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on 2 May 2005
This is a gem of a book by an author that really has a passion for hardware.
This book is detailed and verbose, the latest edition (released 2004) brings things up-to-date, although it's been a big year for hardware and things have moved on a bit - that's always a problem with this kind of book though.
Make sure you have a flick through at your local bookstore before parting with your hard-earned cash, because the style may not be to everyone's taste and it is a fairly big buy. Don't let the informality put you off though, as the book is absolutely full of detail, and a heavier style could make it an excruciatingly difficult read.
Sometimes you may want a simple, to-the-point summary of some of the topics covered, but you won't find them in this book. Sadly there's no pocket version, and the CD-ROM is very poor. Although I generally dislike CDs packed with multimedia HOWTOs and prefer to see the book reproduced electonically in an indexed and searchable PDF form, with hyperlinked references. This CD has neither, and as a previous reviewer stated, the material contained on the CD is not indexed - which renders it almost useless. A useful CD would allow you to create a backup copy on a credit card sized CD or USB pen drive and have a portable version of the book. They really missed out in this respect, which is really inexcusible. However, you can access the book on his website (the password is contained within the pages of the book), which is a nice touch.
If you buy one book for general computer hardware, make it this one. However, if you're solely looking for a PC Hardware & Maintenance based book try Scott Meuller's "Upgrading and Repairing PCs", some of the topics overlap, Meuller's clarity is exemplory and the DVD included has lots of AV tutorials, demos and - of course - a full PDF of the book.
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on 25 March 1998
If you are looking for a general computing hardware book this ain't for you believe me. However if you have a general to good knowledge of computers and want to learn more about the little bits behind the big bits, you can't go past the hardware bible.
It ain't no bed time reading thats for sure (even if you could lift it- It's huge!!!). Rosch explains in great detail about everything you ever wanted to know and everything you couldn't give a stuff about which is fair enough for what he is trying to achieve. However if you have no knowledge on a given subject explained in the book its a nightmare to read.
Page after page is so stacked full of information that absorbing it all means reading everything twice, waking up, then reading it again. There are bright parts scattered throughout where Rosch lets his guard down and talks in plain English, however he is usually trying to joke about something that, after reading page after page of information which travels relitively fast above your head, makes you want to burn the book and cast its ashes out to sea wrapped in a block of concrete!
It comes with a C.D. which believe it or not "Contains 700 additional pages of coverage". Okay Mr Rosch so you have put some shareware on the C.D. and aditional diagrams and the like, good form, however its still mostly text. Remember where in the modern age of multimedia. Even a normal picture would be nice rather than the same old one cent diagrams.
Having said all that I must confess I'm talking from a "learning about computers in general" point of view and perhaps the book was not written for me....However I suppose in a couple of years the book will be a great reference tool when I understand a little more than I do now, only by then I'll be reading it so I can explaining to my children how computers used to work in the old days.
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on 3 April 1998
There are two types of drivers: those who look under the hood and those who haven't yet discovered the hood catch.
The same goes for computer users. Some folk will use their computer for years in happy ignorance of its inner workings - and failings. Then there are those of us for whom ignorance and bliss never equate.
If you belong to the latter group, you'll want Winn L. Rosch's Hardware Bible at your side. For a decade, the Hardware Bible has been the definitive hardware resource for anyone wanting to understand what happens under the hood of their PC and its outlying equipment.
Surprisingly, this is not a handbook for techheads, although techheads will love it. Rosch's approachable style makes it perfect for adventurous beginners as well as intermediate and advanced computer users bent on extending their understanding of the PC's inner workings.
Rosch covers just about everything you can think of: microprocessors, motherboards, memory, busses, the BIOS, support circuitry, the power supply, input devices, the display system, monitors, audio, ports, printers, hard drives, modems, networking, and on and on.
This recently revised edition is right up to date with the latest hardware and includes a CD-ROM with diagnostic and troubleshooting software, plus a couple of megs of additional reference material thrown in for good measure.
If you want to know your LIFO from your FIFO or why your hard disk growls when it should be purring, Winn L. Rosch's Hardware Bible is for you.
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on 25 August 1998
This edition has a ton of information on the PC, and the CD-ROM "bonus" is a nice touch, giving the reader the sum total of Rosch's research since Edition 1: Anything there is to know about the PC is available in one form or another. Rosch has some prejudices with regard to hardware, however, and indicates "better" or "worse" in instances where many of his colleagues might disagree. SCSI vs IDE is the best example I can give: while writing most of the text at the level of a user who will naturally gravitate to SCSI for upper-end performance, he continues to advocate IDE/ATAPI for its (typically) lower price.
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on 27 October 2001
Absolutely fantastic book, I purchased this book after a personal recommendation to help me with my studies at University and I'm not sorry.
The book is so helpful and easy to follow and so comprehensive, not too much jargon either which helps.
I wouldn't hesitate recommending this book to anyone, in fact I've recommended it to a few friends at University already!
If you need a book which explains how the PC works then do yourself a favour, get this one!
One person found this helpful
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on 30 August 1999
A very complete discussion of computer hardware especially on the PC side. The size of it makes it formidable, but a good reference. The price is reasonable considering the abundance of information in it.
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on 1 December 1999
I was disappointed with this tome. It glosses over many issues, lacks illustrations and certainly does not lend itself to helping with any sort of fault finding.
However, it is a good historical reference to tell you why things are the way they are today. Shame it doesn't explain the origins of the expression "booting a computer".
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on 18 May 2000
This book gives a great insight to the history of pc hardware up to the forefront of new (now getting on old) technologies that the PC has brought us. I think that the book is written in a marvellous manner and is humorous to the correct extent. Detail has not been skimped on either and especially the extras that are included on the cd-rom included. Not the usual junk that is expected. Brilliant book!
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on 1 April 1998
okay I know a bit about general computer stuff and for me this book completely fulfilled my needs. Almost everything is covered, just not the architecture of non-intel cpu's like HP's, MIPS, Sun and DEC alpha, which I find a shame. The cdrom that comes with the book is a waste of time to say the least, ugley layout mostly text that offer no significant extra info and no index -absolutely unuseful. One of the best things about this book is the authors critical view to a lot of the technologies described, which really is needed when you are discussing pc technology. If you want coverage of just abot everything concerning pc's and don't mind the volume of data then this is definitely the book. The author could have added sort of summaries to each standard description; sometimes he describes the subject a little to extensive, and the tables are a bit technician like,a fact I suppose would-be engineers and real technicians would love. Last I must confess I only read the Premier Edition and don't know if it differs from fourth edition.(other than it's a hardback)
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on 8 December 1999
Full of errors and omissions..
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