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February 3, 2005

"Internet Annoyances": Go Online Without Going Crazy

Sebastopol, CA--Preston Gralla has been using the Internet since before the Web was invented, when to connect meant getting a "shell account" and typing incomprehensible UNIX commands to do simple things like get your email. But as Gralla observes, "Those days seem rosy compared to today, when spyware, pop-ups, scammers, and spam are everywhere; when broadband connections always seem to go on the fritz, wireless hotspots can drive you to distraction, and your wireless home network gets fried every time you turn on your microwave."

According to Gralla, the accumulated daily frustrations of using the Internet finally got to him: "One final pop-up ad pushed me over the edge. I jumped out of my chair shouted, 'I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!' and then sat down and started writing." The outcome? Internet Annoyances (O'Reilly, US $24.95), a book that will show you how to fix the most annoying things about going online.

Most people agree that as the Internet becomes more and more a part of our everyday lives, it also becomes more annoying. "We're all getting high-speed, broadband connections and those connections are getting faster all the time," Gralla points out. "That means that the Internet can annoy us at even faster rates that ever before. So we need some way to fight back. This book can do it."

Based on real-world gripes supplied by Internet users from far and wide, Internet Annoyances tackles some of the most annoying things you'll encounter online, from the hassles of simply connecting, to browser idiosyncrasies, to the hazards of buying and selling online. Readers may want to read the book from cover to cover but will more likely prefer to jump straight to their "favorite" annoyances to be rid of them once and for all. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Stay sane: stop spam, spyware, and pop-up ads
  • Thwart hackers: fix your router, surf safely, and use protective utilities
  • Empower your email: tame Outlook, master Gmail, and become Eudora-savvy
  • Run smarter searches: use the right terms, hack Google, and find the info you need
  • Troubleshoot cable and DSL: keep connected, block out snooping neighbors, and maximize performance
  • Keep it simple: streamline AOL, cut the clutter, and make surfing safe for kids
  • Buy and sell: shop safe, run auctions, avoid scams, and always get your money's worth
  • If you've had it with the Web's quirks, bugs, and design "enhancements"; if you've spent all night trying to get your router to work; if email and spam and spam and spam are driving you crazy...Internet Annoyances could be the key to retaining (or reclaiming) your sanity.

    Additional Resources:

    Internet Annoyances
    Preston Gralla
    ISBN: 0-596-00735-3, 239 pages, $24.95 US, $36.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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