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The Web for the Rest of Us

You're not very interested in computers, though you know how to use them. You don't work in the PC, media or communications industries. You don't really like video games. You have not been tattooed, pierced or abducted by aliens. Is there anything at all on the World Wide Web for someone like you?

Unlike just about every other list of World Wide Web sites being published these days, the list of sites on the left is conspicuously lacking The Hottest This and The Coolest That. In fact, we're proud to say that most of the sites we've chosen are, well, lukewarm: sturdy electronic information resources that deliver admirably useful material on topics that are of some potential use.

These sites are probably not going to win much attention from the propeller-heads and the digerati, but that's just the point. This is a selection of sites that a typical civilian home computer owner of recent vintage just might find worth the time, trouble and expense of logging onto.

A few caveats: The list is arbitrary and maddeningly incomplete. We list Web sites devoted to some topics of very broad interest (family, cars, money, TV) and some that appeal to much smaller slivers of the population (pregnancy, indoor herb gardening, wine). We've asked our contributors to plumb the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of sites devoted to their assigned topics and distill them to two or three or four that offer the greatest potential utility to a civilian computist.

In most categories, we also asked for one good "meta-site," a Web page that consists mostly of links to related sites. We've purposely ignored pages devoted to computing itself, and to the online reportage of what's long been referred to as "news." As a result, we've left out some of the Web's most popular and well-regarded sites and elevated some curious obscurities. Sobeit. What you have here are a few hand-holds and toe-holds on the blind, slippery and ever-exploding mountain of information known as the Internet. Use it wisely. But most of all, use it.

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