and the Law
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Tips for Navigating Your Way Through the Internet
By John Makulowich
During a recent talk to an association gathering in Washington, I
offered a "meager guide" on pro- ductively using the Internet.
Given the positive response to that informal lecture, I offer readers the following recommendations about one way of making your way safely and expeditiously through the mine fields of the Internet.
- Consider the Internet just one source of information or means of communication.
- Practice etiquette.
- Calculate the opportunity cost in all your professional work.
- Approach the Internet with the same standards you use with other sources, and heed the words of Wolfgang Pauli in reply to a colleague who asked him to review a physics paper: "This isn't right. This isn't even wrong."
- Learn your operating system, including TCP/IP, ftp and telnet.
- Learn your e-mail agent, including attachments, filters, signatures and URLs.
- Learn your World Wide Web client, aka Web browser.
- Learn discussion group list managers (listserv, listproc, majordomo, et al.).
- Learn your Usenet newsgroup reader, such as Agent 1.0 or tin.
- Learn at least two Web search engines, such as AltaVista, Infoseek or Excite.
- Learn to create and mount a Web page (Robert Finn <email@example.com>) and heed the word of Gertrude Stein: "They visits more than they that visits them."
- Install and use an anti-virus program, such as F-PROT.
- Install Acrobat Reader to view *.pdf.
- Install a compression utility, such as WinZip.
- Install OS protection, such as Norton CrashGuard.
- Bookmark the help files of the key search engines.
- Bookmark the Web sites of your OS, software and hardware.
- Bookmark by assignment or by specialty, and refrain from bookmarking everything.
- Consider an e-mail news service, such as Mercury Mail http://www.merc.com/ or
- Seek the leading, not the bleeding (aka cutting), edge of computer technology.
- Frequently flush your cache.
- Read Neuromancer (Gibson 1984), The Cuckoo's Egg (Stoll 1989) and Snow Crash (Stephenson 1992).
- Study The Internet Book (Comer 1994) and The Reporter's Handbook (Weinberg 1996).
John Makulowich writes, talks and trains on the Internet. Send e-mail to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The URL for his home page is <http://www.cais.com/makulow/> or <http://www.trainer.com/pub/journalism/>.