March 23, 2006
 

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Posted: 02.23.05

Book Report

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By Michelle Maisto




British publishing house John Wiley & Sons, the brilliant folks currently responsible for the For Dummies line of reference books, has expanded its line of offerings further still. While the For Dummies line now includes everything from Taxes For Dummies to Yoga For Dummies to America's National Parks For Dummies , its first-ever publication was the 1991 DOS For Dummies , and since then Wiley's line of user-friendly technology manuals has furiously expanded to cover increasingly specific topics, especially as the company collaborates with partners.

Case in point, The Carphone Warehouse + Symbian + John Wiley & Sons = Symbian OS Smartphones For Dummies . Call it a small (at 28 pocket-size pages, it's more pamphlet than book) advertisement if you will, but despite moments of product-promotion feel, there is finally something honestly readable offering tips on using Symbian OS phones, making them more efficient, effective and enjoyable and setting the world straight on what constitutes a Symbian OS phone in the first place. (Theoretically, the 63-page large-format manual that came with my Nokia phone could do this as well, but the fact is—despite clear and commendable efforts on the part of Nokia to avoid dense text and promote readability—I've tried twice and can't manage to wade very far into it.) When it comes to explanations, no one beats the Dummies .

It goes without saying that a 28-page pamphlet does not contain all of the information of a 63-page booklet; however, Symbian OS Smartphones For Dummies does contain a good amount information, all of which is likely not covered in each specific phone's manual (yes, I'm assuming this; again, I have not read my manual cover-to-cover). For example, there's a breakdown differentiating Series 60 from UIQ and Series 80 phones; instructions on downloading and eliminating software; and pointers for locating reliable software online.

Symbian OS Smartphones For Dummies is a quick, easy read you can dip into for pointers or cover in one commute home. It's not Shakespeare, but if that's your forte, Dummies has a book for that, too.

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