Chapter 1

What’s So Great about the Internet?

In This Chapter

arrow What, really, is the Internet?

arrow For that matter, what is a network?

arrow What is the Internet good for?

It’s huge, it’s sprawling, it’s globe spanning, and it has become part of our lives. It must be … the Internet. We all know something about it, and most of us have tried to use it, with more or less success. (If you’ve had less, you’ve come to the right place.) In this chapter, we look at what the Internet is and can do, before we dive into details in the rest of this book.

If you’re new to the Internet, and especially if you don’t have much computer experience, be patient with yourself. Many of the ideas here are completely new. Allow yourself some time to read and reread. The Internet is a different world with its own language, and it takes some getting used to.

Even experienced computer users can find using the Internet more complex than other tasks they’ve tackled. The Internet isn’t a single software package and doesn’t easily lend itself to the kind of step-by-step instructions we’d provide for a single, fixed program. This book is as step-by-step as we can make it, but the Internet resembles a living organism mutating ...

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