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REVIEW: "Google Apps Hacks", Philipp Lenssen

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Han
    BKGOAPHA.RVW 20090723 Google Apps Hacks , Philipp Lenssen, 2008, 978-0-596-51588-1, U$29.99/C$29.99 %A Philipp Lenssen Philipp.Lenssen@gmail.com %C 103
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 29, 2009
      BKGOAPHA.RVW 20090723

      "Google Apps Hacks", Philipp Lenssen, 2008, 978-0-596-51588-1,
      %A Philipp Lenssen Philipp.Lenssen@...
      %C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
      %D 2008
      %G 0-596-51588-X 978-0-596-51588-1
      %I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
      %O U$29.99/C$29.99 707-829-0515 fax: 707-829-0104 nuts@...
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/059651588X/robsladesinterne
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/059651588X/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience i- Tech 1 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 361 p.
      %T "Google Apps Hacks"

      Currently, I'm supposed to be helping out an organization that wants
      to use Google Apps in order to make documents and resources available
      to its members. I can't figure it out. I could really use a book
      that would explain how to use the system.

      This doesn't appear to be it. The work does say that collaboration
      and sharing can happen, it just doesn't tell you how, specifically, to
      do it. The authors do detail how to do some clever little tricks, but
      the tricks don't appear (to me, as a novice) to be very useful. The
      "hacks" also appear to involve installing an awful lot of outside
      software, and since this is a security group, and I'm a professional
      paranoid, I'm not sure how much time I'd want to spend testing all
      this stuff and making sure that it is safe.

      That's chapter one. It's supposed to be an introduction, but it
      demands a fairly high level of familiarity with Google Apps if you are
      going to make much sense of it. The same is true with chapter two,
      which addresses Google Docs (word processor). There are hacks on how
      to get fancy, but no help on how to get started. Chapters three and
      four, on Google Spreadsheets and Presentations, are similar.

      The content on Gmail, in chapter five, is an odd mix of generic email
      advice, notes for customizing Gmail, and other systems to use instead
      of Gmail. Chapter six deals with iGoogle (a way to create a Web page
      for yourself). The calendar, discussed in chapter seven, is fairly
      basic. RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Resource description
      framework Site Summary), and Google's Reader, is outlined in chapter
      eight. Chapter nine notes some random functions of Picasa (for
      pictures) and YouTube (for videos), whereas ten mentions various
      Blogger features, and eleven talks about Google Maps, Earth, and
      SketchUp 3D. Some ideas on how to promote your Website, and track
      traffic with Google Analytics, are dealt with in chapter twelve.

      This book is definitely not an introduction. However, even for those
      familiar with Google products, the content is not organized in a way
      that makes operations and tasks easy to find and use. In addition,
      since the work seems to require at least an intermediate knowledge of
      how the applications work, one would assume that the "hacks" would be
      detailed, but that is not always so. In many cases it is pointed out
      that you can do something, and then the specifics of "how" are left to
      the reader to find out. Certainly there are ideas which may be of
      interest or use to Google Apps users in this text, but the value of
      the manual, as a whole, is questionable. Novices need the details.
      Google Apps wizards presumably know all of this.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2009 BKGOAPHA.RVW 20090723

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      After attacking the sacred majesty of kings, I shall scarcely
      excite surprise by adding my firm persuasion that every
      profession, in which great subordination of rank constitutes its
      power, is highly injurious to morality.
      Mary Wollstoncraft (1759-1797), A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
      victoria.tc.ca/techrev/rms.htm blog.isc2.org/isc2_blog/slade/index.html
      http://twitter.com/NoticeBored http://twitter.com/rslade
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