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A little fact checking goes a long way
on August 29, 2012
I realize that most of you will be buying this book because it's a requirement for your course. I hope that my review may catch the eyes of professors, deans, and program chairs to prevent that.
This is the chosen textbook for my Microcomputer Operating Systems Class, and I JUST read chapter two today. I was floored by what I found therein. The best way to explai is to copy the message that will be going to my instructor, Program chair and the publisher in short order:
I hope that this doesn't come across the wrong way, but after reading chapter two, I am seriously concerned about the accuracy of our textbook.
The first thing that raised a flag was in chapter one, where the text states that Windows 8 will only be available as a 64 bit OS. I realize that Windows 8 is even yet still pre-release software, but even at the time of printing, it was available in the Developer Preview, and was available in both architectures at that point. Again, being pre-release, I was inclined to let that slide.
Chapter 2 however, has introduced some glaring inaccuracies. Off the top of my head are these (paraphrased):
"XP home does not allow for multiple users". This is completely wrong, the filesystem permissions were extricated (and you can get around that using Safe Mode), but multiple users are indeed supported.
"Windows Vista was released January 2009". Vista's release date was sometime in 2006 (I don't remember the month).
"UNIX was created by AT&T, but not licensed..." UNIX was created by Bell Labs, and it WAS licensed. That licensure simply allowed for the source code to be distributed.
"Linux is a freely available UNIX..." The word Linux itself is a recursive acronym which stands for Linux Is Not UniX. One time the text states that Linux is UNIX-like. That is the only proper way to express the relationship between the two. I speak as a matter of experience when I say that :inux proficiency does not necessarily translate to UNIX proficiency.
"Debian and Ubuntu originated from BSD". Linus Torvalds based the Linux kernel off Sys V R2. Further, if the other Linuxes are "originated" from SVR4, it stands to reason that Debian and Ubuntu are as well.
"OpenSUSE is available in Personal and Professional editions." SLED is the "Professional" variant in question, but it is not the same thing as OpenSUSE.
The text has mentioned BIOS with Apple computers on several occasions. Apple utilizes UEFI which, although similar in function, is not BIOS. Given that this course is preparatory for a career in the vein of PC Tech, that's an important distinction.
Again, I hope I don't come across as smart aleck, or pedantic with this message. Given the nature of higher learning, and the nature of this course, I am honestly concerned.
If you are buying this under obligation, be forewarned. You will assuredly need to know the information therein to pass your class, but then forget most of it, as quite a bit appears to be incorrect.
If you are buying this out of interest in the subject matter, keep looking. See above.