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Windows Vista Secrets [Paperback]

by Brian Livingston, Paul Thurrott
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 10, 2007 0764577042 978-0764577048 1st
"If one book can help you master Vista, this is it." --Fred Langa, former editor-in-chief of Byte Magazine

"These two know more about Windows than Microsoft does." --Chris Pirillo, editor of Lockergnome.com

Go beyond Microsoft's Help guide and discover the true secrets of Windows Vista that are essential to power users. Written by two of the most recognized Windows authorities, this resource provides you with numerous tips, tricks, and undocumented features that aren't available anywhere else. You'll find extensive screenshots, tables, and illustrations that clearly show how to achieve optimal performance, fix desktop problems, and take advantage of the robust features of Windows Vista.

The Insider's Guide to

  • Installing and upgrading your system (see Chapter 2)
  • Quickly finding and organizing all of your files (see Chapter 5)
  • Taking advantage of new security features (see Chapter 8)
  • Creating your own movies and DVDs (see Chapter 12)
  • Playing state-of-the-art games with amazing effects (see Chapter 14)
  • Going wireless using Windows Vista mobility features (see Chapter 15)
  • Managing your schedule with Windows® Calendar (see Chapter 20)

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Go beyond Microsoft's Help guide and discover the true secrets of Windows Vista that are essential to power users. Written by two of the most recognized Windows authorities, this resource provides you with numerous tips, tricks, and undocumented features that aren't available anywhere else. You'll find extensive screenshots, tables, and illustrations that clearly show how to achieve optimal performance, fix desktop problems, and take advantage of the robust features of Windows Vista.

The Insider's Guide to

  • Installing and upgrading your system (see Chapter 2)
  • Quickly finding and organizing all of your files (see Chapter 5)
  • Taking advantage of new security features (see Chapter 8)
  • Creating your own movies and DVDs (see Chapter 12)
  • Playing state-of-the-art games with amazing effects (see Chapter 14)
  • Going wireless using Windows Vista mobility features (see Chapter 15)
  • Managing your schedule with Windows® Calendar (see Chapter 20)

About the Author

Brian Livingston is the coauthor of 11 Windows Secrets books. He is also editorial director of the weekly Windows Secrets Newsletter and author of the Executive Tech column for Datamation.

Paul Thurrott is the author of more than a dozen books as well as the news editor of Windows IT Pro Media and editor of the SuperSite for Windows. He writes a daily Windows newsletter called WinInfo Daily UPDATE.


Product Details

  • Series: Secrets (Book 70)
  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1st edition (January 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764577042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764577048
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,313,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
169 of 193 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Huge Disappointment February 13, 2007
Format:Paperback
Somewhere inside these 645 pages is a terrific computer book desperate to get out.

Unfortunately, the useful tidbits are buried by the jargon, disjointed outline, and the wince-inducing writing. The authors say "functionality" instead of feature, "enabled" instead of On, and (I kid you not) "circular in nature" instead of "round."

But it's even worse that huge chunks of Windows Vista get no coverage at all! Here are a few topics that don't appear in the book, or at least the index: Scanning. Faxing. Flash drives. Monitors. Dial-up connections. Safe Mode. Hibernation. Filename extensions. Network projectors. ReadyBoost. Dynamic disks. Shadow Copy. Burning CDs or DVDs at the desktop. Problem reports. Driver rollback. Driver signing. Ease of Access Center.

And there's no information at all about Vista's amazing new speech recognition--only a passing reference in the Tablet PC chapter, even though it works on any Vista PC.

So if you get this book, you'll also need ANOTHER book if you want comprehensive coverage of Vista.

Meanwhile, huge swaths of the book are padded by pointless tables and listings. Do we really need *26 pages* of symbol-font printouts?

Or a half-page table that explains the difference between Small Icons, Medium Icons, Large Icons, and Extra Large Icons? (The table says that "Medium Icons are similar in style to Large Icons, but smaller." Wow, really!?)

There are lots of illustrations, but most are full-screen shots, shrunken down to to fit the page. The result is that you can't read any of the text in them.

The authors of this book clearly know a lot. But they should have been paired up with writers, editors, and indexers who could help them set that information free.
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A user guide for home users - NOT FOR TECHIES April 12, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really had high hopes for this book as I read Paul Thurrott's articles and am on some of his email lists.

My conclusion about this book is that it is more the missing user manual than a real techie book with good insider's technical knowledge. The last time Microsoft included a concise user manual with windows was with Windows 3.11. This book perfectly fills that void. If you are a home user or are trying to enhace your BASIC knowledge of vista, this is a good book.

If you are a technical professional in the field, this book is not going to give you any epiphanies. I also didn't like that there seemed to be a healthy dose of filler in the book as well. There are pages upon pages about fonts including many more pages of font character sets. I would guess that less than 1% of the people that buy the book will have any interesting reading that many pages about fonts nor will many people use the font character sets that the authors printed over many pages.

