You need to know right off the bat that I'm a total computer geek. I am pathetic. You've seen all those computer magazines with names like Data Dweeb and cover headlines like:


No doubt you've asked yourself, "What kind of no-life loser actually reads these magazines?" I do! All the time! I read them in bed! I look at the pictures of new computer systems and become moderately aroused and say things like, "Whoa! Check out the 6X SCSI-2 CD-ROM drive on THAT baby!"

I could go on and on, listing the ways in which computers enrich our everyday lives. But I've made my point, which is that we live in the Computer Age, and you need to get with the program. You are standing in the airport terminal of life, and the jet plane of the 21st Century is about to take off. You must make a choice: Do you remain in the terminal, eating the stale vending-machine food of outmoded thinking? Or do you get on the plane and soar into the stratosphere of computerization, swept along by the jet stream of evolving technology, enjoying the in-flight snack of virtually unlimited information access, secure in the knowledge that if you encounter the turbulence of rapid change, you are holding, in this book, the barf bag of expert guidance.

That is the vision of tomorrow that I am offering you. Come, take my hand, and together let us explore this amazing new cyber-world. If you don't know anything about computers, have no fear: I'm not going to bombard you with a bunch of technical gobbledygook. I'm going to present you with simple, practical, well-organized, easy-to-understand information, a lot of which I will make up as I go along. So let me just take a moment now to run this chapter through my computer's spell-checker, and then you and I can begin our fascinating journey into a brighter, better, and--above all--more productive future.

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