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01. Windows 7 Annoyances

By David A. Karp

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  • Publisher: O'Reilly
  • ISBN: 9780596157623
  • Price: £30.99 (UK) $39.99 (US) Recommended Price
  • Available From: O'Reilly Media

windows 7 annoyances

Book Cover reproduced with kind permission of O'Reilly Media, Inc

In its quest to develop the perfect operating system, Microsoft has regularly caused more frustration than joy; and while Windows 7 is better than previous versions of Windows, its capacity to annoy users still persists. However, we cannot claim that every frustration is an annoyance; after all, what one person considers an annoyance can, and very often does, in the eyes of another, turn out to be a much needed feature.

Windows 7, fortunately, isn’t half as annoying as Windows Vista but, because Windows 7 was developed off of the Windows Vista kernel, there are still a lot of annoyances from the merging of the two that raise their ugly head.

For this reason it is important to have an informative book to hand that can quickly solve any impending problems. In this respect you need look no further than Windows 7 Annoyances by David Karp to provide timely tips, hacks and solutions to some of Windows 7’s major annoyances.

Comprising nine sections and two appendices Windows 7 Annoyances covers the following topics:

  1. Getting Started with Windows 7.
  2. Shell Tweaks.
  3. The Registry.
  4. Video, Audio and Media.
  5. Performance.
  6. Troubleshooting.
  7. Networking and Internet.
  8. Users and Security.
  9. Command Prompt and Automation.

The appendices cover:

  1. BIOS Settings.
  2. TCP/IP Ports.

It has to be said that the target audience for Windows 7 Annoyances is the advanced and power user rather than that of the beginner, with a large section of the book dedicated soley to the Windows Registry. While editing the registry is useful to the advanced user, it can be disastrous for the beginner who has more curiosity than technical know-how.

The registry can be a minefield to the uninitiated, and although many computer magazines regularly advise users to edit registry keys to solve specific problems, making the wrong changes can prove fatal. Fortunately, Karp describes editing the registry clearly and concisely and makes the point (pages 157-163) of providing step by step instructions on how to back up the all-important registry prior to making any such changes.

The Troubleshooting section (pages 341-425) contains a mine of information and you will find yourself regularly dipping into its content. Of particular interest is What to do when a program crashes. This is one annoyance that everyone, beginner and power user, suffers and something that Windows 7 is a master of. If Windows isn’t sure what is going on then up pops the infamous program is not responding message and you are left pulling your hair out trying to think what you did wrong to cause the problem in the first place.

Interestingly, the troubleshooting sections' many useful notes, hints and tips can quickly help troubleshoot your problem and get your PC back to normal with the minimum of fuss.

It has to be said that Karp has a way of keeping his reader entertained, even when some of the information becomes excessively technical in nature. Once you pick up the book and start reading you will find it difficult to actually put down. At every page turn there's a tip, hack or solution worth noting for reference.

Verdict

Windows 7 Annoyances is a great book, even though it is somewhat geeky in its approach. It is thorough in its coverage of the most common Windows 7 annoyances and doesn’t stint on explaining how easy it is to turn a complex Windows operating system, such as Windows 7, into one that is far less intimidating and far easier to use. It is a book for dipping in and out of rather than actually reading from cover to cover. Karp is master of annoyance troubleshooting and his book, Windows 7 Annoyances, can only be described as a thoroughly enjoyable reference work on Windows 7 Annoyances.

Rating

  • Ease of use: 8.0
  • Features: 9.0
  • Value for Money: 9.0
  • Overall: 9.0