Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Windows 7: The Missing Manual 222

r3lody writes "It took me a little while after Windows 7 became available before I gave up my Windows XP desktop and purchased a new laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium pre-loaded. Like those who endured the change to Windows Vista, I found myself floundering around a little trying to figure out all of the new bells and whistles Microsoft had added to its operating system. Windows 7: The Missing Manual by David Pogue is meant to address the needs of people like me. The book, while readable by beginners, is written for users with some acquaintance with Windows. Advanced users will find the book too simplistic, but users up to the intermediate level will find it a handy reference to the new features in all of the flavors of Windows 7." Keep reading for the rest of r3lody's review.
Windows 7: The Missing Manual
author David pogue
pages 904
publisher Pogue Press
rating 8/10
reviewer r3lody
ISBN 0596806396
summary This book illuminates its subject with reader-friendly insight, plenty of wit, and hardnosed objectivity for beginners as well as veteran PC users.
Writing for the multiple levels of Windows 7 is handled by including a little sub-heading "cheat sheet" after each major heading. Most will have "All Versions", but you may see a subset like "Home Premium ? Professional ? Enterprise ? Ultimate". Handling multiple levels of users is a little more difficult. The book is written for advanced beginners to intermediate users, but beginners to Windows have "Up to Speed" sidebars added to help them understand concepts regular Windows users already know. More advanced users have "Power User's Clinic" sidebars to provide additional information.

Windows 7: the missing manual is organized into 8 parts, comprising 27 chapters and 4 appendices.

After an introductory section describing the book's layout, Part One deals with the Windows 7 desktop. Comprised of 5 chapters, Part One gives the basics of manipulating windows, programs, and files. Chapter 1 describes the Start menu, jump lists (frequently used documents) and the Run command. Next comes Explorer, the Taskbar, and general window controls. Most of chapter 2 is devoted to the eye candy provided by Aero. The third chapter discussing searching and organizing files follows that, with a good discussion of the much-improved Windows Search. Chapter 4 covers personalization (wallpaper, color and sound themes, screensavers and desktop icons), and the last chapter of part 1 explains the ways you can get help (Microsoft's Help system, Remote Assistance, and getting help from Microsoft).

Part Two uses 3 chapters to cover Windows 7 Software. After talking about opening and closing programs, opening and closing documents, and dialog boxes, David Pogue explains how to install and uninstall software, as well as handling compatibility issues. Speech recognition and gadgets got thrown into this chapter, but seem a little out of place. The next chapter discusses various freebie applications supplied with Windows 7, and those available as part of Windows Live Essentials. Most of those are explained in sufficient detail to use, but a few are deferred to later chapters. This part is closed out with rather brief coverage of Control Panel.

The next 5 chapters comprise Part Three, which is devoted to Windows 7 Online. After chapter 9 explains how to get hooked up to the Internet, chapter 10 is dedicated to Internet security. Microsoft Security Essentials, the Action Center, as well as Windows Firewall and Windows Defender are all covered, along with methods of protecting your privacy while you surf. This all leads into the grand tour of Internet Explorer 8, which is talked about in detail in chapter 11. The last two chapters go over Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Services.

Part Four is the media-centric portion of the book. David broke the discussion into three broad chapters: Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Media Player, and Windows Media Center. Windows Live Photo Gallery is Microsoft's challenger to Google's Picasa. While Picasa is more mature, Photo Gallery is not shabby by any means, and chapter 14 gives excellent explanations on how to get the most from the program. The next chapter goes over Windows Media Player, which has been around for a long time. There have been some minor changes to it, including streaming media to other computers and handling of more types of audio and video files. Windows Media Center was originally designed for the Media Center Edition PC, but is now available for any version of Windows 7 from Home Premium on up. You get a lot of information on how to set it up and use it for all sorts of media. You'll also find out how to use your PC as a DVR (assuming you have a TV tuner card or USB tuner).

The next part is all about hardware and peripherals. First printing, then Windows Fax and Scan, and finally general device handling are each given their due. The third and final chapter of Part Five covers laptops, tablets, and touchscreen computers, and their special capabilities and limitations.

One thing all computer users need to handle are the inevitable problems. Part Six covers various maintenance and trouble-shooting topics across three chapters. First, general maintenance and speed tweaks, followed by an in-depth discussion of disks, compression and encryption, and finally a chapter on backup, restore and trouble-shooting. All have just enough information to be useful, and not too much to absorb.

The last main part covers networking and homegroups. Windows is the most useful when it's part of a network, and Part Seven explains how to connect it and use it. After discussing setting up accounts, workgroups and domains have their own chapters, so home and office users can focus on what they need. This part ends with chapters on sharing files and remote control (including VPNs and Remote Desktop).

There is a set of 4 appendices that comprise Part Eight. Included are how to install and upgrade to Windows 7, how to use Regedit, and my favorite two chapters – Where'd It Go?, and the Master Keyboard Shortcut List.

Overall, the book does assume you've at least seen a previous version of Windows, as a lot of text explains how Windows 7 is different. I personally would have preferred the author keep the focus on Windows 7 and less on the differences from prior versions. There are a lot of attempts at humor. On the plus side, it keeps the tone of this fairly large book accessible to the novice to intermediate user. On the minus side, the occasional joke usually seems out of place.

I found Windows 7: the missing manual a valuable reference to the many offerings in Microsoft's latest incarnation of Windows. While the writing style varies from simple reference to the occasional attempt at light-hearted guidance, it is a comprehensive, informative and (most importantly) useful manual of the ins and outs of using Windows 7 in all its flavors.

You can purchase Windows 7: The Missing Manual from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.


This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Windows 7: The Missing Manual

Comments Filter:
  • by soybean ( 1120 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @02:47PM (#32461758)

    It will accompany my copy of "Windows 7, the missing operating system" nicely.

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Friday June 04, 2010 @03:13PM (#32462152) Homepage Journal

      Or my netbook's copy of "Windows 7 starter edition, most of which is missing" operating system.

      It's a damned shame that books like this are needed. Too bad "help" is so fuXXored.

      • It's a damned shame that books like this are needed. Too bad "help" is so fuXXored.

        Video games build the tutorial into the game with speech, motion, graphics, the works. I never understood why this sort of thing isn't baked into productivity software or operating systems. I'm guessing it's not worth the effort when that sort of thing would just be another cost for the developers and customers who want that sort of thing are already paying money for someone else to write dead tree manuals.

        • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:15PM (#32463138) Homepage
          Clippy. We're still traumatized by it. No one will try anything remotely like that until the current generation of computer users dies off.
  • It's not... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Das Auge ( 597142 )
    Windows 7's slogan: It's not Vista!

    Jokes aside, I'm pleased with Windows 7. Granted, I only use it for games (I dual-boot Ubuntu and Windows 7).
  • but windows just isn't that hard to use.

    Maybe if you're from a 3rd world country and this is your first exposure to a microsoft product, I'd understand... or maybe if it was 1996 and you're finally purchasing your first PC, but I don't think there are too many people left in developed countries who've reached adulthood who have escaped using some version of windows at least occasionally.

    And if there is anybody who has somehow managed to do the task of never having worked with windows... I doubt it going loo

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Em Emalb ( 452530 )

      Agreed, it isn't hard to use at all for anyone with any real exposure to the OS.

      But...if you really want to UNDERSTAND why things are the way they are, then manuals like these are very good for the noob to intermediate level person.

      • Not only that, but books like this are good for pointing out useful things that otherwise would be hard to find out about just from using it. The Windows-key shortcuts are a good example, I don't know how many years I was using XP before I found out about various shortcuts that could save me several seconds of using the mouse.

        • by dingen ( 958134 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @03:18PM (#32462230)
          But you don't need a book to learn the keyboard shortcuts of your operating system. Not only are they probably explained in the user interface, they're also listed in the manual that came with the OS and placed in the support section on the developer's website. Who doesn't check out these sort of sources before they go out and purchase a book?
          • That's not even to mention that there are a thousand and one "windows tips and tricks!" websites out there to tell you things.

