Every step you take

10th July 1998 at 01:00
If you have managed to be only slightly touched by the world of computing but find that increasingly you are being pressed to use and understand computers in your work and recreation, these guides could be ideal for you.

Similarly, if you are a newcomer to information and communications technology (ICT) who wants simple explanations to your questions but you find that those in the know are just too technical, and talk too glibly and conceptually, leaving you behind, then you too need the new Usborne Guides to Computing.

Windows 95 for Beginners should be given away with every PC sold just so you can throw away all those complicated manuals and sit down and enjoy getting to know the machine. It gently introduces Windows from the moment you switch on to the time you close down and switch off, leaving no stone unturned.

The design and layout enable you to dip into it and pursue a particular query or follow it through sequentially.

Throughout, Window 95's help system is referred to and you are encouraged to get to grips with this system - the author recognising that real help is ultimately self-help and independence. The vocabulary is kept simple, with technical terms avoided where possible. The illustrations in these guides are typical of the Usborne genre: lavishly illustrated with a good balance between screenshot, cartoon, diagram and photograph.

The Internet for Beginners and World Wide Web for Beginners have a similar approach in that they offer a more general explanation about their subject matter but then explore software, making reference to it throughout. The Internet guide bases its approach on Netscape Navigator while the Web guide adopts both Navigator and MS Explorer as its browsers. But no prior knowledge is assumed and each guide takes you by the hand as it explores its subject.

The Internet guide devotes seven pages to the World Wide Web but that should not put you off spending a fiver on the Web guide as the treatment is far more detailed with such useful sections as six pages on how to search the Web. I have used the Web for a couple of years but I learned a thing or two. And there is good advice about shopping via the Web, and computer crime.

These guides are truly useful as introductions. Read them from cover to cover.

Usborne Computer Guides Windows 95 For Beginners ISBN 0-7460-2687-0

The Internet For Beginners ISBN 0-7460-2689-7

World Wide Web For Beginners ISBN 0-7460-2637-3

Pounds 4.99 each from D Services, 6 Euston Street, Freeman's Common, Leicester LE2 7SS, Tel: 01162 547671

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