Windows 8.1: Out of the Box

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Get a real feel for Windows 8.1 with a wealth of tips in this step-by-step guide. After using Windows 7 or XP, learning Microsoft’s latest operating system takes some adjustment. Never fear. Windows expert Mike Halsey starts with the basics and then takes you through the trickier parts of Microsoft’s latest operating system. You’ll quickly learn how to make the most of Windows 8 for work and entertainment, whether you use a touchscreen tablet, ...

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Windows 8.1: Out of the Box

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Get a real feel for Windows 8.1 with a wealth of tips in this step-by-step guide. After using Windows 7 or XP, learning Microsoft’s latest operating system takes some adjustment. Never fear. Windows expert Mike Halsey starts with the basics and then takes you through the trickier parts of Microsoft’s latest operating system. You’ll quickly learn how to make the most of Windows 8 for work and entertainment, whether you use a touchscreen tablet, a laptop, or a PC with a keyboard and mouse.

  • Easily navigate the intuitive Windows 8.1 interface
  • Use email and the Internet—and keep your family safe
  • Share files online or with other devices in your home
  • Download and use all kinds of of apps and programs
  • Watch movies and listen to music
  • Import, view, and edit your own photos and videos
  • Learn how to use extra hardware and older software
  • Get expert tips to keep your computer running smoothly
  • Discover cool stuff that makes computer use really easy
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781491946107
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/30/2013
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 174
  • Sales rank: 476,913
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Halsey is a Microsoft MVP (Windows Expert). He has worked for many years in IT support, and is a technical beta tester for Microsoft. He is the author of Troubleshooting Windows 7 Inside Out.

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Table of Contents

Assumptions This Book Makes;
Contents of This Book;
Conventions Used in This Book;
Safari® Books Online;
How to Contact Us;
How to Contact the Author;
Chapter 1: Using Windows 8.1;
1.1 Top Tips from This Chapter;
1.2 The Start Screen Versus the Desktop: What You Need to Know;
1.3 Starting Windows 8.1;
1.4 Finding Your Way Around the Start Screen;
1.5 Using the Charms;
1.6 Using the App Bar;
1.7 Finding All the Apps in Windows 8.1;
1.8 Switching Between Running Apps in Windows 8.1;
1.9 Logging Out Of and Locking Windows 8.1;
1.10 Using Touch Gestures in Windows 8.1;
1.11 Using Windows 8.1 with a Keyboard and Mouse;
1.12 Using the On-Screen Keyboard;
1.13 Shutting Down and Restarting Windows 8.1;
1.14 Summary;
Chapter 2: Using Email and the Internet;
2.1 Top Tips from This Chapter;
2.2 Getting Online with Windows 8.1;
2.3 Getting Quick Access to Your Email;
2.4 Using the Internet Explorer 11 App;
2.5 Using Outlook on the Desktop in Windows RT;
2.6 Summary;
Chapter 3: Sharing Your Files, Photos, Music, and Video;
3.1 Top Tips from This Chapter;
3.2 The Windows 8.1 Sharing Tool;
3.3 Sharing with Other People in Your Home;
3.4 Connecting Windows 8.1 and Your Xbox;
3.5 Connecting to Other Devices in Your Home;
3.6 Summary;
Chapter 4: Downloading and Using Apps and Programs;
4.1 Top Tips from This Chapter;
4.2 Using the Windows Store;
4.3 Organizing App Icons on the Start Screen;
4.4 Viewing All Your Installed Apps and Programs;
4.5 Switching Between Running Apps and Programs;
4.6 Viewing Apps Side by Side;
4.7 Viewing Two Desktop Windows Side by Side;
4.8 Uninstalling Apps and Programs in Windows 8.1;
4.9 Summary;
Chapter 5: Watching and Listening to Your Videos and Music;
5.1 Top Tips from This Chapter;
5.2 Watching Your Videos in Windows 8.1;
5.3 Playing Your Music in Windows 8.1;
5.4 Using Windows Media Player;
5.5 Summary;
Chapter 6: Importing, Viewing, and Editing Your Photographs and Videos;
6.1 Top Tips from This Chapter;
6.2 Importing Photos and Video from Your Digital Camera;
6.3 Advanced Photo and Video Import Using Windows Photo Gallery;
6.4 Viewing Your Photos in Windows 8.1;
6.5 Editing Your Photos in Windows Photo Gallery;
6.6 Using Your Lock Screen as a Digital Photo Frame;
6.7 Summary;
Chapter 7: Personalizing your Windows 8.1 Experience;
7.1 Top Tips from this Chapter;
7.2 Personalizing the Start screen;
7.3 Personalizing the Desktop;
7.4 Making Things on Your Screen Larger or Smaller;
7.5 Making Windows 8.1 Easier to Use;
7.6 Personalizing the Lock Screen;
7.7 Start Your PC Direct to the Desktop;
7.8 Summary;
Chapter 8: Connecting To and Using Extra Hardware with Your Computer;
8.1 Top Tips from This Chapter;
8.2 Attaching and Using a Printer;
8.3 Setting the Default Printer;
8.4 Printing in Windows 8.1;
8.5 Connecting to Network Storage and Devices;
8.6 Using a Second Screen with Your Computer;
8.7 Summary;
Chapter 9: Using Windows 8.1 for Work;
9.1 Top Tips from This Chapter;
9.2 Using Microsoft Office in Windows 8.1;
9.3 Using the Desktop in Windows 8.1;
9.4 Maximizing Battery Life on Your Laptop or Tablet;
9.5 Summary;
Chapter 10: Using Older Software and Programs;
10.1 Top Tips from This Chapter;
10.2 Windows Tablets and Desktop Programs;
10.3 Installing Desktop Programs in Windows 8.1;
10.4 Running Programs on the Windows Desktop;
10.5 Uninstalling Desktop Programs in Windows 8.1;
10.6 Summary;
Chapter 11: Keeping You and Your Family Safe;
11.1 Top Tips from This Chapter;
11.2 Setting Up Additional Users on Your Computer;
11.3 Viruses, Malware, and Phishing Explained;
11.4 Using Windows Defender to Keep Your Computer Safe;
11.5 Browsing Safely with Internet Explorer 11;
11.6 Setting Up and Using Family Safety;
11.7 Summary;
Chapter 12: Keeping Your Computer Running Smoothly;
12.1 Top Tips from This Chapter;
12.2 How to Keep Your Files Backed Up;
12.3 Refreshing Windows 8.1;
12.4 Creating a Recovery Drive;
12.5 Refreshing Windows 8.1 from a Recovery Drive;
12.6 Using System Restore to Rescue Windows;
12.7 Maintaining Windows 8.1;
12.8 Summary;
Chapter 13: More Top Tips for Using Windows 8;
13.1 Use a Picture Password;
13.2 Use a Secure Password;
13.3 Use Libraries in Windows 8.1;
13.4 Reinstall all Your Apps in One Go;
13.5 Get Extra Information from the Start Screen;
13.6 Bookmark Web Pages and App Information to Read Later;
13.7 Make Sure You Keep Regular Backups;
13.8 Start Your PC Directly to the Desktop;
13.9 Create a Custom Refresh Image;
13.10 Using the Calendar and Clocks on the Desktop Taskbar;
13.11 Choosing the Programs that Open Files;
13.12 Managing Your Default Sound Devices;
13.13 Turn It Off and On Again;
13.14 Summary;

