The Barnes & Noble Review
Even beginners know more than they used to. And they certainly want to do different things with their computers than they used to. So Andy Rathbone has thoroughly overhauled his bestselling Windows XP for Dummies. The new edition is ideal for the 21st-century Windows XP newcomer -- and for millions of non-experts who wouldn’t call themselves beginners anymore.
Nearly 50 percent of Windows XP for Dummies, Second Edition is new. For instance, Rathbone’s expanded email chapter includes setting up Outlook Express for AOL and for free webmail services like Yahoo! and Hotmail. Also covered here: finding lost mail; managing your contacts with Address Book; and (by popular demand) Windows instant messaging.
Rathbone’s rewritten his digital media coverage to reflect Microsoft’s WMP 10; he covers everything from playing MP3s to duplicating music CDs. (Nifty tip #1: how to update your song’s tags to make sure your MP3 player recognizes them. Nifty tip #2: how to turn off copy protection so you don’t accidentally prevent yourself from playing your own ripped music.)
Of course, all the basics are still here: using the Windows XP interface, working with Windows’ applets, managing files, getting onto the Internet, and so forth. But this edition also covers everything from Windows XP Service Pack 2’s firewall to anti-Spam tools. Nice touch: a full chapter of Windows’ most common error messages, and how to react to them (panic is not necessary). If you don't need this book, chances are you know someone who does. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2003 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.