Review: by Gregory West
Member of the Computer Operators of Marysville & Port Huron (COMP)
Published by O’Reilly Media Inc.
USA: $34.99 / CDA: $45.99
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.
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