Book Review: iPad the missing manual

Review: by Gregory West
prospector16@gmail.com
Member of the Computer Operators 
of Marysville & Port Huron
Member of Sarnia Computer Users’ Group
By J.D. Biersdorfer
ISBN- 978-1-449-38784-6
Pages: 299
USA: $24.99 / CDA: $31.99
Learning a new program, gadget, or tech device is easy. You just turn it on and start clicking or pounding buttons until it works. For many people this method is sufficient. However, if you really want to get the most from your new device you need go further. You need advice from someone who has discovered all the features and then some. Pounding and clicking aimlessly may work, but to find out all about the iPad you need more than hit and miss techniques.
This book is an excellent learning tool and a reference guide. The sixteen chapters help you get to know your iPad, interact with all the features and discover the deep secreted “undocumented tips and tricks” that are found in this book.
Chapter one gets you jump-started and takes you on a guided tour of the “home screen icons”. You find all about connectivity, working with iTunes and some iPad maintenance.   As the chapters progress so does your learning. Chapter two gets you interacting with the various features and functionality, while the next chapter explains all the intricacies of getting online, staying secure while using public “hot spots”, and how to use Skype to make Internet calls.
Other chapters show you how to work with photography on the iPad, tour the iPad’s Mail program, set up your calendar, take notes and watch YouTube video clips. Mapping is detailed as you learn to “Find Your Way with Maps” and “Locate Your Position with GPS”.
Applications (apps) are important features on the iPad covered in Chapter Seven. From buying to adjusting and troubleshooting your apps, the guided tour takes care of all your app needs and more.
If you are a reader you are in luck. Chapter eight covers “iBooks and ePeriodicals”. Learn how to download the iBooks App, use the apps bookstore, buy books and how to read an iBook. Newspapers and magazine apps are covered as you learn how to subscribe to ePeriodicals from comic books to National Geographic magazines.
Appendix A demonstrates iPad settings that are very important. In this section you “Tour the iPad Settings” learning how to use the iPad in Wi-Fi zones, Airplane Mode (Wi-Fi and 3G), and connecting to Cellular Data. Appendix B is for all of us who need Troubleshooting from time-to-time.
This book is complete with excellent coloured screenshots that make it very easy to understand the information on each page. This book is a must have while you learn the amazing features on your iPad. It is an excellent book for future referencing.
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Watch Windows Video on a Mac

If you are a Mac user and have been sent a video from someone who made it in Windows Movie Maker you will know how frustrating it is not to be able to open this monster.

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Happy viewing…

Leopard OS X – A Review & Preview

Missing Manual Leopard OS X

A Must Have

Mac OS X Leopard

The Missing Manual

by David Pogue
Published by O’Reilly Media Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-0-596-52952-9
Pages: 893
USA: $34.99 / CDA: $34.99
missingmanuals.com

If you love your Mac, you will love this book. This book details every aspect of the Leopard operating system, from simple to advanced. Looking up how to do something is fast and easy, although this book is a real treat for simply browsing topics to learn some tricks and tips that you won’t find in most other Help sections.

For instance, only about 4% of us back up our computers and now there is no excuse. Leopard comes equipped with its own backup system, Time Machine, and with this book you can easily follow the simple step-by-step process to ensure you never lose anything again. When working through these types of sections you can easily set up the process, read the technical stuff, or try out some of the exciting tips that are all highlighted: basic, moderate, and advanced data. But the bottom line is all these sections are designed to get you going, give you the “under-the-hood” scoops, and show you some magic tricks to boot that helps make this book a good read.

Apple created 300 new features inside Leopard, however they failed to let you in on many of the tricks and tips that “demystifies” this amazing new operating system. In this book David Pogue also shows “refugees”, who escaped Windows and moved to a Mac. Windows users need no other books, as Pogue shows where they went in Mac OS X 10.5.

This book is spread out in six parts: The Mac OS X Desktop, Programs in Mac OS X, The Components of Mac OS X, The Technologies of Mac OS X, Mac OS Online, Appendices.

In the first part you discover folders and windows and how to organize your data. Pogue takes you through the various items such as: Spotlight searching, using the Dock, Desktop and Toolbars and gives you an expert feel as you see how simple Leopard is to use.

Without a doubt, this book is a great refresher; it is one that you will refer to when you you’re stuck. The thing I really like about this book is that you can pick it up and open it anywhere and begin reading.  I highly recommend this book for all level of users, both as a learning tool, and as a quick reference guide. Before you call a technician for a problem, treat yourself to this “must have” book first.

GET A SNEAK PEEK PREVIEW OF THIS BOOK –  CLICK HERE

Review Written by Gregory West – Member of COMP & APCUG

What’s New at Google Laboratory?

What’s New at Google Laboratory?
www.googlelabs.com

by Gregory West

Editor’s Note: This article will appear in the October Issue of First Monday magazine

Google has a secret place: Google Labs. It is not well known to most humans. This is the place some insiders refer to as the “playground” for Google engineers. For those of you who have never explored Google in the past, other than using Google Search, you are now in for a real treat inside Google’s Labs. Come on and check out the programs.

