Windows Vista: The Missing Manual
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: December 2006
Pages: 848

Windows Vista is Microsoft's most important software release in more than a decade. It offers users an abundance of new and upgraded features that were more than five years in the making: a gorgeous, glass-like visual overhaul; superior searching and organization tools; a multimedia and collaboration suite; and above all, a massive, top-to-bottom security-shield overhaul. There's scarcely a single feature of the older versions of Windows that hasn't been tweaked, overhauled, or replaced entirely.

But when users first encounter this beautiful new operating system, there's gonna be a whole lotta head-scratchin', starting with trying to figure out which of the five versions of Vista is installed on the PC (Home, Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate).

Thankfully, Windows Vista: The Missing Manual offers coverage of all five versions. Like its predecessors, this book from New York Times columnist, bestselling author, and Missing Manuals creator David Pogue illuminates its subject with technical insight, plenty of wit, and hardnosed objectivity for beginners, veteran standalone PC users, and those who know their way around a network. Readers will learn how to:



  • Navigate Vista's elegant new desktop
  • Locate anything on your hard drive quickly with the fast, powerful, and fully integrated search function
  • Use the Media Center to record TV and radio, present photos, play music, and record any of the above to DVD
  • Chat, videoconference, and surf the Web with the vastly improved Internet Explorer 7 tabbed browser
  • Build a network for file sharing, set up workgroups, and connect from the road
  • Protect your PC and network with Vista's beefed up security
  • And much more.

This jargon-free guide explains Vista's features clearly and thoroughly, revealing which work well and which don't. It's the book that should have been in the box!

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4.5

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(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Windows Vista - The Missing Manual

By gregorywest

from Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

About Me Educator

Pros

  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Windows Vista: The Missing Manual:

    Review: by Gregory West[@]t Member of the Computer Operators of [@]Windows Vista The Missing Manual by David Pogue Published by OʼReilly Media Inc. ISBN-13: 978-0-596-52827-0 Pages: 827 USA: [$] missingmanuals.com This book is designed for basic users to advanced users and everyone in between. If you want to learn everything about Vista, the easy-to-follow way, this book is the one. This book gets high marks for the very extensive, and easy to use, 23 page index. Finding what you need to know in a hurry is fast and easy. The layout of the book has a nice a blueish tinge to the sidebars and screenshots that make reading and scanning a pleasant journey. Throughout the 8 Parts of this book you go from learning all about the desktop, software, and how to work and surf online, securely. Backing up and troubleshooting your computer is set in an easy step-by-step guideline that explains the entire process, both the how and the why. These 8 parts take you on a journey, from learning about the Desktop to "The Vista Network", especially since more homes are getting into networking computers and peripherals. For first time users, this book utilizes sidebars that are named: "Up To Speed". This aids the beginners in becoming more familiar with the operating system while moving along with the "advanced-beginner". Here is where the information is explained in easy-to- learn language. Advanced users will find boxes named: "Power Users' Clinic". This is where anyone can get quick tips to make their computer experience run smooth. It is also a great spot for the newbies to peek in on to see what is available at a higher level. To set up your own "Media Center" at home is made easy in chapter 16. It starts out by giving you the "gear" list of things you need to begin. In here you will learn how to hook up your TV and record shows, fine tune music selections and work with with both photo and video software. Once you are well into the book you can learn how to set up your own Virtual Private Network (VPN) which many home users are now doing. You will love this section. If you ever need to reformat your computer, this book, in its' "Appendix A" section: "Installing Windows Vista" gives you an simplified instructions, with photos, on how to perform this function. This is a section, not only for newbies before they call the service tech, but a great refresher for everyone at any level. Simply put: Pogue does it again with Windows Vista, The Missing Manual. I highly recommend this book for all users as a learning tool, as a quick reference guide, and something to use before you call a service technician or a computer tutor. Take yourself to the next level and get a copy of this book.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    One Vista _ One Viewpoint

    By Alan German (Ottawa PC Users' Group)

    from Ottawa

    Comments about oreilly Windows Vista: The Missing Manual:

    Windows Vista - The Missing Manual by David Pogue is certainly no lightweight at an inch and a half thick and 827 pages. Clearly, a brief review cannot do complete justice to such a weighty tome, so here we will just take a peek into various sections of the book.

