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Surviving PC Disasters, Mishaps, and Blunders [Paperback]

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Item description for Surviving PC Disasters, Mishaps, and Blunders by Jesse Torres...

Most self-help computer books speak in technobabble as if they were written for rocket scientist or computer geeks who live and breathe technology. Surviving PC Disasters, Mishaps, and Blunders takes a different approach. This engaging and very accessible guide covers the types of problems all PC users will likely face at one time or another-so don't be caught off guard without it. The authors calm the fearful with easy to follow solutions and a humorous style. (Let's fact it-at some point all disasters, mishaps, and blunders appear humorous once you've gotten past them!) For a PC that is smashed, hacked, in flames, has come down with a nasty virus, or just isn't working as it should, this book covers it all with helpful tips to prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

Nothing strikers horror into the heart of a PC user faster than the words "Permanent Fatal Error" or seeing a PC that was working perfectly well seconds before melt down and send bizarre error messages. Surviving PC Disasters, Mishaps, and Blunders covers a wide range of problems including security issues and theft, blunders arising from general clumsiness, disasters such as fire and floods, techniques for protecting important data from scammers and hackers, disasters that can be caused by nasty viruses, tips on buying devices without getting ripped off, techniques for avoiding hard drive crashes and recovering lost data, mishaps and potential disasters that can be caused by identity theft, and much more. You'll learn simple and practical ways to use and protect you PC and other support devices (like printers and scanners), and how to cope if disaster does strike. The book is cleverly organized by disasters, mishaps, and stupid blunders that can occur as you use your PC.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   416
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.06" Width: 7.09" Height: 1.18"
Weight:   1.54 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 24, 2005
Publisher   Paraglyph
ISBN  1932111980  
ISBN13  9781932111989  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > General
2Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Hardware > General
3Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Hardware > Maintenance, Repair & Upgrading
4Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Hardware > PCs
5Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Software > Business > Utilities

Reviews - What do customers think about Surviving PC Disasters, Mishaps, and Blunders?

An Invaluable Resource To Keep Near Your Computer  Nov 7, 2005
No matter what kind of computer you have or how secure your computer or network may be, it is a virtual certainty that at least one (if not ten or twenty) of the issues identified in this book will apply to you at some point.

Companies have tech support teams and people in charge of developing backup and disaster recovery plans. Home users aren't so lucky. The $30 invested in purchasing this book will more than pay for itself the first time you use the information rather than paying to have someone else fix your system.

I liked the Horror Stories scattered throughout the book. These are just short stories to illustrate the dangers that exist or what can happen to people who don't know better. One of the best features for most readers though will be the format of the book and how it is set up in a sort of Q&A format. Just find the question you need to ask and within a few paragraphs of simple steps you will find your solution.

One of the strengths of this book is the breadth of scope of the information. The fact that it covers security concerns as well as hardware and software issues make this book a must have for every computer user. Every tech who supports users who have computers should have this book as well.
Even pros discover new tips in this book  Jun 7, 2005
Every PC is different like our fingerprints. We customize options, install applications, remove default settings and do different things to it. So, a solution may not be the same for two PCs experiencing the same problem. This means trying out various workarounds and fixes.

I rarely have trouble addressing the problems I run into with my PC. If I can't do it, then I go to the other pro in the house whose job relates to tech support. Usually between us, the problem gets solved. On rare occasions, we call the manufacturer. Still, we find found in the book tips that we hadn't tried. Others in our shoes might find it useful as well and if someone comes to us asking for help, we can loan them the book when we can't assist.

Throughout the book the authors share horror stories, which are good teaching tools so you can learn the lesson from someone else's mistake and avoid making your own. Not only are computers covered, but also PDAs, cell phones, digital cameras and scanners. This is a well-rounded book with coverage on theft, backup and recovery, viruses, spam, junkware and fraud.

If you're not into techie things, but want to keep your computer healthy--the book won't bore you. Quite the opposite, as the authors write with humor and down-to-earth feel. An example: after attempting to rescue a hard drive which continues to sputter, try the "defibrillator" method. It states to unplug the computer and remove the computer's cover, and then "yell 'CLEAR!'" and lightly tap the face of the hard drive. How can you not like a book with stuff like that?

The authors clearly explain networking and wireless networking. Anyone befuddled by such topics will appreciate the book for those chapters alone. Some problems have simple answers such as, "Is the monitor turned on?" Hearing this from tech support might be embarrassing, but the authors don't talk down to anyone whether or not a solution is super easy or complex.

