Windows XP Annoyances
By David A. Karp
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: October 2002
Pages: 592

In an ideal world, an operating system would do its work in the background while you did your work in the foreground. In our world, however, operating systems constantly get in the way, and Windows XP is no exception. There hasn't been such a dramatic change in Windows computing since the introduction of Windows 95. Windows XP contains dozens of important new features designed to make your work easier, including improved performance, but also introduces numerous quirks and unaccountable behaviors that are guaranteed to increase your level of perplexity and frustration.O'Reilly's popular series for troubleshooting Windows comes to the rescue with Windows XP Annoyances. This book is not designed to complain or criticize, but to acknowledge the problems and shortcomings of the operating system in order to overcome them. Complete with a collection of tools and techniques, this book allows users to improve their experience with Windows XP and establish control of the machine--rather than the other way around.Based on the author's popular Windows Annoyances web site (http://www.annoyances.org), Windows XP Annoyances offers solutions, tips, workarounds and warnings that enable you to both customize and troubleshoot Windows, including:

  • Understanding the Windows Registry, including the use of the Registry Editor and advanced topics such as finding the right Registry Keys and restoring a corrupted registry
  • Customizing the interface beyond Microsoft's intentions, including many undocumented tweaks
  • Mastering Windows built-in networking capabilities, including advanced technologies such as Internet Connection Sharing, Remote Desktop sharing, and virtual private networking
  • Repairing Windows XP now that the DOS safety net is gone
As author David Karp says, "The more you know about a tool you use--specifically, Microsoft Windows XP--the better your day-to-day experience with it will be." Windows XP Annoyances is the intermediate and advanced Windows user's best resource for turning Windows into the user-friendly, customizable interface it was meant to be.
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4.7

(based on 7 reviews)

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5.0

Windows XP Annoyances Review

By Patrick Lowe

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Windows XP Annoyances:

Excellent publication. I have no qualifications or training, just 'hands on' experience. I found the book to be informative & technically understandable. I have found my XP 'bible'

 
4.0

Windows XP Annoyances Review

By Don Collins

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Windows XP Annoyances:

I liked the book a lot. The only real shortcoming I found was in the chapter

on networking where little or no attention was given to the problems caused

by firewalls when setting up networks. This has become a hot topic on the

internet forums. I would hope future additions pay more attention to this

important matter.

Overall it's the best presentation on XP I ever read.. and I read a lot of them

David Karp has obviously done his homework on this one.

 
5.0

Windows XP Annoyances Review

By Tim McGuire

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Windows XP Annoyances:

I love this book! It helped me overcome several things that have been bugging the hell out of me about Windows XP. Just browsing Appendix A, the list of settings and where to find them has led to some pretty deep revelations.

My biggest XP Annoyances?



that annoying box that shows up whenever you hover over an image in Internet Explorer.

windows updates always interrupting my work. I can get my updates on my own, thanks ( and check out other people's experiences with them before I blindly install them )

No way to get a printout of a directory without doing a printscreen and printing the image.



The book addressed all of them. It thoughtfully explains why things are as they are in Windows and how they could be better. My copy is weatherbeaten and underlined and highlighted because I was reading it like a novel, on the bus, at lunch, in bed.

One of the nice passages was the discussion about NTFS and the other windows file systems and what each of them can and can't do. Also the security information helped me take some further steps in securing my home computer. The performance section is indespensable if you installed XP on any computer with less than oh, say 512 MB of RAM.

The section on the registry was worth the price of the book, in my opinion. It taught me how to find the registry key that governs the setting I am looking for, how to add registry interfaces to my applications, and how to create, apply and edit registry patches, all of which have added to my productivity.

In the file encryption discussion, he warns that some applications, when editing files, open the file, erase the original and and replace it with a copy. I don't doubt that it is true, but gee, I would like to know some of the programs that do this because it sounds kind of crazy.... The encryption (and who knows what else) is lost. There is a workaround that the book explains.

The book missed a couple of things: For one, Windows XP that can act as a webDAV client. WebDAV is not the most intuitive thing in the world and I think a short section on it would have been useful to a lot of people. I saw no mention of WebDAV in the book.

Like most information in the book, the part about how Microsoft's firewall is "feeble" is very informative, but the list of third party firewalls he lists as alternatives leaves out the best one: Zone Alarm. He should have listed it or explained why he didn't.

