"Windows XP Power Hound", Preston Gralla, 2005, 0-596-00619-5,
%A Preston Gralla preston@...
%C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
%I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
%O U$24.95/C$36.95 800-998-9938 707-829-0515 fax: 707-829-0104
%O tl i rl 2 tc 3 ta 2 tv 3 wq 2
%P 359 p.
%T "Windows XP Power Hound"
The introduction assumes that the reader already has some experience
with Windows XP and the author simply intends to throw a bunch of tips
at you. The book is somewhat structured by topic, but otherwise each
tip stands on its own.
Having said that the book isn't going to tell you how to log on, it is
strange to find that chapter one is about Startup and Shutdown.
However, the content doesn't walk you through the process, but rather
tells you how to do various customizations. (Some of the text is less
than helpful: a section on eliminating the graphical startup screen
tells you that the task can be accomplished from the command line and
sends you to page 103. Page 103 doesn't say anything about startup
options: it just lists the filenames for various utilities so that
they can be invoked either by the Run box or from a DOS box.) The
latter tips don't have much to do with starting or stopping: they deal
with sounds and graphics options. Various customizations for the
desktop are listed in chapter two. The use of Windows Explorer is
covered in chapter three, although I've seen sets of tips that were a
lot more useful or advanced. Chapter four describes a number of the
utilities in Windows XP--and suggests a number of shareware
alternatives. Chapter five isn't about XP as such, it's about
Microsoft Office applications, and random tips for them.
Most of the material to do with the Internet, in chapter six, relates
to security issues. (The tip on how to turn off Windows Messenger is
possibly worth the price of the book all by itself.) Ostensibly,
chapter seven is about Web browsers in general, but the bulk of the
content deals with Internet Explorer. Similarly, most of chapter
eight is about Outlook or Outlook Express, rather than email per se.
Chapter nine's outline of networking has some useful tips, but it
doesn't give you enough information to set up even a home network. (I
was very interested in the suggestion on how to set up alternate IP
configurations, since the system that I use is cumbersome.
Unfortunately, Gralla's procedure doesn't work.)
Miscellaneous items to do with hardware are given in chapter ten.
Chapter eleven looks at various ways to speed up your system,
concentrating on having sufficient memory, and monitoring CPU usage.
(There is no mention of turning off virtual memory, which generally
results in both better performance and improved security.) Security
is discussed in chapter twelve, but mostly in terms of Windows updates
(patches) and encryption. There is no mention of getting rid of
unneeded and possibly dangerous services (prime among which should be
DCOM). The use of System Restore, without much in the way of detail,
is described in chapter thirteen. Chapter fourteen has some brief
documentation for Windows Media Player. A basic explanation of the
Registry is provided in chapter fifteen.
This book will provide much helpful information for those at an
intermediate level of Windows use who want to get deeper under the
hood. It doesn't have the depth of Karp's "Windows XP Annoyances"
(cf. BKWNXPAN.RVW), but still can be a useful resource.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2004 BKWNXPPH.RVW 20041222
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Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most do.
- Dale Carnegie (1888-1955)