Sebastopol, CA--The tide has changed dramatically for Windows administrators in recent years. With Windows NT, they were forced to do a lot with the few tools that were available to manage the operating system. Now, with Windows XP, administrators have literally thousands of programs, tools, commands, screens, scripts, buttons, tabs, menus, and settings to work with. Often, this is more than they can handle, especially when faced with a problem.
"To take full advantage of Windows XP, you have to know lots of gory technical details," comments Robbie Allen, coauthor of Windows XP Cookbook (O'Reilly, US $44.95). "We've been doing Windows system administration for nine years, and we still have a difficult time recalling the correct tool, command, or scripting interface for certain tasks." Between Microsoft's documentation and all the books that detail the theory behind Windows XP technology, he says, "neither provides a quick and easy way to find solutions to an immediate problem."
With Windows XP Cookbook, Allen and coauthor Preston Gralla offer a guide that addresses hundreds of day-to-day tasks and vexations that users are likely to encounter. "IT staff and administrators are increasingly overworked, and need to do more in less time," Gralla explains. "Our book helps them get to the core of the problems they need to solve right away. Based on our own experience, hours of research, and years of hanging out on newsgroups and mailing lists, we've compiled more than 325 recipes that should answer many of the 'How do I?' questions you could ask about Windows XP."
From installation, configuration, and maintenance, to disk management, editing the Windows Registry, and more, Windows XP Cookbook is useful for anyone who has to use, administer, or automate this OS--not just administrators of Windows networks, but also power users who want to tweak home PCs. Among hundreds of tasks, readers will find ways to turn off XP's annoying balloon messages, stop mysterious tasks from running, turn a PC into a jukebox, run multiple OSes simultaneously, and tackle network settings when moving a laptop from one wireless network to another.
"Together, the two of us have several decades of experience working with different versions of Windows on standalone machines and various sized networks," Gralla notes. "We've distilled our knowledge of Windows XP into the step-by-step Cookbook approach so that readers can get what they want fast. People are tired of books stuffed with filler. They want to get more out of an operating system immediately, without having to wade through explanations they don't need."
For those unfamiliar with O'Reilly's successful Cookbook format, Windows XP Cookbook comprises recipes that succinctly state problems and offer practical solutions with clearly defined instructions. Following that is a detailed discussion about the solution, including how and why it works, and a "See Also" section contains references to additional sources of information. Most recipes include three ways to implement a solution: through a graphical user interface, a command-line interface, or by using scripts.
Between them, Allen and Gralla have written three dozen popular computer books on topics such as Windows Server 2003 and Active Directory. They know the Windows world inside out and understand what makes a technical book truly useful. "For computing professionals and power users, there's nothing more important than being able to troubleshoot Windows XP and get the most out of it," they observe. "Also, by mastering XP in corporate and home environments, they'll be well-prepared to handle Vista, the next version of windows, when it arrives."
Windows XP Cookbook
Robbie Allen and Preston Gralla
ISBN: 0-596-00725-6, 678 pages, $44.95 US, $62.95 CA
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