An introduction to the global household


Communications for Progress
By Graham Lane
1990. 152 pp. $22
Available from Pegasus Networks, PO Box 424, Byron Bay NSW 2481
Reviewed by Andrew Garton

An unfortunate title, but a book that has come none too soon, Communications for Progress — A guide to international e-mail, is clearly destined to play a vital role in demystifying computer communications and information technologies used by non-commercial and non-government organisations the world over.

With information exchange increasing in both volume and rate minute by minute, an understanding of systems that move this data, and the organisations that facilitate them, is essential to securing a sense of participation in what has often been termed the global village. After reading this book, you'll be left with the feeling that we've already stepped out of the village into the global house!

The cover notes describe the book as "aimed at beginners to the field of computer communications", explaining "in clear, non-technical language all aspects of e-mail, from software and modems to packet-switching and e-mail systems". And it does so brilliantly. There is no book like it on the market — certainly nothing as comprehensive, fun to read and informative about network providers such as Pegasus.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Association for Progressive Communications, the Global Dialogue Association, People's Access, the Instituto Brasileiro de Analises Sociais e Economicas and more is outlined in this book.

I would recommend this book highly to anyone interested not only in e-mail, but grassroots information technologies in general.

Communications for Progress is published by the Catholic Institute for International Relations, in association with Antenna/Interdoc, and the Environment and Development Resource Centre.

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