Some days I want to pick up my PC and throw it out the window. Other days, I fancy hitting it with a large, blunt object, or perhaps drilling through the CPU with a high-speed auger bit. Yesterday, I dreamt of small gray mice chewing through the power cable. But of course, the wanton destruction of electronic equipment can be rather expensive, not to mention a poor solution to the hundreds of everyday annoyances that evoke such feelings.
Windows XP frequently falls under the "You can't live with it; you can't live without it" category, and with good reason. Windows is an operating system, the underlying software that provides drivers, interface components, and communication services to the applications and games you use on your PC. Ideally, operating system software should be both omnipresent and invisible; like the air we breathe, it allows us to function but should never get in our way. Alas, it doesn't always work out that way.
Windows crashes. It interrupts our work with incomprehensible error messages. It bogs down under the weight of the software we pile on top of it. And it seems to make simple taskssuch as finding files, choosing default applications, and setting up a networkneedlessly complicated and hopelessly cumbersome. For these reasons and hundreds more, Windows is annoying.
The good news is that there are solutions to most Windows annoyances. Whether the solution lies in an obscure setting, an add-on program, or just a different way of doing something, most of what bugs us about Windows can be fixed. And that's what this book is about.