REVIEW: "Windows XP Cookbook", Robbie Allen/Preston Gralla
- BKWNXPCB.RVW 20080705
"Windows XP Cookbook", Robbie Allen/Preston Gralla, 2005,
%A Robbie Allen www.rallenhome.com
%A Preston Gralla
%C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
%I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
%O U$44.95/C$62.95 800-998-9938 fax: 707-829-0104 nuts@...
%O Audience i- Tech 1 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P 653 p.
%T "Windows XP Cookbook"
The preface states that the book is intended for those who use and
administer Microsoft Windows version XP, in order to provide a quick
reference to necessary tasks. However, it is obvious, right from the
start, that users are going to get short shrift: most of the "recipes"
are for management and administration.
Chapter one is a very terse introduction to the book, and really could
have been incorporated into the preface. Many variations on
installation are described in chapter two: most are for corporate
administrative use. Limited advice on hardware devices is provided in
chapter three, which also, oddly, has some mention of the Autorun
function (for removable media). The installation of commercial
applications is recounted in chapter four.
Chapter five makes some odd choices in terms of what customization
aspects of the user interface should be promoted. Similarly unusual
decisions are made in chapter six, in regard to startup and shutdown.
Fairly standard commands and operations are noted for disks and drives
in chapter seven, as well as files and folders in eight. Registry
commands and modifications are noted in chapter nine, but there is
limited discussion of the implications of changes. Process management
commands are listed in chapter ten, while ripping and burning CDs and
DVDs comprises eleven.
Chapter twelve mentions commands related to network configuration.
Various Internet applications are enumerated in chapter thirteen.
User and account functions are dealt with in chapter fifteen. Event
logs get an overview in chapter sixteen, but, as is so often the case,
the material is of only nominal utility, failing to explain the
interpretation of log data or the ability to specify events about
which to collect information. Chapter seventeen supposedly extends
the log function into security auditing, but the content is, again,
weak. (Other security is limited to Microsoft's security baseline
tool, and ten "laws" of security which Microsoft has tried to
popularize.) Chapter eighteen notes programs related to performance
measures, but still fails to provide sufficient information for useful
tuning. Backup utilities are minimally listed in chapter nineteen.
The same nominal level of utility catalogue is provided for recovery
applications in chapter twenty.
An annoying number of the "solutions" in the book use external
software, which may not be available to all users. Scripts are
provided for many functions, but frequently these are merely batch
files containing the relevant commands, without any additional
functionality. Occasionally the discussion of a problem simply gives
a reason why you *can't* do something, which isn't terribly helpful.
In a book this thick there is bound to be some information for pretty
much anybody, but overall the text is turgid and banal. David Karp's
"Windows XP Annoyances" (cf. BKWNXPAN.RVW) provides more insight,
value, and utility, and in fewer pages.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2008 BKWNXPCB.RVW 20080705
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Don't make predictions about computing that can be checked in
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