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10 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars Usage of this book depends on your background
This book has been heaven sent for me, mainly because of my background. I have a EE background and I have been always wanting to know about the data networks.
The first and the second parts of the book deals with the signalling and transmission media and also the basics of the data networks like data link control. I found these sections (mainly signalling) very...
Published on Jan. 10 2002 by ashish

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Very weak and lacking better data/network books available
This book only lightly touches subjects that any begining or intermediate network engineer would need to know about. The problems at the end of each chapter ask questions that are not addressed by the author or he only touches on briefly. Therefore making the reader locate another source to answer the authors question! He is to much into signal theory (who cares how...
Published on Feb. 21 2000 by B. Atwood


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4.0 out of 5 stars Too many acronyms ...., Dec 24 2002
By 
"bradmetz" (the University of Ottawa) - See all my reviews
This book was well written and covered a broad range of topics which gives the reader a good general knowledge of how digital and analog signals work and how they are encoded and decoded. The author is very knowledgeable however he needs to realize that his readers are (perhaps) not as smart or experienced in this field as he is. The extensive use of acronyms throughout the text make it difficult at times to fully understand what is being taught. I found myself paging back in the book to look up the acronyms just to understand what I was reading.
It would also be quite helpful if the author offered a study guide to accompany the text containg solutions the questions at the end of the chapter. Practice questions are a lot more helpful if the student actually has some way to verify that they are doing the questions correctly.
Overall the book was well written although the author should concentrate on using full terms instead of stating the term at the beginning of the book and using the acronym through out the rest of the text.
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4.0 out of 5 stars interesting, Aug. 16 2002
By A Customer
I found this book interesting. It explores the mathematics behind waves and frequencies and transmissions, encoding, etc... You should have some college calculus to be really comfortable with this book or have a friend who is into math. Probably a good textbook, but may be frustrating if you are self-studying for some reason (if you don't know a lot about math, that is).
But the math concepts are only introduced as they are needed, and you will need to find other places to learn the stuff you need there. I also noticed that some of the questions at the end of the chapters have answers that are nowhere to be found in the book. Strange, that. I guess it assumes you have an internet connection. Much, if not all of the material in this book can be found on the internet in greater detail free of charge. But that still does not mean that the book is useless. It depends on how much the purchase price means to you.
What this book does is gives you a framework that helps you know what to study, and what the major subject categories in this field are. And in some circles, it is very valuable that it also gives you the mathematical background behind what is going on.
I would imagine you could skip this one if you know what you need to learn. If the purchase price is daunting, you would probably be just as well off just using the table of contents of this book as the "list" of things to know about networking. This book appears to be some sort of standard in the colleges around this country and the world. Even though it may not fit your learning style, or you may not be big on math, there are countless folks using this book so it might be helpful in that way. It gives you an overview of the field. A big picture, so to speak.
In a way, this book, like many textbooks, ask the question of how important is your need to understand what other people are doing, even if it is not your specialty or your area of expertise.
This may be an excellent book for a manager of a large organization who wants to get an overview, WITH MATH, of the current networks and communications systems.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Usage of this book depends on your background, Jan. 10 2002
By 
This book has been heaven sent for me, mainly because of my background. I have a EE background and I have been always wanting to know about the data networks.
The first and the second parts of the book deals with the signalling and transmission media and also the basics of the data networks like data link control. I found these sections (mainly signalling) very weak and sub standard, but most of the CS students in the class were scratching their heads complaining that it was too complicated. The best thing in these sections is the data link control (just spectacular).
The remaining parts of the books have covered data networks. Now some seasoned networking person would find these parts very abstract and not enough depth in it, but a novice that I was in data networks, I loved it.
The three sections are:
WAN
LAN
Security and Internet and protocols
The discussion on WAN/ATM is boring.
The best part of the book is in fact the LAN section.
Internet protocols are also well defined.
Other strengths of the book:
1. A very smooth and progressive transition from the switched network discussion to the data networks discussion.
2. Some of the problems are pretty challenging and make you think beyond what you read in the book, some of the analytical problems are great.
3. Very analytical.
Weaknesses:
1. Typical Stallings book, covers too much without going in the depth in any single topic.
2. The book spends almost equal time on all the technologies, some of the hot topics need to discussed more and the obsolete topics are not supposed to be discussed that much (typical Stallings) an example is token ring and ethernet have an equal amount of discussion, even though token ring is out.
