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Search in Book Reviews

The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
Search is a simple string search in either book title or book author. The full text search is a search of the text of the review.
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Title:
Troubleshooting, Maintaining&Repairing PCs
Author:
Stephen Bigelow
ISBN:
0 07 913732 6
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill
Pages:
pp1448C
Price:
£44-99
Reviewer:
Francis Glassborow
Subject:
internals and hardware
Appeared in:
11-2
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.