The Internet for Dummies Quick Reference, 4th edition

Out of date! This book is no longer current. Please see The Internet for Dummies Quick Reference, 6th edition .

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By John R. Levine, Margaret Levine Young and Arnold Reinhold.
March 1998, 210 pages, US$12.99. C$18.99, £11.99, ISBN 0-7645-0355-3.

The most important thing about the Internet for Dummies Quick Reference, 4th edition, is its amazing plastic ring binding. At last, an Internet reference that'll lay flat on your desk. Other books about the Internet have plenty of useful info, but you have to learn to type with one hand while holding them open with the other. This can seriously increase your stress level and has actually been shown to increase bad cholesterol levels in laboratory rats by 20 points.

Ok, our content is pretty good too. We've crammed a lot of information into 210 pages. We try to explain the stuff you really need to know, while leaving out the gobbledygook. We write for you, someone who wants to use and enjoy the Internet, not to become an expert in arcane computer jargon.

The material is carefully organized and well indexed and features an extensive Glossary. We do our best to write clearly and the hard-nosed editors at IDG nail us on every ambiguity. You will have to put up with our warped sense of humor, tho.

We think this is the perfect book to take along in your Road Warrior Kit along with your Internet-equipped laptop. The book is small, light and thorough, and the lay flat binding is perfect for airline tray tables. Take a few extras to give to friends and business contacts as well.


  • Our publisher is pretty good about correcting errors each time they reprint the book, so in your copy many of these corrections may already have been made.
  • For readers of older editions please note that our e-mail address is and our Web address is
  • There is a new ITU standard called V.90 that is supposed to end the x2 vs. K56 modem controversy.
  • Page 100: Right after the UNIXspeak mini-table:
    Using a text editor, make a text file containing the message you want send out to people who send you mail. Name the file .vacation.msg. The first line must contain "To: " and your e-mail address. The second line is usually "Subject: " and a pithy comment, and the rest of the text file is he text of your message.

    Create another text file in your home directory named .forward, containing this line (replacing "username" with your user name):

    \username, "|/usr/bin/vacation"

    When you give the command "vacation" or "vacation -l", your mail is responded to automatically with the message you wrote, and the incoming messages are also stored in your mailbox for you to read when you come back.

    Replace 'When you get back, cancel the vacation command by typing mail -F ""' with 'When you get back, delete the .forward file.'

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