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1. Computer procurement : hardware
2. The Architecture of Computer Hardware,
3. The Architecture of Computer Hardware
4. Principles of Computer Hardware
5. Evolvable Systems: From Biology
6. Code: The Hidden Language of Computer
7. Discovering Computers: Fundamentals,
8. PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd
9. PIC Microcontroller: An Introduction
10. Computer Engineering: Hardware
11. Hardware and Computer Organization
12. The Architecture of Computer Hardware
13. PC Hardware Annoyances: How to
14. Computer Repair with Diagnostic
15. The HCS12/9S12: An Introduction
16. Artificial Life Models in Hardware
17. Repairing and Upgrading Your PC
18. Upgrading & Fixing Laptops
19. Computer Hardware Organization
20. Computer Hardware Diagnostics

1. Computer procurement : hardware upgrades for Navy inventory control system should be delayed (SuDoc GA 1.13:IMTEC-89-67)
by U.S. General Accounting Office
 Unknown Binding: Pages (1989)

Asin: B000106LVG
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2. The Architecture of Computer Hardware, Systems Software, & Networking: An Information Technology Approach
by Irv Englander
Hardcover: 704 Pages (2009-05-04)
-- used & new: US$57.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471715425
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

  • Reflects the latest technology in the field to provide readers with the most up-to-date resource
  • Presents examples that cover a broad spectrum of hardware and software systems, from personal computers to mainframes
  • Places more emphasis on networking to address increased importance of the communications area
  • Consolidates the coverage of buses into one chapter.
  • Integrates numerous review questions at the end of each chapter to enhance the reader's understanding of the material
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars Waste of money.... many pages with bunch of examples
This is book is a waste of money. There are hundreds of examples and no important information. You gonna have to go through many pages, until you reach something that it's really worth it.
Anyway, it's matter of choice, but I don't wanna read the author opinions. I want to learn stuff I don't know. The serious material in that book is 100 pages or less out of 700!

2-0 out of 5 stars Computer Hardware systems software & networking
My order arrived timely. Not enough information to maker buyer aware of having some highlights in the book which would just be a good information.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT
The book is very helpful.
The only complaint is that they do not have a keyword dictionary at the end of each chapter.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good purchase!
Book seems like new condition so i was satisfied. However, shipping took way to long. I can understand 7-10 business days but 16 days seemed a little ridiculous. ... Read more

3. The Architecture of Computer Hardware and Systems Software: An Information Technology Approach
by Irv Englander
Hardcover: 760 Pages (2003-01-20)
-- used & new: US$19.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471073253
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Fundamental principles that will keep you on the cutting edge!

Most computer  architecture books are just too technical and complex. Focusing on specific technology, they often bypass the basics and are outdated as quickly as technology advances. Now, Irv Englander's gentle-but-thorough introduction to computer architecture and systems software provides just the right amount of technical detail you'll need to make successful decisions in your future career.

The text covers all the basics in an accessible, easy-to-understand way. Organized in a form that parallels an actual computer system, entire sections are devoted to principles of data, hardware, and software, with computer interconnection, clustering, and networking integrated into the material to emphasize the importance of computer and system structure. Assuming only basic knowledge, these sections build up to an in-depth understanding of each topic and how they interrelate to make up a computer system.

With this Third Edition's outstanding features, you'll be able to build a solid foundation for success on the job.

  • All chapters have been thoroughly updated to reflect current technology.
  • Revised with even clearer discussions of virtual storage, the operation of memory, and modern CPU architectures.
  • Programming examples are written in a C++/Java-like pseudocode.
  • Emphasizes the computer aspects of clustering and networking, rather than the data communication aspects.
  • Provide an understanding of underlying, non-changing basics of computers, so that you can make knowledgeable decisions about systems.
  • Introduce new technological concepts without overwhelming you with too much detail.
  • Examples cover a broad spectrum of hardware and software systems, from personal computers to mainframes.
  • Integrates discussions of hardware and software throughout, and explores the symbiosis between them.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars exactly what I needed
Exactly what I needed. They gave what they said I would get. Very satisified with my purchase and the service.

3-0 out of 5 stars Fairly helpful, but who is it aimed at?
Okay, first the good news. This is a weighty book with a lot of well presented information. As one of the previous reviewers noted, you can only simplify this kind of technical information so much. I agree with that reviewer that Englander has done a good job in covering such topics as data and computer mathematics, hardware architecture and operation, and software components. The diagrams are generally helpful and well done, and though there is a large volume of text here, the author keeps the pros flowing pretty well.

The bad news is that this is not particularly helpful for those approaching this subject for the first time. On many occasions Englander refers to "your previous programing experience" and similar presumptions about the readers technical background and knowledge level. Yes, I agree not all books are aimed beginners, but I read this text for a third year undergraduate course in IT and was often a bit baffled by the author's assumption that I was a computer programmer. Perhaps this fact says more about the lack of introductory texts available on the subject of hardware and software architecture than about this particular text, but I only found this book "fairly" helpful.

The strange thing is that I can't imagine intermediate or advanced IT student or professionals not knowing the subjects covered in this book already, and so I am left with the question "who is this text actually aimed at"?

Overall, I would rate this book as fairly helpful, but not really aimed at the readership well.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not good for learning
This was required reading for an online IT college course.I'm an experienced IT professional and I had a very hard time with this book.the language is very difficult to follow and the examples/illustrations only made sense after I learned the concept from other texts/websites.This isn't a book from which to learn, if you do not already understand these concepts.I did not complete the book, as it only caused frustration.

1-0 out of 5 stars Seriously Lacking - Buy a different book if you can
This was a required text for a computer science course I am taking. I've gone through half the book already and I get more and more confused as I go.

There are a lot of nice pictures that I assume are meant to be funny, but other than that, you're not getting much.

This book lacks clear explanations for each topic. While there is a lot of text, you'll be hard pressed to find anything you can make sense out of.

This book lacks quality examples. Though the examples it does have are helpful, there are not enough. When you get to the exercises at the end of each chapter you find that the questions seek answers to ideas that often were not covered or not covered well enough or lacked examples.

This book is so bad, there have been emails going around among almost all of my classmates, and even the professor had his 2 cents, and hopefully the course will use a different textbook for the next semester.

Don't waste your money on it!

1-0 out of 5 stars Confusing and hard to understand
As others have pointed out, this is definitely not a book for beginners. But what's worse is that its not very well written. The phrases and sentences are sometimes confusing. While some appear to be good examples, usually they are not well explained. I hate to be this harsh, but the book often has sentences for the sake of having sentences! I would not recommend this book to anyone other than someone who wants a quick reference of IS architecture. There are other books that do a better job of explaining this subject. ... Read more

4. Principles of Computer Hardware
by Alan Clements
Paperback: 672 Pages (2006-03-30)
list price: US$89.95 -- used & new: US$55.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0199273138
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Completely updated and revised throughout, the fourth edition of Principles of Computer Hardware explores the fundamentals of computer structure, architecture, and programming.

The book opens with an introduction to the fundamental concepts behind computer architecture: gates, circuits, logic, and computer arithmetic. It goes on to discuss computer operation from instruction set architecture and assembly language programming to the central processing unit. Then, the text builds on these foundations; explaining how the hardware interfaces with its surroundings, introducing computer memory, operating systems, and computer peripherals.

With clear, concise explanations throughout, Principles of Computer Hardware, Fourth Edition, is ideal for undergraduate courses in computer architecture.

Student CD--Included with Every Copy of the Text

·Features a Windows-based simulator for the student to explore the design of digital circuits

·Includes Windows and DOS-based 68K simulators for students to investigate the operation of the 68K processor

·Contains an ARM simulator that allows students to write programs for a RISC processor and run them on a PC

Companion Website

·Provides a bank of multiple-choice tests

·Lists downloadable files of all figures from the book as well as solutions to problems featured in the text ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars boring book
This book will only appeal to nerds or students who have no chose in their purchases

3-0 out of 5 stars Horrible Number of Errors

It is simply unacceptable for a book to be on its fourth edition and have the number of errors this book contains.It's really difficult to learn when the information on the page is wrong.

With that said, it's a good book although often times too wordy and a difficult read because of the small font, volume of information and the layout of illustrations into the print.You won't get buy reading each chapter just once unless you take some good notes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing book !
I am a Computer Science student at Tallinn University of Technology, and I bought this book for Computer hardware class. It is the main book that our Computer Hardware teacher uses in class.
I used this book ( Principles of Computer Hardware, 4th edition) along with Tanenbaum's "Structured computer organization" and I have to say it is a perfect combination.
I was amazed how easy to understand the information in this book was. It is not the simplicity of "for dummies" books, but somehow the author managed to explain complicated subjects in an easy to understand way. It is well structured and organized, the material is covered thoroughly (there were quite a few explanations that helped me understand what Tanenbaum meant in his book :-)), there are a lot of very easy to understand illustrations with comments that truly help in understanding the material. The complicated topics are clearly presented, so I REALLY enjoyed reading it. I have to say that I learned a lot from this book, and many topics became really clear to me after reading it.
Well, of course, as in almost every book, there were a few misprints in the book, but I think these are not critical to understanding the material.
I am so glad I bought this book. So if you are a Computer Science student or just want a book that would help you with your self-education in Computer Hardware, don't hesitate and buy this book.
I'm giving it 5 stars !

4-0 out of 5 stars Great computer hardware book.
I had to use this textbook for my college principles of computer hardware class, but I found myself reading it when I didn't even have to by the end of the semester.Some complex ideas are discussed in here, but the authors lay it out to the reader in a friendly and easy-to-grasp manner.

On the downside, as the other reviewer mentioned, there are quite a few errors in the logic diagrams, Karnaugh maps, and truth tables presented in the book.Also, the chapter order can be somewhat unintuitive, although that may be a matter of personal preference.

If you have to get this book for a class, consider yourself lucky-- and if you are just looking to learn by yourself about computer hardware from the ground up, this book is a great way to go.

4-0 out of 5 stars Goodbook covering core features of hardware
This is the textbook used in a computer hardware class I have taken - its a good read and has some clear explanations and good illustrated examples of the ideas - found several errors and typos in the logic diagrams and amnot sure if their outlined in a errata supplement. some of the technologyseems to be a bit dated in the later chapters, but the ideas still hold.-Overall a good introductory text book. ... Read more

5. Evolvable Systems: From Biology to Hardware: 6th International Conference, ICES 2005, Sitges, Spain, September 12-14, 2005, Proceedings (Lecture Notes ... Computer Science and General Issues)
Paperback: 227 Pages (2005-09-29)
list price: US$58.00 -- used & new: US$52.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3540287361
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Editorial Review

Product Description

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Evolvable Systems, ICES 2005, held in Sitges, Spain in September 2005.

The 21 revised full papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected. The papers are organized in topical sections on fault tolerance and recovery, platforms for evolving digital systems, evolution of analog circuits, evolutionary robotics, evolutionary hardware design methodologies, bio-inspired architectures, and applications.

... Read more

6. Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software
by Charles Petzold
Paperback: 400 Pages (2000-10-11)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$11.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0735611319
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
What do flashlights, the British invasion, black cats, and seesaws have to do with computers? In CODE, they show us the ingenious ways we manipulate language and invent new ways to communicate with each other. And through CODE, we see how this ingenuity-and our very human compulsion to communicate-have driven the technological innovations of the past two centuries. Now in paperback edition, this critically praised book weaves an inventive and eminently comprehensible narrative for anyone who's ever wondered about the secret inner life of computers and other smart machines. The work of legendary computer book author Charles Petzold has influenced an entire generation of programmers. And with CODE, Microsoft Press is proud to share this gifted teacher and communicator with every reader interested in understanding today's world of PCs, digital media, and the Internet.Amazon.com Review
Charles Petzold's latest book, Code: The Hidden Language ofComputer Hardware and Software, crosses over into general-interestnonfiction from his usual programming genre. It's a carefully written,carefully researched gem that will appeal to anyone who wants tounderstand computer technology at its essence. Readers learn aboutnumber systems (decimal, octal, binary, and all that) throughPetzold's patient (and frequently entertaining) prose and thendiscover the logical systems that are used to process them. There'sloads of historical information too. From Louis Braille's developmentof his eponymous raised-dot code to Intel Corporation's release of itsearly microprocessors, Petzold presents stories of people trying tocommunicate with (and by means of) mechanical and electricaldevices. It's a fascinating progression of technologies, and Petzoldpresents a clear statement of how they fit together.

The realvalue of Code is in its explanation of technologies that havebeen obscured for years behind fancy user interfaces and programmingenvironments, which, in the name of rapid application development,insulate the programmer from the machine. In a section on machinelanguage, Petzold dissects the instruction sets of the genre-definingIntel 8080 and Motorola 6800 processors. He walks the reader throughthe process of performing various operations with each chip,explaining which opcodes poke which values into which registers alongthe way. Petzold knows that the hidden language of computers exhibitsreal beauty. In Code, he helps readers appreciateit. --David Wall

Topics covered: Mechanical andelectrical representations of words and numbers, number systems, logicgates, performing mathematical operations with logic gates,microprocessors, machine code, memory and programming languages. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (83)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent reading for any seminar intro to CS. It could be outside reading. It is enjoyable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Now (I think) I know how a computer works
Wow.Before I read this book, I already knew about logic gates, but I did not know (1) how electric and electonic devices can in the real world perform the function of logic gates and (2) how by arranging logic gates wisely one can perform addition and subtraction and (3) more complicated mathematical operations can be performed by doing "a lot of" additions and subtractions.Now I (kind of) know.

All these are gratifying.

Starting from Chapter 17, however, the speed and depth of the book changes gear quite a bit (at least to me).From that chapter onward, it is about the relatively detailed working of a modern computer - e.g. how integrated circuits (chips) work, what microprocessors are, etc.In Chapter 18, for instance, the author answered the question in the preface: "why can't you run Macintosh programs under Windows?".It is quite rewarding to understand why.

Different readers will have different views towards this book.By profession I am a physician and have no experience in serious computing, so I myself find Chapters 21 and 22 particularly difficult.But overall I think I have learned a lot from this book.Five stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good stuff is towards the end
When I first got this book it was required reading for an entry level computer science course, we learned everything that this book talks about but I didn't quite get "why" we were being taught all these things. I made it about half-way through the book and felt it was pretty silly and boring. It was talking about logic gates and using them to buy a cat from the pet store, neutered, female, gray, and all this other stuff that in my mind had nothing to do with computers.

