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Internet Starter Kit for Windows

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Internet Starter Kit for Windows by Adam C Engst & Corwin S Low & Michael A Simon
Not Recommended
ISBN: 1-56830-094-8       Publisher: Hayden       Pages: 608pp & disk       Price: £27-98
Categories:   internet    
Reviewed by Philip Kerrigan in C Vu 7-3 (Mar 1995)
Since this is a kit as much as a book I spent some time trying to use it (not always successfully). My failures had as much to do with the Internet (at least the Italian provider) as they did with the book. The Internet is still not ready for the man in the street to buy a kit and start using it. Unfortunately that is precisely for whom this book is intended.

This book is mainly by Adam C. Engst, who previously wrote The Internet Starter Kit for Macintosh, except for the parts dealing with installation of the supplied software (perhaps 25%) there is as far as I can tell no difference between the books. As a starter book the correct sort of ground is covered. An introduction to the Internet, how to use the provided software, how to connect to the Internet and how to find something interesting. However it is not done well. The first 100 pages are very wordy and 'Californian' in the pejorative sense, while instructions on using the software are not detailed enough for an inexperienced user to understand what is happening and some essential information (apart from what the service provider has to furnish) is missing. The last 300 pages list internet resources.

The software provided with the book is quite good and complete. A special version of NetManage's Chameleon software that includes ftp, telnet, a serial winsock, 3270 emulation, news and ping are provided, but with minimal documentation. In addition the disc contained Eudora 1.4 for mail and WS Gopher. The 1.4Mb disc is full and therefore no Mosaic or archie. When I got the software working it worked fine and it could well be a reason to buy the book if you are unable to find internet software elsewhere.

The book has a number of other deficiencies. MIME (multimedia mail), the World-wide web and Mosaic are scarcely mentioned. The 130 pages of the Newsgroup list should never have been included in the book, or at least only on disc, as it adds no value. The list of information providers is almost exclusively North American. The list of internet resources, while it can never be complete or satisfy everyone, has some notable absences, such as Microsoft and Project Gutenberg and there are no WWW URLs. Furthermore many pages are used in describing a great many other internet software packages that are not provided, with considerable overlap since they are described first by type of service and then by manufacturer.

The book includes 2 weeks free access to the Internet (but only from a number in Washington State) and an upgrade offer to the full NetManage Chameleon Package (but only while supplies last and without specifying if it applies outside the USA).

In short, avoid this book unless you desperately need a collection of internet software (however I think information providers frequently supply the necessary programs). Despite its size it is not sufficiently helpful to be worth the cost and no attempt whatsoever has been made to provide information that would be useful in Europe. Other Authors with the same surname

An Embedded Software Primer by David E Simon [Not Recommended]  (Reviewed Dec 2000)
Data Structures in C by Adam Drozdek & Donald Simon [Recommended]  (Reviewed Jan 1996)
Mother of All Windows 95 Books, The by Woody Leonhard & Barry Simon [Recommended]  (Reviewed May 1996)
Mother of All Windows 98 Books, The by W. Leonhard & B Simon [Highly Recommended]  (Reviewed Jan 1999)
VBScript Super Bible by Jinjer Simon  (Reviewed Mar 1998)
Windows NT WIN32 API Super Bible by Richard Simon  (Reviewed Jul 1997)

Last Update - 13 May 2001.

To link to this review, please use the URL: http://www.accu.org/bookreviews/public/reviews/i/i000663.htm

Copyright © The Association of C & C++ Users 1998-2000. All rights reserved.
Mirrored from http://www.accu.org/

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