Mastering Windows XP Home Edition

Overview

The Only Windows XP Home Edition Resource You Need—Now Completely Updated

Here's the insider knowledge you need to maximize Microsoft's powerful home operating system, whether you're moving straight to XP or upgrading from Windows 98 or Me. This encyclopedic guide delivers full coverage of every topic from installation and multimedia, to security and networking. Beginners can start off by using Windows XP on a stand-alone computer and connecting to the Internet, while ...

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Overview

The Only Windows XP Home Edition Resource You Need—Now Completely Updated

Here's the insider knowledge you need to maximize Microsoft's powerful home operating system, whether you're moving straight to XP or upgrading from Windows 98 or Me. This encyclopedic guide delivers full coverage of every topic from installation and multimedia, to security and networking. Beginners can start off by using Windows XP on a stand-alone computer and connecting to the Internet, while experienced users can quickly build and secure a home network, work with the Registry to change XP's behavior, and optimize and troubleshoot Windows XP.

Coverage includes:

  • Upgrading from Windows 98 or Me
  • Taking full advantage of XP multi-user support
  • Customizing Windows XP
  • Installing, removing, and running programs
  • Sharing files securely—or keeping them private
  • Adding hardware and installing drivers
  • Connecting your computer or network to the Internet
  • Sending secure e-mail and minimizing spam
  • Communicating via the latest versions of Windows Messenger
  • Using Windows Firewall
  • Getting and giving help via the Internet
  • Enjoying audio, video, and DVDs with Windows Media Player 10
  • Burning audio and data CDs
  • Building a secure home network
  • Using Microsoft PowerToys
  • Using VPNs and connecting to a company network
  • Setting up wireless networks with Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780782143843
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/15/2004
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 1009
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Well into his second decade of rebooting Windows PCs, Guy Hart-Davis has written dozens of computer books, including Internet Piracy Exposed, Mastering Microsoft Works Suite 2000,Word 2000 Developer's Handbook, Mastering VBA 6, Word 97 Macro & VBA Handbook, two editions of the best-selling MP3—I Didn't Know You Could Do That and MP3 Complete,and the 1st and 2nd editions of Mastering Windows XP Home Edition.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 22: Instant Messaging with Windows Messenger

This chapter discusses how to use Windows Messenger, the instant-messaging software built into Windows XP.

Windows Messenger (hereafter plain Messenger except where we need to be formal provides solid instant-messaging capabilities: You can keep a list of online buddies, see at a glance which of them are online, and communicate instantly with them via text-based chat, voice, and even video (if you have the hardware. You can also transfer files to them and receive files from them.

Messenger has some very nice features. For example, one of the problems in instant messaging is that you can't see when someone is typing a reply to your message. If you send another message while they're trying to reply to you, the conversation can get out of gear. Messenger has an indicator that tells you when one of the people you're chatting with is typing, so that you can choose whether to wait or to go ahead.

Sad to say, Messenger also has a major downside, in that you need to have a Microsoft .NET Passport in order to use Messenger. (In case you haven't run into it yet, Microsoft .NET Passport is a sort of electronic identity.) If you have a Hotmail account, you can use that as your .NET Passport, but there's no other way around the requirement.

This chapter covers the following topics:

  • Configuring Windows Messenger
  • Adding and removing contacts
  • Chatting with one or more people
  • Using emoticons in your messages
  • Adding voice and video to a conversation
  • Blocking and unblocking users
  • Transferring files via Messenger

Why Instant Messaging Is Hot

Instant messaging (IM) is hot because it's a great way to keep in touch with people. The big advantage to IM is that the communication-the conversation, if you will-takes place in real time. If someone is online at the same time you are, you can communicate with them. Like other IM software, Messenger notifies you when your contacts come online (and notifies your contacts when you go online, so you know who's available to chat. The disadvantage to IM, of course, is that the person or people with whom youre communicating need to be online at the same time as you. If theyre not online (or are pretending not to be online, you can't communicate with them.

NOTE At this writing, Microsoft and AOL are continuing tbeir face-off over instant messaging, with AOL refusing to give users of IM software other than its own AOL Instant Messenger AIM) software access to AIM users. This means that if you use Windows Messenger, and your buddy uses AIM, you can't send them instant messages you'll need to install AIM instead. On the plus side, AIM is free, doesn't require that you have an AOL account, and works well. On the minus side well, nobody wants to be compelled to run a particular software package or sign up for a particular network identity, do they?

