Windows Vista: the Missing Manual, David Pogue. ISBN 0596528272
This is the second book in the Missing Manual series I’ve gotten my mitts on (the iPod one being the first) and I’m extremely impressed with the series so far.
This book does a great job of covering topics that everyone from novice through experienced mid-level folks can use. The format, writing style, and layout make the book easy to browse through, and the great table of contents and nicely done index make it fine as a reference.
The content ranges from basics such as how to tweak your system’s appearance to more technical topics like delving in to the search infrastructure in Vista. There’s also an entire section of five chapters guiding you on details surrounding networking in Vista, plus there’s a separate appendix dedicated to details on installing Vista. If you’re feeling very frisky there’s yet another appendix on “Fun with the Registry.” The section on Vista’s multi-media capabilities is particularly well done and has given me some very interesting ideas for ways to better use my Vista-based home systems.
I think the book does a great job of filling in gaps for newbies to mid-level users. Advanced users probably won’t get much out of the book, but the depth of content is sufficient enough to keep everyone else happy.
Put another way: I’ve got access to scads of Vista-related material through Microsoft courtesy of my MVP status and my company’s Gold Partner relationship. I’m keeping the book around as a handy guide. It’s that useful!