beyond bullet points – Create Top PowerPoints

learn to create effective slides iPowerPointReview: by Gregory West
gregory@alternatecloud.com
VP of the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group
scug.ca
APCUG Advisor apcug.net

beyond bullet points
by Cliff Atkinson

Published by Microsoft Press
ISBN– 978-0-7356-275-2
Pages: 330
USA: $29.99 / CDA: $34.99
Website: http://bit.ly/beyondbulletpoints

All of us have had, or were forced, to sit through a PowerPoint presentation wishing we were somewhere else. The speaker was so boring, the presentation slides were cheesy and extremely confusing, and our insides screamed for us to get up and leave the room.

Beyond bullet points is designed in such a way that this will never happen when you give your next presentation. This book takes us through the proper steps in creating  the most interesting and very definitive presentation possible. Here is where we learn the importance of telling a story with our slides. Layout is another import issue that is fully covered in Chapter 4: “Planning Your First Five Slides”. This is where you learn how to grab your audience right away and keep them focused on your presentation.

You will learn why graphics are so important and how they can make or break a presentation. Chapter 8 is where the fun begins as you learn how to  add graphics to various areas within your slides. You will learn how to use the graphics you already have on your computer, and how to get graphics from “Stock Photography Web Sites”.

Your PowerPoint presentation comes together in Chapter 9: “Delivering Your…Presentation”. The amateur presenters are separated from the professionals. This chapter prepares you for the delivery of your presentation. Here you are shown the basic ground rules for removing distractions, prompting a dialogue and how to enhance your presentation effectively.

A real treat is found in Appendix A where ground rules and checklists act as an overview  ensuring you have created a very professional presentation.

Added features: This book comes with website links for “Companion Content” with key tools and a bonus Chapter 11, introducing a “Visual Improv”, PDF version of the ground rules and checklists. You also get a voucher for your free online version of this book. For anyone who is serious about their presentations, this book is a keeper.

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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.

Windows 7 – the missing manual REVIEW

Windows 7 the missing manual

"A keeper"

Review: by Gregory West
prospector16@gmail.com
Member of Computer Users’ Groups:
COMP: http://www.bwcomp.org
SCUG: scug.ca

Windows 7
The Missing Manual 2010

By David Pogue
Published by O’Reilly Media Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-596-80639-2
Pages: 887
USA: $39.99 / CDA: $43.99
missingmanuals.com

As a computer user since 1984 and an instructor for the past ten years, I found this book an amazing read. David Pogue’s humor keeps me turning pages and I simply could not put it down. The information on this new operating system herein is an invaluable resource for both the novice and the well seasoned computer user.

This book is packed with so many excellent tips, tricks and general computer knowledge I highly recommend reading it from cover-to-cover. However, most people won’t and that is good too. You can follow along in a systematic manner, or simply use the Table of Contents or the vast 30-page Index to quickly find what you need within the 8 parts and 27 chapters.

The Table of Contents begins with “Getting Started” covers the desktop and start menu and is an excellent place for novice users to begin. This is where you learn how to search the computer, organize files, decorating your Windows screen and most importantly: “getting help”.

Internet Explorer 8 (web browser) and Windows Live Mail (email) are fully explained from setup to tricks and tips that will take you well beyond the average user if you care to go that route. A complete step-by-step for your email setup from sending, reading, calendar syncing, RSS feeds, and the infamous junk mail.

Part Four will interest many these days with the complete guide to pictures, music and TV. The main tops include: Live Photo Gallery, Media Player, Media Center. Part Five takes the pain out of setting up how to Print, Fax, and Scan.  Part Six can save you money. This is aptly named: PC Health, Maintenance and Speed Tweaks. I know that most people don’t backup, but if you do want to change, Chapter 22 takes you through the easy steps in preserving your data for that day when things go bad.

This book is for those who want to not only learn Windows 7, but who do not want to hire an in-home computer tutor. I recommend keeping this book close to your computer for easy reference. For me, it is a great read, packed with information, help, and neat tips and tricks.

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