I don’t know about you, but having been ‘computer-raised’ in the DOS, Windows 3.1 and OS/2 era, I truly miss those big, thick manuals that came with every piece of major software until the manufacturers decided that no one was reading them anyway and put help files in PDF format on the install CD.
Well, I read those books voraciously, as well as the ‘Dummie’ series and other third-party manuals. It must be my generation, but I still prefer to hold a hard copy of a book in my hands rather than clicking through an e-book to find what I want. Now, I do see the value of having an electronic copy of a manual on my PC, but I like to have a paper copy as well.
With that in mind, I thought I might mention a few books on Vista that I have on my bookshelf. These should be available at any bricks and mortar bookstore as well as online, of course. In no particular order here’s the ones I can recommend:
- Windows Vista Inside Out by Ed Bott, Carl Siechert, and Craig Stinson. This book is more for those who wish to know more about the workings of Vista, from install to fine-tuning (or tweaking, as it is commonly called). For the intermediate to advanced/IT person. There’s also a Deluxe Edition that has been updated for Vista Service Pack 1.
- Windows Vista Secrets by by Brian Livingston and Paul Thurrott. Here’s a great book that all levels of users can get some good usability tips from. Lots of shortcuts, tips and such to keep one’s interest throughout each chapter.
- Windows Vista: The Missing Manual by David Pogue. This is a great book for introducing Vista to the beginner, but it also has a sprinkling of goodies for all experience levels as well. I gave this book to someone who just bought a new laptop with Vista on it. She had no Vista experience previous to this and she loved the book and rarely ever asked me a question about Vista!
- Windows Vista Resource Kit, Second Edition by Mitch Tulloch, Tony Northrup, Jerry Honeycutt, Windows Vista Team. This book is pretty much for the Admin/IT Pro. It’s a little out of my league, but there are some things that are good to know in order to help others to get the most out of the Vista experience and deal with any issues they might have. Updated for Vista Service Pack 1.
Those are all the books on Vista I have. I have books on Office as well, all from Microsoft Press, which is a good place to start looking for authoritative reference books and technical manuals on Windows and other MS software.