Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Kim's Review : Comdex : Computer Course Kit - Windows Vista with Office 2007

The Comdex - Computer Course Kit - Windows Vista with Office 2007 written by Vikas Gupta costs 229INR with the CD. Vikas Gupta has earlier co-authored books for Wiley, McGraw Hill and IDG.

This book, comes with a CD Training kit and the book aims to help you master Windows Vista, Internet, MS Word, MS Excel, MS Access and MS Powerpoint.

The book is developed with the premise that the qualification of the person using the book is "ability to read" hence it is extremely simple, straight forward and easy to follow, with step by step instructions accompanied by appropriate illustrations.

The book provides explanations, with screen print outs to demonstrate the described functions. The CD provides an audio video demo and a self practice mode.

The book starts out with the first 24 pages outlining the types of computers, the hardware units, and the basics of software and networks which is an excellent preface for someone not well versed with computers. This took me back to our ITC (Introduction to Computers) course, but this book was much simpler.

At times the language in the book dips a bit into the formal, flowery, government office kind of English, but it soon recovers and gets back to the simplicity, that is its selling point.

It even covers new features like Windows Aero, Windows Meeting Space, Internet Explorer 7.0, Windows Mail.

My only feeling of discontent with the book is that the paper quality is not the best and it gave me the feel of a pirated cheap reprint.

The book and the CD may be used completely independently of each other.

The text instructions on the CD are in English only, but the audio has the option of Hindi too. The audio can be turned off, if you feel that it is slowing you down during the audio-video demo mode. The voice on the audio is pleasant and not robotic or irritating except for a few mis-pronunciations(/heavily accented pronunciation) like "appears" and "adjust". This is an ideal method for auditory learners.

The Hindi version, still uses a lot of English words in the voice over and some Hindi words that aren't common vocabulary.

In some modules, The control panel at the base of the screen, takes an inordinately long time to follow instructions. You can increase or decrease the speed of the verbal instructions and the demonstration time during the demo module.

This is a wonderful book for someone who is just starting to learn about computers. Quite a good book to gift your parents and preserve your own blood pressure from escalating. Or if you are looking to brush up your knowledge or upgrade your software and need a quick primer on the subject.

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