Sebastopol, CA--Love it or hate it, some ninety-plus percent of
computer users work with one form or another of Microsoft Windows.
Windows XP is the latest version to grace our desktops, a creation that
merges the two lines of Microsoft's operating systems: the DOS-based
Windows 95/98/Me line with the more advanced Windows NT/2000 system
core. Although it's superficially similar to earlier versions of
Windows, there is plenty that is new under the surface, and on the
surface as well. Sadly, the online documentation that accompanies XP
makes it difficult for even power users to move beyond a surface
knowledge. For serious XP users who want more from their system,
Windows XP in a
Nutshell by David Karp, Tim O'Reilly, and Troy Mott
(O'Reilly, US $29.95) systematically documents everything they'll need
to know about both Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP
"Windows has gotten successively more complex at the same time as the
available documentation has grown skimpier, " says O'Reilly. "This is
the only book, despite others with titles like 'complete reference' or
'bible,' that gives thorough documentation on every user program that's
available in Windows XP."
"Tim and I felt the industry lacked a true reference book on Windows
XP," Karp adds. "Most Windows books are either tutorials, explaining
the basics of using the operating system, or lists of 'tips' intended
to release the so-called hidden functionality in the product. But what
do you do if you just want to look something up? Where do you go if you
want to find out how a particular program or component works, locate a
setting, or just learn how to accomplish a specific task such as
setting up a network or editing a video clip? Our book was set up from
the very first page to be the book that sits right next to the
computer, ready to answer just about any question you can throw at it."
Part of O'Reilly's bestselling Nutshell series, "Windows XP in a
Nutshell" contains more information about using Windows XP than any
other book on the market. Its core is an extensive reference section
with detailed information on virtually every command and utility
available in Windows XP. There is advice and documentation on system
configuration and a comprehensive guide to every setting in every
dialog box, menu and properties sheet throughout Windows XP. Cowritten
by David A. Karp, the author of the "Windows Annoyances" book series
and creator of the popular Annoyances.org web site, and Tim O'Reilly,
founder of O'Reilly & Associates, whose books have revolutionized
computer book publishing with their commonsense approach and depth of
detail, the book delivers more than 600 pages of concentrated
Widely known for his advocacy of Unix and open source software,
O'Reilly notes that some may think it is odd that he would write a book
on Windows. "But in fact it's entirely consistent," O'Reilly says,
"Ultimately, what interests me about open source is the way it empowers
users to get more out of their computers. Windows may be a closed
system, but all the more reason for good books that help users to work
around its limitations."
O'Reilly adds, "'Why do you rob banks?' they asked Willie Sutton.
'Because that's where the money is.' Why did I write about Windows?
Because that's where the information pain is. I started using a Windows
laptop, and I was damned if I was going be like so many hackers who just
complain about Windows rather than really learning how to make the most
of it. I figured out how to be really productive on Windows and wanted to
pass along the knowledge."
For inexperienced Windows users, the book includes a "getting up to
speed" section, but the focus of the book is primarily for users who
are familiar with some version of Windows and want to go deeper into
the system than the average Windows user might. "As more people are
migrating to Windows XP," says Karp, "those looking for XP books are no
longer early-adopters. This book is for more experienced Windows users
who need a thorough reference to just about every aspect of the
operating system." Those who are ready to customize their systems or
take on daily troubleshooting will find that "Windows XP in a Nutshell"
can unlock the hidden power of Windows XP.
Windows XP in a Nutshell
By David A. Karp, Tim O'Reilly, and Troy Mott
ISBN 0-596-00249-1, 616 pages, $29.95 (US), $46.95 (CAN)