I have long been a fan of David Pogue's books. He's one of an elite group of tech writers who can take a complex subject, explain it so that nearly anyone can understand, and be entertaining in the process. He's written some of the best books in the Missing Manual series, and this time he's tackled Windows 8.1. Does this book live up to its predecessors? Did it provide any surprises along the way? Let's find out.
Reviews of technology books, useful or interesting to Windows users
Although I've been using Audacity for a couple years now with no problems, I know there are plenty of features I have never explored, and I was eager to expand my skills. That's why I was happy to get my hands on The Book of Audacity, a book by Carla Schroder. Did this book do the job? Let's take a look in this review.
When I reviewed the first edition of this book - Windows 8 Step By Step - I said that it was "the kind of book to keep handy by your computer for reference, because it will give you confidence that you can do everything right. It's a winner!" Other sites, including Amazon, where reviewers are notoriously cranky, have given it 5-star and 4-star ratings as well, and it's one of Microsoft Press' top selling books in 2013. So this new edition had quite a reputation to live up to. Did authors Ciprian Adrian Rusen and Joli Ballew meet the challenge of making the new Windows 8.1 Step by Step bigger and better? Let's take a look and see what they accomplished this time around.
One of the Missing Manuals series of books' greatest strong points is that they explain pretty much everything about their subjects. Their slogan is "The book that should have been in the box," and that's accurate. Most of these books are excellent references for their subjects, written by people who clearly are experts and who know how to explain things so that we non-experts can understand them. I have bought several of these books over the years (in fact, there are four of them in the office with me as I write this). So when I was given the opportunity to review Office 2013: The Missing Manual, I started out with high expectations. Were my expectations met? Let's see in this review.
Back in May 2011 I reviewed Microsoft Office Inside Out 2010 and was favorably impressed by the book and its approach to covering the Office 2010 software suite. The authors, Ed Bott and Carl Siechert, are recognized experts with lots of experience in writing quality tech books and they were able to create a high-quality product. There's a new edition out now, covering Office 2013, and I was interested to see if I would still give this new book a positive review. What did I decide about the new Microsoft Office Inside Out: 2013 Edition? Let's find out.
Here at 7 Tutorials we take online privacy & security very seriously. Nowadays, it's a fact of life that one just can't be too careful, and the more information we have, the better. In this case, knowledge really is power. Thus, I was very interested by the title Take Control of your Online Privacy. Could this book tell me more than what I already had learned about online security and privacy? It's a fairly short e-book (118 pages) so would it pack in enough information to make it worth buying? Let me tell you what I've found out.
Years ago, when I bought Microsoft Word for DOS 5.0, it came with three manuals in the box: One to explain the program, one to walk the user through creating printer drivers, and one for the built-in programming language. And some people think that those old DOS programs weren't sophisticated. :)
Now, of course, there is the Microsoft Office suite of programs, all of which have a long list of features, and NO manuals come in the box. Microsoft Office Professional 2013 Step By Step is designed to give a good overview of everything the average user will need to know to be confident in using the new Office. Does this book really cover the bases, and explain everything well? Is it a reference that Office users will need? Let me talk about that in this review.
Google Chrome is one of most popular web browsers in the world and, in some countries, the most used. Because so many more people are using it, there's a great market for guides to getting the most out of this browser. And, since greater productivity is many people's goal, a guide to Google Chrome productivity would seem like a natural. I'm always in favor of doing most everything most effectively, so I was happy to see The Ultimate Chrome Productivity Guide. Was it what I needed to quit piddling around with Chrome and really make it work for me? Let's see.
The Inside Out series of books has a well-deserved reputation for quality. When these books tackle a subject, they give the reader the details on just about everything essential to the subject, in a readable, well-illustrated and easy to follow format. Thus, I had high expectations for Windows 8 Inside Out, which is certainly long enough to cover nearly everything anyone would want to know about working with Windows 8. Did the book live up to my expectations? Let's find out.
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.
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.