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TechTV Leo Laporte's 2003 Technology Almanac

   by Leo Laporte / Laura Burstein

    03 September, 2002


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Editorial description(s):
Personal computers mean different things to different people. For some, they're similar to carrot peelers: tools to be used for a purpose and then put away. For others, they're magical things, foundations on which to build castles of data and software. Leo Laporte has made his name explaining why personal computers, for all their idiotic quirks and obscure ways of going about their work, are essentially benevolent. In TechTV: Leo Laporte's 2003 Technology Almanac, he and a group of collaborators deliver day-by-day insight into the machines that entertain us, provide us with jobs, find us dates, and enable us to blow up demons without making a mess.

As an almanac, this book devotes a page to each day of the year 2003, and packs each one with three or four elements. Usually, an essay on a single topic (such as ergonomics, Easter eggs in popular programs, processor overclocking, or discount-travel Web sites) fills most of the page. The rest of the space hosts hints, tips, references to worthwhile software, and goofy factoids. There's also some technology-related general-interest material, such as the anniversaries of the first robot-related fatality and the opening of the first garbage-fired electrical power plant. Written for people past the novice level but well shy of nerdiness, this book holds tons of facts. --David Wall

Topics covered: In daily doses, the authors of this book show how to keep personal-computer hassles to a minimum while experiencing maximum fun and learning something about technology and its effects on society.

From the Back Cover

Get your daily dish of technology! The Tech TV Leo Laporte's 2003 Technology Almanac, follow-up to the smash hit Poor Leo's 2002 Computer Almanac, includes ALL NEW content. Some of this new content includes an entire page dedicated to each weekday with special tips for Windows and Mac users, laptop tips, and more; expanded coverage of consumer technologies such as Pocket PCs, cell phones, MP3 players, and many more; essays by Leo; new glossary including "Leo-fied" definitions; and a resource section that puts Leo's Rolodex right on your desk.

About the Author

Leo Laporte is the host of "The Screen Savers" on TechTV. He has been a television and radio personality for more than two decades, focusing exclusively on high tech since 1991. He won an Emmy award in 1997 for his work as the virtual character, Dev Null, on MSNBC's "The Site." Leo lives on a small farm in Northern California with his wife, Jennifer, two children, two goats, two sheep, and two cats. The farm is equipped with high-speed wireless networking, but so far none of the animals has shown an interest.

Laura Burstein is a writer and performing artist who grew up in Silicon Valley. A former Web producer at TechTV, Laura attended college in Ireland and France and holds a B.S. in journalism from San Jose State University. She enjoys music, travel, and gourmet cooking, and is an avid car enthusiast.

Book Description

Get your daily dish of technology! The Tech TV Leo Laporte's 2003 Technology Almanac, follow-up to the smash hit Poor Leo's 2002 Computer Almanac, includes ALL NEW content. Some of this new content includes an entire page dedicated to each weekday with special tips for Windows and Mac users, laptop tips, and more; expanded coverage of consumer technologies such as Pocket PCs, cell phones, MP3 players, and many more; essays by Leo; new glossary including "Leo-fied" definitions; and a resource section that puts Leo's Rolodex right on your desk.

Reader review(s):

Buy Leo's Book, September 22, 2002
Being a fan of Leo Laporte on Tech TV for a couple of years now, I just had to go out and buy his book. This is the follow-up to the 2002 Technology Almanac, and what a great follow-up it is. It's clearly evident how much more work was put into this book, as there are is a lot more substance. For one, every day now is now dedicated one full page, full of tips and tricks. There is also a very extensive table of contents in the front, so it shouldn't be too hard to find something you're looking for right away. Also, Laura Burstein corroborated with Leo for writing this book; she has included important dates in computer/geek history all throughout. Finally, one more thing that I liked was a very extensive appendix with computer statistics. Maybe it's just because I love statistics, but I found some of the information fascinating.

All in all, if you are interested at all in computers, this is a great book to buy. It may not be best suited for the �ber-geeky, but for beginning or intermediate users, it is great. Leo writes with a very down-to-earth personality that does not treat as you as brainless computer user.

Leo is the Computer Man!, September 13, 2002
This is the followup to Poor Leo's 2002 Almanac and is sure to be a hit for those of you are just getting to know your personal confuser as Mr. Laporte calls it. It's not a really geeky book, but has many good tips in it. The organization is similar to last year's book, a tip for every day of the year. The first two weeks cover how to make your computer secure, well worth the price of the book.

Computer frustrations disappear, December 1, 2002
I've spent quality time with Leo Laporte's 2003 Technology Almanac and I must say it is one fine publication. I'm a librarian and I have to pass judgment on whether to buy or not to buy hundreds of books each year. I can't help myself; I always look at a book like this with a critical librarian's eyes even if I'm buying it for myself. Do you know how awful it is to have a book that is chock-full of wonderful information rendered completely useless because the aforementioned information can not be easily accessed? Believe me there are more of those than there are ones, like this, that is well arranged so you can get at the info you're looking for quickly and easily. This has an excellent Index (I love indexes!), Glossary (a great addition and a very good one too), Facts and Figures Section (nice touch) and Leo's Little Black Book (very useful). Each page is easy on the eyes and flows nicely. Over all just a nice, nice job!

