The Mother of All Windows 98 Books

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9780201433128: The Mother of All Windows 98 Books

In this irreverent sequel to the bestselling The Mother of All Windows 95 Books, the irascible and irrepressible Mom and her loyal sidekicks return to give you the inside track on Windows 98. With a wacky sense of humor and in-depth insider knowledge, The Mother of All Windows 98 Books (a.k.a. MOM98) goes right to the heart of what you need to know to become a Win98 power user. MOM98 illustrates how--and more important, why--things work (or don't work) enabling even novices to quickly become wizards with Win98. Written in plain language (so even your Mom can understand it) MOM98 is packed with insight, unique tips, and shortcuts so you can customize and fine-tune Win98 to get the maximum benefit of this powerful new operating system. MOM98 isn't just another Win98 book; no way! Mom serves up a hearty helping of features and coverage for your benefit. Here's some samples of Mom's work: *Describes how Windows 98 really works, not how it's supposed to work *Includes a "fast track" chapter to get experienced Windows 95 users rapidly up-to-speed *Reveals what works, what doesn't, and how to work around the obstacles (this coverage is worth the price of the book alone!) *Explains all of Win98's snazziest features: the Update Manager, Multilink Channel Aggregation, Virtual Private Networking, FAT32, Win32 Driver Model, DirectX 5.0, The Tune-Up Wizard, HTML Help, VBScript, control panel applets, and more *Covers the Windows 98 Registry in depth *Based entirely on the final "shrink-wrapped" version of Windows 98; no beta stuff in here And, MOM98 has a comprehensive supporting Web site, that is updated regularly to give you the latest work-arounds as inherent bugs emerge. MOM98 offers you the most on the market--a comprehensive reference and timely updates when you need them. Reviews from previous MOM books: "Witty, idiosyncratic, sometimes cranky, and often corny, the book captures the feeling of a Windows expert sitting at your elbow, chatting away, listening to your complaints, agreeing, offering solutions."--Jim Seymour, PC Magazine "An exceptional value...written in a style that is at once irreverent, witty and, well, strange."--Brit Hume and T.R. Reid, The Washington Post 0201433125B04062001

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Microsoft Windows has always been complicated, and the latest version of this top-selling consumer operating system ranks as the most bewildering to date. While the upgrade is very powerful, most users don't know what Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) is or how to use adjustable font tracking. Woody Leonhard and Barry Simon--experienced Windows professionals, who write for respected industry magazines--explain these things and more in the thorough and often hilarious The Mother of All Windows 98 Books.

This omnibus Windows 98 how-to book documents the entire operating system, explaining everything from how to double-click to how to pull off the coolest hacks by editing the Registry. Along the way, the authors give advice on installing Windows 98 properly, getting DOS applications to work right, tweaking multimedia, and much more.

Like any good how-to book, this one doesn't take itself too seriously. Its fact-dense pages feature comic relief in the form of cartoon characters--including a caricature of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates--spouting geek wit. The Mother of All Windows 98 Books is a pleasure to read and extraordinarily informative to boot. --David Wall

From the Inside Flap:

Do You Need MOM98?
The old order changeth, yielding place to new.

--Alfred Tennyson, The Passing of Arthur, 1869


What

makes The Mother of All Windows 98 Books--MOM98 for short--different from the

other five hundred or so Windows 98 books on the market? Three reasons. First,

it's the only book that shows you what's really going on inside Win98, from

a user's point of view. Second, it's the only place you'll find hundreds of

unique tips--and straightforward, down-to-earth explanations--for configuring

Win98 to work for you, not against you. And third, it's the only Windows 98

book on the market that was written from the ground up based on the final, shrinkwrapped,

shipped version of the software.

It

continues to amaze me how many books on store shelves are based on very, very

early beta-test versions of Windows 98--and how many books amount to nothing

more than minor rewrites of their Windows 95 versions. While it's true that

Windows 98 looks a lot like Windows 95 from the outside--you know, pointing

and clicking and all that--the simple fact is that Win95 has gone through major,

even apocalyptic, changes on the inside. While you might not bump into those

big changes the first time you use Win98, by the end of a week I guarantee you

will.

And

then there are all those books and magazine articles that say, "Windows

is great but it won't do this and this and this." We spent months figuring

out new ways to make Win98 do what the experts say it can't and making it cookbook-easy

to put those tricks to use. Whether you're supporting a company full of Win98

users or simply sitting at home and trying to get the bloody thing to start,

MOM98 shows you hundreds of ways to make Win98 work better, faster, easier,

and more reliably, the first time, every time, day after day after day. And

we do it all in plain English.

For those of you who cut your teeth (if not your fingers) on Windows 95, we

have a chapter designed specifically to bring you up to speed on Windows 98--with

a curmudgeonly emphasis on what does and doesn't work. Not all of the "improvements"

Microsoft talks about radiate sweetness and light. In fact, if you don't know

where the problems lie, you might find yourself wasting days of effort and hundreds

of bucks on Win98 features that just plain don't work.

On the other hand, Win98 has an enormous array of new features that do work--and

you need to know about them, too. Some of the most important new features are

buried so deep, you'd never find them without a guide map. And that's just what

our first chapter provides: knowledgeable, detailed discussion of what to look

for and where. Windows for Dullards NOT!

If you're looking for a book to show you how to push the Windows 98 Start button,

well, you're in the wrong place. The Win98 tutorial shows you all you need to

know to get started, and the proliferation of built-in Windows Wizards can run

you through the most common procedures. For nearly all the "click here,

drag there" basic stuff, Windows online help shows you step by step what

you need.

