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
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Daniel Jones is CTO of EngineerBetter, helping enterprises deliver value faster. Previously he was an IT consultant, indie video games developer, head of web development in the finance sector, and an award-winning martial artist. Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
Evan Kirstel is an internationally recognized thought leader and social media influencer in IoT (#1 in 2017), Cloud, Data Security (2016), Health Tech (#9 in 2017), Digital Health (#6 in 2016), B2B Marketing (#5 in 2015), AI, Smart Home, Digital (2017), IIoT (#1 in 2017) and Telecom/Wireless/5G. His connections are a "Who's Who" in these technologies, He is in the top 10 most mentioned/re-tweeted by CMOs and CIOs (2016) and have been recently named 5th most influential B2B marketeer in the US. H...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: implemen...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.