It’s hard to imagine that in our tech-fueled, digitally connected age, there might be those who have no knowledge of how to use computers. But for people in emerging economies and Third World countries or for the completist curious about every aspect of computers, a sourcebook on information and communications technology might be helpful.
Bright Siaw Afriyie, an information technology analyst from Ghana who was educated in Canada and the U.S., offers in this first volume (a second is available) an exhaustive textbook on every aspect of computers, from an introduction to ICT concepts and parts of a computer to all aspects of hardware and software, ending with the HTML language of web pages. The book, designed as a classroom text for high school or first-year college students, could also be useful for lifelong learners.
One drawback of the large scope is the juxtaposition of brain-numbing technical concepts and jargon alongside basic information that most readers would consider second nature. It’s not that Afriyie is a difficult author; he writes for a high school-level reader. But in one chapter you might be grappling with “Synchronous Graphics Random Access Memory SGRAM and AGP, VRAM” and in another skimming over how to use a mouse.
Another issue is that technology evolves so fast that a textbook like this might already seem outdated. For instance, social media, which is changing the ways people communicate, gets no mention.
Finally, the book is inconsistent: The text is clean and clear (an editor is credited in the acknowledgements), but the introductory pages and Afriyie’s biography seem tacked on and not thoroughly edited.
This is an interesting book if you’re a serious student of computers and technology. But unless you’re planning on a career in ICT like the author or it’s required reading for a class), it may be too much information for most readers to process.
Also available as an ebook.