Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Townspeople

December 6, 2012

Townie publishes "Normal People" PC book

After gathering notes for over a decade on how to use his computer, a self-described “normal person” has assembled his PC tips into a book for other people like him.

A new book, “Computer How-To for Normal People,” is now available from Andover native Miklos Jako. In the nearly 500-page book, Jako covers everything from printing with less ink to changing the size of your mouse cursor.

“I got my laptop about 13 years ago, and I quickly realized I’m not going to be able to remember all this stuff,” said Jako, an Andover native who recently moved to Lawrence. “I just started keeping notes.”

Two years ago, Jako started compiling those notes “into this manual, which helps me. I forget — I can’t remember all these things.”

What sets his book apart from other computer how-to books, like the now-famous “ ________ For Dummies” series, is the fact that his was written by a consumer of technology, not somebody who relies on technology for a living.

“It’s written from the perspective of a consumer. I’m not a computer expert in the normal sense,” Jako said. “I didn’t go to computer science classes and get educated that way. I’m a normal person — and these are all the problems I experienced.”

Throughout the 495-page book, topics are sorted in alphabetical order and listed on a set of index pages. This allows people who own the book to look up a keyword — say, “tabs” — and find out how to open or close new tabs in Windows programs.

The book also covers unique issues that may be encountered rarely, but frequently enough to document. One example Jako provided is the difference between a numerical 0 and an uppercase letter O.

“The zero is more oblong and the O is rounder. I remember it by thinking, ‘number of eggs,’” Jako said. “Eggs are oblong. The number is oblong.”

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