Back in early 1995, I was using a beta (pre-release version) of Windows 95 on my machine. Only a few hours after installing it, I became aware of the extent to which the previous version of Windows (Windows for Workgroups 3.11) had stunted my machine. A well-designed operating system can unleash the power of the hardware on which it runs, just as a poorly designed operating system can make you want to throw all of your expensive hardware in the thresher. Windows is a little bit from column A and a little bit from column B.
Now, not being the complacent type, I immediately started hacking away at Windows, compiling a list of questions and complaints about the operating system, some of which had solutions and some of which did not. This was the start of the Windows 95 Annoyances web site, which turned out to be one of the very first web sites devoted to Windows 95. Later, in the summer of 1995, other pre-release users began writing me with their own questions and complaints, and even with occasional solutions to the problems I hadn't yet solved.
As readers' requests for information and additional solutions became more diverse, so did the web site. The site quickly evolved from a simple list of annoyances to an extensive collection of tips and tricks, and eventually to a more comprehensive support center for Windows 95.
Then, in 1996, I wrote the book Windows Annoyances for O'Reilly, followed by Windows 98 Annoyances in 1998, and Windows Me Annoyances in 2000. As these books were written and released, the web site was expanded to include other versions of Windows, and now, as Annoyances.org, serves as the home for this book and its predecessors, the ever-increasing collection of online tips and tricks, and several very popular threaded discussion forums.
The first edition of Windows XP Annoyances was written in 2002 to cover the original release of Windows XP. This new edition, Windows XP Annoyances for Geeks, covers the benefits and pitfalls of Microsoft's latest edition of Windows XP: Service Pack 2.
I've written this book with the philosophy that the more you know about a tool you usespecifically, Microsoft Windows XPthe better your day-to-day experience with it will be. If this contradicts what you've seen in other books or the Windows manual, you're getting the idea.
But I prattle on. Feel free to dive in to any part of the book and start eliminating annoyances.