It wasn't until about a year later I picked up this book again and began reading more and more computer science and programming related books. Once I started reading this again I wanted to find out what happens towards the end. And realize why I was taught different number systems and logic gates back in that entry level course. It wasn't until about chapter 17 where I realized what all of it had been leading up to and it was pretty awesome. The following chapters were quite interesting but I felt too short. It felt like all the good stuff was in the last 100 pages or so.

I think Petzold wrote this book so that anyone could understand code and how computers work. So if you're already a computer science person the early stuff might seem a bit boring and repetitive, but once you get to the end it will all make sense. I'm glad I did go back and read it again, because the first time through I never got that far. I think it was mainly because I was focused on passing all my classes and this book was more of an extension of the class and not a requirement to read it. I'd recommend this book to anyone vaguely interested in how computers work, or anyone in the computer science or programming fields. It's really useful to understand exactly what's going on when you are programming. And this book essentially explains how you could build your own computer and know exactly how it works.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very descriptive as to the inner-workings of a computer
I recall the book being split into three parts:

The first third of this book is a crash-course in various "codes" used for communicating -- Morse code, Braille, and eventually Binary/Octal/Decimal/Hexadecimal.The author simply explains how to communicate messages using only 2 signals (on/off).This

The second third of the book delves into the history of computing, automated machinery, using electrical signals to convey messages (starting with the telegraph), and eventually working up to "Switches" -- the basic building block of a computers.From there, the author explains, very slowly and clearly, how to build a rudimentary computer.Even if you are not interested in the logical diagrams of circuits, you could easily skip past these sections and still find a wealth of information in the book.

In the third part of the book, after building our basic computer, the author goes into Processors: when they were popular and mass-produced, how people programmed with them, what each chip does, etc.The author explains how newer computers had different processors, and how the x86 chip is still commonly used in PCs today. The author also explains how advances in technology are trending.

The book is a little dated -- my edition was only current up to the year 2000.However, not much has changed in how a computer is made and powers itself on since 2000.This is a must-read for anyone interested in being a programmer or computer electrical engineer. It's also vital for anyone who really wants to know how a computer works.

5-0 out of 5 stars I think it was written with Love
I wanted to write a review for this book for the past few weeks, but held off until I finished reading it completely, in case there was some disappointment at the end. Thankfully that is not the case - the book is excellent from start to finish.

You can see the amount of love and care that the author has put into this work. From the easy to read font, thought-out diagram and image layouts that never make you flip-back the pages - to the excellent teaching-like style with which the author gradually tackles the topic. It is amazing. I found myself holding off reading too much of the book at once, because I wanted to prolong the pleasure!

I recommend this book to anyone. The first seven or eight chapters should be accessible to anyone, regardless of their technical background, and are alone worth the price of the book. This book should be enjoyed from start to finish, just like a novel. Unlike a novel this book not only provides the reader with the pleasing reading experience, but also with some very useful lessons and fundamentals.

I like the author's approach so much that I have purchased his next book "The Annotated Turing". I will post my impressions of that when I am done. ... Read more

7. Discovering Computers: Fundamentals, Fifth Edition (Shelly Cashman Series)
by Gary B. Shelly, Misty E. Vermaat
Paperback: 552 Pages (2008-02-12)
list price: US$123.95 -- used & new: US$18.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1423927028
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Learners are guided through the latest trends in computer concepts and technology in an exciting and easy-to-follow format. Updated for currency, this book and the robust Online Companion provide learners with the most up-to-date information on the latest technology in today's digital world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great
I needed this book for a college class and even though the condition was marked as only good I got the book in excellent condition, I would have said like new. It has very useful info in it, and it doesn't have very much difference from the new edition, just a few different pictures.

3-0 out of 5 stars This is a paralell edition of the true edition !
It is a look alike edition of the book I needed for my class. I hope to receive the correct edition so I can return this book I currently using. It's not what I ordered!!! Please contact me asap so we can fix this situation whether very disturbing for me as I may fail my class as a result of receiving the wrong texbook...And the book came very late too.

5-0 out of 5 stars I paniced wheni seen how much it was in the student store!!!
This book was in really great condition (brand spanking New). it came in three days . i assumed it would take 7-10 days as usual. well that's so much i saved $35 compared to the student store . i have ordered books from amazon before and the comments were good but when i recieved them they looked like crap ..A few of the books were all highlighted and written in , they were suppose to be in excellent condition .so this one is a winner and will keep me coming back..

3-0 out of 5 stars Great resource:Expensive
I use this book in my classes and it's jam-packed with useful, current information.However, it's too expensive and there are a lot of alternatives out there.The book industry must learn to adapt or it will die like newspapers.E-books!

5-0 out of 5 stars discovering computers
Received the book very quickly and in good condition as stated.
Very smooth transaction.
... Read more

8. PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition
by Barbara Fritchman Thompson
Paperback: 880 Pages (2003-07-24)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$19.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 059600513X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A longtime favorite among PC users, the third edition of the book now contains useful information for people running either Windows or Linux operating systems. Written for novices and seasoned professionals alike, the book is packed with useful and unbiased information, including how-to advice for specific components, ample reference material, and a comprehensive case study on building a PC. In addition to coverage of the fundamentals and general tips about working on PCs, the book includes chapters focusing on motherboards, processors, memory, floppies, hard drives, optical drives, tape devices, video devices, input devices, audio components, communications, power supplies, and maintenance. Special emphasis is given to upgrading and troubleshooting existing equipment so you can get the most from your existing investments.Amazon.com Review
PC Hardware in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference relies on an eternal truth of the computer industry: legacy systems never die. This book focuses on the technologies that have provided Wintel personal computers with various capabilities over the years. Like most of its competitors, this book addresses the PC on a subsystem level, and deals with video cards, hard-disk interfaces, memory, and other pieces of the componentry puzzle that hardware integrators need to figure out. The authors do a great job of explaining the differences between (and relative merits of) IDE and SCSI hard-drive interfaces, various video buses, competing processors, and other technologies. They also prove themselves adept at explaining general assembly procedures and troubleshooting strategies.

This book distinguishes itself from its most popular competitors by emphasizing the authors' opinions on hardware products. It's refreshing to see authors recommend Product A for high-performance systems in which price is not an issue, Product B for economical home systems, and Product C for organizational workstations. On the other hand, the recommendations, prices, and similar values will change over time. The authors maintain a great Web site, at which you can find their current recommendations. (The Web site, on the other hand, doesn't include the book's high-quality tutorial on designing and assembling a system from zero.) Even the photographs that appear in this book--traditionally a weak point among hardware books--are clear. --David Wall

