The Healthy PC: Preventive Care, Home Remedies, and Green Computing (2nd ed)

Guy Hart-Davis

Published by

McGraw Hill

ISBN

9780071752916

RRP

£19.99

Reviewed by

Anthony Sutcliffe PG Dip CCI MBCS

Score

8 out of 10

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The Healthy PC is a book aimed at relatively new users of PCs; it sets out to provide basic instructions on how to perform key system maintenance, repairs and upgrades, common to most computers. It also offers concrete advice on using good practices when using the PC to carry out normal operations.

The book itself is well laid out with a structure designed to take people through the various processes in a logical, step by step approach. There are many images showing screen shots of the various stages which are generally very helpful, especially for beginners or anyone that is not sure of what they are doing.

This edition concentrates on Windows XP and Windows 7; some of the advice could be adapted for Windows Vista. It also refers to Outlook and Internet Explorer although it does indicate that other software programs can be used for email and web browsing.

There is also basic information on networking and the configuration and use of wireless networks; however, they are only very rudimentary facts and it is unlikely that anyone would learn to really understand how this aspect works from the details given. It makes reference to costs for components, but it should be highlighted that it uses US prices.

Several sections offer some very valuable guidance on good practices when using email, Instant Messaging, and web browsing; there are also recommendations for parents on how to configure Parental Controls to limit what their children may do. Although this is generally very good advice, it is quite limited and there are a few other key items that are missing that might have been appropriate to include as well.

Overall, this is a really good volume that achieves most of what it sets out to do; it’s a book that would be highly valuable for most beginners, or parents of children that are starting to use a computer for the first time. I would give it a rating of 4 out of 5; good value for novices, but unlikely to be of much help for those with more experience.

Further information: McGraw Hill

March 2012