            Now, I had a "dos for dummies" book, and I found certain things highly helpful... but that was also 1992. Things were a bit different then.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 )

            But you don't need a book to learn the keyboard shortcuts of your operating system.

            Like I pointed out, it was just an example. I'm sure that Windows 7 includes several new tools and utilities that one wouldn't run across with normal usage, but would still be helpful to know about.

            Not only are they probably explained in the user interface

            Not that I'm aware of, I don't know where I would see a tooltip to indicate that I can press Windows-E to open Explorer, or Windows-R to open the Run dialog, or Windows-M to minimize/restore all applications.

            they're also listed in the manual that came with the OS and placed in the support section on the developer's website

            Like most other users, I assume, I only check the manual or support website when I'm having a problem. I

            • by dingen ( 958134 )

              I totally understand you don't look in manuals or support documents when you're not having problems. I guess that's true for most people. But what I don't understand, is that you would spend your money on a book such as this, instead of just looking for exactly the same information available from botht the supplier or your software, or various other sources on the web.

          • by Medieval ( 41719 )

            People who have shit to do.

            • by dingen ( 958134 )
              In what sort of world do you live if buying a book from a store is less of a hassle than finding out about this stuff online?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by stewbacca ( 1033764 )

          Not only that, but books like this are good for pointing out useful things that otherwise would be hard to find out about just from using it.

          Hence the "Missing Manual" part of the title. Pogue has made a career off of this technique. I, for one, am a fan.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet ( 841228 )

      I have to agree, if anything Windows 7 is easier than any MSFT OS that came before it. My dad is 67 and completely clueless about PCs, but after giving him the Win7 Beta to try out he had me go and get him the family pack on release date, because according to him it was the first time he had seen Windows "make sense" to him. With the built in tutorials, the easy to use search, it didn't take him anytime at all to find his way around the OS and now he uses more features than he ever did on XP.

      While Vista w

      • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @03:22PM (#32462306) Homepage

        I've heard this several times from tech friends who 'support' clueless users in one way or another: the common user is actually getting significantly more use out of W7 than they did with 8 years of XP. They're frequently saying "ah, I always wondered how to do that!"

        Ironically, from what I've heard, one of the biggest boons allowing this to happen is the contextual run/search bar. People find out what it can do and they use it - for everything. Sure, it's similar to Spotlight and Beagle and a dozen other things that came before it - so what? It works, and the way it's built into the system, it works well. (The irony comes from the fact that the 'click-it-it's-easy-to-use Windows GUI' gets actual functionality from a CLI interface that invariably leads to increased productivity.)

        • I haven't switched to Win7 yet, but the computer I've barely started buying parts for will have it. The context menu impressed me from the standpoint of lowering the barrier to accomplishing frequently used tasks. The fact that the taskbar defaults to unlabeled icons, however, I find bizarre, and I'm sure I'll change that the first day. I find it as bizarre as XP's default of hiding the status bar from the user in Windows Explorer. The Win7 Windows Explorer I find utterly godawful, but that won't affect

          • by ashridah ( 72567 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:14PM (#32463110)

            You get used to the text-less icons pretty quickly. Particularly since most of the modern apps use high-resolution icons and are quite visible at the default icon size. Visually the Word, Explorer, IE/Chrome/Firefox buttons are all immediately identifiable, in a way that text just isn't.

            Also, since you can order the buttons, and pin them, you essentially get Win-1 through Win-9 or so to launch/access them. Adding shift to make it Shift-Win-1 will launch a new copy. Alt-Win-1 launches the context menu. It becomes far more quick to use, and can become muscle memory reasonably quickly.
            Beats the pants off the quick-launch bar that any app could poison with its own icons during install for. That kind of stuff used to piss me off.

      • by pongo000 ( 97357 )

        I have to agree, if anything Windows 7 is easier than any MSFT OS that came before it.

