• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Introduction

Introduction

We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.

T. S. Eliot

Here we go again. It seems like only yesterday that we were desperately trying to escape the onslaught of hype and puffery that accompanied the launch of Windows 95. Now here we are with Microsoft's latest bouncing baby operating system: Windows 98. Is this just “Windows 95 plus 3”? On the surface, it would seem so. If all you want from Windows is the ability to launch your word processor and spreadsheet programs, you probably won't notice much difference between the old Windows and the new one.

However, if your operating system needs aren't so superficial (and your purchase of this book would indicate just that), Windows 98 has no shortage of new trinkets and baubles for you to discover. Whether it's Web integration, a boatload of new and improved Internet utilities, support for the latest three-letter hardware gadgets—MMX, AGP, USB, and DVD, to name just a few—or the massive collection of system tools, Windows 98 is no mere name change. (I run through the complete list of new Windows 98 features in Chapter 4, “What's New and Noteworthy in Windows 98.”)

On the other hand, Windows 98 still carries some Windows 95 baggage. It still takes forever to load (although not quite as long as Windows 95), it's still hobbled by some 16-bit code, and general protection faults still rear their annoying heads from time to time. Not only that, but some useful Windows 95 tools—such as Microsoft Fax—have been dropped inexplicably from the lineup.

My goal in writing Windows 98 Unleashed is to cover the good, the bad, and the ugly of Windows 98. In particular, I give you complete coverage of the intermediate-to-advanced features of Windows 98. This means that I bypass basic topics, such as wielding the mouse, in favor of more complex operations, such as working with the Registry, setting up hardware profiles, networking, and getting connected to the Internet.

I've tried to keep the chapters focused on the topic at hand and unburdened with long-winded theoretical discussions. However, there are plenty of situations in which you won't be able to unleash the full power of Windows 98 and truly understand what's going on unless you have a solid base on which to stand. In these cases, I give you whatever theory and background you need to get up to speed. From there, I get right down to brass tacks without any further fuss and bother. To keep the chapters uncluttered, I've made a few assumptions about what you know and what you don't know:

  • I assume that you have knowledge of rudimentary computer concepts, such as files and folders.

  • I assume that you're familiar with the basic Windows skills: mouse maneuvering, dialog box negotiation, pull-down menu jockeying, and so on.

  • I assume that you can operate peripherals attached to your computer, such as the keyboard and printer.

  • I assume that you've used Windows for a while and are comfortable with concepts such as toolbars, scroll bars, and, of course, windows.

  • I assume that you have a brain that you're willing to use and a good supply of innate curiosity.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint