9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Maintains the `Inside Out' series high standards,
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This review is from: Windows Vista Inside Out Deluxe Edition Book/CD Package (Paperback)
Microsoft Press' Windows Vista Inside Out: Deluxe Edition is divided into five large parts, from `Setup and Startup' (400+ pages) to `Advanced System Management', ending with 160+ pages of appendices and index. (See Amazon's excellent `Search inside' feature, if and when it's available.)
Each part starts with it's own very clear contents page listing each chapter title. These pages have a black and white screen-saver type background to contrast them with the standard pages. Following the part divider page is a chapter page listing the headings within that chapter. The contents of each chapter are clearly separated under titles and subdivided by many sub-headings. The use of differing but consistent type size and indentation mean that complex information is parcelled up neatly. The many tables, charts and figures are all clear and helpful. Previous `Inside Out' titles also used blue ink to colour background pages, tabs and headings, etc. but this new one is strictly black and white only. Some may prefer it but I think a touch of blue might cheer it up a little.
The problem is, as we all become more computer literate, these MS Press `Inside Out' titles (and Que's `Special Edition: Using Windows Vista', etc.) often seem to take you were you want to go - nearly. For instance, Part II: `Security and Networking' offers extensive information regarding small networks (chapter 14) and file sharing, including a very informative chapter on `Accessing Your Computer from Remote Locations' (chapter 17). However, in trying to sort out a flexible backup solution I found no specific advice about using Vista with Network Attached Storage (NAS) or to run a simple server with Vista, though it must be possible.
As I pointed out in my `Windows XP Inside Out' review, it is easy to criticise a title for not being comprehensive enough, but once any book reaches 1300+ pages, you simply have to stop writing! What we are left with, then, is a useful volume covering many topics fairly well.
Microsoft Press also offer a CD which contains the book exactly as it appears in print, as well as some Vista tools and very bloaty `Sample Chapters' from other MS books. All the extras seem fairly pointless and make finding the actual PDF file of this book that much more fiddly (if you want to copy it to your hard drive, for instance - which works fine).
This, then, is very much `a chip off the old Inside Out series block' and represents a top quality offering. Unfortunately the nature of the computing beast means that you could easily buy half a dozen of these titles - for networking, command line reference, etc. - and use them all the time.
One review on Amazon US complains about the grey print, which is valid. (Previous titles are all a crisp, clear black fonts - this grey font is harder to read.) I bought this over Que's `Special Edition' just because it was a bit cheaper. This `Deluxe Edition' includes the significant Vista Service Pack 1 upgrades (as does Que's new title).
It is not possible to cover every single topic with any textbook but this title does cover the most useful and it's very well presented and written. Recommended.