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
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's [email protected] at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, high-productivity enterprise web applications for any device. SmartClient couples the industry’s broadest, deepest UI component set with a java server framework to deliver an end-...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Many banks and financial institutions are experimenting with containers in development environments, but when will they move into production? Containers are seen as the key to achieving the ultimate in information technology flexibility and agility. Containers work on both public and private clouds, and make it easy to build and deploy applications. The challenge for regulated industries is the cost and complexity of container security compliance. VM security compliance is already challenging, ...
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.