Topics covered: Personal computers that comply with Microsoft Windows and Intel compatibility requirements. The authors address processors, memory, hard disks, optical media, removable magnetic disks, video cards, power supplies, and more. Also, there are instructions for assembling a machine from scratch, and some coverage of troubleshooting problems. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pull-no-punches opinionated and highly detailed
Robert Thompson is a man who doesn't hold back from giving his opinion on why something is good or bad, either on his website or in his books.In _PC Hardware in a Nutshell_, he tells you just what he thinks of what's good and bad about PC components in just about any category you can think of, and backs it up with all the facts, figures and personal experiences you could ever ask for.Every chapter includes historical information on the components under discussion, detailed reviews of what they do and how they do it, and recommendations on what to use (and what not to use).The final chapter walks you through building your own machine step-by-step, though, this being an omnibus book, the chapter is necessarily slightly skimpy in comparison to _Building The Perfect PC_.The writing style is clear and lively, in fact the book is well worth reading as a book even if you don't need any specific information at the time.The only real complaint I have is something the author has no control over - the fact that new PC hardware comes out so fast that it's just impossible to review every single new thing in a paper edition. (Well, that and the fact that Thompson doesn't like Western Digital because he's had bad experiences with their hard drives, whereas I've been using WD exclusively for years and never yet have had one go out on me.I think that can be chalked up, though, more to the fact that there's just so much PC hardware out there that different people are just going to end up having completely different experiences with components from a particular manufacturer.That, or I just got lucky with WD hard drives.)All in all, this book is truly indispensable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Power to the People!
Let me start out with a huge thanks to O'Reilly. I'm not a big fan of large corporations or publishers - but I have come to trust O'Reilly implicitly wherever technical issues are concerned. Although I'm certain that they are not the "perfect" publisher, nor in the business for wholly (ha!) altruistic reasons, I AM amazed by the remarkable originality, diversity, range, quality, accuracy, and honorable business practices of this publisher. Oftentimes I wonder how they manage to maintain such a level, when their current library is so chock-full of tough-to-follow acts.

That said, PC Hardware in a Nutshell does not fail to meet up to these high expectations. Let me get the review portion of my review out of the way - simply put, this is the book I have been hunting for a couple years. That I did not immediately search the O'Reilly library only shows that I am a bit silly. I should have known better. End of review.

But I would like to carry this a bit further, and go out on a limb to discuss the only complaint prior reviewers have voiced: that the book is too "Microsoft-centric."

Rather than a weakness, I believe that this is actually a strength. Let me offer big kudos to the authors and publisher for realizing that a serious, yet accessible, compendium of computer hardware knowledge was necessary. The folks who register such complaints are those least in need of an in-depth introduction to PC hardware. These are the high priests of hi-tech, who rule the roost by virtue of their knowledge-monopoly on all issues technical. They would have you believe that if it was not hand-crafted from spare parts, duct tape, and copious amounts of solder and configured with the most obscure version of Linux, then it's only fit for a 4-year-old. They are, quite simply, dead wrong. Let them compile their own "PC Hardware for Only the Most Serious Tech Gurus", I say!

Thompson's very first point is that he intended the book to be of the most practical usability possible. The practical reality is that the people who desperately need such a compendium are poor fools, like Yours Truly, who are too technical to be satisfied with tutorials on how to use Microsoft Office, yet are not quite knowledgeable enough to get right under the hood of their PCs (never mind build a Linux box from spare hatpins and Reynolds Wrap). We, the "psuedo-techies", often do not come equipped with enough experience, knowledge, or confidence to take ourselves to the next level. We are the crowd who are using Microsoft products, yet would love to learn enough to understand exactly WHY Microsoft means "mush-mind" and Linux is God - but will never get there without a guide. This book is the guide, and to me it says, "Psuedo-techies unite! Power to the people!"

4-0 out of 5 stars A bit dated
This is a great book that covers every aspect of building a PC. However, as of August 2004, the 3rd edition of this book is a bit dated. For example PC3200 memory is considered the newest memory and both Pentium 4 Prescott processors and Athlon 64 processors were not out when this book was published. If you are buying this book, you may want to wait for a 4th edition, unless you are looking to assemble an old computer.

I would not accept the author's hardware recommendations as the final word. For one thing, the components they review are in many cases no longer manufactured. Magazine reviews and PC hardware Web sites are going to have different opinions on what the best components are.

5-0 out of 5 stars All you need for PC hardware
This book is amazingly concise and thorough, yet also very easy to read. It contains many helpful photographs, and the authors maintain a great website that is tremendously useful and is a great addition to the book. I am not a big fan of the "In a Nutshell" computer books published by O'Reilly, but this book is definitely an exception. It's great for both beginners and experts.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Gem of a PC primer!
O'Reilly's an up and coming publisher of computer related books. Maybe a kingpin already. This selection is a true quick reference guide. Written by the Thompsons, this selection gives you a thorough look into buying, assembling and operating computers. You do need a basic understanding to get anything out of this book, but if this is the case, you won't be disappointed. I have a first edition copy, and it's still current. That says a lot, a first edition published four years ago is still not too outdated! Think about it. How many computer related books can you think of that's relatively current after four years? Huh? ... Read more

9. PIC Microcontroller: An Introduction to Software & Hardware Interfacing
by Han-Way Huang, Leo Chartrand
Hardcover: 608 Pages (2004-07-01)
list price: US$158.95 -- used & new: US$50.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401839673
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This book presents a thorough introduction to the Microchip PIC® microcontroller family, including all of the PIC programming and interfacing for all the peripheral functions.A step-by-step approach to PIC assembly language programming is presented, with tutorials that demonstrate how to use such inherent development tools such as the Integrated Development Environment MPLAB, PIC18 C compiler, the ICD2 in-circuit debugger, and several demo boards.Comprehensive coverage spans the topics of interrupts, timer functions, parallel I/O ports, various serial communications such as USART, SPI, I2C, CAN, A/D converters, and external memory expansion. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best µC book I have ever had.
This is a great µC book that teaches with the PIC18 series. All examples in the book cover ASM and C18 code. I wish such a book were available for other µCs. I would recommend this book for anyone looking to get started with PICs, especially if your using a PIC18.

4-0 out of 5 stars A very thorough overview of the PIC microcontroller
Having a background in software development (C/C++), having written a lot of assembly language in the distant past, and being familiar with processor architecture, I found the book to be straightforward and useful to me. I was able to make rapid progress through the text, sometimes skipping ahead to sections to find just what I needed. Plenty of useful source code in both asm and C as well. The professor who wrote this put together what seems like a very clean, easy to understand text (where "easy" may depend on your background - I found it easy). It is true that you can probably find much of the information in the processor specification PDF file available from Microchip or in other online sources, yet I found it very convenient to have it all available in one organized textbook. I do recommend the book for others wishing to learn more about the PIC18.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best PIC18 book available.
I have virtually all of the major PIC books available and this
one is, by far, the best PIC18 book on the market. That may be
because it is written as a textbook by an obviously experienced
academic as well a microprocessor engineer. Each chapter follows
a natural progression from the basics of instruction set, tool
use such as MPLAB, assembly, C programming, and
on to the details of the PIC18 architecture.
Its clear organization makes it equally useful as a reference
and may be dipped into for solutions to many PIC issues such as
I2C, timer and A/D use and interfacing details for many applications.
For the earlier PIC16, the best reference is "The Quintessential PIC Microcontroller"
by Sid Katzen for many of the same reasons.
Buy these two books and you have both the PIC16 and PIC18 covered.