The sections use a handwriting style font adding to the book's friendly nature and engaging writing style. It feels like a buddy helping you figure out the problem or having your own personal support person nearby. In addition to hardware and software troubles, the book includes advice for being proactive such as how to avoid spam and junkware and evade fraud and identity theft.

The text is easy to scan for quickly finding things, the contents are well-organized with topics covering almost everything we deal with when it comes to gadgets. When we hit a roadblock, it's painful and frustrating. You can rely on the book to get you through any situation without the attitude that we sometimes face when we ask for help.
Good preventative medicine...  May 16, 2005
When things go wrong with your PC and/or on-line existence, you need quick help in figuring out how to fix it (or how you should have stayed out of it in the first place). Surviving PC Disasters, Mishaps, and Blunders by Jesse M. Torres and Peter Sideris (Paraglyph Press) makes for some pretty interesting reading.

Chapter List: Theft and Loss; Hardware Disasters and Mishaps; Software Disasters and Mishaps; Network Disasters and Mishaps; Wireless Networking; Internet Fraud; Spam; Surviving Viruses; Junkware: Malware, Adware, and Spyware; Email and Other Internet Hazards; Travel Mishaps and Disasters; Power Adapters and Batteries; Backup and Recovery; Digital Lifestyle Hazards; Piracy; Index

Each chapter starts with a list of "disasters to avoid" and "mishaps and blunders to run from". Within each chapter, there are subtopics that will teach you about certain things (like how data theft occurs, how to prevent and detect data theft, etc.). The rest of the chapter is made up of "how do I" questions that address topics within the chapter. Throw in quite a few "horror story" sidebars based on real life experiences from the authors, and you have a pretty readable and practical book.

It was tempting to originally think of this book as a troubleshooting guide... a resource you would turn to when you had to fix something. But really, it's more of a "be prepared" guide. Reading this material *before* you need it will save you a heap of head- and heartaches. This isn't the book that contains a bunch of technical step-by-step instructions on how to get into hardcore repair of your wireless router. It may help you, but it's best to use the material to stay out of trouble in the first place. And the digital lifestyle hazards chapter is *definitely* better to use as preventative medicine. It's easier to reset a PDA than shut down a stalker...

Good material for those who are not uber-geeks who live in cyber-space. It's a book that could easily pay for itself in short order...
Buy This Before You Need It  Mar 10, 2005
There's basically only four kinds of things that can go wrong with your PC: lost or stolen, hardware failures, software failures, stolen data. Each of these, however, can really mess up your day.

Each of these however can be not solved but made much better with just a bit of advance planning. Losing your computer and/or crashing the disk drive is easy to fix if you have a backup, or if like Beethoven you remember everything in the manuscript you lost on the train.

Most of this book, however, turns out to be software oriented. It's here that the bad guys can attack your system from afar with virtually no chance of getting caught. Perhaps they just want to screw up your life with a virus they created just for fun. Perhaps they want to send you a never ending stream of advertising, even customized based on keeping a record of what web sites you've visited. But perhaps they also want to capture your credit card number so that they can use it to buy a new computer (to be shipped somewhere in Africa).

The first thing I look for on books like this is CoolWebSearch. If they talk about it, they know whereof they speak. And sure enough CoolWebSearch is discussed on page 231. The book says: "Removing ... can be an extremely complicated process. He'd absolutely right. When one of my companies machines gets one of these, sometimes all I can do is go back to the last system restore file, or even start over with a new version of the operating system.

Invaluable help if you do just a little bit of work in advance.
the rise of malware  Mar 1, 2005
Looking at the litany of mishaps that could befall your PC, as described by the book, one might wonder if you would buy it in the first place, had you known of these. Realistically, many of us live by, if not through, our PCs. So you still need one.

The authors cover hardware and software problems. Many. Like your disk getting flaky and crashing. Perhaps just a function of time.

But in some ways, the software issues are the ones that have grown, as compared to a book of this ilk written ten years ago. Now, the authors devote a chapter each to the areas of Internet fraud, spam and junkware. A sad sign of our times. The discussion on Internet fraud talks briefly about phishing, amongst other topics. While the advice on avoiding it is good, the chapter perhaps does not give enough space to this hugely growing blight. In the two years to the end of 2004, it rose some 7000%. It has emerged as a danger to many, especially those new to the Internet. Far more dangerous than being spammed by rebates, which is another topic in this chapter, to which a similar amount of space is allocated.

There is also an amusing chapter on various other Internet hazards. In part, it declaims about the possible perils of meeting people online. You know, online dating and all that. And, like, gee, shall I meet him/her in person? In a dark alley, perhaps? Another chapter that speaks to our times.

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