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'Great Age Guides' Series shows kinder side of technology:

By BECKY BELL
Texarkana Gazette


If you're a Baby Boomer, chances are that you watch in amazement at how easily the grandchildren can navigate the computer-a piece of technology they have never known life without.

But if your life existed before Internet dating and when information was a click of the mouse away on Yahoo or Google, chances are you might feel frustrated, or at the least challenged, by the technology that now dominates so many lives.

Sandy Berger, a Boomer who has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert and a featured technology writer for the AARP, understands where people in this age bracket are coming from. That is why she has written a series of three books called "Great Age Guides," technology books designed for Boomers and beyond.

"I pride myself in giving you just what you need to know, no more, no less," Berger said.

Berger, who describes herself as "a technology person at heart," was introduced to computers when they were mainframe giants, so she has witnessed the drastic changes in their size and ability over the years. She didn't become inspired to write about what she knew until her husband gave her the nudge.

"My husband said you really understand the technology and explain it in terms I can understand. I think people would find this a plus, especially older people who don't understand what it is all about."

The three books she has written give an overall and direct education about technology. The first is "Sandy Berger's Great Age Guide to Better Living Through Technology." The point of this book is to help seniors see how technology can enhance their lives.

"It deals with how they can get online to check health resources and also explains high-technology tools they can use when they travel and digital photography," she said. "The older generation doesn't know what technology can do for them. I think younger and older people approach technology differently. A young person has no fear of pressing buttons, but an older person takes a more cautious approach."

Berger hopes the books will give older people the confidence boost they need to utilize technology in positive ways. The other book in the series, "Sandy Berger's Great Age Guide to the Internet," begins with an explanation of how to get on the Internet and extends to how to protect personal information while online.

The final book in the series, "Sandy Berger's Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos," focuses on the kind of high-tech equipment that seniors have been expressing interest to her on over the years.

"They may want or need a caller ID with larger letters or a keyboard with larger letters, and this explains what is out there. They may need a heart monitor and not know what it is all about," she said.

But the book doesn't stop there. She also outlines entertainment options including the 411 (that's information) on options such as the Nintendo Game Cube, an electronic Catch Phrase game and a Ferrari Force Feedback Wheel.

Overall, Berger just hopes that younger and older people appreciate the value of technology. "I would like the younger people to realize that just because someone is over 50 doesn't mean they don't understand technology or they can't use it," she said. "Once they get into computers and e-mail, (it) is something like a bell ringing and they become very enthusiastic users. I think the idea of being over 50 and over the hill and not understanding technology is dead wrong."

Each book is priced at $19.99.

About the Author:

Sandy Berger is the Computers & Technology host for AARP and is president of Computer Living Corp., a computer consulting and training company. She has also appeared on NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, FOX News, The Today Show.

Berger is working on another series of books on online health that will show how technology can extend life and how to do online research.

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