Today it's easy to feel as if you're the only businessperson in America who isn't on the Internet. Relax: a survey of members of the National Federation of Independent Business found that, as recently as 1994, only 40% of those small businesses even owned a modem. And just finding the right information to get started can be a daunting task.

If you're truly strapped for time, consider What's a Modem? This hour-long tape, priced at $18.95 and produced by Audio Computer Information, in Spring Grove, Minn., provides a beginner-friendly introduction to modems. It crams a surprising amount of detail into a soothingly nontechnical narrative. You'll find more specifics in comparably priced books, such as Modems for Dummies, by Tina Rathbone (IDG Books, Foster City, Calif., 1994, $19.99), but you'll also face 463 pages. What's a Modem? focuses primarily on the Windows terminal program. For more information, call 800-647-TAPE.