The Windows XP/2000 Answer Book: A Complete Resource from the Desktop to the Enterprise
Author: John Savill
Available for download is chapter 3 entitled “Windows XP”.
We all agree that there are many ways of studying. One well-known way is learning from your mistakes. Most of us (I’m talking about people who have computers for friends, company and neighborhood) are self-educated. I spent countless hours in front of my machines trying unbelievable stuff as time went by. I was always surprised at dawn when I was able to see other humanoids go to work. This is one of those books that will help you avoid what I went through.
About the author
John Savill is an independent consultant to worldwide banking institutions and an MCSE who has been working with Windows NT since version 3.51. He authors the highly regarded Windows 2000/XP/.NET FAQ Web site, and has been awarded a Windows NT MVP from Microsoft for his superior product knowledge and practical skills. In addition, he serves contributing editor to various publications and is the author of “The Windows NT and Windows 2000 Answer Book (Addison – Wesley, 1999).
Inside the book
Every time I encounter a problem and I ask myself: “How can I make this work” I use Google to search for the answer and browse different websites looking for some FAQs. But, no matter how many material I have on my disk drives, the search for the right answer is still a very exhausting process. And here comes this interesting title…
Let me make an insight of this book which I am holding in my hands (namely on my desk because it’s very heavy). The book covers NT systems starting from NT 4 to XP with detailed elaborations of all their differences and possibilities. You have to know that this is not a common book, but one big FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) of more than a 1000 pages. It discusses all: starting from “what is NT” through “installation” to “scripting and batch files”.
In the beginning I thought: “Who will find himself between of all that material?”, but if you look a little closer you realize that the book very well organized and it contains introductory questions and answers for every bigger chapter. Something like “1000 times why, 1000 times because”. I have counted that this book has 1510 answers on different questions, and 1228 pages, so it means that it has approximately 80% of a page for each question, and that makes a good average.
The first five chapters illustrate something so familiar for all you out there with many operating systems installations under your belt. It starts with an introduction on NT, its core and what do we need in order to install it. The chapter covering installations is huge and covers a myriad of problems. It’s interesting to see that the author discusses service packs immediately after an overview of installation. I regard some compliments to that. Just try to remember the number of service packs fo NT 4!
After you’ve installed everything, you need to configure it. The author discusses system configuration and user configuration and this is very useful since when we configure the system by our needs, we spend more time on configuration then installation. Here you find all sorts of useful tips like removing the Windows Messenger (btw, that was my first move when I installed XP).
Within the next few chapters the author covers registry, recovery and backup. Moving on he talks about TCP/IP, NetBIOS and also Domains and Active Directory what can be used in real life. As regards security, the author writes about logs and security permissions, topics that are usually not for beginners. “Command prompt” is the name of the chapter that’s really useful if you want to learn something about the NT command line interface.
What I think of it
The examples in this book are organized very well for easy access. This is a perfect reference guide both for system administrators and home users that want to solve problems without wasting time searching for the answers. It is a massive book, but you should have it on your bookshelf.