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Maximum PC Microsoft Windows Vista Exposed: An Insider's Guide to Supercharging Windows Vista 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0789735867
ISBN-10: 0789735865
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About the Author

Mark Edward Soper has taught computer troubleshooting and other technical subjects to thousands of students from Maine to Hawaii since 1992. Mark has used almost every version of Microsoft Windows starting with version 1.04 and has contributed chapters to Special Edition Using Windows Millennium Edition, all editions of the Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows XP series, Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows Vista, and Easy Windows Vista. Mark blogs on Windows Vista at his blog.


Mark is the author or coauthor of many books on a variety of technology subjects, including Upgrading and Repairing Networks, 5th Edition, Upgrading and Repairing Servers, Leo Laporte’s PC Help Desk, Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Home Automation, and Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Home Networking, as well as books on digital photography, broadband Internet, computer upgrading, and A+ certification. Mark is currently writing Unleashing Microsoft Windows Vista Media Center and a new A+ certification study guide. He is a regular contributor to Maximum PC magazine and writes the Windows blog for the Maximum PC website. When he’s not working on technology projects, Mark enjoys photography, researching the history of transportation, church activities, and his family.


Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

A Hard-Core Computer Enthusiast's View of Windows_Vista

A Hard-Core Computer Enthusiast's View of Windows Vista


How This Book Is Organized

Special Features

This book is designed to be like no other Windows Vista book you've seen. Some books try to cover every feature in Windows Vista, including often-rewarmed leftovers such as Paint and WordPad that haven't been exciting since—ever? Others are aimed at explaining basic features to technology newcomers. There's nothing wrong with books like these (and I've helped create a few of them as a contributing writer and technical reviewer). However, if you're an experienced Windows user, you're looking for something more. You're looking for a book that looks under Vista's hood, kicks the tires, and test drives the new and different features in Windows Vista.

In other words, Maximum PC Guide to Microsoft WindowsVista Exposed is a member of that all-too-rare class of technology books: a critical examination from a veteran technology enthusiast without an axe to grind. Like the magazine it's patterned after, this book is designed to tell the truth about Windows Vista. What features work? Which ones need work? Which features make your technology life easier? Which ones make it harder? You'll find out here.

Unlike many Windows Vista books, this one is based on actual production Windows Vista editions. That's important, because some Windows Vista features and installation methods were not known until retail product was available. This book uses the same Windows Vista that you can buy, so you know the issues, solutions, and workarounds discussed apply to your situation.

Whether you are already using Windows Vista, trying to decide whether to send in a Vista upgrade coupon, buying an upgrade version for your existing PC, or planning a computer purchase for yourself or your company, this book will help you choose the right Vista edition and get the most out of it.

How This Book Is Organized

This book contains 15 chapters, divided into four sections. Sure, you can read it cover to cover—and if you're still on the fence about Windows Vista (or if you want to stroke this author's ego), you should. But, if you're already using Windows Vista, make the most of this book by jumping directly into the sections that answer your most burning questions:

  • What makes Windows Vista different? Better? And which Windows Vista edition is right for me? See Part I, "Introducing Windows Vista," for the answers.

  • What's the best way to get started with Windows Vista? Discover how to install it, configure it, and use it to manage files, hardware, and contacts in Part II, "Getting to Work with Vista."

  • What's new in media and gaming? What's happening with networking? It's time for Part III, "Windows Vista at Play: Entertainment, Internet, and Networking."

  • How can I protect my Windows Vista system, safeguard the data it contains, and fix problems? Part IV, "Keeping Windows Vista Safe with Backup and Troubleshooting Tools," has the answers you need.

Special Features

If this book reminds you of a very large special edition of MaximumPC, the magazine, there's a good reason: It's designed to read like it! We've added lots of special features to make your reading enjoyable, useful, and on-task:

  • Lots of figures, including annotated and overlapping figures, help you discover Windows Vista's most significant new features.

  • Tips, Cautions, and Notes are sprinkled liberally throughout the text to help you find shortcuts, watch out for potential problems, and learn more about a particular topic.

  • Sidebars provide focused discussions of topics that might not appeal to every reader, but provide extra information that may be essential to you.

  • Feature ratings, using the venerable thumbs up/thumbs down method (hint: it's a lot older than that movie-rating TV show), help you discover what works—and what needs work.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Que Publishing; 1 edition (August 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789735865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789735867
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,434,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I've always been interested in things that go fast, like airplanes and trains. However, it took me until my late 20's to discover that the world's fastest ' and most versatile ' devices didn't have wheels.
My background in English, history, and French makes me somewhat unusual in the technology writing field, but it gives me a big advantage when it comes to helping ordinary people understand how the Internet, PCs, servers, and digital cameras work. I stay up to date by reading technology blogs, newsletters and websites, and experimenting on 'FrankenPC' and my office network.
Although I've been contributing to books since 1999, I cut my technology writing teeth in the mid-1980's. Do you remember the Commodore 64 and its inscrutable 1541 floppy disk drive manual? My first piece of tech writing crunched down the essentials an ordinary user needed to know to get programs running to a single page. A few years later, exasperated with salespeople who kept selling PC clone configurations the techs in the back room could never get to work right, I wrote a compatibility handbook for my then-employer, a computer store. In the meantime, I spent a lot of time talking users through configuring startup files with DOS's ghastly Edlin line editor and discovering the brave new world of desktop publishing and scalable fonts.
I turned that expertise into a new part-time career as a magazine writer, first for WordPerfect Magazine (1989-1995), and later for Sandhills Publishing (1991-2001). In the meantime, I provided consulting and training services to area businesses, and, starting in 1992, spent most of the rest of the decade traveling the US and teaching classes on computer troubleshooting, workgroup networking, and other subjects. I also wrote three book-length training manuals in 1992-1993.
Before email was common, I often submitted magazine stories by bringing my laptop computer and portable printer to the nearest UPS or FedEx drop box, hand-feeding the printer and hoping that the pick-up time shown on the box was accurate!
Beginning in early 1999, I made the decision to become a full-time writer, cheering my wife and children (who area also big technology users) by getting off the road. I teamed up with Scott Mueller, dean of computer hardware books, to help get Upgrading and Repairing PCs, 11th Edition, wrapped up on schedule. I've contributed to every edition since, and have also co-authored many books with Scott.
I've also teamed up with TechTV to write two books on computer upgrades, paired up with radio and TV tech guru Leo Laporte for two books on computer troubleshooting, and written several other books on the Internet, home networking, Windows Vista, troubleshooting, and digital photography. Right now, I'm wrapping up work on a new A+ Certification guide and a new book on Windows 7.
I'm also a freelance author for MaximumPC magazine (since 2004) and a frequent blogger on the website, with some of my articles finding a second life in the books The Maximum PC Guide to Building a Dream PC and The MaximumPC Ultimate PC Performance Guide. To keep my finger on the pulse of PC users, I also teach classes on digital photography, digital imaging, and specialized training for the Evansville campus of IvyTech Community College of Indiana ( I attend Grace Church of the Nazarene ( If you have questions about my books or other projects, please drop me a line.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Cain on December 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have just finished this book, and was very impressed with how it opened my eyes to Vista. I have been very discouraged since I purchased my new computer with Vista on it-to the point of considering returning to XP. This book really helped me understand the basics of Vista and how it differs from XP. I have mainly had a hard time adjusting to the new network system that Vista uses, and this book really helped me understand. I would recommend this book to anyone new to Vista. It was very helpful.
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