Wednesday, July 1, 2015

POGUE"S BASICS ~ Book Review

When you don’t know whom, what or where to ask….




Keeping up with new technology has become more than a challenge for both the techie and the novice. Instruction manuals are no longer or never were packed with the devices you acquired. You’re expected to already know the operation or, at best, download a manual with terms you don’t understand. Features and shortcuts are often built-in, but never disclosed. So from whom, what or where can you find the answers? I don’t normally review books, but this is a worthwhile exception that goes a long way to solving the problem.

POGUE’S BASICS, a 357 page softcover book, is published by Flatiron Books, and written by David Pogue, a tech savvy author. David has a long list of credits including a thirteen year stint as the tech guru at the NEW YORK TIMES; founder of; wrote or co-wrote seven of the FOR DUMMIES series of books; writes a monthly column for SCIENTIFIC AMERICA; tech contributor for CBS’s SUNDAY MORNING and has authored a vast collection of the MISSING MANUAL computer-book series. He has the knack of simplifying and focusing in on what you need to know to maximize the use of your electronic gadgets. His topics include; Smartphones, tablets, cameras, computers (MAC & PC), operating systems, apps and much more. It’s fair to say that anything with a plug or the software necessary to make it work is covered and well within his expertise.

This book is written in an easy to understand format that’s well illustrated. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. It’s indexed by topic making it easy to locate what you need. It’s chocked full of useful tips like, scrolling down a web site by tapping the space bar; recovering photos you accidently trashed; maximizing the use of your phone, tablet, computer, camera, web browser, and navigating email and social networks. In short, it’s so well illustrated and laid out, it’s like having your own personal guru at your command. Consider it a reference book and not something you necessarily have to read cover-to-cover.

Tips include, but are certainly not limited to; bringing back a water soaked phone from the inoperable; the fastest way to charge an iPad; the 10 best apps for your smartphone; using map apps on your phone without an Internet connection; making the verbiage on your screen larger; bypassing lengthy voice mail instructions; junk mail tips; sending photos that don’t bounce back; printing articles without ads; renaming a group of files at one time; making YouTube videos larger and sharper; sign a contract electronically.

I rank this as one of the best resources available for anyone who has an electronic device and accompanying software or apps to make life simpler. It’s probably one of the lowest priced return-on-investments you’ll ever make!

(TIP: While not reviewed in this article, David’s MISSING MANUAL series is also a must have. It’s truly the missing manual that did not come with your computer or various software programs you may have. The topics are numerous, so check your book supplier or Amazon for availability. You’ll also find topics in this series authored by other competent experts.)


MSRP: Soft cover ~ $19.95 ISBN 978-1-250-05348-0;
E-book edition ~ $9.95 ISBN 978-10250-05384-8

For more information go to:

Graphic credits: Amazon

Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at, or followed at for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.


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