1-0 out of 5 stars it's not an introduction in fact it's advanced Software & Hardware Interfacing
the name of this book is not matching with it's contents unfortunatley i found it very complecated and confusing and very hard to understand,it seems to me the only way to understand it is to read some other books related to the PIC microcontroller

the name of this book is missleading ... Read more

10. Computer Engineering: Hardware Design
by M. Morris Mano
Hardcover: 464 Pages (1988-02-04)
list price: US$116.00 -- used & new: US$60.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0131629263
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
An introduction to the hardware concepts needed to analyze and design digital systems and the principles of computer hardware organization and design. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Great book for beginners
If you are new to computer engineering and need a firm grasp of the basic, this book will do the trick. Goes good with class room training or as additional resources to more updated version of the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Oldie but a goodie
This is an excellent book for beginners or as a review. Look at the large number of topics covered in the table of contents.Many excellent diagrams.Easy to read. Many basic concepts for computer hardware design are covered. ... Read more

11. Hardware and Computer Organization (Embedded Technology)
by Arnold S. Berger
Hardcover: 512 Pages (2005-05-20)
list price: US$75.95 -- used & new: US$40.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0750678860
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Hardware and Computer Organization is a practical introduction to the architecture of modern microprocessors for students and professional alike. It is designed to take practicing professionals "under the hood" of a PC and provide them with an understanding of the basics of the complex machine that has become such a pervasive part of our everyday life. It clearly explains how hardware and software cooperatively interact to accomplish real-world tasks.

Instead of simply demonstrating how to design a computer's hardware, it provides an understanding of the total machine, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, explaining how to deal with memory and how to write efficient assemble code that interacts with and takes best advantage of the underlying hardware.

Additionally, the book has a unique emphasis on facilitating the ability to make real engineering decisions in industry when working with anything from simple 8-bit microprocessors in embedded applications to PCs and workstations. It demystifies the link between the behaviour of the code and the operation of the machine, while helping engineers and students to better understand the limitations imposed by finite speed and resources.

This book is divided into three major sections:
· Part 1: Hardware Fundamentals and Digital Design
· Part 2: Assembly Language Programming
· Part 3: Computer Architecture

The DVD accompanying the text will contain the following:
* source code files for all the code examples used in the text
* working demo versions of two different processor simulators
* video lectures from industry notables covering several of the major topics dealt with in the text. ... Read more

12. The Architecture of Computer Hardware and Systems Software: An Information Technology Approach
by Irv Englander
 Paperback: Pages (2001-08)

Isbn: 0471208434
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

1-0 out of 5 stars For ages 5 and under
This book is only helpful for extremely young children that want to learn about basic computer architecture.There is extremely little redeeming value about this book.The explanations of basic concepts are ludicrouslylaughable.The title should be changed from "The Architecture ofComputer Hardware and Systems Software: An Information TechnologyApproach" to "Watered Down Computer Architecture that is even toobasic and elementary for even dummies and idiots".Any money spent onthis book is better spent on a pyramid scheme.

If you want to learn aboutcomputer architecture, I would recommend: "Computer Architecture: AQuantitative Approach" by John Hennessy and David Patterson.

4-0 out of 5 stars A comfortable and well-written read
This book is an excellent introduction for those familiar with computers, but is neither for dummies nor for rocket scientists.

It is a well-balanced book suitable for both IT students and those working in the industry who want to know what goes on in PCs and system servers. The cleanlayout, the sequence of information presentation and the author's writingstyle makes this diffcult topic a joy to read about.

Some criticism -the presentation of numbers could be reduced, the appendices on logic couldbe expanded and a chapter on client-server architecture would be the icingon the cake. Another worthy book but a bit dry is 'Silberschatz et al.'.Check it out before you buy.

2-0 out of 5 stars Too much useless detail, not enough context
Required text for a computer course...very poor. I would suggest a Scott Mueller book instead. Lacked context, went into too much detail.

1-0 out of 5 stars This book is crappy..I use it for a course
This book tells you a lot about the computer but the problems at the end of the chapters are very BAD. The problems really don't correlate with thetext.The problems are too vauge.

2-0 out of 5 stars Practice questions without giving any answers!
Yes, it seems to be a readable book. But what kind of crappy book contains practice questions without giving you any answers? How am I supposed to use this book to study from if I have no way of knowing that my answers to theauthor's questions are right?

Also, I would say that although Irv'swriting style is readable it is wordy. It would be a much better book ifthere was a summary section following each section of each chapter. And ifthe damn answers were in there! ... Read more

13. PC Hardware Annoyances: How to Fix the Most Annoying Things about Your Computer Hardware
by Stephen J. Bigelow
Paperback: 272 Pages (2004-11-22)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$9.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0596007159
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Operating a personal computer requires more than just dealing with the PC itself.As anyone with even a modicum of computer experience can attest, there are all types of hardware devices which you must become familiar with disk drives, printers, monitors, and sound cards, just to name a few.And, naturally, each is fraught with its own set of bugs and snares.

PC Hardware Annoyances, the latest installment of O'Reilly's highly successful Annoyances series, aims to optimize these peripheral systems by offering easy fixes to their most annoying traits. With over 40 titles to his credit, author Stephen Bigelow identifies all those annoyances that make you cringe in frustration. Then, through the use of snappy, entertaining, and practical solutions, he shows you how to clear each obstacle one step at a time.After that, the rest is up to you.

Designed for PC users of all levels, this handy guide doesn't bore you with long dissertations on the workings of the technology at hand.Instead, it offers straightforward, easy-to-understand troubleshooting solutions.For maximum ease of use, PC Hardware Annoyances is broken up into several broad hardware categories.They include desktops, laptops and PDAs, graphics, sound, hard drives, CD/DVD drives, network, and printers and scanners.And while you may not use each of these accessories currently, chances are it's only a matter of time before you'll need their technological services whether it's for work or recreation.

What makes PC Hardware Annoyances especially timely is the growing trend among computer owners to simply upgrade their PCs as they age, rather than replacing them altogether.With peripheral devices becoming increasingly affordable, there's no reason not to.But as with any do-it-yourself project, trouble lurks around the corner if you don't have the right guide.Having difficulty setting up your color inkjet printer?Trying to burn a music CD?Is your modem misbehaving?The remedy: PC Hardware Annoyances, of course!

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars resource-full book, but little for the average computer user

Do you know how to get to Mouse Properties in the control panel without instructions? If not, then you might not be able to follow half the material in this book.

Examples of Annoyances addressed in this book:
"I replaced my CMOS backup battery just a few months ago, but I still see occasional CMOS battery errors..."
"I updated my BIOS and need to clear the CMOS RAM, but my motherboard lacks the proper jumper..."
"I want to overclock my PC..."
"Will my system crash if two PCI devices share the same IRQ line?"
"I tried to install DDR333 DIMMs along with my existing DDR400 DIMMs... I thought the modules were compatible..."
"I ran the System File Checker for Windows XP and got a DLL cache error."

There are a few easier topics that an average computer user like me can find useful and understandable ("My CD-RW drive refuses to eject my audio CD."), but the examples above are typical of the difficulty level of the content.

I'm a big fan of the Annoyances series, and this is a book meant for those who are keenly interested in computers, so I'll make sure to go back and read it after I've accumulated more knowledge. In the meantime, it'll serve as a standby reference to consult if a particular hardware problem comes up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome
This is one of the most useful books I have ever bought.I had three particular problems in mind, and I wasn't buying this book specifically for them; it was more for reference.But I opened it up and it had clear, concise, and easy instructions for doing what I needed- much better than the information I had gotten through hours of internet searches into the problems.

This is a must own for any PC owner, ESPECIALLY if you have Windows.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting resource for hardware hackers
I liked this book, but that's easy because it's a topic that interests me. If hardware hacking is something that you enjoy you will probably find a lot to like in this book. Because in general it's all about the tips and tricks.

