which means nobody's sent you any electronic mail recently). When you
finish reading that notice, make it go away by pressing ENTER. If the Netscape Mail window
doesn't consume the whole screen yet, maximize the window (by clicking the window's resize
button, which is next to the X button).
The window is then divided into three windowpanes. The top left windowpane has 3 icons: Inbox
(which holds mail that other people have sent you), Sent (which holds copies of mail you've sent
to other people), and Trash (which holds messages you're deleting).
Explorer 3 When you're running Explorer 3, you see a Mail button at the top of the screen. Click
that button, then click "Read Mail".
You'll see the Internet Mail window. If the Internet Mail window doesn't consume the whole
screen yet, maximize the window (by clicking the window's resize button, which is next to the X
button).
If you haven't used Explorer 3 before, tell it you want all e-mail transmissions to be automated!
Here's how:
Click "Mail" (which is next to the word  "View") then "Options". Put a check mark in front of
"Send messages immediately" (by clicking there).
Click "Read" (which is near the top of the screen). Put a check mark in front of "Check for new
messages" (by clicking there).
Press ENTER.
Incoming mail
Here's how to handle incoming mail.
Navigator Click the Inbox icon. Then the top right windowpane shows a list of all e-mail
messages that other people have sent you. For each message, the list shows the sender (who the
message is from), the message's subject (what the message is about), and the date (when the
message was sent).

The first time Netscape Navigator is used on your computer, the top right windowpane shows
you've received a message from "Mozilla", who is Netscape Corporation's mascot. After you've
used Netscape Navigator awhile, you'll probably received additional messages, from your friends!
Here's how to deal with a long list of messages:
If there are too many messages to fit in the windowpane, view the rest of the messages by
pressing that windowpane's scroll-down arrow (the symbol ( at the windowpane's bottom right
corner).
Messages you haven't read yet are listed in bold type and have a green diamond.
In what order do the messages appear? If you click the word "Date", the messages are listed by
date (in chronological order); if you click the word "Sender" instead, the messages are listed by
the sender's name (in alphabetical order). Clicking "Date" is typically more useful than clicking
"Sender".
Look in the top right windowpane, at the list of messages you received. Decide which message
you want to read, and click the sender's name. Then the bottom windowpane starts showing you
the complete message. Read it.
The complete message is probably too long to fit in the bottom windowpane. To see the rest of
the message, press that windowpane's scroll-down arrow (the symbol ( at the windowpane's
bottom right corner).
Another way to see the rest of the message is to adjust the gray bar that separates the bottom
windowpane from the upper windowpanes: drag that bar up, so the bottom windowpane becomes
bigger and you can see more in it.
Explorer 3 In the Folders box, make sure you see "Inbox". (If you don't, click in the Folders box,
then click "Inbox".)
The screen is divided into two white windowpanes. The top white windowpane shows a list of all
e-mail messages that other people have sent you. For each message, the list shows who the
message is from (the sender's name), the message's subject (what the message is about), and when
the message was received (the date and time).
The first time Microsoft's Explorer 3 is used on your computer, the top windowpane shows
you've received a message from "Microsoft Internet Mail...and News Team". After you've used
Explorer 3 awhile, you'll probably receive additional messages, from your friends!
Here's how to deal with a long list of messages:
Each message is initially listed in bold type and shows a picture of a sealed envelope. If you spend
at least 5 seconds looking at a message's details, that message becomes unbolded and its envelope
becomes opened.
If there are too many messages to fit in the windowpane, view the rest of the messages by
pressing that windowpane's scroll-down arrow (the symbol ( at the windowpane's bottom right
corner).
In what order do the messages appear? If you click the word "Received", the messages are listed
in the order received (in chronological order); if you click the word "From" instead, the messages
are listed by the sender's name (in alphabetical order). Clicking "Received" is typically more useful
than clicking "From". When you click the word "Received" or "From", a triangle appears next to
that word. If you click that same word again, the triangle flips upside-down - and so does the list.
For example, suppose the triangle is next to the word "Received": if the triangle points down, the
messages are listed from newest to oldest; if the triangle points up instead, the messages are listed
from oldest to newest.
