Review: Windows 7 Up and Running

lrg Windows 7: Up and Running:
A quick, hands-on introduction
By Wei-Meng Lee
Publisher: O’Reilly Media
Pages: 208
ISBN-10: 0596804040
ISBN-13: 978-0596804046

Reviewed by: Bill Coan, Word MVP

Suddenly, things have changed.
Up until now, there have been two main kinds of users of Windows: those willing to invest hours and hours and hours mastering all the nooks and crannies of the operating system and those preferring to just jump into Microsoft Office or onto the web and get their work done without thinking about the operating system.

Suddenly things have changed: Microsoft has released Windows 7, the most powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use version of Windows ever, and Wei-Meng Lee has produced a well organized, clearly written, and richly illustrated book of less than 200 pages that helps users harness the power of Windows 7 in minutes rather than hours.

In a hurry? Poke your nose into Chapter 2 (Getting Around Windows 7), and then flip to the back of the book and breeze through 30 pages of illustrated tips and tricks that will make scales fall from your eyes. Total investment: about thirty minutes, max, and you’ll start earning dividends on that investment immediately. (One tiny example: Troubleshooting Sleep Mode Problems on your laptop. Priceless!)

Want to find out what you can accomplish in Windows 7 without having to buy any additional software? Check out Chapter 5 (Essential Applications). You’ll be amazed at what you can do with Messenger, Mail, Photo Gallery, Writer, Movie Maker, and scads of utilities ranging from Sound Recorder to Math Input Panel to Sticky Notes to the new Statistics calculator and more.

Check out Chapter 6 (Internet Explorer 8) and you’ll be further amazed, especially if you thought that you already knew how to browse the web safely and securely.

Power hungry? I’ve saved the best for last. Wei-Meng Lee shows you how to set up file sharing with other Windows 7 machines and also with machines running earlier versions of Windows and even with Macintoshes. He also explains file system security and shows how you can protect your files from both local and online threats. And here’s the very, very best: he shows you how to install and exploit “virtual” machines running Windows XP, Unix, or other operating systems.

Don’t forget: this is a book of less than 200 pages, and it is richly illustrated. You can probably complete it in about an hour and a half. In addition to changing the way you see Windows, it just might change the way you see yourself as a computer user.