Windows XP Timesaving Techniques for Dummies

Overview

Computers were supposed to save us time, but Windows XP users know how often the opposite seems to be true. What if you could get a list of shortcuts that would save you time every single day? Windows XP Timesaving Techniques For Dummies, 2nd Edition includes 70 of them, great tips and tricks that make Windows work faster, more reliably, and more like the way you work.

Collected and tested by Windows guru Woody Leonhard, these timesavers are organized into groups of related ...

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Overview

Computers were supposed to save us time, but Windows XP users know how often the opposite seems to be true. What if you could get a list of shortcuts that would save you time every single day? Windows XP Timesaving Techniques For Dummies, 2nd Edition includes 70 of them, great tips and tricks that make Windows work faster, more reliably, and more like the way you work.

Collected and tested by Windows guru Woody Leonhard, these timesavers are organized into groups of related tasks so you can quickly find the ones that will help you at any given time. You can set up your desktop and launch your programs in the way that makes sense for you, take back control of the Internet and e-mail, manage your music and visual media, and protect your system in a few simple steps. You’ll find no-nonsense advice on

  • Eliminating irritating programs that start automatically
  • Speeding up the restart or shutdown process
  • Streamlining searches, the Start menu, and Outlook Express
  • Strengthening your firewall and zapping scumware
  • Adjusting your monitor to reduce eyestrain
  • Reducing download time for photos
  • Enhancing the performance of your network
  • Making online shopping faster as well as safer
  • Scheduling maintenance chores to run while you sleep

From the most basic to somewhat advanced tricks designed for power users, this grocery list of timesavers has something for every Windows XP user— including you!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
You’re running Windows XP (Home or Professional). You don’t need to learn how to point and click. But you suspect you could be doing a lot more with Windows XP. Getting the job done faster. Having more fun -- and fewer hassles. You’re right. And Woody Leonhard’s going to show you how, in Windows XP Timesaving Techniques for Dummies.

Leonhard’s been sharing his Microsoft expertise for years: His free Windows and Office email newsletters now reach more than 510,000 readers every week. Now he’s brought together some 600 pages of great Windows time savers into one incredibly easy book. We’re not talking about obscure registry tweaks that promise to deliver whopping 1% performance improvements but actually crash your computer. We’re talking about stuff that’s actually useful and doable.

These tips cover no less than 60 categories of tasks. You’ll learn how to customize your Windows desktop; create CDs and DVDs as quickly and effectively as possible; protect your privacy online; make the most of Outlook Express email; cope with your digital photos more efficiently -- and that’s just scratching the surface.

Leonhard focuses much of his attention on Windows XP’s improved networking features and rich media capabilities, often showing how to use Windows to do things that would’ve required costly add-ons in previous versions. (Sometimes add-ons are still required; Leonhard points those out, as well. And the book’s a gold mine of web links to deeper information: for example, complete guides to setting up your computer for multiple operating systems, or sites that contain free benchmark tools for seeing just how fast your computer is.

Take for example, the tip on getting Windows to start faster by skipping the logon screen (not for high-security environments, but handy for lots of other folks who always logon the same way to play the same games). Like a few of Leonhard’s tips, this one takes advantage of Windows XP PowerToys, which are definitely worth your time to download. (By the way, if you do need to see a logon screen -- maybe to change users -- you can always do that by pressing Shift while Windows starts.)

If you care about every last second, Leonhard also points you to Microsoft’s BootVis tool, which tweaks the boot process in all sorts of ways you probably don’t want to know about.

It’s conventional wisdom that adding memory improves performance. Often, it does -- but Leonhard also tells you when it won’t. (You could save some bucks.)

There’s also plenty of coverage here for notebook users. Leonard helps you make the most of standby and hibernate, and identifies some power-saving choices that could save you both time and battery life. There’s even a trick for deterring theft.

If you need an introductory guide to Windows XP, Leonhard’s earlier book, Windows XP All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies, fits the bill. But if you’re further along, Windows XP Timesaving Techniques for Dummies is tough to beat. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764578830
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 590
  • Product dimensions: 7.94 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Woody Leonhard: Curmudgeon, critic, and perennial “Windows Victim,” Woody Leonhard runs a fiercely independent Web site devoted to delivering the truth about Windows and Office, whether Microsoft likes it or not. With up-to-the-nanosecond news, observations, tips and help, AskWoody.com has become the premiere source of unbiased information for people who actually use the products.
In the past decade, Woody has written more than two dozen books, drawing an unprecedented six Computer Press Association awards and two American Business Press awards. Woody was one of the first Microsoft Consulting Partners and is a charter member of the Microsoft Solutions Provider organization. He’s widely quoted — and reviled — on the Redmond campus.