Look in the top white windowpane, at the list of messages you received. Decide which message
you want to read, and click that person's name. Then the bottom white windowpane shows you
the message the person typed. Read it.
The message is probably too long to fit in the bottom white windowpane. To see the rest of the
message, press its scroll-down arrow (the symbol ( at the windowpane's bottom right corner).
Look in the top right windowpane, at the list of messages you received. Decide which message
you want to read, and click the sender's name. Then the bottom windowpane starts showing you
the complete message. Read it.
The complete message is probably too long to fit in the bottom windowpane. To see the rest of
the message, press that windowpane's scroll-down arrow (the symbol ( at the windowpane's
bottom right corner).
How to send mail
To write an e-mail message, perform 5 steps.
Step 1: get the window Click the New Message button. (Navigator calls it the To:Mail button.)
You'll see the New Message window. (Navigator calls it the Message Composition window.)
Step 2: choose a recipient To whom do you want to send the message? To send an e-mail
message to a person, you must find out that person's e-mail address. For example, if you want to
send an e-mail message to me, you need to know that my e-mail address is "poo@gis.net".
For the Internet, each e-mail address contains the symbol "@", which is pronounced "at". For
example, my Internet address, "poo@gis.net", is pronounced "poo at G I S dot net".
To find out the e-mail addresses of your friends and other people, ask them (by chatting with
them in person or by phoning them or by sending them snail-mail postcards). Another way to
discover e-mail addresses is to use Bigfoot, which is a World Wide Web site that searches for
e-mail addresses: tell Navigator or Explorer to go to "www.bigfoot.com".
If you send e-mail to the following celebrities and nuts, they'll probably read what you wrote,
though they might not have enough time to write back:
Comic actors             Comment                            E-mail address
     David Letterman          CBS's "Late Show"        lateshow@pipeline.com
     Tim Allen                     Home Your Great New Jersey Web Sitement         tim@morepower.com
     Adam Sandler             Saturday Night Live      sandler@cris.com
     Rodney Dangerfield  says gets "no respect"        rodney@rodney.com
     Paula Poundstone    stand-up comedienne      paula@mojones.com
Dramatic actors
     Adam West                     the original Batman           AdamBatman@aol.com
     Wesley Snipes            black action-hero                  herukush@aol.com
     Brad Pitt                     heartthrob                                   ciaobox@msn.com
     James Woods              plays a psychopath            jameswoods@aol.com
Politicians
     Bill Clinton                  President of USA                   president@whitehouse.gov
     Hillary Clinton               First Lady of USA             first.lady@whitehouse.gov
     Al Gore                            Vice-President of USA    vice.president@whitehouse.gov
     Newt Gingrich            Speaker of the House          georgia6@hr.house.gov
     Ted Kennedy              Senator                                      senator@kennedy.senate.gov
     Ross Perot                         Presidential candidate        71511.460@compuserve.com
Reporters & commentators
     Tom Brokaw                    NBC news anchorman  anchornightly@nbc.com
     Dave Barry                    syndicated columnist          73314.722@compuserve.com
     Rush Limbaugh       conservative talk-show   70277.2502@compuserve.com
     Bill Nye                           PBS's "Science Guy"      billnye@nyelabs.com
Authors
     Tom Clancy                    writes spy thrillers               tomclancy@aol.com
     Robert Fulghum      pop philosopher                    70771.763@compuserve.com
     Russ Walter                   nut, wrote this book          poo@gis.net
     Len Pallazola            less nutty, helped Russ  LenPal@bigfoot.com
     John Levine                   "Internet for Dummies"   ninternet@dummies.com
Singers
     Madonna                       pop & sexy                              madonna@wbr.com
     Amy Grant                pop & Christian                    LoriMc4FOA@aol.com
     Ted Nugent                    1970's classic rock           75162.2032@compuserve.com
     Joe Walsh                     classic rock, in Eagles  raycraft@post.avnet.co.uk
Warning: people often change their e-mail addresses, so don't be surprised if your message comes
back, marked undeliverable.
Type the e-mail address of the person to whom you want to send your message. If you're a shy
beginner who's nervous about bothering people, try sending an e-mail message to a close friend or
me or yourself. Sending an e-mail message to yourself is called "doing a Fats Waller", since he
was the first singer to popularize this song:
"Gonna sit right down and write myself a letter,
And make believe it came from you!"
