Top positive review
Very well-written introduction to computer technology
on April 28, 2012
For any of you who are interested in learning some computer information to bridge that gap in your technology knowledge, I can highly recommend the text book we're using in my Computer Literacy class (CIS 101) at the local community college.
I bought this year-old edition, to save a few bucks over the 2012 version we were supposed to buy, because the instructor said it would be 95% as useful as the most recent edition. I've been doing quite well on the chapter tests taken from the 2012 version, so apparently he was truthful. The 2011 edition wouldn't be sufficient if you're trying to learn cutting edge technology, but then, what bound paper book about technology is ever truly cutting edge? The edge gets pushed outward every week or so; however, there are website articles for that. This volume is well-suited to provide a novice or non-techie a good/broad understanding of that mystical realm of "what are computers actually good for, and what the heck goes on inside one"?
(warning: the *brief* version of this book has only the first 4 chapters, and is not as worthwhile as the *comprehensive* version ~ but it would be adequate for someone who just wants to get familiar with home applications and understanding the meaning of the jargon used for home computer specifications, with no need for studying the internet, digital media, or more advanced application uses such as databases)
The writing style is down-to-earth, considering the difficulty of technical topics (for us laypeople anyway) - and that's a crucial lack in many technology books. The graphics are clear & helpful, and they include screen shots showing what you'd actually see on your computer screen if you did the exercises. I've appreciated the bold type used for all important terms, which helps me go back to cover something again while studying.
There are glossaries in all 12 chapters, titled as follows:
1 - Computers and Digital Basics
2 - Computer Hardware
3 - Computer Software
4 - Operating Systems and File Management
5 - LAN's and WLAN's (that means networks)
6 - The Internet
7 - The Web and E-mail
8 - Digital Media
9 - The computer Industry: History, Careers and Ethics
10 - Information Systems Analysis and Design
11 - Databases
12 - Computer Programming
And if your book has the CD with it, you have bonus interactive lessons. I'm planning to keep my comprehensive volume as a reference after the class ends (unless I upgrade it to the 2012 version, when they are available more cheaply). My purpose in taking the Computer Literacy class was to gain enough understanding about the more advanced functions of computers, networks, and software to speak intelligently as a small business owner with (1) any customers asking for digital photos/videos and (2) any vendors I might hire to create web content. Not trying to become a computer expert, just trying to have conversations about what technology can help me do. I feel that this reference book is helping me achieve that goal.