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Webster's New World Telecom Dictionary Paperback – October 29, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 568 pages
  • Publisher: *Webster's New World; 1 edition (October 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047177457X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471774570
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,281,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Webster’s New World Telecom Dictionary is an excellent piece of work. A handful of other telecom dictionaries and encyclopedias are cur­rently in print, by far the most popular of which is Newton’s Telecom Dictionary. Because Newton’s dominates the market and has done so for many years, any telecom dictionary or encyclopedia is inevitably compared to that work. Webster’s New World Telecom Dictionary is no exception, particularly because Ray Horak was the contributing editor to Newton’s from the 12th through the 22nd editions.
Although Webster’s defines only 4,600 terms in comparison to Newton’s highly dubious claim of some 24,500 terms, Webster’s definitions are much better researched, much more precise, and much more efficiently worded (that is, there is much less “fluff”). Even if Webster’s almost certainly will gain in bulk as future editions expand the coverage of the telecom domain, it contains all of the es­sential telecom and IT terms, and defines them clearly and concisely. Webster’s includes many humorous definitions but, unlike Newton’s, they are all relevant and meaningful. Newton’s, on the other hand, is so full of personal observations and anecdotes, irrelevant humor (?), and inaccurate definitions as to make you wonder why bother to make the comparison at all.
Webster’s New World Telecom Dictionary is an excellent piece of work. Ray Horak and his technical editor, Bill Flanagan, have col­laborated to create a well-written, authoritative work that clearly sets a new standard for telecom dictionaries. I highly recommend it to anyone serious about telecom. (John R. Vacca, The Internet Protocol Journal (Cisco Systems), December 2008, pp. 36-38)

Webster's New World Telecom Dictionary by Ray Horak includes more than 4,600 terms essential to a clear and complete understanding of voice, data, video and multimedia communications system and network technologies, applications and regulations. Although the book is an excellent technical dictionary, Horak‘s plain-English, commonsense style yields definitions that are as thoroughly understandable to the business professional or student as they are to the electrical engineer. It is thoroughly researched, highly objective, absolutely accurate and includes just about every essential term, phrase, abbreviation, acronym, backronym, contraction, initialism and portmanteau you might encounter in the telecom and datacom domains. Many entries are encyclopedic in nature, discussing applications and issues, as well as technical specifics. The book clearly is the most authoritative contemporary telecom dictionary. (NATD World, October 27, 2008)

Webster’s New World Telecom Dictionary by Ray Horak is comprehensive with more than 4,600 terms essential to a clear and comprehensive understanding of voice, data, video and multimedia communications system and network technologies, applications and regulations. Although the book is a technical dictionary, Horak’s plain-English, commonsense style yields definitions that are as thoroughly researched, objective, accurate, and includes just about every essential term, abbreviation, acronym, contraction, initialism and portmanteau you might encounter in the telecom and datacom domains.
The book is the perfect companion to his Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook, published by Wiley-Interscience in October 2007. Taken together, these two are all you need to get your arms around the essentials of telecom. (Reviewed by Mark Simon, Founder/CEO of EvinceMedia, Telecom Reseller, May/June 2008 Edition)

Many folks who entered the telecom trade during the 1980s and the go-go years of the 1990s came to rely on Newton’s Telecom Dictionary, from long-time BCR columnist Harry Newton, as their guide to the wild and wooly world of telecom.
Unfortunately, those of us in the trade didn’t think very highly of Harry’s contribution. While it did not lack for wit, Newton’s Dictionary was woefully short on quality information. In fact, one of the ways the veterans identified the rookies was by the latter’s dependence on what we looked at as a rather lame source.
For those who are entering the field today (and even for those who have been around for a while) there is a new dictionary that is worth the investment. Ray Horak, President of The Context Corporation, has written the Webster’s New World Telecom Dictionary, and it’s a gem. It’s 559 pages of well-written, insightful information on everything from "A" (for Ampere) to "Zero-Water Peak Fiber", not to mention symbols like Octothorpe (i.e. the "#" sign) and all those terms we have that begin with numbers starting like "0B + D".
Mr. Horak’s book is thoroughly researched, and contains an unfathomable wealth of detail. I have taught data networking for over 25-years and pride myself on precision- this book is precise. Where you might think you know the definition of that term, here you’ll find that definition expressed with absolute precision and find three other definitions you weren’t even aware of.
Ours is a challenging field, and good sources of information are few and far between. The Webster’s New World Telecom Dictionary is a source you can count on. If they have a Jeopardy category on "Telecom Trivia", my money’s on Ray Horak.—Reviewed by Michael Finneran, dBrn Associates (NoJitter.com, May 29, 2008)

