Doesn’t this look fun? Computers A to Z

Computers from A to Z coverThe Computer from A to Z

Well, these kids sure look like they’re having a good time.  Computers must be GREAT!  Why on earth would you use this image for the cover of this book?  Let’s make computers look as boring and frustrating as possible.  Also, what the heck are those things the kids are using?

Here’s the back cover, in case you weren’t thoroughly put off the idea of computers from the cover:

Computers from A to Z back cover

At least the letters in this A to Z book stand for words that make sense.  H is for hardware, L is for laptop, V is for virtual reality… (once again, X is for X – as in the letter X on your keyboard – which can be used as a “cut” shortcut.)  Really, A is the most dated description in the book.  Remember when there was just Apple or IBM? (Below)

A is for Apple

P is for password.  I like the description, but what are these kids doing, giving away their passwords on hand-written papers?  (Couldn’t they at least have used a computer to make these signs?)  I’m sorry, kid, but “art” is a horrible password.

P is for Password

Ok, everyone, I’m “L-is-for-logging-off” so I can check my “S-is-for-Spam.”



  1. Were they really so afraid that they would get in trouble if they didn’t put “®” after every single instance of anything that happens to be a registered trademark?

  2. Horrible front and back cover images. You would have thought by the late 90’s they could have gone with a different angle than one of frustration!

    By the way, those kids on the front cover are using Apple’s short-lived Apple eMate, which was based around the ill-fated Newton PDA operating system (the Newton PDA was famously parodied on The Simpsons and in Doonesbury). You can think of the Apple eMate as a type of prehistoric tablet computer with a keyboard, though far less fun or useful as such things are today. Everything had to start somewhere, though…

  3. Ugh, I also noticed in their description of “Apple,” them giving the misleading idea that Macs “were the first personal computers that could be used to draw or show pictures.” I can’t possibly imagine what they were going for there since personal computers could be used to draw or show pictures since the first recognizable such systems were released for home use in the mid-1970s. I assume they were trying to make a point about the Mac’s GUI (Graphical User Interface), but even that wasn’t anywhere close to being first, though it certainly did popularize the concept. Also, to add insult to injury, using a brand name as one of the letters is bad form… Way to go author(s)…

  4. That kid on the back cover looks just like me when I’m trying to troubleshoot one of our computers at work! He’s screaming, “Why can’t my library afford a Mac?!?!?!?!?!?!”

  5. Tom – You could be the the first contributor of the “The Library A to Z” written by Awful Library Book bloggers and commenters.

  6. I remember when all PCs were beige (except, of course, for Apple®). I had a Compaq Presario®, lovely in all it’s beigeness, that I learned on – at age 30 something…

  7. @KP: My family had a Presario when I grew up. Nasty thing, Compaq cut corners EVERYWHERE on their machines. I don’t know what HP thought it was doing when it bought them.

    And by the way, notice the computer in the “password” page: It’s an SE/30! Those were from the mid eighties, over 10 years before this book was published!

  8. @Cheryl – Yeah, but trying to troubleshoot Windows 7 when you haven’t touched a PC in ten years… it’s definitely a tear-your-hair-out sort of scene.

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