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Buying a Computer For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) Paperback – November 10, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0764598180 ISBN-10: 076459818X Edition: 2006th

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Editorial Reviews

Review

It's in-your-face fun reading, well-organized and wide-ranging. -- Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 19, 2000 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

With the price of starter PCs ranging from "free" to over $1000, buying a computer - especially a first computer - is more confusing than ever.

This is a revision of the best-selling primer to answer every question and lead shoppers, step by step, to the computer that's best for them. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: For Dummies (Computers)
  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2006 edition (November 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076459818X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764598180
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,265,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dan Gookin has been writing about technology for over 20 years. He combines his love of writing with his gizmo fascination to create books that are informative, entertaining, and not boring. Having written more over 120 titles with 12 million copies in print translated into over 30 languages, Dan can attest that his method of crafting computer tomes seems to work.

Perhaps his most famous title is the original DOS For Dummies, published in 1991. It became the world's fastest-selling computer book, at one time moving more copies per week than the New York Times #1 bestseller (though as a reference, it could not be listed on the NYT Bestseller list). From that book spawned the entire line of For Dummies books, which remains a publishing phenomena to this day.

Dan's most popular titles include PCs For Dummies Word For Dummies, Laptops For Dummies, and Droid X For Dummies. He also maintains the vast and helpful Web site, www.wambooli.com.

Dan holds a degree in Communications/Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego. Presently, he lives in the Pacific Northwest, where he enjoys spending time with his sons playing video games inside while they watch the gentle woods of Idaho.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
I walked into a computer-mega store to buy a computer and left confused and dazed. I then bought Dan Gookin's book and had a completely different approach. Mr. Gookin's book helped me to not get caught up in product name, but more on what I wanted to get done with the computer. What a great approach. Buy this book before you even think about buying a computer. It will honesly help.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Randle Rector on April 7, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having looked at others, I have to agree that I found Dan Gookin's book to be by far the most helpful in preparing me to buy a computer for the first time. Sure, he didn't mention brand names, but there's plenty of information available from many sources to make that decision after you understand the basics, which he rightly concentrates on. As for Gookin's humor, that is a matter of taste, but I see no contradiction in being humorous, even silly, while at the same time being very serious and knowledgable about this subject. His humor helped put me at ease in a topic that is often scary for the beginner. We need awe and reverence, but they belong to God.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Judge Knott on January 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Okay, this is a little tough to explain. This is an EXCELLENT guide for people who need to buy a new home computer or laptop. But it by itself will not be enough to guide those people through the process smoothly.
There are two considerable strengths to this guide. First of all, it demystifies all the jargon and obscure terminology, and does a commendable job doing it. Second, Dan Gookin's advice to think about SOFTWARE primarily and not HARDWARE or PRICE when one is buying is worth its weight in gold. (The fact that brand names are scarcely used in this book is a strength and not a weakness, I believe, and fits in with Mr. Gookin's approach.) And for people who think "For Dummies" guides have too much clowning around, there is very little of it here, and it is not intrusive.
Having said all of these nice things, the book is occasionally minimal on key information. It could be argued that to make this guide complete, the author would have had to have written an 800-page book. In any case, this book alone won't get you through the computer-buying process comfortably. You should supplement the book with a friend who is moderately or heavily tech savvy.
In short, this is a great beginning and I honestly think it would be foolish for a computer beginner to buy a new machine without having read this very price-friendly work. But that reading will have to be supplemented by a friend or work colleague in the know about personal computers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Reilly on June 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Buying a Computer for Dummies is a wonderful resource for someone who has never been through the herculean task of buying a computer. Even if you have purchased a computer before, this book may help demystify and improve the process for you. The best thing about the book is that the author deals with the basics of a computer (i.e. Software, Hardware) and does not deal with brand. When you are finished with this book, you will be able to buy the ideal computer for yourself. The only problem I have with the book is the lame humor. This deficit, however, is more than outweighed by the great advice it offers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Navyvet on November 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
The book is well written without becoming too overbearing. As with many "For Dummies" books, there is the correct amount of levity and quite a bit of useful information. I found the info to be up to date (at least today!) in what is perhaps the fastest changing environment that ever existed. If you need a quick education ,deciding what to buy, this is your guide.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By cs2001 on January 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
Don't depend on this 2005 edition of Buying a Computer FOR DUMMIES to help you to buy a computer in 2005. This book has a lot of outdated information and missed a lot current information. For example:
1) This book still talks about "external L2 cache", or Celeron with no L2 cache; still showing the picture of SIMM memory slots. We havn't see those processors & memories for at least 7 years!
2) It still recommending about the floppy drive. Why in 2005 do we still need floppy drive & floppy disks? It should discusses more about USB flash drives.
3) It does not mention about Athlon XP processor (an alternative to Pentium 4), DDR memory, & serial ATA hard drive.
4) It still mentions the ISA expansion slot, but not PCI Express.
5) It is a mis-statement that "the only real reason to go with [XP] Home over Professional is you plan to play computer games..."; there is no different between Home & Pro for computer games; but Pro cost about $100 more than Home.
6) It does not mention about Open Office which is an alternative to Microsoft Office!
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