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Becoming comfortable with Windows & Networking

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Hi all, Before I sit down to learn more about design or development, I''d like to learn about the vocabulary and stuff on the consumer-end of gaming. It hurt to think that I still had some very basic questions, but I figured that I''d breathe easier knowing about some of this stuff. Could anyone point me to good books or web sites that would help me with stuff like... - How to optimize my computer for playing games - What all the options associated with 3D cards mean - A good source for basic networking concepts, like what tracert (I think that''s one of the commands) does, etc - What to do with the Windows registry - Stuff like INF files, maybe some files associated with games Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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http://www.tweak3d.net used to be pretty good for tweaking settings. I''ve not been there for a while though.

Tracert is used to list all the routers your network traffic is going through to get to a particular server. Try typing "tracert www.gamedev.net" in a command prompt.

You don''t really need to know about the registry or INF files to program so I''d just leave them for now. There are sections in the Windows Platform SDK (MSDN) that tell you how to use the registry from within code. I''ve never had a need to even touch an INF file''s internals yet.

Helpful links:
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way | Google can help with your question | Search MSDN for help with standard C or Windows functions

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Toms Hardware used to be a good site for computer optimizing, for networking Sams ''TCP/IP Unleashed'' is good (SYS ops, non-programming).
For the graphics cards stuff try looking at the Nvida site I''d expect there to be some good information there (and toms HW).

The windows registry is a pain, make sure you back it up before playing with it (regedit.exe), try looking through the windows system tools in accessories, particuly System Information. You can find out the tasks running on your system and search for there startups in the registry and win/sys.ini files (just for fun).

An excellent book on actual hardware is bigelow''s ''Troubleshooting, Maintaining and Repairing PC''s '', its very in depth about motherboards, IO, Graphics , Sounds etc.


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