By Jerry Joyce and Marianne MoonMicrosoft Press, August 2000198 pp.ISBN: 0-7356-0979-5Available for $15.95 at fatbrain.com
Jerry Joyce and Marianne Moon’s Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition At a Glance is beautifully illustrated and easy to read. Readers are given a basic overview of the Windows Me operating system, and are provided with directions for performing specific tasks and solving possible problems. With wonderful graphics and simple instructions, I feel Joyce and Moon’s book is well suited for Windows beginners. As an experienced support tech, however, I found the book less than helpful.
The first thing I noticed when flipping through Joyce and Moon’s book was the abundance of eye-catching illustrations. Nearly every page is filled with colorful and informative Windows Me screen shots. Each graphic is thoroughly labeled and guides the reader through every step of the desired task. I have always found a visually appealing book easier to read and understand. The images also allowed me to quickly associate the book with the actual Windows Me screens.
Personally, I have never read a computer reference book from cover to cover and doubt most techs have. In my opinion, a reference book is just that—a text used by the reader to address a particular issue or problem by referring to specific sections that discuss the issue or problem. With this in mind, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition At a Glance does a good job of presenting information in short, self-contained sections. In the introduction and first chapter, Joyce and Moon encourage readers to examine those sections that interest them the most. The book is conveniently divided into twelve sections, such as Networking, Multimedia, Customizing, and Connecting. Each section contains tasks that are explained in three pages or less.
The facts and nothing but the facts
When using a technical reference book, I want to get in and get out fast. I don’t have time to waste reading the useless fluff some authors use to fill pages. A reference book’s information and instructions should be accurate and to the point. To this end, Joyce and Moon have done a good job of simplifying each task by providing the essential facts and leaving out unnecessary and possibly confusing information.
The bottom line
Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition At a Glance is a good reference book for the novice user. I highly recommend this book for someone who has never used the Windows operating system or has very limited PC experience. However, most experienced users are likely to already know most of the book’s information and will find this work less that helpful.
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Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.