Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

December 6, 2012

Townie publishes "Normal People" PC book

By Dustin Luca
Staff Writer

---- — 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.”

The book provides tips for people using Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems. There are currently no plans to release a new book or update the existing one with tips corresponding to Windows 8, according to Jako.

While many people won’t switch to Windows 8 until it’s time to buy a new PC, Jako said, the book is useful to just about anybody who uses a PC.

“You can find answers to most things somewhere, but it takes you a long time to search for it. You go online and you look, you go around in circles and circles and you find it — maybe,” Jako said. “This can sit on your shelf until you have a problem, which you will, and when you have a problem, you can look it up.”

Computer How-To for Normal People is available in paperback and digital formats. For more information and to order a PDF version of the book for $5, visit www.computerhowtobook.com.