Subscription software is a relatively new concept. Even though licensing agreements have always made it quite clear that you don't actually own the software that you believe you have bought, people have always tended to ignore that (if they read the EULA at all). So the notion of software that you have no physical copy of, and that you have to pay a fee to use every month, raised some hackles when it was first introduced. Microsoft got into subscription software in a big way with Office 365, and it has been increasing in popularity, especially for business use.
As you may have noticed, here at Digital Citizen we take cyber security very seriously. Our long-running Security for Everyone series has kept our readers up to date with the latest security software for years now, along with reviews that tell it like it is. While our series does a great job of comparing what's out there, and explaining which audiences might find a particular program to their liking, how does the average person really understand the reasons for installing the security products we recommend?
I've been aware pretty much from the beginning that my mind does not work like other people's. But, like other people, I can learn almost anything, if it is explained to me in a way that makes sense. This is why I so often gripe about the constant complaints that older people "just don't get it," when what the older people really need is a better explanation! What does this have to do with reviewing a cookbook?
Home automation has come a long way from the days when all that was available were manual timers that might or might not have offered anything more than the ability to turn a lamp or appliance On and Off at one set time, or the X-10 modules and controllers that drove almost everybody nuts trying to get them to work properly. Nowadays we have what seems like endless choices, with no two systems being alike in either products or complexity. How to make sense of it all? Home Automation for Dummies tries to straighten it all out. Does this book succeed? Let's find out:
Sometimes the best way to make a complex subject easy to understand is to use a comic-book format (as anyone who's ever seen one of Larry Gonick's amazing "cartoon history" series can testify). Things that look awfully dry and confusing when they're put forth as words on paper can look much more appealing when an artist has put them into pictures. Since I still haven't mastered writing HTML code, I had high hopes for Build Your Own Website: A Comic Guide to HTML, CSS and Wordpress. Did I get what I hoped for? Read on to find out.
Have you ever tried to explain something to someone and completely failed to get your point across? Have you tried to simplify a complicated concept for someone else and gotten nowhere? Supercommunicator's subtitle is "Explaining the complicated so anyone can understand." Since I'm like many people and sometimes run into trouble trying to explain something that I understand so someone else can understand it, I was very interested to see if this book could teach me how to communicate more clearly. Did it live up to my expectations? Let's see.
When I was young, information on how to pick locks was not easy to come by. Nowadays, of course, you can find instructions all over the internet and a wealth of YouTube videos showing you what to do in great detail. With all that information available for free, is it worth buying a book on the subject as well? Practical Lock Picking seemed to us like an interesting read so we gave it a try. Let's talk about it in this review.
It used to be that team collaboration on documents was time-consuming and tedious. One person would write a draft, give the draft to someone else to make changes, re-read the changes and decide whether to accept them, hand the document to someone else to edit, and so on. Nowadays sharing documents is every bit as easy as writing them, and many people can easily work on the same document. Microsoft Office's suite of programs is designed for teamwork, but not everyone will find it instinctive at first.
We recently received a copy of Windows PowerShell 3.0 First Steps and I decided to take on the challenge of reviewing it, mainly for two reasons. The first one is that I have never reviewed a book before and I saw it as a great exercise in this direction. The second reason is the fact that this book is written with PowerShell beginners in mind and - you guessed it - I'm a PowerShell beginner. Actually, that would be an overstatement, since I have never used PowerShell before, so I considered it a great way to get to learn a new skill.
Last year, I reviewed Tony Northrup's Windows 8 Inside Out and found that it was an excellent reference that did a fine job of explaining the then-new interface of Windows 8, so that it was easy for newcomers to understand. Now there's a new edition that covers Windows 8.1. Is the approach different this time around? Does the book still do a great job? Did the book live up to my expectations? Let's find out in this book review.