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Windows XP Annoyances [Paperback]

David A. Karp
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Windows XP Annoyances for Geeks: Tips, Secrets and Solutions Windows XP Annoyances for Geeks: Tips, Secrets and Solutions 5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

18 Oct 2002

In an ideal world, an operating system would do its work in the background while you did your work in the foreground. In our world, however, operating systems constantly get in the way, and Windows XP is no exception. There hasn't been such a dramatic change in Windows computing since the introduction of Windows 95. Windows XP contains dozens of important new features designed to make your work easier, including improved performance, but also introduces numerous quirks and unaccountable behaviors that are guaranteed to increase your level of perplexity and frustration.

O'Reilly's popular series for troubleshooting Windows comes to the rescue with Windows XP Annoyances. This book is not designed to complain or criticize, but to acknowledge the problems and shortcomings of the operating system in order to overcome them. Complete with a collection of tools and techniques, this book allows users to improve their experience with Windows XP and establish control of the machine--rather than the other way around.

Based on the author's popular Windows Annoyances web site (, Windows XP Annoyances offers solutions, tips, workarounds and warnings that enable you to both customize and troubleshoot Windows, including:

  • Understanding the Windows Registry, including the use of the Registry Editor and advanced topics such as finding the right Registry Keys and restoring a corrupted registry
  • Customizing the interface beyond Microsoft's intentions, including many undocumented tweaks
  • Mastering Windows built-in networking capabilities, including advanced technologies such as Internet Connection Sharing, Remote Desktop sharing, and virtual private networking
  • Repairing Windows XP now that the DOS safety net is gone
As author David Karp says, "The more you know about a tool you use--specifically, Microsoft Windows XP--the better your day-to-day experience with it will be." Windows XP Annoyances is the intermediate and advanced Windows user's best resource for turning Windows into the user-friendly, customizable interface it was meant to be.

Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (18 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596004168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596004163
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,642,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Choosing 'Windows XP Annoyances' is a case of pay now or pay later. -- Jack J. Woehr, Dr. Dobbs Journal, March 2003

It has the potential to save countless hours of frustration, and puts the user in charge. And it is a good read. -- Major Kearny, Book News, Dec 2002

This is another excellent technical reference manual from O'Reilly! -- Roy Johnson,, Feb 2003

