Windows XP Hacks
100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: August 2003
Pages: 416

Windows XP is the latest, most reliable, and best-looking version of the Windows operating system to emerge yet. As the result of the unification of Microsoft's corporate series (Windows NT and 200) with the home series (Windows 95, 98, and Me), Windows XP offers much that is pleasing to its users: rock-solid stability and a fresh new look. But power users who want to take command of their operating systems will find the same old frustrations: it's never been easy to get under the hood of a Windows system and Windows XP is no exception.Now power users can rejoice! Windows XP Hacks offers tips, tools, and know-how to bend Windows XP to your will. The book delves into XP topics such as controlling the control panel, changing unchangeable icons, removing uninstallable XP components, stopping pop-up ads, taking a bite out of cookies, speeding up file downloads, protecting yourself with firewalls and proxy servers, and more. Users of both Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Pro Edition will find smart, timesaving, fun, and useful hacks for virtually every feature in their operating system. Even if you're not a power user yet, this book will have you well on your way.Each Hack in the book can be read easily in a few minutes, saving countless hours of searching for the right answer. Windows XP Hacks provides direct, hands-on solutions that can be applied to the challenges facing both those meeting Windows XP for the first time as well as long-time users who know what they want from their operating system and just wants tips on how to get it.Windows XP Hacks is the latest in O'Reilly's new Hacks Series which aims to begin reclaiming the term "hacking" for the good guys. In recent years, the term has come to be associated with those nefarious black hats who break into computers to snoop, steal information or disrupt Internet traffic. But the term originally had a more benign meaning, and you'll still hear it used this way whenever developers get together. Our new Hacks books are written in the spirit of the true hackers -- the people who drive innovation.

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by PowerReviews
oreillyWindows XP Hacks
 
3.9

(based on 7 reviews)

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5.0

Saved the Day editing Registry

By Diana the Huntress

from La Jolla, CA

About Me Maker, Sys Admin

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate

    Comments about oreilly Windows XP Hacks:

    I needed to back up the Registry before removing an installation of Adobe Acrobat 8. I consulted several sources, but ran into errors and non-responsiveness of my PC. Windows XP Hacks saved the day by offering several alternatives, one of which finally worked. I got the pesky program removed, installed version 9, and got on my way to completing a $1.5m business transaction that day.

     
    1.0

    Not a lot of help

    By Phantom J

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Windows XP Hacks:

    I found this book very disappointing, certainly compared to the high standard set by other O'Reilly books.

    One example was a hack that I installed to stop popups. Not only did it not stop all popups (though granted, it got most) it made IE extrememly unstable (to the point of it being effectively unusable) and I was obliged to uninstall it.

    Having taken a look at the "PC hacks" table of contents I think that that would make a much better investment.

     
    3.0

    Its ok but not great

    By DnH500

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Windows XP Hacks:

    I will tell the truth I found this book easy and simple to follow. Some of the hacks are very throughout but the hacks never went that far for me, there were too many "download this" and "download that so you can do this" so I guess for real hackers its pretty basic with hardly any registry hacks listed. I don't think the book would take a normal user (a n00b) to a total full on power user hacker but it would be a starting point. I wish I had this book before I switched from 98 to xp, it would have saved me a lot of time.

    If you know how to change the look and feel of xp, down to the bone then don't buy this book.

    If your new or an existing Windows user who's looking to tweak xp into a much more efficient operating system then definitely but this book!

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Windows XP Hacks Review

    By Carl Kaminsky

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Windows XP Hacks:

    So far I am only moderately impressed. I am having some boot problems and tried hack number 3 to find the source of the problem. The file BootVis.asp (BootVis.exe) which the author recommends is no longer available from the microsoft site. They seemed to have pulled it sometime in September.

    Then I tried hack number 21 to generate folder and file lists. I followed the directions exactly as shown in the hack and it worked perfectly except for one problem -- the resulting filelist.txt file has a zero file length and is completely empty. I double checked everything and tried it on different folders and drives with the same zero result.

    The chapter on the registry was interesting and somewhat helpful but final judgement will have to rest until I have time to try some of the other hacks.

