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Windows XP Annoyances [Paperback]

David A. Karp
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Oct. 18 2002 --  
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Windows XP Annoyances for Geeks: Tips, Secrets and Solutions Windows XP Annoyances for Geeks: Tips, Secrets and Solutions
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Book Description

Oct. 18 2002 0596004168 978-0596004163 1

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 withWindows 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 Annoyancesoffers 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 Annoyancesis 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

Product Description

From Amazon

Microsoft Windows XP may be the latest in a popular family of operating systems, but that doesn't mean it's perfect. However, the designers of Windows XP have built enough flexibility into their product and provided users with a sufficiently large toolkit to overcome most shortcomings. In Windows XP Annoyances David Karp reveals his ideas about how to use Windows XP most effectively, for maximum fun and productivity and as little aggravation as possible. If you're comfortable working with Windows XP (or any of its recent predecessors) but find certain aspects of it, well, annoying, you'll find this book to your liking. Karp guides his readers through potentially risky procedures, such as editing the Registry and adjusting hardware device drivers, with skill and precision.

The author's tone is to the point and professional without being dry, without any of the phony, forced humor that appears in a lot of operating-system books. Though he inexplicably ignores the Windows XP Power Toys--some very handy utilities you can get from Microsoft's Web site--he does a great job of handling important questions. Case in point, the important issue of which files can be deleted to free up disk space, and which you shouldn't touch even though they look like pointless garbage. Similarly useful attention goes to the question of which background processes can be safely halted, and which are important. There's fine coverage of scripting with the Windows Script Host (WSH), as well. --David Wall

Topics covered: How to get the most out of Windows XP, even when it appears that the operating system is working against you. Troubleshooting techniques, hardware advice, Registry hacking, interface customization, and advanced networking subjects all find a place in this book.


"This book gives an insight into how frustrated end-users can get when what should be simple and intuitive is anything but. It's required reading for any PC developer, especially those living in Redmont..." PC Plus, June 2006 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plethora of XP information and Registry Hacks July 2 2004
This wonderful book is a Plethora of XP information and Registry Hacks, that will help the average user or IT professional. I loved the Annoyances website so much, that I invested in this hard-copy book, which has proven to be more than worth the money.
I was skeptical of messing with the registry, other than basic Hacks to access certain features of Internet Explorer, at work, until I read "Windows XP Annoyances," by David A. Karp.
This book is not-only a great time saver, containing tons of information that will speed-up and improve your O.S., by getting-rid of "Annoyances" and tweaking various aspects of the system, but it will also teach you how to hack the registry. The author gives very detailed scenarios--step-by-step, explaining how to do basic registry hacks, then how to put all those hacks together into a script. From there, you can use your imagination.
This book will make you feel more confident that you will not blow-up your O.S. with some tweaking and it provides information about various applications that do most of the tweaking for you, if goofing with the registry scares you.
I have recommended this book to numerous friends in the IT industry. The site is very helpful, as-well --especially, in a pinch, or on days when there is too much blood in your Caffeine system.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice for its size May 23 2004
Any quick search for XP customization books and you quickly see that there are several around the 1000 page mark and with high user markings. Given this, there is only so much you can expect from a book half that size. However, despite other people's opinion on the information covered in this book, if you are looking for a fun and faster read which does actually target the portions of the operating system that most home users would like to cover, this is a perfect choice.
The biggest appreciations I have for this title is that the word "hack" never appears, the customizations are not 100% dependent on shareware or freeware downloads, the user is not sheltered from the realities of configuring the OS, and the range of configuration varies from novice to advanced - keeping the reader from stagnating at a particular level.
To weigh in on the decision to purchase this title, consider that not only does the title give you the ability to alter your environment, the author has dedicated space to educate the reader on how to identify and troubleshoot problems - a skill really needed and a topic quite often skipped by other titles. The book also ties in with the authors web site, which makes mentioned downloads easily accessible to the user, adding value to the static text with dynamic content.
Although this title differs slightly in overall feel from previous "Annoyances" titles (advancements in the OS are bound to reduce the need), this stands on it's own and is a very good addition to your XP library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good info, bad delivery May 13 2003
Personally, I find Windows very annoying sometimes. It seems to like to make me do things it's way. This book goes a long way to helping solve a lot of those issues. It's an invaluable reference.
Unfortunately, the author seems to have very strong opinions of the "right way" of doing things. I found it hard to read this book without feeling like he wanted me to do things his way. That doesn't seem any different than MS.. they just have different opinions on the right way to do things.
I'd much more enjoy the book if it simply told me how to make changes without the constant opinions on which changes are right or wrong.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tips and Tricks, for the Windows Geek April 29 2004
Windows XP Annoyances takes you under the hook of Windows XP (both Pro and Home) to tweak the operating system in ways you may never have thought possible. The author dives into not only the simple hacks, such as disabling autoplay or speeding up the appearance of menus and changing display properties, but also goes into the Registry to show you tweaks for advanced items such as changing the memory used for I/O operations, and protecting file type associations from changing.
Though the book does have a habit of jumping around a bit, and there is no real clear organization of the topics, it is a good reference for those who really want to get into the OS itself and remove some of the "annoying" things (like the cute themes Microsoft has decided to push upon us). It's also a great reference for those who are attempting to setup home networks, or login to their computer remotely -- the author does more than tweak, he explains about these features that might otherwise be overlooked.
Overall, the book is a good buy for the advanced computer user. Beginners and casual users might be better off utilizing less powerful resources as this book can overwhelm if you do not understand the technical details of Windows XP.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Timesaver Jan. 10 2003
By J. Erb
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The one esential XP manual, heads above the rest
If you are an experienced Windows user and are about to move to, or have just moved to XP, this is the one essential book on the subject and probably the only one you will ever... Read more
Published on June 1 2004 by Photoguy
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very helpful or organized
I bought this book with more expectation than what I got when I received it in the mail. I needed to fix the slow bootup of Windows XP and there is hardly anything mentioned in... Read more
Published on May 14 2004 by J. Simon
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful
I had so many questions and Windows XP Annoyances miraculously had the answer to so many. I found the book well organized and indexed with no nonsense explanations.
Published on Feb. 20 2004 by DerekSebring
5.0 out of 5 stars Straight to the Point
This book is very logical, the steps are clearly outlined, and you can easily follow what is stated. Read more
Published on Dec 24 2003 by Dean Schilling
4.0 out of 5 stars Troubleshooter
A great resource for anyone that has to resolve problems occasionally or regularly on XP operating systems. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2003 by C. A. Luster
2.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff; some errors; poor index and organization
Lots of good stuff here collected from the discussions on author's Website forum. Found some errors in the content and some basic English errors that made me less trusting about... Read more
Published on Aug. 19 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, no-nonsense approach to solving annoyances
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. Read more
Published on June 20 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars negative tone doesn't help book
This book is a great resource for anyone who has ever run any versions of windows. It is the first serious book I have ever seen that relates all versions of windows (since 3. Read more
Published on May 27 2003 by Merrifield Winters
5.0 out of 5 stars The best thing you can do for your computer
This is what all computer books should be like. It's concise, quick, interesting, and most of all, very useful. It has the only networking guide I've ever been able to understand. Read more
Published on May 2 2003
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