[techbooks] REVIEW: "Dictionary of Networking", Peter Dyson
- BKNPDCNT.RVW 990911
"Dictionary of Networking", Peter Dyson, 1999, 0-7821-2461-5,
%A Peter Dyson
%C 1151 Marina Village Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501
%I Sybex Computer Books
%O U$29.99/C$45.00/UK#19.99 800-227-2346 Fax: 510-523-2373
%P 448 p. + CD-ROM
%T "Dictionary of Networking, Third Edition"
The title of the first edition was "Novell's Dictionary of
Networking," and it still shows in the significant number of entries
that are specific commands for Novell Netware. A large number of
entries still relate to personal computers, as opposed to networking
or communications. The Internet now gets a few more terms included,
but those are not always reliable. The dropping of any modifiers and
the claim to the complete field of networking is not supported by the
material included in this book.
While the entries are generally more extensive, the number of listings
is not much greater than for the old glossaries that got used as
promotional giveaways by various networking companies. In most cases,
the explanations and definitions are quite sound, although the
professional will note many omissions or not-quite-right errors. ATM
(Asynchronous Transfer Mode) has been corrected since the second
edition, but a number of errors still remain. It is true that, if you
are using four bit packets, Hamming code must attach three redundant
bits to each. However, it is much more effective in a larger scale,
requiring, for example, only eight redundant bits for a 56 bit data
packet. Cable testers use the nominal velocity of propagation to test
the length of an intact cable segment, but, more importantly, a
reading less than the cable length indicates an internal break in the
cable being tested. Most people will only have seen a bang path in an
older email address, but it is a machine, rather than email, address
and also carries routing information.
In terms of organization, symbols are spelled out. Numbers are
written in digits, but listed in order as if they were spelled out.
Yes, it has an entry for virus. No, it's not any good.
Microsoft terminology joins Novell jargon in this latest edition. In
fact, a very significant proportion of the material in the glossary
relates to companies, organizations, or proprietary programs. While
this might seem, at first thought, reasonably useful, it turns out to
be rather annoying in practice. The number of proprietary terms
possible are enormous, and, unless you are actually using that
technology, irrelevant to anything else. The end result tends to feel
like a bunch of unboxed ads slipped in between the material you are
Unfortunately, this work simply does not have any distinctive that
would recommend it above what is already available.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKNPDCNT.RVW 990911
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http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade