InformIT, Upgrading and repairing PCs, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Hardware and Windows Tips of the Day, Number 1 of a New Series

I’ve just completed my “30 Hardware and Windows Tips in 30 Days” series at InformIT.com, the umbrella website for Que Publishing, Peachpit, and other book imprints in the Pearson Education family.

Most of these tips are self-contained, but a few of them are ‘to-be-continued’ two-parters. I’ll be featuring a hardware and a Windows tip each day over the next couple of weeks.

Hardware Tip of the Day

Have problems with slow writing speeds with some types of DVD or CD media? Poor system stability? Problems with your CD or DVD drive recognizing new types of media? The solution is simple: get a firmware upgrade for your DVD drive.

Windows Tip of the Day

Tired of Windows Update rebooting your system at the worst possible times? Don’t like removing updates you never asked for and never wanted anyway? Put yourself in charge of Windows Update (XP, Vista).

Tune in tomorrow for another hardware and another Windows tip.

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Speaking of Windows, you can now preview my forthcoming book Unleashing Microsoft Windows Vista Media Center. It’s available as a Rough Cut from the InformIT website. A Rough Cut is an unfinished version of the book that gives you an opportunity to see how the book is progressing. You can preview the book online or via PDF or preorder the book – all at a significant savings off the cover price.

Books, MaximumPC, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Discover the Difference in Home Networking in Vista

The home networking chapter from my book Maximum PC Microsoft Windows Vista Exposed: an Insider’s Guide to Supercharging Windows Vista is now available online.

Windows Vista’s networking features are among the biggest changes compared to Windows XP, and this chapter will help you understand how to master new features like the Network Center, network mapping, setup and management of wireless networks, helping Windows XP and Windows Vista coexist on a single network, and network troubleshooting. Whether you’re already using Windows Vista or planning to take a look at it this year, it’s a must-read.

Windows Vista

Time to Take a Second Look at Windows Vista

If you’ve been waiting for a good reason to try Windows Vista, Service Pack 1 (now available in its Release Candidate version) is that reason. It provides huge improvements in reliability, performance, and features. I’ve been running it for about a month on my laptop (a two-year old single-core Turion 64) and it’s solid, reliable, and faster than before.

If you’re considering taking Windows Vista for a spin (you can grab a 30-day trial of the Enterprise edition that runs under Virtual PC 2007), check out these new articles available at InformIT.com:

Amazon.com, Appearances, Books, Windows Vista

Owensboro's GOTIT! Vista Questions, That Is.

Many thanks to the men and women who attended my talk on Windows Vista SP1, “What’s In It for Business?” yesterday at Owensboro’s Colby’s Restaurant. The Greater Owensboro Territory Information Technologists (GETIT) asked a lot of great questions about Windows Vista and SP1. Some also purchased my new book Maximum PC Microsoft Windows Vista Exposed – a great gift for Vista users.

Both GOTIT and its sister organization in Evansville, GETIT, sponsor outstanding speakers on technology issues monthly. Check out upcoming events at the GETIT/GOTIT information page hosted by the Evansville Public Library’s website.

Windows Vista

Windows Vista SP1 RC's Up For Grabs – Get It Now

Windows Vista users: 

If you’re looking for a way to…

  • Get your hands on over 450 updates and hotfixes
  • Improve reliability and performance
  • Make your system more secure

… you need Windows Vista SP1 RC – today! You can use it until the final SP1 release comes along, and this near-final release provides a lot of relief for nagging Windows Vista problems. Find the links you need here.

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Get yourself up to speed on Vista or help a Windows newbie out – pick up a copy of Maximum PC Microsoft Windows Vista Exposed today. It’s available at Amazon.com, and has recently received a 5-star review:

I have just finished this book, and was very impressed with how it opened my eyes to Vista…I would recommend this book to anyone new to Vista.

Books, MaximumPC, Tech news, Windows Vista, Windows XP

On the Windows Beat…

I’ve been working hard on a couple of new Windows projects lately:

And, in addition to those, I’ve also been covering the Windows beat at Maximum PC’s website. If you haven’t dropped by lately, here’s what you haven’t seen yet:

  • Learn how to protect yourself from Windows Vista’s activation problems
  • Find out what reviewers think about Windows Vista’s backup, Windows Live Photo Gallery, and Windows Movie Maker HD utilities
  • Discover why your Windows XP system downloaded the performance-robbing Windows Desktop Search, and how to banish it – for good.
  • Find out how to protect your Windows XP system from the Mailto URI threat in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader.
  • Learn how to become an unofficial beta tester of Windows Vista SP1 by making a few simple changes to your system.
  • And, on the brighter side, find out how the Atari 2600 VCS (now 30 years old!) inspired today’s booming console and PC gaming industry.

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Discover how Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player, Windows Movie Maker and Windows Photo Gallery work together to make Windows Vista the most compelling multimedia platform for Windows yet. Get Mark’s new book Maximum PC Microsoft Windows Vista Exposed: an Insider’s Guide to Supercharging Windows Vista. It’s available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, BooksaMillion, and other fine bookstores.