I appreciate the enthusiasm with which Kleber Stephenson has written this book, and his tips are concise, and generally are of good quality, BUT...this book was definitely written with an absolute beginner in mind. This is the type of book I would hand to my father-in-law (and I probably will), so he can learn the basics of getting WinXP to do what he wants. I was hoping for something with heft, and insider tips, but 95% of what Kleber had to offer I already knew.
In addition, I have some serious complaints:
1. Kleber has included a series of "annoying tricks" as he calls them. These are things he says you can do to other people's computers to drive them batty. This is just not right. You just DON'T mess with another person's personal settings.
2. Kleber tells his users to not send error reports back to Microsoft. He says that Microsoft doesn't need to know about errors, but THEY SHOULD. This is one of the best things Microsoft has done so far. By receiving errors, they can fix problems in their products, which will make Windows work better, and faster, and will make it crash less. Please, if you buy, and follow this book, at least disregard this advice.
3. Kleber also suggests that people turn off the Auto-Update function of XP. While I agree that we shouldn't let XP just automatically update our PC without our intervention, there is a third option, that lets XP tell you there are Updates to download, which you then install manually. This is a nice middle ground. If it weren't for the Auto-Update, most people's computers, like my father-in-law's (sorry Dad!) would never get the essential security patches it needs, at least until I trundle to his house and provide tech support. Again, don't follow Kleber's advice on this one.
So essentially, my review is this:
If you're a beginner, and you'd like to learn some good ways to customize your PC to your own tastes, then this is a good book to own. If you're already familiar with XP, steer clear of this book, as you'll not learn much new.