        Not networking. That high-level "helper" interface they've interposed between the user and the network details? It's meaningless...I still haven't figured out why I would want to make an interface "public" or "private." Not to mention it now takes 3 or 4 properly placed mouse clicks to get to the network setup dialog. I'm sure there's a direct route, but if there is, I've yet to find it.

        • by ashridah ( 72567 )

          They're firewall rules.
          At home, i use "Home", and my homegroup stuff is immediately visible. At work, it gets automatically assigned "Work/Domain" by group policy. At a wifi hotspot, i use "Public" and none of my filesharing stuff is visible. Works great on a laptop. Less useful on a desktop, of course, but then you only have to click "Home" once and things tend to just work.

          Out of Curiosity, what kind of "Network Setup" are we talking? IP/DNS assignment? Or something else? I could see you needing to select

          • Setting IPs manually is definitely more of a pain, but who wants to regularly use a network where they have to actually do that kind of thing?

            I do. And so does anybody else who needs their Windows box to accept outside connections.

            • by ashridah ( 72567 )

              Uh. Not me? Static assignment via DHCP. Not all routers support that kind of thing, but many certainly do.

        • You say that because you are experienced in setting up a network in WinOS. For somebody who has never configured their cable modem and wireless router, this sort of interface is better. It's still not as good as the OSX network setup "wizard" (shudder...I hate that term, based on how bad MS wizards have been in the past), but it is far better than anything they've tried in the past with new users and networking.

        • I wouldn't mind the UI element if it wouldn't (A) interfere with network function in the first 30 or so seconds after bootup, and (B) reliably detect the wired network the machine is connected to. As in, detect the LAN as something besides "Unidentified Network". The damn network was identified once, but now it's Terra Incognita and therefore must be a public untrusted evil network.
      • by DudemanX ( 44606 )

        While Vista was crap, and XP took until SP2 to get really usable

        The "Vista is crap" mentality that still pervades is rather baffling to me. Especially in the context of interface and ease of use. Vista is just as easy to use as Win7. The only real interface difference is the updated taskbar to be more like the dock. The "start" menu, control panel, and keyboard shortcuts are all basically the same as Vista. To say one is crap while another is near perfection seems rather silly and ignorant.

        As for XP, other than the security center, firewall, and wireless interfaces ther

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by drsmithy ( 35869 )

          The "Vista is crap" mentality that still pervades is rather baffling to me.

          What's more entertaining is the people who rail on Vista being crap, praise Windows 7 for being "best evar", then turn around and call Windows 7 "Vista SP1".

          There's some pretty serious mental gymnastics going on there. :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by hairyfeet ( 841228 )

          Want to know why I hated Vista? Okay here goes: Oh Vista how I hated thee, let me count the ways: Networking-My network shares would "disappear" several times a day, and the only fix? A reboot, yeah because I missed rebooting often like Win9X, thanks Vista. Networking- try listening to music or watching vids while a file downloaded? Watch as the file slooooows down. I had that with SP1 as well. Thanks Vista!

          Performance-Sloooow, god damn that thing could suck the life right out of a PC! Now my PC at the tim

    • by dingen ( 958134 )
      Even in 1996 I saw books such as these and wondered who would buy them. I understand why people buy books about operating systems or applications that lack a GUI, or books about development or other non-obvious things you can't figure out by simply trying. But this is so extremely basic and obvious, I really can't imagine the intended audience. They talk about people having a "intermediate skill level", but I also can't really figure out what that means. What sort of stuff can't these people figure out and
    • "AOL for Dummies."

      When I first saw that on a shelf at B&N, I seriously thought it was a parody from The Onion.

  • Libraries (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PoiBoy ( 525770 ) <(moc.sgnidlohiop) (ta) (nairb)> on Friday June 04, 2010 @02:58PM (#32461930) Homepage
    Is it me, or are the libraries in Windows 7 stupid? I prefer Vista because it doesn't have those damn things. I've read about registry hacks to disable them, though I've not had any luck getting those hacks to work.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hairyfeet ( 841228 )

      What exactly is wrong with the libraries? I keep my music and videos on a separate drive and libraries make keeping up with new stuff as simple as drag and drop. I never have to go to where I actually keep anything anymore, simply drop it into the library under videos,music,whatever and it automatically places it into the appropriate place, easy peasy. And since Windows 7 disc image and backup gives you a simple checkbox for if you want your libraries backed up as well I don't even have to hunt or remember

      • Trust me, libraries are one of those new features that if you just use them for a little while you'll start to wonder how you did without them.

        This same revelation happened to me when I bought OSX back in the early 2000s. I know MS critics will just blame them for yet another copy of OSX, but if it makes Win7 better, then why not?

        The problem is, many hard core XP types have learned the XP way and this new (well, old) paradigm is really foreign to them. I'm going to guess most people who are used to their old way won't bother learning the new, even if the new could be argued to be "better".

      • by devent ( 1627873 )
        Why you don't just use soft links to folders? I have my music, videos and my documents all on sepereated partitions, too, but I just soft link everthing in my $home directory. To put my stuff in the folders it's just drag&drop the files. I don't need some "libraries" for that, it's build in in the system since 1990 and I can use every file manager I like.
        • by dave420 ( 699308 )
          Because libraries actually puts everything in one location, as opposed to still having shortcuts to different locations, where your stuff is actually kept. People used to just make shortcuts to their various folders, then put them in one folder called "Music", say, but now you just set up a library, go to "Music", and everything's there - no digging deeper, it's right there. Fuck soft links - they're so 1990, and have been completely outdated for purposes like you say.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by devent ( 1627873 )
            What are you talking about? In my $HOME I have Documents, Music, Videos and Downloads. I go to Music and all is in one place, sorted by the Artist and by Album. The Music folder is a soft link to a different partition as the Documents is a soft link to a Truecrypt container, because I like to save my documents encrypted.

            Soft links are working transparent to every application, so I can use file managers or other applications. If I need to backup I just copy it over or I use tools like rsync.
      • I just use folder shortcuts in XP. Works the same way, and takes the same amount of effort (just right-click drag and drop) but without taking up my valuable top-level directory view space in the file browser.

        If they made a version of Win7 with the Win7 internals with the XP interface, I'd buy it in a second. Until then, I'll stick with XP. I hate breadcrumbs, the file browser, the taskbar (unless I have a lot of windows open, it's just costing me an extra click and hunt every time I switch windows), and th

    • I don't so much have a problem with the concept of "Libraries", however, I do think it's funny how people think it's a new thing considering the fact that Sun [wikipedia.org] came up with it way back in 1986 and several other operating systems [wikipedia.org] have been using it since the 90's.
    • Is it me, or are the libraries in Windows 7 stupid?

      I wouldn't say you are stupid...

      However, once you 'grasp' the basic concept of the libraries and don't overthink them they are a handy feature, especially for the average home/office user.

      Vista had featurs likes the Libraries, they were not something MS set up for the users. They are a variation of a 'Saved Search' or 'Search Folder' except they just return the contents of 'locations' based on the type you specify.

      You can make your own libraries for things like Books, Presentations, etc.

      You can also do li

  • Wait, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @03:06PM (#32462056) Homepage Journal

    People keep saying they don't want to switch to Mac OS X or Linux because they don't want to re-learn how to use their computer... But simply changing the Windows version is enough to warrant an article on a nerd website about a manual about Windows 7?

    I'm betting some people would find the switch from Windows XP to either Mac OS X or any Linux distro to be easier than switching to Windows 7.

    • by dave420 ( 699308 )
      You seem to be confusing "books for people to learn Windows 7 who have never used Windows before" and "books for people to learn Windows 7 who have used Windows for years". But yeah, as the mods say, you're a troll.
  • Oceanis Change Background.

    Additionally, while I'm a die-hard 2K and even kind-of XP supporter, I'm really not unhappy with Windows 7, now that I've had a chance to try it. 7 or 8 security/notifications to shut off, and I haven't had a problem with it for 2 months. I'm impressed. Only the 1 year mark will tell.

