on January 30, 2004
Okay, this is a little tough to explain. This is an EXCELLENT guide for people who need to buy a new home computer or laptop. But it by itself will not be enough to guide those people through the process smoothly.
There are two considerable strengths to this guide. First of all, it demystifies all the jargon and obscure terminology, and does a commendable job doing it. Second, Dan Gookin's advice to think about SOFTWARE primarily and not HARDWARE or PRICE when one is buying is worth its weight in gold. (The fact that brand names are scarcely used in this book is a strength and not a weakness, I believe, and fits in with Mr. Gookin's approach.) And for people who think "For Dummies" guides have too much clowning around, there is very little of it here, and it is not intrusive.
Having said all of these nice things, the book is occasionally minimal on key information. It could be argued that to make this guide complete, the author would have had to have written an 800-page book. In any case, this book alone won't get you through the computer-buying process comfortably. You should supplement the book with a friend who is moderately or heavily tech savvy.
In short, this is a great beginning and I honestly think it would be foolish for a computer beginner to buy a new machine without having read this very price-friendly work. But that reading will have to be supplemented by a friend or work colleague in the know about personal computers.
on April 7, 2003
Having looked at others, I have to agree that I found Dan Gookin's book to be by far the most helpful in preparing me to buy a computer for the first time. Sure, he didn't mention brand names, but there's plenty of information available from many sources to make that decision after you understand the basics, which he rightly concentrates on. As for Gookin's humor, that is a matter of taste, but I see no contradiction in being humorous, even silly, while at the same time being very serious and knowledgable about this subject. His humor helped put me at ease in a topic that is often scary for the beginner. We need awe and reverence, but they belong to God.
on June 21, 2000
Buying a Computer for Dummies is a wonderful resource for someone who has never been through the herculean task of buying a computer. Even if you have purchased a computer before, this book may help demystify and improve the process for you. The best thing about the book is that the author deals with the basics of a computer (i.e. Software, Hardware) and does not deal with brand. When you are finished with this book, you will be able to buy the ideal computer for yourself. The only problem I have with the book is the lame humor. This deficit, however, is more than outweighed by the great advice it offers.
on November 10, 2000
The book is well written without becoming too overbearing. As with many "For Dummies" books, there is the correct amount of levity and quite a bit of useful information. I found the info to be up to date (at least today!) in what is perhaps the fastest changing environment that ever existed. If you need a quick education ,deciding what to buy, this is your guide.