The Secret Guide to Computers
The Guide covers a wide range of subjects relating to computers, from their hardware to their software to their history and jargon. Editions of The Secret Guide to Computers have been in publication since 1972. According to reviews published in the Secret Guide itself, the guide has been praised widely by computer societies, magazines and newspapers and has been used by colleges, and libraries to help individuals learn computer programming and become proficient in computer technology fields.
Early formats were either pamphlets (very early editions) or multi-volume sets. Newer editions are single volumes, either printed or electronic. 17 chapters of the electronic edition of the publication are available for free on the SecretGuideToComputers.com website.
The Secret Guide to Computers has seemingly attracted a devoted following because of Russ Walter's distinctively humorous writing style, simplified presentation of the material covered, its potentially low price ($25 list, quantity discounts from 20%-60%, and $3 for older editions), and the author's dedication to aiding his readers, offering help to readers over the phone from his home, as well as offering the option of private tutoring for a fee.
Currently, the 31st edition for 2012 is available as a single volume with 703 pages, renamed the "Secret Guide to Computers & Tricky Living", combining two previously separate books.
It includes updated and "new info on modern computer dealers, Windows 7, modern Web browsers (Internet Explorer 8&9, Firefox 4&5, and Chrome 12), best Websites, modern e-mail systems (Live Mail, Yahoo Mail, and Gmail), the iPad, Microsoft Office 2010, modern programming (in Java 6, QB64, Visual Basic 2010, Visual C++ 2010, and Visual C# 2010), axiomatic math, Spanish pronunciation, Bible translations, and fun stuff." This edition is also more "family friendly, though it still analyzes adult-oriented topics such as politics, religion, and sex". (from Russ Walter's website)
Self-proclaimed features of the current edition include:
"40,000 improvements" over the previous edition.
Buyer's guide: using this book, how to shop, chips, disks, I/O devices, software, complete systems
Internet: providers, Web, e-mail
Fixes: security, maintenance, repairs
Tricky living: health, daily survival, intellectual life, arts, government, American cultures, foreign cultures, Donna's comments, morals, sex
Computer life: our past, your future, resources (from Russ Walter's website)
- Russ Walter's website about all editions of The Secret Guide to Computers and Tricky Living
- Excerpts from the 31st edition of The Secret Guide to Computers & Tricky Living
- Josh Feingold's website about the 28th edition of The Secret Guide to Computers
- Memo from Russ Walter August 2011 http://zork.net/dsaklad/russ110803