I’ve been using Windows 7 since its October 2009 U.S. launch and don’t have a single complaint. I couldn’t imagine filling a 700-page book with its “annoyances,” until I read author David Karp’s point of view: “One person’s annoyance is another’s feature.” So, in Windows 7 Annoyances, he shares what’s cool and what isn’t, scoping out all the features/annoyances, and explaining the best way to get Windows 7 to do what you want. An hour with Windows 7 Annoyances and you’ll know how to move the software out of your way when it’s not helping.
This is a hefty handbook that teaches you to streamline and optimize Windows 7, and find what you lost in the migration. There are plenty of hacks and time-saving tips as well as high-level operating system tech details for geeks. Overall Windows 7 is friendly and accessible to lay-users who upgrade from Windows XP or Vista, and Karp doesn’t talk down to higher level techies.
You might start with the section on how to migrate to Windows 7, which includes installation and upgrade tips for each version. Although there are six versions of Windows 7, only three (Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate) are available for the general public. The author tells you how to get some features from the higher versions, and explains the various way you can load Windows 7 over old versions, or run two virtual operating systems on one computer. Pay attention to the backup options, as Karp warns you can’t easily recover individual files from a complete backup. Later, he explains how to restore individual files in higher versions of Windows 7, and other work-arounds.
For legacy 32 bit applications, you’ll learn how to run in XP mode for programs that can’t handle Windows 7’s 64-bit operating system.
Karp covers audio/video, performance boosting tips, and provides excellent details on getting out of trouble, security issues, setting up networks and wi-fi, which is easier than in previous versions of Windows. Throughout the book, there are loads of links to third-party power tools.
File organization in Windows 7 is easy to use, but Karp suggests ways to use your own intuitive system instead of the default structure of Favorites, Libraries and Recent Places. There are also more flexible layout options for Windows Explorer, the ‘New Folder’ option is now available from just about anywhere, and there’s an instant search field, so file searches begin as you start typing a word.
If you’re a power Windows user, you’ll thank the author every day for all the shortcuts, tips, and ways to keep Windows from controlling the way you want to work. Even a long-time Windows pro will learn ways to get past the annoyances in the software, and do a better job of file management, controlling system defaults, and enjoying the improved screen features with the Aero Glass interface.
As with other O’Reilly Safari publications, the book includes access to a full online version of the content for 45 days.
Review based on paperback 2010 edition, provided by publisher.