     
    5.0

    Windows XP Hacks Review

    By Mike Lewis

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Windows XP Hacks:

    I really enjoyed this book. It had a lot of information I learned that I didn't know about. I would recommend this book for the amature trying to learn more features on their system.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Windows XP Hacks Review

    By Srinivas

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Windows XP Hacks:

    If you are using Windows XP and want to become the power user of XP Home or Professional, then definitely you should read this Book. Windows XP is one of the best OS from Microsoft, it was improved a lot in the areas of Music, Digital Photography, Personal Firewall, wireless, it is stable and secure compare to earlier Microsoft Windows OS.

    But every user is not a power user of XP, but if you want to become a power user of XP OR if you want to get most from XP, then Windows XP Hacks books is for you. Author compiled and put together most useful 100 tips / tools / features with which you will get most of it.

    This book covers a list of topics like Controlling Contral panel, removing uninstallable XP components, stopping pop-up ads, cookies, speed up downloads, protecting yourself using firewalls from viruses, Blocking Spam, how to boot / shutdown fast, tweaking Registry and much much more.

    All the 100 tips grouped properly into following 12 chapters.

    Startup and Shutdown

    The User Interface

    Windows Explorer

    The Web

    Networking

    Email

    The Registry

    Basic Utilities

    Applications

    Graphics and Multimedia

    System Performance

    Hardware

    It also explains what are the useful tools available on the Net for free/buy to hack Windows XP. One of the hack I liked most is, how to get POP3 for free for Yahoo.

    You get all the tips to bend XP in your way, you will save quite a bit amount of time in searching Internet / Knowledge base to get your work done. I recommend for all users who use Windows XP.

     
    5.0

    Windows XP Hacks Review

    By Dale Farris

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Windows XP Hacks:

    Windows XP Hacks: 100 Industrial Strength Tips & Tricks

    By Dale Farris, Secretary

    Golden Triangle PC Club

    September 2003

    General Overview

    Windows XP marks the biggest change to the Windows OS since Windows 95. This newest OS from Microsoft combines the stability of the NT/2000 OS with the user-friendliness and hardware support of the older consumer Windows line, the 9.X lineup of Windows.

    XP works so well because for the first time Microsoft has combined their 2 former OS lineups, the 9.X family and the NT/2000 family, into one OS, Windows XP. Although there are two versions of Windows XP, Home Edition and Professional Edition, the differences between these are relatively minor and have to do primarily with security and administrator tools. Under the hood, these are the same OS.

    XP also marks several other changes. DOS is no longer a part of the underlying OS, although it is still available as a command prompt. Multimedia and graphics have been built into the OS more directly than ever before, and are no longer treated as an afterthought. Cosmetically, XP has also been given a makeover, in both the way it looks and the way it works.

    All this means XP is a definite must have. If you are still running an older 9.X version of Windows, AND your hardware scheme will support XP, then by all means you should strongly consider upgrading to Windows XP. You will be glad you did, if for no other reason than to say goodbye to those frustrating blue screens of death that crash your entire system.

    Because of the OS's greater stability, those who work under the hood of XP can concentrate on actually getting work done and making the OS more effective, instead of trying to fix its shortcomings. Because of the richer interface and greater support for graphics and multimedia, you can more easily change the way the OS works and looks. Because the OS offers a variety of tools for recovering from errors, you can hack to your heart's content without worrying that you will damage the OS beyond recognition.

    Author Gralla has compiled a super collection of 100 super tips and tricks to make your XP experience even better. His tips and tricks are based the collection on the hands-on, real-world experience of those who in many cases have been using PCs well before any version of Windows even existed. These folks have wrestled with each new version of Windows as they were released, and found ways to take advantage of every nook and cranny of the OS. When XP was released, these folks applied that hard-earned knowledge, and came up with ways to take advantage of the myriad new features of the OS.

    The result is 100 hacks that are useful, frequently entertaining, and will save you hours at the keyboard. Whether you want to speed up your PC, customize the XP interface, hack your wired and wireless network, get more out of the Web, make better use of email, use the Registry to bend the OS to your will, or use XP for countless other useful tasks, you will find what you are looking for in this book.

    Each hack is a starting point, rather than an ending point, so you can apply the knowledge you have gained to create new hacks of your own. The book is not a mere tips-and-tricks compendium that tells you where to click, where to drag, and what commands to type. It takes advantage of XP's flexibility and new features, recognizes that there are specific tasks you want to accomplish with the OS, and offers you bite-sized pieces of functionality that you can put to use in a few minutes. It also shows how you can expand on their usefulness.

    Special Features

    Windows XP makes the PC more stable and secure, as well as more graphical and pleasant. While this may be good for some folks, power users who want to take command of their operating system, to get under the hood, need more. Windows XP Hacks takes you beneath the pretty interface of the OS, revealing hidden commands and controls, little-known tricks, command line wizardry, and much more.

    Some of the topics covered include:

    Removing uninstallable XP components

    Surfing anonymously

    Speeding up file downloads

    Tweaking the Registry

    Fixing network problems

    Taking a bit out of spam, cookies, and pop-ups

    Controlling the Control Panel

    Fine-tuning firewalls, proxy servers, and much more

    Users will find smart, time-saving, and useful hacks for virtually every feature in Windows XP Home and Professional editions. If you are not a power user yet, you will be after you read through this book.

    O'Reilly's entire "Hacks" series of titles reclaims the term "hacking" for the good guys, innovators who explore and experiment, unearth shortcuts, create useful tools, and come up with fun things to try on your own.

    Table of Contents

    The twelve (12) chapters include the following:

    Startup and Shutdown

    The User Interface

    Windows Explorer

    The Web

    Networking

    Email

    The Registry

    Basic Utilities

    Applications

    Graphics and Multimedia

    System Performance

    Hardware

    Target Readers

    The focus in Windows XP Hacks is on improving your experience with Windows XP, Microsoft's newest operating system. While some of the hacks are relatively minor and easily understood, many of the hacks do assume a greater degree of experience with Windows and a broader understanding of the ramifications of the suggested hacks. Any reader who does not fully understand any of these hacks will want to be sure and call for help from professionals or others with more technical experience with Windows XP, before they proceed to carry out some of the more advanced hacks.

    Certainly, anyone in a computer technician role, working in tech support, or in computer network administration will want to quickly get their own copy of this valuable addition to the already highly valued lineup of O'Reilly books, especially their very successful series of Hacks titles.

    Book Contents

    414 pages; acknowledgments; preface; figures; tips; tables; screen shots; index; cover colophon

    Author

    Preston Gralla

    About the Author

    Preston Gralla is the author of more than 20 books about computers and the Internet, which have been translated into 15 languages. He has been writing about technology since the dawn of the PC age, and has been an editor and columnist for many national newspapers, magazines, and web sites. He was the founding editor of PC Week; a founding editor, then editor, then editorial director of PC/Computing; and executive editor for ZDNet/CNet.

    Preston has written about technology for numerous magazines and newspapers, including PC Magazine, Computerworld, CIO Magazine, Computer Shopper, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Dallas Morning News (where he was a technology columnist), and many others. He has been a columnist for ZDNet/CNet and is currently a columnist for TechTarget.com.

    His commentaries about technology have been featured on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, and he has won the award for the Best Feature in a Computer Publication from the Computer Press Association. Under his editorship, PC/Computing was a finalist for General Excellence from the National Magazine Awards.

    He lives in Cambridge, MA, with his wife and two children, although his daughter has just fled the nest for college. Between writing books, articles, and columns, he swims, plays tennis, goes to the opera, and contemplates the ram's skull hanging on the wall of his office.

    ISBN

    August 2003, First Edition

    0-596-00511-3

    List Price

    $24.95

    $38.95 CAN

    About O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

    O'Reilly & Associates is the premier information source for leading-edge computer technologies. O'Reilly communicates the knowledge of experts through their books, conferences, and web sites. Their books, known for their animals on the covers, occupy a treasured place on the shelves of developers building the next generation of software, and their conferences and summits bring innovators together to shape the revolutionary ideas that spark new industries. From the Internet to the web, Linux, Open Source, and now Peer-to-Peer Networking, O'Reilly puts technologies on the map.

    Anyone involved in information technology can always depend on O'Reilly for high quality books, as well as the most authoritative works on the market. The company's commitment to technical expertise in their books is matched by their commitment to quality production, now famously recognized by their "lay flat" binding that makes reading an O'Reilly book very convenient. Among the sea of computer titles that now fill the shelves, professionals in information technology have for many years realized the super value that is always present in any O'Reilly title.

    Publisher Contact

    Marsee Henon

    O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

    1005 Gravenstein Highway North

    Sebastopol, California 95472

    707-827-7000

    800-998-9938

    FAX 707-829-0104

    www.oreilly.com

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