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Windows XP Hacks & Mods For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers)) 1st Edition

4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471748977
ISBN-10: 0471748978
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Make Windows XP look, feel, and act the way you want

Simplify searches, find free virus protection, and make Windows love your iPod®

Hacks? Mods? Don't be frightened — this book walks you through each and every one, and even steers you clear of well-known hacks that don't really accomplish anything. See how some simple tools can help you take control and create settings you can actually use, shortcuts that simplify your life, security measures that really work, and lots more.

Discover how to

  • Remove features you never use
  • Speed up system performance
  • Launch applications more quickly
  • Fight spyware more effectively
  • Get peak performance from your XP games

About the Author

In the past fifteen years, Woody Leonhard has written more than computer books, drawing an unprecedented six Computer Press Association awards and two American Business Press awards. Woody was one of the first Microsoft Consulting Partners and is a charter member of the Microsoft Solutions Provider organization. He’s widely quoted — and reviled — on the Redmond campus.
Woody’s Web site, askwoody.com, keeps an eye on the computer industry, covering the latest shenanigans from Microsoft, the best software for your computer, the worst pitfalls (and patches!) to avoid, updates to his books, and all the other information you need to keep your PC chugging away.

Product Details

  • Series: For Dummies (Computers)
  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (September 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471748978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471748977
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,149,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

If you're a typical mouse-and-keyboard Windows 7 user and you're not particularly interested in trying anything really new, you can give Windows 8.1 a miss.

I know that's a horrible thing to say on an ordering page for "Windows 8.1 All-In-One For Dummies." But it's the truth -- the kind of straight talk you'll find throughout this book. All of my books, for that matter.

If you're buying a new touch-sensitive tablet or combo, and want to stick with Windows 8.1, it's a great operating system. If you want to dabble with some new things - particularly using one of the new tiled "Metro" apps -- Win8.1 has all the bells and whistles, and then some.

I've been writing books for a long time. My first book - "Windows 3.1 Programming For Mere Mortals" - came out at the dawn of the Windows era. Along the way, I've learned that most folks appreciate the straight story, and that's what you'll find in all of my books, including this one. If there's a problem, I tell you about it, and try to steer you around it. If something works well (for example, Windows 8.1's Storage Spaces works wonders!), I not only point you to the feature, I explain in depth how to make it work right -- for you. If you don't need something -- antivirus in Windows 8.1 being a good example, because Win8.1 has all the AV you'll ever need -- I warn you to save your money. Lots of money.

The straight story. No sugar coating. I wrote this book for you, not for Microsoft.

Check out the previews for "Windows 8.1 All-In-One For Dummies." I hope you're impressed.

I'm a senior contributing editor at both InfoWorld and Windows Secrets Newsletter, and I'm co-editor of InfoWorld's TechBrief daily newsletter. You can follow me on Twitter, @woodyleonhard, or check out my blog at www.AskWoody.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you run Windows XP and you're annoyed by the number of things you can't do (or so says Microsoft), you'll love this book... Windows XP Hacks & Mods For Dummies by Woody Leonhard.


Part 1 - The Nuts & Bolts of Hacks & Mods: Windows XP - What's Not to Love?; Tools of the Hacking Trade; A Quick XP Makeover

Part 2 - Controlling the Look and Feel of Windows XP: TweakUI, the Power User's PowerToy; Pinning Down the Start Menu; Taking On the Taskbar; Decking Out the Desktop

Part 3 - Adjusting Everyday Activities: Reining In Windows Explorer; Cool Keyboard Hacks and Menu Mods; Searching on the Desktop; Switching to Better Online Software; Pulling Off Pictures

Part 4 - Modding to Monitor and Manage: Seeing What's Happening; Decoding IDs, Accounts, and Passwords; Using Remote Assistance; Retooling Disks

Part 5 - Protecting Yourself (And Your PC): Changing (In)Security Settings; Taking the "Mal" out of Malware; Keeping Your Privates Private

Part 6 - Entertaining Yourself: Making the Most of Media Player; Buying Music and Videos; Trading Music and Videos; Getting Games to Work

Part 7 - The Part of Tens: Ten Steps to Mastering the Registry; Ten Speed-Up Hacks - Maybe


This was one of the most entertainingly informative books I've had the pleasure of reading in awhile. Leonhard is not at all a fan of Microsoft and his cynicism drips on every page. Things I normally take for granted as "that's just the way it works" are dissected, and ways to hack around them are outlined. For instance, perhaps you don't like the way that the roller wheel on your mouse scrolls more than one line at a time.
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Format: Paperback
Well, perhaps giving 5 stars to this book is a bit too much (perhaps a 4,5 would have been better).

First I'll clarify what the book's title means with "hacks and mods": what it means is no more that teaching the most important menu options, and capabilities that are taught in any serious manual. And it also enhances the power of XP by installing Microsoft's TWEAKUI program, that's very easy to use but you need to be explained how to use it. It also advices what tools there're to be acquired to enhance XP, make it more stable, use the correct Antivirus, Firewall etc, and it explains very well what garbage you must avoid when you're advised to get and which to aquire from Microsoft and form other software firms.

The book doesn't mince its words in criticising the worst of Microsoft's practice and the many garbage it includes in XP to make it sell you useless stuff. It also advises good websites and software that is usually free and improves XP.

When I started the book it seemed to me a bit "light" i.e.: that it didn't say anything new, but as I advanced I learnt very useful things that I always missed.
Who's this book intended for?: I'd say it's intended for the average XP user who misses to show off a little bit of his XP knowledge to his friends (and enemies). It's not an XP exhaustive manual (which would be boring). The best about this book is that it's very easy to read, the author shows to be proficient in computing but won't bore you with unnecessarily deep stuff.
I've read this book (only two last chapters to finish) and summarized it's brightest points in a Word file that I'll revise.
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I know this has been around awhile and I'm a little late to the table to point out what an intelligent person Mr. Woody Leonhard is, but this was a very good book and I was already very versed in Windows programming, both 3x and NT versions. Also, the "For Dummies" books, I've noticed, have all been very good on the subjects they cover, for the ones that I've seen, and I can just as easily read and understand technical manuals or textbooks. Also, textbooks and tech manuals aren't known for having a sentence or comment thrown in here and there that can just crack you up like Mr. Leonhard does about some of the questions that he's encountered over the years about XP and Windows in general. Great read.
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Windows XP Hacks & Mods For Dummies (For Dummies (Computers))
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