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David Pogue, Yale '85, is the weekly personal-technology columnist for the New York Times and an Emmy award-winning tech correspondent for CBS News. His funny tech videos appear weekly on CNBC. And with 3 million books in print, he is also one of the world's bestselling how- to authors. In 1999, he launched his own series of amusing, practical, and user-friendly computer books called Missing Manuals, which now includes 100 titles.
When you pick up a 904-page book, one of the first questions you ask yourself is "When can I put this puppy back down?"
For me, the answer in the case of "Windows 7: The Missing Manual" was that I couldn't put it down for two hours, because I was sitting in front of my computer at the time, with the book in my lap, and every time I turned a page I found another great new idea that I wanted to try. This went on for 172 fun-filled pages (yes, you read that correctly) before I took a break.
Let me back up and put this in perspective: I've been using Windows almost exactly 18 years, since Windows 3.1 was released in April of 1992, and I've been among the very first to try each new version of Windows since then. I've taught Windows courses. Most of the people I know consider me to be a power user of Windows. I don't necessarily agree with them, but I certainly consider myself to be comfortable with Windows, and I've never found myself thinking that I wish David Pogue would drop by and kick my productivity up a notch or two. (Besides, when someone drops by and starts kicking things, isn't there a chance you could get hurt?)
A little more perspective: I've been working in Windows 7 for several months now, and so I already knew that Windows 7 is not only the most powerful but also the fastest, most visually appealing, most user-friendly version of Windows ever released.
Yet while working my way through the first 172 pages of "The Missing Manual," I discovered dozens of new refinements in Windows and dozens of new, faster ways of doing things that until then had escaped my notice.Read more ›
This is a review of Windows 7: The Missing Manual by Daivd Pogue. The book is written in Pogue's clear, easy-to-read, and entertaining style. Through it all, he maintains his sense of humor. It covers most everyone from the most basic beginner to the the advanced super user, although the most sophisticated users won't need much from this book. But even for them, it includes some handy pointers and reference material.
It provides a complete Windows 7 manual, with everything from how to install (Appendix A), to Windows basics (using Windows, file management and search, and setting your desktop) to finding and installing programs, to connecting to and using the Internet, to advanced features like joining a domain and VPN. And it covers everything else in between.
New features like Libraries and Jump Lists are covered nicely. He even describes the Library problems where you can't add a network location to a Library without making that folder available off-line. He correctly points out that this copies that entire folder onto the local hard drive, so you probably don't want to do this.
I especially liked that when features were missing from a particular version of Windows 7, Pogue points that out. He also points out when a feature is available only on certain versions. For example, Aero is not available in Windows 7 Starter Edition, and he points that out when talking about Aero.
The book provides special help for people transitioning from XP and Vista. When he can, Pogue compares things to the way they used to be in XP and/or Vista. For example, he explains how the Start menu and taskbar have changed from both earlier versions.
He also offers handy sidebars with tips and other related information throughout the book.Read more ›
As a professional in the ever growing technical field i'm often asked "How can i keep up with technology?" And often times the answer is very blunt, "you really can't." With the release of Windows 7, I've been slowing promoting it to all of my clients, customers, co-workers and peers, but often i'm faced with the words "I don't have time to learn it."
I was graciously given the opportunity by O'reilly to review Windows 7: The Missing Manual. Most of the time while reading a book explaining anything technology, I become bored. It seems that often it is geared to the 'I'm Just learning about technology' individuals. After reading Windows 7: The Missing Manual, I was impressed to say the least. If I were to sum up Windows 7: The Missing Manual in a sentence i'd have to say, This book is one of the best instructive tutorial books I have ever read for any computer related product.
With their down to earth, yet at some points witty, instructive procedures, it was not only painless to read, but enjoyable. They tackle anything from switching screens, to folder options, to Taskbars. You name it, this book has touch based on it. To everyone that wants to start tackling Windows 7, whether computer savvy or not, I wouldn't only suggest to read this, I would highly recommend.
So, to the People of O'reilly, thank you for finally making a book to help, not only, the advanced users, but also the lesser of the computer savvy.
I gave this book three stars because the back cover says "Answers found here!" and I didn't find many answers.
I think this book should identify itself as either a reference manual or a user guide. It kinda looks like both, but actually is not either and I think that makes is less usable. It's also not properly organized/cross-referenced/indexed. It seems the book was not targeted for specific audience types, which is problematic. For example, to add a Win7 computer to an existing network of non-Win7 OSs (as in file and print sharing), you need to open the networking panel and change "homegroup" to "workgroup." You will not find this task/concept in this book, well, you can find information in several places that talk around the subject, but nothing that simply tells you that is what you need to do. The back cover lists the explanation of networking as a main feature of the book, but I had to google to figure this out, so I think this book is "missing" basic "answers."
David Pogue is the founder of YahooTech.com, having been groomed for the position by 13 years as the technology columnist for the New York Times. He's also a monthly columnist for Scientific American, host of science shows on PBS's "NOVA," frequent public speaker, and a science/tech correspondent for "CBS Sunday Morning."
With over 3 million books in print, David is one of the world's bestselling how-to authors. He wrote or co-wrote seven books in the "for Dummies" series (including Macs, Magic, Opera, and Classical Music); in 1999, he launched his own series of complete, funny computer books called the Missing Manual series, which now includes 120 titles. Having discovered that so many people don't know some of the most fundamental tech techniques on their tech gadgets, he set out in 2014 to write "Pogue's Basics," a single book that attempts to be the driver's ed course for technology.
David graduated summa cum laude from Yale in 1985, with distinction in Music, and he spent ten years conducting and arranging Broadway musicals in New York. He's won two Emmy awards, two Webby awards, a Loeb award for journalism, and an honorary doctorate in music. He's been profiled on "48 Hours" and "60 Minutes." He lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children.