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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Paul McFedries, president of Logophilia Limited, is a full-time technical writer, passionate computer tinkerer, and Windows expert. He has authored 60+ computer books that have sold 3,000,000+ copies. His recent titles include Tweak It and Freak It: A Killer Guide to Making Windows Run Your Way; Windows Vista Unleashed, 2E; Windows Home Server Unleashed; Build It. Fix It. Own It; Networking with Windows Vista; Formulas and Functions with Microsoft Excel 2007; Tricks of the Microsoft Office 2007 Gurus, and Microsoft Access 2007 Forms, Reports, and Queries. He is also proprietor of Word Spy (www.wordspy.com) a website that tracks new words and phrases as they enter the English language.
Before writing my own review, I was very surprised that this book didn't carry a 4+ star overall rating -- it's at least a 4-star book, but only for the right audience. If you are a casual user of Windows -- if you're NOT a "power user" who is interesting in lots of user interface customizations, and if you aren't interested in saving keystrokes or mouse clicks anywhere you can -- then this books wasn't written for you. If you are a casual user who wants more breadth and less depth on Windows 7, I enjoyed reading Windows 7 Secrets, a new book by Paul Thurrott. Both "Windows 7 Secrets" and "Windows 7 Unleashed" are listed on the back cover with a "User Level: Intermediate-Advanced". This book targets that audience, whereas "Windows 7 Secrets" is more for casual Windows enthusiasts who want to learn not only something about Windows 7, but also complimentary technologies such as Windows Home Server and Zune.
Since this review is for this book -- Windows 7 Unleashed -- I'd expect that you are truly an advanced Windows user (or an aspiring advanced Windows user). You don't need introductions, you don't need lots of transitional comparisons to Vista and XP (there are some, but they're limited). Instead, you want a single volume that covers the depth of Windows 7 alone.
I liked the author's perspective -- maximizing every performance point possible with Windows 7 -- even though I'm not ardently trying to do that. For me, I wanted to have a book that I could refer to if, say, I needed to know something more about User Access Control or group policies or tuning Windows 7. Yeah, I could hunt the web for that stuff, but I like a single, bound, book with all that info contained in one volume. Then, when I hit the web, I'm looking for something even beyond what the book has.
The author's writing style is straightforward -- very little fluff, very little humor. His passion is to save a mouse click here or there, cut seconds off performance delays, and customize everything to make your Windows 7 installation a truly hand-in-glove experience. I think he succeeds, but I don't have the inclination to that good of a hand-in-glove fit.
His coverage of Windows 7 is excellent, except on Windows Aero and the new Libraries concept. There are several cool, productive tricks to Aero that I didn't see covered (and "Aero" wasn't in the index), and neither is "Libraries" covered in the book or index (a big omission which I presume will be corrected in a later edition of this book -- I'm reviewing the book covering Windows 7 Release Candidate). Other than those two glaring omissions, he explains things about the Windows Registry I didn't know, even though I've dabbled editing the Registry for years. He does a great job overviewing security, including IE8. He's got a step-by-step troubleshooting section, covering system restore and lots more.
Although he does mark "New in 7" those features that are new in Windows 7, I would have preferred that he would have done more comparisons and constrasts to both Vista and XP. That wasn't the style he chose, though, so don't expect him to tell you, "This feature has been around since XP" -- he's telling you what's in Windows 7 right now, not where that feature was first introduced in the Windows family. That may be something to consider if you want a book that makes those comparisons and constrasts to older versions of Windows. Because of the poor Aero and Libraries treatment, I'm giving this book only 4 stars instead of 5.
He's got great appendices! Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts and a wonderful explanation on "Understanding TCP/IP".
In short, I think any 1, 2 or 3 star reviews for this book probably come from people who incorrectly thought this book was targeted to their casual computing needs. It's not for the casual user. It's for a power user. For Windows power users out there, if you want a book that covers the depths of the Windows 7 operating system, this is an excellent choice. That said, if you already have a similar book covering Windows Vista, you may not really need this book, since fundamentally not much has changed between Windows Vista and Windows 7, and key parts that are new -- particularly the way Windows 7 implements virtual libraries -- isn't covered at all.
53 von 61 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
This book is essentially for the "save the introductions" audience, offering a wealth of information for those using the RC of Windows 7 and looking forward to the October launch. I've technically reviewed dozens of books covering Windows versions during the past decade, but this is the first from McFedries. Of particular note is that the author obviously understands his subject thoroughly yet maintains efficiency with the delivery of the technical concepts. Moreover he seems to "get" his audience. There's a great balance here that readers from hobbyist types to IT pros are likely to greatly appreciate.
I'm one of many using the RC as a main OS and we now know 7 is more than a polished Vista. As expected, the new features are prominently covered in this book and while I found it slightly customization heavy I'm certain many will enjoy the myriad ways one can personalize everything from startup to IE8. I think the real meat is in learning how to maximize 7s attributes. Of course it's faster, more stable, and more secure and simultaneously less annoying out-of-the-box regarding UAC, but there are powerful and sometimes subtle differences with the OS that McFedries plunges into.
First off, security is a broad as well as crucial topic and it's covered here, coincidentally or not, in seven informative chapters. Everything from user and file level to Internet and email (using Live as 7 has no boxed client) security is given due attention. Networking, obviously another huge topic, is well covered at the sub-enterprise level in several key areas including: setup, security, wireless, remote connections, and the new HomeGroup functionality. Regarding the potentially more complex topics such as local group policy, MMC use, and registry tweaks, the author clearly conveys the concepts to get power users well beyond experienced trail and error methods. There are also two very useful chapters on scripting with WSH and Windows PowerShell. And, if you're like minded you'll find the performance chapters invaluable for maximizing what the new OS can do.
Finally, while reading this book and working on my 7 machine, I continually found that I was asking the "well what if..." questions, particularly within the troubleshooting chapters, only to find the answer within the next page or two. This is a quality resource and the author appears to know what the early adopters want in a Windows book. It's highly useful, it's accurate, and it's presented well.
10 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Though Windows 7 has not been released yet, this book contains lots of interesting information about modifying Windows in order to make it you own... This book is not for beginners as most of it deals with modifying the registry and creating scripts to improve performance.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
This book provides a single source option for many tips/tricks on getting the most out of Windows 7. I'm sure this book has saved me a ton of time - both in searching for specific information and by leveraging tips in the book to speed up everyday tasks. The book is easily understood, logically laid out, and well indexed.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich