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[techbooks] REVIEW: "The Complete PC Upgrade and Maintenance Guide", Mark Mi

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  • Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Tr
    BKCPCUMG.RVW 990206 The Complete PC Upgrade and Maintenance Guide , Mark Minasi, 1998, 0-7821-2357-0, U$59.99/C$87.95 %A Mark Minasi mark@minasi.com %C
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 15, 1999
      BKCPCUMG.RVW 990206

      "The Complete PC Upgrade and Maintenance Guide", Mark Minasi, 1998,
      0-7821-2357-0, U$59.99/C$87.95
      %A Mark Minasi mark@...
      %C 1151 Marina Village Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501
      %D 1998
      %G 0-7821-2357-0
      %I Sybex Computer Books
      %O U$59.99/C$87.95 800-227-2346 Fax: 510-523-2373 info@...
      %P 1559 p. + 2 CD-ROM
      %T "The Complete PC Upgrade and Maintenance Guide, Ninth Edition"

      Chapter one lists a lot of interface standards, with a little bit of
      discussion on some pros and cons. Although it is somewhat
      disorganized, chapter two has excellent advice and descriptions of
      disassembling and removing parts of the PC. Chapter three is
      enormous, looking at CPUs, memory structure, expansion buses, and
      peripherals. A very useful section is the set of figures showing the
      configuration of external connectors for a variety of expansion cards.
      A few of the common physical causes of computer problems are described
      in chapter four. Some generic troubleshooting guidelines, and a lot
      of war stories, are in chapter five. Chapters six through twelve look
      at the configuration of new cards and boards, chip removal and
      exchange, memory modules, power supplies and protection, hard disk
      structure, hard disk installation, and the FAT (File Allocation Table)
      file system structure used by MS-DOS. Much of the material shows
      definite signs of dating. Preventive maintenance for your hard disk,
      in chapter thirteen, has its good and bad points, but two stand out:
      the section of viruses is extensive, and extensively bad, and the
      instructions for backing up your master boot record with DEBUG can be
      profoundly useful. There is a lot of good information in chapter
      fourteen, but much of the disk recovery advice relies on specific
      programs that may not be available to the reader. Chapters fifteen
      through seventeen discuss floppy drives, SCSI (Small Computer Systems
      Interface), and printer troubleshooting, with a fair number of gaps in
      the material. There is a lot of conceptual content on laser printers
      but missing practical advice in chapter eighteen. Peripherals are
      dealt with somewhat tersely with chapters nineteen to twenty four
      looking at modems, keyboards and mice, displays, sound, video capture,
      and CD-ROM in turn. There is also "how to buy" advice, some points on
      notebooks, and a confused section on using the Internet to get
      computer information in the three closing chapters. As well, a vendor
      contact list and a table of hard drive specs is included among the

      The book is quite readable and even amusing. There is a lot of
      information in the text, a great deal of it useful. However, there is
      not the consistency of value that is presented, for example, in
      Mueller's "Upgrading and Repairing PCs" (cf. BKUPRPPC.RVW). While
      this book is an improvement over many that I have seen over the years,
      I could not recommend it unreservedly.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKCPCUMG.RVW 990206

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      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade

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