That being said this book, like all of the Annoyances books, is not a complete reference. You won't find the list of PC cards, but you will find tips on how to fix flaky USB connections and the like.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book to have around "just in case"...
O'Reilly has a series of Annoyances books on the market, and I recently had a chance to review the PC Hardware Annoyances book by Stephen J. Bigelow.It's a really good book with an enormous number of tips and tricks to fix misbehaving computer components.

Chapter List:
Desktop Annoyances: Setup Annoyances; Keyboard Annoyances; Mouse Annoyances; Startup Annoyances; BIOS/CMOS Annoyances; Memory Annoyances; Processor Annoyances; Card and Port Annoyances; Maintenance Annoyances
Laptop/PDA Annoyances: Setup/Startup Annoyances; Battery Annoyances; LCD Annoyances; PC Card Annoyances; PDA Annoyances; Maintenance Annoyances
Graphic Annoyances: Configuration Annoyances; Driver Annoyances; Upgrade Annoyances; Desktop Annoyances; Monitor Annoyances; 3D Annoyances; Video Capture/Playback Annoyances; Player Software Annoyances
Sound Annoyances: Configuration Annoyances; Setup Annoyances; Speaker Annoyances; CD Audio Annoyances; Music Player Annoyances
Hard Drive Annoyances: Configuration Annoyances; Performance Annoyances; Maintenance Annoyances; Backup and Restore Annoyances
CD/DVD Drive Annoyances: Configuration Annoyances; Performance Annoyances; Playback Annoyances; Recording Annoyances; Rewriting Annoyances; Burning Software Annoyances; DVD Player Annoyances
Network Annoyances: Configuration Annoyances; Modem Annoyances; Cable Annoyances; DSL Annoyances; Wireless Networking Annoyances; General Networking Annoyances; Printer and File Sharing Annoyances; Firewall Annoyances
Printer and Scanner Annoyances: Setup Annoyances; Performance Annoyances; Maintenance Annoyances; Color Printer Annoyances; Paper Annoyances; Scanner Annoyances

As you can see, Bigelow covers a lot of ground in the book.I almost view this as a combination between a Hacks book and a compilation of questions asked by readers.And in fact, the compilation angle is pretty accurate.O'Reilly solicits annoyances from a number of sources, and these submissions make up a large part of what the author writes about.The questions can range anywhere from pretty basic ("my cursor skips all over the screen, and the mouse doesn't seem to be controlling it very well") to pretty advanced ("I get an HPF9XDR0 error whenever I try to print to my HP printer"), and Bigelow covers all of them with complete and often humorous information.In between the annoyance/fix entries, you will find a number of warnings, tips, and tools that will make your interactions with your hardware much more error-free.

The "bad" thing about a book like this is that *your* particular annoyance may not be covered.Unfortunately, there's not a lot you can do about that.But the breath of questions covered should give you some insights that can be applied to your problem if it isn't answered directly.This is a book you probably want to have around your bookshelf "just in case" something goes wrong.Very well done. ... Read more

14. Computer Repair with Diagnostic Flowcharts: Troubleshooting PC Hardware Problems from Boot Failure to Poor Performance, Revised Edition
by Morris Rosenthal
Paperback: 120 Pages (2008-08-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$13.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0972380175
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The updated edition of the classic visual manual for troubleshooting PC hardware problems. Morris Rosenthal creates a visual expert system for diagnosing component failure and identifying conflicts. The seventeen diagnostic flowcharts at the core of this book are intended for the intermediate to advanced hobbyist, or the beginning technician. Following a structured approach to troubleshooting hardware reduces the false diagnoses and parts wastage typical of the "swap 'till you drop" school of thought. Flowcharts include: Power Supply Failure, Video Failure, Video Performance, Motherboard, CPU, RAM Failure, Motherboard, CPU, RAM Performance, IDE Drive Failure, Hard Drive Boot and Performance, CD or DVD Playback, CD or DVD Recording Problem, Modem Failure, Modem Performance, Sound Failure, Sound and Game Controller Performance, Network Failure, Peripheral Failure, SCSI Failure and Conflict Resolution ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars A simple approach to troubleshooting
With no pictures, no technical details but just some simple straight forward flow chart, I have to give credit to the author.

This book is well written and outlined out so even a beginner can follow and troubleshoot.
For the well experienced, it serves a simple reminder that some problems are generally solved by taking the simple steps first.

It is indeed very good book to have.

3-0 out of 5 stars PC Repair Book
This book is not as detailed as the same author's book on laptop repair.Therefore, it is not as good as it might have been.

5-0 out of 5 stars MUST BUY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Troubleshooting tool
This is probably the most valuable tool a PC Technician could have in his tool box. It's better at diagnostics and been more helpful than many of the bigger more expensive PC repair books I've gotten. My only regret is that I didn't buy this sooner. Also see the The Laptop Repair Workbook by the same author. It's well written and easy to follow. I highly recommend both.

5-0 out of 5 stars computer repair
It's always good to have a reference book when dealing with computer problems. If not this book,a similar book would do just as well. ... Read more

15. The HCS12/9S12: An Introduction to Hardware and Software Interfacing
by Han-Way Huang
Hardcover: 760 Pages (2005-07-26)
list price: US$166.95 -- used & new: US$128.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401898122
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This new book provides a total solution for learning and teaching embedded system design based on the Motorola HCS12/9S12 microcontroller. Readers will learn step-by-step how to program the HCS12 using both assembly and C languages, as well as how to use such development tools as asmIDE, MiniIDE, GNU C, and EGNU IDE.Supportive examples clearly illustrate all applications of the HCS12 peripheral functions, including parallel port, timer functions, PWM, UART port, SPI, I2C, CAN, on-chip flash and EEPROM programming, external memory expansion, and more.A back-of-book CD contains the source code for all examples in the book, several groups of reusable utility functions, and complimentary freeware development tools for improved learning. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

2-0 out of 5 stars Review of Hardware and Software Interfacing
To be honest got overwhelmed with the assembly code bases for the HCS12.I harldy used this book for my class as if I recall correctly the book went more in C approach on hardware programing, and we used assembly.In time I'll go back and relearn what I applied in class, but using C.So hopefully this book will be more handy then.

5-0 out of 5 stars Review for HCS12/9s12 Book
I always seem to find the right book at the at the right price at amazon.This time was no exception. I went with amazon because of the free shipping and it arrived in a timely manner.I was not disappointed.The book arrived in described condition, and I hope to get my moneys worth out of it. Thanks Amazon.