There are three things I've found computer books to be in the past, complicated, boring and useless for my needs. None of those things can be said about this book. Not only is the information on how to do things like online security, wireless networking, and troubleshooting easy to understand, it goes one step further and makes you understand why you need to know some of these things. It never overwhelms you, it makes you feel you can do these things and with Leo Laporte's sense of humor shining through it makes it entertaining too. How many times has a computer book made me laugh? Cry maybe, when I become so frustrated I toss it across the room but laugh, never until now! Computers are complicated and frustrating enough, why can't computer books have fun to break up that frustration while they are teaching you? I've found the best way to learn is to have fun and this is one entertainingly, informative book. If there is a question in anyone's mind as to whether to buy this book I can highly recommend it from a personal and a librarian's point of view.

Get more from your computer!, November 27, 2002
Leo Laporte's 2003 Technology Almanac is a great book for people who want to get more from their computer and just don't know how to go about it. Maybe you've heard of a way to put your CD's onto an MP3 player and put hundreds of songs at your finger tips, but you don't know how to actually do it. This book is for you!

Or maybe you will get (or give) a digital camera this holiday season, and perhaps after you've taken the pictures you realize you'd like to email them to your friends, but you don't really know how to do that. This book covers all the fun things in technology and computers that you want to do, but need just a little help getting started. It isn't that hard to do, and Leo makes it all easy to learn by following the Downloads of the Day or the tips that are on each day of the almanac's pages.

(The only thing that I didn't like in this book was the inclusion of the "Twisted Lists" from The Screen Savers TV show, they seemed very silly and out of place, but maybe this brand of humor is your cup of tea.)

All hype and no substance, September 17, 2002
I think this book is a major disappointment for any buyer. I know I was.

It is not well thought out, things are not well organized and this makes finding topics of interest very difficult. I did learn one or two things, but I could have easily gotten this info for free off the web.

St. Leo did it again!, October 5, 2002
"Poor Leo's 2002 Computer Almanac" was awesome, but I can't believe how much better the "2003 Technology Almanac" is. Whatever platforms you use, you're going to find lots of tips and tricks to make it work better for you, plus you get such other goodies as reviews of the latest tech toys, tech history, and contributions from other TechTV personalities.

But first and foremost, it's just plain fun to read. And you're learning at the same time.

yawn, yawn, yawn, September 27, 2002
my god, how can ppl make money on stuff that's freely available (to those with internet access)...

meh, Leo is only making nickels and dimes from each book, he probably got a large advance.

how many versions of this "book" are there? DVD, calendar? is there going to be one with useful information?

Great book of computer info..and tech, December 2, 2002
This book was awesome for both the expert and novice computer user.
I bought this book for my husband who is a major computer geek, and my 73 year old father who knows little or nothing about computers. Both loved the book as I did.

Not only was it full of computer info, but tidbits of technology that you always thought about, but no one quite knew.

answers and inspiration and a lot of fun, November 30, 2002
This book is for anyone who's interested in computers, the internet, and technology, for work or play, and who enjoys straightforward content written with humor (see the cover) from the perspective of many years of experience. It's written for you, whether you're a neophyte or an old hand, whether you're using Windows, Mac, or *nix. There's plenty in it for any user and, as much fun and as informative as the 2002 almanac was, the 2003 edition is even better.

The content is extensive, relevant, varied, and refreshingly easy to read. The best additions/improvements over last year's, in my opinion, are the exhaustive index, killer glossary, and a really neat section of charts, graphs, trends, and stats, about computers, the web, technology, and how we use it all in real life. Every single day of the year has its own page with explanations, downloads, tips, and historical notes, and it has nearly 200 more pages in appendices, making it a true almanac.

Part of my job involves helping people understand computers and the web, and this book has already paid for itself with answers and inspiration (in fact, now I have one at home and one at work, both bristling with post-it page markers). Information in it has saved the day for me personally on more than one occasion, and has made me look good to co-workers and others more than once as well...and who can't use that!

Whether you're looking for a gift for a computer user or something for your own enrichment and enjoyment, this book is right on target. It's instructive, fun, and a terrific value.

Honest opinion from a newbie, October 17, 2002
I read the reviews people had left, some were not flattering. I wish I was as smart as those people who already know everything. If I buy a book and learn one thing, I am happy. This book is filled with info and tips that I did not know. I stayed up all night trying out new things I learned in the book. If you can't learn from this book, well you should write your own. Easy to read AND easy to understand. Filled with little tid bits of great time saving tips. Thanks for making my work on the personal confuser a lot easier.

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