I'm Sorry to say that I'm pretty let down by this book. Especially considering that about 90% of the "Secrets" in this book are not secrets but are fairly common knowledge to advanced home and technical users.

Please gentlemen, you both have the technical skills and contacts to make a much better book than this. Instead it seems you've made a book that was stuffed with filler and basic info so that you could be one of the first to market after the release of vista.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars glad to have it on my shelf February 15, 2007
Format:Paperback
I bought this book before I upgraded to Vista. I am glad I have it. The book covers everything from which version to buy to upgrading- including some insights about the gotchas found in every microsoft product. The book is well organized. There are plenty of screenshots which are useful because Microsoft has completed changed the look and feel of the Windows Operating system. Everything is different, and this book is useful for finding all the right buttons, and getting up to speed on the operating system without too much developer speak or needless rambling.

I find myself turning to this book to figure out how to do a certain task- burn a DVD,CD, transfer files, make a movie, download music, etc....

I especially liked the tips throughout the book as it's often the subtle insights that lead to wasting less time wondering how to do something!

If you are planning to upgrade or have acquired a machine with Windows Vista, this book is a must have.
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10 of 0 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A book for newbies ... June 3, 2007
Format:Paperback
This is everything but a tech book, most of what is inside can be discovered by anyone who's a literate computer user. It's full of screen capture of Vista usage, but if you're new to computer and need a step by step guide to understand what you can do in Vista, this can be a solution ... If you're literate or an ITpro, forget it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ouch... not the book I was expecting July 31, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because of Brian Livingston. I read his weekly ezine called Windows Secrets and have learned a lot from him and his cohorts over the years. After installing Windows' Vista I wanted to do so much more with it so I bought the book. After reading the entire thing, not one of my questions was answered. If you are looking for a book that just gives the highlights of Vista, buy the book. If your looking for a book that reveals the secrets of the techy side of things, keep looking.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh April 4, 2007
By SteveB
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are skilled with computers this book is not for you. I was very disappointed. No "secrets" here. Just common everyday stuff I already knew. Previous Windows Secrets books were MUCH better.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Written Book Made a Great Gift
I bought this book after watching Paul Thurrott's show "Windows Weekly". This book was purchased as a gift for a brother-in-law who has a Vista PC and lives far away. Read more
Published on January 8, 2011 by David G. Mclain
5.0 out of 5 stars Windows Vista Book
The product arrived in a well packed package. The product was new condition. Delivered was with in the forecast arrival time.
Published on January 1, 2011 by John H. Parton
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Resource For Installing and Maintenance
A very useful assist for a Vista install or just tweaking. I find windows 7 too similar to Vista to upgrade, with the various patches and drivers, Vista is very stable. Read more
Published on December 15, 2010 by Rikki79
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceedingly Happy
As a subscriber to Windows Secrets I know some of the capabilities of these authors. I had no idea that they could make working with Windows Vista so easy.
Published on June 21, 2009 by William G. Conrad
5.0 out of 5 stars Vista for Dummies
Brian Livingston has a Newsletter called Windows Secrets that I subscribe to and enjoy so it was an easy decision to order his book before I even had a computer with Vista on... Read more
Published on May 10, 2009 by M. Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars What An Amazing Book
What an amazing book. I have listened to the author's podcasts for sometime and finally decided to purchase this book. It is full of detail and had everything I was looking far. Read more
Published on March 8, 2009 by Warren D. Sundqusit
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Too Soon, Windows Vista Secrets: SP1 Edition
At this time only a 3 rating as I have not used it enough. Those few items that I have used it have been pretty clear and helpful. Read more
Published on January 13, 2009 by Lighthouse1212
1.0 out of 5 stars No Secrets in this book
This book has no secrets. Doesn't even address the registry. You get more info on Microsoft's website. I have many "Secrets" books and this is the worst. Read more
Published on January 1, 2009 by vbeachbum
4.0 out of 5 stars Not an apologist
Of course there is little to say to defend Microsoft, but this book is quite ressonable at explaining what Vista is about and what is better (and worse) than earlier versions. Read more
Published on December 20, 2008 by Max H. Sherman
5.0 out of 5 stars Awsome Vista Secrets
This is Paul's best book yet!! His eye for detail is unprecedented, I hope he keeps writing these books. If you want to know something about Vista, go no further.
Published on November 28, 2008 by Kory J. Klimoski
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Paul Thurrot is great!
I bought Windows Vista Secrets. It sucked horribly. It was nothing but filler, not one damn secrect to be found. Total waste. Pages and pages of system fonts?? Are you kidding me??
Oct 7, 2008 by J. Sundquist |  See all 2 posts
does anyone know if vidlord works on vista? Be the first to reply
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