I don't know where the folks at Osborne buy their clothes, but on my planet a pocket is only slightly larger than a hand. I can put my wallet in my pocket. I can carry three or so Zip disks. But I've tried and tried, and I just can't jam in all 600+ pages of Bigelow's PC Technician's Troubleshooting Pocket Reference
into any pocket I have. The thing is an inch-and-a-half thick, definitely not pocket-sized. It's satchel-sized. It's put-it-under-the-tyre-to-keep-the-trailer-from-rolling-down-the-hill sized.
Form factors aside, Bigelow's book lives up to its title; it's all troubleshooting information. Wonderful! This book is assuredly not meant to be read front to back. It works like this: start with a problem and then look up the solution. Bigelow divided the book into sections for various parts of the PC or devices connected to it. You look up the device, read about it, heed some general maintenance wisdom and then peruse the various "symptoms" and cures. Very nice, and just about the best information on troubleshooting I've seen.
On the key subject of disk partitioning, this book fits the bill--but only in troubleshooting partitioning problems. On that subject, Bigelow does a fine job, even suggesting third-party solutions. In fact, the book does contain many third-party solutions, as well as advice on what to do in Windows for troubleshooting.
This book is not for everyone. Most of the introduction is aimed at computer technicians or troubleshooting professionals. But at the price, it's a good investment. At the very least, it will make you the hero of your block when it comes to troubleshooting PCs. --Dan Gookin
From the Back Cover
A quick reference for on-the-job PC repair and maintenance!
Get essential PC troubleshooting and diagnostic information from this handy pocket reference. Packed with code tables, commands, symptom summaries, solutions, and other key details, this easy-access guide gives you just the facts you need - at your fingertips. Slip it into your toolbox and take advantage of the concise advice, tables, and charts inside. The book covers virtually every major PC component, including drives, input devices, modems, motherboards, and peripherals. Diagnose - and fix - PC problems on the job with help from this easy-to-use pocket guide.
- Prepare a PC for service - manage static, check power, inspect cooling devices, scan for viruses, and more
- Troubleshoot floppy drives, hard drives, and CD-ROM/CDR/CD-RW drives
- Manage input devices, including keyboards, mice, and joysticks
- Diagnose motherboard problems, such as beep codes, POST codes, and CMOS setup/battery issues
- Troubleshoot video systems
- Install and maintain peripherals