Notes from a Pro

Frances M. Peake, professional database developer has this to say about Liberty Manuals books.

Frances Peake

Francie Peake

Susan Bush and I met at the Alpha Five Developer's Conference in December of 2000. I was the professional developer. Susan used Alpha Five in her business. After a short conversation with Susan, I realized that she was much more than an end-user. She had made a study of Alpha Five over the years, pushing the product to its limits to serve her business needs.

Shortly after the conference, Susan came to our South Florida Database User Group meeting. She offered to give a presentation on a multi-step import procedure she had devised in Alpha Five. She impressed the group with detailed handouts and screen shots. Then she hosted the next few meetings while I was out of town.

When I returned to the User Group meet­ings, Susan pitched the idea of doing a seminar to help Alpha Four users make the transition to Alpha Five thus our joint venture, ABC Seminars, was born. We agreed that, with all the preparation it would require, the seminar would not be a big money maker. So I asked, "What would you want to get out of it?" She stated very emphatically, "I want to do an Alpha Five book." I can't remember whether I said this out loud, but my first thought was "Are you out of your mind?" But I knew it was true, Susan was going to write her Alpha Five book.

The software has undergone many changes since then, the most notable being the change in the product name from Alpha Five to Alpha Anywhere. Susan's single book on the desktop features has expanded into a series that includes the web/mobile features for which Alpha Anywhere is being recognized as a leader in the field.

Susan's books are not simply the products of her experience as an advanced-level Alpha user - they are products of her vision and seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm. They are also products of many, many hours of research, writing, editing and above all, attention to detail. Like so many of us in the Alpha community, Susan saw a need for additional training and support materials for the software. Any of us who have ever contemplated actually writing such a book and imagined ourselves as the author of, "Step 1. Right-click the mouse…Step 2. Choose Properties…" can only begin to appreciate what Susan has accomplished here.

Liberty Manuals books can be used as both tutorials and references. Users of all levels will find them chock-full of valuable information.

The value of Susan's experience using Alpha in a real-world business environment cannot be underestimated. It is evident throughout the books in the plain-English explanations of each feature and in the examples she uses. You will appreciate the generous use of screen shots to guide you through the exercises. Best of all are the tips and hints she provides to help shorten the learning curve so that you can get the most out of the software.

On behalf of Alpha users and enthusiasts everywhere, thank you Susan for writing these books!

- Frances M. Peake, President, Proctor & Peake, Inc.
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