The only other complaint I have is that while he offers a lot of great security tips and settings, he could have taken the security section a little further. For instance, he shows how to run netstat from the command line and get a listing of all your open ports. Then he says, "patch them up" without really telling you a good way to do this. If I closed all those ports, half of my applications would stop working. He should have detailed the work needed to track down each of those ports.

In sum, this book has several things you shouldn't ignore and lots of things that make operating Windows XP much more pleasant. Also, following the remedies will make you more adventurous and confident as you learn Windows XP.

Review by Tim McGuire

 
5.0

Windows XP Annoyances Review

By Tim McGuire

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Windows XP Annoyances:

I love this book! It helped me overcome several things that have been bugging the hell out of me about Windows XP. Just browsing Appendix A, the list of settings and where to find them has led to some pretty deep revelations.

My biggest XP Annoyances?



that annoying box that shows up whenever you hover over an image in Internet Explorer.

windows updates always interrupting my work. I can get my updates on my own, thanks ( and check out other people's experiences with them before I blindly install them )

No way to get a printout of a directory without doing a printscreen and printing the image.



The book addressed all of them. It thoughtfully explains why things are as they are in Windows and how they could be better. My copy is weatherbeaten and underlined and highlighted because I was reading it like a novel, on the bus, at lunch, in bed.

One of the nice passages was the discussion about NTFS and the other windows file systems and what each of them can and can't do. Also the security information helped me take some further steps in securing my home computer. The performance section is indespensable if you installed XP on any computer with less than oh, say 512 MB of RAM.

The section on the registry was worth the price of the book, in my opinion. It taught me how to find the registry key that governs the setting I am looking for, how to add registry interfaces to my applications, and how to create, apply and edit registry patches, all of which have added to my productivity.

In the file encryption discussion, he warns that some applications, when editing files, open the file, erase the original and and replace it with a copy. I don't doubt that it is true, but gee, I would like to know some of the programs that do this because it sounds kind of crazy.... The encryption (and who knows what else) is lost. There is a workaround that the book explains.

The book missed a couple of things: For one, Windows XP that can act as a webDAV client. WebDAV is not the most intuitive thing in the world and I think a short section on it would have been useful to a lot of people. I saw no mention of WebDAV in the book.

Like most information in the book, the part about how Microsoft's firewall is "feeble" is very informative, but the list of third party firewalls he lists as alternatives leaves out the best one: Zone Alarm. He should have listed it or explained why he didn't.

The only other complaint about the book I have is that while he offers a lot of great security tips and settings, he could have taken the security section a little further. For instance, he shows how to run netstat from the command line and get a listing of all your open ports. Then he says, "patch them up" without really telling you a good way to do this. If I closed all those ports, half of my applications would stop working. He should have detailed the work needed to track down each of those ports.

In sum, this book has several things you shouldn't ignore and lots of things that make operating Windows XP much more pleasant. Also, following the remedies will make you more adventurous and confident as you learn Windows XP.

Review by Tim McGuire

 
5.0

Windows XP Annoyances Review

By Bradley Akey

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Windows XP Annoyances:

This title continues a long tradition of outstanding works from O'Reilly dating back to the Annoyances in Windows '95, erea.

The book is well designed and pack with many 'tid bits" of usefull information which would take one many hours of surging the net to locate.

As with all of the previous titles in the Annoyances series solutions are offered for the many annoying pit falls that Windows XP has given us, thought it, "XP," is by far the best "GUI" based operating system brought out to date. The web sits "www.annoyances.org" only serves to enhance the titles many useful solutions, and thanks to the many individuals both provesstionals and "powers"users," is an excellent place to exchange information concerning a Windows XP Annoyance.

I reccomend this title to any one who is a series Windows XP user and or an IT support professional needing a quick reference point to resolve an Annoyance.

Just a footnote, I am not a piad reviewer for anyone nor hold any kind of financial internest in O'Reilly but happen to like the titles and method of presentation for the product they, O'Reilly, brings to the market place.

 
4.0

Windows XP Annoyances Review

By Peter Brigg

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Windows XP Annoyances:

A well-written and useful book is spoiled by numerous typographical and other errors. The proof reader should be fired.

 
5.0

Windows XP Annoyances Review

By Ken Lowe

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Windows XP Annoyances:

I just bought Windows XP Annoyances to solve a pesky internet sharing problem on our network. I've spent a week trying to solve this SOB and another $100 book didn't provide a solution. I had it figured out 5 minutes after opening Windows XP Annoyances by David Karp. He knows the subject exceptionally well and writes for me, an IT professional. The gnarly toad on the cover is great too.

Thanks for making my life better.

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