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[techbooks] REVIEW: "Grown-Up's Guide to Computing", Mary Furlong/Stefan B.

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  • Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Tr
    BKGUGUCM.RVW 990722 Grown-Up s Guide to Computing , Mary Furlong/Stefan B. Lipson, 1999, 0-7356-0637-4, U$29.99/C$44.99/UK#27.49 %A Mary Furlong %A
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 6 9:28 AM
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      BKGUGUCM.RVW 990722

      "Grown-Up's Guide to Computing", Mary Furlong/Stefan B. Lipson, 1999,
      0-7356-0637-4, U$29.99/C$44.99/UK#27.49
      %A Mary Furlong
      %A Stefan B. Lipson
      %C 1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052-6399
      %D 1999
      %E Craig Spiezle
      %G 0-7356-0637-4
      %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

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
      The Lord answered Moses, `Is the Lord's arm too short? You will
      now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.'
      - Numbers 11:23
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade
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