REVIEW - Upgrading and Repairing PCs


Upgrading and Repairing PCs


Scott Mueller




Prentice Hall (1998)




Francis Glassborow


April 1999



I am not going to say very much about either of these books. Both are worthy attempts at meeting the objectives set out in their titles. But the hardware industry is changing so fast that it is impossible for any hardcopy publication to keep up. As an example, I upgraded several of my machines at the beginning of 1998. While I avoid the cutting edge (in other words, Intel could keep its Pentium II's) I still like to have reasonable hardware. It came as a bit of a shock when I was specifying the bits for upgrading a couple of machines for a client to discover that the slowest CPU I could get was faster than anything I had on my machines.

Books such as the above are not much help with genuine upgrading. Even memory types are changing too fast now. What they are useful for is deciding how to build a back-up machine from all the bits that are lying around my workroom. What, if anything, can I do with that old Pentium 75. How about that old motherboard with a socket 5 on it?

The current prices of hardware make books like these much less attractive (the punter can replace entire systems for not much more than the cost of upgrading). I think this kind of material has got to move to CD publishing with supplementary material added regularly. If you need the kind of information in these books you also need the latest details of items that did not exist when the book was in page proofs.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.