What’s remarkable about this work is it defines over 4,600 telecom terms and, scanning through it, it appears there are more TLAs (three-letter acronyms) involved than the mind can comfortably encompass. I’ve found the dictionary incredibly useful when researching, and every now and then I find an interesting snippet of trivia (did you know Bob Metcalfe’s middle name is "Melancton"?) (Reviewed by Mark Gibbs, Network World, 4/30/08)

Books about telecom subjects generally fall into one of two categories: Very Basic or Incomprehensible. For the vast majority of us that fall between these two extremes, there is a new dictionary of telecom terms that is neither too technical, nor condescending.
The standard text, and one of the most widely read books in telecom, has been Newton’s Telecom Dictionary, now in its 23rd edition. But, the man who edited Newton’s for much of its history, has now published his own version of a telecom dictionary. Webster’s New World Telecom Dictionary (Wiley, 2008, ISBN 978-0-471-77457-0) is written by Ray Horak.
A dictionary is one of the most difficult books to write. Just coming up with a comprehensive list of terms is onerous enough in itself. But, to define each of these terms in a way that is understandable by the unwashed masses, is mind boggling.
Horak has done an admirable job, and created a work that can be used where Newton’s can cause problems. For example, in the expert witness work I sometimes perform, Newton’s funny or flippant definitions can be used to impugn the credibility of the source itself. You will not have this problem with Webster’s; it is a work that will never cause you a red face if you use it in a hostile environment.
In all, I will continue to keep both on my bookshelf, and value them both, cognizant of the differences. (Reviewed by Gene Retske, The Prepaid Press, April 2008)

I found a lot to like about Webster's New World Telecom Dictionary. First, it is indeed very easy to read, and contains a lot of detail, as well as good cross referencing in the entries where needed. Second, it provides good illustrations and diagrams that get the point across. Finally, while touted as a dictionary, it feels more like an encyclopedia in that it does not have that dry dictionary form—but rather a more inviting feel that makes you want to come explore. Whether you are a telecom or IT professional, do yourself a favor and get Webster's New World Telecom Dictionary as it is highly recommended. (T. Michael Testi, BC Books, October 31, 2007)

Review

"For anyone who has to work in our field, and particularly for those who must describe it to others, I highly recommend Ray Horak's Telecom Dictionary. It is over 500-pages of thoroughly researched, densely packed, and wonderfully entertaining information for anyone who works in the telecom field."
Jim Burton, Unified Communications Strategies

More About the Author

Ray Horak is the President of The Context Corporation (www.contextcorporation.com), an independent consultancy with its world headquarters in Mt. Vernon, WA. Ray has been involved in telecommunications for 40 years, having begun his career with Southwestern Bell and later gaining experience with AT&T and Bell Labs. He moved on as an executive with Continental Telephone, where he later founded CONTEL Tenant Services and served as General Manager of Executone Houston. Ray assumes no responsibility for the fact that most of these companies no longer exist in recognizable form. Ray is an acclaimed consultant, lecturer and writer with a plain-English, commonsense approach to telecommunications. He is the author of the best-selling Communications Systems and Networks (1997, 2000, & 2002). His most recent books for Wiley & Sons are Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook (2007, 2008) and Webster's New World Telecom Dictionary (2007). Ray has written hundreds of articles, white papers, solutions briefs, case studies and columns and currently is the Technology Editor for Telecom Reseller newspaper. He teaches public and private seminars around the world on telecommunications and has extensive experience as an expert consultant/witness in support of telecom-related litigation, largely involving intellectual property matters (trademarks, copyrights and patents) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Customer Reviews

