Whether you're a computer whiz or a computer nerd, this tongue-in-cheek guide to computing by bestselling humorist Barry (Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys, etc.) has enough byte to keep you entertained. Designed to look like a user's manual, complete with section tabs and a mock glossary, it offers a wryly skeptical tour of the digital world with outrageously irreverent commentary on word-processing applications, software installation and use, Windows 95, Comdex trade shows, technical support services and much more. Computerphobes will instantly relate to Barry's spoof, which taps into the residual anxieties lurking even in computer sophisticates. (How to buy and set up a computer? ""Step One: Get Valium."") Along with a brief history of computing from cave walls to virtual reality, Barry chats on the Internet, eavesdrops on a cybersex session and visits selected weird World Wide Web sites (""Proof that civilization is doomed."") Barry's nonstop humor is, perhaps necessarily, hit and miss, but he never loses sight of his big target and lets loose with enough volleys to remind us that, despite all the hype, a computer is just a machine ""that operates on simple principles that can be easily understood by anybody with some common sense, a little imagination, and an IQ of 750."" Major ad/promo. Author tour. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996 Release date: 09/01/1996 Genre: Nonfiction
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