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Windows XP in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference Paperback – Feb 10 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 686 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (Feb. 10 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596009003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596009007
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 14.9 x 22.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 821 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,270,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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By A Customer on June 17 2004
Format: Paperback
MACS ARE WAY BETTER YOU FOOOOOLS!!!!!!!!!!!
it doesn't matter how good a book you have on the intricacies of Windows XP, when XP sucks compared to MAC OS X!
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This book does a great job of covering the middle ground between a book for novices and a techie's manual. It covers the basics briefly and moves on to the details useful to an experienced Windows user. It even goes into scripting and into the Registry, topics for expert users, but that's at the end of the book so it doesn't get in the way of the things the typical reader will want to know. It's exceptionally well organized and reasonably well-indexed. The typeface is crisp -- other computer books look they were mimeographed -- and the screen captures are reasonably clear, although color would make them better. The website lists errata and changes in the 3rd edition -- a nice feature. (I have the first edition.)
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I found this a rather disappointing tome, given its weight. In many cases it merely lists the obvious at great length. The index is poor, and the organisation is confusing. I found the lack of tips and absence of special insights frustrating as these have been good a feature of previous reference works like Windows 95 Secrets by Livingston & Straub . I wonder at whom this bland work is really targeted. Best to look elsewhere for a main XP reference. I regretted my purchase.
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Format: Paperback
Although it was designed for audience with prior Windows knowledge, the simple language David Karp and his co-authors used in writting this "Windows XP in a Nutshell" ensured that novice enthusiasts would cope with it.
This book explored every nook-and-corner of both the Home and the Professional editions of the Operating System. The 550 pages of this book could be only a fraction of what many voluminous texts offered; still, very few of them matched the in-depth analyses that is evident here. I treasured the authoritative exposure it gave to Registry, Network Architectures, Security options, and Multimedia inputs. Every chapter of this book brims with applaudable technical expertise: on the part of its author. Anybody who is familiar with Windows XP system, (Home or Professional), would be amazed at how this book tendered revamped information on the usefulness of the Operating System's Backup and Recovery Tools. The same applies to the utilities of its Device Driver Rollback.
In conclusion, "Windows XP in a Nutshell" is a quality textbook, which would serve the needs of its readers. But, for reference purposes, I had wished that its compact information were extended a little bit. Its 550 pages could have been stretched to a dynamic 750 pages with great ease; and with no harm whatsoever!
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Format: Paperback
I want to like this book, since I love the look of O'Reilly books, and have benefited in the past from a couple of the "Annoyances" books, and because O'Reilly is NOT Microsoft.
In fact, I already own "Windows 98 in a Nutshell". Truth to tell, I didn't use it too much, but did like the various sections. I read it and got a pretty good feel for the facilities available on a Windows system. And it was good on TweakUI and a bunch of other stuff tucked in various dark corners.
This current incarnation of the "Nutshell" series left me disappointed, though. It has a lot in common with its predecessor, and has an excellent middle section: the Alphabetical Reference to Windows Components, which is itself about 250 pages, and pretty much gives you all the programs that come with and in Windows XP, what they do, and their command-line parameters.
This is the reason to own this book. Just to take another book I have around, "Windows XP Inside Out" (a Microsoft book) for comparison: it has over 1400 pages, and covers most topics of interest exhaustively (and exhaustingly), but has no list of any sort that would allow one to browse through which programs the system offers. Occasionally, and in a very low-key way, they will refer to a program you can run to do something relating to the topic at hand. But just try to find a reference to anything resembling it in the index! Moreover, they never give a model command line for a program. This Nutshell book, then, shines in this area. It also, more or less, tells you which facilities only apply to the full-blown "professional" version, and which apply to both that and the Home version of XP.
However, the rest of the book is less useful.
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Format: Paperback
Clear and well structured, it manages to miss -- or dismiss -- some XP nuances in its bias toward the "classic windows" way of doing things. There's a subtle "I-know-what's-best" tone, which plays in stark contrast to its pretensions to be authoritative. Opinions are fine, but here they serve well neither novice PC users nor power users looking to evaluate the pros and cons of new OS features. For readers in either group, a different XP desk reference might be the way to go.
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Format: Paperback
If you want a single source reference for Windows XP, this is it. It is written for someone who is familiar with Windows and computers, yet needs more information about the new features of XP.
The book methodically goes through all of the Windows XP features in an easy to read fashion.
There are also a lot of configuration settings that are useful, but nonetheless hard to find from Microsoft.
Overall, an excellent reference.
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