Digitally Daunted: The Consumer's Guide to Taking Control of the Technology in Your Life

Overview

Wi-fi or wired? Cable or fiber optic? HDMI or RCA? MP3 or AAC? Do you feel overwhelmed when you hear these terms? You’re not alone—smart people everywhere feel intimidated by the technology in their life. Standing in an electronics store trying to decode the specs on a purchase can make anyone feel powerless. Worse—it can leave you with costly mistakes that you can barely get out of the packaging. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right education, you can regain the ...
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Overview

Wi-fi or wired? Cable or fiber optic? HDMI or RCA? MP3 or AAC? Do you feel overwhelmed when you hear these terms? You’re not alone—smart people everywhere feel intimidated by the technology in their life. Standing in an electronics store trying to decode the specs on a purchase can make anyone feel powerless. Worse—it can leave you with costly mistakes that you can barely get out of the packaging. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right education, you can regain the control you need to survive and thrive in the digital world.

In Digitally Daunted, an IT pro and his practical wife show you how to demystify the mumbo jumbo and become a confident consumer of all the things that are supposed to make your life easier. You’ll learn how to shop for and manage the electronics in your household: PCs to phone systems, televisions, cameras, and music and movie software and hardware.

Digitally Daunted will help you:

* Choose, use, and maintain all the modern “appliances” you need or want
* Decide what to buy, how to buy, and how much to spend
* Be prepared for the digital television conversion
* Get and stay connected on the Internet the fastest, cheapest, most secure way possible
* Discover everything you needed to know about phone service, both landline and cellular
* Determine what you need and want from your television, DVD player, DVD recorder, and service provider be it cable, fiber-optic or over-the-air
* Get the most out of digital cameras—still and video
* Learn about new ways to enjoy your music, photos and videos
* Introduce you to the latest in home gaming systems
* Figure out what to do when things go wrong
* Organize your tech stuff with checklists for shopping, maintenance, and service calls

Also includes a glossary of all the tech terms you need to know, green tips and some suggested web resources

Companion website is Digitally Daunted.com

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Yes, I am frequently "digitally daunted," and I live in a small town where there are few computer gurus. This is just the book I needed. It is written in very simple terms, not "computer geek-ese" and it is not going to frighten the beginner away. I think it would be a good first book for mddle and high school students to understand computers and other digital machines beyond just experimentally learning how to use them and get by. The book is well indexed and covers about anything you need to know in order to make a wise purchas or trouble shoot your own equipment. They cover not only computers and Internet, but also cameras, telephones, cell phones, CD and DVD machines, game machines, Televisions, and much more. This is the book to read before you buy and as you struggle to learn how to use new equipment, and how to trouble shoot your own problems or whether or not to call a repair person. This book should be in every home where there is not a resident Geek!

Six Picks: Recommendations from the Monitor staff

AAC, CCD, GUI, HUH? It's easy to get overwhelmed with initial-itis, especially when talking technology. In Digitally Daunted: The Consumer's Guide to Taking Control of the Technology in Your Life, authors Sean and Jean Westcott (a techie and a nontechie, respectively) explain the hieroglyphics, plus the pros and cons of each technology. Which cellphone to buy? Laptop or desktop computer? What if something goes wrong? Their guidance is clear, concise, and helps you TCB ASAP.

“The authors take a real-world common sense approach to consumer technologies and end up providing an entertaining antidote to the confusion and misinformation that is rampant in our world. Heartily recommended!!”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933102726
  • Publisher: Capital Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/3/2008
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

SEAN WESTCOTT is an IT professional dating back to before the World Wide Web. He was in his high school AV club where he explained technology to his teachers, and ever since he has made it his specialty to bridge the knowledge gap between geeks and the rest of the world.

JEAN RIESCHER WESTCOTT took a History of Computers class back in 1985 and spent a summer studying programming in high school, but has been more of a book geek since she finished her law degree. She spent a long, wonderful time in independent bookselling and now works in book publishing. She writes a column on consumer technology. Sean and Jean have two children and live in Northern Virginia. They are the co-authors of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Electronics 101.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    There is only one word to describe Digitally Daunted - Useful

    There is only one word to describe Digitally Daunted - Useful. The book is exactly as its title state, it provides the reader with a basic, step by step guideline on purchasing, maintaining and troubleshooting the technology in our lives. Some of the technology outlined in this book was computers, internet, cell phones, television, cameras and the media.

    The book is written by two IT trained professionals and is full of information that can help the consumer understand some of the latest technological gadgets that currently exist. You would think that the content or jargon covered are complicated and would fly right over your head however the authors stay true to their word by making the book very basic and comprehensible. Added to that are the many checklists, comparison and price charts, personal records and reference sheets that all serve to make the reader more informed and empowered about their purchases.

    The title is definitely fitting especially since we do live in a digital age. People can often get confused about the technology that they interact with. In reading this book, I did notice that this book is geared towards a specific age group even if it is not explicitly stated by the authors. Digitally Daunted may be more relevant to digital immigrants or those of us who were not born in the digital era and have to grow accustom to using the technology. One example of a digital immigrant is a person born before the advent of the internet and email. I think the entire structure and content of the book would be more suitable to those people. However the book is too basic for digital natives or those of us who were born in the digital era and are already accustomed to these new technologies. My reason for saying this is because I can identify with this group and while reading through the book, I found that certain chapters were filled with information that I already knew.

    Aside from this, I think that this book will make a great addition to one's personal library or make a great gift

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Consumer Guide for the Technologically Timid

    Digitally Daunted is a guide for those timid technology consumers who are really nervous whenever they need to make a technology decision. I loved the introduction where the author seemed to be describing my own home situation - husband with a home computer business and me who goes along with the technology flow. We receive friendly requests for the kind of information given in this book all the time. I especially found the chapter about picking a computer and a television to be really helpful. There are a lot of definitions and explanations of the things that those technical geeks assume everyone else also knows about. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 star is because it will definitely be quickly out of date, just because technology is always advancing. Anyone who feels technology feet strongly beneath them will probably find it simple but judging from the people I talk to each week - this book will fit the bill for a large population out there.

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