If you send an e-mail message to me, I'll read it (unless my e-mail address has changed) and try to
send you a reply, but be patient (since I check my e-mail just a few times per week) and avoid
asking for computer advice (since I give advice just by regular phone calls at 617-666-2666, not
by e-mail).
At the end of the e-mail address, press the TAB key TWICE.
Step 3: choose a subject Type a phrase summarizing the subject (such as "let's lunch" or "I'm
testing"). At the end of that typing, press the TAB key again.
Step 4: type the message Go ahead: type the message, such as "Let's have lunch together in
Antarctica tomorrow!" or "I'm testing my e-mail system, so please tell me whether you received
this test message." Your message can be as long as you wish - many paragraphs! Type the
message as if you were using a word processor. For example, press the ENTER key just when
you reach the end of a paragraph. If you wish, maximize the window you're typing in (by clicking
the window's resize button, which is next to the X button).
Step 5: send the message When you finish typing the message, click the Send button (which looks
like a flying envelope).
The window you typed in will close automatically. (If you're using Navigator, you might have to
wait one or two minutes for the window to close. Be patient.)
Smiley's pals
Here's a picture of a smiling face:


It's called a smiley. If you rotate that face 90°, it looks like this:
:-)
People writing e-mail messages often type that symbol to mean "I'm smiling; I'm just kidding".
For example, suppose you want to tell President Clinton that you disagree with his speech. If you
communicate the old-fashioned way, with pencil and paper, you'll probably begin like this:
Dear Mr. President,
I'm somewhat distressed at your recent policy announcement.
But people who communicate by e-mail tend to be more blunt:
Hey, Bill!
  You really blew that speech. Jeez! Your policy stinks. You should be boiled in oil, or at least
paddled with a floppy disk. :-)
The symbol ":-)" means "I'm just kidding". That symbol's important. Forgot to include it? Then
poor Bill, worried about getting boiled in oil, might have the Secret Service arrest you for plotting
an assassination.

The smiley, ":-)", has many variations:
Symbol    Meaning
:-)                 I'm smiling.
:-(                 I'm frowning.
:-<                 I'm real sad.
:-c                 I'm bummed out.
:-C                 I'm really bummed out!
:-I                 I'm grim.
:-/                 I'm skeptical.
:-7                 I'm smirking because I made a wry statement.
:->                 I have a devilish grin.
:-D                 I'm laughing.
:-o                 I'm shouting.
:-O                 I'm shouting really loud.
:-@                 I'm screaming.
:-8                 I talk from both sides of my mouth.
:-p                 I'm sticking my tongue out at you.
:-P                 I'm being tongue-in-cheek.
:-&                 I'm tongue-tied.
:-9                 I'm licking my lips.
:-*                 My lips pucker for a kiss or pickle.
:-x                 My lips are sealed.
:-#                 I wear braces.
:-$                 My mouth is wired shut.
:-?                 I smoke a pipe.
:-}                 I have a beard.
:-B                 I have buck teeth.
:-[                 I'm a vampire.
:-{}           I wear lipstick.
:-{)           I have a mustache.
:-~)           My nose runs.
:-)~           I'm drooling.
:-)-8          I have big breasts.
:*)                 I'm drunk.
:^)                 My nose is broken.
:~I                 I'm smoking.
:/i                 No smoking!
:~j                 I'm smoking and smiling.
:'-(           I'm crying.
:'-)           I'm so happy, I'm crying.
:)                  I'm a midget.
;-)                 I'm winking.
.-)                 I have just one eye,
,-)                 but I'm winking it.
?-)                 I have a black eye.
%-)                 I'm dizzy from staring at the screen too long.
8-)                 I wear glasses.
B-)                 I wear cool shades, man.
g-)                 I wear pince-nez glasses.
P-)                 I'm a pirate.
O-)                 I'm a scuba diver.
|-O                 I'm yawning.
|^O                 I'm snoring.
X-(                 I just died.
8:-)           My glasses are on my forehead.
B:-)           My sunglasses are on my forehead.
O:-)           I'm an angel.
+:-)           I'm a priest.
[:-)           I'm wearing a Walkman.
