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Windows XP Annoyances Paperback – Oct 18 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (Oct. 18 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596004168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596004163
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,888,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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