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Chapter 1. The Online World

Chapter 1. The Online World

Today's online world has changed dramatically in the last decade. Back then, online to the average user meant a telephone connection directly to either another computer or to an online service, such as CompuServe or AOL. The Internet now dominates all online activity. In popular parlance, the Internet is synonymous with the World Wide Web, although it is much more, as we'll explain in this book.

The Internet can be described generally as a “network” of networks. It is a transportation vehicle for applications. In fact, the visual representations of the Net look like a road map. If lines are drawn between each connection, between larger and larger connections, and between smaller and smaller ones, the end result is a web of connections—a virtual road map.

This book is divided into four rough sections. The first is for beginners. It is to get anyone up to speed quickly with the information needed about the Web. Each chapter has recommended Web sites (to type the address, or Uniform Resource Locator [URL] into your Web browser) to help direct you.

The second section has more detailed information about downloads, email, security, and information on virus protection.

The third part is about how to create a Web site, Web tools, blogging, and what you can add to your Web site (such as streaming media, RSS feeds, and XML, among other things).

The fourth part is by far the densest. It is a collection of more technical information for the Web-savvy. There are chapters about how a modem works, networking, handhelds, remote access, Internet marketing, Web content management, peer to peer, the Web and the law, VoIP, and EIM.


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