Books: The Healthy PC

We all know that exercise and good diet are requirements for a healthy life — and it’s just the same with PCs. A little bit of maintenance and attention along the way could save you loads of time on the phone to support services. The Healthy PC — subtitled “Preventative care and home remedies for your computer” — takes this approach to computers, too.

There are lots of PC maintenance books on the market, but their heftiness and price tags can easily put off people who are just after the basics. This slim and well-priced book, on the other hand, would easily suit those wanting a simple introduction to looking after their PC. The easy-to-read language is far from intimidating.

The Healthy PC starts with some basics of your PC system then moves on to chapters on maintenance (defragmenting, improving performance, Windows updates, for example), Internet stuff (cookies, e-mail and spam, firewalls, and so on), and optimising Windows. There’s also a section on upgrades and ‘advanced’ topics such as preventative maintenance and system restore. Several appendices add useful information, including one on safe freeware to use.

This basic approach is great for people who want to tackle everyday problems, but it can become an issue when you reach more difficult troubleshooting questions — this is when you may still need to drag out that hefty maintenance tome or call your support line (whether paid or a techie relative!). Some sections also seem to be a little short of illustrations — especially the fairly brief section on upgrading.

Author: Carey Holzman
Publisher: McGraw Hill
Price: $29.95
Phone: (02) 9900 1800
ISBN: 0072229233

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Deanne McIntosh

PC World
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