Dave Barry in Cyberspace [NOOK Book]



A self-professed computer geek who actually does Windows 95, bestselling humorist Dave Barry takes us on a hilarious hard drive via the information superhighway--and into the very heart ...
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Dave Barry in Cyberspace

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A self-professed computer geek who actually does Windows 95, bestselling humorist Dave Barry takes us on a hilarious hard drive via the information superhighway--and into the very heart of cyberspace, asking the provocative question: If God had wanted us to be concise, why give us so many fonts?

Inside you'll find juicy bytes on

How to Buy and Set Up a Computer; Step One: Get Valium
Nerdstock in the Desert; Or: Bill Gates Is Elvis
Software: Making Your Computer Come Alive So It Can Attack You
Word Processing: How to Press an Enormous Number of Keys Without Ever Actually Writing Anything
Selected Web Sites, including Cursing in Swedish, Deformed Frog Pictures, and The Toilets of Melbourne, Australia
And much, much more!

"VERY FUNNY . . . After a day spent staring at a computer monitor, think of the book as a kind of screen saver for your brain."
--New York Times Book Review

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.)
Library Journal
HUMOR This latest spoof by a best-selling author and popular syndicated humor columnist is a welcome antidote to the recent influx of technical jargon regarding computers and the Internet. In typical style, Barry pokes fun at everything imaginable: "Picture this scenario. ...Your 12-year-old child suddenly remembers that he has a report...due tomorrow. He needs to do some research, but the library is closed....Your cyber-savvy youngster simply...logs onto the Internet...and, in a matter of minutes, is exchanging pictures of naked women with youngsters all over North America." Although readers of Barry's past collections will often see the punchlines before they arrive, there is enough hilariously imaginative material hereparticularly a chart depicting emoticons, those annoying keyboard symbols that chat group users employ to suggest emotionto justify purchase in most public libraries.Mark Annichiarico, "Library Journal"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307758682
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/29/2010
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 240,567
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Dave Barry
Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Miami Herald. He is the author of numerous best-sellers, including the recent Dave Barry's Guide to Guys. He lives in Miami, Florida.


In the introduction to Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down, the author addresses the desirability of his job as a humor writer and syndicated columnist. "It looks so easy!" he wrote. "...Every year, hundreds of thousands of people try their hand at this demanding profession. After a few months, almost all of them have given up and gone back to the ninth grade."

Yes, Barry is juvenile at times -- but he has achieved the kind of success that can only come from combining a juvenile mind with intelligence, timing, and a keen eye for the absurd. Favorite Barry targets include government inanity, dogs, guys, the Internet, and other oddities of life. He also specializes in weird news and urban myths involving UFO hunters, Pop-Tart science, and toilets. Many of these essays feature the line that has become his catchphrase, "I am not making this up." (Unless, of course, he is introducing something serious and daunting such as a book about the federal government, in which case he reassures that he has made everything up.)

Usually, though, he's not making it up. What he's doing is making it very funny. Whether the target is Congress or commercials, Barry refuses to take anything seriously, least of all himself – but he manages to convey some pretty indicting truths in the process. He's a master of irony and visual punchlines, sometimes interrupting himself with lists, snippets of dialogue, or other on-topic digressions. On the subject of turning 50 and dealing with waning eyesight (a "good thing" about aging, because "you can't read anything"), Barry describes finding restaurant menus suddenly printed "in letters the height of bacteria." He continues: "For some reason, everybody else seemed to be able to read the menus. Not wishing to draw attention to myself, I started ordering my food by simply pointing to a likely looking blur.

ME (pointing to a blur): I'll have this.
WAITER: You'll have "We Do Not Accept Personal Checks"?
ME: Make that medium rare."

Barry has had the most successful and prolific publishing career of any working newspaper columnist, and his humor never seems to go out of style. In 1999, he decided to try his hand at fiction. The result was Big Trouble, a comic thriller à la Carl Hiassen (though filled more with gags than guns) that Entertainment Weekly proclaimed "... not only very funny, [but] sure-footed, even-handed, levelheaded, and other leading book review adjectives." In 2004, he and Ridley Pearson collaborated on Peter and the Starcatchers, a clever prequel to Peter Pan that spawned two additional novels and a series of spin-off children's chapter books.

Along with several other published authors, Barry is a member of the musical group Rock Bottom Remainders. In assessing the band's talents, he has been quoted as saying: "They are not musically skilled, but they are extremely loud."

Good To Know

The Rock Bottom Remainders was originally organized by a publicist to perform at the 1992 American Booksellers Association convention. The members -- which include (or have included) Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson, Barbara Kingsolver, Mitch Albom, and Matt Groening -- even took their show on the road at one point, turning it into the now out-of-print Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude.

Some things never change: Barry was elected class clown by his Pleasantville High School class in 1965.

Barry got his start in journalism at the Daily Local News in West Chester, Pennsylvania, then worked as a business writing consultant before joining the Miami Herald in 1983.