&:-)           I have curly hair.
@:-)           I have wavy hair.
8:-)           I have a bow in my hair.
{:-)           I wear a toupee,
}:-)           but the wind is blowing it off.
-:-)           I'm a punk rocker,
-:-(           but real punk rockers don't smile.
[:]                 I'm a robot.
3:]                 I'm your pet,
3:[                 but I growl.
}:->           I'm being devilish,
>;->           and lewdly winking.
=:-)           I'm a hosehead.
E-:-)          I'm a ham radio operator.
C=:-)          I'm a chef.
=|:-)=         I'm Uncle Sam.
<):-)          I'm a fireman.
*<:-)          I'm Santa Claus.
*:o)           I'm Bozo the clown.
<:I                 I'm a dunce.
(-:                 I'm a lefty.
Since those symbolic pictures (icons) help you emote, they're called emoticons (pronounced "ee
MOTE ee cons").

Acronyms
People writing e-mail messages often use these abbreviations:
Acronym        Meaning
                      I'm Grinning.
                I have a Big Grin.
               I have a Very Big Grin
LOL                      Laughing Out Loud
ROTFL               Rolling On The Floor Laughing
HHOJ                Ha Ha, Only Joking
TIC                      Tongue In Cheek
B4                       Before
L8R                      Later
CUL8R               See You Later 
TTYL                Talk To You Later
TTFN                Ta Ta For Now
BRB                      Be Right Back
JAM                      Just A Minute
RSN                      Real Soon Now
TIA                      Thanks In Advance
NRN                      No Reply Necessary
IMO                      In My Opinion
IMHO                In My Humble Opinion
FYI                      For Your Information
FAQ                      Frequently Asked Question
RTM                      Read The Manual
RTFM                Read The F***ing Manual
OIC                      Oh, I See
SITD                Still In The Dark
RUOK                Are You OK?
IRL                      In Real Life
BTDT                Been There, Done That
BTW                      By The Way
FWIW                For What It's Worth
IAE                      In Any Event
IOW                      In Other Words
OTOH                On The Other Hand
What messages did you send?
To check which messages you sent, do this:
If you're using Navigator, click the Sent folder (which is in top left windowpane).
If you're using Explorer 3, click in the Folders box, then click "Sent Items".
You'll see a list of messages you sent. For each message, the list shows the address you sent it to,
the message's subject, and when you sent it.
When you finish admiring that list, make the screen become normal again by doing this:
If you're using Navigator, click the Inbox folder (which is in top left windowpane).
If you're using Explorer 3, click in the Folders box, then click "Inbox".
Reply
While you're reading a message that somebody's sent you, here's how to reply.
Click the Reply to Author button (which Navigator calls the "Re:Mail" button). Then type your
reply.
While you type, the computer shows a copy of the message you're replying to. The copy has ">"
in front of each line. If you want to abridge that copy (so it doesn't clutter your screen), use your
mouse: drag across the part you want to delete, then press the DELETE key.
When you finish typing your reply, click the Send button (which looks like a flying envelope). The
computer will send your reply, along with your abridged copy of the message you're replying to.
Delete old messages
If you've received many messages, the list of messages you received becomes long. If you've sent
many messages, the list of messages you sent becomes long.
To reduce the clutter, delete the messages that no longer interest you.
Navigator Here's how to delete a message you received (or a copy of a message you sent): make
the message's name appear in the top right windowpane, then click the name (so it turns blue),
then press the DELETE key. 
That tells the computer you want to delete the message. The computer moves the message into
the Trash folder, which appears in the top left windowpane. (The Trash folder resembles
Windows 95's Recycle Bin.)
To find out what's in the Trash folder, click the Trash folder's icon. Then the Trash folder's
contents appear in the top right windowpane.
When you're 100% sure that you no longer want any of the messages that are in the Trash folder,
choose "Empty Trash Folder" from the File menu. Then all messages in the Trash folder vanish.
Explorer 3 Here's how to delete a message you received (or a copy of a message you sent): make
the message's name appear in the top windowpane, then click the name (so it turns blue), then
press the DELETE key.
That tells the computer you want to delete the message. The computer moves the message into
the Deleted Items folder (which resembles Windows 95's Recycle Bin).
