From a technical level I am always looking for great reference manuals. From a support standpoint I ma looking for books that I can use to explain to the end-user in a language they can understand. Now I have both with this book.
I was amazed what was packed in this 1400 page book, everything from A to Z or should I say from 10BaseT to Z39.50 and everything in between. What the author has done is taken each word or topic and simplified the explanation in short snippets that give you a basic understanding of the material.
There are pictures, figures, and web references for related topics, RFCs, tables and diagrams to make it easier to understand certain concepts. The book seems to be up to date and well documented. I have already used it in my job and found that it was easy for the end user to understand.
The CD-rom included is the complete book in electronic format making this as portable as possible. The electronic format has web links to site with more information. Overall this combination of book and software make this a very good deal indeed.
on July 9, 2001
This is my first public review of a book, but this book is impressive and truly worth writing about. I was looking for a single reference that would cover a broad range of telecommunications and networking subjects, yet provide enough detail to make those subjects meaningful. My search included the reference books that I could get from my fellow workers, a public library and a technical bookstore. I looked up several test subjects. Some books had more reference headings, but none came close to the number of subjects covered in a meaningful way. For instance, by looking up QAM (which some other references didn't even have), I was given an accurate synopsis modem modulation methods (which I could validate because of my familiarity with the subject). Examining other subjects was an educational experience, as the author brought me up to date with his very readable explanations. The CD-ROM filled in where the alphabetical arrangement and in the index left off. Its search/query function was much more comprehensive than could be expected from a paper index. For instance, it found that the Cable Data Network combines QAM with forward error correction. It also was the means for looking up PSK V.22 and V.92 (other subjects related to modem modulation). Overall, I am highly pleased, both with the book and the included ROM.
on November 16, 2001
I picked this volume up at TechEd 2001. The competition with other books in this category brought the race down to "McGraw-Hill's Encyclopedia of Networking & Telecommunications" winning by one length over the "Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking".
Tom Sheldon provided the most well-grounded and well-rounded information to fulfill the title of an "encyclopedia of networking" compared to Mitch Tulloch's very good but more Microsofted (I think microsoft as a verb can now come into play) approach to the subject and its fields.
Sheldon's book contains a greater variety of entries and their corresponding information (i.e. terms/acronyms like "NSA" & "PKI") instead of a namebrand focused presentation. I would like to see a "Special Characters" index category like Tulloch's book has, but this is not as necessary when using the search capability of the book's CD edition (which is included and loaded with hyperlinks to outside information sources).
I highly recommend Tom Sheldon's book. It's useful, it's layout and design is easy on the eyes, and I'm glad to have it at my desk (when I'm able to return it there after tracking down who last borrowed it).
on August 1, 2001
I needed a technology refresh on all the new concepts and terms buzzing around (e.g. SOAP). I was looking for a course or a conference or a good book. Last Sunday I found the Encyclopaedia of Networking & Telecommunications in a Waterstone's Book shop in London. Since then I have been thoroughly enjoying it, jumping from topic to topic, web site to web site. Its just what I needed, new (and old) technology concepts explained at the right level and with plenty of reference details if I need a deeper understanding. I also like the diagrams/illustrations. They simplify the explanations and aid in the rapid understanding of the concepts. All of a sudden I feel on top of the technology maze again. Thanks Tom, for providing a single source where us technology managers can go for a quick but comprehensive information update.
