The text of this edition is as close as possible to that which appeared in the original print edition in 1997, with a few additions and changes for clarification and style. A lot of it is obviously out of date (nobody uses Gopher or Archie any more, in 1997 the biggest search engine, Lycos, indexed 70 million pages – Google stopped displaying the number of indexed pages when it went over 9 billion, who even remembers Netscape or CompuServe? …) but it is a historical document. It was written when the World Wide Web was only three years old and everyone was wondering what this new thing was and how (and why) they should use it. I can joke now about having to research pornography, but in every radio interview I did while promoting the book the second or third talk-back caller would talk about the fear they had of their children being unwittingly exposed to unacceptable material. There was cynicism about any future utility of the Internet, and I remember one big-name radio star berating me for wasting people’s time talking about this useless invention.
There were lots of things we didn’t know then that we know now, but that has been the story throughout recorded history.