Computer Walkabout:a Textbook of Computer Exercises for Upper Primary Students and Those Who Wish to Learn – by Michael Mardel – Review

It is more or less a computer textbook cum dictionary and quite an exhaustive one at that. Suffice it to say, if you have an obscure computer-related term that you don’t understand, you can look it up here, and the book won’t disappoint you. Even though it’s been written keeping Windows XP crowd and kids in mind, all the things mentioned here (such as keyboard shortcuts, descriptions of computer-related terms, etc.) are very much valid even for users of newest Windows version and equally helpful to adult computer users as well! In fact you get much more than a traditional computer dictionary here, because most of the definitions are more than one-sentence long. Take for example this one: it does not just tell you what computer hardware is, but also about the different varieties of computer hardware available along with the descriptions of each:


Equipment needed to run software:

Printer, monitor, system unit (tower), mouse, keyboard.

Laptops have a touchpad or a Thinkpad.

Other devices are:

Light pen = light sensitive detector—select by pointing at objects with the pen.

Trackball—looks like an upside down mouse (Commonwealth banks used to use them).

Scanner—an input device which copies pictures and text by converting into bit patterns. 2 types—hand-held and desktop.

Digitizer tablets for Computer Aided Design (CAD) applications.

Touch screen—seen in Centrelink and VicRoads.

Microphone which needs software to enable input by voice.

Bar code—bars and graphs of varying thickness. Data is read by the laser

Scanner—used in supermarkets and at libraries.

Digital cameras—transfer pictures directly.”

Lesson # 17 is an entire formatting guide in itself for Microsoft Excel users. I provide here just a small sample of it:

“Worksheet Formatting

Retrieve your Ages Excel file (File, Open, Ages) Click on your first name in cell A1. Click on Insert from the Menu row then Row from the drop-down menu. You should now have a blank row opposite no. 1. In A1 type in the word “Name. to B1 and type in the word “Surname”. to C1 and type in the word “Age”.

Rotate text. Click on the A1 cell to make it active. You are going to change its alignment. Click on Format then Cells then the Alignment tab. Look for the Orientation box. Click on 45 degrees—the window below will display 45. Click on OK. Has your text in A1 changed its position to 45 degrees? Do the same for B1 and C1 cells so that the three (3) words in row 1 are now aligned at 45 degrees.

Applying borders to cells: Position your cursor at A1 by clicking on cell. Click on Borders in the Formatting toolbar: roll your mouse over the toolbars until the Screen Tips says “Borders” – it’s on the far right hand side. Click the arrow on the right hand side of Borders and choose one—”Outside bor- ders” is a good one. Try a few and use”

Highly recommended. My suggestion is to print it out and keep it around like a REAL dictionary; it is going to serve you and your family well for generations to come!

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