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[techbooks] REVIEW: "Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 at a Glance", Jerr

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  • Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Tr
    BKNT4AAG.RVW 990131 Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 at a Glance , Jerry Joyce/Marianne Moon, 1997, 1-57231-574-1, U$16.99/C$22.99/UK#15.49 %A Jerry
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 1999
      BKNT4AAG.RVW 990131

      "Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 at a Glance", Jerry
      Joyce/Marianne Moon, 1997, 1-57231-574-1, U$16.99/C$22.99/UK#15.49
      %A Jerry Joyce
      %A Marianne Moon
      %C 1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052-6399
      %D 1997
      %G 1-57231-574-1
      %I Microsoft Press
      %O U$16.99/C$22.99/UK#15.49 800-MSPRESS (6777377) fax: 206-936-7329
      %P 314 p.
      %T "Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 at a Glance"

      Chapter one is more of an introduction, giving an overview of the book
      structure. Chapter two provides a graphical overview of the basic
      elements of the Windows interface, the terminology of the interface,
      as well as minimal operations. The material is not always as
      straightforward as the authors seem to assume. During startup, for
      example, the operating system and hardware profile options are
      mentioned, but passed over very briefly. Explanation of the timed
      startup of the default choice is given on a different page. File
      operations and management are in chapter three. I must say that,
      while the material is useful and there were some operations that were
      even new to me, two things started to stand out. One was the perky,
      cheerleading style of the text, which might not sit well with either
      those who are in a hurry to find the straight goods, or those who have
      become frustrated with the system, and are in no mood to take
      sermonettes on their way through the maze. The second is the complete
      lack of information on keyboard functions or shortcuts. Generic
      program operations would seem to be the topic for chapter four, but
      instead there is a strong concentration on two applets that come with
      NT. The networking in chapter five is limited to accessing pre-
      existing network resources, probably a wise choice in a user level
      manual. Printing is handled in the same way, although chapter six
      does go into the print queue to a certain extent.

      Chapter seven provides a fair amount of detail on the command prompt
      window and the use of MS-DOS under NT, although not all the
      explanations are completely clear. I also noticed a couple of
      examples that would fail because of the need to deal in special ways
      with long filenames, particularly those with spaces in them. Some of
      the provided multimedia applets are reviewed in chapter eight. Most
      of chapter nine is spent on the email system, and it is a bit of a
      pity that the material starts with the need to set up the system but
      doesn't say how.

      Chapter ten starts to look at customization with the appearance of the
      interface. A number of very useful functional adjustments are
      presented in chapter eleven. Mobility options are discussed in
      chapter twelve. As always, the Briefcase system is mentioned. While
      not fully explaining the operation, this book does go farther (at
      least if you read the tips) than most others. Some additional
      modifications are described in chapter thirteen. Chapter fourteen
      talks, very briefly, about Web browsing, news, and different forms of
      "chat." Although chapter fifteen is entitled "Taking Care of
      Problems," most of it refers to getting information and software from
      the Microsoft Web site.

      For those coming to an existing Windows NT workstation for the first
      time, this work provides a quick and accessible guide to a fairly
      complete range of functions and operations. The volume of material
      would allow it also to be useful as a reference for intermediate users
      needing to get into infrequently used functions in, say, file
      management or customization. The lack of alternatives may frustrate
      those wanting to find shortcuts to frequently used functions, but the
      scope of the book should make it helpful to the majority of NT users.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKNT4AAG.RVW 990131

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