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Windows 7 Annoyances: Tips, Secrets, and Solutions 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596157623
ISBN-10: 0596157622
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Tools and Techniques to Improve Your Experience with Windows 7

About the Author

David A. Karp is the author of twelve power-user books, including the bestselling Windows Annoyances series of books and O'Reilly's eBay Hacks. David's books are available in ten languages, and can be found under the short legs of tables around the world.

David is the founder of Annoyances.org, one of the most respected and popular computer help sites on the Interwebs. He writes for PC Magazine, but they're curiously reluctant to publish photos of his bicycle. Notable recognition has come from PC Computing, Windows Magazine, the San Francisco Examiner, and the New York Times.

He scored 30.96647% on the Geek Test (http://www.innergeek.us/), earning a rating of "Total Geek." He hopes future revisions of the test reward publishing his score in the backs of computer books. David spends nearly every spare moment with his son.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 722 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (May 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596157622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596157623
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Long-Suffering Technology Consumer TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...or maybe after a generation of Windows operating systems, we're simply immune to assaults by Windows products on the sensibilities of computer users (especially users more interested in doing things with their data files than tweaking their operating systems).

In either case, "Windows 7 Annoyances" is less a catalog of serious Windows 7 annoyances, and more a compendium of advanced Windows 7 features, trips and tricks.

The features and solutions it offers are thorough, and described in superb technical detail. The target audience for this book is clearly power users confident in the deep (and sometimes scary) areas of Windows 7. Proof of this is found in Chapter 3, 72 pages devoted exclusively to the Windows registry. David Karp offers exhaustive descriptions and prescriptions of the Windows 7 registry. He does this very well, but in giving registry tweaks this much emphasis he is speaking to advanced power users of computers. Most Windows users are probably better served by avoiding working in the registry except for last-ditch efforts to correct their worst problems. Registry modifications bring with them the true potential to inflict serious unintended consequences to your computer, and I suggest that the book's biggest shortcoming is in not giving this potential risk enough emphasis.

Similarly, Chapter 9 is focused entirely on use of text-based command prompts. These are arguably tools of the power user looking to work faster (or deeper) than a GUI permits.

Otherwise, the book is a delightful guide to things about Windows 7 that Microsoft forgot to tell us.
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Anyone who has been burned by Microsoft Windows' ability to "help" you at just the wrong time in just the wrong way, will have developed a cautious attitude to any new Microsoft offering. This finely organized and clearly written book will help you stay in control.

You might even save some money as well as time. Right up front in the early pages, the author shows you the scoop on the "Ultimate" version features and how to get them for free.

After the requisite "getting started," the book has the following sections:
- Shell tweaks
- Registry secrets and hacks
- Controlling video, audio and other media
- Performance tuning
- Troubleshooting
- Networking and internet
- Managing users and security
- Command prompt and automation (including PowerShell)

I liked Karp's clear use of language. He will not subject you to the puns, gags and cloying humor inflicted by so many books on computer tech. The illustrations in this 700 page book are simple, perhaps a bit small, but they quite adequately communicate the point being discussed. You will have to do without color. Those famous Windows blue and green screens of death are grayscale screens of death here!

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This is an excellent book for a user who is somewhat familiar with the nature of an Operating System on tuning and customizing important aspects of the Windows 7 Operating System. It will be a valuable resource for advanced users of Microsoft's Windows 7 Operating System
in addressing performance barriers and mismatches between their preferred way of managing and using a computer and the default way Windows 7 "acts" with a given hardware configuration. I love the book--but have some concerns that naive users of "WINDOWS" may find
themselves out of their depth in attempting to adjust such features as Registry Manipulations, User Account Control's, and Disk and Network Configuration. The book is exceptionally clear, but not chatty, and inexperienced users trying to modify the Registry may become
flustered if a screen prompt or message occurs that is not explicitly illustrated in the text.

Experienced users of "Real Operating Systems" will find everything they need, clearly explained on issues of Installation and Disk Configuration, Registry, User Account Controls, Networking, Troubleshooting the Operating System, and automating tasks from the Command Prompt. This is a superb book for the experienced computer user in making Windows 7 perform as s/he would like. It is not a book for the Newbie to consult when "Something just happened when I hit the "Any Key".

--Ira Laefsky
MSE/MBA IT Consultant and Former Senior Staff Member of Arthur D. Little, Inc. and Digital Equipment Corporation
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This is a great book for anyone that wants to do more with a computer than turn it on and off. Not only does it have solutions to a lot of common problems, it contains a number of tweaks to have your machine running smoothly and more efficiently. HOWEVER...

On the down side - and this is why I gave three stars instead of five - there is a lot of unnecessary text and attempts at humor, much like the "Dummies" books have. At the beginning of each new topic (about every 2 or 3 pages) there is usually a paragraph or two that doesn't directly deal with the problem, it just gives a vague background/history behind what is about to be discussed. For example, in the section about optical storage, it begins with TWO paragraphs just talking about how optical media is dead and that most media is now in digital form instead of on discs. The paragraph after that is about how inefficient CD burning USED to be with older systems and hardware. That's half a page before it even begins solving any issues or explaining how to do something. For someone that just wants to get the facts and solve a problem, it gets (ironically) annoying to have to read through rambling factoids, jokes, and opinions. I eventually got in the habit of skipping the first half of a section, then reading back a paragraph at a time until I find the part where the help I need actually begins.

To its credit, when this book finally does get to the steps taken to solve an issue, it's well-written in easy to follow instructions. The author is clearly well-versed in the inner workings of computers. There are also some links to useful freeware.

At 700 pages, there is a lot if information here. Without the filler mentioned above it would be closer to 450. I would have been happier with a condensed version that just gets to the point.
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