This is the first of the Visual Quickstart titles I've seen from Peachpit Press. The Glossbrenners have written many books about computers and the Internet and I was very pleased to see this one dealing with the art of searching the Internet and World Wide Web. Its a very timely subject as the Net and Web get more complex every day.
There is so much information available online that it is essential that we learn how to harvest it efficiently. This book is very unpretentious in size and price but has a lot of good solid knowledge and information on how to use these search utilities to your best advantage.
The majority of the chapters are short and to the point. Profuse illustrations show how to do the job. The Glossbrenners give us a lot of tips, tricks and techniques. Major utilities like Yahoo, AltaVista, Excite, Hotbot, Infoseek and Lycos are detailed with specific instructions on their use. Some of the lesser-known utilities are outlined such as DejaNews, Liszt, Argus and Four11 as well as a large chapter on how to search for everything from authors to zip codes. Most important, we learn which search utility to use for each specific job.
The appendices include a Search Engine quick reference, Internet domains and country codes, Usenet newsgroup hierarchies and a list of freeware/shareware programs that the authors consider useful. I particularly like the fact that there is no CD-ROM accompanying the book adding to the cost. These suggested shareware and freeware programs are available, either by downloading them from the Net. If you've done your homework you'll be able to find them or you may opt to purchase the two-disk set from the authors for $10.00. I prefer this approach because having these programs is an option and no one is forced to pay for them if they don't want or need them.
I found the Glossbrenners latest effort to be well written and presented as usual. This book is small enough to sit on my computer desk available at all times for reference yet big enough to cover well this important subject. I like Peachpit Press' concept of the Visual Quickstart guides because they are small in not intimidating so people will not be afraid to use them. And, at $17.00, the price is certainly very right.
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by Alfred Glossbrenner, Emily Glossbrenner List: $16.95
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Paperback, 228 pages
Published by Peachpit Pr
Publication date: October 1997
Dimensions (in inches): 0.58 x 8.92 x 7.00