Evernote is the type of application that used to be called a "personal information manager." It can capture, store, retrieve and manage all kinds of information in all kinds of ways. I had been considering using Evernote for a long time, but hadn’t actually installed it yet, because I like to know as much as possible about any new software before I install it (yes, I am the one person who does RTFM). There’s a good "getting started" page on the Evernote website, but I prefer having printed material in front of me while I’m learning, rather than having to flip back and forth from web page to app. I looked forward to reading Evernote for Dummies so I could be much better informed when I finally got going with Evernote. Did this book live up to my expectations? Let’s see.
Reviews of technology books, useful or interesting to Windows users
A lot of us, me included, turn to Wiley’s For Dummies series of books when we want a clear and simple explanation of some complex topic that we don’t quite understand yet. For Dummies books are created to educate beginners and give them confidence and they are extremely popular as a result.
Microsoft Office 365 for Dummies was written to explain a new, sophisticated product that’s designed to bring Microsoft Office within reach of more organizations. And of course the more sophisticated the product, the more clear the explanation needs to be. Does this book do the job? Let’s find out in this review.
Many of you may have heard about Google+ (“Google Plus”), a relatively new social networking site. People often describe it by comparing it to other sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, but Google+ has a personality all its own. Like many social networking sites, Google+ doesn’t come with an instruction manual, and it has a lot of features that may not be intuitive to figure out. Enter former Lifehacker editor Kevin Purdy, with Google+ The Missing Manual. As a fairly new user of Google+ I was very interested to see if this book would help me understand it better.
Let’s face it, being a "geek" (as people understand the term today) often involves lots of sitting around staring at a computer or video game screen. Geeks have avatars who do incredibly active things in virtual worlds, while the person behind the avatar is basically just sitting on a chair moving one arm or a couple of thumbs.
I am lousy at video games, so I don’t even have an avatar running around blowing things to smithereens for me. I just sit here and type and move a stylus or a mouse. And my real-life shape sure shows it. This is why I really looked forward to reviewing Fitness for Geeks. Was my eager anticipation justified? Let’s see.
In the early 1960s, my parents bought my youngest brother a box of LEGO bricks. That was the beginning of our family’s appreciation for LEGO, which continues to this day (I recently gave my LEGO robot mini-toy to my favorite 9-year-old, but I still use my LEGO gym bag and have a LEGO soccer player minifig on my desk). In our local shopping mall, the Apple store used to be right next to the LEGO store, and I have spent a lot more time with LEGO toys than "Apples". My son and daughter still have thousands of bricks and minifigs and accessories in storage here and there. So when I got the chance to review a book called The Cult of LEGO, I was eager to get started. Was my enthusiasm for the project rewarded? Read on and find out.
Windows Movie Maker was first introduced as part of a service pack for Windows XP, and quickly proved to be very popular. It made creating videos very easy, so much so that many people didn’t even need to read the directions. (Like me—I created a couple of silly parody videos with the Windows XP version.) Windows Movie Maker was also included in Windows Vista, but with the advent of Windows 7, Microsoft removed it and made it part of the Windows Live Essentials package. To me, the latest version seemed just as easy to use, while I was creating my third silly video without reading the directions. Was I missing out on something by doing it that way? I was very interested to see what Getting StartED with Windows Live Movie Maker could tell me. (Yes, they capitalize ED in the title, because it is a "friends of ED" book.)
I have always been a late adopter of new Microsoft software, under the "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it" principle. I only just started using Windows 7 extensively last year, and based on the few screenshots and incomplete information I’ve seen on Windows 8, in magazines and on web sites, I hadn’t been particularly interested in hopping on the bandwagon any earlier than I had before. But I’m always willing to change my mind, and I definitely wanted to see if Ed Bott’s Windows 8 Head Start would show me anything to make this new operating system more appealing. Would this book do the trick?
We reviewed the original edition of Windows 7 Inside Out back in 2010 and we considered it a great book for people who want to go in depth with their understanding of the Windows 7 operating system. The authors together with Microsoft Press, just launched a Deluxe Edition of the book. So I wondered: what makes this new edition worthy of being called Deluxe? I was very interested to find out.
I had never heard of the Head First series of books before I got this one to review, so I was really surprised by the way these books approach their subjects. I’ve read a lot of technical books in my lifetime, but never one like this!
I think it’s safe to say that nearly everyone who’s had to use email on the job has used Microsoft Outlook. I was one of many people who learned just enough about it to get by, and never thought of it as anything more than an email program that could also print calendars. My boss knew less about Microsoft Outlook than I did, so I always printed out the departmental calendars for her. So, imagine my surprise when I saw the title of this book! Using Microsoft Outlook for time management and organization? This, I had to see. Could it be used that way even by people with only basic skills? I was very eager to find out.
Reading the title of this book review - I’m sure you have an ironic smile on your face. Why would a blog about Windows, for Windows users, review a book about Steve Jobs? Because no matter how much he berated Microsoft and Windows, Steve Jobs had a great influence on the tech world and contributed to the exciting & privileged context in which we find ourselves today. Should a Windows user (or fan) read Steve Jobs’s biography by Walter Isaascon? Read on to find out.
Many people have to learn just enough about Microsoft Excel to get by on the job. As a result, I’ve met a lot of people who’ve greeted the news that they need to learn to create spreadsheets with all the enthusiasm they’d have for a job scraping chewing gum off the sidewalk in front of a school.
Is a spreadsheet really an alien minefield filled with toxic waste? Can a book explain Microsoft Excel in terms that make it not only easy to understand but easy to use? Microsoft Excel 2010 Step By Step was written for that purpose. Let’s take a look and see how well the author - Curtis D. Frye - succeeded.