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Microsoft? Windows? Me Secrets?

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-5555034464
ISBN-10: 0764534939
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Pop quiz time, Amazon readers! Please answer silently, to yourself.

Quiz Question #1
Microsoft Windows Me Secrets is comprehensive. True/False

Answer: False. Sort of. Windows Me is not an authoritative reference, nor does it claim to be one. If you're looking for an extensive laundry list of features that cover every last crevice of Windows Me, you won't find it here.

But let's be honest, if you really wanted to know about every feature in Windows Me, you could just go through the online help system--right? A better question to ask might be the following:

Quiz Question #2
Microsoft Windows Me Secrets is chock full of useful facts that'll help you get rid of (or around) an awful lot of the annoying quirks in Windows Me. True/False

Answer: True. Although it might not cover everything, this definitely is a book to flip through. We guarantee that you won't be able to get through more than two chapters without finding a way to fix some bizarre aspect of Windows Me that's always bugged you, but that you had no idea you could change. By using Microsoft Windows Me Secrets, you can change just about every aspect of Windows Me that can be changed--and some that can't. Which leads us to the next question:

Quiz Question #3
Microsoft Windows Me Secrets contains weirdo registry tricks, obscure behind-the-scenes alterations, and references to shareware packages that you won't find mentioned in any other book that you could buy. True/False

Answer: True. In terms of value, some of the tricks are definitely from the "Who the heck would think of doing that?" realm. The expertise from this book comes from many undocumented tricks that won't be found in any Microsoft manual--or anywhere else, either. If there's something in Windows Me that you've been wondering about how to fix, looking here as a last resort probably isn't your worst idea.

Quiz Question #4
If you buy Microsoft Windows Me Secrets, and you're looking for seriously cool tricks and workarounds that you haven't been able to find elsewhere, you'll get your money's worth. True/False

Answer: True, most definitely. Highly recommended. --William Steinmetz

From the Publisher

Take control of Windows Me. Learn all the secrets, including these:

Replace the Windows Logo screens when you boot up (Chapter 3)

Launch an application from your scanner or digital camera (Chapter 4)

Set up a small network quickly and cheaply (Chapter 18)

Beef up encryption for Internet Explorer 5.5 (Chapter 26)

Create a command line shortcut for Outlook Express (Chapter 27)

Troubleshoot NetMeeting sound card problems (Chapter 33)

Fine-tune your caching and swapping to boost performance (Chapter 39)

Save time with Win key keyboard shortcuts (Chapter 42)

Enable surround sound (Chapter 47)

Use System Restore to return your computer to the point before it crashed

Use Image Preview to view your pictures


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Product Details

  • Series: Secrets
  • Paperback: 1489 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (September 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764534939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764534935
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 2.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,841,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, I want to cut the authors some slack. The book arrived at my office only a week after the official release date of Windows ME -- so clearly it had to be produced before the final version of ME was. That it covers ME as well as it does, given the timeframe, is pretty remarkable.
The authors advise readers to use the book as a reference, not to read it from cover to cover like "War and Peace". I hadn't read a Windows book since Win 3.1, so I ignored their advice and read the whole thing, all 1493 pages. It helps me write a better (I hope) review of it, but it also helped in another important way (see below).
The book is, the authors acknowledge, simply the latest iteration of their Windows xx Secrets series. As such, it is much more about Windows than it is about Windows ME -- but remember, of course, that Windows ME is really just an evolutionary release, so it's not like the quantum leap between Win 3.0 and 3.1 or Win 3.1 and Win 95. So it's okay that there is not a whole lot of new stuff about Win ME. The history and the evolution of Windows is there, and that is of considerable value itself, especially if, as I do, you work with Win releases all the way from Win 3.1 to Win ME. A good thing: I caught only three instances in the book where they failed to update from the Win 98 version (you can tell when they start talking about Win 98 as the subject instead of Win ME). That's not easy, and they did it well.
My issues with the book: (1) Microsoft is being funny about Personal Web Server. The book acts like it's present in Win ME. It isn't. There are kludgy ways around this if you need PWS, but they aren't in the book. (2) The index is weak.
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Format: Paperback
Brian Livingston's book was one of about 10 Windows ME books I browsed through recently during a bookstore visit. Although I know my way about Windows (and Linux if you must know the truth), I was discovering a lot of situations with Win ME where I needed more detailed information. I didn't necessarily want one of those tomes with lots of information; I really wanted a more detailed overview of how behavior in Windows ME differs from previous versions of Windows OS. I also wanted to extend ME into a home networking environment.
One problem with many of the Windows ME books is that they are cluttered with legacy information about ISA cards, making cosmetic changes to the desktop, Outlook Express, and net meeting (none of which interests me). What I wanted to know was about USB ports and hardware detection, managing multiple users, setting up a home network, multiple profiles and dual booting with Linux, the ins and outs of system restore, power management troubleshooting, stuff about partitioning and ME boot disks, basic troubleshooting for Direct X games, new hardware support and switches for custom installing ME.
Another problem with many Windows books is that they are stuffed with screenshots and little explanation. Often the bigger books mainly consist of screenshots and a description of the steps, rather than explaining why.
Anyway, the book I ended up buying was Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (with CD-ROM) by Ed Bott. It was rather large and full of a good bit of extraneous parts, but this book covered all these advanced topics relatively well. Also, each chapter ends with excellent blue troubleshooting pages. The documentation and layout is easy to read and logical and full of "information chunks.
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Format: Paperback
I guess Windows could not get any more personal than the Me edition (not really me, but ME Millenium Edition), trying to make your PC life more simple. What Microsoft doesn't tell you is that by making your computer "more intuitive" they must take away more control from you.
"Microsoft Windows Me Secrets" tries to bridge that gap and give you some of the missing details. This book isn't an instruction guide as much as it is a detective.
When you start using Windows Me, the question that will probably keep coming up is "I wonder what happened to _____ (you fill in the blank)?" This book help you fill in the blank.
This is a good resource book if you are already experienced with the Windows OS and want to see how Me affects you, or you can use it as a secondary guide when the "comprehensive" instructional books come up lacking.
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