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Is This Thing On?, revised edition: A Computer Handbook for Late Bloomers, Technophobes, and the Kicking & Screaming [Paperback]

by Abby Stokes
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

List Price: $16.95
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Book Description

January 3, 2012 0761168826 978-0761168829 Revised
Now updated and revised, the user-friendliest, most reassuring, jargon-free, smartest, and most comprehensive nuts-and-bolts guide for seniors, who are the fastest-growing demographic among social networks.

Abby Stokes is the perfect guide to the digital domain: She’s taught more than 140,000 seniors how to use a computer.  In an easy, authoritative, hand-holding way, she covers it all: how to choose, buy, and start using a computer. How to connect to the Internet, sign up for e-mail, and use search engines. Plus, how and why to get digital in the first place: the ins and outs of online shopping, banking, travel planning, dating, research; how to take and share digital photographs and videos; how to discover online communities, and use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube; the world of apps, online music, and streaming movies; and, importantly, online security and “netiquette.” There’s information on iPads, smartphones—including the Blackberry, iPhone,
and Android—and e-readers like Nook and Kindle. A companion website——plus a Facebook page and Twitter feed provide easy and safe access to this brave new world.

Frequently Bought Together

Is This Thing On?, revised edition: A Computer Handbook for Late Bloomers, Technophobes, and the Kicking & Screaming + Absolute Beginner¿s Guide to Computer Basics (5th Edition) + Windows 7 Quick Reference Guide (Cheat Sheet of Instructions, Tips & Shortcuts - Laminated Card)
Price for all three: $27.98

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Abby Stokes has taught more than 140,000 people, mostly seniors, how to use a computer, privately and through courses at Cooper Union and New York University’s School of Lifelong Learning. She lectures on the topic around the country. Ms. Stokes divides her time between New York City and Niantic, Connecticut.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; Revised edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761168826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761168829
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Deserves WAY more than five stars May 15, 2012
As a public librarian working in New York City, I am very interested in bridging the digital divide. Though we librarians--everywhere--have been busily doing this for 20 years or thereabouts, there are still those who resist, are terrified of, or hostile towards learning about computers.

Luckily for us, Abby Stokes lives and works in our city and has made herself available to speak in our library branches. At this point she has spoken in dozens of libraries to enthusiastic crowds, and we are in the midst of preparing another branch tour over the next few months. Part of my job involves teaching a class, "Computer Surfing for 50+", and for years I have always concluded the class by recommending the first (2008) edition of Abby's remarkable book, as both a launching-off point for people wanting to learn more--and a soup-to-nuts mini-course for those who want a solid grounding. Its value is enhanced by the brilliant list of 200 websites, arranged by topic, at the back of the book.

The new edition is what we Abby groupies have been dreaming of: it's all there--smartphones, e-readers, Facebook, Skype, flashdrives, and so much more. The format is very pleasing; a paperback (hence, easy to carry), but large enough and with enough of an inside margin that one can position it next to the computer so you can go page by page, following along with Abby's instructions. And I suspect many people do. The test-drive form for those in the market for a computer is what everyone buying a computer wants without realizing it. The sidebars, charts, and lists of steps and tips, are practical and appealing. At the back of the book you will surely be delighted, as I was, by the glossary, the updated list of 200+ websites, the extensive list of keyboard shortcuts, and the thorough index.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Petie Reed