5-0 out of 5 stars The book freescale should have wrote
Fantastic reference.
Great examples in asm and "C".
Good explanations.
A must have if you are using this family of MCU's.
Covers tools as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good for a rank novice
Let me state that I'm a rank novice to microcontroller programming and embedded systems.This book seemed quite comprehensive, going as far as recommending demo boards and compilers to run the examples in.There were a few errors (i.e. Chapter 14, table 1 and figure 1 are the same) but the code all seemed to compile and run ok and the CD provided all of the source code for both assembly and C.All in all this book covered pretty much everything I wanted it to and would recommend it for any student looking to use the new HC9S12 family of microprocessors.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book on the market for the HCS12
I'm an Electrical Enigineering student and do a lot of work with the Freescale MC9S12 family of 16-bit microcontrollers.After using just about every other book on the market for the HC(S)12 family, I can honestly say that this one is the best - by far.It's definitely the only one you will need on your desk if you work with these chips.The thing that makes it so useful is the wealth of code included in the text - both in assembly and C.Most books on the topic just include assembly, which is a fine place to start, but most of my work is done in C.So having the addition of the extra language is a huge selling point for me.And this book is for JUST the S12 family; it doesn't try to confuse things by adding the older HC12 family.The author includes code for everything that he goes over; and not just one or two snippets, there are many full examples for each of the topics covered.The author thoroughly discusses all of the hardware aboard the S12.It's like he takes the Freescale User Guides, interprets them into a form that's very easy to understand, and then gives you the code, both in assembly and C, to perform the task that was just explained.The author chose to use AsmIDE, MiniIDE, and GNU C for the code in the book.These software tools are freeware which makes the book more appealing to students or those without high-dollar development tools.In addition, they're included in the CD that comes with the book, and since they are freeware IDE's, they have no memory size restriction like the tools included with many other book CD's.Also, a plethora of practical applications are presented such as interfacing the S12 with stepper and DC motors, Servos, keypads, LCD's, external memory and much more.It also explains how to program the onboard Flash memory using both the resident booloader and a BDM.No other book that I have found even comes close to presenting just these two topics as well as Dr. Huang does.Before I had this book, I spent weeks trying to figure out Flash programming and Interrupts.This book makes it simple.Also, if you're just starting out and not familiar with a programming language, this book begins at the ground level introducing assembly and C.Basically, this is THE textbook on how to make the HCS12 microcontroller work.I use mine constantly and all of my other books just sit on the shelf - honestly.Come to think of it, the copy I have isn't even mine but my professor's :) To sum it up, I love this book because it's completely up-to-date, easy to use, and applicable to actual applications that one is likely use with the HCS12.You can tell that Dr. Huang actually uses the S12 and knows what he's talking about; not just a professor writing a text for an academic audience.This book is completely thorough and made to be used in the field.Money well invested!Thank-you Dr. Huang for such a great book! ... Read more

16. Artificial Life Models in Hardware
Hardcover: 270 Pages (2009-06-16)
list price: US$99.00 -- used & new: US$59.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1848825293
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Hopping, climbing and swimming robots, nano-size neural networks, motorless walkers, slime mould and chemical brains - "Artificial Life Models in Hardware" offers unique designs and prototypes of life-like creatures in conventional hardware and hybrid bio-silicon systems. Ideas and implementations of living phenomena in non-living substrates cast a colourful picture of state-of-art advances in hardware models of artificial life.

... Read more

17. Repairing and Upgrading Your PC
by Barbara Fritchman Thompson
Paperback: 448 Pages (2006-03-02)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$23.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 059600866X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Most computer users think that fiddling with the insides of their PC is taboo. They fear that by removing the screws that hold the case on, they're crossing into forbidden territory. And even for those who know they can open the box and fix or upgrade their PC, analysis paralysis often stops them in their tracks:

Which upgrades offer the best bang for the buck? How do you pinpoint the faulty component that's making your system freeze? What about compatibility issues?

Get ready to get unstuck and get your PC running fast and running right. Repairing and Upgrading Your PC delivers start-to-finish instructions, simple enough for even the most inexperienced PC owner, for troubleshooting, repairing, and upgrading your computer. Written by hardware experts Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman Thompson, this book covers it all: how to troubleshoot a troublesome PC, how to identify which components make sense for an upgrade, and how to tear it all down and put it back together. This book shows how to repair and upgrade all of your PC's essential components:

  • Motherboard, CPU, and Memory. Choose the optimal match of these core components to keep your PC running at top speed
  • Hard Drive, Optical Drive, and Removable Storage
  • Give your computer what it needs for long-term and short-term storage
  • Audio and Video. Enhance your computing experience with the right sound and graphics devices for your needs
  • Input Devices. Pick the best keyboard and mouse to keep your hands happy and healthy
  • Networking. Set up secure wireless networking to keep the bits flowing between your computers and the outside world
  • Cases and Power Supplies. Keep everything running cool and reliably

With its straightforward language, clear instructions, and extensive illustrations, this book makes it a breeze for PC owners of any skill level to work on their computer.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!
This is a great book.It helps you determine what is important to make your computer faster and what is just a new things that needs to work out the kinks.It is a great resource if you want to build a new system.It also has websites you can go to to keep up with the newest technology.

5-0 out of 5 stars Really readable
This is the most readable computer text I've ever seen. The chatty format covers a lot of great information in an interesting way. The photos were superb too. Highly recommended.

2-0 out of 5 stars Too Old
This might have been useful in 2000 when it was first printed, but references to Windows 98 don't help much in a Vista world.Why publish a 2nd edition without updating the information?

5-0 out of 5 stars Farewell to Hardware Headaches
I had my first computer in 1997, and upgraded to a new motherboard in 1998, in 7th grade. Whenever my mom took me to the local library, I would peruse the PC magazines. When I got Internet access, I read hardware reviews on recent startups such as Tom's Hardware (1996), AnandTech (1997), and Ars Technica (1998); and shopped on PriceWatch (1995). The PC upgrade genre is all too familiar to me. I was young back then, too enthusiastic about clicking every menu item on the screen, and absorbed prodigious amounts of information in the process. As time went on, I pursued more academic subjects such as math and physics because, honestly, computers cause me stress.

_Repairing and Upgrading Your PC_ (2006) by Thompson & Thompson takes the stress out of this otherwise fun activity. First of all, the book has a standard outline:
Ch.1-3: introduction
Ch.4: motherboards
Ch.5: CPUs
and so forth. Each chapter is comprehensive. Their bits of advice appeal to a wide range of audience, a feat that online reviews often fail to accomplish. With the exception of a few sections on CPUs, chipsets, memory, and so forth, the book is still relevant in 2008. In this sense, this book is superior to the fragmented Building the Perfect PC, Second Edition by the same authors.

The best aspect of this book is that it helps the reader to avoid costly mistakes. Such valuable information is brewed from experience. For example, it claims that Seagate hard drives are more reliable than Western Digital, Samsung, and Hitachi. I would accept this claim based on my limited experience that two of my four WD hard drives failed - a Raptor and an RE2 WD5000YS.

Its chapter on optical drives is excellent. Finally, knowing its procedure for washing keyboards is worth the cost of this book - as I hate touching oily objects, and the so-called washable keyboards cost at least twice as much as this book.

Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Cover and binding damaged
The content of the book is good. But I wanted to write a review when I learned I would have to pay return shipping for a product that arrived damaged. The paperback cover is glued on, and it came unglued, and I can't get it to re-attach. The binding itself is also torn, and the first part of the book, the pages are loose at the bottom half.
I'm extremely upset at having paid for a new book and received this junk. I dont have a printer, and am not paying return shipping to get my money back, so I'm stuck with it. My only option is to let others know what happened to me. It wont hold up to repeated use, since it is a technical manual. ... Read more

18. Upgrading & Fixing Laptops For Dummies
by Corey Sandler
Paperback: 360 Pages (2005-11-07)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764589598
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Keep your laptop on top of its game!

Find out how to care for your laptop, what can go wrong, and what you can fix

A laptop is much more than a PC that shrank. It has unique needs, and this book shows you how to meet them. You'll discover how to diagnose and fix common problems, replace parts, add external upgrades, and develop workarounds. You'll even get the lowdown on networks, and find out when to repair and when to replace your laptop.

