Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
XP Personal Trainer
a book review by Sarah
point of view of a relative novice in the world of
computer operation, this book is a user-friendly
introduction to learning the XP Home program. Someone
with no previous computer experience would find the
language and the instructions clear and explicit. The
illustrations are very helpful and there is a casual
approach to learning. The step-by-step instructions are
easy to follow, giving the learner a feeling of
accomplishment very soon in the process. There are
thirteen chapters, at the beginning of which the
objectives of the chapter are outlined. The chapters are
divided into short lessons. One follows the step-by-step
instructions, after which there is a short summary of
points called "Quick Reference". Therefore, if
one has absorbed the steps, the Quick Reference acts as
sufficient reminder of what has been covered. At the end
of each Chapter, there is a Lesson Summary, and
for the more studious, a Quiz, Homework,
and Quiz Answers.
The first four Chapters are essential to the beginning
learner: fundamentals such as logging on and off, looking
at the start menu, and using the mouse and keyboard.
Using the WordPad program, one learns how to start a
program, learns the parts of a Window, how to change its
size and location, switch between windows, tiling and
cascading, etc. Again, using WordPad, one learns to use
menus and toolbars, a dialog box, entering and editing
text, printing a file, cutting, copying a pasting text,
saving and opening files in different locations. The
style of the text can be changed by knowing how to change
the font and the size of letters, to underline, to use
bold letters and change the paragraph alignment. Next, in
the Working with Files and Folders lesson, the
instructions encompass navigating through files and
folders, opening, creating, renaming, copying, moving,
and deleting files and folders. One can learn to restore
a deleted file and to empty the Recycle Bin. Searching
for a file is also covered.
Chapters 5 to 8 inclusive: Customizing the Taskbar
and Desktop, Customizing Windows, Free Programs, and
Working with Pictures and Multimedia are in the
"nice to know", not "must know", and
can be left to some later time. Also in the "nice to
know" are Chapters 11, 12 and 13: Passwords,
Log-ons and Accounts, Networking with Windows XP, Setting
up a Network.
More relevant are Optimizing and Maintaining Your
Computer and Exploring the Internet.
Optimizing and maintaining the hard disc is important and
certain operations should be repeated on schedule such as
scanning for disc errors, defragmenting and disc cleaning
(e.g. removing temporary files). The hard disc should be
freed to create as much available room as possible. Also,
updating Windows XP should be done fairly frequently. It
is also useful to learn how to restore your computer in
the case of procedures that did not go well. Installing,
Adding and Removing Software, and Installing a
Printer are also very useful to know.
Exploring the Internet is something every
computer user wants to do. Therefore, learning to browse,
search, add favorites, and understand security and the
Windows Firewall are particularly important. Then one is
introduced to using e-mail, composing and receiving
e-mail, using the address book, replying to and
forwarding and deleting a message, all of which are
essential to know.
In conclusion, this book rates a 10 for easy
comprehension and is a "must have" for the
beginner with the objective of learning to operate
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Copyright and Usage
Ottawa Personal Computer Users Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON K2G 1S6
opinions expressed in these reviews do not necessarily
represent the views of the OPCUG or its members.
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