Using Microsoft Windows XP Professional Bestseller Edition (Special Edition Using) Paperback – 9 Sep 2002
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About the Author
Robert Cowart has written more than 35 books on computer programming and applications, with more than a dozen on Windows. His titles include Windows NT Unleashed, Mastering Windows (3.0, 3.1, 95, 98, and Me), Windows NT Server Administrator's Bible, Windows NT Server 4.0: No Experience Required, and Special Edition Using Windows 2000 Professional. Several of his books have been bestsellers in their categories, and have been translated into more than 20 languages. He has written on a wide range of computer-related topics for such magazines as PC Week, PC World, PC Magazine, PC Tech Journal, Mac World, and Microsoft Systems Journal. He has taught programming classes at the University of California Extension in San Francisco and has appeared as a special guest on the PBS TV series Computer Chronicles, CNN's Headline News, ZD-TV's The Screen Savers, and ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. He is president and co-founder of Brainsville.com, a company specializing in creating multimedia training courses. Robert resides in Berkeley, California.
In his spare time, he is involved in the music world, presenting chamber-music concerts and playing classical piano. He also is a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique.
Brian Knittel has been a software developer for more than 20 years. After doing graduate work in nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging technologies, he began a career as an independent consultant. An eclectic mix of clients have led to long-term projects in medical documentation, workflow management, real-time industrial system control, and most importantly, 15 years of real-world experience with MS-DOS, Windows, and computer networking in the business world. Previously, he co-authored Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional and contributed to several of Bob Cowart's other Windows books. Brian lives in Albany, California, halfway between the tidal wave zone and the earthquake fault. He spends his free time restoring antique computers (check out www.ibm1130.org) and trying to perfect his wood-fired pizza recipes.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The second half I found to be a slightly more valuable "system administration" section. Topics like dual booting, editing the registry, and performance tuning were very interesting to me. However, each of these topics could fill its own book so it is understandable that this book can't explain them in full detail. Still, a lot of this was new to me in the Windows world and I found it a worthwhile read. It definitely increased my knowledge of Windows XP. However, if you're a professional Windows System Administrator or Tech Support, I feel this book isn't enough.
Overall, the book seems to be well written and fairly free of grammatical errors and typos. The authors stick in some humor to keep it interesting. I appreciated the number of URL's added by the authors for screensavers, news articles, downloads and what not. While simple, this definitely adds value. Most importantly, the URL's actually worked when I tried them! The author's tips also add a slight amount of value.
I cannot comment on the included video CD-ROM as I do not prefer to learn that way. I learn better from reading and doing, so I skipped this. Based on the CD-ROM's description page, it sounds like a lot of basic topics for people with little experience. So, the value of the CD-ROM will ultimately depend on the reader's level of experience.
In a nutshell, this book did exactly what I purchased it for. It brought me back up to speed with Windows XP. It also markets itself for a user level of "Beginner-Intermediate". That is why I gave it 4 stars. However, it's title of, "The only Windows XP book you'll ever need" is obviously marketing hype, which I have come to expect from most all computer books.