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PC Annoyances, Second Edition Paperback – March 5, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0596008826 ISBN-10: 0596008821 Edition: Second Edition

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PC Annoyances, Second Edition + PC Hardware Annoyances: How to Fix the Most Annoying Things about Your Computer Hardware + Internet Annoyances: How to Fix the Most Annoying Things about Going Online
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Product Details

  • Series: Annoyances
  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (March 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596008821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596008826
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 7.8 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,419,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steve Bass is a longtime popular staff writer at PC World magazine and founded the Pasadena IBM Users Group.


More About the Author

I first learned about computers in 1982 with an IBM PC I bought from Computerland. When I asked them for support, they said, "Don't use it in the shower."

The following day, I founded the Pasadena IBM Users Group. After 24 years, I finally closed the organization, releasing the over 2,400 former members onto the streets (http://www.pibmug.com). Be careful out there. And in the late 1980s, I co-founded the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (http://www.apcug.org), a nationwide organization serving user groups.

I'm also a Contributing Editor to PC World, writing the "Hassle-Free PC" column since 1990, the "Tips and Tweaks Online Newsletter," and dozens of articles including "Net Phones: Dialing Without Dollars," and "The Ultimate PC Troubleshooting Guide."

My "How to Fix the Biggest PC Annoyances" article has won PRSA's prestigious Excellence in Technology Journalism award.

My blog is at http://snurl.com/BassBlog. You can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter (a compilation of the week's blogs) at http://snurl.com/homeoffice (Look for "signup" at lower right corner of the page). And a collection of previous newsletters are available here: http://snurl.com/homeoffice.

I've also written for Forbes, Family Circle, and Computer Currents, and once had a syndicated newspaper column that was way more work than it was worth. But wait, there's more: I have a semi-regular spot on KPCC''s "Airtalk," an NPR affiliate radio show, and Pacifica's KPFK's "Digital Village." I'm also producing a new computer show, "Phrenology: The New Topology." It's been a bumpy road.

In a previous life, I was a licensed family therapist (hard to believe, I know); owned PCG Seminars, a training company for mental-health professionals; and met his wife while doing magic at Hollywood's Magic Castle.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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With this book, you can get things to work your way.
Edward Laskowski
This is one of those books that can be read five minutes at a time, or from cover to cover.
Midwest Reader
Instead, Bass makes you feel better with his "buddy-style" advice.
Meryl K. Evans

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Meryl K. Evans on May 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you own the first edition, you won't experience déjà vu while reading the second edition. The new one has many changes that you won't recognize it. Whether you're a power PC user or a casual one, you will benefit from the book. Because of the wide array of topics covered, I can't imagine many geeks who know all of these tips.

Instead of calling tech support and staying on hold or going to Google, check PC Annoyances for the answers. It's impossible to have the answers to all the problems you encounter on a PC, but Bass touches on a bit of everything. If you don't find the answer in the book, you might find enough clues to shorten your search.

GMail joins the book and its tips immediately pay off. Other than the usual Microsoft applications, get stress-busters for fixing annoyances related to music, video, CD, and general email. Mozilla, Firefox, and Thunderbird don't make the cut this time. However, we know how the publishing industry struggles to keep up with tech changes. The book lists a few Netscape-related tips and what you can do in Netscape usually works in any Mozilla product since they're based on the same "bones."

How many times have you come across an interesting URL in a book that was a mile long and took several attempts to get it right? Bass takes care of that by using a URL shortening service making it easier and quicker to get the right URL on the first try. He provides links to software, humorous sites, and resources. After fighting a round with your PC, wouldn't taking a break by going to a funny resource release a few tense muscles? It does for me.

His software recommendations include free and fee-based products. I recognize many of the programs and own some.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
No matter how necessary the PC is to your very existence, there are times you want to pitch the beast out the window. It's either irritating hardware glitches or software designed by monkeys. The second edition of PC Annoyances by Steve Bass can help you mend your love/hate relationship with silicon. It's good stuff...

Chapter List: Email Annoyances; Windows Annoyances; Internet Annoyances; Microsoft Office Annoyances; Windows Explorer Annoyances; Music, Video, and CD Annoyances; Hardware Annoyances; Index

If you haven't seen an Annoyances book before, it's a series of questions or statements (like SP2 Blocks Skype or Back Up Your Autocorrections) with an annoyance and a fix listed for each one. Under each of the Annoyances chapters, you'll have subsections like Word/Excel/Powerpoint/Outlook/Outlook Express annoyances under the Microsoft Office annoyances area. Depending on just how annoying the software or hardware is, you may have five to 20 ways to reduce your frustration level. So, if you don't think the current tip applies to you, keep reading as the next one probably will. Some of these you'll know already, many you'll never have heard of, and others will prompt the "you mean I can change that?" moment (or at least it did for me!). Because Steve's writing style is irreverent and conversational, you almost feel as if you're sitting ringside with him and someone else as they solve the computing hassles we all deal with daily.

If that was it, it'd be plenty valuable. But there's more. There are a number of sidebar tips that don't necessarily fit into the question/answer format, but are just as important.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Reader on July 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
This books is suited to readers who have used PCs for some time--long enough to run into the annoyances referred to, but not long enough to have found solutions, at least to all of them. Almost half are found in Microsoft Windows, Office, or Windows Explorer. Others are from various email clients, Internet software, music/video, and hardware. Some examples: how to delete a "file in use," how to quickly and safely remove a USB device without going through multiple dialogs (pp. 206-7), and how to add a short note to accompany a file (p. 163).

There is also an interesting tip on single-use credit cards, for online shoppers and some tips related to Google.

This is one of those books that can be read five minutes at a time, or from cover to cover. Perhaps the most effective way to use it is to at least skim the entire book, then later concentrate on the sections of interest. (If you don't use a particular program, tips on it's use probably won't interest you.)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lynn - Crystal River Users Group on May 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
I recently finished a first reading of "PC Annoyances, Second Edition." from O'Reilly. The second edition of this enjoyable and very informative book by Steve Bass released in March 2005 is definitely worth reading. It was so much fun to read I went completely through the book in a couple of days.

The book is not only fun to read but delivers on the premise of showing you how to fix the most annoying things about your PC. By concentrating on annoyances Steve Bass focuses on topics that pc users of any experience and interest level will find useful. And the novices will be able to understand the problems and the fixes.

I know that I have to go back through the book several more times because I almost ran out of sticky notes marking tips and downloads that I want to try. I own many books to help me enjoy my computing experience but seem to have always tended to the text book type. What a delight it was to find a book that not only provides a myriad of useful advice but is also delightful to read.
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