Book Description

Make Windows behave! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very handy if you're new to XP 18 April 2003
Great book if you know a little about Windows but want more detail than that offered in the 'Dummies' series. Takes you into and behind many of the key features common to Windows (registry, the start menu, right click context menus, speeding up startup and shutdown, backups, to name a few) and shows you not to be afraid, that it's not all that complicated and that you can really improve the how you use XP with loads of little tweaks.
I especially liked how it went into detail over many individual quirks, walking you through the changes required in a straightforward list-style manner. It also points out many shortcomings and, helpfully, lists measures necessary to work around them. Just off the top of my head, some really handy tips are listed with Explorer, backing bits of the registry before making changes, closing holes in XP security. The book is just packed with ways that you can adapt and adjust XP.
If you're at all a bit of a control freak who wants to know what all the 'secret rules' are for Windows XP and where they are hidden, then this book is probably for you.
Watch out for all the typos in the first edition though.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent hackers' guide to Windows XP 16 Jun 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Windows XP is the best version of Windows but it isn't perfect. This is a guide to monkeying around with the system to make it work how you want it to and ranges from minor tinkering to major hacking. At the same time, it's a rather good user guide, at least from the perspective of the computer savvy user, covering such areas as the registry, performance, networking (the coverage of this is particularly good) and scripting. There are lots of nice touches as well - for example, the lists of BIOS settings and blue-screen-of-death error messages. This book goes very well with 'Windows XP in a Nutshell'.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Windows XP Annoyances 23 Sep 2003
By Mr. S. Gregory VINE VOICE
This is an excellent book, covers a lot of useful information. You will not probably follow all of the examples in the book but you will certainly pick out the ones suited to your preferences. It is very detailed about the examples and how they work.
The only thing that lets this book down is that there are quite a few spelling mistakes.
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19 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oh, really? 15 Aug 2003
By A Customer
"I admit it - I am the guy people call when they need answers," says David Karp. You would expect that anybody with an attitude like that would be, well, an annoyance.
The book lives up to that expectation. There are a lot of little pearls of wisdom. But, if you are really trying to understand what is going on, you would better look elsewhere.
Some of the deep problems I was trying to solve with my XP installation, the book didn't have answers to. Should one install "signed" drivers or "unsigned" drivers? What kind of memory to add if you are trying to upgrade? (The book does say, get the right kind of memory, but is clueless as to what that means.) What is the difference between power management in Windows XP and the older versions of Windows?
The book is certainly worth reading if you are trying to while away your time and learn something about your operating system in the process. But, if you have read any decent book on Windows (of any variety) before, you would probably find this one boring. Especially, if you know previous versions of Windows well and want to learn what is new in XP, you will probably be disappointed with this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
90 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Timesaver 10 Jan 2003
By J. Erb - Published on
I've put off using Windows XP as long as possible. I recently decided that I wanted to use it for the screen shots of my next book since it's in color and the palettes in XP look so much nicer. But it's driving me nuts! I hate the cutesy icons and the dumbed down feel. I have a copy of Windows XP Annoyances sitting right on my desk to help me overcome the many things that really do annoy me. I don't have time to read a tome on using Windows XP, so when I run into something I want to do I just grab this book.
As most O'Reilly book, it's easy to use because of its great indexing. I can normally find a topic within seconds, read it, fix it, and get back to work. I've been able to get rid of most of the cutesy stuff but not all of it. This book doesn't just cover the easy things either, it gets into networking and internetworking issues, working with and repairing the registry, lots of troubleshooting topics and scripting and automation.
Every Windows XP owner should also own this book.
104 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You cant go wrong with this book! 28 Feb 2003
By James - Published on
Windows XP Annoyances is one of a kind. If you are looking for a guide through XP, this is not the book to get, but if you want a book that explains Windows XP in more depth then this is the right book for you. This book tells about the problems with Microsoft's new system and how to fix and customize it for your personal needs. It explains how to use the registry in detail to get past the "cute" animations for maximum performance and less annoyance. It does a great job and will tell you things that Microsoft books won't, like changing the startup logo. REMEMBER, this is not a manual! It is as the cover says "Windows XP Annoyances." Although it does teach some basics it will not tell how to use the OS, but rather techniques and tricks to make its performance and appeal better.
59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has everything 11 Oct 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Just when I thought I had seen it all, XP Annoyances comes around. Just a few minutes with this book, and I had improved the performance of my network connection, fixed a nagging problem I was having with the Search tool, and found some registry settings I didn't even know existed. The hype around these books seems justified; highly recommended.
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, no-nonsense approach to solving annoyances 21 Jun 2003
By A Customer - Published on
The author knows Windows, and it shows on every page. The book's lighthearted approach is refreshing, and the quality of the information is first-rate. The author does mention some of the bugs in windows xp, but only to end of fixing them, which is not something most writers bother to do. I was finally able to share my internet connection (without spending any money), and even speed up the computer by messing around in the Registry. This book is indispensable.
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT LIVES UPTO ITS BILLING 12 Jan 2003
By reviewer - Published on
A lot has been said concerning this David Karp's book, "Windows XP Annoyances". And, I will add that it lived upto my expectations. Just as its name suggests that there are annoying things about Windows XP, its job was to insulate (as precisely as possible), those irritating XP issues.
This book is a pleasure to read. It defines and executes its chores with impressive precision. Very few problem-solving texts are as forthright. It highlights each problem, and then goes about the solving procedure without any complaint or criticism. Its business-like approach is nice. I valued it so much!
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