REVIEW - How to Do (Just About) Anything on the Internet - Make the Internet Work for You—Great Advice for New Users and Seasoned Pros Alike

Title:

How to Do (Just About) Anything on the Internet - Make the Internet Work for You—Great Advice for New Users and Seasoned Pros Alike

Author:

Editors at Reader's Digest

ISBN:

9780276425608

Publisher:

Simon and Schuster (2002)

Pages:

288pp

Reviewer:

Silas S Brown

Reviewed:

June 2003

Rating:

★☆☆☆☆

This book is a shame. It is meant for complete beginners who want to buy a computer and jump on the Internet 'bandwagon' and it contains 350 pages of material that might appeal to them. However, in the name of simplification it contains many mistakes, especially near the beginning (which is the most important part of this kind of book). Besides factual errors (e.g. 'Internet' is NOT short for 'International Network'), confusing recommendations with requirements (e.g. they say 'you need 32Mb of RAM to go on the Internet') and the inevitable unspoken assumption that the entire world uses Windows PCs (it would only have taken a few sentences to acknowledge the existence of other platforms and to define the book's coverage more accurately), the book promotes questionable practices in the area of Web design and fails to adequately address legal issues when downloading music and so forth.

I could go on, but I couldn't bear any more of it. It is books like this that contribute to the large numbers of people who don't really know what they're doing on the Internet. I was given this book by a friend who had mistakenly purchased it from one of the Reader's Digest book-purchasing schemes. She asked me to sell it to someone, since I was 'in the trade'. I will do no such thing; even if someone would buy it (which is unlikely), I couldn't in good conscience pass on a book like this to anybody.

I hope they'll improve it in the next edition.


Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.