Windows XP Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Techniques

Overview

Windows XP is the latest, most reliable, and best-looking version of the Windows operating system to emerge yet. As the result of the unification of Microsoft's corporate series (Windows NT and 200) with the home series (Windows 95, 98, and Me), Windows XP offers much that is pleasing to its users: rock-solid stability and a fresh new look. But power users who want to take command of their operating systems will find the same old frustrations: it's never been easy to get under the hood of a Windows system and ...

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Overview

Windows XP is the latest, most reliable, and best-looking version of the Windows operating system to emerge yet. As the result of the unification of Microsoft's corporate series (Windows NT and 200) with the home series (Windows 95, 98, and Me), Windows XP offers much that is pleasing to its users: rock-solid stability and a fresh new look. But power users who want to take command of their operating systems will find the same old frustrations: it's never been easy to get under the hood of a Windows system and Windows XP is no exception.Now power users can rejoice! Windows XP Hacks offers tips, tools, and know-how to bend Windows XP to your will. The book delves into XP topics such as controlling the control panel, changing unchangeable icons, removing uninstallable XP components, stopping pop-up ads, taking a bite out of cookies, speeding up file downloads, protecting yourself with firewalls and proxy servers, and more. Users of both Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Pro Edition will find smart, timesaving, fun, and useful hacks for virtually every feature in their operating system. Even if you're not a power user yet, this book will have you well on your way.Each Hack in the book can be read easily in a few minutes, saving countless hours of searching for the right answer. Windows XP Hacks provides direct, hands-on solutions that can be applied to the challenges facing both those meeting Windows XP for the first time as well as long-time users who know what they want from their operating system and just wants tips on how to get it.Windows XP Hacks is the latest in O'Reilly's new Hacks Series which aims to begin reclaiming the term "hacking" for the good guys. In recent years, the term has come to be associated with those nefarious black hats who break into computers to snoop, steal information or disrupt Internet traffic. But the term originally had a more benign meaning, and you'll still hear it used this way whenever developers get together. Our new Hacks books are written in the spirit of the true hackers — the people who drive innovation.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Windows XP continues to generate manuals. Hacks offers power users 100 step-by-step ways to improve their productivity and user experience by tweaking Windows XP systems, from user interface modifications, to registry hacks, to the addition of useful freeware and shareware applications. XP's increased stability and built-in error recovery tools make it a good candidate for hacks (i.e., code to solve a problem or glitch); multiple people contributed hacks of their own, and their collective wisdom results in a good addition for larger public libraries seeking to expand beyond how-to introductions. The other three guides are appropriate for all libraries. For beginning to intermediate readers, TechTV updates the first edition with information on the changes in XP Service Pack 1 and 1a; tips, notes, and cautions add extra info, and each chapter ends with a longer point from one of TechTV's experts. Appendixes cover upgrading to XP, accessories, and accessibility options. Especially useful is an extensive maintenance and troubleshooting section. Show Me offers more screen shots, tips, "See Also" references, and information on topics as basic as using the mouse. Step-by-step instructions and no assumption of previous knowledge equal a great choice for absolute beginners; buy in conjunction with more advanced titles. Top 100 shows step by step and in full color how to accomplish timesaving and useful tasks, from adding desktop images to sending a FAX. Each task is assigned a level of difficulty; notes, cautions, and asides add further information, and clear explanations tell why each tip or trick is useful. Oddly, some tasks, such as "Searching with Google," are not unique to Windows XP. For near-beginners. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596005115
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/22/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Preston Gralla, the author of more than 20 books, is also a freelance journalist and columnist. He has written for major national newspapers and magazines, including PC Magazine, Computerworld, the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News (where he was the technology columnist), USA Today and several others. A well-known technology expert, Preston has also appeared on many TV and radio programs and networks, including CNN, MSNBC and NPR. In addition, he's won a number of awards for his writing, including for "Best Feature in a Computer Magazine" from the Computer Press Association. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Credits;
About the Author;
Contributors;
Acknowledgments;
Preface;
How to Use This Book;
How This Book Is Organized;
Conventions Used in This Book;
How to Contact Us;
Chapter 1: Startup and Shutdown;
1.1 Hacks #1-7;
1.2 Customize Multiboot Startup Options;
1.3 Change the Picture that Appears on the XP Startup Screen;
1.4 Speed Up Boot and Shutdown Times;
1.5 Halt Startup Programs and Services;
1.6 Create Multiple Startup Profiles with Advanced Startup Manager;
1.7 Miscellaneous Startup and Shutdown Hacks;
1.8 Control User Logins by Hacking the Registry;
