Chapter V.1. Getting the Most from the Internet

In This Chapter

  • Getting a quick overview of the Internet

  • Dialing with dollars

  • Connecting with Broadband

  • Setting up an Internet connection

  • Finding important Internet resources

Internet this. Web that. E-mail today. Hair (or at least spam about hair products) tomorrow.

Windows 7 makes it easy to get online: You can dash off a quick message to your daughter, send a birthday card to your mom, pick up the latest baseball scores and news headlines, glance at the stock market, look up showtimes and locations at a dozen local theaters, compare features and prices on the latest mobile phones, send a free SMS phone message, and check out the weather in my home town, Phuket, all in a matter of minutes — if your Internet connection is fast enough.

Note

Five years from now (although it may take ten), the operating system you use will be largely irrelevant, as will be the speed of your computer, the amount of memory you have, and the number of terabytes of storage that hum in the background. Microsoft will keep milking its cash cow, but the industry will move on. Individuals and businesses will stop shelling out big bucks for Windows and the iron to run it. Instead, the major push will be online. Rather than spend money on PCs that become obsolete the week after you purchase them, folks will spend money on big data pipes: It'll be less about me and more about us. Why? Because so much more is "out there" than "in here." Count on it.

But what is the Internet? ...

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