Discover how to
* Treat your laptop properly
* Identify common problems
* Know when repair may not make economic sense
* Install a new operating system
* Troubleshoot CD and DVD drives
* Add cool peripherals ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great resource for those who want to tinker with laptops
This book is a nice introduction to laptops and how you can upgrade or fix them. Many folks I know don't know how to upgrade a laptop (and some never do). But this book closes that gap well.

Here are some good stuff covered by the author:
* How to treat your laptop properly
* How to diagnose and troubleshoot common laptop problems
* How to install a new operating system, e.g. Windows Vista
* How to add cool peripherals to enhance your laptop experience
* How to make your laptop more durable

Overall, a great, highly readable book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Helps
The organization and layout makes getting the information you want easy and quick.There's obviously no need to read this book from front-to-back (as with all dummy-series books).The introduction also gives the reader advice on how to use this book wisely.

There are six parts:

Part 1: Putting a Computer in Your Lap.
Part 2: Explaining What Could Possibly Go Wrong
Part 3: Laying Hand on the Major Parts
Part 4: Failing to Communicate
Part 5: The Software Side of Life
Part 6: The Part of Tens

If you have a laptop and want to maintain it, prevent future dilemmas, and correctly troubleshoot problems, "Upgrading and Fixing Laptops for Dummies" can help newbies and/or the computer illiterate.

3-0 out of 5 stars Review
Easy to read, but does not have much factual information.Frequently
asks the reader to refer to instructions that came with the computer, but
maybe it does make it a little easier to read those instructions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Could end up being money well spent...
While I may be getting more comfortable with opening up my desktop machine, I'm still less-than-thrilled if the laptop starts acting up.Upgrading & Fixing Laptops for Dummies by Corey Sandler does a very nice job in covering the hardware components of laptops and how to make sure they keep working when you need them to...

Part 1 - Putting a Computer in Your Lap:A Field Guide to the Common Laptop; How to Treat a Laptop
Part 2 - Explaining What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Things That Go Bump in the Night (or Day); When to Repair and When to Recycle; Surviving Basic Training; Brain Matters: Memory, Microprocessors, and BIOS
Part 3 - Laying Hands on the Major Parts: Easing In to Hard Disks; Floppy Drives: Relics and Memories; Going Round and Around: CD and DVD Drives; Tripping the Keyboard Fantastic; Putting Your Finger on Pointing Devices; Seeing the Light: LCDs and Video
Part 4 - Failing to Communicate: Networks, Gateways, and Routers; Feeling Up in the Air; Modems: The Essential Translators; Breaking Out of the Box: PC Cards, USB, and FireWire
Part 5 - The Software Side of Life: Installing a New Operating System or Migrating Upwards; Adding or Removing Software, for Better or for Worse; Essential Utilities for Laptop Users
Part 6 - The Part of Tens; Ten Quick Solutions; Ten Essential Dos and Dont's; Ten of My Favorite Things

Many of my cohorts in the IT world are long-time laptop users.They're consultants, they're on the road a lot, and they live and die with their laptops.The vast majority of these people have probably done most of the things in this book at least once, and there might not be much new information for them.But take my dad.He's past retirement age, he travels around, and he got a laptop so he could "check email while they're on the road".For him, it's all a confusing jumble of technology that doesn't make a lot of sense.A book like this would allow him to understand the core parts of the laptop, know how they should be maintained, and more importantly know when things aren't working quite right.For instance, defragging a hard drive is second nature to me.For him, it's "de-what?".Clean the screen with Windex?No, Dad...Why can't you play a DVD?Because you have a CD reader...not a DVD reader.Things like that...:)

If you're more at ease with technology, you still might find some benefits here.I fortunately haven't had many issues with my laptop.But what if the screen started to fade?This book would give me a clue as to what was happening and what options I might want to pursue.Water spill on the keyboard...repairable?(The kids did it, and in this case it was.)While you might not find the exact answer you're looking for here, it will at least reduce your stress level as you figure things out.

Nice book, fun read, and the material just could prevent some problems down the road... ... Read more

19. Computer Hardware Organization
by Sloan
 Hardcover: 514 Pages (1983-02-01)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$23.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0574214259
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dated, but still valuable as a learning tool
When I first began my study of digital logic, I was fortunate that the first book I used was "Digital Computer Electronics: An Introduction to Microcomputers" by Malvino. After working through that book, I moved on to this one. While this one is also dated, it still provides a sound introduction to the fundamental principles of digital circuitry before it moves on to the basics of programming in assembly language.
The chapter titles are:

*) Combinational logic
*) Combinational logic circuits and logic technologies
*) Sequential logic
*) Register-transfer logic
*) Arithmetic unit
*) Machine language programming
*) Assembly language programming
*) Memory
*) Input/output
*) Computer systems

The last chapter is the one that is most dated, the systems covered are:

*) Hp-35 calculator
*) HP 41C
*) MCS-4 microcomputer
*) PDP-8
*) PDP-11
*) VAX-11
*)Motorola M6800
*) Motorola M68004
*) IBM 370
*) Computer networks

However, using the principle of starting at the beginning, an examination of these processors and their instruction sets is an excellent place to continue the process of learning exactly what goes on inside a computer chip. Therefore, this book, in combination with the one by Malvino mentioned earlier, still make up an excellent combination for the person who wants to learn the basics of digital circuitry.

... Read more

20. Computer Hardware Diagnostics for Engineers
by Ronald E. Howland, Ronald Howland
 Hardcover: 240 Pages (1995-04-21)
list price: US$55.00 -- used & new: US$31.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0070305617
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
As computer systems grow more and more complex, it's become clear that utilizing diagnostic techniques early on plays a critical role in reducing overall life-time product cost. As a result, strong diagnostic skills on the part of today's designers are at a premium. That's why the timing couldn't be better for this unique one-stop diagnostics guide. Covering a broad spectrum of hardware-from microprocessor boards to video devices-the book delivers straightforward information on the basic principles underlying all diagnostics... plus a wealth of specific, detailed examples demonstrating different diagnostic types and how each is best used. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars A useful book for embedded systems diagnostics
The book covers the fundamentals of hardware diagnostics, and is still quite usefull for the countless embedded systems that have more limited embedded processors that are often only able to run "C" or a subset of "C".Concepts for testing serial devices, ram, rom, and disks, are all presented.

Don't expect to be able to copy the example code in the book verbatim.

The reader will have to develop their own code for testing items like flash memory, and eeprom memory, as well as testing common buses like I2C bus, and SPI bus.

Nice to have would be better code for ethernet diagnostics.

2-0 out of 5 stars Very basic, beginner level info
The info provided in this book is strictly for beginners to the world of diagnostic coding.The data is very out-of-date and applies mostly to basic computer systems of the 70's.The coding styles are also very elementary and is written in the style of an introductory level course in programming.The examples will have very limited use in any contemporary software development effort.The author apparently does not have a solid grasp of C or with code re-use.

If you want current and in-depth info about contemporary computer systems and diagnostics - look elsewhere.If you don't know anything at all about computer diagnostics, this book might be able to get you started.I would recommend that you buy it used, however, and save yourself some dough.The cover price is rather expensive for the limited use it will have. ... Read more

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