The risk Mark Minasi
takes in Mastering Windows XP Professional
is in attempting to cover a shockingly broad swathe of knowledge. He begins with instructions for manipulating (maximizing, minimizing, and closing) windows and concludes with making static entries in the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) cache for speedier routing. That's like writing a manual for an automobile that begins with opening the passenger-side door, goes all the way through driving and routine maintenance, and concludes with instructions for tweaking the fuel-injection system for a tiny horsepower gain. Does he pull it off? By and large, yes, if you adopt the philosophy that this book isn't sacred writ and is meant only to clarify details as you develop understanding of Windows XP for yourself. Stuck on how to "print to a file," and why you'd want to do that? There's a succinct passage on that subject. Considering broadband Internet options? Minasi summarizes the pros and cons of each nicely. Large subjects that require knowledge of subjects outside of Windows--like scripting for the Windows Script Host (WSH), which is a kind of programming--are a hard fit for encyclopedic books like this one. They deserve (and have) books of their own, and the distilled entry in this omnibus is bound to seem either too elementary to be useful or too obscure to be understood.
The problem with this book is that it's better suited to novice and moderately experienced computer users who should be using Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, not the more feature-rich Professional version. Users of Windows XP Professional probably won't need to be told how to shut their machines off but may well want detailed coverage of how to configure Internet Information Services (IIS), a subject to which Minasi gives only two pages. Though it's not for power users or administrators of Windows XP Professional, this book is a good choice for users of Windows XP Home Edition, as well as novices who have had Professional forced upon them by a corporate computing department. --David Wall
Topics covered: Nearly all everyday aspects of Windows XP Professional (like Internet connectivity, formatting and printing, and local-area network hookups) and many more advanced subjects (like firewalling, Registry editing, scripting, and security configuration). New features like fax services, system rollback, and the handy photo viewer are dealt with nicely.
--This text refers to an alternate
From the Back Cover
Complete Coverage of Windows XP Professional
The latest from the world’s leading Windows authority Mark Minasi, Mastering Windows XP Professional is the premier resource for anyone installing, configuring, and administering Windows XP, whether as part of a corporate network or for home or small business use. Depend on it for step-by-step instruction in hundreds of key techniques—not to mention a thorough look at all of XP’s new features and troubleshooting advice that will save you time, money, and countless headaches. Updates to this edition include new coverage for administrators on topics including Web and FTP servers, scripting, the Microsoft Mangement Console and Services, and security.
Bonus Coverage: Windows XP Essential Skills
- Using the new Start menu and Control Panel
- Setting up broadband Internet connections
- Setting up and configuring a peer-to-peer network
- Securing your PC and network from intruders
- Encrypting vital data
- Running programs designed for previous versions of Windows
- Transferring files and settings from one computer to another
- Sharing your desktop with remote users
- Connecting to remote computers using Remote Desktop Connection
- Using Windows Media Player 8
- Communicating in real time using Windows Messenger
- Using Windows XP on Portable Computers
- Restoring your system to a previous configuration
- Preventing disaster; backing up and recovering data
- Using the Services and MMC administration tools
Includes 96 pages of full-color visual, step-by-step instruction on the 57 most important Windows XP skills. In minutes, you’ll learn how to burn a CD, set up an Internet connection, use XP's powerful System Restore feature, and much more.