In January 1983, Time magazine featured a PC on the cover as its "Man of the Year." The accompanying article quoted a then-recent advertisement describing why everybody needs one: "A PC can send letters at the speed of light, diagnose a sick poodle, custom-tailor an insurance program in minutes, and test recipes for beer."

Nearly 25 years later, email arrives within minutes, not microseconds (that is, as long as the messages aren't trapped by a spam or virus filter). Veterinarians still diagnose poodles by looking in their ears, programmers do the grunt work to tally your insurance premium, and most people prefer testing their own beer recipes, thank you very much.

In short, the personal computer has not quite lived up to its early hype. One major culprit? The modern PC has grown so complicated that most people treat it as a necessary nuisance that performs a few simple tasks , but rarely with grace. Instead of an exciting liberator, the machine's become a clumsy commodity, like an old VCR that mostly manages to record your show, but never quite displays the correct time.

That's where this book comes in. In clear, jargon-free language, it helps you perform the many basic computing tasks that have grown complex, complicated, or just plain annoying:

  • Finding an Internet provider, and setting up your PC so you can browse the Web, send email, and share the Internet connection with other PCs in your home.

  • Buying and configuring a wireless network so the signal reaches everywhere in your apartment or homeincluding the back porch.

  • Buying and installing those long black strips of silicon, called memory , so your old workhorse of a PC can keep up with your need for speed.

  • Replacing or upgrading your computer's innards, including its hard drive, CD/DVD drive, mouse, keyboard, power supply, and so on.

  • Printing all or parts of a Web page so it doesn't run off the paper's right edge.

  • Buying the right memory card for your digital camera, and then printing your photos, emailing them to a friend, or posting them to a photo-sharing Web site.

  • Recording your old records onto your PC so you can turn them into CDs.

  • Transferring your home movies to your computer, editing them with Windows Movie Maker, and copying the result to a DVD.

  • Setting up an automatic backup system for your PC's files and settings.

  • Moving your old PC's files to your new PC.

  • Locating, removing, and avoiding spyware and viruses.

  • Sharing one monitor between two PCs or connecting two monitors to one PC.

  • Creating quick and easy-to- set-up two-PC networks for home or when you're on the road.

PCs: The Missing Manual
ISBN: 0596100930
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 206
Authors: Andy Rathbone

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