    //Sat on a flight beside an MS engineer, told him the biggest problem I had was an annual reformat/reinstall. He said he did the same thing(?!?). He also suggested I install VMWare, as it ea
    • There it is folks, a true endorsement from a real microsoft user in the field:

      I'm really not unhappy with Windows 7...

      Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

  • Windows 7 is best when connected to a network, which makes it so puzzling why so many of its networking features only work with other Windows 7 machines.

    I also like the fact this book explains regedit. That's one program that's seen a lot of change over the years.

  • Bells and Whistles? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MLCT ( 1148749 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @03:21PM (#32462292)
    It would seem to me that the manual aimed at the xp -> 7 movers should spend most of its time covering all of the inexplicable little changes that have been made. There aren't many new things, just lots of changed (or entirely removed) things.

    As I decided to change my work PC over to 7 last week I can testify. I had superficially played with vista and 7 up until now, but it is a different thing when your main machine moves completely. For example, in W7 MS have inexplicably removed the ability for auto arrange on files to be turned off in explorer - they now always "spring" to the grid - an annoying change. While day to day I didn't use this, it was used in xp now and then in sorting out a large folder full of files, as it is much more intuitive to spatially sort. Gone from W7, and no hack to get it back.

    The picture viewer is also crap now, slow, with a initially loaded blurred preview, then 1/2 a second later the real preview loads. Also when you zoom in it doesn't interpolate as it did in xp, just pixellates.
  • by A Friendly Troll ( 1017492 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @03:22PM (#32462304)

    I'm not using 7even (or Fista), but I do "have" a 2008 Server that I often RD into, and the one thing that irritates me incredibly (even more than UAC) is that I have no idea how to pop up the shell context menu for the folder I'm currently in.

    In XP and earlier Windows, you'd just right-click on the folder icon on the top left of the window.

    In Fista and above, that just pops up the standard useless menu with move/restore/minimize/maximize, just as when you right-click on the title bar.

    Google is not helpful at all. The best I could get is an addition of "Open command prompt here" through shift+rightclick, but that's not what I want.

    Please help me out here if you've figured it out... I often use that context menu to fire up 7-zip, or grep, or a duplicate copy of Win Explorer, or other things, and every time I have to do something on that server, I want to scream.

    • In XP and earlier Windows, you'd just right-click on the folder icon on the top left of the window.

      Wow. I can honestly say I've never used that functionality and to be honest I don't even think I knew it was there.

      I will try and use it and report back.

  • I'll install Windows 7 when IT pries Windows 98SE from m'cold dead fingers!

    Just kidding - send help, IT is in love with XP.

  • "missing manual" books. They all seem far too shallow for even basic users, and insufficiently technical for advanced users. Maybe the two I've browsed through were just bad examples of the series. I'm not pre-disposed to dislike the idea; at least unlike the "Dummies" and "Complete Idiot's Guide" books, they're not blatantly insulting the intelligence of the novice user.

  • I ran a comparison (Score:3, Informative)

    by AndGodSed ( 968378 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @03:48PM (#32462702) Homepage Journal

    Interface wise Win7 is a lot better than XP in *some* areas, but is seriously beginning to trail behind popular Linux distros. I did a comparison of Win7, Ubuntu, PCLOS, Linux Mint, Kubuntu with 6 everyday tasks and found it wanting a bit.

    (Warning shameless blog punt ahead, proceed with caution...)
    http://g33q.co.za/2010/06/01/usability-comparison-five-pc-operating-systems-compared/ [g33q.co.za]

    Given it's performance I think a book such as this will help out some users. I often buy books like these for the techs in our office to help them out, I use Ubuntu full-time myself since I am more involved with the servers atm, but given some confusing task layouts like checking connection info (in XP it used to be three clicks of a mouse, not it is a road-trip) it helps having something to refer to handy.

    • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

      Interface wise Win7 is a lot better than XP in *some* areas, but is seriously beginning to trail behind popular Linux distros. I did a comparison of Win7, Ubuntu, PCLOS, Linux Mint, Kubuntu with 6 everyday tasks and found it wanting a bit.