Attempts to convert Barry's humor to the screen have been less than memorable. The early '90s CBS sitcom based on two of his books and starring Harry Anderson, Dave's World, was short-lived; the spring 2002 release Big Trouble, starring Tim Allen, didn't fare well at the box office. Barry did, however, get a cameo in the latter.

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    1. Hometown:
      Miami, Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 3, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Armonk, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Haverford College, 1969
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Dave Barry in Cyberspace: A Word from Dave

You need to know right off the bat that I'm a total computer geek. I am pathetic. You've seen all those computer magazines with names like Data Dweeb and cover headlines like: Inside: Explicit Color Photographs of Big Hard Drives! and Wax Your Modem for Improved Speed!

No doubt you've asked yourself, "What kind of no-life loser actually reads these magazines?" I do! All the time! I read them in bed! I look at the pictures of new computer systems and become moderately aroused and say things like, "Whoa! Check out the 6X SCSI-2 CD-ROM drive on THAT baby!"

I could go on and on, listing the ways in which computers enrich our everyday lives. But I've made my point, which is that we live in the Computer Age, and you need to get with the program. You are standing in the airport terminal of life, and the jet plane of the 21st Century is about to take off. You must make a choice: Do you remain in the terminal, eating the stale vending-machine food of outmoded thinking? Or do you get on the plane and soar into the stratosphere of computerization, swept along by the jet stream of evolving technology, enjoying the in-flight snack of virtually unlimited information access, secure in the knowledge that if you encounter the turbulence of rapid change, you are holding, in this book, the barf bag of expert guidance.

That is the vision of tomorrow that I am offering you. Come, take my hand, and together let us explore this amazing new cyber-world. If you don't know anything about computers, have no fear: I'm not going to bombard you with a bunch of technical gobbledygook. I'm going topresent you with simple, practical, well-organized, easy-to-understand information, a lot of which I will make up as I go along. So let me just take a moment now to run this chapter through my computer's spell-checker, and then you and I can begin our fascinating journey into a brighter, better, and--above all--more productive future.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 A Brief History of Computing from Cave Walls to Windows 95 - Not That This Is Necessarily Progress 15
2 How Computers Work 31
3 How to Buy and Set Up a Computer - Step One: Get Valium 39
4 Becoming Computer Literate - Or: Words for Nerds 53
5 Comdex - Nerdstock in the Desert Or: Bill Gates Is Elvis 59
6 Software - Making Your Computer Come Alive So It Can Attack You 79
7 How to Install Software - A 12-Step Program 97
8 Word Processing - How to Press an Enormous Number of Keys Without Ever Actually Writing Anything Or: If God Had Wanted Us to Be Concise, He Wouldn't Have Given Us So Many Fonts 101
9 The Internet - Transforming Society and Shaping the Future, Through Chat Or: Watch What You Write, Mr. Chuckletrousers Or: Why Suck Is OK, Blow Is Not Plus: Danger! Sushi Tapeworms! 121
10 Using Internet "Shorthand" - How You Can Be Just as Original as Everybody Else 141
11 Selected Web Sites - At Last: Proof That Civilization Is Doomed 149
12 MsPtato and RayAdverb - A Story of Love On-line 169
13 Conclusion - The Future of the Computer Revolution Or: Fun with Mister Johnson 203
14 Reprise - MsPtato and RayAdverb 211
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 1999

    Awsome book!

    I love Dave Berry's witty language as well as his ability to go above and beyond in terms of amusing literature. I recommend this book to anyone in need of a good laugh!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2014


    Sits close to kira

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2014



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    Posted June 30, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    Ha ha ha ha Can't ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Stop ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Laughing ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2001


    I recently read Dave Barry In Cyberspace and i must say it is a Fantastic book. Very funny and enjoyable from beginning to end. I am now reading 'Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up' and so far it is a great book too. After 'Is Not Making This Up' I will read 'Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway'. I recommend Dave Barry to anyone and/or everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2000

    Good book with a great ending

    Sure, the book is funny -- until you get to the last few chapters: Chapters 12 and 14 are the story of two lonely, married people who meet on-line and (maybe) start an affair. These two chapters -- totally different in style and structure from the rest of the book -- are magnificent, tender, moving, hilarious, beautifully written. Even if you don't like Dave Barry, go to a book store or library, pick up this book and read those chapters. It won't take long, but I promise you it's time well spent. The story, and the ending, will stay with you for days.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2000

    Computer education for those who want to crack up laughing

    If you spend your days tapping plastic keys, developing spreadsheets, sorting data, researching the web.....you will be laughingly gratified to know that you are not alone in your frustrations. Dave advises that the computer to purchase is the one that became available two days after you bought the one you have, and similar real, true, and very funny advice. Dave's humor is supported by a broadbase of knowledge, experience, natural wit and sensitive perception of commonly encountered computer user unfriendliness.

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    Posted September 14, 2011

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    Posted May 5, 2011

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    Posted May 24, 2011

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