Leo’s Tech Almanac

Bruce Von Stiers

Sometimes I will see a book listing and decide that it is one that just must be checked out. About half of the titles I check out this way end up being far more than I bargained for. A new book by techTV and Que Publishing falls into this category. The title of the book is Leo Laporte’s 2003 Technology Almanac. It was written by Leo Laporte and Laura Burstein.

This book is done in the vein of the Farmer’s Almanac. Each day of 2003 has its own entry in the book. There are also some extra things at the back of the book that I’ll talk about later.

When I listed the authors, I kind of fibbed a little. The heading text for each page is written by either Leo or Laura. But the rest of the content on the page was usually written by someone else. The page will have a fact about a person or event that is relevant to that particular day. The day will also have a focus element listed. Looking at the page for January 11, 2003 bring forth some very interesting things. The focus for that day is Online Security. And the fact for that day involves the first insulin injection that was given to a human. The main content for that day deals with the five most famous computer viruses. The article for that day was written by Martin Sargent.

There are over 100 different people who contributed articles for this almanac. Some are like Ryan Staake, a high school student and president of his own software company. Others are like Scott Kelby who is the editor of Photoshop User magazine. The Introduction in the front of the book lists the contributors, what they do and information like their web sites.

Each page usually has a Tip of the Day and a Download of the Day. For August 1st, the Tip of the Day is to add an automatic signature to your email. And on Veterans Day the Download of the Day has you looking for Ultima IV, which is now supposed to be Freeware.

The back of the book has a section called Facts and Figures. Here you will find charts of all kinds of things like the number of PC’s Around the World and a pie chart that show the ratio of folks who shop online. Leo also provides a listing of good web sites for computer and electronics in Leo’s Little Black Book. There is 34 page Glossary at the end of the book for those who don’t speak computerese too well.

This book is like getting a whole bunch of computer magazine articles all wrapped up in a nice, tight little bundle. There are articles on online auctions, some on data storage and even a few on cooking (surrounding Thanksgiving).

Interspersed throughout the book are illustrations and bitmapped images. These are often comical, such as the couple in the drawing next to the Party Geeky article for July 19th. Others are a visual representation of information conveyed in the article.

Leo Laporte’s 2003 Technology Almanac is a fun and entertaining book that provides a little bit of information about a ton of things related to the computer world. I enjoyed the articles in it, and even found out some things that I never knew. Did you know that you could buy belly lights from some company called Gamma Garb?

Look for Leo Laporte’s 2003 Technology Almanac at your favorite book seller. For a little bit of money ($ 24.99 US), you can have a whole bunch of information about the computer world at your fingertips.

For additional information about this, or any other Que Publishing title, visit their web site at www.quepublishing.com.


© 2002 Bruce E. Von Stiers