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October 22, 2004

"Windows XP Power Hound": Teach Yourself Some New Tricks

Sebastopol, CA--"Windows XP is the most powerful, stable, useful, and all-around fun operating system Microsoft has released yet," says Preston Gralla, author of the new Windows XP Power Hound (O'Reilly, US $24.95). Millions of people around the globe use it every day and yet, he laments, "They have no idea what it can do for them." Windows XP is a complex program, certainly filled with quirks and annoyances, but boasting countless underused features, powerful tricks, and shortcuts that few people have taken the time to probe.

But Windows XP Power Hound offers users a choice: continue to grow progressively more frustrated while doing things the tedious way or become power hounds as they eliminate confusion, save time, take control, and explore the endless possibilities of Windows XP.

Covering Windows XP Home and Pro, Windows XP Power Hound delivers hundreds of solutions, power tips, cool tricks, clever tweaks, and workarounds in one clearly organized, easy-to-use resource. "You can just open the book anywhere, read a hint, marvel at how cool it is, and then jump back 63 pages to read about another amazing trick," says Gralla. "Think of it as the 'Choose Your Own Adventure' of computer books."

Gralla gives readers expert guidance on everything from the desktop to Office programs to the registry, and he includes documented (but little-known) tips as well as previously undocumented tricks for everyday Windows XP users, including:

  • System Speedups: Shave precious minutes off the daily startup and shutdown routines; manage memory and use keyboard shortcuts to inject a jolt of efficiency into every task.
  • Screen Space: Turn a favorite web page into the PC's wallpaper--complete with live links; quadruple screen real estate with virtual desktops.
  • Files and Folders: Find anything on the hard drive; rename groups of documents in one fell swoop; compress files to save space or make email faster.
  • Utilities: Establish an effective backup system; set up a handy fax program--even without an extra phone line.
  • Microsoft Office: Use invisible ink in Word; reduce the size of PowerPoint files; nix Clippy, the animated paper clip.
  • Internet: Secure the system; surf faster; take control of bookmarks; slam spam.
  • Registry: Understand and master the central nervous system of the operating system; make it do everything from speeding up a home network to resolving hardware problems.
  • Although each of the tips in Windows XP Power Hound stands alone, Gralla is betting readers won't want to stop at just one--and promises to make power hounds out of all.

    Additional Resources:

    Windows XP Power Hound
    Preston Gralla
    ISBN 0-596-00619-5, 359 pages, $24.95 US, $36.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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