While it is our hope that this book provides you with enough information to perform the majority of Windows system administration tasks you are likely to do, it is not realistic to think every possible task can be covered. In fact, there are easily another five or six chapters we could have included in this book, but due to space and time considerations it was not possible for this edition. There is a wealth of additional resources and information you can find on the Internet or in a bookstore. In this section we cover some of the ones we use most frequently.
Help and Support Center
Windows XP comes with a new feature called the Help and Support Center, which is available directly off the Start menu. It is a great resource of information and it serves as the central location to obtain help information about the operating system, applications, and installed utilities.
If you have any questions about the complete syntax or usage of a command-line tool we use in the book, you should first take a look at the help information available with the tool. The vast majority of CLI tools provide syntax information by simply passing /? as a parameter. For example:
> netsh /?
Microsoft Knowledge Base (MS KB)
The Microsoft Help and Support web site is a great source of information and is home to the Microsoft Knowledge Base (MS KB) articles. Throughout the book we include references to pertinent MS KB articles where you can find more information on a topic. You can find the complete text for a KB article by searching on the KB number at the following web site: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx. You can also append the KB article number to the end of this URL to go directly to the article: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=.
Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN)
MSDN contains a ton of information on Windows XP and programmatic interfaces such as WMI. Throughout the book we'll sometimes reference MSDN pages in recipes where applicable. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to reference the exact page we're referring to unless we provided the URL or navigation to the page, which would more than likely change by the time this book is printed. Instead, we provide the name of the title of the page, which you can use to search on via the following site: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/.
These web sites are great starting points for information that helps you perform the tasks covered in this book:
Many of the Windows XP related Microsoft newsgroups are very active and have one or more of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) actively responding to questions. If you have a question and can't find an answer, try posting to the pertinent newsgroup.
These are general-purpose Windows XP newsgroups:
Here are some of the newsgroups that cover a specific Windows XP technology:
These are the scripting-related newsgroups:
If you have a question about a particular topic, a good starting point is to search the newsgroups using Google Groups (http://groups.google.com/). Just like Google's web search engine, Google's group search engine is an invaluable resource.
A good way to stay current with the latest industry trends and system administration techniques is by reading magazines. Here are a few good ones you should consider subscribing to: