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Windows XP in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference Paperback – Feb 7 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 686 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (Feb. 10 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596009003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596009007
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 821 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,050,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

As the installed base of Microsoft's newest operating system, XP, grows, guides to its use will continue to proliferate (see also Computer Media, LJ 3/1/02). Upgraders with little previous experience will be drawn to 10 Minute Guide, which highlights changes from earlier versions and explains common tasks step by step. Small and leaving no room for background or troubleshooting assistance, this should be purchased in conjunction with more comprehensive guides, such as The Missing Manual. It provides enough background to allow new home users and upgraders to get up and running, while leaving them feeling as if they have a handle on why and how things work. Ample screen shots and sidebars further this process; recommended for all libraries. Headaches, for beginning to intermediate users, focuses on troubleshooting common XP problems and annoyances, like a too-rapid cursor blink rate. Nutshell is a reference for advanced users of home and professional editions, with an alphabetical format that allows quick lookup of functions and features within larger sections (e.g., networking, the registry, etc.). Each is useful and appropriate for larger libraries.'
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"...it's packed with useful information, tips, tricks and screenshots, all clearly explained. ... An excellent resource." Windows XP, August 2002 "This book is an essential addition to any XP enthusiast's library. Its aim is simple: to chronicle as many undocumented features as possible. It won't tell you much about things that you already know or can find out easily, but it will reveal just how deep XP goes... If you're after an introduction to XP, look elsewhere. If you want a companion to Windows XP Inside Out, or something that will appeal to someone with at least six months' XP experience, then you've struck gold." "If you want to delve deep into Windows XP, take this book with you..." - Nick Peers, PC Answers, September (Platinum Award) "O'Reilly have long had a reputation as the professional's choice when it comes to computer books, and volumes in their 'in a nutshell' series are the next best thing to an original supplier's manual. They contain at least as much information and usually in a more accessible format. And this book is no exception to the rule. At over GBP20 this book isn't cheap, but is is a comprehensive and easy-to-use guide to XP. If you only ever buy one Windows XP Book, you could do a lot worse than this one." - Ian Barker, PC-How To Windows XP, Issue 26 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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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
I asked a few friends of mine if they could recommend a Windows XP book, and they all told me to get the O'Reilly book. Given O'Reilly's apparently good reputation, I decided to lay my money down for my own copy.
Now, when I first got my hands on this one, I didn't know quite to make of this dense book. But after a few days, I picked it up and started really getting into it. Then I looked through a few other Windows books I had on my shelf and just had to laugh.
This book is just in a completely different class. So many other books seem to be all screenshots and excerpts from the Windows online help, while this one seems to be written, cover-to-cover, from the perspective of someone who ACTUALLY uses the product. It's littered with tips and "gotchas" that have already saved me a lot of time and aggravation, and it's very well-written and easy to understand.
And I'll say something I can't say about any other Windows book I've seen: I actually learned something reading this book. Pick one up for yourself and I'm sure you'll discover the same thing.
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Format: Paperback
This book suits my purposes perfectly. If you are comfortable with computers, if you like details, if you get frustrated with the fluff in most Windows OS books, then this book is for you, too.
The book is well organized, nicely formatted, and printed to the usual O'Reilly standards. The text I've read is clear and brief.
It is a very complete, but dense, reference. The biggest section is a 250-page listing of XP applications and tools and how to use each one--applets, control panels, disk tools, network tools, games, task manager, address book, etc. If itcan be used from the command line, details are included for that as well. There is special 50-page index just for this section where you can look up concepts and tasks to find the right tool.
It also includes:
Full documentation on all the usual console commands.
A good introduction to the registry and what you can do with it.
Everything you really need to know about Windows Script Host.
Full listing of keyboard shortcuts.
Notes on Power Toys you can download from Microsoft.
Keyboard Equivalents for special characters.
A list of file extensions in common use.
Keyboard shortcuts (accelerators) by key and by function.
Descriptions of all the services that are available with XP.
Does that sound great, or what?
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