I finished Mastering Windows XP Professional [by Mark Minasi] today. I wasn't as impressed with it as I was with his other books. I started the book on Thursday and finished it by Tuesday.
Most of the book appeared to explain XP Pro at the user level. It was a thorough examination of the material, but very much aimed at the average user. I suppose Sybex was attempting to capture the larger market (users vs admins), however...we ALL know that users aren't going to read 1,008 pages -- not even if you sprinkle pictures of naked ladies between the screen captures.
Even though it's a smaller demographic, they should both consider that the admins are their steady customers. No...make that their audience. Perhaps they get the numbers from actual sales. Perhaps many users do buy these books. But, they don't read them. They put it on their shelf as a "reference" book and call the IT office when they need to know how to do something. Well...if they're not going to actually read it anyway...why not add more meat to it so those who do read it have a deeper understanding?
Usually the "Mastering" books go deep into the weeds on the topic. This book had a lot of breadth, but not depth. It touched on just about everything. But, it just touched on it.
I absolutely detested the networking section. It looked to me like a user would gain just enough knowledge to be dangerous. If you're going to tell someone that a crossover cable connects two PCs and that the send and receive wires are flipped on one end, you might as well give a picture of the pinout. People that are going to try this are doing so to save the expense of a "hub"... Which means they'll probably try to save the expense of buying an expensive pre-made crossover cable too....so show the pinout!
Posted by BlueWolf on July 6, 2004 11:37 PM