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The Windows XP/2000 Answer Book: A Complete Resource from the Desktop to the Enterprise

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2003

    Excellent Book!

    This book is excellent! This is probably one of the best XP books I've read. Very to the point, no fluff. This is very easy to read and is a great reference and how-to book. It covers everything I've needed since I got it and I use it almost daily now to look up how to do something. I also like to just go through several sections just to learn something new (or refresh my memory on things I don't do often. I would recommend this book for about anyone at about any level, it's a great reference to have around. I don't have 2000, but everything for XP has been very accurate...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2002

    Authoritative and Comprehensive

    Finally, Microsoft has merged Windows 9x and the NT series into something called XP. Took long enough, eh? From their standpoint, this greatly simplifies their development, instead of having to maintain two huge codebases. But sysadmins will still have problems. Always! So this book arose out of a website run by the author, The website is tremendously successful, garnering over a million hits a month, and widely recognised, including by Microsoft, as having authoritative answers. The latter is crucial. If you are going to be doing delicate and perhaps irrevocable things to your computer, you want some reassurance that the suggestions you are following are credible. (Which is why some sysadmins prefer only manuals from the manufacturer.) The book instantiates over 1000 tasks faced by sysadmins of MS Windows 2000 and XP. These are tasks of all levels of complexity. The book has three great virtues. First, of course, is its comprehensiveness. The sheer sweep of the tasks is staggering, from the trivial "What is the history of NT?" to the "How do I perform an unattended installation?" (slacker) to the "How do I recover a lost Administrator password?" (naughty naughty). Naturally, you will never need to ask the latter! :) The second virtue is that you have random access to the tasks. Wait a minute, you might say. "Of course I have random access. I can turn to any page I want. It's a book, isn't it?" Yes. But it is not a textbook. You do not need to read the earlier pages to understand a task. Crucial if you need an emergency fix NOW. Its final virtue is the contents pages. The tasks are grouped into 38 chapters, for that number of broad topic clusters. Within each, the tasks are listed as questions. How do I do such-and-such? Gets to the point. You can quickly find your fix. Part of the reason for the heft of this 1275 page book is that the author has been generous in providing screen captures of appropriate windows. Not, I hasten to add, merely to beef up the book. If you have done any sysadmin duties, you will know the value of a good screen capture of what you should be seeing or doing. The toughest question about this book is "Why buy it?" It is derived from the author's website. So why can't you just go there? Of course you can. But what if your computer won't reboot, and no nearby computer has net access? What if your crashed computer was the gateway? (You're in deep doo-doo now.) Or maybe you only have one computer (it's your one and only home computer). Even a tyro sysadmin soon learns that it is good to have hardcopy manuals within reach. Consider making this one of those manuals.

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