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This chapter is from the book


If Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer are essentially the same tool, why have both?

Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer started out as two separate tools. As Microsoft added features to both, their feature sets merged, making it difficult to tell one tool from the other. Today you only need to use the tool that best meets your work style. Some people still use both because they like having the separate interface for local and Internet browsing.

How can I use offline content to make myself more productive?

The most obvious way is that you'll spend less money paying for connection time you don't need. However, using offline storage pays dividends in other ways. For example, you can pass the offline data to your laptop and read it on a plane during travel time. Offline data also comes in handy when you want to read a little and don't want to waste time creating a new connection every time you change pages.

How much will I gain if I spend the time customizing my system?

You'll become more efficient in several ways by customizing your system. First, there's a gain in system performance. I found that getting rid of the elements that I didn't need sped up my system by about 5%. You'll also find that you can perform tasks quicker if you don't have to worry about the interface getting in the way. Finally, most of us work faster when we're in a familiar work environment. Customizing your system will keep things familiar so that you can work at your best.

Is there any absolute method for configuring the Windows XP interface for best performance?

No, everyone's needs are different. Not only do you use different applications than everyone else, but you also see things differently than they do. There's no one right answer to the problem of Windows interface configuration, which is why it's so important to play with the interface to see what it can do.


It's the end of the third day. By now, you've learned what Windows XP can do for you and how to install it. Now it's time to see how much you know about interacting with it. You can find answers to the quiz and exercise questions in Appendix A at the back of the book.

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