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Showing 1-10 of 43 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 53 reviews
on May 16, 2012
I was a software developer for 40 years have been using Windows since version 1.03 (yes, 1.03, with tiled windows). Each version of Windows adds more and more useless features (excuse me, "marketing incentives") and the ever faster hardware can barely keep up (and sometimes it can't, see Vista). As a result, perceived performance has been roughly constant.

I had stopped at Windows XP and it was with some misgivings that I bought a small Acer netbook (Acer AO 722-0825 with dual 1.0 GHz C-80 APUs and 4 GB RAM, a good machine but that's a different review) with Windows 7. Performance was OK but somewhat lethargic and, not being familiar with Windows 7 (which is vastly different than Windows XP and its predecessors), I didn't know how to proceed to overcome the lethargy.

Enter this book. After reading some of the chapters on Performance Improvements and following some of the directions, the difference is INCREDIBLE! Displays, menus, etc. snap into place and the text looks more readable also. I can't wait to have the time to read the rest of the book.

And that' should be easy. The author has a very readable, easy-to-follow, and often humorous style, and technical jargon is kept to a minimum. And he takes pains to explain why things are the way they are (there's often a good reason, even if it may not seem that way) and how to get around some of the tradeoffs that Microsoft made when designing Windows 7. And the chapter on Troubleshooting (more than 100 pages) looks like it's worth its weight in gold.

So, I can't recommend the book more strongly. Easily 5 stars.
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on September 25, 2015
So far, I am very happy with my purchase of this book. There is plenty of information here for those like me who are curious about their Windows 7 installation.
I have one gripe. The author and his editor chose to use the infantile "preventative" instead of the proper "preventive". I know, I know, I shouldn't be so picky, especially about a common error in an otherwise outstanding book but I am nonetheless. Except for the use of this ridiculous word "preventative", the book is a very useful resource for getting more out of Windows 7.
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on October 30, 2014
After fighting with Windows 7 for six months, with extreme frustration and annoyance at the loss of simplicity, efficiency, and productivity compared to my daily use of Windows XP for 10½ years, this title and its selling points grabbed my attention. It does provide a lot of insight, techniques, and tips to help get Win 7 under control, but I had already figured out most of that. There is also a strong emphasis on third-party tools, free and paid, that may help overcome some of Win 7's deficiencies, but I'm reluctant to garbage up my system with such things. Many of the major annoyances are completely ignored.

I also found the author's writing style to be sometimes vague and obscure. I have quite a lot of computer experience from well before the early days of Personal Computers (both as an IT professional and a personal user), but I had to reread some sentences and paragraphs multiple times to try to decipher what he meant. At times he gets bogged down in details, often not making his main points clear — leaving it up to the reader to figure it out. Other times he briefly mentions techniques, then says "covered in Chapter" such and such.

Don't misunderstand me. The book can be a great help for those learning Win 7 and/or struggling with its idiosyncrasies and eccentricities. There are many useful tidbits! The installation/upgrade information is very good. It was published in 2010, digs pretty deeply into the system, and provides a lot of information that is still timely (though there are a number of inaccuracies).

I have benefited from reading it. I would give it three and a half stars if I could.
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on December 4, 2013
Despite having a fairly extensive table of contents and index, this book contains essential information that isn't listed in either place. Certainly, one would expect to find an entry for "image" (or "Windows 7 image", or something of the sort) in either the index or the TOC, but none is to be found.

One of the most useful pieces of information I came across showed how to retrieve individual files from a Windows 7 system image -- something that you might think would be impossible to do. Yet, it can be done, and this book offers a step-by-step procedure on pages 419-20.

The moral of the story is that you shouldn't rely exclusively on the book's index or TOC when you need to solve a Windows 7 problem. The answer may well appear in the pages in-between, but if it does, some detective work may be required to find it.
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Bought this book because I very quickly outgrew the "basic" and "visual" type of Windows books! And just as I was expecting this book is very detailed and advanced. I have been reading it like a novel and when I complete all of this very through and lengthy book, I will place it in my bookcase to keep as a reference book. And I must say for the money this is a bargain as it has many details on how to get so much more out of Windows 7. (My true score of this book is a 4.5 because it is very, very advanced and I totally understand it, however, there are some areas in this book that I have had to read twice to wrap my brain around all the details, make notes and then practice it on my computer). To me it is like the GRADUATE SCHOOL of computer (Windows) books!
And yes, it is an amazing book, and if you are a more advanced person with Windows and computers, this is the book for you! If you are a beginner or just past being a beginner this is not the book for you, one of the "basic" or "visual" type of books are better for the beginner or a person who is not that advanced yet.
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on March 18, 2012
 -- used since August 2010]

Although I've owned this book for over a year, I have not read it thoroughly. It is a useful guide -- for example it points-out handy system settings that are "buried" within all the options. Another feature is the book's mention of several third-party tools for Windows 7. I highly recommend this book for those who want to dig deeply into Windows 7.

Although the book has good points, I'll mention some of the negatives that lead me to only give three stars:
- Despite the title, I haven't found it very useful in fixing the annoyances I've encountered in Windows 7.
- Some of the advice is obsolete. For example, on page 590 the author describes how to "Customize the Default Profile for New Users". However, when you try it you'll find that the suggested control-panel options are unusable ("greyed out")--and if you refer to the article on "Configuring Default User Settings-Full Update for Windows 7" at "The Deployment Guys" blog at Microsoft's Technet website you'll discover that Karp's method only worked properly with Windows NT and earlier.
- Some advice is dubious. For example, on page 313 the author suggests that you can improve performance by configuring virtual memory to be a fixed size, rather than letting it grow and shrink. In my limited experience (on a single desktop computer), this will SLOW DOWN bootup.
- Much of the advice is dangerous since it gives advice on how to edit registry settings to customize or fix your system. If you edit the registry then it's essential that you follow the author's advice to back up registry settings before changing them. (The author emphasizes this at the beginning of his chapter on "The Registry", and explains how to do it 38 pages later.)
- The author promises information at a later page that I've been unable to find. One example: on page 4 he refers to page 404 for information on using network storage with Windows Backup under Windows 7 Home Premium. (The feature is available in the "Professional" and "Ultimate" editions of Windows 7.) I've looked from page 404 to the end of Chapter 6, and I haven't found what was promised.

I recommend this book if you're willing to read the advice skeptically and use it carefully. If anything suggested seems dubious or complicated you should refer to other sources before using the advice, and you should make a practice of backing-up or creating a restore point before trying anything complicated.

For a less advanced but very thorough and well-written guide to Windows 7, I recommend that you consider Windows® 7 Inside Out.
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on March 24, 2017
Handy book!
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...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. It describes the different versions of Windows 7, gives sound advice on making files and folders behave consistently, provides a tutorials on media files, offers troubleshooting and diagnostic tools, and walks you patiently through networking/Internet concepts and security issues.

Two appendices provide overviews of the BIOS (the basic input output system, which allows a personal computer to boot into ANY operating system), and TCP/IP, the standards that allow data to flow over the Internet regardless of the hardware and software packages that are sending and receiving them.

If you're not *seriously* annoyed by Windows 7, then this book may be more than you need, and you might want to consider Windows 7: The Missing Manual instead.

But if you're a power user and want to increase your control over Windows 7 (or if you are the go-to person for fixing the computer problems of family and friends), then this book will be a good addition to your troubleshooting toolkit.
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on May 23, 2017
If you are too stubborn to go to Windows 10
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on January 14, 2015
A life-saver (for an immigrant from XP), but you absolutely also need David Pogue's Windows 7 the Missing Manual.

Without Pogue's 887-page joyful and careful encyclopedia, David Karp's 'Annoyances' could get you into very serious trouble.

And Pogue without Karp would be without several liberating shortcuts, and would miss Karp's buccaneering ironies.
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