Windows Vista in a Nutshell – A Desktop Quick Reference Guide

Preston Gralla

Publisher O'Reilly 
ISBN 978-0-596-52707-5
RRP £24.99
Reviewed by Len Keighley FBCS
Score 10 out of 10

Windows Vista At first this would just appear to be another, in a long line of 'In A Nutshell' books and one of a large number of 'How to' books for Windows latest release, Vista. However, when the book is opened even for a short glance it is quickly obvious that this is definitely not the case.

This book is a comprehensive guide to the Windows Vista operating system even down to, the very surprising, level of the ancient MSDOS command line prompts which takes up a whole chapter. This shows that even though Windows continues to advance, the original core aspects are still present.

This book uses none of the gimmicks of some of its competitors and is all the better for that. It does use over seven hundred pages to cover fourteen chapters and five appendices. Apart from the appendices the book is split into two parts, 'The Big Picture' and 'Nutshell Reference'.

'The Big Picture' takes the reader through the new elements of Windows Vista as well as the nuances of its various editions, this version of Windows having more variations on usage than previously.

It continues, as you would expect, with chapters on the specifications required to support the new operating system and the upgrade paths. The final and most significant chapter covers the changes to the more common parts of the Windows environment, e.g. the Desktop, Files & Folders, Starting Applications, etc.

The 'Nutshell Reference' section, which should really include the Appendices, forms the major part of the book and goes into the details of how the major functions operate within the Vista system and the installation process may be undertaken. There is some overlap here with previous versions of Windows, but again the differences between the old and the new are highlighted.

This book would be a worthwhile expenditure for anyone about to make the transitions to Windows Vista.

Len Keighley, Fellow, Data Warehouse Consultant

Further information: O'Reilly