Used price: $9.00
Collectible price: $25.95
Used price: $12.68
Buy one from zShops for: $12.15
I was surprised that this book wasn't shortlisted in the Australian Children's Book Awards, but did at least rate a mention in the notable books list.
Used price: $10.19
Buy one from zShops for: $10.20
With the analyses that covered both the Home and the Professional editions of Windows XP, it contains every information any intermediate user of the software would need. However, the more acquainted a user of this book is with any of the Windows 9x editions, the easier he or she will find this book. Even power-users appreciate the helpful annotations that are found in most of the sections.
But given the listed price of this book, it is a shame that Norton did not back it up with a CD-ROM. Nearly all comparable texts come with attached easy-to-use CD-ROMs, which serve as comprehensive e-books. And although that I still agree that this is a good book, I will say that its value for money ranks lower than those of many comparable texts that come with CD-ROMs.
Used price: $16.50
Used price: $1.29
Buy one from zShops for: $1.99
This book is not good for advanced users though. Whether it claims to be or not, DON'T BUY THIS BOOK IF YOU KNOW A FAIR AMOUNT ABOUT COMPUTER HARDWARE ALREADY. If you do you will be disappointed. That's why I always go for books that are more advanced to push myself.
Used price: $0.74
Collectible price: $13.75
You would think such a title would, at least, have its share of useful information. Trust me, it's slim pickings.
Out of 1160 pages of text, there are three on startup problems. Basically, you are told to start in Safe Mode. If you can't, good luck!
An example of the type of help you can expect is on page 20 of Chapter One (introductory material): "A value could tell you which interrupt and I/O port settings a piece of hardware uses. Suffice it to say that you'll find the value you need by using the keys, but you'll find the actual information you need by reading the values. There are three types of values: binary, string, and DWORD. Usually, only applications use the binary and DWORD value types. Values usually store configuration data in a format that can't be understood by humans."
I will modestly add, the way the early topics are explained is truly extraterrestrial. But for people who usually reside on this planet (as, I think, I do) this book is to be avoided. I kick myself for having wasted hours trying to follow the first two hundred or so pages.
This book would do well in a competition for the worst book ever written in the English language. I recommend it as a collector's item for that reason.
The power primers helped get my overloaded and underpowered system running better. I don't have the money to upgrade my system every few months, so getting the most out of what I have now is very important.
Once I did run into problems with my machine, the various theory and troubleshooting sections helped a lot. I found Chapter 15 especially helpful when I couldn't get games to run properly. The material on DirectX was great, even if it is a little out of date.
So, if you're looking for a book that's going to give you everything you need, try this one. I found that it really helped me when I needed it.
This book is a tad theory heavy, but even here the author excels. I now know how various parts of Windows 95 operate, making it much easier for me to diagnose problems with my system. The clear and easy to understand diagrams are a real plus. Again, the author lists filenames in the theory section. These file listings recently helped me fix a problem DLL (also known as DLL hell) by simply copying a new version of the DLL over the old one.
One of the authors, John Mueller, thoughtfully left his email address as part of the About the Author. I contacted him and found him extremely helpful and thoughtful of my concerns. Even though Windows 95 is old news, the author spent considerable time helping me use his book more effectively and even helped me around some problems areas within the book.
About the only two problems with this book are the index (not the author's fault since the publisher puts this together for him) and the lack of new hardware information. However, considering this book was put out before much of the modern hardware appeared on the scene, I can hardly blame the author for this oversight. My only thought is that he should keep the book up-to-date better for those of us who are still using Windows 95 and not filling Microsoft's pockets by buying Windows 98.
List price: $29.99 (that's 50% off!)
Used price: $9.00
Buy one from zShops for: $26.50
The book assumes you are already familier with the old diagnostic tools. For example, it tells you that the untility Dr Watson is much improved but only hints at what the utility does and gives no instruction for using it. (you will not find Dr Watson on the start menu so new users will not be able to even open it.)
I bought the book mainly because I have a software problem with my new computer. This book told me about starting in safe mode and went on to say that if that did not work the problem could be very difficult to track down. Thank you Mr Norton.
Unlike one of the other previous reviewers, I found the background and theory portions of the book to be incredibly useful in figuring out just what has gotten out of whack with a system that is giving me fits. The explanations of memory usage, peripheral drivers, and FAT32 should be required reading for anyone who does more than word processing on their computer.
In addition, the author provides really good productivity tips that have made working with Windows a pleasant experience. I usually don't have a lot of time to waste getting things done, so anything that helps me work more efficiently is welcome.
The big negative for this book is that the author spends a lot of time discussing theory. He'll talk about how things work for pages at a time. While this is OK if you have a lot of time to read, it's time consuming to dig through pages of theory to find the one piece of useful information you need. I did find the theory useful, so I can't say the author was completely wrong in adding it to the book, I just wish all of the theory had been included in separate sections so I could ignore it.
I gave the book five stars because it is an essential reference despite the organizational flaws. Any book that can fix as many problems as this one can deserves high marks. Perhaps the author will include less theory the next time around.
Used price: $0.52
Buy one from zShops for: $1.98
Used price: $1.40
Collectible price: $21.18
Buy one from zShops for: $4.00
A must read for computer folks that use and work with NT Workstation.
Used price: $5.95
Buy one from zShops for: $11.40