Hardware

You're never too old for Show and Tell

Show and Tell isn't just for kids. Check out Meredith Johnston's review of PC Show and Tell to learn how you can access free tutorials for help on everything from Access 2000 to Windows NT 4.


I stumbled across this Web site quite by accident when a user asked a software question I didn't know the answer to. This site is a free application tip site that goes way beyond giving you a little text-based tip. You can view a complete product list, or you can go right to their library. The library offers an easy-to-navigate search by keyword feature. One feature about this site is the lack of clutter. It’s lean and to the point. A site worth checking out.

Tim Payne, an avid Show-and-Teller


The simple truth of the matter is: sometimes, you just don’t know.

You don’t know how to clear the chart area in Windows NT’s Performance Monitor. You forgot how to remove fonts that are soaking up precious resources. You can't remember that shortcut for closing all open windows at once.

There are probably many things you’ve forgotten how to do—or things you just haven’t learned yet. I hate to be the one to tell you, but at least it’s coming from me, someone who cares.

Being a gambling woman, I’ll also bet that things would be much easier if someone would take the time to just show you how to do certain things. Come on, you’re an intelligent person. If you just had some basic instruction, you could probably do anything. Right? Well, congratulations, your wish has been granted.

If you show me yours . . .
PC Show and Tell is exactly what you’ve been looking for. According to its Web site, “PC Show and Tell provides instant help through audio/video shows that play directly on your computer, as if someone walked up to your desk and showed you how to solve your problem.”

I’ve tried it, and it works. I’ve even shown it to some of the office’s usual skeptical suspects, and they were impressed, too.

The PC Show and Tell library includes more than 20,000 one-minute tutorials, and it is growing rapidly every day by up to 500 shows. These tutorials include most of the tasks and topics you can think of, since they cover better than 100 software applications—from Excel 2000 to Access 2000 to Windows NT to WinZip 7.

But if you can’t find what you are looking for, don’t worry. Tell them, and they'll create it!

History lesson
Statistics demonstrating the need for tutorial information propelled PC Show and Tell to create its site. The idea paid off quickly.

By the end of its first month in service, the site had more than 80,000 users. By the end of the second month? PC Show and Tell had accumulated 250,000 users.

One of a kind
PC Show and Tell is a rare find: Easy to join, simple to navigate, and almost certain to offer what you are looking for. Plus, it’s free.

Registration is just a matter of entering your name, e-mail address, and modem speed. After registering, you’ll have to download a player for the videos. However, I was able to download the player in less than two minutes. After that, merely go to the library and search by software and a keyword, if you want. Once you have selected the tutorial you want, it will automatically start playing on your screen.

Quality control
The random videos I surfed were incredible. The images were large enough to easily see every step that was taking place. The voice that guided me through the directions was well paced and simple. The visuals were meticulous and precise, as if someone were holding my hand and leading me the entire way.

My only complaint is the lack of Novell or UNIX information on the site. Maybe that’s coming down the road.

Meredith Johnston is a regular TechRepublic contributor. She’s a published author and enjoys taking road trips to the Sunshine State.


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