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It's concise, and very comprehensive.
Brett Parker
Webster is undeniably the most trusted name in dictionaries and Horak is equally undeniably a telecommunications expert.
Jeff Owen
If you are a technology person, or someone who just wants to understand today's terminology, this is the book for you.
Mark Simon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Stevens on November 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although this book does not have all of the terms I needed information for, I did find that it does have most of the terms used in telephony. The definitions are clear and concise. If you need a dictionary on telephony, do not need information on little details and do not have the money to aford the other, this book will get you by. If however, you need information on little details such as switchtails, then this book will not do.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Graybeard on December 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Webster's World Telecom Dictionary is very good as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough to earn a 5-star rating. Its definitions are well written. They are written in the same agreeable style as the definitions in Newton's Telecom Dictionary, which comes as no surprise since the author of Webster's New World Telecom Dictionary previously worked on multiple editions of Newton's. Webster's New World Telecom Dictionary also resembles Newton's in its having some humorous definitions tucked in here and there. Webster's also has an attractive layout. Typographically, it's beautiful. The problem with Webster's New World Telecom Dictionary is that it has less than one-fifth the definitions that are in Newton's Telecom Dictionary. As someone who has worked in the telecommunications industry for over two decades, I can say with certainty that Newton's is the better alternative for people who work in the industry. If you are a telecom or networking professional, you will have a much better chance of finding in Newton's the definition of a word or phrase that you encounter on the job. It is also the better alternative for anyone who has anything to do with telecom or networking in their day-to-day job, for example, telecom and IT professionals in any industry, and their peers at government agencies and not-for-profit organizations. Journalists who write about telecom would also be better served by Newton's. Given Webster's much smaller number of definitions, I've been trying to figure out what target market this dictionary would be suitable for. I still can't figure it out. All of this being said, if you can buy the book cheaply, say, for a buck or two -- I bought it for only a penny through a 3rd-party bookseller here on Amazon.com -- then by all means, buy it, but be sure to pick up the 24th edition of Newton's too so that you can find definitions of words that are not in Webster's. Otherwise, wait until a newer edition comes out with an additional 20,000 definitions or so.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Downing on April 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
I review books in my role as a VoIP & SIP trainer for TrainingCity.com. When students ask me what to buy, I always recommend that they have a technical dictionary close at hand.

I am now recommending they have two, the old one and "Webster's New World Telecom Dictionary". I know it seems like overkill, but in fact these two books are both on my list of "must haves" for 2008. Webster's dictionary is focused, includes diagrams, and provides timely, accurate information.

Buying two or more books is never easy, so I often suggest students speak with their managers and discuss buying a "team library" of books that can be shared by everyone in the group. Often companies have a book budget, it can't hurt to ask!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Owen on August 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Indispensible. Whether you are a telecommunications professional, aspire to be one, or just want to understand all the techno-babble, you need this book. Packed with over 4,600 terms and acronyms, this portable volume is essentially a decoder ring for the language of telecommunications. Horak has managed to write clear, plain English, definitions to the lexicon of one of the world's most befuddling languages. He has also peppered this work with seemingly unrelated terms just to keep the reader on his/her toes and demonstrate that nerds really do have a sense of humor.

With all the available telecom dictionaries and glossaries on the market, why chooses this one? (a legitimate question.) My answer is two names; Webster and Horak. Webster is undeniably the most trusted name in dictionaries and Horak is equally undeniably a telecommunications expert. The combination is a well researched dictionary that you'll keep close at hand and refer to often.

Hats off to Horak and his colleagues on creating a uniquely useful book.

Jeff Owen is an independent consultant with 20+ years experience in telecommunications/networking and IT. He has worked in engineering, project management, and management positions for major corporations in the telecommunications, finance, aerospace, and IT consultancy industries. As an industry analyst for Datapro and Gartner, Owen authored numerous analytical reports published for international consumption.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Tony R. Kuphaldt on July 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Ray Horak's "Webster's New World Telecom Dictionary" is an invaluable reference for anyone studying or working in the telecommunications and/or computer fields. These disciplines are well-known for their excessive use of acronyms, but Horak's clear, explanatory prose makes sense of the alphabet soup. The book is actually fun to read as well, which is remarkable for what is ostensibly a dictionary. His writing is spot-on for technical accuracy and detail, yet engaging and accessible. A very useful feature of this Dictionary is its extensive use of cross-references for entries, prompting the reader to engage on a journey of learning from one related topic to another. An excellent companion reference for this dictionary is Horak's "Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook".
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