Windows XP in a Nutshell 1st Edition

21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596002497
ISBN-10: 0596002491
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

As the installed base of Microsoft's newest operating system, XP, grows, guides to its use will continue to proliferate (see also Computer Media, LJ 3/1/02). Upgraders with little previous experience will be drawn to 10 Minute Guide, which highlights changes from earlier versions and explains common tasks step by step. Small and leaving no room for background or troubleshooting assistance, this should be purchased in conjunction with more comprehensive guides, such as The Missing Manual. It provides enough background to allow new home users and upgraders to get up and running, while leaving them feeling as if they have a handle on why and how things work. Ample screen shots and sidebars further this process; recommended for all libraries. Headaches, for beginning to intermediate users, focuses on troubleshooting common XP problems and annoyances, like a too-rapid cursor blink rate. Nutshell is a reference for advanced users of home and professional editions, with an alphabetical format that allows quick lookup of functions and features within larger sections (e.g., networking, the registry, etc.). Each is useful and appropriate for larger libraries.'
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"...it's packed with useful information, tips, tricks and screenshots, all clearly explained. ... An excellent resource." Windows XP, August 2002 "This book is an essential addition to any XP enthusiast's library. Its aim is simple: to chronicle as many undocumented features as possible. It won't tell you much about things that you already know or can find out easily, but it will reveal just how deep XP goes... If you're after an introduction to XP, look elsewhere. If you want a companion to Windows XP Inside Out, or something that will appeal to someone with at least six months' XP experience, then you've struck gold." "If you want to delve deep into Windows XP, take this book with you..." - Nick Peers, PC Answers, September (Platinum Award) "O'Reilly have long had a reputation as the professional's choice when it comes to computer books, and volumes in their 'in a nutshell' series are the next best thing to an original supplier's manual. They contain at least as much information and usually in a more accessible format. And this book is no exception to the rule. At over GBP20 this book isn't cheap, but is is a comprehensive and easy-to-use guide to XP. If you only ever buy one Windows XP Book, you could do a lot worse than this one." - Ian Barker, PC-How To Windows XP, Issue 26
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Product Details

  • Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)
  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596002491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596002497
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,668,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Dennis on May 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book suits my purposes perfectly. If you are comfortable with computers, if you like details, if you get frustrated with the fluff in most Windows OS books, then this book is for you, too.
The book is well organized, nicely formatted, and printed to the usual O'Reilly standards. The text I've read is clear and brief.
It is a very complete, but dense, reference. The biggest section is a 250-page listing of XP applications and tools and how to use each one--applets, control panels, disk tools, network tools, games, task manager, address book, etc. If itcan be used from the command line, details are included for that as well. There is special 50-page index just for this section where you can look up concepts and tasks to find the right tool.
It also includes:
Full documentation on all the usual console commands.
A good introduction to the registry and what you can do with it.
Everything you really need to know about Windows Script Host.
Full listing of keyboard shortcuts.
Notes on Power Toys you can download from Microsoft.
Keyboard Equivalents for special characters.
A list of file extensions in common use.
Keyboard shortcuts (accelerators) by key and by function.
Descriptions of all the services that are available with XP.
Does that sound great, or what?
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
After buying a bunch of Windows XP books, this is only one I keep next to my computer. The others are all holding up the short legs of tables.
Every time I get stuck, I just pull it out, and I have my answer in less than a minute. No more wading through cryptic help files or irrelevant websites. If I lost all my XP books, this is the only one I'd buy again.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
I asked a few friends of mine if they could recommend a Windows XP book, and they all told me to get the O'Reilly book. Given O'Reilly's apparently good reputation, I decided to lay my money down for my own copy.
Now, when I first got my hands on this one, I didn't know quite to make of this dense book. But after a few days, I picked it up and started really getting into it. Then I looked through a few other Windows books I had on my shelf and just had to laugh.
This book is just in a completely different class. So many other books seem to be all screenshots and excerpts from the Windows online help, while this one seems to be written, cover-to-cover, from the perspective of someone who ACTUALLY uses the product. It's littered with tips and "gotchas" that have already saved me a lot of time and aggravation, and it's very well-written and easy to understand.
And I'll say something I can't say about any other Windows book I've seen: I actually learned something reading this book. Pick one up for yourself and I'm sure you'll discover the same thing.
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By James R. Mccall on February 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
I want to like this book, since I love the look of O'Reilly books, and have benefited in the past from a couple of the "Annoyances" books, and because O'Reilly is NOT Microsoft.
In fact, I already own "Windows 98 in a Nutshell". Truth to tell, I didn't use it too much, but did like the various sections. I read it and got a pretty good feel for the facilities available on a Windows system. And it was good on TweakUI and a bunch of other stuff tucked in various dark corners.
This current incarnation of the "Nutshell" series left me disappointed, though. It has a lot in common with its predecessor, and has an excellent middle section: the Alphabetical Reference to Windows Components, which is itself about 250 pages, and pretty much gives you all the programs that come with and in Windows XP, what they do, and their command-line parameters.
This is the reason to own this book. Just to take another book I have around, "Windows XP Inside Out" (a Microsoft book) for comparison: it has over 1400 pages, and covers most topics of interest exhaustively (and exhaustingly), but has no list of any sort that would allow one to browse through which programs the system offers. Occasionally, and in a very low-key way, they will refer to a program you can run to do something relating to the topic at hand. But just try to find a reference to anything resembling it in the index! Moreover, they never give a model command line for a program. This Nutshell book, then, shines in this area. It also, more or less, tells you which facilities only apply to the full-blown "professional" version, and which apply to both that and the Home version of XP.
However, the rest of the book is less useful.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
A find that few computer books are actually written for people who actually use computers. Nutshell is an exception. I've been reading some of the other reviews here, and one guy suggests buying four other books (probably his own). Why buy four books when you can get it all in one package for about twenty bucks?
For example, the registry and networking chapters are terrific guides, simple yet to-the-point. It's written for Windows users, not IT professionals (although I found out about the book from a friend who uses one in her IT job). As for scripting, I don't need the entire history of scripting technology; just the essentials that are applicable to Windows XP in a format I can use on a day-to-day basis.
I'm also a grammar freak, and I appreciate the intelligent writing. This is the book I'd get if I could only get one book on XP.
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