[techbooks] REVIEW: "Windows 98: The Complete Reference", John Levine/Margar
- BKW98CRF.RVW 981023
"Windows 98: The Complete Reference", John Levine/Margaret Levine
Young, 1998, 0-07-882343-9, U$39.99/C$57.95
%A John Levine win98tcr@...
%A Margaret Levine Young win98tcr@...
%C 300 Water Street, Whitby, Ontario L1N 9B6
%I McGraw-Hill Ryerson/Osborne
%O U$39.99/C$57.95 800-565-5758 fax 905-430-5020 lisah@...
%P 999 p. + CD-ROM
%T "Windows 98: The Complete Reference"
Part one looks at common operations in Windows 98. Chapter one
explains some basic objects, but not as well as many other, similar,
books. Invocation of programs and common interface aspects such as
dialogue boxes are discussed in chapter two. The program installation
overview in chapter three will provide some helpful background, but
can't cover the range of possible options the user may be asked to
address. Chapter four presents a brief glimpse of Notepad, WordPad,
and the separate Microsoft WordViewer. There is a look at the
accessory programs in chapter five. "Help" gets five pages of
explanation in chapter six, which is somehow ironically appropriate.
On the other hand, chapter seven's look at sharing information
provides too much data about the Clipboard, and not nearly enough
about OLE (Object Linking and Embedding).
Part two reviews disk and file management. Chapter eight looks at the
folder and Explorer views, files and extensions, and at file
manipulation. This is extended in chapter nine with advanced topics
such as shortcuts, attributes, and searching. The options on the
standard Backup program are listed in chapter ten, although there is
almost no discussion of the (non) options for media. Disk
partitioning, in chapter eleven, seems to have a lot of information,
but also leaves out many important points.
Part three presents configuration options. Actually, I find using the
Start Menu directories easier than the recommended procedures in
chapter twelve. Chapter thirteen's coverage of the Desktop is quite
thorough, with the exception of shortcuts and icons. As well as
keyboard and mouse, chapter fourteen looks at several system options.
Unfortunately, the advice on hardware in chapter fifteen is only valid
as long as everything is working--and, if so, you won't need it.
Similarly with printers and fonts in chapter sixteen. Chapter
seventeen's overview of sound, though, is fairly comprehensive. Video
operation, in chapter eighteen, seems limited to playing files.
Laptop topics are a mixed bag and poorly explained in chapter
nineteen. As only one example, the Briefcase is such a simple concept
that I cannot understand why people cannot explain it in plain
English. The Accessibility Options are listed in chapter twenty.
Part four goes through aspects of connecting to the Internet. Chapter
twenty one discusses modems. Again, PPP (Point to Point Protocol) and
SLIP (Serial Link Internet Protocol), in chapter twenty two, are a mix
of too much and too little information. Outlook Express is described
in chapter twenty three. Both chapters twenty four and twenty five
look at different parts of MS Internet Explorer. The FrontPage HTML
editor is explained in chapter twenty six, NetMeeting in twenty seven,
HyperTerminal, telnet, and ftp in chapter twenty eight.
Local networking is reviewed in part five. Chapter twenty nine gives
a terse list of network concepts. Some specifics are given in chapter
thirty. NetWare and NT server connections are described in chapter
thirty one. Printer and drive sharing procedures are given in chapter
thirty two. Although chapter thirty three purports to be concerned
with security, most of it deals with user profiles. The section on
Internet security is, of course, primarily concerned with the
operation of certificates, with no discussion of the realities of
Part six discusses maintenance procedures. Chapter thirty four looks
at disk scans and defragmenting. Compression is reviewed in chapter
thirty five. Performance monitoring tools are described in chapter
thirty six. To use the troubleshooting advice in chapter thirty seven
you need to know enough not to need advice. Some online resources are
listed in chapter thirty eight.
Part seven looks at internals. Chapter thirty nine mentions various
configuration files very briefly. Chapter forty tells you enough
about the Registry to get you into trouble. There is a bit of detail
about using DOS programs in chapter forty one. Windows Scripting Host
gets a few pages in chapter forty two.
Generally the "Complete Reference" series has had a fairly high
standard, so it is disappointing to note that this work, while it has
a great many pages, has a significantly lower density of useful
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1998 BKW98CRF.RVW 981023
rslade@... rslade@... robertslade@... p1@...
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