Write a book review for CDPUG

You get a free book for a couple of hours of your time and 250-500 words of text

Writing the review is not a big deal

From time-to-time CDPUG gets computer books from publishers, but also can request them, for the purpose of writing reviews to be published on this blog. If you are interested in writing a book review, what we need from you is about 250-500 words in the following format (see below).

However, if you commit to writing a review, you must complete it within 4-8 weeks as once we get the book we are on the hook to publish the review – regardless of how good, bad, or indifferent the book may be.

Following is a template you can use and a sample book review to help you with style and format. Please contact me or Spike Radway if you would like to do book reviews. Spike Radway, CDPUG Programming Director, is able to get free books for review from most computer book publishers.  Send email to: Spike Radway Programming@cdpug,.org

Send completed book reviews to: Dan Yurman email: blog@cdpug.org CDPUG Blog Master

Book review format

Book Review [Book title] [Publisher][Publication Date]

By: [your name]

Answer the following questions

1. What is the book about? Use the book’s introduction as a guide.

2. Who is the intended audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced) users of (software)(hardware)(other products/services)

3. Strengths / weaknesses of the book

4. Do you recommend the book or not, and why or why not?

Tagline [One or two sentences about you]

A sample book review follow below to give you an idea.

Sample book review

This book review is entirely fictional. There is no such book.

Book Review [Winky Dink Version 3][Flat Screen Books, Hollywood, CA][2010]

By: Ada Byron

Summary – This book updates the Winky Dink user interface software and instructions from its earlier hardware /software combination to a software only interface. The book explains how to download and install the free Winky Dink graphics software on a standard Windows ™ PC and to use it with the accompanying TV game series available on the Hulu online TV network. The book comes with a CD containing the software or you can download it from the website for the program.

What the book is about – The intended audience appears to be pre-teen boys age 5-10 who are fans of the Winky Dink cartoon series. Originally aired in the 1950s, the series has a new life having been acquired by the Flintstone movie studio in 2008.

Winky Dink is a series of family G-rated cartoon adventures which allow the viewer to interact with the cartoon through mouse gestures . The original interface in the 1950s was a plastic screen over the TV and a collection of color grease pencils. The new interface includes a tablet of graphic shapes including lines, polygons, and circles to construct drawings and simple images. A color bar allows the user to select a range of hues for any shape.

Strengths – The book has five easy to read chapters with large, at-a-glance instructions on how to install the software, log in to the video content, and includes helpful hints for getting the most out of each show and the software. Most children in the target audience with some basic computer skills can master the instructions and start interacting with videos in a few minutes.

Weaknesses – After watching a few of the shows, I think the content and plot may be a bit lame for the current generation of 5-10 year old boys especially if they have been using the video games of their older brothers or sisters.

For instance, an “adventure” segment about the rescue of the singing sweet potatoes may have been included as an effort to capture some audience share among girls of the same age. However, for a first time user, it’s not bad.

Recommended for families who previously have limited the use of computer games at home and who want some free G-rated entertainment.

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Ada Byron is a computer graphics instructor at the Macedonia Commons Community College. She specializes in visualization and graphics for math textbooks.   (home page or blog)

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