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Build an Awesome PC, 2014 Edition: Easy Steps to Construct the Machine You Need (The Pragmatic Programmers) 1st Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1941222171
ISBN-10: 194122217X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Riley has been a technology enthusiast, developer, and writer for more than 25 years. He has written for DevPro Connections, Dr. Dobb's, and Make magazines and is the author of Programming Your Home and Developing Android on Android. He's built his own cutting-edge PCs for more than 20 years and is an expert mentor on the subject. Visit his website at www.mikeriley.com.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Pragmatic Programmers
  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (June 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 194122217X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1941222171
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,395,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
First off, let me say that the Mike Riley is a very good writer and I found his prose entertaining and easy to read. He clearly has a lot of experience in this field. That said, I was disappointed and feel the book was ill-conceived. Riley explains early why the book isn't a survey of available hardware which would quickly go out of date. He also describes why he chooses the specific parts he does. Nevertheless, he doesn't include enough context for me to know if any of the parts would be appropriate for my non-gaming needs. I don't play any games but use my computers for email, browsing, word processing and for hobby Ruby on Rails web development. My RoR specs have been taking too long to run and I'd been thinking of upgrading when I learned about this book. The book's saving grace is the "Additional Resources" appendix which did send me to the great sites, "PC Part Picker" and Reddit's "Build A PC." The latter directed me to "Logical Increments" site whose "Build a PC" guide provided the detailed explanation about different PC parts that allowed me to make a build with confidence. The "additional resources" page was useful but doesn't quite make up for the price of the ebook I bought but I mostly regret the time lost reading the book to get to it.

Perhaps an improved version of this book would focus on how to optimize different computer components for DIY PC builds intended for different purposes like gaming, programing (running the specs quickly), light use, home theater (HTPC) and server.
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Format: Paperback
About ten years ago my boss at the time dragged me along to a Jeffrey Gitomer Sales seminar. It was OK, but to this day there are only two major things I took from it. The first was to never be ashamed of your price, but that's not really salient to this review. The other was his description regarding the .difference between training and education - he asked "would you rather your teenage daughter get sex education or sex training?"

So what does this have to do with a review for a book on how to build a PC? A lot. I'm interested in building a gaming rig, but having never done it before I wanted to get an understanding of the differences between components, tradeoffs for budget, how and what the different components are and work, etc.

This is not that book. This book gives very good instructions on the mechanics of building a particular PC with specific components, and no doubt will be helpful, but it really seems to be a training manual. When I finished going through it, I didn't really have an idea of why the particular components were used, just a brief overview of what they do. A simple question regarding interchangeability of MOBO sizes and cases wasn't even addressed. I understand that components change rapidly, but some discussion would have been helpful.

Overall, I finished the read no smarter about the process than when I began. And that's not why I purchased this book.
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