To find out what's in the Deleted Items folder, click in the Folders box, then click "Deleted
Items". You'll see what's in the Delete Items folder: a list of the messages you deleted. When
you're 100% sure that you no longer want any of those messages, do this: click anywhere in that
list of messages, choose "Select All'' from the Edit menu (so all the messages turn blue), then
press the DELETE key, then click the Yes button. Then all messages in the Deleted Items folder
vanish.
Forward a message
While you're reading a message you received, here's how to send a copy of it to a friend.
Click the Forward button. Type your friend's e-mail address. At the end of that address, press the
TAB key 3 times.
Type a comment to your friend, such as "Here's a joke Mary sent me."
Below your typing, Explorer 3 shows a copy of the message you're forwarding; the copy has ">"
in front of each line. (If you're using Navigator, the message you're forwarding is sent as an
attachment instead.)
Click the Send button (which looks like a flying envelope).
Signature
At the bottom of your e-mail message, you can include a few lines that identify who you are.
Those lines are called your signature (or sig).
For example, your sig can include your full name, address, and phone number. You can mention
your office's address & phone number, but be cautious about revealing your home address &
phone number, since e-mail messages are often peeked at by strangers.
If you're employed, you might also wish to give your company's name, your title, and a disclaimer,
such as "The opinions I expressed aren't necessarily my employer's." You might also wish to
reveal your personality, by including your favorite saying (such as "Keep on truckin'" or "Power
to the people" or "May the Lord bless you" or "Turned on by Twinkies". But keep your sig short:
any sig containing more than 4 lines of text is considered an impolite waste of your reader's time.
Don't bother putting your e-mail address in your sig, since your e-mail address appears
automatically at the top of your message.
If you're using Explorer 3, here's how to easily put the same sig on all your e-mail messages:
On the menu bar at the top of the screen, click the word "Mail" (which is between "View" and
"Help". Then click "Options", then "Signature", then "Text".
Next to "Text", you see a white box. Click in that box's top left corner.
Press ENTER (so the top line of your sig will be blank). Type five dashes (so the second line of
your sig will be "-----") and press ENTER. Then type whatever words and numbers you want to
be in your sig (pressing the ENTER key at the end of each line).
Click "OK". Now the computer will automatically put that sig at the bottom of each message you
write.
While you edit a message, edit its sig! Customize its sig to match the rest of the message.
Send a file attachment
While you're writing a message, here's how to insert a file (such as a picture you drew in Paint, or
a document composed in WordPad or Microsoft Word).
Click the button that looks like a paper clip. (Explorer 3 calls it the Insert File button. Navigator
calls it the Attach button. If you're using Navigator, then click the Attach File button.)
Which file do you want to insert? Make its icon appear on the screen. (If its icon is not on the
screen because the computer is showing a different folder, do this: click the "(", then click the
hard disk's "C:" icon, then double-click the folders that the file is in.)
When the file's icon is finally on the screen, double-click that icon.
Here's what happens next:
Explorer 3: below the message you were writing, you should see your file's icon; make sure the
message and the file's icon are correct.
Nevigator: click "OK"; above the message you were writing, you should see your file's name;
make sure the message and the file's name are correct.
Finally, click the Send button (which looks like a flying envelope). That makes the computer send
the message and attached file.
Receive a file attachment
Here's what to do if a friend sends you a message that includes an attached file:
Navigator While you're reading the message, you'll see under it an icon labeled "Part 1.2". Click
that icon.
Explorer 3 Look at the Inbox's list of incoming messages. That list appears in the top white
windowpane.
In that windowpane, you'll see a paper clip before each message that includes an attached file. To
see the attached file, double-click the paper clip. (Make sure you double-click the paper clip that's
in the top white windowpane.)
You'll see the message. Under it you'll see the attached file's icon. Double-click that icon.
Final steps The computer will try to show you the pictures and words that are in the attached file,
by running the program that created the file. For example, if the file is a picture created by Paint,
the computer will try to run Paint; if the file is a document created by Microsoft Word, the
computer will try to run Microsoft Word. (If the file is a forwarded message created by
Navigator, no new program needs to run, since Explorer can imitate Navigator.)
