Tech Tips for Everybody from David Pogue at The New York Times

Wed 15 2008

David Pogue blogs on technology for The New York Times and plans to write a book one day called The Basics. "It's going to be a compendium of the essential tech bits that you just assume everyone knows—but you're wrong," he explains.

Earlier in October, Pogue assembled a list of those basics and invited readers to submit their own hints and tips. Pogue's list covered topics from double-clicking to highlight any word in any document to ways to enlarge a webpage to hints for texting on the iPhone. Readers have contributed more than 1,200 additional comments, shortcuts, fixes, timesavers, and questions for PCs, Macs, and other technologies.

Pogue learned from this overwhelming response that "When you get a computer, phone, camera or other gadget, there’s no single, uniform, obvious place to learn the basics. You’re on your own." He figured that as a result, "everybody knows 40 or 80 percent of what there is to know, but everybody knows a different 40 or 80 percent," and that "humanity is wasting hundreds of millions of cumulative hours doing things the long way."

About the Author

Lee Ann Ghajar is a digital history associate in Public Projects at CHNM and a PhD candidate in American history at George Mason University.