BOOKS FOR THE TINKERER

Do-It-Yourself Laptop Projects

There’s an interesting series of how-to books from McGraw-Hill (mhprofessional.com) and CNET (cnet.com). Topics covered include: iPods, Macs, laptops, Windows Vista and camera and music phones. Each book in this “Do-It-Yourself” series covers tips and do-it-yourself projects for that particular subject, and that’s exactly where the fun is.

In the book on laptops, for example, we learn how to turn one into a car stereo, surf the Web on our TV, and transfer old record albums or tapes to CDs. Those were the easy projects. Under “advanced,” we created a CD that lets us surf the Web using Linux without changing our Windows system, which is a great way to avoid spyware. “Do-It-Yourself Mac Projects” told us how to connect to a Windows PC remotely. The books are $25 a piece from the publishers’ Web sites, less from discounters.

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