Synopses & Reviews
"Stokes gives the feeling that a friend is explaining it all to you."
— The New York Daily News
Is This Thing On? is a reassuring, jargon-free, and totally straightforward nuts-and-bolts guide that introduces late bloomers, grandparents, technophobes, and the digitally challenged to all the wonders of using a computer, and will even have them using digital cameras and PDAs with ease.
Written for the reader who did not grow up with personal computers, this book updates and expands on Stokes's previous title, It's Never Too Late to Love a Computer. It covers everything you need to get wired: how to select, buy, and set up a computer; how to sign up for e-mail and internet access, and how to use the world wide web. There's information on peripherals—printers, scanners, wireless routers—and basic software, such as word processing programs. Plus, this new edition delves further into the online world to cover search engines and web navigation, information on online banking, shopping, travel planning, and dating. It covers security issues, "netiquette," instant messaging, and blogs, and there's an entire chapter devoted to digital photos—transferring them from camera to computer and sending them as attachments. Abby Stokes—who has a gift for taking the terrified by the hand and teaching old dogs new tricks—branches out into other essential digital accoutrements: cell phones, iPods, and Blackberries. A companion website, www.abbyandme.com, offers a safe place to practice and keep learning. Appendices include recommended websites, a resource list, and more.
This reassuring, jargon-free, and totally straightforward guide introduces late bloomers, grandparents, and technophobes to all the wonders of using a computer. Illustrated.
Plug in, boot up, and get online!
• Email and receive pictures of the kids and grandkids
• Enjoy the convenience and bargains of online shopping
• Search for recipes, health and travel information
• Look up old friends and make new friends
• Read the latest news, sports, weather reports, stock quotes, and commentary
• You can even start a blog
It's your turn now, and you won't believe how much you can do and how easy it is to do it. Written for the reader who didn't grow up with a personal computer or use one in the office, this book is everything you need to get wired.
You'll learn how to shop for a computer that's just right for you, and how to set it up for maximum comfort and safety. How to sign up for email and Internet access. How to use the mouse, a printer, a scanner, and how to get started with essential skills like word processing and using search engines. Plus: the A to Z's of digital photos, a guide to online shopping, over 200 recommended websites, and much more. Before you know it, you'll be clicking away to a whole new world.
About the Author
Abby Stokes has taken on the role of the Johnny Appleseed of technology, crisscrossing the country to help “digital immigrants” conquer their fear. She has visited more than 20 states, 120 public libraries, and 100 senior centers/computer clubs, and has hosted webinars across the country. She has taught courses at both Cooper Union and NYU’s School of Lifelong Learning, and has also taught private and corporate clients. Ms. Stokes divides her time between New York City and Niantic, Connecticut.
Table of Contents
A Word Before You Begin
There is Nothing to Fear but Technology Itself
Chapter 1: Bringing the World to Your Fingertips
Research, find, and buy anything you can imagine, and communicate with loved ones...without leaving home
Chapter 2: Hardware: The Thigh Bone's Connected to the...
A simple introduction to the parts of a computer and how they relate to one another
Chapter 3: Software: Feeding the Computer Brain
An explanation of software and how it is used
Where Will It Sleep and How Often Do I Need to Water It?
Chapter 4: There's No Place Like Home vs. Taking Your Show on the Road
Desktop vs. laptop
Chapter 5: Creating a Computer Comfort Zone
Tips on finding a comfortable and safe work area
Go for a Test Drive
Chapter 6: Apples and Oranges
Macintosh vs. PC
Chapter 7: Would You Buy a Car Without Test-Driving It?
What to look for when you get behind a keyboard
Chapter 8: Choosing the Best Route
What software and Internet services fit you best
Chapter 9: Make Your Purchase
Old vs. new, extended warranties, store vs. mail order, and what questions to ask
Baby's First Day Home
Chapter 10: Counting Fingers and Toes
Taking your new computer out of the box and connecting all the parts
Chapter 11: Shaking Hands
Meet your computer and mouse
Chapter 12: Getting to Know You
Experimenting with what you can do on the computerThe Newlywed Game
Chapter 13: Spanning the Globe
"Surfing the net"--traveling around the World Wide Web
Chapter 14: Shall We Dance?
Let's send email
Chapter 15: Mind Your Ps & Qs
An introduction to word processing
Welcome to the Neighborhood
Chapter 16: Practical Precautions
Secure your identity and your computer
Chapter 17: Advanced E-mail
Let's go to the next level--web links, attachments, and more
Chapter 18: Picture This
Digital and scanned photos from A to Z
Chapter 19: Join the Conversation
Instant messages, blogs, chat rooms, and online dating
Chapter 20: Put it All in Order
Create a filing system, organize, and maintain all that lives on your computer
Exploration and Discovery
Chapter 21: Detective Work With Your Computer
Get the most out of your searches
Chapter 22: Shop Till You Drop
Shopping, auctions, airline reservations, prescriptions, and online banking
Chapter 23: The Wide, Wide World of Entertainment
Finding fun on the Web
Make New Friends and Keep the Old
Chapter 24: Extra, Extra, Read All About It
The scoop on cell phones, PDAs, BlackBerries, iPods, and iPhones
Chapter 25: Troubleshooting
I think it has a fever--what to do if something doesn't seem right
Over 200 Recommended WebsitesGlossaryResource ListTest-Drive FormIndex