REVIEW: "Windows XP Annoyances", David A. Karp
- BKWNXPAN.RVW 20031203
"Windows XP Annoyances", David A. Karp, 2003, 0-596-00416-8,
%A David A. Karp www.annoyances.org
%C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
%I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
%O U$29.95/C$46.95 800-998-9938 fax: 707-829-0104 nuts@...
%P 564 p.
%T "Windows XP Annoyances"
Chapter one is a history of XP and other versions of Windows. All
manner of useful (and some less useful) interface tricks are included
in chapter two, most involving Windows Explorer and the command
prompt. The Registry is described in chapter three. The material is
not detailed in regard to specific keys, but the concepts and
information are clear, and there are tips that are not always found in
books specifically about the Registry. Chapter four, on tinkering
techniques, sometimes mentions shareware programs (often TweakUI), but
concentrates on available system utilities and commands. The content
is useful, but could have included something on "Send To" and the
material on the command line that appears in Appendix C. "Maximizing
performance" is limited to good, but standard, hardware advice, in
chapter five. The troubleshooting text, in chapter six, definitely
shows the lineage of this book: most of the suggestions, while still
applicable to XP, are more suitable to older versions of Windows.
There is a good review of services and processes, although this could
have been expanded to include commonly seen processes such as NTVDM.
(At one point Karp rather understates the danger of viruses "embedded"
in data files, although not seriously. This does underscore the point
that the book, in various ways, betrays a lack of interest in system
security.) There is valuable information about networking in chapter
seven, while one could wish that Karp had also covered areas such as
multiple LAN configuration storage (involving, for example, laptops
that have to be used in a number of offices). (Again, the content on
firewalls is a bit simplistic.) Chapter eight has fairly standard
documentation on user accounts and administration, and it could have
done a better job of explaining sharing permissions and the
restricting of the Administrator account. VBScript programming is
basically all that is covered in chapter nine, plus an interesting
mention of using it for CGI (Common Gateway Interface) functions.
Chapter ten closes, ironically, with installation of XP, emphasizing
upgrade problems, and including quick documentation for the Recovery
Appendices are frequently filler, but Appendix A has a very handy
index of where to find or configure a number of settings. The command
prompt, as noted, gets a lot of attention, with useful material
provided in Appendix C, dealing with creating a command prompt on the
task bar, and how to open the prompt within a selected directory.
Appendix D has a list of TCP ports, leaving one wondering why the
important, and possibly dangerous, ports 135, 137, 138, and 139 got
Despite niggling gaps, an abundantly useful guide for anyone using
Windows XP beyond the most basic level.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2003 BKWNXPAN.RVW 20031203
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