Part II

Internet Foundations

So far, we've looked at the Internet in the abstract only, and it's important that you have an overview of the world you are entering. Like all things electronic, however, the Internet is terribly picky about the details; you must know exactly what to type and where to click. Moreover, unlike on your friendly PC, on the Internet real people see what you type, so I also talk about the social customs of the Internet, the manners and mores that everyone eventually learns. And, because I hope the Internet becomes something about which you talk with friends, I try to pass on some of the jargon and modes of speech.

First off, then, you look at names, addresses, and email, in chapter 6, "Addressing and Email." This is followed by an exploration of Usenet news in chapter 7, "Usenet." Part II ends with chapter 8, "Internet Services," where I cover services available only if you have a full connection to the Internet. These are services such as FTP, Telnet, WAIS, Gopher, and the World Wide Web (although I also pass on some handy tricks for using Usenet, FTP, and Archie through email).

Keep in mind that this information is all background -- I don't tell you the specific details of how to deal with programs on the Internet or anything like that until Part III.

Text Styles

As a convention, I write all network addresses, whether they are only machine names or full email addresses, in this bold font. Note also that any punctuation following the address is not part of the address itself; instead, it's required by my seventh grade English teacher, who was adamant about ending clauses with commas and sentences with periods. Every now and then, I leave off a period when it confuses an address that ends a sentence, but the thought of her beet-red face (I'm sure she was very nice, but she reminded me of a lobster) looming over me always makes me add that period. So remember that addresses never have any punctuation at the end.

Commands that you type exactly as written look like this; when there is a variable that you have to fill in, it looks like this. So, TYPE this means to type the word TYPE, followed by whatever is appropriate for this: your name, a file name, a directory name, a machine name, or whatever.

Finally, any text that shows up as though it scrolled by on a terminal window connected to a Unix machine, appears in its own monospaced font, line-by-line, much like the following two lines.

To: The Reader 
Subject: Style conventions...

Chapter 6, "Addressing and Email"
Chapter 7, "Usenet"
Chapter 8, "Internet Services"