MY FIRST brush with information technology was many years ago when I bought a Sinclair ZX80 on the first weekend of the spring half-term break. By the end of the week, I was writing useless little programs in Sinclair BASIC. My modern equivalent would be buying a PC or Mac and getting to grips with Microsoft Office in a week.
If I was going to do this, I wouldn't try it using the Microsoft manuals. I'd look around for an easy-to-follow, clear text with lots of practical tasks and activities. Learning to Use Microsoft Office '97 for CLAIT and IBTII, by Angela Bessant, is just such text.
The book covers the main software applications: Word, Access and Excel. The opening section describes some of the background terminology and concepts which are essential to all computer users, and manages to do this in a clear and concise manner.
While the overall focus is on what the user needs to know to gain the CLAIT (Computer Literacy and Information Technology) and IBT II (Integrated Business Technology second level) qualifications from the Royal Society of Arts , it is also suitable for anyone wishing to improve their software knowledge.
The book has a range of exercises and assignments in each of the software applications, and its layout and clear language help make the work easy tounderstand.
Throughout, the emphasis is on practice. Learning to use Microsoft Office '97 is a useful text book for training in schools, as well as for anyone wishing to brush up on their Microsoft Office expertise and confidence (though they may need a week or more to spare over the holidays). It is good value at Pounds 9.99.
Learning to Use Microsoft Office '97 for CLAIT and IBTII. By Angela Bessant. Heinemann, ISBN 0435 45199-5, Pounds 9.99