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    Microsoft Windows has evolved and matured over time, but Windows

    Microsoft Windows has evolved and matured over time, but Windows 8.1 is nothing short of a paradigm shift in both design and use.  Even experienced users might feel disoriented at first.  I have been using Windows since version 3.0 and consider myself a power user, if not an expert.  I began using Windows 8.0 during the first public beta and I had to either figure things out on my own or cobble together usage information based on word-of-mouth or a lucky website hit.  Windows 8.1 has been released and while usability has been improved, it is still a radical departure from Windows 7.  Maybe you have purchased a new computer and feel confused by the new environment.  Maybe you are a Windows 7 expert and just need a few pointers to get you over the hump.  Maybe you love Windows 8.1 but just want to make sure you are getting the most out of your device.  No matter which type of user you are, “Windows 8.1:  Out of the Box” by Mike Halsey is for you.

    (Before I go further I will say there is one type of user who won’t get much out of this book.  If you are the type of user who wants to write scripts, schedule tasks, partition your hard drives, or do anything low-level, this is not the book you seek.  This book is intended for general operations and consumption.)

    “Windows 8.1:  Out of the Box” is a short book.  You can read it cover-to-cover, but don’t feel like you must.  The book is written in such a way that you can quickly skip from topic-to-topic without feeling like you are missing something.  That being said, if you are completely new to Windows 8.1, I suggest reading chapter one before reading anything else.  It covers the themes and navigation that are common to the entire experience.  After that, skip around at will.  For the purpose of this review, I read it from start to finish.  

    Mike Halsey presents Windows 8.1 is the same way a user might discover it.  Chapter 1 tells you how to get around in Windows 8.1.  Chapter 2 helps you connect email and get on the internet.  Chapter 3 helps you pull photos, music, and video from other devices in your home and also share that content to your XBOX.  Chapter 4 discusses the new Windows app store.  Chapter 5 shows you how to consume videos and music.  Chapter 6 explores viewing and editing photographs and videos.
    After that, Halsey writes about more advanced topics, such as customizing the Windows look and feel, attaching printers and multiple monitors, and maximizing battery life for portable devices.  But my favorite chapters came at the end, and they were my favorite because I learned the most new information from these chapters.  Chapter 11 deals with safe computing.  Chapter 12 reveals all the integrated utilities to back-up your data, make recovery drives, and using system restore.  And Chapter 13 is fun as well, with the Read Later utility a hidden gem that was new to me.

    At a mere $9.99 MSRP, “Windows 8.1:  Out of the Box” is a book that lets you choose the approach to learning.  If you want to gently glide into Windows 8.1, this book is for you.  If you are a Windows 7 power user and just can’t figure out how to do simple tasks because things aren't where they used to be, this book will quickly get you back to the task at hand.  It’s a perfect Windows companion, whether you’re using a tablet, laptop, or desktop.  For 90% of Windows 8.1 users, this is the only computer book you are likely to need.  

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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