    For new Vista users, i.e. those migrating from Windows XP, the book's introduction describes the new features in Vista _ with an interesting section on "Version Hell" _ the different features offered by the various versions of Vista. In addition, the final section of the book is entitled "Where'd It Go?" and indicates features of XP that are no longer available in Vista, or aren't where XP users think they should be. For example, XP's Clipbook Viewer is no longer available, and to remove an installed program, previously part of "Add and remove programs" on XP's Control Panel, you now need to look under Start _ Control Panel _ Programs _ Programs and Features.

    Apart from the above, the book kicks off with a description of navigating through Vista's menus and how to configure various options. One of the major new features of Vista is the Aero (glass) user interface, and considerable detail on how to customize the look and feel of the display is provided. Even if you have the horsepower to run Aero, there may be specific features that you don't particularly like, so it's good to know that the interface is highly customizable. For example, I used the book's instructions to turn off the transparent window edges (Control Panel _ Appearances and Personalization _ Personalization - Windows Color and Appearance), and to increase the font size (Right-click on the desktop _ Personalize _ Adjust font size (DPI) _ Custom DPI). Throughout the book, screenshots of Vista's features are supplemented by sidebars with gems of information. For example, "The Solution to Tiny Type" notes that with smaller pixels on modern displays, text can be difficult to read, and then indicates the means to access the DPI scaling box.

    One of the features promoted in Vista is an enhanced search capability. Some twenty pages are dedicated to search techniques, from entering text into the Search Box on the Start menu, to using filters in Windows Explorer. The associated descriptions and diagrams are laid out such that the information necessary to use these tools effectively can be readily assimilated.

    In discussing Internet Explorer 7 (IE7), the version of Microsoft's browser distributed with Vista, the book provides the basics of things like tabbed browsing and custom printing of web pages. But, the section does lack some details of IE7's security settings. By default, the browser will prevent you accessing certain sites, for example because of pop-ups, and may even stop you from accessing files on your local hard drive or CD's due to included "active content". Some additional assistance here would have been useful for some users.

    Now that we almost all possess digital cameras, Vista includes Photo Gallery, a combined image management and image editing package. The book devotes about thirty-six pages to describing the various features of Photo Gallery such as importing pictures from a camera; including files in disk directories other than the default "Pictures"; adjusting brightness, contrast and colour levels; cropping, fixing red eye; using image tags; and the slideshow controls. An FAQ sidebar points out one of the program's shortcomings in that Photo Gallery doesn't allow you to drag images around to create a customized sort order, a feature offered by many other image management programs.

    One of the changes made in Vista is that Disk Defragmenter is set to run automatically but, the default start time is 4:00 am on Sunday morning, which may not be terribly appropriate if your machine is normally powered off at this time. Instructions are given for modifying the defragger's schedule, and how to run the program manually. However, what is left unsaid is that, because the process is supposed to be undertaken in the background, the program no longer provides any feedback on its progress. Fortunately, there are free, third-party solutions that are both fast and informative (e.g. http://opcug.ca/public/Reviews/auslogics.htm).

    One of Vista's most contentious features is User Account Control (UAC). This has been widely described as an exceedingly intrusive security system, popping up warnings and confirmation requests almost incessantly. Surprisingly, The Missing Manual condenses the information into a single table. The bottom line is that the extra security is well worth the effort. UAC only kicks in when you try to perform an "administrative task", such as installing new software, or trying to modify a system file. The UAC dialogue box pops up, and the surrounding screen is dimmed, to indicate that Vista has entered a secure desktop mode. Pressing return, if you are logged on as an Administrator, or entering the Administrator's password for normal users, allows the process to continue. In practice, such warnings are very infrequent and little effort is required to comply with the security requirements. Since the process is designed to prevent rogue software from being able to load without your direct intervention, the additional effort is well worth it.

    The Missing Manual provides good coverage of the major topics of the Vista operating system, with lots of details as might be expected in a book of several hundred pages. I particularly like the many sidebar items that provide insights into various features, tips on how to efficiently use the operating system, and general information about different aspects of computers and computing. Anyway, that's my view!

