How to Use America Online 4


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Type of Book

Title: How to Use America Online 4
Author: Elaine Madison & Deborah Craig
Publisher: SAMS Publishing
Publication Date: 10/1998
Price: $24.99
Pages: 245
ISBN: 1-56276-543-4

How to Use America Online 4 is part of Sams Publishing How to Use series. The book introduces you to America Online (AOL) and was written specifically for use with AOL Windows version 4.0.
User Level
This is a book designed for beginners. It uses step-by-step graphic instructions to guide you through every task you'll need to know to use America Online. Impatient teenagers who don't like to sit down with a book would appreciate it. An older generation user would find the full color graphical instructions much easier on their eyes. Intermediate PC users without knowledge of America Online might also find this book informative.

America Online provides you with access to the Internet and the World Wide Web. In addition it has its own services that are available to members only. You can communicate with email, chat until you drop, surf the waves of the Web, do research, go on an electronic shopping spree, and find free graphics and software. Many PC users have been using the Internet for years. But there are still many individuals who are only just beginning to understand the depth and complexity of the Web. For these neophytes, even America Online, can seem difficult. For individuals who just want a book to help them grasp the basics of America Online, this book will seem perfect.

How to Use America Online 4 is a straightforward visual approach to learning AOL. I have read other books on the subject, but even with the really basic book type for dummies you have to read through various chapters for the information. With How to Use America Online you don't have to pore over dry material. This book teaches you by presenting step-by-step solutions graphically displayed in full color.

There are 10 chapters with various tasks. Below is just a brief outline of what each chapter contains:

    1. Getting Started with America Online--how to install AOL; the toolbar; keywords; and online help.

    2. America Online Features--searching; downloading and uploading a file; personal filing cabinet; favorites; news; and billing.

    3. Communicating–message board; posting a message; reading, sending and sorting mail; attaching a file to your mail; address book; formatting e-mail; checking spelling; buddy lists; and instant messages.

    4. Chatting–how to chat; how to visit other chat rooms; how to participate in AOL live! events; and how to customize chat.

    5. Exploring the Internet–how to browse the World Wide Web; how to navigate using URLs; how to search the Web; how to set up WWW preferences; how to add links to your e-mail messages; and how to find a person or business.

    6. Internet Software to Use with America Online–how to download and install IRC; how to install Microsoft Internet Explorer; and how to use Microsoft Internet Explorer.

    7. Sharing America Online with Your Family–how to share your AOL account; how to switch screen names online; how to set up screen names; parental chat controls; and how to handle junk mail.

    8. News and Information Channels–how to browse AOL's channels; how to get 24-hour news; how to check weather forecasts; how to track your stock; how to research Mutual Funds; how to get help for teachers; and how to research health topics.

    9. Travel and Entertainment Channels–how to find out about your local area; how to take an international voyage; how to join the Cooking Club; how to scope out the latest movies; how to shop online; how to check what's in style; and how to meet like minds.

    10. Kids and the Family–how to find software for kids; how to use AOL NetFind for kids; and how to play Slingo in the Game Channel.

Each chapter is made up of a series of short, instructional tasks, designed to help you understand all the information that you need to get the most out of America Online. Each task includes a series of easy-to-understand steps designed to guide you through the procedure. Each step is fully illustrated to show you how it looks on screen. Extra hints that tell you how to accomplish a goal are provided in most tasks. All the tasks in a specific chapter are color coded in the same manner. Each task is presented on only two facing left/right pages, and they all share the same format. There is an index at the beginning of each chapter indicating the tasks detailed in that chapter. Menus and items you click are show in bold. Words in italic are defined in more detail in the glossary. Information you type is in a special font. The whole layout of the book makes it easy to understand and follow for a beginner Internet user, and it reduces the reading time.

Personal Comment
This is an excellent get-started book for anyone who is interested in America Online but is intimidated by the Web. Very colorful and cheerful book for everyone in the family. It includes just enough to make you feel at home with America Online but does now overwhelm you with an abundance of unnecessary detail. It is a good at-hand reference that will remind the reader of small details and strange pieces of information that are often forgotten.
Other Goodies
The book includes America Online 4 on a CD. You also get 100 hours of free time.

Graphics: DeMorgan WebSpice 1,000,000 Page Design Edition
Web Page Editor: Symantec Visual Page