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on March 29, 2002
The thing that struck me about this book, as I compared it to others in the local chain bookstore, is that it's not just another "Here's how you launch programs. Now here's how you copy files. Ooooh-- and here's how you play music!" kind of beginner books. Like Norton's "Inside the IBM PC" from years ago, this book actually takes you into some of the technical details and architecture of Windows XP. The authors give you a grounding in how XP is put together "under the hood," so that you'll actually *understand* something about the OS, rather than just learning how to accomplish basic tasks. The text stays readable, though -- you don't need to be a computer science or engineering major to understand it. If you just want to learn to *use* Windows XP, you'll probably want to look at another title. But if you want to *learn about* Windows XP, this could be an excellent choice.
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on September 30, 2002
I am a home computer user of long standing but with little experience beyond my limited use of wordprocessing, a small spreadsheet and a newsletter using Microsoft Publisher. I also use email and occasionally the internet.
Recently I bought a new computer with Windows XP installed. Wanting to be nice to me, my wife bought me the 'Complete Guide to Microsoft Windows XP'. Although much more high-powered and abstruse than I normally need, I have found it very useful in answering a number of questions which have arisen as well as giving detailed descriptions and advice on the many tabs and selections available as you delve further into Tools, Options etc.
In addition I have found a couple of problems, one caused by my own foolishness, which I could not resolve. I therefore emailed Peter Mueller, doubting that I would get any response from a busy author other than a curt instruction telling me where to go. But he was helpfulness itself and has sent me three emails which have been most useful - thank you Peter.
Jim Cownie
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on January 3, 2004
I have used this book as my only XP reference for the past year and it is absolutely terrible. I bought it because of the Peter Norton name and remembering the "Inside the PC" book in the late 80s. I found myself constantly supplementing it's information with extended sessions in the bookstore and on the web. There are even some subjects that this "complete guide" does not even touch on (e..g remote desktop). Get another book, probably any book, for an XP reference.
That said, there are about 200 pages in the middle of the book that make the purchase worthwhile. Part IV: Anatomy gives an excellent presentation of XP architecture, the Registry and file system. Buy it for this section.
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on November 12, 2002
I purchased this book because Win XP Professional as it is preinstalled is very slow and I sought answers on how to enhance performance. This book had the most thorough section on performance enhancement which I followed with great success. I did have one problem and emailed the author who was kind enough to respond and solve it.
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on February 3, 2004
Some books aspire to being everything to everyone and fail miserably. With this book you know that you're getting an outstanding guide to how things work for most people. The authors rightfully spend a lot of time explaining how the features that most people will use work. All of the explanation are well written--you really can understand what the author is trying to say.
The authors go on to discuss methods for configuring and troubleshooting these areas. For example, I've found a number of great security tips in this book. I was also pleased to find information that seems to elude other authors, such as how to configure my mouse. Yes, it's a small thing until you're trying to do something and your mouse fails. The authors told me about the difference between FAT and NTFS file systems and why I would want to choose a particular file system for a particular need.
No, this book won't tell you everything. You'll miss out on some topics that only a few people need such as remote computing. However, if you're looking for a great book that covers the issues that you'll normally need to think about, this is the one to choose.
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on December 10, 2002
Designed for the intermediate users of Windows XP, this book, "Peter Norton's Complete Guide to Windows XP" is well-written and well-detailed.
With the analyses that covered both the Home and the Professional editions of Windows XP, it contains every information any intermediate user of the software would need. However, the more acquainted a user of this book is with any of the Windows 9x editions, the easier he or she will find this book. Even power-users appreciate the helpful annotations that are found in most of the sections.
But given the listed price of this book, it is a shame that Norton did not back it up with a CD-ROM. Nearly all comparable texts come with attached easy-to-use CD-ROMs, which serve as comprehensive e-books. And although that I still agree that this is a good book, I will say that its value for money ranks lower than those of many comparable texts that come with CD-ROMs.
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on December 8, 2001
Peter Norton's Complete Guide To Windows XP will introduce and discuss all of the new XP features in a style that is both conceptual and informative. Topics include why and when to upgrade to XP and if so, how to do it, understanding services and their configurations, explanation of the new internet options, such as third party cookie alert, firewalls, and web publishing wizard. Value information included on registry configurations and why the configurations work as they do, networking topics and integration ideas for home networks as well as explanations about using the networking wizards and understanding how XP works with software and hardware.
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on December 6, 2013
This is a good book for Xp and is a good primer for windows 8 and understanding how to get rid of programs that hack your computer and how to tweek your computer pre Windows 8.
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on November 15, 2003
Peter Norton, an icon for the past 20 years, is not a person. Peter Norton is a marketing brand. For all we know, Peter died in an auto wreck several years ago and they've been digitally aging that photo that they stick on the front of everything. Truth is stranger than fiction.
What Peter Norton (i.e. Sam's publishing) has done is close akin to what Andy Warhol did way back when. Sam's has literally created a factory that churns out books, and when each book is done they put a big Peter Norton stamp on it THUMP!
The original authors, who slave away in dimly lit warehouses are only mentioned in passing. They stand behind the great visage of Peter Norton, whose only *real* job is to look like a trustworthy middle aged man. The executives at SAMS greedily hope that enough of Norton's past fame will rub off on the current batch of mindless psuedo-instructional books.
I can only imagine the kind of deplorable conditions they make poor John Paul Mueller work under. I bet they don't even let him get a haircut. All the while, the SAMS executives are eating sushi, drinking Japanese Beer, and saluting Peter Norton from their patios in Los Gatos. Those bastards.
This book is just another piece of subliminal marketing, which I'm sure Microsoft heartily encourages. It helps give the impression that Windows is everywhere and the only game in town. As such, this book will really do nothing more than gather dust on your bookshelf and exist as a line on SAMS' monthly income statement.
Don't become another victim of the Peter Norton product line. Don't trust that fatherly look that Peter Norton offers you. He's the IT version of Martha Stewart. He's supposed to be the epitome of hard-won insight and PC know-how. Behind those tasteful good looks, is a man who wants your money.
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