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Windows Vista: The Missing Manual

    By Bob Dickson, North Orange County Computer Club

    from Orange County

    Comments about oreilly Windows Vista: The Missing Manual:

    As a long time user of Windows operating systems, I am very familiar with all versions from 3.1 through XP, but Vista is different, by design. Microsoft added lots of security features, which have to be mastered and they wanted to make it more intuitive. The former they did, the latter is questionable. I could eventually figure out what to do and how to do it, but I wouldn't say it's any more intuitive than other versions of the Windows operating system. But it works.

    I like the book physically: the pages are not glossy (no glare from overhead lights), the paper weight makes the pages easy to turn and the print size is easy to read. It's a friendly book to use.

    Although an experienced computer operator and user of Windows operating systems, I like to start at the first page and read a text just as the author wrote it. I find that most authors do a good job of introducing the subject and guide the reader from the simple to complex in an understandable manner. Certainly, the first time the reader encounters the subject matter it is the best method to follow. I highly recommend that you start at the beginning and patiently work your way to the end.

    Part one introduces the Vista desktop. Read this. The Vista desktop needs some explanation. You might bull your way around it, but don't rely on your Windows XP experience. The text covers the essentials of using the desktop and introduces the new Aero look. I like the Aero desktop. Later in the text the author reveals how to revert to the older, classic Windows desktop, but I'm staying with Aero. I like the smooth opening and fading of the windows and the transparency feature. I think after a few days you will become comfortable with it.

    A word of caution: the text uses the Microsoft 'standard' Vista in it's illustrations but it quickly became apparent that the manufacturer has made some customizations in my version. I purchased an HP Compaq SR5130NX with Vista Home Premium version. Compaq has replaced a few of the security and maintenance features to direct the user to HP's support rather then to Microsoft. I was able to work around the difference without much difficulty. You will, too. It doesn't really detract from the text's presentations of those features.

    The text reveals in friendly detail the many new features that Vista introduced on the desktop and in the windows panels. One can simply point and click and get useful results without clicking down through a series of submenus. These features aren't intuitive so I was happy to have the text introduce them and explain how to use them. Once through the exercises in the text and practicing using the new features, the operator, you, should enjoy considerable productivity gains. Some of the 'new' features are actually available in Windows XP but, since I 'knew' how to use XP, I didn't take the time to read a book about XP so I didn't know many of these features existed. This text points out certain features that were introduced in XP so my knowledge of XP has been improved by reading this text on Vista.

    I like the new Windows Flip feature in Vista. It's neat the way one can flip through many windows, going forward and backward searching for a particular window and bringing to the front. For the power user who likes to have a dozen windows open, the flip feature makes it far easier to work with that many windows. Of course, this assumes you have several gig of RAM installed in your computer. Vista's features work best when it has lots of RAM.

    Another nice feature is the thumbnail view of active tasks. Place the cursor over an item in the taskbar and a thumbnail picture of the window for that task appears just above the taskbar. When you have many tasks that are active, having thumbnail pictures of the screens is very helpful to making a selection to jump to.

    The text clearly introduces how revised features function. Cut, copy, and paste are just one example of how the text covers useful tools in the Vista system. I'm glad I took the time to read about the usual desktop features and followed the text in using them as they have been redesigned to work.

    A new feature on the desktop is the sidebar down the right side of the screen. Here's where you can display and use the new Gadgets. Gadgets are useful tools that are displayed in the sidebar. They can be activated easily with a simple left-click of the mouse. They are little programs that used to be run and minimized on the task bar. Now they each have an active window in the sidebar without cluttering the task bar. The sidebar can be hidden if desired. There are many of the new gadgets, and more available to be downloaded from the Internet, if desired. On my sidebar, I have displayed a clock, a calendar, and news feed showing headlines. Yes, they do need RAM so have lots of it! It's cheap!

    Vista has incorporated many functions for which you used to have to buy separate programs. For example, burn a CD or a DVD, work on a movie, work with photos and audio. If available in XP, the application has nice new features in Vista. The text provides a friendly and easy explanation of these apps in Vista.

    Don't look for Outlook Express: in Vista it's now Windows Mail. This took a little getting use to but I adjusted to the change after using it. Windows Mail has been redesigned to be more like a Web window (as have most windows in Vista which means you have fewer differences in appearance as you jump from window to window). The address book has been replaced with Contacts. The Contacts file does not appear separately as did the Address Book in XP, however, it is available on the Start menu and a shortcut can be created so it can be accessed from the desktop if desired. I resisted the urge to create shortcuts and fill my desktop with logos. I decided to stay with Microsoft's approach of keeping the desktop free of clutter.

