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PC Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools 1st Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596007485
ISBN-10: 0596007485
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Aspinwall has been the Windows Helpdesk columnist and feature editor for CNET.com and is the author of three books on PC maintenance. A resident of Campbell, California, Jim is also an amateur radio operator, an electronics technician, and an OSHA-certified tower climber, maintaining radio transmission sites in northern California.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (November 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596007485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596007485
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,831,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Stinnett VINE VOICE on December 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
A lot of books on the market take you through the inner-workings of Windows, Linux, [insert favorite OS here]. However, there are very few out there that go deep inside the PC itself and get down to the hardware level. In "PC Hacks", the author takes us inside the PC to look at what can be done at the hardware level to tweak system performance and stability.

First off, this book is not for the novice user. If you are not willing to "risk a little" then you should not attempt the hacks set forth in the book. Many of them, if not performed precisely, can cause serious damage to your system -- some could even cause permanent hardware damage (such as overclocking your CPU). However, for those who are brave -- the rewards and adventure that await are well worth it.

Covering topics such as upgrading your power supply, changing CPU voltage (overclocking), moving and changing disk partitions, even overclocking your video card (that was even a new one for me!) will have most dedicated PC geek up to all hours trying out different settings and tweaks.

Even if you aren't ready to start messing with the voltage, the book provides a good handbook on topics such as "Why should I worry if my paging (virtual memory) file is fragmented?" and "Do I need to upgrade by BIOS?" that even middle-of-the-road users might fight well worth reading up on. There are a number of items that the author talks about that are merely informational, but could really come in handy the next time your system decides to stop functioning the moment you need it to the most.

For those "old timers" out there, this book comes close to the old Norton books of the mid 1980's that explained what went on under the hood of early PC's. For the younger users, it is a terrific way to explore the true "hobbyist" side of computing and tweaking a system much like a car enthusiast tunes his engine.
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Format: Paperback
This book is more basic than the other hacks book. While the others cover offbeat issues around a topic this one offers straightforward solutions to every day problems. These including flashing your BIOS, adding more RAM or more power, dual booting and managing partitions. There are a few advanced topics thrown in, like overclocking and hacking startup performance.

This distinction is relevant because I fear some buyers may not buy the book because the Hacks books are generally geared towards professionals. Not so in this case. I think this book is a practical purchase for anyone looking for DIY maintenance on a PC.

If you are looking to build a new PC then be sure to check out O'Reilly's "Building the Perfect PC".
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Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating book that is filled with 100 clever, important hacks for today's modern PCs. More, better, faster, cheaper, easier, cooler, safer: All these and more capture our desire to understand and get the most out of our investment in PCs. From making a PC boot faster, to improving its reliability, to using multiple operating systems, to being able to recover quickly when something goes wrong, the PC hacks in this book will improve your PC experience and make you a lot more computer-savvy.

You can read the book from cover to cover, but each hack stands on its own, so you can also browse and go to the different sections that most interest you. If there is a prerequisite you need to know about, a cross-reference will guide to the right hack.

Since you will be hacking your PC, you are seriously encouraged to for follow three basic tenets of PC ownership: Back Up, Back Up, and Back Up. While the hacks are not intentionally designed to harm a PC system, life with a PC is not a matter of if your system will crash, but when.

Pay careful attention to the details and precautions for each hack. Not all hacks will work with all PCs or installed hardware. After you have done your backup, it will be to your benefit to gather all your manuals and driver disks or visit the web sites for your PC and peripheral vendors to get current documentation and drivers.

If your PC or any of its components are under manufacturer's warranty, you should think twice or three times about the impacting of hacking on it. If a hack could void your warranty, you will probably want to wait until the warranty expires, before trying it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even though this book is dated - it is still valid; still good. If you have Windows XP and know your way around the inside of an operating system, I suggest you buy this book. XP is a good OS and this book will help you make it better, faster. Before I became a PC tech, this book gave me much insight as to the workings of Windows and how to adjust it. I still refer to mine on occasion - all highlighted, underlined and dog-eared. Easy read. Invaluable.
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Format: Paperback
This book contains a vast amount of information that is really useful to anyone at any skill level. The tips and hacks are explained so that even a novice could utilize them. As well, along with the basic troubleshooting techniques covered by the book there are more advanced guides to doing anything from formatting a hard drive to trouble shooting a boot sector failure.

PC Hacks is a book that I recommend everyone add to their PC troubleshooting library.
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