Thursday, December 26, 2013

Book Review: Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from O'Reilly Media, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

If you got a new computer for Christmas, you may already be shaking your head and confused if you upgraded to Windows 8 from XP or Vista! Even from WIndows 7, there is a HUGE difference.

And it doesn't stop there! After you have your computer up and running, you should get notified to download the update 8.1. SIGH. You haven't even figured out 8, right?

Not to worry, O'Reilly knows and has you covered!

Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual cover

Synopsis: Windows 8.1 continues the evolution of the most radical redesign in Microsoft’s history. It combines the familiar Windows desktop with a new, touchscreen-friendly world of tiles and full-screen apps. Luckily, David Pogue is back to help you make sense of it—with humor, authority, and 500 illustrations.
The important stuff you need to know:
  • What’s new in 8.1. The update to 8.1 offers new apps, a universal Search, the return of the Start menu, and several zillion other nips and tucks.
  • New features. Storage Spaces, Windows To Go, File Histories—if Microsoft wrote it, this book covers it.
  • Security. Protect your PC from viruses, spyware, spam, sick hard drives, and out-of-control kids.
  • The network. HomeGroups, connecting from the road, mail, Web, music streaming among PCs—this book has your network covered.
  • The software. Media Center, Photo Gallery, Internet Explorer, speech recognition—this one authoritative, witty guide makes it all crystal clear. It’s the book that should have been in the box.
You can view the entire Table of Contents HERE.

Review: This book is also a primer for Windows 8, so you can almost use it as your sole reference!  The keyboard tip alone will save you a ton of time (like ALT+F4 to shut down computer). The book walks you through everything- from initial set up, to how to move tiles around, even how to do away with the password screen (rally not needed on a personal computer), and find apps you need, to solving the mysteries of the tile world screen.

There are cool things, like saving an internet story to read later in the adobe reader, skydrive storage, and editing photos- who knew there were so many features for editing now? But the book also walks you thru changing back to the traditional desktop mode, from tiles. WHEW. You CAN go home again!  LOL! There is a whole chapter of tweeks to do, but it CAN be done, you can ignore the Tile World!

The book also walks you through using files and folders, toolbars, start bar, searching, organizing files, and dealing with zipped folder. There are also chapters on burning a cd, installing/uninstalling software, using the control panel and accessing the internet and using IE 11. The maintenance and troubleshooting chapter offers some new ways around the OS as well.Copy the 6 page keyboard shortcut list and that alone will save you SO much time!

This is a great reference book, that also serves as a handy paperweight/door holder, as it is 3 pounds! So if you're new to Windows 8, pick this book up, and you won;t be confused for long!

About the Author:
David Pogue, Yale '85, is the weekly personal-technology columnist for the New York Times and an Emmy award-winning tech correspondent for CBS News.His funny tech videos appear weekly on CNBC. And with 3 million books in print, he is also one of the world's bestselling how-to authors. In 1999, he launched his own series of amusing, practical, and user-friendly computer books called Missing Manuals, which now includes 100 titles.Check out his website for more.

About O'Reilly Media:
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books,  online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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