    Security is important in the Vista operating system, as the new user will quickly find out. A new feature in Vista is the User Account Control (UAC). This is explained on page 127 and how to turn it off, but I decided to use it. After all, Microsoft worked hard to make Vista safer so why should I not use the new securities features they built into the system? I quickly accommodated to clicking 'continue' when initiating some admin function or feature. The UAC requires authentication of the operator by clicking a 'continue' button before proceeding to execute the desired action. This prevents nasty geeks from taking over my PC with their malware. It works for me.

    I'm pleased with the book but I have to admit it could use a good proofreader. I came across more than a few typos, a couple of missing section headings, and a couple of sentences that were incomplete. It appears the book was rushed. Hopefully, the next version will have fixed these imperfections. They do not detract from the overall usefulness and readability of the book.

    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Windows Vista: The Missing Manual

    By Howard

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Windows Vista: The Missing Manual:

    When I was getting ready to build my new computer earlier this year, I decided that it was going to be ready to run Microsoft Vista. However, as with most new software (applications and operating systems), there is a certain feeling of uncertainty over any upgrade. I was pleased when I saw the O'Reilly & Associates was releasing another book in their "Missing Manual" series on Windows Vista. I immediately ordered a copy to assist in my endeavor to install and learn a new operating system.

    I must say that this book has proven to be an excellent investment as it covers all of the new features and idiosyncrasies of the new version of Windows. The book covers the new Welcome Center, Desktop, Start Menu, Search and Gadgets. If/when you upgrade to Windows Vista, I would strongly recommend this book to help you through some of the trying times that everyone encounters as they learn new software.

     
    5.0

    Windows Vista: The Missing Manual

    By Frederick J Eccher Jr

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Windows Vista: The Missing Manual:

    Title: Windows Vista: The Missing Manual

    First Edition: December 2006

    Series: The Missing Manuals

    ISBN 10: 0-596-52827-2

    ISBN 13: 9780596528270

    Pages: 848

    Book description from O'Reilly:

    "Windows Vista: The Missing Manual offers complete and comprehensive coverage of all five versions of Vista. In his inimitable witty style, New York Times columnist and bestselling author David Pogue illuminates this subject with clear technical insight and hard-nosed objectivity. He explains Vista's features clearly and thoroughly, revealing which work well and which don't. Written for beginners, veteran stand-alone PC users, and those who know their way around a network, this jargon-free guide is the book that should have been in the box!

    Windows Vista is Microsoft's most important software release in more than a decade. It offers users an abundance of new and upgraded features that were more than five years in the making: a gorgeous, glass-like visual overhaul; superior searching and organization tools; a multimedia and collaboration suite; and above all, a massive, top-to-bottom security-shield overhaul.

    There's scarcely a single feature of the older versions of Windows that hasn't been tweaked, overhauled, or replaced entirely.

    But when users first encounter this beautiful new operating system, there's gonna be a whole lotta head-scratchin', starting with trying to figure out which of the five versions of Vista is installed on the PC (Home, Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate).

    Thankfully, Windows Vista: The Missing Manual offers coverage of all five versions. Like its predecessors, this book from New York Times columnist, bestselling author, and Missing Manuals creator David Pogue illuminates its subject with technical insight, plenty of wit, and hardnosed objectivity for beginners, veteran standalone PC users, and those who know their way around a network."

    This description can hardly start to reveal how good this book is. I did both types of installation: the complete wipe [second] and that other install I will not name. The author claimed the "other install I will not name" would take 5 days, but it only took 4 for me. The performance was not there and I was too research oriented to take his remarks seriously. I thought if the first type of install did not work right, the other would make up for it. The clean install 'might take 15 minutes' according to the author. It took about 4 hours and I still ended up with three partitions and 12 GB of stuff on my hard drive when I was looking for about 4-5GB. Sounds like a book of my own to write someday...

    I do love Vista, do not get me wrong. This book really helped me do things I did not think of before I got the Business edition. It would have been very hard to figure out problems that occurred if you were not online to get the Windows version of the fix without this book. It would take at least two computers: the one you are loading with Vista and the other one that is online and searching for fixes.

    There are some mistakes in the book, but you can deal with most of them. Page 58, the author means 'translucent' when he writes 'transparent...blurry image...underneath'. Some errors are more troublesome, such as page 350 where 'personal folder==>appdata==>roaming==>etc' does not exist.

    This book is worth 5 stars and every penny charged for it, taking everything into account. A balanced point of view is being used by the author in parts of the text. Well done.

    I really like Windows Vista: The Missing Manual and find it to be an impressive book and operating system.

    Frederick J Eccher Jr

    MBA

    M.S. Management of Information Systems

    A.B. Psychology

    B.A. Biology

    CIO, Community Partners

    President, Board of Directors, Saint Louis Visual Basic Users Group

     
    5.0

    recommended

    By dave graham

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Windows Vista: The Missing Manual:

    David Pogue's "Missing Manual" for Windows Vista does exactly what it says on the tin _ it is "the book that should have been in the box" _ a clear, jargon free guide to Vista for newbies through to veterans of XP and beyond.

    The first thing to strike you about this book is the simple but elegant layout which is liberally scattered with handy tips and screenshots (all monochrome but I don't think it suffers any because of this). Each section also clearly indicates whether the topic for discussion applies to all versions of Vista or is restricted to the high-end implementations: something that can save a lot of head-scratching given the plethora of different flavours of Vista that Microsoft unveiled.

    Pogue strikes a good balance between step-by-step instructions that make life easier for the beginner and being over simplistic which would put off more experienced Windows user and his sense of humour is apparent but never oversteps the mark to being irritating.

    The book comprises seven main sections _ starting with the revamped Vista desktop including the new Aero interface, before moving on to cover the Vista Software (the gadgets and utilities that come with Vista), Vista Online (getting connected to the online world and keeping it safe), Multimedia in Vista, Hardware and Peripherals, "PC Health" (keeping Vista running efficiently) and finally a section on networking your machine in Vista.

    Appendices cover things like installing or dual-booting Vista and a definitive list of keyboard shortcuts, plus "Where'd It Go?" which lists all the things that used to be there in XP and have now been re-located or replaced. Only three and a half pages but an excellent resource to prevent you pulling your hair out trying to find where the "Run" command has gone or how to "Add and remove programs".

    I first picked this guide up after about a month of playing with Vista, having upgraded from XP and almost every page has something in it that I hadn't picked up just through diving into Vista. Its excellent indexing and structure make it ideal for a reference manual or you can read it cover to cover and unearth lots of useful hints and tips.

    Definitely recommended _ it really is the book that should have been in the box.

     
    4.0

    Windows Vista - the Missing Manual Review by TedL from NOCCC

    By TedL

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Windows Vista: The Missing Manual:

    Now that Microsoft has finally released all five (or is it 10?) of its versions of the Vista operating system, the book publishers have rushed to get their entries to market as well. This one, from O'Reilly, is part of The Missing Manual series and was written by well-known author and technology columnist, David Pogue. It is big (over 825 pages) and covers most everything you need to know whether you are a novice or "budding power user." The author does a commendable job of highlighting information aimed at newbies (Up to Speed Sidebars) and advanced users (Power Users' Clinic Boxes). He also indicates what features can be found in which version of Vista.

    Pogue's style of writing makes for easy reading and understanding with enough humor to keep you interested. The book is well-illustrated, but unfortunately, there are no color graphics, even for the "Aero look" which loses much when viewed in black-and-white. And you can read it "cover-to-cover" or just look at the chapters of interest, except perhaps for the introductory material.

    The book is divided into seven parts with several chapters each. It starts with the Vista Desktop (everything that you see on the screen), then covers software use, doing the Internet, multimedia stuff, hardware questions, backing up files and trouble-shooting (do they go together?), and finally, running Vista in a network (a particularly important area for many of us today).

    Unfortunately, there isn't too much information on problems and fixes (maybe that warrants a special book?). For that you have to rely mostly on the various community web sites where people post questions and hopefully get useful answers or talk to a guru from your computer club. Of course, you could try Microsoft Tech Support (which costs), but you are most likely to wind up dealing with someone overseas and a difficult-to-understand accent. As an example, I had a problem with getting Internet Explorer 7 to work and the book wasn't much help although one Web site did have a related question. That is, until I discovered with the help of my guru that my pre-installed Vista Ultimate put both 32-bit and 64-bit versions on my laptop and set the 32-bit one as default. Unfortunately, the machine is a 64-bit system! Go figure. Yes, the book mentions both versions, but didn't say anything on what is installed by default.

