LEARN MORE ABOUT THE EXPLOSION IN HOME COMPUTING
To find local user groups, first check with area computer dealers. They often maintain a list of groups and contact numbers.
There isn't a central resource for PC user groups, but here are some of the bigger organizations: Capital PC User Group in Washington, DC (301-762-6775 or jOl-738-9060); Boston Computer Society (617-367-8080); Houston Area League of PC Users (713-524-2572 or 713-524-8383); and the BMUG in Berkeley. California (415-849-HELP or 415-849-9114).
Apple computer owners can call the Apple User Group Connection (800-538-9696, extension 500, or 408-974-6343 in California). COMPUTE!'s Amiga Resource magazine publishes a list of Amiga groups in October, and Commodore 64 and 128 owners can check the similar list published in the May and June issues of COMPUTE!'s Gazette.
The best cure for computer fear is to form an alliance with your computer and let it do the teaching. Below, is a list of DOS tutorials. Online tutorials are available for many different programs. Check with the company that publishes the software you use. Also check with the companies who publish these DOS tutorials.
DOS Step-by-Step; Info-Designs, 445 Enterprise Ct., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48013; (313) 334-9790
DOS Tutor; Design Software, 1275 W. Roosevelt Rd., W. Chicago, IL 60185; (800) 231-3088
Teach Yourself DOS; American Training International, 12638 Beatrice St., Los Angeles, CA 90066: (213)823-1129
Learning DOS; Microsoft, 16011 NE 36th Way, Box 97017, Redmond, WA 98073; (206) 882-8080
PC Crash Course and Survival Guide: Scandinavian PC Systems. 51 Monroe St., Suite 1101, Rockville. MD 20850; (800) 288-SCAN
You can find a computer book for just about any occasion: the elementary approach for children, the gentle approach for beginners, the hard-boiled approach for the power user. Check the following list.
For the PC Amateur
ABCs of Computing; A Plain-English Guide, by Larry Blasko; Compubug, P.O. Box 626, Summit, NJ 07901
Easy DOS It, by Ron Bauer; The Easy Way Press, Electronic Publishers, P.O. Box 12041, Birmingham, MI 48012; (313) 651-9405
MS-DOS: The Basics, by David A. Lien: CompuSoft Publishing, San Diego. CA 92128; (619) 461-1580
PC/MS-DOS Made Easy, by Tony Dowden; COMPUTE! Books. Chilton Book Company, Chilton Way, Radnor. PA 19089; (800) 345-1214
For the PC Rookie
Running MS-DOS, by Van Wolverton; Microsoft Press, 16011 NE 36th Way, Box 97017. Redmond. WA 98073; (206) 882-8080
Inside the IBM PC, by Peter Norton; Brady Utilities Software, Simon & Schuster Reference Division, One Gulf + Western Plaza, New York. NY 10023; (212) 373-8140
A quick reference such as DOS Instant Reference, by Greg Harvey and Kay Yarborough Nelson; Sybex. 2021 Challenger Dr. #100, Alameda, CA 94501; (415) 523-8233; or any COMPUTE! Books Quick & Easy Guide; COMPUTE! Books, Chilton Book Company, Chilton Way. Radnor. PA 19089; (800) 345-1214
For the PC Pro
PC Magazine DOS Power Tools: Techniques, Tricks and Utilities, by Paul Somerson: Bantam Computer Books, 666 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10103: (212) 765-6500
Supercharging DOS, by Van Wolverton; Microsoft Press, 16011 NE 36th Way, Box 97017, Redmond. WA 98073; (206) 882-8080
DOS Power User's Guide, by Kris Jamsa; Osborne McGraw Hill. 2600 Tenth St., Berkeley, CA 94710; (800) 227-0900
For the PC All-Star
The MS-DOS Encyclopedia, by various authors: Microsoft Press, 16011 NE 36th Way. Box 97017. Redmond, WA 98073; (206) 882-8080
Try adding templates on your keyboard. They remind you which commands go with which keys. Several companies make templates; one is FuncKey Enterprises, Route I, Box 639G, Sanger, Texas 76266; (817) 482-6613.
Wheel Ease Software Guides are also helpful accessories. You look along the outside ring of the wheel and find the task you're trying to accomplish—create a new directory, for example. Next, line up the inner wheel's window with the name of the task, and the command you need appears in the command-code window. Contact Wheel Ease Reference at 1075 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 369, Bellevue, Washington 98004; (206) 583-0642.
If you roam the telecommunications services or electronic bulletin boards, look for a DOS help program. COMPUTE!'s PC Magazine has included DOS Help on its disk. The shareware program, created by John Crouch, is like an index to DOS. There are other similar programs available in shareware circles.
Finally, subscribe to a computer magazine that speaks your language. You'll keep up to date on news, learn about new technologies as they emerge, and find out which products live up to their promises.