love picking up a computer book by a local writer which means that the
author resides within the state of Texas. Pat Coleman, the author of Windows
XP from A to Z, is a Houston resident and thus qualifies as a local
writer. This book, as the title indicates, is a reference book that should
be on the desk beside every system that is running Win XP. At roughly 6x9
inches and 248 pages this book is packed with information on how to use
Windows XP from A to Z is organized like a dictionary or an encyclopedia
making it possible to look up any word or feature and find the information
that you need without using the Index. However, if you are old school and
just must use the index you will find that it is excellent. What I especially
like is that you can look up a term or feature and if Ms. Coleman has defined
that item in a different category, there is a reference to that category.
An example of such a feature is looking up magnifier and being referred
to Accessibility Options. Another major plus for this book is the
plentiful use of screen captures to illustrate what is being written. Ms.
Coleman used two screen captures to show the reader how to log off and
shut down the computer using Win XP. This seems like a very elementary
thing for anyone who has used a computer in the past but believe me Win
XP is visually quite different from Win 9x and it is really helpful to
see what to expect to see when you are ready to shut down.
Like an encyclopedia, this book tells more than just a description of
a feature. Win XP has many features “in the box” and this book covers things
like how to create a music CD, playing a DVD, and finding Internet radio
stations in the ten pages devoted to the media player. You can learn text
editing, formatting, and working with files in Notepad. In WordPad Ms.
Coleman shows how to work with files; edit; customize; insert date, time
and objects; format; and specify paragraphs and tabs. There are half dozen
pages devoted to Paint and how to use its features.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone who uses Windows XP. I also
think that it would be an excellent book for teaching computer classes
to those whose first computer has Win XP installed.
I went to CompUSA and Office Depot looking for Windows XP from A
to Z and did not find it on their shelves, but since the publication
date is July of 2001, it may be on the shelves by the time that you read
this review. I checked the Internet and found it at the publisher,
for $12.95. I went to Amazon
and found the book for $10.36 and at Barnes
and Noble it is selling for $11.65. Borders Book Stores are a part
of Amazon and probably would order Windows XP from A to Z for you.
Barnes and Noble is always willing to order books for you to pick up at
the store, also. It is also possible to order from the publisher
8581 154th Avenue NE
Redmond, WA 98052.