The most comprehensive general introduction to getting your computer communicating with the outside world has to be Ray Hammond's On-Line Handbook, published by Fontana at £4.95.
Mr Hammond starts off by outlining the benefits of linking your computer up with the outside world and then goes on to explain how to go about achieving the link up. As a guide to selecting your communications software and modem and connecting up to the phone line, his book provides an excellent starting point for the communications novice. It will also act as a handy reference guide to the services available once you're linked up and ready to go.
The book is not machine-specific and the first section gives an excellent overview of communications hardware and software, and sets out to explain how communication with other computers is effected without burying the reader in unintelligible technical jargon. In this aim it should succeed with even the most computer illiterate person, and have him or her well on the way to getting on-line.
The remainder of the book is effectively a comprehensive directory of the bulletin boards and on-line databases available in the UK and overseas and it contains a wealth of valuable information that even the most experienced modem user should want to keep on hand.