Online! The Book

Online! The Book tries to be so many things to so many different readers that it ends up feeling like a bit of a brain dump.

Dvorak and Pirillo enjoy quite a following in the technology world, having built reputations in computer press over many years. You may know Pirillo, for instance, from his Lockergnome newsletters. All three authors, in fact, have great backgrounds for writing this book, but what it seems like they needed was a good editor.

The main problem is the structure of the content — or lack of any cohesive plan (hence the brain dump impression). Information just seems to roll on in the book with no discernable progression. For instance, the book is sold as a beginners’ primer to the Internet, but includes chapters that appear slightly off-topic (like the hardware stuff) or far too advanced (such as the chapter on enterprise instant messaging).

There’s lots of useful information in this book (the virus chapter, for instance, is a standout) if you’re prepared to wade through it all.

Authors: John C. Dvorak and Chris Pirillo with Wendy Taylor
Publisher: Prentice Hall (Penguin)
ISBN: 0131423630
Price: $79.95
Phone: (02) 8204 3318