Windows Vista - The Missing Manual

David Pogue

Publisher O'Reilly
ISBN 9780596528270
RRP £24.99
Reviewed by Jim McGhie CEng CITP MBCS
Score 9 out of 10

Windows Vista - The Missing Manual book cover Windows Vista Missing Manual supplies the set of instructions that one would expect to accompany Microsoft Vista software CD out of the box. The book aims to assist the reader in getting the maximum use from the operating system software.

Latest in the series of 'Missing Manuals', this comprehensive volume explains and illustrates exactly what the operating system is capable of. David coaches readers around Vista with insight, objectivity and the occasional witty comment for good measure. Written in eight sections, 27 chapters and four appendices, it explains how Vista is best configured and set to work.

The real basics are covered first with: what’s new with Vista; how to tell the five versions apart; the security enhancements, new explorer features and how the book is intended to be read.

Then follows: How to navigate Vista's smart new desktop; quickly find content on their hard drive via the powerful and fast search function along with the taskbar and mail. The book then moves on to explain in detail the best way to operate the Vista Media Centre to record TV and radio, present photos, play music, and record files to DVD. 

Later chapters discuss in detail: networking; building a network for file sharing; setting up workgroups and the best way to protect your PC and network using Vista's enhanced security are Windows chat, videoconferencing, and surfing the Web with the enhanced Explorer 7 tabbed browser are all given ample coverage and illustration by David as we work our way through the individual features of the software.

Interestingly, David does not hesitate to mention those features he considers unimpressive particularly where he considers that they provide limited or no functionality to the users - or as he labels them 'dogs'.

The final part of the book contains the appendices, he first of which guides the reader through installing Vista both as a new install or upgrade. The author also explains how to determine any changes needed to your computer before you get started and includes a set of keyboard shortcuts and other reference material to make the transition easier.

A comprehensive index rounds off the book that without doubt should accompany the software CD in the Vista box. The book easily scores 9 out of 10 based on coverage of the subject and its illustrations but it also represents good value for money into the bargain.

Further information: O'Reilly