Pogue's new Missing Manuals and The Complete Idiot's Guide put you on the right path
By MIKE BERMAN
Scripps Howard News Service
David Pogue to the rescue!
With Microsoft bombarding us with a new operating system --- Vista --- and a complete remake of Microsoft Office --- Microsoft Office 2007 --- it's not unusual to see many a human scratching his head to make sense out of the bevy of changes being foisted upon them as they make the switch.
Pogue's Missing Manual series takes on the task of explaining all of these changes in clear, concise and simple language that even I can understand with the release of five new books by the Pogue Press and O'Reilly Media Inc.
Individually taking on Windows Vista (David Pogue, $34.99), Access 2007 (Matthew MacDonald, $34.99). Word 2007 (Chris Grover, $29.99), PowerPoint 2007 (E.A. Vander Veer, $29.99), and Excel 2007 (Matthew MacDonald, $39.99), these tomes demystify the intricacies of these new products by simplifying the often baffling details found in user manuals.
Mixing a great combination of humor and good, common sense, they ease you into using these programs and placate the fear we all experience when faced with a new interface or operating system we don't understand.
And, for those of you that need even more handholding, there's "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Microsoft Windows Vista" by Paul McFedries ($18.95) published by Alpha Books, a division of the Penguin Group.
Although not as detailed as Pogue's Missing Manual, McFedries' book tells us all we need to know to ease the pain that accompanies the frustration of working with a new operating system, providing us with simple instruction as we navigate through the intricacies of Vista. And, of course, as is the case with all of McFedries' books, he uses humor to help us with even the simplest of tasks.
Techtalk Moves On
According to the Wikipedia, a blog is "a user-generated Web site where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order.
"Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of most early blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual although some focus on photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media.
"The term 'blog' is derived from 'Web log.' Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog."
And it is the spirit of that definition that I move on to the blogosphere and my new home on www.scrippsnews.com. This is the final column that will appear in local papers around the country as we move from print to cyberspace and take up residence on the Internet. Those of you that can't get enough of my ramblings will also be able to get your fill at www.jocgeek.com.