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REVIEW: "PC Fear Factor", Alan Luber

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Ha
    BKPCFRFC.RVW 20021219 PC Fear Factor , Alan Luber, 2003, 0-7897-2825-7, U$24.99/C$38.99/UK#17.99 %A Alan Luber www.alanluber.com %C 201 W. 103rd Street,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2003
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      BKPCFRFC.RVW 20021219

      "PC Fear Factor", Alan Luber, 2003, 0-7897-2825-7,
      %A Alan Luber www.alanluber.com
      %C 201 W. 103rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46290
      %D 2003
      %G 0-7897-2825-7
      %I Macmillan Computer Publishing (MCP)
      %O U$24.99/C$38.99/UK#17.99 800-858-7674 info@...
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0789728257/robsladesinterne
      %P 362 p.
      %T "PC Fear Factor: The Ultimate PC Disaster Prevention Guide"

      The introduction states that the book is aimed at non-technical users,
      but doesn't further refine the purpose beyond saying that bad things
      happen to computers. We are also told that a system administrator is
      really a risk manager (which may come as a surprise to a number of
      sysadmins), and that if you read this book you will never have to
      worry about computer disasters again.

      Even after reading chapter one I am not sure what the "root of all
      computer disasters" is, although I suppose that there is a fair chance
      that he means hard drives. There is a lot of irrelevant detail about
      the physical operations of drives, and Luber also is obviously
      confused between old hard drive crashes (caused when the heads
      physically contacted the platter, which was spinning at high speed)
      and modern "crashes," generally caused by bad pointers or other data
      errors. In chapter two, Luber recommends, with opinions, but not much
      in the way of proof or backup, a bunch of software. Chapter three
      offers us more opinions, this time about buying a PC. Setting up a
      new PC is covered in chapter four. Most of chapter five prints
      documentation for a couple of antivirus programs and a firewall. A
      decent discussion of backup strategy, and more documentation of a
      backup program, is in chapter six. A manual for another backup
      program is in chapter seven. Restoring a backup comes in chapter
      eight. Chapter nine advises on maintenance. Some hoary old myths
      about risky activities (using shareware, for example) are recycled in
      chapter ten.

      In one sense, Luber is right. If you keep your data backed up, you
      will be able to recover from pretty much any kind of disaster. On the
      other hand, I have said that in one sentence, and the book is over 300
      pages long.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2002 BKPCFRFC.RVW 20021219

      rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
      Find book info victoria.tc.ca/techrev/ or sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade/
      Upcoming (ISC)^2 CISSP CBK review seminars (+1-888-333-4458):
      March 31, 2003 Indianapolis, IN
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