When you finish looking at the pictures and words that are in the attached file, close whatever
program created it (such as Paint or Microsoft Word) by choosing Exit from the File menu. You'll
return to seeing the Navigator (or Explorer 3) screen.

Newsgroups
The three most popular uses of the Internet are the World Wide Web, electronic mail, and
newsgroups. You've already learned about the World Wide Web and electronic mail. Here's how
to use newsgroups.
To use newsgroups, you need a program called a news reader. The most popular news reader is
Netscape News, which is part of Netscape's Navigator. (Another news reader is Internet News,
which is part of Microsoft's Internet Explorer and too awkward to be worth discussing).
Netscape News
Here's how to use Netscape News.
While you're running Netscape's Navigator, do this: instead of typing a World Wide Web address
(which begins with "http://"), type a newsgroup address, which begins with "news:".
For example, contact the Funny newsgroup (which contains funny jokes), by typing this -
news:alt.humor.funny
and then pressing ENTER.
You see the "news:alt.humor.funny" window. Maximize it (by clicking its resize button), so it
consumes the whole screen.
The window then divides into three windowpanes, as if you were using e-mail. In the top right
windowpane, you see a list of people who sent messages to the "alt.humor.funny" newsgroup.
Click the person whose message you want to read. The screen's bottom windowpane will show
you the message's beginning; to read the rest of that message, press the scroll-down arrow.
When you finish using the newsgroup, close its window (by clicking its X box).
Deja News
To find out which newsgroups discuss your favorite topic, use the World Wide Web to go to
"www.dejanews.com", then double-click in the box called "Quick Search For", then type a topic
that interest you (and press ENTER). If the computer says "Security Information", press ENTER
again.
The computer will start printing a list of newsgroup messages about that topic. The list shows
each message's date, score (as to how relevant the message is to your topic), subject, the
newsgroup it came from, and who wrote it.
Decide which message you want to read. Then you can see its full text by clicking its underlined
subject; but before you click, scribble the newsgroup's name on a sheet of paper, for your future
pleasures!

Newsgroup directory
There are over 20,000 newsgroups! The average newsgroup generates 4 pages of new messages
per day; so altogether, newsgroups generate 80,000 pages of new messages per day! The
collection of all Internet newsgroups is called Usenet.
These newsgroups are popular:
Anthology fun
     Best                     the best from other newsgroups     alt.best.of.internet
     Best Humor          humor from other newsgroups        alt.humor.best-of-usenet
     Funny                         jokes and humorous discussions     rec.humor.funny
     Quotations               interesting quotations                            alt.quotations
Chat
     Personals           personal ads                                                alt.personals
     Pen Pals                 looking for pen pals                              soc.penpals
     Sex                           general discussion about sex            alt.sex
     Revenge                  ideas about getting revenge             alt.revenge
     Buddha                   weird chat based on Buddhism       alt.buddha.short.fat.guy
Debating what's real
     Rumors                   postings of rumors                                talk.rumors
     Urban Folklore debate which "facts" are true      alt.folklore.urban
     Conspiracy          conspiracy theories                               alt.conspiracy
     What If                  "what if" speculation                             alt.history.what-if
     Mythic Animals creatures of myth & fantasy             alt.mythology.mythic-animals
     Aliens                        discuss visitors from space             alt.alien.visitors
     Paranormal          psychic phenomena                                 alt.paranet.psi
Movies
     Movies                   discussion of movies                              rec.arts.movies
     Current Films  discussion of current movies            rec.arts.movies.current-films
Jobs
     Jobs                     job postings                                                misc.jobs.offered
     Computer Jobs  computer-related job postings      comp.jobs
Tips
     Free Stuff               how to get free stuff                             alt.consumers.free-stuff
     Writing                  help for writers                                            misc.writing
     Genealogy           research your roots                               soc.genealogy.surnames
     Cats                     all about cats                                              rec.pets.cats
     New Groups          new newsgroups forming                  news.announce.newgroups
Buying a computer
     For Sale                 computers for sale                                misc.forsale.computers.*
     New Products   new computer products                        comp.newprod
     Consultants         computer consultants                              alt.computer.consultants
Computers in general
     Comp Answers   general computer help         comp.answers
     IBM PC                   hardware & software           comp.sys.ibm.pc.misc
