suggestions, and examples of how to optimize your computer for performance, not
just appearance. This book won’t just teach you how to configure your computer—
it’ll teach you how to squeeze out every last bit of power and how to make the most
out of the features and programs included in Windows Vista. It’ll also teach you how
to take advantage of the latest features, such as Windows ReadyBoost.
Also, unlike many other books on the subject, this book doesn’t focus on a specific
user level. This isn’t a lightweight beginner book or a book written exclusively for
developers or administrators. Regardless of whether you are a beginner, power user,
or seasoned professional, many of the concepts in this book will be valuable to you.
And you’ll be able to apply them to your computer regardless of which edition of
Windows Vista you are using.
How This Book Is Organized
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and this book wasn’t intended to be read in a day, a
week, or even 21 days. Ideally, you’ll read this book at your own pace, a little each
day as you work your way through all the features Windows Vista has to offer. This
book is organized into 5 parts and 29 chapters. The chapters are arranged in a logi-
cal order, taking you from the simplest tasks to the more advanced ones. The tasks
you’ll perform the most and will get the most benefit from are right up front. The
tasks you’ll perform less often but will find extremely important for maintaining your
computer come later. Paul Marquardt contributed to the chapters in Part IV and
wrote Chapter 25.
In Part I, Setting Up, Customizing, and Tuning Windows Vista, you’ll find everything
you need to set up, customize, and optimize Windows Vista’s core features.
Chapter 1, Getting Started with Windows Vista
Provides details on getting started with Windows Vista. You’ll learn about the
various editions of the product, upgrade options, starting and using Windows
Vista, and critical changes from earlier releases of Windows.
Chapter 2, Optimizing Windows Vista’s Interface
Focuses on optimizing the user interface in Windows Vista. You’ll also learn
about new features, including live thumbnails, Windows Flip, Windows Flip
3D, Windows Sidebar, and gadgets.
Chapter 3, Fine-Tuning Windows Vista’s Appearance and Performance
Provides tips and techniques for fine-tuning Windows Vista’s appearance and
performance. You’ll also learn how to personalize Windows Vista.
Chapter 4, Installing, Configuring, and Maintaining Software
Discusses installing and configuring the software, and includes extensive details
on how software installation has changed and the features you can use to man-
age the software once it’s installed.