Winn L. Rosch Hardware Bible Fifth Edition

Reviewed by: Stuart Craine, send e-mail
Published by: Que
Requires: N/A
MSRP: $39.99

The Winn L. Rosch HARDWARE BIBLE Fifth Edition is thick hefty soft-covered book of (including index) 1415 pages, plus a CD-ROM. The subject matter is divided in 26 chapters, covering such topics as System Boards, Microprocessors, Memory, BIOS, Chipsets, Storage, Disks, Input Devices, Audio, Ports Display Systems and Networking. A handy brief description of the content of each chapter is found in the book's preface.

The accompanying CD-ROM is a worthwhile bonus. While it includes the Hardware Bible in PDF, the CD helps to keep the book more manageable by keeping blocks of details, especially tabular, out of the flow of the text. It includes (a) reference Connectorama: find the pinout for almost any connector in a PC, plus the wiring for most important adapter cables. (b) Appendices: 33 appendixes, each specifically referenced in the text. (c) Third-Party Software: list of several related products the author believes will be useful. Caution: The software offered is provided without warranty of any kind. (d) Web Resources: lists of vendors, software companies and programming resources.

The author states two purposes for the book: A) as an introductory text to help anyone get up to speed on PCs and how PCs work. So they can buy wisely and add to their PCs intelligently. So that they know not only what to do, but why they have to do it. In addition: B) to continue to serve as the ultimate PC reference.

In accomplishing his aims, the author encompasses a deluge of material in a format that is straightforward and easily followed. However, the average PC owner may find some difficulty with a text that at times is rather technical in its explanation and use of terms. Maybe a glossary would have been of some help to any not so enlightened in some of the technical terms related to the understanding and operation of PCs.

There is also much material presented that would seem irrelevant (such as the historical accounts of the different PC components) to the average PC owners whose only wish is to buy wisely and operate or update their PCs efficiently. The Hardware Bible presents itself more as a reference guide for technicians.

However, overall I believe the Hardware Bible accomplishes its stated purpose fully and measures up to its stated claim as being a "complete guide to all types of PC hardware."

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