This 1998 version of The Internet for Dummies will help you convert your isolated personal computer into a globally connected information-gathering machine. Best of all, the book gives you the information you need in the readable, friendly style typical of the Dummies series.
After singing the praises of the online world and offering some information about Internet risks (such as pornography), Levine, Baroudi, and Levine Young show you how to get connected. They explain America Online, Microsoft Network, CompuServe, and even WebTV in considerable depth, but surprisingly don't say much about the Internet Setup Wizards in Windows 95 and Windows 98.
Once the authors have you hooked up, they take you on a tour of Internet resources, including the Web, electronic mail, chat, and file transfers. While not all of the information on personalized Web resources is completely useful, the coverage is clear.
This book's real value is in its commentary on technical procedures. For example, when explaining the ins and outs of Internet shopping, the authors give you their opinions on the security of online transactions (claiming that they are generally safer than giving your card to a waiter in a restaurant).
The Internet for Dummies covers Internet Explorer 4, Outlook Express, Netscape Communicator 4, and Eudora Light. These programs appear on the companion CD-ROM along with software that helps you set up an account with MindSpring, an Internet service provider. --David Wall