Using On-line Reference Material

We are in the stone age of Internet and World Wide Web! There is already too much information on the Web.  The scary part is that, there are hoards of philanthropic people out there, who sincerely believe that you are not getting enough of it.  With almost missionary zeal they are trying their best to give you more, millions, billions and giga bytes of information. 

Unfortunately, we have not built any good tool to save you from this information glut. We mortals will have only 5 million seconds in this Summer or slightly more in Fall or Spring. If you are using 56K modem to Net Surf, and all the 24 hours of your day, you can down load only about 35 Giga Bytes of information.

The Web in general is non-linear. The documents here have pointers to other documents, and from those to others. If you have surfed the Net enough, perhaps by now you know, non linear reading is not always helpful for learning. It can mean serious trouble for curious minds (curiosity killed the cat).  In old days when information were hard to find,  wise men told us curiosity is a virtue. But, think twice in Internet era. Now this is the age of Information highway, and that highway leads directly to your mind!

The reference materials I have collected here are collected mostly because of their contents flatly on these pages, not because these have good pointers.

However, many of them contain hyperlinks to tens of other documents, those in-turn to hundreds of others and to others. Here are few tips, which at the end of the day you may find useful. 

When you start researching for a topic stay adamantly fixated on your original topic. There will be all kinds of 'very interesting' topics, which will try to tempt you like the Sirens. But stay on course! 

Once you arrive in a page, read the page fully first. Do not jump. Take few moments  to decide which of the links to follow, and only then jump if you really need to do so!

As a 3-4 rule of thumb, do not go more than 3-4 levels deep in any of them, and do not make more than 3-4 jumps from a single document, in a single breath!  Even this strategy will take you to potentially 121 pages from one page!

Also for your convenience, I have mirrored most of the useful documents in our local Web Server. All documents downloaded inside Webbook have a distinctive yellow background.

Bon voyage!

Javed 5/01