Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hardware Bible (6th Edition)

The Winn L. Rosch Hardware Bible is a handy guide to the components that make up IBM-standard personal computers, but it is beginning to show its age in its new fifth edition. As Rosch's fans have come to expect, the book includes lots of lists and tables that present troubleshooting information in an easily referenced format. Rosch knows his subject well. Unlike many of its competitors, this book devotes a fair amount of ink to discussions of software phenomena, such as image compression technologies. Some of the material seems a bit outdated, such as the section on "proprietary mice" that describes dedicated mouse ports as if they're something unusual. In the same vein, coverage of CD-ROM formats neglects any mention of the Joliet and El Torito standards, as if Yellow Book is new stuff. There's no mention of PC-100 RAM either, and the book gives almost as much space to monochrome cathode ray tubes as to emerging flat-screen technologies.

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