[techbooks] REVIEW: "1999 Canadian Internet Handbook", Jim Carroll/Rick Broa
- BKCANINT.RVW 990109
"1999 Canadian Internet Handbook", Jim Carroll/Rick Broadhead, 1998,
0-13-974940-3 ISSN 1204-9034, C$27.95
%A Jim Carroll jcarroll@... www.jimcarroll.com
%A Rick Broadhead rickb@... www.rickbroadhead.com
%C Scarborough, Ontario
%G 0-13-974940-3 ISSN 1204-9034
%I Prentice Hall Canada
%O C$27.95 800-576-3800 416-293-3621 www.phcanada.com
%P 376 p. + CD-ROM
%T "1999 Canadian Internet Handbook"
Unlike the first five editions of this book, there is no tutorial or
introductory material to help you get onto the net. This is,
therefore, a fairly completely new book from those that have gone
before, and addresses a new and different audience. In fact, it may
be said to be four new books, since the structure divides the book
into four quite significantly differing topics.
Part one shows this departure from tradition by assuming not only that
you are on the net, but that you have your own Web site, and need to
evaluate it's effectiveness. Chapter one provides a checklist of some
technical questions and tools you can use to review your own site.
The points are fairly standard, but important. One topic which does
not get much mention is a focus on the objective and aim of your site.
Promotion is the aim of chapter two, and while it lists a number of
tricks to get you listed favorably in search engines, there is no
discussion of the many other ways you can use to net to get the word
out. (No, I am *not* talking about spam. Sheesh.) A number of
Webmasters are asked for advice in chapter three. The resulting
deluge of points has interesting bits, and is generally well chosen,
although it may look a bit chaotic.
Part two deals with some security topics. Chapter four, on malicious
software, seems to be somewhat disjointed. While I ultimately agreed
with most of the specific material, the overall impression seemed a
bit misleading, and I found few points which would be helpful in
protecting the average computer user. Backup is important, of course,
but chapter five looks at some tools for a very specific backup
problem, that of copying your Web site itself. Privacy concerns
expressed in chapter six may be legitimate, but are definitely
inflated. Again, the material is not terribly helpful, for example,
recommending the use of outside programs for cookie management without
explaining the simple browser configuration steps that can be taken to
eliminate the problem. Security is a complicated subject, and the
coverage of system cracking in chapter seven is just too simplistic.
Part three looks at making your net time more productive. Chapter
eight is a grab bag of random tips. An overview of methods for
increasing both real and apparent access speed is given in chapter
nine. Chapter ten looks at some tools for managing mail and Web
pages. Chapter eleven reviews remote access software and
videoconferencing. Query management tools for a variety of Web search
engines and directories are described in chapter twelve. Chapter
thirteen looks at personalizable news services.
Part four comes full circle in that it talks about enhancing the WEb
site that you assessed in part one. Chapter fourteen introduces
e-commerce programs. Audio and video additions are discussed in
A concluding chapter looks at the future of the net by extension from
the popularity of the Linux operating system.
From Alexander Graham Bell to Marshall McLuhan to X.25 to archie,
Canadians have been in the forefront of communications technology.
The question is, what makes this a specifically Canadian Internet
book. The answer, unfortunately, seems to lie solely in the
citizenship of the authors. Is it at least a handbook? Well,
generally a handbook is noted either for completeness of coverage of a
field, or small size and cogent facts. This book does not cover the
Internet in scope, concentrating almost completely on the Web, rather
than the net, and not even exhausting that. Nor is it an essential
minimum of information. It doesn't even have much focus.
There is good and useful information contained in the book. It is,
however, very difficult to find a specific audience that would benefit
from it. I note the assignment of an ISSN (International Standard
Serial Number) to it: perhaps one should best consider this to be the
latest issue of a magazine, presenting information that may be of
interest, but in no particular arrangement.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1994, 1999 BKCANINT.RVW 990109
rslade@... rslade@... robertslade@... p1@...
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