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Guide to Operating Systems
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
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.

Thank you,

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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2012
Taking the class that went along with this book has caused me to change my degree plan. I have never read a collection of more useless information before reading this book of nonsense. For comparative purposes - it would be like taking an American history class and having the book go into great detail on what brand of bolts they used in the the cannon wagons during the civil war era. Completely irrelevant information. I understand the need to grasp the concept of different operating systems and how they have grown over the past two decades, but to go into this much detail is just a ridiculous way to waste your time.
Another thing that bugs me about this book that its supposedly 'recent', is the fact that it only goes as far as the snow lion operating system or mac systems. For a book that costs this much money - and is supposedly up to date until 2012 - you would think that they would have more details about Lion - the most recent OS for mac. I'm incredibly irritated that I was ripped off and had to pay over 100 dollars for this useless pile of 'reading'.
Words of caution to future computer network engineer students - steer WAY clear of this book. I
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2013
I like the way the text book is written but I wish they had made the font just a point or two larger. The book is a good resource on the various operating systems from Windows, to Mac, Unix/Linux, etc. and the various versions of each. I do feel that at times the go too much into the history of operating systems (although I know this is necessary to show how the different OSs have evolved over the years). However they have carried the history a little too far in some units. The text over all is written in such a way as to keep your attention (without having your mind wander - LOL) I also like the reviews at the end of each unit as well as the various labs. I would definitely recommend this text book to anyone wanted to learn operating systems and how to install, maintain, and correct errors that pop up in OSs.
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I had to rent this book for a class I am in. Coming from 15 years of real world IT experience, working for 12 of those in the IT department of a multinational corporation, I had low expectations that this book would teach me anything new. This may sound boastful bragging, but it's really not - I've been in the trenches for years. Reality is, I don't need the class or this book.

That being said, if you are a beginner, just trying to come to grasps with the fundamentals, this isn't a bad book (it's not good either). I feel it is way over priced for what it is (there is a lot of this information, free for the searching, on the Internet), but isn't that the allure for publishers when it comes to things that can be tagged as "text books?"

You get a good idea of all of the Operating Systems around currently (well, up to Windows 7). If you understand what we have today, more than likely you will understand what we will have today, tomorrow and the next day (so to speak). The thing is, as another reviewer states, there are some rather questionable fact checking mistakes made. In some ways this detracts from the value of the book, but the book also builds an OK base to work forward from.

I don't know. Coming from having done the job this book is supposed to prepare you for, I can see how it would be helpful, thus the 2 stars. If it is important for you to be 100% accurate and knowledgeable, then the book is 1 star easily. You don't NEED to know the details to support the OS or computer, but if you are the kind of person that HAS TO KNOW and wants to be certain of your facts, avoid this book.
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on April 30, 2013
I'm using this book in a course for my Computer Science major. The book is laid out logically, but the entire thing is very boring. The content itself isn't too bad, but the writing style or lack of color makes the books virtually unreadable. I have had difficulties with this class more than any other I have ever taken and I think that a large part of that is due to the difficulties that I have had trying to read and use this book. I would definitely NOT recommend this book to anyone - there surely must be a better alternative.
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on October 14, 2014
So out of date now and bad editing. I have to use this for a class and not only is the out of date content an issue to me the teacher uses the tests and reviews from the book which ALL contain several questions that are NEVER covered in the book / chapters. We have to go online to find these answers.
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on June 9, 2013
This was a required book for a class I was taking. Both the instructor and all of us in class felt the first 6 chapters were the best and the last half of the book not as much. It was almost like they had to through more chapters in the book to justify the high price.
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on December 26, 2014
Like most people on here I bought this for a course at my university. This book basically contains common knowledge content with a few useful bits of info here and there. If you are looking at buying this for reasons other than for a course, do not buy it!
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on March 27, 2014
Great for a general overview on different operating systems and how they work, but doesn't go very deep into the troubleshooting. Also, the way the material is presented is dense and not very enjoyable to read.
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on June 4, 2013
its the extra $85 dollars for a lab 'ticket' pass card with the information to access the labs that I'm still waiting for. I'm worried that it could affect my present A that I've worked so hard to get.
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