books about Windows Vista

As we prepare for Windows 7 to go on sale to the public, I thought about those who might not be able to use it. (And, don’t forget, Microsoft will not be resolving some vulnerabilities in Windows XP.) After considering the hardware and software I use, I will be keeping Windows XP on a computer because I am not ready to abandon my Palm TX and LifeDrive units.

For those who are willing to move from Windows XP to Vista, I recommend you own at least one “handbook” about it.


“Windows Vista: The Missing Manual” (authored by David Pogue) is one of two books that I have. It has information about some features I’ve never used. Such as Windows SideShow

“…technology that delivers information from your PC to a secondary display on two kinds of devices: those that are integrated into a computer, such as a small color display in a laptop lid; and those that are separate from a computer, such as a remote control or mobile phone. With this additional display you can view important information whether your laptop is on, off, or in sleep mode…”

I was looking forward to using it, but was never offered a computer that supported it.


The “Missing Manual” also reminded me of the existence of Windows Meeting Space, a service that…

“…enables the organizer to invite attendees and send them the password to use for the session. Others can join it, share files, or see the same view of a program or desktop and collaborate in real time.

“Even if you don’t have a network, Windows Meeting Space will create an ad hoc (PC-to-PC) network as long as you’re using a laptop with a network card…This ad hoc feature is perfect for collaboration when participants do not have access to a network infrastructure—for example, in a coffee shop without wireless access, or with customers who lack corporate network access…

“…you can quickly start a meeting that facilitates multi-party file sharing. When participants add a file to the handouts area, everyone gets a copy. If one group member makes a change to a file and saves it in the session, those changes are replicated immediately for all session members…

“While in a session, you can communicate with other users by passing notes. Notes are simply a one way text messages participants can send to each other. Unlike chats, notes do not have a history associated with them. Users can send text notes or ink notes.”

Neat…but I never used it.


Once during a Tech Tuesday segment during the morning news program on KOLD, Andy displayed a copy of “Windows Vista Annoyances” (authored by David A. Karp). As I skimmed through my copy I noticed that “defrag (drive) -w” will perform a full defragmentation of a drive. Having been spoiled by graphical user interfaces, I had forgotten the power of issuing commands with “switches” at the command prompt.

That’s why it’s good to have these available: so you can review, and refer to them when needed.

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