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REVIEW: "Essentials of Data Communications", David Stamper

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Ha
    BKESDTCM.RVW 20020628 Essentials of Data Communications , David Stamper, 1997, 0-8053-7736-0, U$83.00 %A David Stamper %C P.O. Box 520, 26 Prince Andrew
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 13, 2002
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      BKESDTCM.RVW 20020628

      "Essentials of Data Communications", David Stamper, 1997,
      0-8053-7736-0, U$83.00
      %A David Stamper
      %C P.O. Box 520, 26 Prince Andrew Place, Don Mills, Ontario M3C 2T8
      %D 1997
      %G 0-8053-7736-0
      %I Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.
      %O U$83.00 416-447-5101 fax: 416-443-0948
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0805377360/robsladesinterne
      %P 366 p. + diskette
      %T "Essentials of Data Communications"

      There are many good, even classic, general telecommunications texts.
      To be strictly fair, I should note only those published at the same
      time as, or earlier than, the one I'm reviewing. Even with that
      proviso, I can still say that Tanenbaum's "Computer Networks" (cf.
      BKCMPNWK.RVW), Stallings' "Data and Computer Communications" (cf.
      BKDTCMCM.RVW), and Minoli's "Telecommunications Technology Handbook"
      (cf. BKTLTCHB.RVW) all far exceed Stamper's work. Even McNamara's
      venerable "Technical Aspects of Data Communications" (cf.
      BKTCHDCM.RVW) (from 1988) presents a superior picture of basic
      communications technology.

      Stamper does try to cover the fundamentals, but even his introduction,
      in chapter one, is a confusing mix of foundational concepts and
      irrelevant (and outdated) examples and applications. Chapter two, on
      the physical and data layers, is reasonable but limited. The
      discussion of networking, in chapter three, starts off much the same,
      but soon wanders into trivia. Chapter four, ostensibly about LANs,
      contains a number of topics (such as backup) that have nothing to do
      with communications at all, and chapter five seems to be an attempt to
      duplicate the same material. Chapters six to nine show some awareness
      of basic concepts of networking and internetworking, but hidden in a
      confused mass of verbiage and extraneous detail. Some simplistic
      thoughts on security and data communications applications finish the
      book in chapter ten.

      This work is noted to be an "integrated text and software package" on
      the basis of some slide shows included on the accompanying disk. The
      slide shows basically reproduce some illustrations included in the
      book (or, one might say, the book reprints all of the slides). The
      figures are as non-illuminating as all too many objects of the type.
      However, when the "computer based training" tries to improve matters
      with animations, the results are even worse. Where the graphics are
      simply incomprehensible (unless you already know what is going on),
      the animations sometimes present material in erroneous ways, seeming
      to present incorrect ideas and concepts.

      This book is stated to be a course text. Why anyone would choose it
      over other available works is beyond my comprehension.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2002 BKESDTCM.RVW 20020628

      rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
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