3. The discussion on Fiber channel wherever is a joke, it is minimal and insufficient.
4. Too theoretical (stallings has done a much better work in his other work high-speed networks), but since this is the 1st book in networks, it is OK.
5. Very unpractical, you cant do anything more that you could not do before reading this book. The only thing that I learnt is how to identify the class of the network address (wow).
So, if you ask me, IT is NOT a bible of computer networks. In fact, it should be recycled once you are done with it. But this is most definitely the 1st book on data networks, it has taught me more on any single topic than any other book I have read ever. The name of the book is misleading, it says "Data and compute networks" and then the book spends a good time on switched networks and also too much time on the signalling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An encyclopedia of Datacom information, Dec 7 1999
By 
Charles K. Summers (Alta Loma, California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
For the stated audience -- academics and self-study professionals -- it is hard to envision a better single volume study of datacom principles. Divided into five primary parts (overview, data communications, WANs, LANs, and Networking Protocols), it can provide excellent first course source material to provide a general overview of datacom principles and techniques.
Note that, with as much information as being presented, the book is much more useful as a course text for study than for casual reading. However, it covers sufficient areas to be useful as a reference for the data & computer communications professional. Additional information is maintained by the author on his web site which provides more up-to-date information than can ever be maintained in a printed volume.
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4.0 out of 5 stars well organized, right amount of depth, April 9 2001
By 
KD (Stanford, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Stallings went a bit into signal theory and some people don't like it. There is no book that can satisfy everyone, or answer everyone's every question. To me, it is a good technical book as long as (1) it justifies its price by having a reasonable amount of content, cohesive with the title and editorial reviews. (2) It has a good balance between rigor and ease of reading. In my opinion, this book satisfies both of the above, and it happens that I like the fact that it goes into signal theory. It is a good textbook for student who wants a short cut to communication fields without too much pure classroom math or EE stuffs, although practising engineers may not even need that limited amount of math.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very weak and lacking better data/network books available, Feb. 21 2000
By 
B. Atwood (Northern, VA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book only lightly touches subjects that any begining or intermediate network engineer would need to know about. The problems at the end of each chapter ask questions that are not addressed by the author or he only touches on briefly. Therefore making the reader locate another source to answer the authors question! He is to much into signal theory (who cares how I square wave is constructed) when was the last time you got out your O-scope to check and watch the signal variations on your network. It seems that this book is just thrown together to make a quick buck. Avoid it at all cost.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely not for beginners-Even our TA said so, Oct. 23 2001
By 
"tiger88" (Boston, MA United States) - See all my reviews
For beginners-Even our TA said it is not a good book. Half of my class in EE hate this book - as our TA said - "it tries to cover too many stuff but without enough details". Our professor assigns homework from the back of the chapter, and we are having hard time finding answers and hints from the book even after reading the chapters over and over again - because the book doesn't have enough detail on how to solve problems.
Maybe it is good for someone who know the topic well. But I absolutely think this is not good for beginners.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As an overview of dataComm principles - EXCELLENT, Oct. 11 2000
By 
Nilanjan Ganguly (San Mateo, CA USA) - See all my reviews
The book provides the necessary maturity in datacomm principles and the initial grounding to proceed onto more thorough and detailed study (in any of the given areas). Exercises provide pointers for further study. However, do not expect a detailed knowledge in any of the topics covered by the book after reading it. Overall the book is very good, one of a kind, but costs too much.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Too many topics too little time, Aug. 7 2004
By A Customer
There were a lot of interesting topics covered in this book, but unfortunately because of the volume of material that the author attempted to include, there was little on any one subject.
Also, beware the questions at the end of the chapter if you're using this book for a class. They tend to be rather vague.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect book for beginners, March 20 2001
By 
Martin Eurnekian (Buenos Aires, Argentina) - See all my reviews
Takes you from cero to a quite deep understanding in data communications. Gives just the right amount of technical information. If you are a data communnications professional, dont even think of it, otherwise this book is just perfect.
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Data and Computer Communications
Data and Computer Communications by William Stallings (Hardcover - Aug. 12 2006)
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