[techbooks] REVIEW: "The Indispensable PC Hardware Book", Hans-Peter Messmer
- BKIPCHRD.RVW 981025
"The Indispensable PC Hardware Book", Hans-Peter Messmer, 1997,
%A Hans-Peter Messmer
%C P.O. Box 520, 26 Prince Andrew Place, Don Mills, ON M3C 2T8
%I Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc.
%O U$42.95/C$58.95 416-447-5101 fax: 416-443-0948 bkexpress@...
%P 1384 p.
%T "The Indispensable PC Hardware Book, third edition"
I'm not sure about indispensable, but it certainly is exhaustive. The
fact that it is over a thousand pages gives you only an indication,
until you see the tiny type size used here.
This is not a shopper's guide to the normal level of components. You
get all the facts, it is true, but it is mostly at the level of
pinouts and timing diagrams. This is for programmers and hardware
hackers at the circuit board level and below.
An introductory chapter at a very easy and readable level leads into
details of the motherboard and various component chips. Topcis
covered include Intel microprocessors, logical and physical memory
addressing, logic gates and microprogramming, math coprocessors,
derivative processors, cache, Intel "clone" processors, PC
architectures and bus systems, AT architecture, EISA (Extended
Industry Standard Architecture), Microchannel, PCI (Peripheral
Component Interconnect), VESA Local Bus, hardware interrupts and
interrupt controller, 825x timer, Direct Memory Access (DMA), floppy
drives, hard drives, peripheral interfaces, local area network
adapters, keyboards and mice, graphics adapters, and multimedia. A
number of appendices bring together related information, including
various listings of interrupt calls.
Given the broad scope of the book, I found some of the "missing"
information to be odd. There is a listing of the machine instructions
for the 80x86 processors--but only the mnemonics, without the actual
opcodes or basic descriptions. The serial ports and UARTs are
described thoroughly as to pinouts, but the onerous task of ensuring
against address and IRQ conflicts is not discussed.
The author insists that even beginners could read this book--and he
has every right to do so. If you are interested in the hardware at
this level, the explanations are clear and well sequenced. For anyone
curious about any of the low level operations of the computer this is
a very thorough resource.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1994, 1998 BKIPCHRD.RVW 981025
rslade@... rslade@... robertslade@... p1@...
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