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[techbooks] REVIEW: "The Indispensable PC Hardware Book", Hans-Peter Messmer

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  • Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Tr
    BKIPCHRD.RVW 981025 The Indispensable PC Hardware Book , Hans-Peter Messmer, 1997, 0-201-40399-4, U$42.95/C$58.95 %A Hans-Peter Messmer %C P.O. Box 520,
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 28, 1998
      BKIPCHRD.RVW 981025

      "The Indispensable PC Hardware Book", Hans-Peter Messmer, 1997,
      0-201-40399-4, U$42.95/C$58.95
      %A Hans-Peter Messmer
      %C P.O. Box 520, 26 Prince Andrew Place, Don Mills, ON M3C 2T8
      %D 1997
      %G 0-201-40399-4
      %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@...
      Find virus and book info at http://www.victoria.tc.ca/techrev/rms.html
      Robert Slade's Guide to Computer Viruses, 0-387-94663-2 (800-SPRINGER)

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