Let’s head to http://www.googlelabs.com and see what Google is currently testing. Here you will find twenty five software programs you can try and use for free.

FAST FLIP: (http://fastflip.googlelabs.com/) This program is one of my favourites. When you click open this program you are before a magazine stand displaying various newspapers and magazines with current content. You just click on one and begin your reading experience.

Newspapers and magazines are beginning to suffer due to their content being displayed on the Internet, Google feels this service can help. Tony Bradley of PCWorld reiterates that “Google feels that recreating the print media experience online will attract more readers and help its partner publishers transition more smoothly to delivering information over the Internet”. Time will tell, but for now, give this program a go and enjoy the FREE newspapers and magazines on your very own news stand.

GOOGLE NEWS TIMELINE: (http://newstimeline.googlelabs.com) This is another collection of news media presentations wherein you find the major stories of the day. Timeline is also a news “time machine” where you drag the dates and go back in time. A calendar allows you to change dates from DAY, WEEK, and YEAR to see how a subject changes over a certain period of time. According to cnet.com this “project is the baby of Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original designers of the Apple Macintosh software and something of a Silicon Valley icon”. It is a definite program to keep an eye on.

SIMILAR IMAGES: (http://similar-images.googlelabs.com) Is a fun program where you type in a name, place, or whatever you choose to retrieve “similar” images. I typed in “sarnia, ontario” and was amazed at the tons of photos that people have uploaded to the Internet. In fact, there are “about 467,000” Sarnia related pictures found in that search. Type in your own name and include sarnia, ontario and see the many times your related photo has been uploaded to the Internet. To check your name type it like this: “gregory west” sarnia, ontario (include the quotation marks). This is a good time waster and it is an interesting program, to say the least.

There are twenty two more programs to check out. Some of my other favourites are: Google Mars, Google Trends, and Google Dashboard Widgets for Mac to go nicely with my Macbook. Remember, this is Google’s “playground” and the programs are in the beta or test mode and are not ready for prime time just yet.

[bi-line]
Gregory West is a basic home computer consultant for MAC and PC and software
reviewer for major computer companies. Also come and join in on his free Basic
Computer Training sessions, held weekly at Central United Church this Fall. For info: www.centralunitedsarnia.ca/free_computer_lessons.html
Gregory can be reached at gregorywest@bell.net
Also, check out his Blog: Computer & Internet Tips:
http://tips4computers.wordpress.com

Keynote on CLOUD COMPUTING

At the end of October and November I am giving a Keynote presentation in both Sarnia, Ontario and Port Huron, Michigan for the two Computer User Groups:

Sarnia Computer Users Group

Computer Operators of Marysville and Port Huron

The topic: CLOUD COMPUTING.

Here is a demo of the beginning slide:

Computers “USER FRIENDLY”?

Far from it!

    Back in the “day”, when DOS was alive and well, computers were scary creatures and only a few could operated those vehicles without accident or incident. Then along came the 90’s when the PCs and Macs were made available and workable for the so-called “average” human, with projected promises of making these machines: “USER FRIENDLY”. Remember that term? Although, as many companies do, some lied. Or rather, they did not tell “the whole truth and nothing but”.

    Computer User Groups began to pop up faster that dandelions all across North America…”Why” you ask? The answer is simply that the “user friendly” computer did not come about. In fact, to this very day, computers are more and more complex machines.

    Oh yes, computers can be user friendly until you do something you are not aware of, or click on something within a website that set your machine either on fire or sent it to a shallow grave, wherein you cannot, no matter how hard you try, start it back up. Or in computer terms you are now SOL lol.

    Today, while sitting in Coffee Lodge, having my afternoon coffee and serving of free WiFi, there was an elderly couple sitting next to me. The elderly woman was watching me book a campsite at the Pinery Provincial Park for May 2008 online, but of course she had no real idea what I was doing.

    “I like the look of your white computer,” said the woman. “It’s a Mac,” I replied to a blank look.

    I explained to the woman and her silent husband that I was online and had just booked a campsite for May 2008. She was stunned. “I know nothing of computers,” she pointed out. I suggested she come out to the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group and she just smiled. I informed her and her husband that they could come out for free, at least the first three meetings, just to check it out. I further tried my sales pitch that our club has beginners and that they would not feel out of place. They both said nothing, with a look that said they seemed to miss a boat a while back.

    For many, computers are scary machines, very complex machines, and instruments that command a good deal of knowledge. More than ever before the average person needs to belong to a Computer User Group to wrestle that “USER FRIENDLY” BEAST.

    Anyone in the Sarnia area can come to our meetings FREE for 3 meetings: http://www.scug.ca

    Thank you Sponsors!!! – APCUG Convention 2008

    APCUG

    A Reiteration of Thanks from the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group in Ontario, Canada

    APCUG wants to thank all of the vendor sponsors that made the event the success it was:

    A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO ALL APCUG VOLUNTEERS WHO MADE THIS EVENT THE SUCCESS IT IS TO BE REMEMBERED FOR YEARS TO COME.

    I LOOK FORWARD ALREADY TO NEXT YEAR’S APCUG COMPUTER CONVENTION.

    Gregory West

    Editor, SCUG Report

    http://www.scug.ca