From the Ed­i­tor

Computer Active (UK) - - Welcome - Daniel Booth ed­i­tor@com­put­er­ac­

I re­cently took my young daugh­ter to the Nat­u­ral History Mu­seum, think­ing she would be awed by the di­nosaur bones. While she was im­pressed (“Wow, they’re gi­gan­tic!”), what most cap­ti­vated her was an ex­hi­bi­tion on learn­ing, par­tic­u­larly a video ex­plain­ing how chil­dren de­velop skills by mak­ing mis­takes.

It made me won­der whether of all hu­man in­ven­tions the in­ter­net best en­cap­su­lates this trial-and-er­ror ap­proach (though the modern TV re­mote con­trol comes close). Ev­ery day on­line feels like an ex­per­i­ment in click­ing links, in­stalling ex­ten­sions and tweak­ing set­tings, as you work out what im­proves your brows­ing and suits your pref­er­ences. Twenty years since I first went on­line, I’m still mak­ing mis­takes, and I’m still learn­ing from them.

I’d like Com­put­er­ac­tive to en­cour­age a sim­i­lar sense of ea­ger cu­rios­ity, which is why I asked Jane Hoskyn to write the Miss­ing Man­ual to the In­ter­net. Her tips may not spark the same wide-eyed as­ton­ish­ment as a five-me­tre­high tyran­nosaurus rex, but I’m con­fi­dent they’ll im­prove the time you spend on the web.

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