     2600                     hackers magazine                   alt.2600
     Homebuilt           general hardware                        alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt
     Systems                  motherboards & systems   comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.systems
     Storage                  hard disks &  tape drives     comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage
     Communication  modem software                     comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.comm
     PCMCIA              PCMCIA cards                            alt.periphs.pcmcia
     PC Hardware    other IBM-compatible          comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc
     Freeware            free software                                alt.comp.freeware
     Virus                         virus info                                        comp.virus
     Neural Nets         neural networks                         comp.ai.neural-nets
Visuals
     Video                         video cards & drivers              comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video
     Graphics            graphics programs                  comp.graphics.*
     Corel Graphics Corel graphics programs  alt.corel.graphics
     Clip Art                 free clip art                                alt.binaries.clip-art
Multimedia
     Multimedia          multimedia hardw&softw   comp.multimedia
     Publish CD          CD-ROM publishing             comp.publish.cdrom.*
     Sound Cards         sound cards                                  comp.sys.ibm.pc.soundcard.*
     Sounds                   free recorded sounds               alt.binaries.sounds.*
Computer games
     Games                    game hardware&software   comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.*
     Quake                         tips for winning at Quake     rec.games.computer.quake.playing
Windows
     Windows             Windows hardw&softw      comp.os.ms-windows.*
     Win 95 Crash   Windows 95 difficulties       alt.os.windows95.crash.crash.crash
Contribute
While you're reading a message, you can send a reply.
If you want the reply to be sent privately to the message's author, so just that author sees your
reply, click the Re:Mail button. That will send private mail to the author.
If instead you want your reply to be sent publicly, so everybody on the Internet can see your
reply, click the Re:News button instead. That will post your reply, so your reply becomes part of
the newsgroup.
If instead you want to start a whole new topic that's not a reply, so everybody on the Internet can
see your new topic and react to it, click the To:News button. That will post your new topic, so
your topic becomes part of the newsgroup.
Then your screen shows a form to fill in - the same kind of form used for writing e-mail. Fill in the
form, then click the Send button.
If you post a reply or a new topic, it will probably become part of the newsgroup. But some
newsgroups are moderated by a special person (the moderator), who decides which messages to
erase.
Netiquette
When you post a message, use proper Net etiquette, which is called Netiquette. The main rule of
Netiquette is: don't waste people's time!
Many people faithfully read their favorite newsgroups every day. If you post messages that are
useless or annoying, those readers will get angry, and their tempers can flare hot enough to make
them flame you (post angry messages about you or send you angry e-mail messages, called flame
mail). If you're a new user (newbie) who doesn't understand Netiquette yet, your posted messages
will probably receive flame mail.
Before posting a message, ask yourself these questions....
Will most people reading this newsgroup find your message worthwhile? Make sure your message
doesn't waste people's time. For example, don't post a message like this one -
Newsgroups: rec.guitar
Subject:    guitar plaiyer

My band is so cool. Tom wails. We reelly rock!
Instead, make the message appear newsworthy, like this -
Newsgroups: rec.guitar
Subject:    Free concert in Cambridge MA this Sunday

Hello, everyone! If you're in the Boston area, come to Harvard Square this Sunday to hear "Some
Assembly Required". The concert is free, but get there early because it'll get crowded fast! The
guitar player, Tom, is as close to brilliant as they come.
Does your subject line quickly describe what your message is about? The subject line helps people
quickly find messages that interest them. In the second example above, people who don't live near
Cambridge, MA, won't waste their time reading about a free concert there.
Am you posting your message to the appropriate newsgroup? The second example above is
appropriate for groups like rec.guitar and ne.announce (New England announcements). If you
post the same message to rec.music.artists.beach-boys, you'll get flamed.
Have you checked your spelling and grammar for embarrassing errors? Once you post a message,
it's too late to correct your mistakes. Your message, errors and all, will be available to millions.
Will many people be offended by your message? There are millions of people on the Internet. If
we're all going to get along, we must be careful about what we say.
208
Communication: Internet

219
Communication: Internet



Return To The The Secret Guide to Computers Main Menu

Return To The COMPUTERCRAFT Main Menu

Your Great New Jersey Web Site