Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Windows XP in 24 Hours

Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Windows XP in 24 Hours

by Greg Perry, Greg Perry

Sams Teach Yourself Windows XP in 24 Hours is designed to teach the new Windows XP user how to get the most out of a desktop computer. It also provides additional coverage for the experienced Windows user who wants to learn more about what's new in Windows XP.

The book includes extensive coverage of Windows XP's new features, including:

  • Adapting to

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Sams Teach Yourself Windows XP in 24 Hours is designed to teach the new Windows XP user how to get the most out of a desktop computer. It also provides additional coverage for the experienced Windows user who wants to learn more about what's new in Windows XP.

The book includes extensive coverage of Windows XP's new features, including:

  • Adapting to Windows XP's new user interface and enhanced reliability and manageability
  • Browsing the Web with Internet Explorer 6
  • Setting up Windows XP's enhanced wireless and home networking features
  • Playing MP3s and streaming media files with Windows Media Player 8
  • Editing digital video with Windows Movie Maker 1.1

Editorial Reviews

Introduces the desktop new to the home edition of the Windows XP operating system, and reviews common tasks performed by users. The 24 one-hour lessons explain navigating files, networking, firewall and security features, surfing the web with Internet Explorer, managing newsgroups with Outlook Express, installing a printer, and giving Windows XP a tune-up. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Publication date:
Sams Teach Yourself Series
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Hour 1: Taking a Bird's-Eye Look at Windows XP

Who says that a productive computer user cannot have fun being productive? Windows XP, often just called Windows, from the Microsoft Corporation, is colorful, fun, friendly, and powerful. This hour introduces you to Windows XP. You will see Windows XP's best features. Also, you will learn how Windows XP improves upon previous versions of Windows and provides much support for new media devices such as digital audio, cameras, and video.

In this hour, you will

  • Learn why Windows XP is more robust than previous operating systems
  • Read about the many versions of Windows XP
  • See the minimum computing power required for Windows XP
  • Learn how Windows XP greatly enhances the multimedia experience

Windows XP Simply Works Better

Microsoft redesigned the entire Windows interface to produce Windows XP. Windows XP is more colorful than previous editions. Windows XP's user interface is improved to allow you easier access to your programs and data. The icons (small pictures that represent options) and menus and windows have a more modern look to them. You'll enjoy working with Windows XP but if you really like the former Windows Me look, Windows XP enables you to easily change to the more traditional Classic view inside most windows.

As you become accustomed to Windows XP, you'll see that the entire operating system not only is more visual than previous Windows but XP has a similar feel to working on Web pages. With each version of Windows, Microsoft has attempted to tie the Internet more into the operating system's interface. The Internet will continue to play an important role in all computing and the Windows XP's graphical interface provides a Web-like feel.

As Figure 1.1 shows, when you point to a selection on the screen, Windows XP underlines the item not unlike a Web-page hyperlink; click once on the link and Windows XP takes you there.

More important than the interface, however, is Microsoft's completely redesigned operating system. If you're already using Windows 9x (including Windows 95 and Windows 98) or Windows Me, you know that, although those are decent operating systems, you still must reboot more often than you'd like. Things don't always act according to plan. This is because Microsoft designed these operating systems to take advantage of much older hardware than that which appears today, sacrificing some stability for maximum compatibility.

The problems associated with those previous versions of Windows are not always the fault of Windows. Many third-party programs must consume some important system areas inside your computer. Earlier Windows versions tried their best to keep things straight but couldn't always compete with misbehaving applications.

Windows XP's entire foundation is rewritten and based on the Windows 2000 technology that provides a more stable and robust operating environment. Windows XP simply won't let those misbehaving programs get away with all they do inside other Windows versions. This means that not all your older applications (called legacy applications if they were written with an earlier Windows operating system in mind, generally pre-Windows 98) will work under Windows XP. XP offers a special compatibility mode that tricks XP into running many of those legacy applications that would not run under straight Windows XP. You'll learn more about the compatibility mode in Hour 8, "Installing Programs with Windows XP."

Windows XP Comes in Several Flavors

Windows XP comes in multiple editions:
  • Windows XP Home Edition: The Home Edition is more consumer-focused, works well as an Internet-sharing operating systems, and provides the primary upgrade path for Windows 9x and Windows Me users.

  • Windows XP Professional Edition: Upgrades Windows 2000 and provides tools needed for typical business-oriented processing such as support for advanced network configuration. Good for small businesses and corporate desktops.

  • A Windows XP-based Server Edition: Used for systems that act as network and Internet servers that provide data and programs for large networks connected to the server.

  • Windows XP-based Advanced Server Edition: An enterprise server system for massive networking server solutions.

Special 64-bit editions of XP are available for advanced 64-bit Intel Itanium-based computer systems.

This 24-hour tutorial focuses on the Home Edition of Windows XP Appendix A, "Differences Between the Windows Home and Professional Edition," explains the primary differences between Windows XP Home Edition and the Windows XP Professional Edition.

Do You Have the Necessary Hardware?

Microsoft admits that Windows XP is the next generation operating system. As mentioned in this lesson's first section, XP may not run legacy programs. Even worse, depending on your point of view, Windows XP won't run well on older hardware.

Table 1.1 lists the minimum hardware requirements for computers running Windows XP More important than the minimum hardware is the recommended hardware (second column) for adequate performance. To bring your computer up to Windows XP's hungry hardware requirements, you might have to add more memory or disk space.

Getting a Feel for Windows XP

Most users like the look and simplicity of Windows XP and they appreciate the fact that Windows XP is also enjoyable to use. Although Windows XP is both fun and easy to master, it is also a computer interface system that offers tremendous power for anyone who uses PCs. With Windows XP you can manage your computer's hardware, data files, and online content easily, even if you are new to computers....

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