Little helper for busy novices
10-MINUTE GUIDE TO PC COMPUTING
By SHELLEY O'HARA
Published by Que
Distributed by Intersoft
SO YOU've just unwrapped your first PC - a monster with Pentium II chip, 2GB hard drive and 120MB of RAM. Bristling with power, CD-ROM drive and sound card, it's a monument to modern technology. And you haven't a clue what to do with it.
Don't worry, it's not terminal, but you're going to need help. PCs are like cars - you might be able to operate them straight away without any instruction but, sooner or later, you will crash.
Assuming you don't have your own personal PC trainer shackled to your desk, one of the quicker ways to tame the beast is to get a copy of the 10-Minute Guide to PC Computing, by Shelley O'Hara. Written for readers in a rush, this is an excellent all-purpose introductory book that won't baffle you with science. Technical terms and jargon are kept strictly to a minimum.
There are 22 concise chapters, all taking roughly 10 minutes to get through. You'll learn more than enough to get by, though - there is a surprising amount of solid information given the slimness of the volume.
The first six chapters explain what a PC is and what all these different bits and pieces do. Knowledge is power and, thus armed, you can move calmly to Chapter 7, where you get to plug in the thing. This is normally a scary time for beginners, who fully expect switch-on to be followed by a thermonuclear explosion caused by their failure to connect the cables properly. Luckily, the book is quite explicit about what goes where. and so takes a lot of the stress out of turning it on.
Plenty of space is devoted to the Windows 95 operating system, used in most PCs. The information will enable you to get around the system reasonably expertly and let you know what to expect from its programs. But users who want to know more will need to buy a Windows guide. The same holds true for other software applications but all the basic skills and commands common to many applications (editing text within a document or printing files, for instance) are outlined.
The book also tells you how to record sounds, run multimedia presentations and relax to the sweet strains of rave music.
If access to the Internet and E-mail is a concern, you'll be interested in Chapters 18 to 21. These days everyone aged nine to 90 is out there wandering the Web or mailing their mates in Guatemala and there's no reason you can't, too.
Well ordered and simply written with lots of step-by-step instructions, this is a great book for the time-pressed PC user who just wants the facts.