The internet is growing faster all over the world, its a great place to get information from but your here so you know that already. Any way what follows is s brief look at other ways the internet can help you on your travels. The good news is that you don't need to take your computer with you all you need is to get access to a computer with a web browser on it. You'll find them even in the heart of Africa.
If you have a specific question you can't find the answer for then your best bet is a forum or news groups. Here you can leave queries and other people can look and comment on them. Just like a notice board. You'll often find that some one else will know the answer. There are also all the other travel news groups available they are best viewed with a news group browser but you can get access and use them through Deja News. The following are a list of some of the travel groups. If your browser is set up to read news groups just click on the one you want to look at.
There are a lot of companies offering free email accounts these are accessed through a web browser the down side is that you have to compose and read your mail on line which can be expensive. The good news though is that all you need to do is find a web browser to get your mail. There are internet cafes all over the world where you can surf while having a coffee so they tend to be a mecca for travellers. If you can't find a cafe then check out the local libary as they often have computers hooked up to the net. Below are links to a couple of email providers.
If your friends don't have email access then text messaging could be the answer. If your friends have a digital mobile phone which accept text messages then these messages can be sent from several web sites. You will need to check that the web site can access the phone service provider. If you can't find the service provider on either of the sites below then head to Altavista and search for sms or small message service. It a good idea to check that the service actually works before you leave home. Obviously people can't send you messages back using this method. These services tend to be reliable espeacilly now they are being provided by companies such as lycos and genie (British Telecom).
Finally if all else fails you could ring or send a letter!