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Saturday
Jul132013

First Draft of Getting Started Chapter is Complete

The first draft version of Chapter 1: Getting Started in Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8 is now complete. This update includes an opening section about configuring a Microsoft account and some other small changes.

Nothing major in this one: Since most people have Microsoft accounts now, less introductory material is required than in the past (in, say, Windows Phone Secrets from three years ago). One item I’ve put aside for a future (post-1.0) version of the book is a discussion around two-step authentication and using an Authenticator app with Windows Phone 8, which will be quite important going forward. But hopefully the rest of the material is the right combination of deep and brief. I’m trying not to beat topics to death.

I made a few minor changes and added a few references to the Lumia 1020, since that device changes a few things from a hardware specification standpoint, as well.

Looking forward, there is one more chapter (2: The Windows Phone User Experience) that needs to be completed, and then I need to update Chapter 8: Maps + Location to cover the Nokia HERE location apps. Aside from a short introduction, that’s it for the first edition of what used to be called Windows Phone Book. I’m still hoping to finish it up this month.

Feedback is always appreciated.

Download Getting Started 0.4 (32 page PDF, 1.71 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.064 (589 page PDF, 35.7 MB)

Sunday
Jul072013

Getting Started 0.3

Here’s a third update to the Getting Started chapter in Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8. This update includes information about choosing a Windows Phone handset.

This is not a comprehensive guide to purchasing a Windows Phone handset, with a phone-by-phone comparison. Instead, I focus on what I consider to be two key but general areas: The hardware components that you can find in various handsets and which I feel are important, and a short discussion about why I think you should serious consider purchasing a Nokia device, which can certainly help narrow down you choices.

Beyond this, I still need to write the opening part of the chapter, which concerns getting and setting up a Microsoft account.

More soon. Feedback is always appreciated.

Download Getting Started 0.3 (26 page PDF, 1.45 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.063 (583 page PDF, 35.4 MB)

Friday
Jul052013

Getting Started 0.2

Here’s a second update to the Getting Started chapter in Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8. This update includes information about connecting to Wi-Fi, setting up and configuring additional accounts, and updating apps.

This version of the chapter includes the figures for the Connect to a Wi-Fi network section plus the new sections Set up and configure accounts and Update apps. That middle one was initially going to be much longer, but since most account set up is pretty straightforward—enter a username and password—I figured it wasn’t worth laboriously stepping through every single account type. Let me know if I missed anything.

This chapter has two more sections left to write, both at the beginning: Microsoft account, which will cover setting up and configuring a Microsoft account before you get a Windows Phone handset, and Choose a Windows Phone handset, which won’t be so much about individual phone models—as they change frequently—but rather about what specs and features to look for.

More soon. Feedback is always appreciated.

Download Getting Started 0.2 (23 page PDF, 1.3 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.062 (580 page PDF, 35.3 MB)

Sunday
Jun232013

PC Integration 0.7 and Book 0.061

Here’s the promised update to the PC integration chapter in Paul Thurrott’s Guide to Windows Phone 8, which includes information about the latest versions of the Windows Phone mobile app and Windows Phone desktop application for Windows. The latest version of the full Book document also includes a restructuring of the table of contents, with the locations of two chapters switched.

This was a lot of work for what doesn’t appear to be a huge change.

As I noted in the previous update, I’ve decided to remove the Business chapter from the book for now and switch the locations of the PC Integration and Security + Networking chapters. So the first thing I did was edit the full Book document to switch those chapters, so that Security + Networking is now Chapter 16 and PC Integration is now Chapter 17. Then, I laboriously scanned through the book for any references to these three chapters to either remove those references (for the Business chapter) or fix them to accommodate the new layout.

That was Saturday.

Today, I worked on the rewrite of Chapter 17, PC Integration. Actually, I had started on that some time ago and worked a bit on it over the past few days as well. After a ton of work, and a brief but ultimately discarded new layout that I felt was just too ponderous, I ended up switching it back to something that actually resembles the original version of the chapter. Long story short, I was going to monotonously spell out how to copy/sync each content type using each of three methods (Windows Phone mobile app, Windows Phone desktop application, File Explorer) and then realized that the processes were basically identical for each. So I simplified it and … voila! … It’s much like it was originally.

Anyway, I still needed to rewrite it to accommodate changes to the syncs, and to take new screenshots. So now this one is out of the way as well.

For the second time, I will consider the PC Integration chapter complete in first draft form.

Download PC Integration 0.7 (19 page PDF, 1.25 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.061 (571 page PDF, 34.9 MB)

Friday
Jun212013

Security + Networking 0.5, Some Book Changes

Here’s an unexpected update to a previously “completed” chapter: I moved a section about restoring from backup from Chapter 1 (Getting Started) to Chapter 17 (Security + Networking), necessitating a new release of the latter chapter. But this isn’t all that’s changing with Windows Phone Book.

First, the Security + Networking chapter changes.

This is one of those things that happens fairly frequently when you write longer manuscripts: You either forget something until later on, or realize at a late date that some material is in the wrong place. In this case, I had covered Backup in Chapter 17, but was going to cover Restore in Chapter 1. That doesn’t make sense, so I moved the Restore stuff into the Backup section in Chapter 17.

So. We have a new version of Chapter 17 and a new version of the full Book document. I made minor edits to Chapter 1 as well, but that one is so early there’s no need to publish a second update of that yet. I did, however, add whatever minor changes I did make in Chapter 1 to the full Book document, so that one is up to date.

Confused? Don’t worry about it. :) It confused me too.

And while we’re being confused, I’ll really throw a wrench into the whole thing and mention three other things that are changing with the book.

Business chapter. As I had hinted at, the business chapter is cutting cut for the 1.0 version of the book. I’ll reexamine this as we move forward.

PC Integration chapter. I started reworking Chapter 16 (PC Integration) and in doing realized it needed a major organizational change. So that’s in place now, but I need to copy in whatever content I’d already written that still fits, and then write new stuff too. Long story short, the new writing will be more than I had expected, but I like the new structure of the chapter so much better that I’m OK with it. I’ll try to post a first peek at the new version of that chapter soon.

Chapter reordering. Looking at the TOC (table of contents), I realized I need to swap the final two chapters. Right now, they’re:

Chapter 16. PC Integration
Chapter 17. Security & Networking

But they should be in the reverse order:

Chapter 16. Security & Networking
Chapter 17. PC Integration

Why? Because in this new order, the stuff that isn’t happening on the device is at the end of the book. And I like the idea of de-emphasizing the PC stuff in this way since Windows Phone is so cloud-focused. Anyway, I’ll make this change soon, fix the full Book doc, and issue new versions of each.

Phew. More than expected. :)

Download Security + Networking 0.5 (57 page PDF, 4.06 MB)

Download Windows Phone Book 0.060 (572 page PDF, 35.1 MB)