CONGRATULATIONS!!! Since you are reading this book. I will assume that you are either the proud owner of an Atari computer and an Epson printer or are considering becoming one.
If you are like most people, you have decided that you would like a computer to assist you in your daily activities and have spent hours agonizing over which system would best suit your needs. Finally, after thinking about all of the considerations, including the size of your pocketbook, you have chosen the Atari computer and Epson printer to fill the bill.
Your work is not yet over, however. Although a computer system can make your work easier, it will not do the work for you. You now have the machines to do the work but they are waiting for you to tell them what to do.
Many people forget about this part of using a computer. They don't spend the time learning about the capabilities of computing and become frustrated. This frustration is blamed on the "limitations" of the system and very often the computer is misused, underused, or not used at all.
This book is meant to help you overcome this problem. The Epson Connection: Atari book is written to help you integrate your computer system into all facets of your life. You will discover that computers are not just workhorses of the business world. They can be useful machines around the house as well. This is not to suggest that an Atari computer may someday replace your vacuum cleaner, but I am saying that many of the things you do around your household or in your schooling can be made easier with your new system.
WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK?
This book is for anyone who has an interest in making their Epson printer and Atari work for them. As I stated earlier, most computer systems are underused. If you are a beginning computerist, this book will introduce you to using a computer in ways you never thought possible. If you are a professional computer user, you will probably find suggestions in this book that either you hadn't thought of doing or hadn't had the time to implement. I hope that reading this book will make your life a little easier.
This book is also for anyone who wants to interest someone else in their computer system. If you are reading this, you are probably an adult male in his 20s or 30s. Please don't take this a sexist remark if you don't fit the description, but this is what the statistics show. Chances are that you are married with a family. The chances are also very good that you are interested in showing the other family members how they can use computers.
A quick glance down the table of contents will show that The Epson Connection: Atari is full of applications for members of your family. It includes hints on using your Epson printer to get better grades on reports, ways to print recipe cards, a program for printing checks on your printer, tips on printing business letters and many other suggestions.
Who should read this book?
OVERVIEW OF THE CHAPTERS IN THIS BOOK
This book is broken into four sections:
1) Your Computer System
2) The Computer System at Home
3) The Computer System at School
4) The Computer System at Work
The first section introduces you to your computer system. Chapter 1 takes you on a guided tour of your Epson printer and introduces you to some of its print styles. Chapter 2 gives you a similar tour of your Atari computer as well as the many peripherals which compose the computer system. The two machines meet in Chapter 3 where the process for hooking them together is discussed along with some considerations about where to set up your system. Chapter 4 begins to teach you how to make the system work. It covers the multiple printing styles available with the Epson printer and how to use them.
The second section introduces you to the household applications of your Atari computer/Epson printer computer system. Chapter 5 gives an explanation of word processing and how it may be used to produce letters, lists, and other documents. Computing in the Kitchen, Chapter 6, continues with a discussion of word processing for creating shopping lists. It also includes a couple of BASIC programs. The first creates labels for organizing your pantry and the second prints recipe cards. Chapter 7 discusses how your computer system can make keeping track of your home finances less taxing.
Your Computer System at School includes plenty of helpful advice for letting the computer age help you improve the quality of your work and raise your grades. Chapter 8 is devoted to researching and writing reports. It explains effective methods for managing research information using a word processor, database manager and a BASIC program which prints notecards. A strategy for improving your test scores is included in Chapter 9. Along with this advice there is a BASIC program for printing sample quizzes. The final chapter in this section explains accessing the Epson's printing capabilities through BASIC programming. Beyond the various printing styles, this chapter explains how to turn your Epson printer into a graphic palette.
The last section tells you how you can involve your computer system at work. Chapter 10 provides you with examples of how word processing can make your business correspondence more efficient and more profitable. Chapter 11 discusses using spreadsheet programs for handling your business. It provides examples of how you can spend less time calculating your money and more time making it. Telecomputing is the topic of the last chapter. It explains what telecomputing is and how you can become involved in the most powerful development in computing since the microchip.
This book is multi-sectioned, but each section contains information that can be used in many applications. Don't limit yourself to only the sections that address your immediate concerns. Read the whole book. As you read, think about how the applications can apply to your particular lifestyle. You may discover that a computer can be much more than a business machine for crunching numbers.
INVOLVING FAMILY MEMBERS WITH YOUR COMPUTER SYSTEM
Many people (myself included) find computers both challenging and exciting. Some of us even take our interests to the extreme where these machines monopolize practically every minute of every waking hour (hence the creation of the Computer Widow). Starstruck by the radiance of this terrific machine, we engage in a crusade to introduce everyone around us to the greatest thing since sliced cheese.
Unfortunately, our family members are usually the ones who first feel the results of our selfless crusade. I must warn you that you are treading on tenuous ground unless you proceed with caution.
First of all, DON'T force computers on anyone. Many good parents are worried about providing their kids with the computer skills they will need in the future. Don't pressure your kids into using a computer. It's a lot like riding a bicycle; they'll do it when they're ready.
Secondly, DON'T buy a computer just for your children. Since you're reading this book, it's safe to assume that you already own a computer system. But don't introduce your kids to a computer by surprising them with a computer system one morning. Spending over $800 on something your children aren't ready to use will cause you to feel cheated and your children to feel pressured. The best way to get your children interested in computing is to let them see you working successfully on the computer. Of course, as their interest increases you may find your time on your computer decreases. This means that you've been successful in your crusade and it may be time to buy another Epson printer and Atari for the kids.
Finally, realize that some people just don't like computers. Typically, these people are of the older generation, but there are some kids who would rather play baseball on a field than on a keyboard. Understand and accept this fact of life. The world will continue to turn if you find that no one else in your family wants to learn how to program. That just means you'll have more time to yourself on your computer.
These are just a couple of hints to keep in mind as you read this book. I have written this book in an easily digestable format with application programs that are easy to input and helpful in using your Epson printer and Atari computer to the fullest.
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