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Is This Thing On?, revised edition: A Computer Handbook for Late Bloomers, Technophobes, and the Kicking & Screaming Revised Edition
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More About the Author
Abby is the author of "Is This Thing On?" A Friendly Guide to Everything Digital for Newbies, Technophobes, and the Kicking & Screaming, Dinner Party Disasters: True Stories of Culinary Catastrophe, and It's Never Too Late to Love a Computer. She splits her time between New York City and Niantic, Connecticut.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Microsoft has learned their lesson; a lot of the weirder features of Windows 8 have been removed from Windows 10, and the familiar "Start" menu is back. So if you know Windows 7 or Vista, using Windows 10 will be less of a shock than using Windows 8. That means that more of this book is applicable to Windows 10 compared to Windows 8 - but the book still needs updating.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gave this to my aunt who has owned a computer for years and never got past sending emails.Published 1 month ago by D. Newman
No matter how good the book, it's of know value if you don;t read it. Bought for computer-vegetable sister who has yet to open it up a year later. Read morePublished 2 months ago by cliffgi
Very informative and not intimidating.I so needed this book years ago.Published 5 months ago by Tamara Mouradian