The Barnes & Noble Review
If you’re like most Windows XP users, you often find yourself wondering, How do I do that? And it isn’t always obvious how to find out. If only someone could dispense with the technical blather, and just show you. Someone has: the authors of Show Me! Microsoft Windows XP.
With this book, it’s child’s play to answer hundreds of the questions you’re most likely to ask. This is the flagship title in a new series of books that combine a wonderfully clean design, lucid, step-by-step instructions, and plenty of screen shots to guide you every step of the way.
But that’s not all. Once you buy the book, go straight to its companion site. There, you can download exclusive software that’ll walk you through every procedure in the book in digital video. It even talks you through the process. Who else offers that?
These books come from Perspection, Inc., a training firm with more than a decade’s worth of experience creating courseware that’s easy to learn from. (They’ve also been responsible for more than 60 tech books. More than 4.5 million people have learned from their books alone.) You can be pretty confident you’ll understand what they’re teaching you.
If you’ve just upgraded to Windows XP (or you’ve just bought a PC that has it preinstalled), start with the review of XP’s new features, and the exploration of the Windows desktop -- including the heavily revamped Start menu.
The book’s chapter on running and managing programs covers everything from built-in Windows applets (how to set paragraph tabs and indents in WordPad) to running programs that are finicky about Windows XP (tricking a program to think it’s running under Windows 98).
You’ll find practical coverage of managing files and folders (how to rename a folder, add one to your Favorites list, or create a shortcut to a folder on the Desktop -- or even the Start menu or Taskbar. Oh, and the ever-popular: “I hate those big folder icons. How do I change them to a list -- and then get all my folders to look that way?”
Pretty much anything you want to do with Windows XP’s Internet features is covered here. Browsing the Web (and changing your home page.) Maintaining favorites. Viewing sites you’ve already visited, using the History list. (Most folks don’t even know it’s there, but it’s there, quietly tracking everywhere you’ve gone in the past 20 days.) Creating email “stationery.”
You’ll even learn how to automatically organize your email (so all your friend’s allegedly “funny” messages go into her folder automatically, where you can read them whenever you’ve got time.)
Next, there’s a full chapter on holding Web discussions, phone calls, and videoconferences with Windows Messenger. (This stuff’s simpler than you think -- and way cheaper than the phone company.)
You’ll find chapters on both Windows Media Player and the newest Windows Movie Maker, as well as practical coverage of Windows security: passwords, firewalls, XP Professional encryption, even the Internet Explorer Content Advisor.
Printing and faxing, cleaning up junk to make more room on your disk, changing game controller settings, backing up your files -- it’s all here. Easy. Quick. Done. 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.