Starting Messenger

To start Messenger, choose Start -> All Programs -> Windows Messenger. Alternatively, if Messenger is displaying an icon in the notification area, double-click it.

If you haven't added a .NET Passport to your Windows XP user account, Messenger displays a Click Here to Sign In link in its window. Clicking this link starts the .NET Passport Wizard, which shepherds you through the process of adding an existing .NET Passport to Windows XP or getting a new .NET Passport and adding that to Windows. Once you've done that, Messenger signs you in. Once you've started Messenger, it displays an icon in your notification area. Click this icon to display a menu of actions you can take with Messenger.

When Messenger appears on your screen, chances are that it tells you that you don't have anyone in your contacts list and suggests you click the Add button to start adding contacts. (If you've just set Messenger up, your lack of contacts should be no surprise.) Figure 22.1 shows Messenger with a modest number of contacts added. As you can see in the figure, Messenger tells you the number of new messages you have in your Hotmail account (if you have one).

You're probably itching to add some contacts and get on with messaging. But before you do that, configure Messenger by choosing options as described in the next section.

Configuring Messenger

Messenger comes with a raft of configuration options. You don't need to set all of them at once (but this section covers them all in case you want to), but you should know about them before using Messenger. At the very least, you should edit your public profile so that you know what information other people can access about you. Choose Tools -> Options to display the Options dialog box, then configure your choice of the options described in the following sections.

Personal Page Options

The Personal page of the Options dialog box (shown in Figure 22.2 contains a couple of important settings and a couple of trivial ones.

My Display Name text box
Enter the name you want Messenger to display for you.

Always Ask Me for My Password when Checking Hotmail or Opening Other .NET PassportEnabled Web Pages check box
Select this check box (which is cleared by default if you want to enter your Passport password manually each time it's required by a Web site. Entering the password manually improves your security, but you may find yourself needing to enter the password too often for speedy or comfortable browsing.

Change Font button
Use this button and the resulting Set My Message Font dialog box to specify the font you want to use in IM windows.

Show Graphics (Emoticons) in Instant Messages check box
Clear this check box (which is selected by default if you want to prevent Messenger from displaying emoticons (for example...

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Table of Contents

Introduction.

Part 1: Up and Running with Windows XP Home Edition.

Chapter 1: Introducing Windows XP Home Edition.

Chapter 2: Installing Windows XP Home Edition.

Chapter 3: Getting Started with Windows XP Home Edition.

Chapter 4: Customizing Your Desktop.

Chapter 5: Installing, Removing, and Running Programs.

Chapter 6: Managing Your Files and Folders.

Chapter 7: Making the Most of the Bundled Programs.

Chapter 8: Finding Help to Solve Your XP Problems.

Part 2: Administering and Troubleshooting Windows XP Home.

Chapter 9: Managing Users and Accounts.

Chapter 10: Sharing and File Types.

Chapter 11: Managing Your Disks and Drives.

Chapter 12: Working with the Registry.

Chapter 13: Installing, Configuring, and Managing Printers and Fonts.

Chapter 14: Managing Hardware, Drivers, and Power.

Chapter 15: Using XP Home Edition on a Portable Computer.

Chapter 16: Optimizing Windows XP Home Edition.

Chapter 17: Backup and Disaster Recovery.

Part 3: Communications, the Internet, and the Web.

Chapter 18: Connecting to the Internet.

Chapter 19: Surfing the Web with Internet Explorer.

Chapter 20: Using Address Book.

Chapter 21: E-mail with Outlook Express.

Chapter 22: Reading News with Outlook Express.

Chapter 23: Instant Messaging with Windows Messenger.

Chapter 24: Giving and Getting Remote Assistance.

Chapter 25: Sending and Receiving Faxes.

Chapter 26: Publishing Information to the Web.

Part 4: Audio, Video, and Games.

Chapter 27: Windows Media Player.

Chapter 28: Working with Pictures and Videos.

Chapter 29: Burning CDs on XP.

Chapter 30: Playing Games on XP Home Edition.

Part 5: Networking Windows XP Home Edition.

Chapter 31: Understanding Windows Networking.

Chapter 32: Building a Home or Home-Office Network.

Chapter 33: Sharing Resources on Your Network.

Chapter 34: Securing Your Network.

Chapter 35: Connecting to a Remote Computer or Network.

Appendix A Windows Basics.

Appendix B Sharing and Conferencing with NetMeeting.

Index.

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