Microsoft® Windows® XP Inside Out Deluxe (BPG-Inside Out) Hardcover – Special Edition, 7 Nov 2004
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Ed Bott and Carl Siechert have combined their considerable talents for producing user-level documentation in creating Microsoft Windows XP Inside Out. One of the most carefully researched books on Windows XP to date, this large volume has all the information and procedures most everyday users of the operating system will want. With its nicely formatted how-to instructions, detailed documentation of command-line commands, intelligent explanatory text and broad scope, this book makes a great reference for a family or business that uses Windows XP extensively. Even the illustrations are more helpful than usual, largely because the publisher has gone to the trouble of annotating many of them with pointers and labels.
Bott and Siechert deal with the most controversial features of Windows XP, notably product activation, in a straightforward way. They simply explain what activation is for, tell how to go about it, and move on. If you're a power user interested in getting around activation and performing other unsanctioned hacks, look for your information in online newsletters. This book plays by Microsoft's rules, and that's fine. It's obvious that the authors have had access to Windows XP for some time, and spent a lot of time exploring its new features. Count on this book to explain the complete set of Windows XP's features--even the exciting networking stuff--in terms you can easily follow. --David Wall --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Author
Ed Bott is an award-winning computer journalist and one of the most widely recognized voices in the computing world, with nearly two decades of experience as a writer and editor at leading magazines like PC World and PC Computing. Currently, he is Senior Contributing Editor for Smart Business (formerly PC Computing), a 1999 National Magazine Award winner with a monthly circulation of more than 1 million. He is the author of a long list of Que books Windows and Microsoft Office, including Special Edition Using Microsoft Office 2000, Using Windows NT® Workstation 4, Special Edition Using Windows 98, Platinum Edition Using Windows 98 (coauthored with Ron Person), and two editions of Using Windows 95. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
At first glance the size of the book (1250) pages may be off putting to a casual buyer. I found that despite its size it was easy to follow and very informative. The chapters are laid out in a logical fashion with plenty of screen shot pictures throughout. The book covers everything from basic desktop manipulation to writing scripts and batch files to automate Windows XP.
The companion CD contains various demos of useful software like anti-virus etc, as well as copies of all the batch files and scripts discussed in the book. By far the best feature of the Cd is the eBook, which at 48mb for a full install allows you to have all the books content on your lap top for easy reference.
At the time of writing I can find no book that even comes close to this one for content and value.
My only gripe is that the Deluxe version states it includes service pack 1 on the CD (I need this for one of my systems). However on launching the CD I read that it's not available on the CD and has to be downloaded from the Internet (6+ hours at 33.2Kbs :( )
Despite this I still rate it a very good buy.
Customising/Configuring Windows XP
Media Player & Image Editing
Internet Explorer/Outlook Express
System Maintenance & Recovery
Each part starts with it's own very clear contents page before the chapter title page offers a neat, more detailed list of its contents in the left margin. Each chapter is clearly separated into titles, and further subdivided by many sub-headings. The use of differing but always consistent type faces & styles (bold, italic, indented text, etc.) and switching between black for main text, blue for `tips' or black-on-blue for special sections like `Troubleshooting' mean that complex information is parcelled up neatly and conveniently. The many tables, charts and figures are all clear and helpful.
While it is easy to criticise this title for not being comprehensive enough, once any book reaches 1200+ pages, you simply have to stop writing! What we are left with is a useful volume covering many topics in reasonable depth. A good example might be Chapter 3: `Controlling Access to Your Computer', which introduces us to Windows XP User Accounts. There is much essential and useful help here, including some differences between the XP Home and Professional Editions, as well as a section on using Net User (a Command Prompt feature). But (like the next reviewer down says) sometimes there is no help with a specific problem. For instance: a corrupted account - how do you copy account information from one account to another? And I imagine that many of us would appreciate more information on using Windows registry; however to expect a detailed account of command-line syntax or even editing registry keys would be too much (there are other Microsoft Press titles available for these).
Microsoft Press also offer a CD with all their Inside Out titles - essential in this day and age. The CD contains the book exactly as it appears in print as well as some add-ins and templates for Windows XP. It also adds a search feature and other aids like figures which will load to full-screen size (or near), and links for easy jumping to different chapters.
As with any textbook, it is not possible to cover every single topic but this title does cover the most useful. It's not as well balanced as Word 2002 Inside Out, for instance, but it's still a beautifully presented, well written title.
There is very little "Troubleshooting" to help you, as you will soon find out for yourself, as this booked is aimed at the beginner seeing things for the first time, or covers ground that is hardly ever usefully traversed in practice, ground seen for the first time by advanced users. It forgets about the Command line all of the time and what can best be productively achieved outside the GUI. I'm sorry but my expectations were not met when I read this book. I agree with the previous reviewer that it wastes a lot of time on XP Pro, which contains a lot of stuff for networks specifically, to which it is biased. People use Pro (or a tiny fraction of it) because they think "Pro" must be better than "Home", but the Home version excludes all the server stuff for company use. So what? That means the two could have been separated, and the core version covered in depth, comprehensively, to the nth degree.
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