But Windows 98 is such a rich environment and the provided docs and online

help so skimpy, you'll need MOM98 just for its collections of tips and pointers,

its plain-language explanation of what's really happening, and its authoritative

exploration of Win98's seamier side. The shortcuts you find on just about any

page of this book will save you lots of frustration every time you boot up. Manual Labor

At

this point you're probably wondering, "Why doesn't Microsoft tell us about

all these cool, albeit weird, things?" Or maybe "Why should I pay

for a book when the documentation I already have undoubtedly covers all the

important stuff--if I ever get around to reading it" Or "Why doesn't

my favorite aftermarket Windows book give me at least some little hint that

all this funky stuff is going on under the covers?" Let me clue you in

on a little behind-the-scenes stuff, a few of the dirty secrets of the publishing

biz.

First, all the official Win98 documentation and all the aftermarket Win98 books

were written before the final code for Windows 98 was ready. That means that

everything on the bookstore shelves and in the shrinkwrapped Win98 box-- including

the official docs, the Help files, and the Wizards--every bit of it is based

on beta-test code and an idealized concept of how Win98 should work, once/if

all the problems were resolved.

MOM98, in blazing contrast, was written by, for, and with the final, shipping

Win98 product. That made us last on the bookstore shelves and probably hurt

MOM98's sales, but it was the only way we could be sure you'd get the straight

story.

Second, the aftermarket books are based almost entirely on the official documentation.

Where the Windows Resource Kit or online Help is wrong or ambiguous, virtually

every book glosses over those points--or are wrong or ambiguous. Mom wouldn't

let us get away with parroting Microsoft, even if we wanted to. She wields a

mean rolling pin. We went back to original principles, as the saying goes, and

reported only on what we could see: what's really there, as opposed to what

somebody thought should be there.

More

than that, we had a chance to talk with many of the Windows designers and developers

to pull together detailed descriptions of how the final, shipping product works,

how each individual piece really functions, and how the pieces fit together

in the overall scheme of Win98 things. We worked meticulously to make sure all

the details are right, so when you have to figure out a solution to your own

problems, you can rely on the most accurate information available anywhere--right

here on these pages. You won't find these kinds of detailed, accurate, no-bull

explanations anywhere else.

Third, the amount of documentation Microsoft produces--and it's the Microsoft

documentation that drives the rest of the book-writing industry--has dwindled

away. Consider the decline and fall of the windows manual.

Windows 2.0

568 pages

Windows 3.0

640 pages

Windows 3.1

754 pages (with 104 in the Getting Started booklet)

Windows 3.11

477 pages

Windows 95

95 pages

Windows 98

129 pages

Microsoft claims that they are backing away from longer manuals because readers

don't want them, but that's a bunch of hooey. Their real goal is to drive down

the COG--Cost of Goods. Paper manuals are the single most expensive part of

the whole equation. Look at it this way: if shipping a 129-page manual instead

of a 750-page manual saves $2.00 a package and 50 million copies ship . . .

well, that's some nice pocket change, yes? Mom's Point of View

MOM98

is more than an encyclopedic reference of the reality behind Win98. It's also

a book for that proverbial rainy day: the day Win98 won't boot up at all. The

day one of your Registry settings goes haywire. The day you delete or move a

program and can't figure out how to get it working again. The day you need to

do something Windows' designers didn't think of. The day you want to do something

the designers thought you shouldn't be allowed to do.

If you want to get under Windows' skin--whether for the sheer pleasure of understanding

what's happening in that box on your desk or to ward off the sheer terror of

a machine that won't work right--this is the book you need.

MOM98 concentrates on the parts of Win98 that are hard to "get"--the

tough concepts underlying Win98 font technology, for example, or what a Shortcut

really entails. You'll find never-before-seen tips on how to make Win98 work

better, on how to customize it to support the way you work. You'll see how the

Desktop connects to your applications and how folders control what you see on

the screen. You'll learn how Win98 starts itself, and what's really happening

in Safe mode. You'll see where vestiges of Windows 3.1 and even DOS creep into

Win98, and how a rudimentary knowledge of those "archaic" operating

systems can keep you out of a whole lot of hot water.

And

if you've ever tried to understand the Registry--the single repository of all

Windows knowledge, where all the bodies are buried--by using the incredibly

unenlightening official documentation in the Windows Resource Kit or online

Help, you'll appreciate MOM98's unique, detailed report on what we found there

. . . including all sorts of errors in the WRK, the Help files, and just about

everywhere else we looked. A very large part of Chapter 3 and practically all

of Chapters 8 and 9 work directly, down and dirty, with the Registry. That's

more than 200 pages of Registry stuff, much of it previously unpublished. Now

you know why we say that The Mother of All Windows 98 Books contains The Mother

of All Registry Books.

Most

important of all is what you won't see: the Microsoft Party Line. MOM98 doesn't

crib from the official, often erroneous, Windows manuals and books: it's a fresh,

untainted look at what's really happening in the Win98 ooze. Mom, Woody, and

I would sooner starve than serve up rehashed Redmond cant.

What you'll find here is the straight story, as best we can tell it, about

the most pervasive, most important computer program ever created. In short,

we think that every single Windows 98 user beyond the "What is the Start

button?" stage needs MOM98. Sooner or later, it'll save your butt.

Enjoy! Woody Leonhard
Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado Barry Simon
Los Angeles, California 0201433125P04062001

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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