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Preface > Organization of This Book

Organization of This Book

Chapter 1, discusses not only some of the more common annoyances in the operating system, but also many of the improvements in this version over its successor, Windows 98 Second Edition, as well as some of the problems that weren't fixed. Also discussed is Me's sister product, Windows 2000.

Chapter 2, starts by examining the Windows user interface and how to overcome its limitations. That is followed by a discussion of the way you work with Windows and how to take advantage of some of its lesser-known tricks and customization features. This discussion includes advanced tips on Explorer; file-manipulation tricks; undocumented interface tweaks; and, best of all, some workarounds for the awful new Search feature.

Chapter 3, covers the structure of the Registry and the use of the Registry Editor. This information is important because most of the subsequent solutions make use of this knowledge. In addition to Registry basics, this chapter includes some advanced topics, such as effective searching techniques, finding the right Registry keys, and restoring a corrupted Registry.

Chapter 4, continues with customization and problem-solving topics that take advantage of the Registry techniques discussed earlier. Here are solutions for reducing clutter, protecting your file types, and customizing Windows Me beyond Microsoft's intentions; editing the Start Menu acquires a whole new meaning in this chapter.

Chapter 5, presents an often neglected topic. The goal is to get the best possible performance from your system without spending a lot of money or time. If and when you decide to upgrade, you'll also find tips here to help make informed decisions. Special subjects include gaming and virtual memory.

Chapter 6, starts with general troubleshooting techniques and hardware conflicts and then proceeds to everyone's favorite topic: error messages. Get the inside scoop on System File Protection and System Restore, two highly touted new features in Windows Me. The chapter then winds down with preventive maintenance and data recovery.

Chapter 7, allows you to expand your desktop and your repertoire by setting up a local-area network and connecting to the Internet. More than just the basics, this chapter explores protocols, troubleshooting, and new technologies, such as Internet Connection Sharing and virtual private networking.

Chapter 8, is an in-depth examination of the so-called integration of Microsoft's web browser, Internet Explorer, with the fundamental interface. This chapter explores the components that constitute Web Integration and how to configure them, including making use of the "Web View."

Chapter 9, rounds out the book with a discussion of simple programming using the Windows Script Host (WSH) included with Windows Me. In addition to an introduction to scripting with WSH, you'll find advanced solutions, such as functions for Registry access and filesystem access and how to use scripts and batch files to solve a wide range of problems. The chapter is wrapped up with several cool examples and a look at the seemingly simple Scheduled Tasks feature and how it can be used in conjunction with scripts for a truly automated environment.

The three appendixes are included as references. Appendix A is a comprehensive list of nearly every setting scattered throughout Windows Me, from folder options to removing tray icons. Appendix B covers DOS commands, which can be surprisingly useful in the Windows world, as well as DOS batch files, which have been around since the beginning of time yet are still undocumented in Windows Me. Finally, Appendix C is a listing of common Class IDs (special Registry codes for system objects) used throughout the book.

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