[techbooks] REVIEW: "Grown-Up's Guide to Computing", Mary Furlong/Stefan B.
- BKGUGUCM.RVW 990722
"Grown-Up's Guide to Computing", Mary Furlong/Stefan B. Lipson, 1999,
%A Mary Furlong
%A Stefan B. Lipson
%C 1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052-6399
%E Craig Spiezle
%I Microsoft Press
%O U$29.99/C$44.99/UK#27.49 800-MSPRESS fax: 206-936-7329
%P 386 p.
%T "Grown-Up's Guide to Computing"
The book appears to be aimed, more than somewhat tentatively, not at
adults, but seniors. The introduction indicates not only a general
computer tutorial (well, a Windows 98 tutorial, anyway), but one aimed
specifically at tips for using the machine to save time.
Part one is a collection of stories of people using computers. We are
introduced to a paraplegic who learned computer aided drafting (CAD),
a doctor who developed medical instrumentation, a freelance
journalist, a businessman, a farm family, a retired military officer,
and a widow. The computer activities are as one might expect: new job
skills, new interests, and so forth, with a rather heavy-handed bias
in favour of Microsoft. The technical content can be patronizing and
erroneous, sometimes both at the same time.
Part two is a series of lessons in computer basics, leaning heavily
towards Internet usage. (Just in case you think I'm making it up
about the bias of the book, in the "what computer to buy" checklist,
ticking off a question that essentially means "I'm not ready to buy a
computer" points you to the Macintosh.) A couple of chapters run
through the Win98 interface, there is a quick look at word processing,
and the remaining bits mention various aspects of the Internet. The
chapter on email may even be useful. (The piece on searching the Web
never leaves the Sidewalk.)
Part three contains ads for various Microsoft products.
The advice and help to be derived from this book is minimal. If the
reader is already in the market for a computer, the promotional
section is redundant, and, if not, it is unconvincing. For the
unconverted, wanting to test the waters on the cheap and easy, the
tutorial is not going to be very useful. For those already starting
into computing, the "tips" are ludicrous.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKGUGUCM.RVW 990722
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