Justin Leonhard: Lives with his dad in Phuket, Thailand. Justin contributed to Windows XP All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies. He frequently helps Woody with various writing projects and keeps the office network going. Justin is an accomplished scuba diver, budding novelist, and the best video game player for miles. He was admitted to Mensa International at the age of 14.

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Table of Contents

Introduction.

Part I: No-Bull Installation and Setup.

Technique 1: Getting the Latest Version of Windows.

Technique 2: Running the Activation Gauntlet.

Technique 3: Retrieving Your Product Key.

Technique 4: Installing a Legal Copy of Windows XP over a Bootleg.

Part II: Making Windows Lean and Clean.

Technique 5: Making Windows Work Faster.

Technique 6: Shut Down, Restart, and Switch Users Quickly.

Technique 7: Saving Time (And Your Eyes) On-Screen.

Technique 8: Stopping a Thief with Your Welcome Screen.

Technique 9: Rapid Power Passwords.

Technique 10: Windows Power Management.

Technique 11: Keeping Programs from Starting Automatically.

Technique 12: Removing and Reinstalling Programs.

Part III: Convincing Windows to Work Your Way.

Technique 13: Streamlining the Start Menu.

Technique 14: Building a Power Desktop.

Technique 15: Tricking Out the Taskbar.

Technique 16: Launching Your Most-Used Programs Quickly.

Technique 17: Making Programs Run Your Way.

Technique 18: Using Built-In Keyboard Shortcuts.

Technique 19: Making Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts.

Technique 20: Exploring Effectively.

Technique 21: Finding the Files You Want Fast.

Technique 22: Listing Files Quickly.

Part IV: Making the Most of Internet and E-Mail.

Technique 23: Customizing Internet Explorer.

Technique 24: Saving Time with Google.

Technique 25: Locating and Sharing Files on the Internet.

Technique 26: Keeping Messenger in Line.

Technique 27: Polyglot IMing with Trillian.

Technique 28: Streamlining Outlook Express.

Technique 29: Zapping Junk Mail.

Technique 30: Protecting Your Kids.

Part V: Optimizing Your Musical Entertainment.

Technique 31: Using Windows Media Player.

Technique 32: No-Nonsense Music Gathering.

Technique 33: Buying Music on the Web.

Technique 34: Tuning In the Radio.

Technique 35: Creating Your Own Music CDs.

Technique 36: Transferring Music to MP3 Players.

Part VI: Having Fun and Saving Time with Visual Media.

Technique 37: Taking Snapshots with a Webcam.

Technique 38: Recording Video with a Webcam.

Technique 39: Editing Your Home Movies.

Technique 40: Managing Pictures from a Digital Camera.

Technique 41: Doing More with Your Pics.

Technique 42: Decreasing Picture Download Times.

Technique 43: Printing and Posting Pictures.

Technique 44: Using a Scanner Effectively.

Part VII: Ensuring Peak Network Performance.

Technique 45: Installing a Small Network.

Technique 46: Securing Your Wireless Network.

Technique 47: Adding and Configuring a New User.

Technique 48: Sharing Drives and Folders.

Part VIII: Fast Security Techniques.

Technique 49: Protecting Your PC from Viruses While You Sleep.

Technique 50: Plugging and Unplugging Windows Firewall.

Technique 51: Building a Better Firewall.

Technique 52: Zapping Scumware.

Technique 53: Canning Adware and Obnoxious Cookies.

Technique 54: Checking Your Security Perimeter.

Part IX: Keeping Your PC Alive.

Technique 55: Updating Windows on Your Own Terms.

Technique 56: Running Disk Chores While You Sleep.

Technique 57: Keeping Your Hard Drive in Shape.

Technique 58: Updating Drivers Safely.

Technique 59: Running Periodic Maintenance.

Technique 60: Making Backups — Fast.

Technique 61: Requesting Remote Assistance.

Technique 62: Getting Help Fast.

Part X: Fast (Nearly Painless) Disaster Recovery.

Technique 63: Getting Your PC to Boot When It Doesn’t Want To.

Technique 64: Restoring Your System after Calamitous Change.

Technique 65: Recovering a Lost Password.

Technique 66: Surviving the Blue Screen of Death.

Technique 67: Creating a Startup Disk.

Part XI: The Scary (Or Fun!) Stuff.

Technique 68: Changing the Registry without Getting Burned.

Technique 69: Updating Windows’ Registered Owner.

Technique 70: Speeding Up Scanning for Squishable Files.

Technique 71: Using Program Compatibility Modes.

Technique 72: Fast, Easy, and Safe Online Shopping.

Index.

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