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Search in Book Reviews

The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Easy PCs (5th ed)
Author:
Nat Gertler
ISBN:
0 7897 1630 5
Publisher:
Que
Pages:
215pp
Price:
£18-49
Reviewer:
Francis Glassborow
Subject:
technology
Appeared in:
11-1
It is coming up to Christmas so I thought I would have a look at this book as a potential gift for someone who is yet to venture into the World of PCs.

This book sticks to simple sentences with lots of accompanying diagrams. The publishers are of the school that believes in liberal use of colour to enhance their products.

The book is task oriented in the sense that each section starts with a 'Task' heading. For example in part 3 (Understanding Windows) task 6 is 'Recognising Windows Versions'. There are three overlapping pictures on this page, two sidebars and three numbered statements. The utility of the book can be judged by a close examination of this page. The illustration of the 'arrow' buttons that the author suggests as a way of identifying earlier (16-bit to you and me) versions is so small that it is a strain to see them.

In one of the sidebars the author opines that a machine with a CPU running at 66 MHz, 16 megs of RAM and at least 500 megs of hard disk can run Windows 95 or 98. That is strictly true but I would not want to take that as an appropriate specification.

I am struggling to decide at whom this book is aimed. It seems to me that it is a result of progressively upgrading earlier editions to take account of new hardware but without allowing for the changed society that is using it.

To be honest it reminds me of the kind of wholesome book my great aunts and uncles would give in the fond believe that it would be pleasantly educational. It would tell them things they were not interested in but which seem important. But in the recipients world these things are well known.