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Cutting Edge Internet Advice

Internet Safety
Sherman
2003

Submitter: To be fair, a lot of the information in this book is still useful and relevant, but it is just crying out for an updated version! I pulled this book when I saw it ON DISPLAY. Yikes! That’s just embarrassing. The cover photo has a computer that looks like ancient history to today’s kids! Those screenshots of the browsers, though. And I went and googled “AOL Anywhere” and discovered it was cutting-edge technology in 2001 that allowed users to access their e-mail on their cell phone. You know, so you wouldn’t have to buy a second phone line in order to keep your Internet use from tying up your phone line. The sidebar about “energy creatures” with the picture of the crying baby is a real gem. Apparently the Internet community hadn’t come up with the terminology “troll” in 2003? And perhaps the scariest part of all? It circulated twice last year. I’m feeling a little bit scared to go look at the rest of the early 000’s. I imagine this one isn’t even the worst. This came from a public library in a medium-sized town in the Midwest.

Holly: ON DISPLAY?? No. No, no, no. No.

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15 Responses to Cutting Edge Internet Advice

  • Interestingly, the computer on the cover is an IBM PC series computer from the early 1980s. So even for 2003 it would have been more than a decade and a half behind the times and certainly wouldn’t have been capable of browsing the Internet. In fact, they’re running an old DOS program, which you can just make out on the old color display (likely a CGA or EGA monitor at best). It’s a curious choice for the cover, but perhaps the only one they had rights to and they assumed no one would really notice?

  • I can’t identify the model of computer on the cover, but judging by the keyboard alone -not to mention the total absence of a mouse- I reckon that’s a stock photo taken a minimum of fifteen years before the book was published, in which case I’d be surprised if that computer could access anything but old-school bulletin-board systems.

    This wouldn’t have filled me with confidence about the quality of research and attention to detail in the rest of the book even when it was current. Librarians -and publishers- take note; there are times when you can judge a book by its cover.

  • I first encountered the term “troll” on Usenet, so it existed well before 2003. Maybe the author just didn’t like the term. Or maybe they just didn’t like maligning poor, innocent monsters that way.

  • On the cover the girl appears to be playing Number Munchers. The art director should have at least tried to get a picture that wasn’t so terribly out of date for the cover.

  • Huh. I have been online since 1996ish, and while I don’t remember if people were using the term “troll” back then, I can state with confidence that this is the first time I’ve seen the term “energy creature.”

  • I remember AOL Anywhere. That was an exciting time. I remember the phone I had to access it. I remember the joy of dial-up internet. I remember getting AOL in 1995. I feel like a dinosaur.

    • Sadly, I remember when my undergraduate college had nothing more advanced than an adding machine. I feel like a trilobite.

  • So according to this book, your ISP might cut off your service if you swore online. I’m pretty sure that’s not the case any more, or it’d be a lot easier to cancel your Comcast service.

  • OED lists the use of the term “Troll” for Internet troublemakers as far back as 1992. However, they don’t seem to have added this usage until the 2008 edition.

  • I started to question the common belief that trolls were the terror of Scandinavia, let alone the Internet, when I started collecting those ugly-cute plastic dolls with the colorful hair back in the 90’s. 🙂

  • I have been on line since 2001, and in that time the troublemakers were referred in some forums as “cockroaches” or “roaches”.
    Here: “https://darkpsychology.co/troll/ you can read about “100 Plus Types and Examples of Internet trolls”.

    I didn’t know they were that many types.