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Jack J. Woehr
Windows 2000 Registry, by Paul Sanna, is a tolerable introduction to the Windows 2000 registry for those who have never been there before. It covers the basics and significance of the registry (hint: hasn't changed much since Windows NT 3.1 in August, 1993), how the system tools which manipulate the Registry operate (hint: hasn't changed much since Windows NT 3.1 in August, 1993), and an assortment of tips and traps relating to the Registry (hint: ... etc.).
Paul Sanna is a technical sales director. His insights (such as "As you can probably tell, the Registry is probably the most significant component in Windows 2000.") are on a par with those of a proficient, if unimaginative, NT Server administrator. The writing itself is skillful and well-edited, and overall production values, readability, layout, and textual conventions are industry standard and cleanly executed.
Windows 2000 Registry reveals early on certain symptoms of shovelware (shovelling in source material undigested), as on pages 130-135 where we are treated to decimal tables of all the RGB values for shipped Windows 2000 desktop color schemes, since, as the author notes "The data is stored in a binary format, so it's tough to determine the specifics for any color scheme."
In the second edition, I'd like to offer (free of charge), the following as replacement for those five pages:
Open Desktop->Properties->Display, click on one of the scheme's`color table entries, and read the decimal values from the color`wheel for that entry. If you are startled to discover that these`values are stored in the Registry in binary, change careers.
All doubt about the book's shovelware tendency disappears on page 243. The second half of the book consists of three appendices which are 100 percent shovelware:
- Appendix A is a printout of every key in HKEY_CURRENT_USER.
- Appendix B is a printout of object name, indexed by CLSID, of every object in the Registry.
- Appendix C is a printout of CLSID, indexed by object name, of every object in the Registry.
Windows 2000 Registry is fundamentally a kiddie book for Win32 novices. That's no crime, but neither is it justification for pages 243-457 being wasted paper. For $44.99, you could have had the tables on CD-ROM, where the mountain of minutiae would be much easier to search. Or better yet, instruct the reader how to obtain the values in situ. It's the difference between giving a person a fish and teaching them to fish.
— Electronic Review of Computer Books