      None of your tasks seem to be day to day events, and therefore worth being worried about when they take an extra click or two...

      (To say nothing of the relevance of scoring by number of mouse clicks...)

  • for day to day usage was just way simpler then Vista/7. No fancy graphics just plain old start button and control panel. Even easier would have been a separate button for Programs instead of Start > Programs > Your App. I don't get why the Desktop has to look fancy but thats just me.
  • When Win7 came out, to much praise, I sat down at home and did some thorough tests. I am a developer who uses some resource-intensive applications for 3D visualization, physics simulations and graphic design. Currently my OS of choice is XP 64-bit.

    When I compared the two however, while Win 7 stood out as being superficially faster through caching everything and *appearing* to boot your OS and your applications in a split second, prolonged use of these applications under this OS just ground to a snails pac

    • Maybe it just means Microsoft hasn't decided to optimize for your extraordinarily rare use-case. The caching changes you mention benefit the vast majority of Windows users.

      While WinXP64 didn't boot as fast or launch applications as quickly, it never crashed (Win7 crashed multiple times),

      If you literally mean Windows crashed (and not your application), then that is one of two things:
      1) You have faulty hardware (perhaps overheating if it only happens after a long run?)
      2) You have a faulty driver

      Windows 7 is r

    • by Bengie ( 1121981 )

      Win7 has a whole new kernel over Vista. Not even close to the same.

      Both Vista and 7 share the same higher level API, which is why drivers/etc are compatible, but 7handles memory better. 7 also has fewer locks, so it scales better with multi-IO and CPUs. 7 does have more overhead, but the overhead is mostly a fixed cost. It might run slower than XP/Vista in a few areas, but why care about running fast on single/dual cores with 8/16 cores coming out soon.

  • After a quarter of a century, you would think that Windows would be so refined that you wouldn't need a 904-page, 3rd-party manual ($39.99). For those who want to peek under the hood, would the Windows 7 Resource Kit be better (http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Resource-Kit-Mitch-Tulloch/dp/0735627002)?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hurricane78 ( 562437 )

      I think you are misunderstanding how the MS software design process works.
      I can put it in geek terms for you:

      app = code(design(BASIC_ARCHITECTURE)) # original design and intentions are instantly forgotten
      bf = marketing.getBlingFactory()
      while (sales.sell(app)) {
      f = bf.getNewFeature()
      try {

    • Going by your logic, Unix shouldn't even need instructions at this point...
  • If you need a manual for Windows (pretty much any version), you’re offically mentally disabled.
    It may be that what disables you, is being used to Windows’s way too much dumbed-down interfaces (Clippy would be proud), though.

    But sorry, if you can’t handle Windows 7, then maybe you should try switching your brain to ON for a change. ^^
    (Yes, I know that that won’t help in understanding Windows, as people would instantly switch to Linux. ;)

  • It's called: iPad, the Missing Fingers.

  • (1) Insert DVD in appropriate drive (no, the other one).

    (2) If this is an upgrade edition, make sure you have an official upgrade license with Abraham Lincoln's original signature.

    (3) Follow instructions on screen. If there is no screen, contact your hardware vendor.

    (4) Don't call us, we'll call you.

    (5) Send more money.

  • by rts008 ( 812749 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:09PM (#32463790) Journal

    user@computer:~$ man windows7
    No manual entry for windows7

    Oh No!

  • I assist in support for software in the agricultural sector. This is a demanding sector, for it is somewhat unique in that users want to know how to fix there problem but also rant about some aspect of agriculture. Our support people are a best compromise of support person and policy pundit. Its not best but is fits a need.

    This book seems to address the exact problem we have. From our perspective, Win7 is a bringer of pain. Developers seem to not realise any change to a UI can have dire and far reaching c
  • bleh (Score:3, Funny)

    by Beelzebud ( 1361137 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @07:50PM (#32465488)
    The absolute mindless 7 bashing here is getting pathetic.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."