Peter Norton's Inside the PC
||Author: Peter Norton, John M. Goodman, Judy Fernandez|
List Price: $29.99
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Publisher: SAMS (01 December, 1997)
Sales Rank: 59,964
Average Customer Rating: 3.4 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 3 out of 5
Confusing & quite often complex
.. I was not overly impressed. Being new to the inner workings of a PC I was immediately lost. I've had to read chapters over in order to understand what the authors are trying to say. What has helped me was another computer manual that was beutifully illustrated and helped me to recognize the parts & pieces of hardware that Mr. Norton referred to in his book. I did like the glossary though. This book is definitely not one to recommend to beginners.
Rating: 3 out of 5
It is a good overview
The book covers many aspects of PC hardware and software and it is very good if you need an overview. If you want understand the details of these aspects this is not your book. Sometimes the concepts are difficult to understand because there are not enough figures.
Rating: 2 out of 5
Some good diagrams, but...
Inside the PC has several good diagrams, one showing the physical connections between the CPU, cache, memory, video controller, chipsets, PCI and ISA buses, and another showing how data and address lines connect to a standard 32MB DIMM module. Many explanations in the book, however, head in a promising direction, but fall short, as this excerpt shows: "The CPU, with its 64 data wires, connects to 8 bytes of memory at a time. This means that the three least-significant bits of any address may be ignored in pointing to locations in main memory." It is unclear how the second sentence ties in with the first, and why the three least-significant bits may be ignored.
The book attempts to cover too many aspects of the PC, from CPUs and chipsets, to inkjet printers and the future of the Internet, with varying levels of detail and organization. Advanced readers will not need the chapter covering the basics of bits and bytes, but will wish for a more detailed and thorough discussion on paging, while novice readers just learning about bits and bytes in Chapter 3 are probably not ready for DEBUG and the probing of memory locations in Chapter 5, especially when Chapter 4 veers off in an unrelated direction to discuss motherboards, ribbon cables, and legacy standards; a more defined target audience (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) is needed, as is a narrower scope of topics, preferably one limited to the components and technology that is "Inside the PC."
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