Chapter 2: The User Interface;
2.1 Hacks #8-20;
2.2 Customize the GUI with TweakUI;
2.3 Control the Control Panel;
2.4 Hack the Start Menu and Taskbar;
2.5 Clean Up the Most Frequently Used Programs List;
2.6 Rename and Change “Unchangeable” Desktop Icons and System Objects;
2.7 Remove “Unremovable” Desktop Icons;
2.8 Create Your Own XP Themes and Find Thousands Online;
2.9 Give XP a Makeover with WindowBlinds;
2.10 Hacking Your Way Through the Interface;
2.11 Remove “Uninstallable” XP Utilities;
2.12 Create Transparent Windows;
2.13 Make Your Own Cursors and Icons;
2.14 Windows XP to Windows 2000: Retro is Cool;
Chapter 3: Windows Explorer;
3.1 Hacks #21-32;
3.2 Generating Folder and File Listingsfor Printing or Editing;
3.3 Control Windows Explorer with Command-Line Shortcuts;
3.4 Empower Windows Explorer with PowerDesk;
3.5 Better File Rename;
3.6 Find Files Faster by Mastering the Indexing Service’s Query Language;
3.7 Hiding Folders and Files with the Encrypting File System;
3.8 Forcing Windows Explorer Into True Usefulness;
3.9 Customize Folder Icons and Balloon Text;
3.10 A Power User’s Hidden Weapon: Improve the Context Menu;
3.11 Take Your Work on the Go with Offline Files and the Briefcase;
3.12 Get More Hard Disk Space by Using NTFS Compression;
3.13 Put a Command-Line Prompt on Your Desktop;
Chapter 4: The Web;
4.1 Hacks #33-41;
4.2 Stop Pop Ups, Spyware, and Web Bugs;
4.3 Take a Bite Out of Cookies;
4.4 Read Web Pages Offline;
4.5 Better Internet Searching from Your Desktop;
4.6 Hack Internet Explorer with the Group Policy Editor;
4.7 Speed Up File Downloads;
4.8 Surf Anonymously Without a Trace;
4.9 Secrets of Web Site Hosting with Internet Information Services (IIS);
4.10 Run Java Applets Without Crashes or Problems;
Chapter 5: Networking;
5.1 Hacks #42-62;
5.2 War Driving for WiFi Access;
5.3 Test Your Security with Shields Up!;
5.4 Tweak DNS Settings for Faster Internet Access;
5.5 Fix Windows Media Player’s Privacy Problems;
5.6 Protect Your Computer with the Internet Connection Firewall;
5.7 Use a Proxy Server to Protect Your PC;
5.8 ZoneAlarm: The World’s Best Free Firewall;
5.9 Optimize Your Residential Gateway;
5.10 Punch an Escape Hole Through Your Firewall;
5.11 Close Down Open Ports and Block Protocols;
5.12 Troubleshooting Network Connections with ping, tracert, and pathping;
5.13 Troubleshooting Network Connections with netsh, netstat, and ipconfig;
5.14 Speed Up Network Browsing;
5.15 Extend the Range of Your Wireless Network;
5.16 Install NetBEUI for Better Peer-to-Peer Networking;
5.17 Check WiFi Network Performance with QCheck to Help Improve Throughput;
5.18 Control Another PC with Remote Access;
5.19 Make Servers Always Available by Mapping a Hostname to a Dynamic IP Address;
5.20 Renewing Your DHCP-Assigned IP Address;
5.21 Repair a Broken TCP/IP Connection;
5.22 Set Up a Virtual Private Network;
Chapter 6: Email;
6.1 Hacks #63-67;
6.2 Slam That Spam;
6.3 Open Blocked File Attachments in Outlook and Outlook Express;
6.4 Back Up and Restore Outlook and Outlook Express Data Files;
6.5 Fire Outlook and Outlook Express;
6.6 Retrieve Web-Based Email with Your Email Software;
Chapter 7: The Registry;
7.1 Hacks #68-72;
7.2 Don’t Fear the Registry;
7.3 Hacking Away at the Registry;
7.4 Safely Edit the Registry Using .reg Files;
7.5 Better Registry Backups;
7.6 Track and Restore Registry Changes with RegSpy;
Chapter 8: Basic Utilities;
8.1 Hacks #73-79;
8.2 Store Multiple Clips and Boilerplate Text with a Better Clipboard;
8.3 Speed Up Your Hard Disk by Improving Defragging;
8.4 Build a Better Backup Strategy;
8.5 Extending Your Screen Real Estate with Virtual Desktops;
8.6 Top Screenshot Tips;
8.7 Going Beyond Messaging with Windows Messenger;
8.8 Universal Messaging: Trillian Unites AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, and ICQ;
Chapter 9: Applications;
9.1 Hacks #80-85;
9.2 Remove Unruly Applications and Uninstall Entries;
9.3 Force XP-Incompatible Applications to Run;
9.4 Force Older Programs to Use XP Common Controls;
9.5 Launch Applications with Command-Line Shortcuts;
9.6 Open and Create Microsoft Documents without Microsoft Office;
9.7 Stop Hidden Fields in Word from Stealing Your Files and Information;
Chapter 10: Graphics and Multimedia;
10.1 Hacks #86-90;
10.2 Image Conversion in a Pinch;
10.3 Problem-Free CD Burning;
10.4 Save Streaming Music to Your PC;
10.5 File Sharing without the Spyware;
10.6 Tips for Making Videos with Windows Movie Maker;
Chapter 11: System Performance;
11.1 Hacks #91-94;
11.2 Track System Performance with the Performance Console;
11.3 Getting the Most Out of Your RAM;
11.4 More Power: Registry Hacks to Speed Up XP;
11.5 Repair and Recovery with the Recovery Console;
Chapter 12: Hardware;
12.1 Hacks #95-100;
12.2 Troubleshoot Hardware by Decoding Device Manager Error Messages;
12.3 Uncover Hidden Hardware with the Device Manager;
12.4 Check Your PC’s Pulse and Tweak It for Better Performance;
12.5 Remap Your Keyboard;
12.6 Use ClearType for Better Laptop and LCD Resolution;
12.7 Networking on the Cheap: Set Up a Direct Cable Connection;
Colophon;

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2004

    Great book-If you are an expert!

    When I was in the store i started flipping through the book and i thought- Hey! Sounds like fun. but after i bought it i realized that it was the only easy hack in the book. BASICALLY: *DONT BUY THIS*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2004

    A Must Have for Power Users

    A lot of what is in this book is already common knowledge to the PC literate. However, Preston Gralla takes it beyond the realm of common place and delves deep into Microsoft's OS and it's labrynthine settings. Filled with tips and tricks for getting that little bit extra out of you're box, you'll enjoy this resource immensely!

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