Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual Book Review

I have said more than once that one of the biggest misconceptions people have about my skill set is that because I can develop software for the iPhone, iPad, and Windows 8 tablets, I must know everything there is to know about using them. 90% of my time spent on a computer is spent in code, UML tools, and using basic Word functionality.

I do not play games, make photo albums, plan vacations, or read books on them. In other words, I am not as computer savvy as the business user or teenager that use them to connect to the world and conduct their business or coordinate a gaming session.

I am very grateful for the Missing Manual series because they put everything I need to know about my devices in one place, and I don't have to spend the time looking for features.

I have listed the eight parts of this Missing Manual and the chapters they contain below.

Part One. TileWorld
1. The Start Screen
2. Customizing the Lock, Login & Start Screens
3. How TileWorld Works
4. TileWorld’s Starter Apps
5. TileWorld Settings

Part Two. The Windows Desktop
6. File Explorer, Folders & the Taskbar
7. Searching & Organizing Your Files
8. Redesigning Your Desktop World
9. Help at the Desktop
10. Programs & Documents
11. The Desktop’s Starter Programs
12. The Control Panel

Part Three. Windows Online
13. Hooking Up to the Internet
14. Security & Privacy
15. Internet Explorer 11
16. Windows Live Mail

Part Four. Pictures & Music
17. Windows Photo Gallery
18. Windows Media Player

Part Five. Hardware & Peripherals
19. Printing, Fonts & Faxing
20. Hardware & Drivers

Part Six. PC Health
21. Maintenance, Speed Tweaks & Troubleshooting
22. Backups & File History
23. The Disk Chapter

Part Seven. The Windows Network
24. Accounts (and Logging On)
25. Setting Up a Small Network
26. Corporate Networks
27. Sharing Files on the Network
28. The Road Warrior’s Handbook

Part Eight. Appendixes
A. Installing Windows 8.1
B. Fun with the Registry
C. Where’d It Go?
D. Master List of Gestures & Keyboard Shortcuts

As with all the Missing Manuals, the book is on the Missing Manuals web site. It has links to all the sites, software, and white papers mentioned in each chapter. They are organized by chapter so they are easy to find.

One of the things that is nice about this Missing Manual is that it covers Windows 8.1 WinRT (the book calls this the TileWorld) and Windows 8.1 Desktop in detail, and then proceeds to cover the context in which you will be using both. The book getting online, working with media and pictures, keeping your PC healthy, hardware, and networking. That makes the book a great asset for those people who need to get their devices attached to the rest of the world.

I have been using Windows 8 since Microsoft made the first pre-release available to download in 2011. Until a few months ago I went straight to the desktop and used WinRT for nothing. Then I was assigned to do a Proof of Concept in WinRT. It is moving an old Windows Forms application to WinRT to take advantage of newer technology and add long awaited enhancements.

I have been working on it for a while and have referenced this book often. It has helped me get up to speed on the WinRT ins and outs much quicker than I would have just playing around with it.

Personally I do not like WinRT. There are many features that don't work as advertised or as expected. Being able to validate how something should work with this book has helped me differentiate between things I may be doing wrong, and the things Microsoft just haven't implemented correctly.

An example of one of those things is Sharing using the Share Charm to move data back and forth between applications. Many of Microsoft's own products do not work correctly. The one that has given me the most grief is OneNote for WinRT. It cannot even Share correctly with Microsoft's own products correctly, so trying to get it to work with a custom application is out of the question. This book has helped me reach this and many more conclusions much faster than I normally would without it.

The index is very thorough and laid out really nice. This may seem trivial, but I am currently reading two programming books, and one of them has a horrible index, and the other has none. They are both great books, but they won't be very good references at all.

I highly recommend this book to the user that wants to know how to use all the applications and features included with Windows 8.1. The most amazing thing about this book is how many topics the author covers, and they cover them in detail giving lots of screenshots so you can see what they're discussing.

If you are thinking about buying your first PC or Tablet with Windows 8.1, this book is perfect for seeing what you'll be getting.

If you already own a PC or Tablet with Windows 8.1, this book can definitely help improve your experience using it.

Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual



Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

Latest Stories
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
Data scientists must access high-performance computing resources across a wide-area network. To achieve cloud-based HPC visualization, researchers must transfer datasets and visualization results efficiently. HPC clusters now compute GPU-accelerated visualization in the cloud cluster. To efficiently display results remotely, a high-performance, low-latency protocol transfers the display from the cluster to a remote desktop. Further, tools to easily mount remote datasets and efficiently transfer...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We're developing a software that is based on the cloud environment and we are providing those services to corporations and the general public," explained Seungmin Kim, CEO/CTO of SM Systems Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...