Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for anyone who is more than a casual user, June 12, 2003
This review is from: Upgrading and Repairing PCs (14th Edition) (Paperback)
I've been into computers for twenty years now, and from the early days of my Commodore 64s and TI-99 4/As I've always tried to know what's happening on the inside as on the outside. I started building PCs after I bought my first in 1993- that one I didn't take apart until I had paid off the loan I had taken out to buy it. Since then, however, I've always tried to understand the hardware which has been in a constant state of innovation since day one. And Scott's books have been an indispensable part of that process. Between a friend and I, we have probably six copies of the various editions of `Upgrading and Repairing PCs', ironically, they also come with this book and can be found on the DVD-ROM in PDF format.
What's nice about it is Scott writes like he's actually talking to you- his text is clear, easy to read and not at all wordy while still conveying the information he wants to bring. Anyone who is more than a casual PC user will find this book ideal for learning or understanding why PCs do what they do and what all the various components do when they talk to each other. On the other hand, not everyone needs to know the pin-out configuration for a Socket 423 Pentium 4 CPU- I don't, but it's nice to have. Mr. Mueller takes us through the history of computers and PCs, then the tome takes off- broken down into categories from motherboards and busses, then into the various components like sound cards, video cards, hard drives (IDE and SCSI), network cards, USB, Fire Wire and ports, modems- you name, he covers it in tremendous detail. One of the handiest sections is on RAM and all the different types from SIPS, DIMMS, SIMMS, and DDR types, Scott covers it all, explaining it in easy to understand terms while providing comprehensive coverage for more advanced users.
It the DVD alos has 2 hours of video in which he gives a great over view of what's covered in the book, with segments laid out like chapters. As a reference guide to answer question that users might have, enabling them to identify and understand what they've got in their machine, this is the book. The downside for us and the upside for Scott, is you almost need to buy one every year to keep current, but as I said, I do like the idea of putting old issues on DVD so they can be referenced as well. For the advanced user, it's essential and required reference.
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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