Do you ever watch quizzes on TV? I always find the questions always seem either too hard or too easy. I’ve just realised that’s just because I either know them or I don’t – if I know them I think they’re too easy and if I don’t I think they’re too hard. I’m not sure that the quiz people could really avoid that!
When I was little I used to occasionally watch Countdown with my Nan. She was far better at it than me – but I enjoyed the tension as you get near to the end of the time, before that “dee-dum dee-dum deedley-dum” sound.
Anyway, today I’m in a hotseat of a different kind, answering some questions about the new “Next Steps” books that I’ve been talking about.
My time starts NOW…
So, what are these books, Tim?
They’re called “Next Steps on Your PC” and “Next Steps on The Internet”. After I wrote “Computers One Step at a Time”, I got lots of questions from people saying “These books are great – now I know how to use my PC and don’t get myself into such a pickle all the time. But I’d like to know how to do such and such… could you tell me how”. So I took the 63 things I got asked how to do – the things most people wanted to do with their PC – and wrote these books to show you exactly how to do those things.
They proved extremely popular – lots of people have found them really useful.
But what’s new about them, if you wrote them that long ago?
Two things: I’ve just updated them (with some help) to cover Windows 10. Windows 10 is quite different from the versions that have gone before, so it’s worth being shown how to do the things you want to on that particular version of Windows (if you have WIndows 10 or are thinking of getting it, that is).
But secondly, even aside from Windows, lots of other things have changed. There are different things people want to do with their PCs now, and lots of things you can do online have changed. So it’s not just about the new version of Windows.
What’s this about a free gift?
If you buy the pair of books (the PC one and the Internet one), you’ll also get a free copy of “What you should know about your mouse”. Lots of people assume you don’t really need to know that much about your mouse – you just wiggle it about and click the button. But you might be making things much harder for yourself if you don’t know how to use it properly.
We’ve updated this booklet, too, to cover Windows 10 and also to cover things like touchscreens, which are becoming more common. Again, you might not think there’s anything to know, but you might be making things harder for yourself by not knowing a couple of simple bits.
And what on earth has a French 19th Century Newspaper Editor got to do with it?
“dee-dum dee-dum deedley-dum” – that’s my time up… but if you want to find out more (including about Jean-Baptiste, the newspaper man) you can read the full information here. (And if you like, order a set on free trial).
You can also find out what’s covered in a bit more detail, from running old programs to saving money on printer cartridges to how to tell if a website’s secure (at a glance) and how to watch TV online while staying on the right side of the law. Here’s the full information.