Recently I wrote a review of the Windows 8 for Dummies online course, which I liked a lot. That’s not the only Windows 8 course available from the For Dummies crew, which is good news for people who don’t want to learn through online videos alone. This week I took a look at Windows 8 for Dummies eLearning Kit, which contains a book, a CD, and, as a special bonus, six months free access to the Windows 8 for Dummies online e-learning course (which is not the same as the one I recently reviewed). I was interested to see how this course’s approach differed from the previous wholly online course (besides the fact that one comes with a book and one doesn’t). Here’s what I found.
Reviews of technology books, useful or interesting to Windows users
I have been a big fan of the For Dummies series of books since pretty much the beginning. I appreciate their lighthearted approach to serious topics, and their authors’ ability to explain difficult concepts in simple terms the rest of us can understand. Thus, I was very interested to hear that there is an online course that introduces Windows 8 in a For Dummies fashion. Since many people find it easier to understand new concepts when they see how it’s done, this looked like a good bet for learning Windows 8, and I am definitely a beginner when it comes to this operating system. Did the course live up to my expectations? Let’s see what I found.
Nowadays, most hardware reviews start with an "unboxing," a series of photos showing what the box looks like and what the contents look like at various stages of being removed for use. I was intrigued by the idea of an "unboxing" for Windows 8, which is what the title of Windows 8 Out of the Box brought to my mind. Was this actually what the author wanted to accomplish with this book, an "unboxing" of Windows 8 followed by instructions for using it? Let’s see if I guessed correctly, in this book review.
Did you get a new Windows 8 computer this past holiday season? Did it come with instructions that answered your questions about this radically redesigned operating system, and explained everything to your satisfaction? Or will you need a little more information before you feel at ease? There are plenty of Windows 8 how-to books out there these days, and some are clearly better than others. I’ve reviewed both ends of the spectrum in recent months. Is Windows 8 for Dummies the kind of book that will explain everything and get nearly everyone up and running smoothly? Let’s take a look at it and find out.
I’ve always been attracted to technical books that offer to get rid of annoyances or reveal secrets (or both). These are the kinds of books that begin with the notion that the reader’s got things pretty well in hand already, but is eager to find some (as one of my friends jokingly puts it) "sooper sekrit" information to make everything work even better.
Thus, I was happy to get the chance to review Windows 8 Secrets, because with a title like that I thought it’d definitely be my kind of book. Did it meet my expectations? Let’s take a look.
Over the past few weeks, I have reviewed a comprehensive, in-depth, everything-you-need-to-know guide to Windows 8 (Windows 8 Step By Step) and a just-the-basics, bare-bones, beginners-only guide to Windows 8 (Teach Yourself Visually Windows 8.) Based on past experience, I thought that Windows 8 Plain & Simple, written by Nancy Muir, would be somewhere in the middle, not too detailed and not too simplified. Was I right to approach it this way? Let’s find out.
I’m sure by now I don’t need to say how much I like simple, concise, well-illustrated guides. (But for readers who are new to my book reviews, yep, that’s what I like.) :) Since I am a newcomer to Windows 8, I had high hopes that Teach Yourself Visually Windows 8 would be exactly right for someone like me. It’s part of a well-regarded series that’s known for being consistent in the way it simplifies complex tasks for the beginner. The book states right up front that it’s designed for the reader who has never used this particular technology or software application. So, was this book just what this beginner wanted? Let’s see.
I have been a fan of the How-To Geek website for a long time. They’ve got a great mix of interesting articles, created by some of the liveliest and best informed writers on the Internet (next to the crew from 7 Tutorials, of course). So it was only natural that I had high expectations for The How-To Geek Guide to Windows 8. Did the book live up to those expectations? Let’s find out.
Windows 8 is now on sale, and the interface is something radically different from any previous version. There are features that are entirely new, features that work differently from their previous incarnations and features that are pretty much the same. What’s the best way to hit the ground running with Windows 8?
Windows 8 Step By Step is part of a series that has a well-deserved reputation for explaining things in a simple, straightforward manner that nearly anyone can understand, and for helping new or inexperienced users gain confidence quickly. Does Windows 8 Step By Step fit this pattern? Let’s find out.
We’ve already published quite a few articles about Windows Phone. That’s not surprising for a website devoted to all things Windows! We don’t really cover Android devices in any detail, which is also not surprising. Apparently, Ciprian is very happy with his new Windows Phone. :) While I... well, I suppose I’ll have to admit it, I just got my very first smartphone and it’s an Android.
I always read the directions for new gizmos, but holy smokes, my phone came with a 300+ page manual! Even finding out that it’s really only half that size because it contains both the English and Spanish editions, didn’t make the prospect of plowing through it much less daunting. There had to be a better way to figure Android out. This is why I was happy to get my hands on Android Phones for Dummies. I’ve had mixed experiences with the For Dummies series in recent months, so I really hoped that this book would be the easy introduction to Android that I needed. Was it? Let me tell you what I found.
I built a computer for the first time in the 1990s. In those days you had to be a serious geek to attempt it, because nothing came pre-configured and you had to puzzle over manuals with tiny drawings and instructions that assumed you knew far more about the process than you really did. You had to set a lot of tiny jumpers to get your motherboard to work, and hope the components you bought were compatible. If there were books available that gave clear, step by step instructions in those days, I didn’t know about them. Since then it has gotten a lot easier to build a computer, but that doesn’t mean there is no need for a comprehensive guide.
This is why I had high hopes for Building the Perfect PC, Third Edition. Building your own computer is not difficult (or only for geeks) these days, and with a good guidebook by your side, it should be something nearly everyone can do. Was this book what I was looking for?
Security and privacy are matters of major importance to most people these days, with news of new malware and hacker attacks appearing almost daily. I use both a PC and a Mac, and I know I haven’t done nearly enough to protect my data on either operating system, which is why I had high hopes for a book that promises to be a Complete Guide. Did I find what I was looking for? Let’s see.