Clinton Ritchie Director, Systems Planning & Development Operations & Systems ICO Global Communications, London
on November 8, 2002
Firstly I'd like to say...Thanks Tom, for helping to keep me in a job! Up until recently I worked as a Network Administrator in Sydney and believe me, your books saved my bacon on more than a few occasions! I first received the electronic edition of the Encyclopedia of Networking whilst studying Computer Technology and e-business in Sydney. The encyclopedia was included as part of the overall course and many references were made in the college's learning guides to certain chapters when more detailed information was necessary on a particular topic. I'm currently involved in the area of Multimedia and Telecommunications and recently obtained a copy of the latest edition, The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications and am amazed at how much extra and updated information has been included. I keep the book close by at all times and find myself referring to it quite regularly. I could now honestly say that it's become my IT bible! It covers all aspects of networking, the Internet, Electronic Communication, topologies, protocols, security and various configurations in absolute and thorough detail. The encyclopedia also comes with a CD that can be loaded onto your computer as a PDF file and the search facility works brilliantly. I must say that if anyone is involved in, or wants to know anything about Networking and Telecommunications this book is an absolute must! Personally, I can't see how I could do my job without it. Thanks a million Tom! ...John Botica
on June 26, 2001
Both our firm, and myself personally, over the years have purchased every edition of this outstanding technical resource.
They all have provided an effective introductory overview, and summary of the most relevant areas of I.T. Networking and Telecommunications - further enhanced with numerous outside references, and "hot" links to obtain more detailed information as necessary. However, in many cases we have found that details contained in this text are more than sufficient "as is".
When our firm's technical staff - at all levels - needs to "quickly" reference "one source" for concise general overviews of specific I.T. and Telecommunications technologies - your book is the only one everyone reaches for.
We look forward to future updates, and new editions as appropriate. Bravo, well done - yet again.
on July 22, 2001
This all-encompassing book / CD-ROM are filled with thousands of explanations and analyses of core and cutting-edge networking and telecommunications topics from Abilene to QoS to ZAWS. Updated to include coverage of all the latest technologies including Cisco, Microsoft, Nortel Networks, 3COM, and more.
Extensive cross-referencing throughout helps you understand the relationship among the technologies. This is a must-have resource for every network professional. The book also includes a guide to the Internet engineering documents.
Detailed coverage of ASP (Application Service Provider) Bluetooth Cryptography Distributed Computer Networks Embedded Systems Hacking and Hackers InfiniBand Java Linux Load Balancing Mobile Computing NAS (Network Attached Storage) Network Processors Optical Networks Outsourcing PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) QoS (Quality of Service) SAN (Storage Area Network) Switching Fabrics Transaction Processing UNIX Webcasting XML.
The CD-ROM includes complete, fully searchable version of the book with thousands of hyperlinks to related topics in the book External hyperlinks to author-selected Web sites for further information Illustrations of complex networking topics.
I haven't found any other book like this and is by far the best reference I could find about networks.
on July 8, 2001
This book, and the accompanying CD, is a great reference for CIOs, CTOs, Engineers and Managers. I keep the CD in my laptop at all times and refer to it often to get clarity on networking topics, refresh my knowledge of a networking design issue, or just learn new things about telecommunications. Sheldon has laid out the book so you can quickly hit a topic you're interested in (or must understand for that big meeting coming up in an hour!) and review it comprehensively, or use the book as a tool to clarify a networking issue and all pertinent, associated technologies. The chapters are well-written, instructional without being boring. I haven't figured out a way to start a chapter and read it end-to-end because I keep hitting topics that I want to refer to in other parts of the book to learn more - but that's a good thing. Also, the website Sheldon is working on will help keep topics fresh as changes and advances occur.
Fantastic book. If you're in the IT field and want a good, comprehensive book to help you understand end-to-end network architecture, I can't imagine a better book to buy.
on December 11, 2001
I work for an ISP in the Upstate NY area in 2nd level Internet support. I have found this book to be a very handy and comprehensive reference on Networking technologies. We are also an ILEC and I am impressed with how well this reference covers terms or acronyms that I am unfamiliar with when dealing with this side of the business. Great job Tom! Keep up the good work.
on December 16, 2001
Tom Sheldon can capture the core of a hard to read, multi-hundred page networking book in less than a couple of pages. Crystal clear definitions, well structured text and diagrams, plus excellent cross-references make his "Encyclopedia of Networking" a huge time saver for any networking professional. Manuel Vexler, Certified Network Engineer