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Welcome to the Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet.

The genesis of the Big Dummy's Guide was a few informal conversations, which included Mitch Kapor of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Steve Cisler of Apple Computer, Inc. in June of 1991. With the support of Apple Computer, EFF hired a writer (Adam Gaffin) and actually took on the project in September of 1991.

The idea was to write a guide to the Internet for folks who had little or no experience with network communications. We intended to post this Guide to ``the Net'' in ASCII and HyperCard formats and to give it away on disk, as well as have a print edition available for a nominal charge. With the consolidation of our offices to Washington, DC, we were able to put the Guide on a fast track. You're looking at the realization of our dreams -- version one of the Guide. At the time I'm writing this, we're still fishing around for a book publisher, so the hard-copy version has not yet been printed. We're hoping to update this Guide on a regular basis, so please feel free to send us your comments and corrections.

EFF would like to thank the folks at Apple, especially Steve Cisler of the Apple Library, for their support of our efforts to bring this Guide to you. We hope it helps you open up a whole new world, where new friends and experiences are sure to be yours.

Enjoy! @sp 1

@flushright Shari Steele @email{ssteele@eff.org} Director of Legal Services and Community Outreach Electronic Frontier Foundation July 15, 1993 @end flushright

G'day, folks!

I came across this guide while reading ``EFFector Online Volume 5 No. 15, 8/20/1993'' (A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, ISSN 1062-9424), that is available via @news{comp.org.eff.news} and immediately decided to get my hands on it. After browsing through the raw ASCII text file, I thought that such a useful thing, should have a more beautiful ``face'' (and fewer ``bugs'').

As Shari points out, the EFF is still ``fishing for a publisher.'' In other words, it's far from being clear when this guide will be available as hard copy, unless you want to print out the ``buggy'' ASCII file. Thus, I started over to make the bulk a Texinfo document, loosely modelled after Brendan Kehoe's @fyi{Zen and the Art of the Internet}, originally written for Widener University's, Computer Science Department, and later published as:

Kehoe, B.P. (1992) @fyi{Zen and the Art of the Internet: A Beginner's Guide to the Internet.} 2nd Edition (July). Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. 112 pages. The 1st Edition, (February, 2nd) is still available via anonymous ftp from @host{ftp.cs.widener.edu} and many other Internet archives.

It was the first comprehensive book on the Internet available. (Despite the ``traditional'' postings in @news{news.announce.newusers} originated by ex-net.god Gene Spafford of Purdue University and @news{news.answers} maintained by net.demi-god Janathan I. Kames of MIT).

Situation has changed dramatically, since. More and more books get into the stores, and hopefully facilitate the life of ``newbies.'' Just to mention two IMHO excellent examples: @emindex spaf@cs.purdue.edu @emindex jik@athena.mit.edu

Krol, E. (1992) @fyi{The Whole Internet: Catalog & User's Guide.} O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., Sebastopol, CA. 376 pages.

LaQuey, T. and Ryer, J.C. (1992) @fyi{The Internet Companion: A Beginner's Guide to Global Networking.} Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Reading, MA. 208 pages.

But, ``the Net'' in its present form would have never been evolved without the hundreds of un-paid volunteers (de facto Internet still is run on a voluntary basis), so here are my two cents: The output of 3 night-shift editing sessions of approximately 25 hours. The Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet is now available at your local laser printer...

See ya on the Net! @sp 1

@flushright Joerg Heitkoetter @email{joke@ls11.informatik.uni-dortmund.de} Systems Analysis Research Group, LSXI Department of Computer Science University of Dortmund, Germany @value{origin-date} @end flushright

@sp 1 p.s.: Although this guide is almost complete, and I really, really, honestly, don't have the time to go over it once again, feel free to report ``bugs'', or any inconsistencies you find. Drop me ``more quotes,'' further additions, requests for moral support, or ``whatever-you-want''... Just an e-mail away.

@sp 1 p.p.s.: I'd like to say a BIG ``thank you'' to Shari Steele, for her immediate excitement on this project. Adam Gaffin, who generously accepted my changes to his initial ASCII version. To Howard Rheingold, who let me include his article, now serving as superb afterword of long-year first hand experience in cyberspace (and yes, I mentioned your new book, Howard ;-)). Last, not least thanks to Bruce Sterling, who also ``gave away'' an article for free.

Again, Bernd Raichle courtesy of the University of Stuttgart, provided TeXpertize, when it was badly needed (see file specials.texi for your enlightment). BTW: Over the past 2 years, we've been doing some such projects, although we haven't met F2F, yet. This is one of the effects of the Net. (It thus should be termed ``Net effect''.) @emindex raichle@azu.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de

Additional thanks to Brendan Kehoe for the Texinfo release of @fyi{Zen}, from which I borrowed this and that. @emindex brendan@zen.org FYI: Brendan works on the 3rd editition of his book, and might be able to release the 2nd to the Net, depending on Prentice-Hall's legal attorneys. @sp 1 Thanks, folks!

@vskip 0pt plus 1filll @flushright ``It's kind of fun to do the impossible.''

--- Walt Disney

``If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.''

--- Sir Isaac Newton

``A work of art is never finished, only abandoned.''

--- Anonymous

``Not all German hackers work for the Russian KGB. Some even work for the American EFF!''

--- Anonymous @end flushright