Abby P. Stokes says that in 17 years of teaching, she has never found anyone who can not learn to use a computer. Her book: "Is This Thing On?" A Computer Handbook translates geek speak into plain English and gives permission to learn about only what you want or need. Who says we need to know everything about technology to use it? I highly recommend her methods and book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't talk down to anyone June 18, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my brother, who is just about convinced to get his first computer because it seems to him that using email and making reservations online is getting almost mandatory. I have been using computers for 16 years, but knew there were some basics, such as cut and paste, and what was Bluetooth, that I didn't know about, so I have read the book first. The book reassures those new to computing that with patience, they ca learn to use the computer for the many positive things ,such as using Skype and sharing photos online. Not a lot of computer jargon is used in the beginning, which can be intimidating. I found the glossary to be helpful, as there were some terms I was not sure of myself.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seniors delight! August 9, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not one of the kids, but I feel like I'm catching up with their technology. I've worked with computers on a superficial level for years, just skimming along, asking questions and oft times feeling lost. This wonderful book, 'Is This Thing On?' by Abby Stokes is by far the best go-to guide that I've found. I gave one to my husband, he likes it, (he's like me computer-wise), and I've sent one to my parents who would like to like computers, but are afraid to. Anyway, thanks for making it available, it's a great help.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Help From Book February 14, 2012
By josh
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has been a tremendous help with computer. I highly recommend it. It is simple and easy to understand.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My major issue with the book is that it absolutely needs updating to cover Windows 8. Like it or hate it, 8 is a major departure from earlier versions of Windows and it's all you're going to find on a new computer these days (2014) unless you get a Mac. But the book seems to end around Windows Vista which is 2 versions and 5+ ago (eons in the tech world).

Also, if you're looking for help with choosing or using smartphones, tablets, etc. you'll find that the book is lacking in details and here too is also somewhat out of date. There's only one sentence about Android even though it's the most popular OS for all non-Apple mobile devices, and the only tablet mentioned is the iPad even though there are many non-Apple tablets on the market now.

Still, overall I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to anyone who isn't experienced with computers and wants to learn how to use their Mac, or their *not* brand-new Windows PC (or if a knowledgable friend/family member first reconfigured their Windows 8 or 8.1 system to be more like old Windows, which isn't hard to do).

But if they have a new Windows 8 (or Windows 8.1) PC they'll be scratching their heads - and if they're looking for buying advice on things like smartphones and tablets, they will not get an accurate picture of what's currently available and most suitable for their needs.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Computer Handbook. March 12, 2012
By Jim
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well written, easy to read. Answers provided for FAQ. Provides an abundance of practical, utilizable material. Valuable to both the Mac and PC user. A worthwhile investment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK IS GREAT FOR ANY OLDER COMPUTER USER September 18, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reading this book, I felt that Abby Stokes was in the same room teaching me. I've learned so much already and
I've just started to read the book. The book takes you step-by-step through the basics all the way through using
your computer as a television. I've had dial-up from the beginning and now soon I will be getting high-speed
internet and I can hardly wait. I recommend this book highly for anyone who wants to upgrade their computer skills.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great intro
It is exactly what I needed. The explanations are very clear. It helped me understand the different programs and how things work together..
Published 4 hours ago by Phyllis Rosenzweig
If I would just take the time to read all of this book, I know I would be MUCH more technologically prepared to use my computer. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Catherine R.
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and IInformative
Gave this as a gift and wouldn't mind having one for myself. I am not completely uninformed about computers, but could learn a lot from this book.
Published 1 month ago by Glorious
5.0 out of 5 stars Ordered for my father
The computer from the early 90s has still only been turned on by my father's visiting daughter and his grandson. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Planet Claire
3.0 out of 5 stars Too basic.
A little too simplified. I'd hoped for something to guide me through the frustrations of incomprehensible error messages and way too technical instructions on how to deal with... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sharon Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh at the title if you want to...
But this book should have the answers you need to improve your computer literacy. All you need is an open mind and willingness to experiment and you will learn quickly and be... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bill Raley
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written but doesn't talk down to you
Good information, but there's always another device you need to know about. Needs to be an application for a mobile device! (laugh)
Published 1 month ago by K. A. Bledsoe
5.0 out of 5 stars great help fo us non geeks
I leave this book right by my side so when I am looking for something to do I pick it up and read I go very slowly with it as it takes a lot to absorb but I am a real live senior... Read more
Published 1 month ago by kay austin
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand.
This book is easy to understand and it lives up to the title. It is written in a very non threatening way.
Published 2 months ago by Jane O'gorman
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
The author has put a lot of effort in explaining everything about the topic and he is successful in it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Angelina *Princess*
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