Sebastopol, CA--Windows users, especially those who have been comfortable with their Windows 98 or Me computers, may find their first look at Windows XP disorienting. In fact, there hasn't been so dramatic a change in Windows computing since the introduction of Windows 95. The erstwhile icon-studded desktop is now astonishingly bare, and users are disconcerted to find that even the Start menu is alien to them. Although the look is not unfriendly, and most new users know that the new Windows XP promises to be the best version of the operating system yet, there is one important feature that seems to have been overlooked: printed documentation. But for those who find themselves reaching for a manual to help them come up to speed, bestselling author David Pogue comes through once again with Windows XP Home Edition: The Missing Manual (Pogue Press/O'Reilly, $US 24.95)--the book that should have been in the box.
"Microsoft's goal in creating XP was gigantic," says Pogue. "It wanted to merge its home line--the friendly but cranky Windows 95, 98, and Me--with its corporate line--the unattractive but rock-solid Windows NT and 2000--into a single, unified operating system that offers the best of both. If you're used to one of the home versions you may be surprised by some of the resulting changes; under the colorful, three-dimensional new skin of Windows XP Home lurks Windows 2000, which includes some of its beefy security features. This book will help you get through them."
Windows XP offers dozens of important new features. In addition to the vastly more elegant user interface, it offers drag-and-drop CD burning, powerful built-in features for viewing and managing digital photos and music, and a Remote Assistance feature that lets invited PC gurus or help-desk technicians see and even manipulate what's on your screen over the Internet. The latest Missing Manual includes authoritative coverage of every new feature, from the two-column Start menu to setting up a small-office network and sharing an Internet connection among several PCs.
Written in the warm, witty, jargon-free style for which the Missing Manual Series is known, the book begins with a tour of the Desktop and the Start menu, with tips for customizing the taskbar and toolbars. Later chapters explore the components of Windows XP, including an item-by-item discussion of the software that makes up this operating system--not just the items in the Control Panel, but the long list of free programs that Microsoft includes: Windows Media Player, Movie Maker, WordPad, and so on. Later chapters cover Windows online--the Internet-related features of Windows--and the operating system's relationship to the equipment you can attach to your PC such as scanners, cameras, printers, etc.
"Windows XP Home Edition: The Missing Manual" is designed to accommodate readers at every technical level. The primary discussions are written for advanced beginner or intermediate PC users. But first-time Windows users will find special sidebar articles called "Up To Speed" that provide the introductory information they'll need. For advanced PC users, shaded boxes called "Power Users' Clinic" offer technical tips, tricks, and shortcuts. Throughout the book, Pogue reveals the refreshing humor, technical insight, and crystal-clear, plain-English prose that made number one bestsellers out of his other books in the Missing Manual Series, including Mac OS X, Windows Me, and iMovie 2.
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