    Now although it is true that Vista doesn't come with a printed manual "in the box," it does have a big electronic Product Guide as well as a much-improved (vs. Windows XP) built-in/online Help system with illustrations and useful links that is easy to query. (The 315-page Product Guide exists in print form, but I don't know if Microsoft offers it for sale _ I did get a copy as part of the Vista promo campaign.) So, on the question of whether to buy a book, it really gets down to the question of whether (1) you're a do-it-yourselfer and like to learn as you tinker, (2) you don't mind reading electronic manuals, or (3) you're an old-fashioned print-book person (like me) who favors that method of learning and inquiring.

    My Bottom Line

    I like the book as I have Pogue's previous offerings. It was useful not only for navigating Vista's capabilities, but also as a desktop reference in doing a review of Vista Ultimate. Too bad it wasn't available when I participated in the beta test program! The book could benefit readers more, in my view, if it paid greater attention to the myriad of problems that computerists encounter with a new operating system; hopefully, when the first revision is published?

    The price is reasonable at $35 list less a 35 % computer-club-member discount and free shipping. So, if you prefer print books over the electronic kind as I do, you probably will enjoy Pogue's latest offering and find it useful in getting up-to-speed quickly and then as a handy reference. Corrections and updates, if any, can be found at www.missingmanuals.com. More information on this book can be found at the O'Reilly web site: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596528270/.

    Finally, it should be noted that a slimed-down version, Windows Vista for Starters _ The Missing Manual, also is available from Pogue-O'Reilly. At $20 a pop (less 35 %) and 400 pages, it should appeal to new computerists (at least new to Vista) who don't want "the whole nine yards" that is provided in the regular Missing Manual.

     
    4.0

    WV:TMM Delivers on it's promise

    By ArsGeek

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Windows Vista: The Missing Manual:

    Windows Vista: The Missing Manual is 800 plus pages of tips, tricks and knowledge concerning all 5 (or is it 8? Or 16?) versions of Microsoft's latest offering, Windows Vista. It exhaustively covers every edition, from Home Basic to Ultimate and does so with wit and style.

    With 27 chapters, divided into 8 sections and 4 appendices this book delivers in it's promise of being "The book that should have been in the box."

    Starting with Part One: The Vista Desktop, Pogue and his compatriots examine every aspect of the Desktop, from how to find your way around Vista's new look and feel, customizing and an examination of just about every menu item in the Start Menu.

    Part Two: Vista Software brings us through all of the software offerings that are bundled with Vista from the mundane to the absurd.

    Part Three: Vista Online walks users through the basics of getting their new Vista install online and using Internet Explorer 7 and the newly renamed Windows Mail (Outlook Express as most of us know it).

    Part Four: Pictures, Movies, and Media Center tells us all about just that. Vista comes loaded with ways to store, organize, view or listen too and perform some basic manipulation of photos, media files, even television.

    Part Five: Hardware and Peripherals brings us through printing and faxing and the basics of installing new hardware or attaching gadgets.

    Part Six: PC Health is a look at the various tools Microsoft packages into Vista to keep your computer healthy and happy, from your hard disk's health to Windows Update.

    Part Seven: The Visa Network briefly covers some more advanced topics in networking such as local accounts versus domain accounts, workgroups, networks, sharing and collaboration.

    Part Eight: Appendixes contains some useful information about the actual install process, a few registry hacks, a comparison of older built in programs (from XP or 2000) and their new and newly named counterparts in Vista and an extremely thorough keyboard shortcut list.

    Overall the book reads well. It's designed as a technical reference that will be useful to both the computer illiterate and the longtime support guru. It's impossible for a single book to be all things to all people who span these categories and Pogue realizes this. His book is concise if a bit brief on some subjects and a bit wordy on others, perhaps showing a bias towards some features. Yet he still manages to write a book that will be useful to a huge range of readers.

