Echo Spot countdown boutiques-francophones Introducing Fire TV Stick Basic Edition WFM Furniture Kindle Paperwhite sports Tools

Customer reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

on January 6, 2003
Some of the best advice I've ever had about computer books came from a pair of friends who happened to be married to each other. The husband told me, "If you're looking for a reference manual, always buy the smallest one on the market so that you'll carry it around with you." The wife said "Always buy the biggest, fattest book on the market because it has all the answers." In this case, the wife happened to be right- -with its 1400 pages and 2 CDs, this book is certainly the biggest, fattest PC hardware book that I've seen on the market. It also contains the clearest writing and most useful information that I've seen for books of its type. This book will tell you how to upgrade your hard drive, choose a new video card, protect your computer from lightning strikes, and a lot of other important facts besides. But it's too big and bulky to make it easy to carry around.
The book is written at a level that just about anyone can understand. If you are comfortable plugging in the wires in the back of your computer and you can tell one end of a screwdriver from another, you should be able to tackle just about any hardware installation or upgrade job using this book. It's not just for beginners, however; even experienced technicians will find useful information in the book. The book is not written specifically for the A+ Certification exams, but it covers the core hardware concepts for the exams. A lab manual is also available for the book. The lab manual contains study questions as well as detailed instructions for common tasks.
Almost every chapter of the book starts with a "QuickSteps" section that summarizes what you need to do to complete common hardware tasks. The remainder of the chapter explains how the piece of hardware works, a little about its history, and provides more detailed installation information. The first of the 2 accompanying CD-ROMs contains video clips that demonstrate some common tasks. The other CD-ROM contains some useful utility programs and some A+ review materials (in a very clunky interface- -not very well done compared to others on the market) as well as some additional chapters and appendices. I had trouble running the video clips in the DVD-CD drive of my new IBM laptop running Windows 2000. However, they seem to run fine in the CD drive of my old IBM laptop.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on October 17, 2002
This book may be of some use to someone that has a 386 or 486 and wants to know something about them. If you are seriously looking to upgrade to a pentium III or IV, it is useless.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on September 26, 2002
I bought this book expecting to find some useful information about how to upgrade my PII. It barely acknowledges that PII'S exist. My advice is if you want a good book that covers all the bases thoroughly buy Scott Mueller's UPGRADING AND REPAIRING PCs
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on March 22, 2002
I've taken several technical support certification courses, and this was the textbook I used in half of them. Mark Minasi is an excellent writer who is able to "dumb down" all the minute details and translates very well the technical jargon of the trade. Minasi is also the writer of several Windows 2000 books which I've also read, and I've taken a fondness for his ability to start really big and progress quickly into smaller details without ever losing my interest or attention.
The chapters on hardware installation and introduction to networks are the best written and most authoritative material I've used to learn the subtle aspects of TCP/IP, ethernet, and token/bus ring topologies. Also, the chapters on computer upgrading and "building a dream computer from scratch" are well laid-out and detailed for avid geeks like me who like to destroy and build machines from scrap piles. I guess the best thing to say about this book is that it fostered an even deeper interest in computers than I had before reading.
One of the best perks of this book is that there is a moderate balance of graphics, charts and diagrams to go with his text. There is hardly anything intimidating about his presentation; novice and intermediate learners will have no problem getting to grasp every topic in this book. The twelfth edition also makes several revisions, particularly with misstated bandwidth numbers for Firewire and USB in the last edition). I haven't had a chance to test out the CDROMs, but several of my peers have recommended the video installation procedures, where Minasi goes over all the basics (like how to ground yourself properly, installing master/slave IDE devices, setting up SCSI cards, etc.)
I don't like giving heavily-biased support for any book, product or service, but in all honesty, this is by far the best and most authoritative source I've ever used to fix any hardware-related issue with a computer. There is no topic I can think of that doesn't get covered, and he throws in a little history and conceptual technology as well to spur more interest in the future technology.
In conclusion, the book is well worth the price, and I highly doubt most beginning and intermediate-level IT people will ever need to go beyond this edition as a reference source.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on January 21, 2002
This is my first Minasi book. Will not be my last. Some things were basic but very entertaining - great for a novice. Going from zero to advanced there is something for everyone here. He masterfully disected the different areas from the basics to the advanced and presented it clearly.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on October 10, 2001
This book is very well written in language that is easy
to read and understand. As a novice in the maintenance
of PC's this book better explains the problems that I
am encountering.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Need customer service? Click here