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PC Hardware in a Nutshell (3rd Edition)

  • Robert & Barbara Thompson
  • O'Reilly
  • 059600513X

Amazon Order (or just read more about) PC Hardware in a Nutshell (3rd Edition)  from Amazon.com

Hardware has never been my strong point, but after more than 20 years of doing this stuff day after day, I have become fairly proficient. I remember when I first opened a PC to upgrade memory. This was back when memory chips had legs on them and came in tubes. Replacing these things was not easy because the little legs were so easy to bend and even break. The chips weren't cheap, and my palms were drenched in nervous sweat. It all worked though, and over the years I've become much more sanguine about hardware in general. There's nothing I'm really afraid to tackle, though there are things I'd just rather not do, either because the procedures are tricky or just more difficult than I'd like. I don't like replacing motherboards, and I don't like replacing almost anything on those very small desktop units where you have to take out floppy drives and cd's just to get at memory. I CAN do those things, but I try hard not to.

There's an awful lot about hardware I just don't know though, and that's why I found this book useful and enlightening. It covers everything, from motherboard chipsets to cases and external UPS's. There's good, accurate, explanations of how things work, comparisons of competing technologies, and very good trouble-shooting sections. Configuration and troubleshooting for both Windows and Linux is provided. I learned more than I thought I would, and would unhesitantly recommend this to anyone building their own PC or anyone who has to do occasional hardware troubleshooting/repair.

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© Tony Lawrence

"It covers everything, from motherboard chipsets to cases and external UPS's."

Take their advice about cases and power supplies with a grain of salt. This is an area where most advice is not good.

Oh yes, ignore what they say about UPS's. <Smile> Most PC hardware books go ga-ga over APC UPS's (just like they go bonkers over Intel P4's), and completely ignore the relatively poor performance of these units. Maybe they are paid to do so.

Fact is, I've met very few hardware types who really grok computer power protection. If someone claims they really know this subject ask them about the pros and cons of high power factor ferroresonant technology and watch for the glazed eyeballs.

Other than that, the rest of this book is quite good, especially if your palms tend to get sweaty while attempting to secure a copper CPU cooler to an AMD processor. I recommend this tome.


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