Windows Vista Administrator’s Pocket Consultant by William R. Stanek

Windows Vista Administrator’s Pocket Consultant

  • Author: William R. Stanek
  • Softcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press(Jan 1 1900 12:00AM)
  • Book dimensions: n/a
  • ISBN: 0735622965
  • ITBookworm score: 2.5 /5

Score Reasoning

This book just doesn’t contain enough new information to make it extremely useful. Couple that with the indexing mistakes and it’s just not very good.


This is one of those small, thick books that’s meant to be carried around for quick reference. It’s organized in more of a task-orientated layout with all of the tasks grouped together into major sections like security, desktop configuration, windows defender, etc. For the most part it does a fairly decent job of walking you through most of the major functions of Vista administration. It really doesn’t go into very much detail on anything though. Most of what it does is just show you how to perform certain tasks and leave it at that. There is some base-level explanation of what some menu items and other selections mean, but that’s about it. Then I find that other topics are left completely untouched. The photo viewer is a good example. The photo viewer is much better than the one in XP, yet I didn’t see any mention of it or any of the functions it performs. That’s not a total surprise thought with this being more geared for IT and business networks. I didn’t see anything that answers any of the puzzling questions that plague Vista users like why certain folders look one way while others look another, etc. One of the biggest sections however, is group policy. It still doesn’t go into a lot of detail, but it’s one of the biggest sections. One major failing of this book though is the index. A book like this is basically index-driven because you’re more likely to look up specific tasks than you are to read it cover to cover. Just in my poking around, I found 3 indexing errors, and others that were questionable. A good example is on the photo viewer itself. The index gives a page number for it, but if you go to that page, it’s nowhere to be found. Other indexing problems are simply with what they chose to index. The only entry for safe mode puts it on a page where safe mode is mentioned, but the section really doesn’t have anything to do with safe mode at all. In all, the book is just alright. It’s high-level enough that my guess is that most, if not all of everything in this book could probably be found in Vista help. I haven’t compared any of the topics, but the content here isn’t impressive enough to make me run to it first. That and the indexing problems keep this from being a good book. I’d say it’s only decent.

Who is this book really for?

This book is for admins who don’t have a lot of experience with Vista and may like to keep a basic reference on their desk.

Writing Style

I wouldn’t really say that there’s a writing style because it reads more like a dictionary than anything.

-Sean McCown,


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