    The approach of writing a technical manual that is funny and appealing to the average reader has worked well with other series (most notably the For Dummies books) and it works well here. If your a veteran Microsoft support person you may find yourself skipping whole paragraphs to get to the nitty gritty but you'll still find the book as a whole very useful.

    Even some of the non-technical talk may catch your eye _ the book is full of little gems like "The Control Panel continues to be an object of bafflement for Microsoft, not to mention it's customers; from version to version of Windows, this window undergoes more reorganizations than a bankrupt airline." This in reference to what Pogue classifies as "Control Panel Terminology Hell".

    Vista isn't perfect and while the gems are highlited, the rough spots and blunders are also noted with useful tips on how to work with or around them.

    Windows Vista: The Missing Manual contains a ton of tips and tricks within its pages that will be very useful for power users and administrators. From keyboard shortcuts to a registry hack that hides all the icons on the Desktop, I found lots of useful information.

    I thought it a bit odd at first that the installation of Vista section is contained in the Appendix at the rear of the book but after a little thought it makes more sense. Any veteran of windows installs or (dare I say it?) upgrades will be able to handle a Vista install without problems. Folks newer to windows or computers will most likely not be attempting this at first, if at all.

    Pros: Easy to read and chock full of great tips. I'm eager to get into my Vista installs and try out a bunch of new features and tricks that aren't immediately obvious on install. If you're not terribly technical then this book is going to be a godsend for you. If you are technical, you'll still pick up a lot of information. Both the good and the bad in Vista are presented

    Cons: Some of the humor is a bit much and probably not necessary. Is it good to laugh while reading about an operating system? Sure but I would have liked to see more effort put into including more neat tricks and less off the cuff humor. I found myself skipping whole paragraphs to get to the meat of the book.

    If you're going to be working with Vista or using it at home, this book will be very helpful too you. I've had it in my hands for just under 5 days now and I've already completed reading it and implemented several suggestions. Plus I got to play with a neat voice recognition system that comes with Vista. I'd heard about it but this book convinced me to try it.

    If your a novice, you'll find this book an easy read. You'll soon be much more productive on your computer. If you're a veteran, you'll find plenty of tidbits that will make this book worthwhile and increase you're productivity as well.

     
    5.0

    Windows Vista: The Missing Manual" A Review by: John Inzer - MS Digital Image MVP"

    By John Inzer

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Windows Vista: The Missing Manual:

    Generally, I am not a fan of manuals...they

    can be boring, vague and for the most part

    you even wonder if the writer has actually

    seen the product being discussed.

    Enter: "Windows Vista: The Missing Manual"

    Written by: David Pogue

    Published by: Pogue Press - O'Reilly.

    Vista truly is a new experience and all aspects

    of the various features are explained in detail

    in this comprehensive, easy to read manual.

    If you are a first time computer owner or a

    veteran from the days of DOS this is a book

    you will find yourself referring to over and over.

    Everything from the graphically appealing

    Windows Aero interface to tips on how to

    install Vista is covered. 32-bit vs. 64-bit,

    organizing your files, Gadgets, hooking up

    to the net, Internet Explorer 7, Windows Mail,

    Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, transferring your

    files, tweaking the Registry, making backups,

    maintenance...it's all in there and much more.

    Finally, I must say the RepKover binding of this

    more than 800 page treatise is excellent. You

    can actually open it flat on the desk and it won't

    slam shut like many books will. This can be

    quite useful when you are trying to read and

    implement the instructions while sitting at your

    keyboard.

    Wow! This really is the book that should have

    been in the box.

    --

    John Inzer, March 1, 2007

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    A User Friendly Introduction to Vista

    By Jan :)

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Windows Vista: The Missing Manual:

    I found the book very easy to understand and "User friendly." It is well written with lots of good screen shots for clarification of specific features, tasks and events.

    The book covered the variety of features that are available in the various Vista editions.

    While there were features I thought needed more detailed coverage, such as the difference in the User Administrator and *Secret* Administrator, as well as the loss of Restore Points, Shadow Copies and all but current PC backups as a consequence of dual booting with XP, it was otherwise very informative.

    As a Microsoft software instructor for two Community Colleges, and owner of my own business that deals in software training, data and computer services, it is a Windows Vista information resource I can feel comfortable and confident in recommending to my students and clients.

    Jan :)

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