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Book Review – Windows Vista: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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On the eve of what will be Microsoft’s biggest release of this century, the world waits to see if Windows Vista will be all that it is touted to be. Certainly the first reactions to Vista, the successor to Windows XP are exciting, but there are so many changes to this version that I think that it is going to be a difficult upgrade at best.

David Pogue, the creator of The Missing Manual series of books has just released Windows Vista: The Missing Manual. When you consider that Microsoft seldom includes more than a quick start guide, this is truly the case of a missing manual.

Not only is Vista a complete overhaul, it is a version that took over five years to complete. Some claim that in the last two years almost 60 percent of the code has been rewritten. There are massive changes to security as well as to the interface. There are new programs, new explorers and yes, new release levels. And Microsoft is expecting to learn how work with all of these changes with out a manual?

Windows Vista: The Missing Manual is here to the rescue. With humor, wit and a whole lot of style, David Pogue guides you through the maze of changes to get you up to speed with Windows Vista.

Windows Vista: The Missing Manual is divided into eight parts, twenty-seven chapters and four appendixes.  Part one explores the “Vista Desktop”. Since the whole interface has been redone, this will be a very important chapter. Pogue describes the fear that many experience when they first turn on Vista. Here he takes you to the new “Welcome Center” and shows you around. He tells you how to determine where the bottlenecks of your existing computer are and how you can fix some of the speed problems until you can upgrade portions of your system.

Part Two, “Vista Software”, explores the various programs, gadgets and freebie software that is included with Vista. He explains the control panel terminology hell. There are more icons than ever and the author explains them all. He even shows you how to change it back in to a more classic view.

Part three, “Vista Online”, gets you hooked up on the internet and guides you through the new security setups, Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Mail. Part four, the “Media Center”, introduces you to all things photos, movies and media.

Part five, “Hardware and Peripherals” gets you up to speed on faxing, printing and scanning as well as working with other external gadgets. He also explains about Vista features for laptops, tablets and interfacing with palmtops.

Part six, “PC health”, explains maintenance and speed issues. He gives you guidance on how to maintain your hard drives and on doing backups. Part seven, “Vista Network”, works you through setting up user accounts and networks, domains and network sharing. He also has a chapter on remote control of your PC.

Part eight contains the appendices. The first one guides you through installing Vista whether new install or upgrade. He shows you how to determine any changes you will need to make to your computer before you get started. Also included is a set of keyboard shortcuts and other reference material to make your transition easier

If you are planning on upgrading to Windows Vista, Windows Vista: The Missing Manual will make that process much easier to handle. Continuing with the tradition of the Missing Manual series, this book will lighten your load as well as your spirits.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
  • http://philobiblon.co.uk Natalie Bennett

    This article has been selected for syndication to Advance.net, which is affiliated with newspapers around the United States. Nice work!

  • http://www.micfo.com Bob

    I think its worth to read as it contain the description of features and functions and evaluates all of the major and even minor changes from Windows XP to new Vista.