Published in 1983
by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
209 pages.

Note From Michael
This book began as practical notes for friends who had just bought home computers, and were now staring with horror at their new acquisitions. I would help them get started and leave a set of these notes for reference. Because my notes were written on a word processor, I added a little more each time. I began to get feedback. You should have mentioned this or that, they'd tell me. The notes began to get longer and longer.

I began to realize that first-time computer users needed help with something not covered in most books and manuals - namely, an attitude to take toward this new kind of machine. How to think about computers, not just how to use them.

Meanwhile, I had started to develop computer programs for film production, a business that previously used no computers at all. I was plunged into a whole new world: buying minicomputer hardware, supervising programmers, and trying to convince suspicious specialists that their lives would be simpler and better (and they would not lose their jobs) if they used these machines. The new programs were easy to use, but visitors became so anxious around a computer terminal they literally could recognize that they could save millions of dollars using them.

Again I was thrown back to attitudes.

In June 1982, I attended the International Design Conference in Aspen, Colorado, and watched professionals in another field struggling with computers and what they meant. Once again, attitudes seemed critical.

Computers really are unprecedented machines in everyday life, and they do demand a whole set of new attitudes. This leaves people feeling helpless and lost. I hope this book helps. At the very least, having written it, I can stop talking about it myself.

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